By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Ring of Honor Wrestling TV (Episode 405)
Taped May 12, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois at The Odeum
Aired in syndication on June 22, 2019, Mondays on the FITE TV app
A video package recapped the Jay Lethal vs. Kenny King feud… The ROH opening aired… Ian Riccaboni checked in on commentary
1. Colt Cabana vs. Mark Briscoe for the NWA National Championship. Cabana controlled the opening offense before Briscoe caught him on the ropes and pushed him to ringside. Briscoe dropkicked Cabana through the ropes heading into an early commercial break. [C]
Briscoe pulled out a chair and set it up at ringside. Referee Benjamin Roberts joined him at ringside and barked at him. Briscoe seated Cabana on the chair and then charged him, only for Cabana to toss him onto the chair. Ouch. Cabana took a drink from a fan and threw it at Briscoe, then high-fived the fan. Back inside the ring, Cabana performed a cross body block and then a springboard moonsault for a near fall.
Mark battled back and moved part of the ringside floor pads away to expose the concrete. Briscoe attempted to suplex Cabana, who blocked it. In the ring, Briscoe performed a German suplex heading into another break. [C] Briscoe performed a nice uranage for a near fall. Later, Briscoe caught Cabana on the ropes. Cabana knocked him down with elbows, then leapt from the ropes and hooked the legs of Briscoe on the way down to get the pinfall.
Colt Cabana defeated Mark Briscoe to retain the NWA National Championship.
After the match, Jay Briscoe attacked Cabana and then he and Mark put the boots to him. Riccaboni yelled that Nick Aldis was in the UK and therefore couldn’t save Cabana. Jay held Cabana in place while Mark hit him with the NWA National Championship belt…
Powell’s POV: Did this match air out of the order the matches were recorded at the taping? I ask because it lacked the early intensity one would expect following the recent beatdown angle that saw the Briscoes attack Cabana and Nick Aldis. It felt like Cabana should have come out hot in search of revenge, but he worked his usual style and was smiling and playful with the crowd early on. The intensity picked up as the match went on and the crowd went from being fairly quiet early to getting invested in the match. So it all worked out in the end and I enjoyed the match even though the first couple of minutes felt a little strange. Unfortunately, Cabana announced today that an injury will keep him out of the Best in the World tag match, but the match will go on with a replacement teaming with Aldis to face The Briscoes.
Riccaboni hyped the Shane Taylor vs. Bandido match for the ROH TV Title at Friday’s Best in the World pay-per-view. Taylor was wearing a suit and delivered a promo in front of a black backdrop. He said the best part about revenge is the looks on the faces of people who told you what you wouldn’t become. Taylor said holding the ROH TV Title is revenge because he wasn’t supposed to be here or be successful. He said he can’t think of a better way to shove it down the throats of every fan and official who didn’t believe in him than by having the most dominant championship reign. He said the record is 527 days and 35 championship defenses is a record held by Jay Lethal, the ultimate company man. He said that once he’s done people will have no choice but to call him the greatest champion the company’s ever seen… [C]
Powell’s POV: A well delivered promo that really should have aired on one of the gap shows if the plan his for Taylor to retain on Friday. The focus was on his title reign rather than his pay-per-view match with Bandido.
The Allure delivered a promo in a hallway of a building. Angelina Love said they are making their in-ring debut at Best in the World. She noted that Kelly Klein is one of their opponents, then acted like she was struggling to remember tag partner Jenny Rose’s name. Velvet Sky said the entire pay-per-view is named after The Allure. Mandy Leon said they will wrestle on their time…
Riccaboni hyped the pay-per-view and spotlighted Rush vs. Flip Gordon and Dalton Castle vs. Dragon Lee…
Silas Young headed to the ring wearing a robe that read “Technician of Honor” on the back. Young took the mic and spoke about how he has proven in recent weeks that he is the best pure wrestler walking the planet today. Young said he was accepting the challenge of Jonathan Gresham to a pure rules wrestling match. Young said someone else was trying to make their name off him and avenge their father’s loss. Young introduced El Hijo del Squid Jr. A guy came out wearing the Squid mask. Riccaboni said it’s the same guy who worked as The Squid on a previous show and no one would convince him otherwise…
2. Silas Young vs. El Hijo del Squid Jr. Young won via submission with an abdominal stretch. Afterward, Young lit up a cigarette…
Silas Young defeated El Hijo del Squid Jr.
Powell’s POV: Meh. More of the same and I can’t say that either Squid segment put heat on Young or left me looking forward to his pay-per-view match with Jonathan Gresham.
Split screen shots aired of Jay Lethal and Kenny King warming up in their respective dressing rooms… [C]
Mark Haskins and Tracy Williams delivered a promo backstage and said they may have found the newest Lifeblood member in PJ Black, who was standing with them. Black said they are going to win the ROH Six-Man Tag Titles at Best in the World. Black patted them both on the chest, and Williams looked a little thrown off by it…
Powell’s POV: I hope that’s a legit sign that Black is swerving Lifeblood and will end up being a heel.
3. Jay Lethal vs. Kenny King in the second match of a best of three series (King leads 1-0). King offered a handshake. Lethal was surprised and accepted the Code of Honor handshake. Lethal applied a wristlock. King escaped the hold and told Lethal to “bend the knee” going into a break. [C]
King performed a nice corkscrew dive over the top rope and onto Lethal at ringside. Later, King threw Lethal to ringside. Referee Todd Sinclair’s count reached seven before Lethal returned to the break before another break. [C]
King teased performing the Lethal Injection, but Lethal cut him off and performed the Lethal Combination. A short time later, Lethal applied a figure four, but King quickly grabbed the ropes. King went to the apron and Lethal performed a dropkick from the middle rope that sent him to the floor. Lethal followed up with three suicide dives. King got back on the apron as referee Todd Sinclair’s count reached 14, then indicated that he was going to leave and take a count-out loss. Lethal went after King, who hit him with a microphone for the DQ finish.
Jay Lethal defeated Kenny King by DQ to even the best of three series at 1-1.
King continued to work over Lethal afterward. Lethal showed some signs of life once they were back inside the ring, but King low blowed him and then performed Lethal’s own Lethal Injection on him. Riccaboni said he was just told that the third and deciding match would take place at Best in the World. King wrapped a chair around Lethal’s arm and stomped it.
King took the mic and congratulated Lethal for evening the series, but then asked him if he feels like a winner. King said he could have beaten Lethal, but a king doesn’t do it in the shadows, you do it where the world can see. King said he’d see Lethal’s punk ass at Best in the World…
Powell’s POV: A decent match with a cheap yet somewhat logical finish with King’s explanation. More people see the weekly television show than the pay-per-views, but pay-per-views are meant to be special, so I get what they were going for. It does seem a bit misguided to dedicate the last two television main events to the Lethal vs. King feud (King cost Lethal the four corner survival match last week), as this just doesn’t feel like a hot pay-per-view match or a money feud.
Matt Taven was shown walking backstage with the ROH Title over his shoulder. Taven took a seat on a chair. Taven said that finally after two weeks of hearing about “Jeff Slob’s” accomplishments, ROH is putting an actual star on camera. Taven claimed Best in the World is named after him. Taven said no one has accomplished more in ROH than he has. He said he won the Top Prospect tournament, boasted about the titles he’s held in ROH, his success in CMLL and NJPW, and winning the ROH Title at Madison Square Garden. Taven asked why they’re not talking about his accomplishments. Taven said the title isn’t going anywhere. He said he is the man who will rule over ROH…
A brief video listed the ROH Best in the World pay-per-view lineup for Friday night’s show…
Powell’s POV: Taven delivered a good promo. Even so, I can’t see how anything on the go-home show would really move anyone on the fence to order the Best in the World event. We didn’t even get anything new from Jeff Cobb or Bandido heading into their pay-per-view title matches. Delivering a good build and strong final hype is more important than ever given all the competition these days, including AEW Fyter Fest airing for free in the United States the night after the ROH pay-per-view. Best in the World has a nice lineup on paper and should turn out to be a good show, but ROH has to start producing more compelling television to generate more interest in their product. I will have more to say about this show in my weekly Dot Net Members’ exclusive ROH audio review. Join me for live coverage of ROH Best in the World on Friday, and members will also hear my same night audio review afterward.
Check below for the latest Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and Brian Fritz of the Between The Ropes podcast discussing WWE’s creative and ratings struggles, Bray Wyatt following the Firefly Funhouse, WWE Stomping Grounds, NJPW G1 Opening Night, and ROH’s issues, what would happen if AEW opted to run head-to-head with WWE Raw, and much more.