By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Ring of Honor Death Before Dishonor 2019
Aired live on pay-per-view, FITE TV, and HonorClub
Las Vegas, Nevada at Sam’s Town Casino
[Pre-Show] Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman were on commentary. Ring introductions for the opening match took place…
1. Jeff Cobb vs. Brody King. Riccaboni noted that it was King’s first singles match in ROH and said it was a main event level match. Riccaboni also noted that the Marty Scurll vs. Colt Cabana match would open the pay-per-view. Late in the match, Cobb performed a superplex for just a one count. Cobb immediately got up and hit a standing shooting star press for a two count.
King rebounded and picked up a near fall, then performed a piledriver for a really good near fall. The broadcast team deferred to referee Todd Sinclair because it was so close to a three count. Cobb avoided the Gonzo Bomb. Both men traded German suplexes. Cobb performed the Tour of the Islands and scored the clean pin.
Jeff Cobb defeated Brody King.
After the match, Riccaboni spoke about Cobb’s upcoming shot at the ROH Championship. King offered a handshake, which Cobb accepted…
Powell’s POV: A good match and not just by pre-show standards. I like that ROH is taking pride in their pre-shows and not just filling time. Cobb going over was perfectly logical given that he has an upcoming title shot.
Brian Zane interviewed The Bouncers. Brian Milonas said they are tired of people mistaking their love of a good time as weakness. Beer City Bruiser also chimed in while both men drank beers…
Quinn McKay stood in the ring and played up the pay-per-view main event before introducing Dalton Castle as her guest. Castle came out with two Boys (not the Tate Twins). McKay pointed an item that was on a small platform in the middle of the ring. Castle played to the crowd and asked if they were there to see him fight.
Joe Hendry made his entrance. Hendry ended up singing a song about Castle while the lyrics were shown on the big screen. The punchline was that Castle hurt his back while trying to reach his peacock. Hendry ended up slamming both of the imposter Boys while Riccaboni closed the show…
[ROH Death Before Dishonor PPV] A video package opened the show and the broadcast team of Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman checked in from ringside and discussed the various matches…
1. Colt Cabana vs. Marty Scurll in a Final Battle No. 1 contenders tournament match. The winner of the tournament will challenge for the ROH Championship at the Final Battle event. Cabana offered a handshake. Scurll didn’t accept, but Cabana took his hand and shook it.
At 9:00, Scurll performed a powerbomb for a near fall. Cabana rallied with an elbow to the head. Both men traded punches in the middle of the ring. Cabana went for a moonsault off the middle rope, but Scurll avoided it. Scurll powerbombed Cabana and covered him for a two count.
At 12:00, Scurll went for his finisher, but Cabana rolled onto him for a two count. Cabana performed a top rope moonsault for a near fall. Cabana applied the reverse Boston Crab, but Scurll reached the ropes. Cabana hit the Chicago Skyline for a near fall. Scurll came back and hit the Black Plague for the win.
Marty Scurll defeated Colt Cabana in 14:05 to advance in the No. 1 contenders tournament.
After the match, a dejected Cabana sat down with the broadcast team. Riccaboni patted him on the back and said he gave all he had and added that they are looking forward to having him back…
Powell’s POV: An enjoyable opening match with Cabana getting some good near falls before Scurll came back with his finisher for the win. Cabana’s comedy matches are a lot of fun, but I enjoy the versatility he shows when he takes more of a straight forward approach in a match like this. Scurll will face the winner of the Bandido vs. Jay Lethal match that will take place on Saturday night at the TV taping in the same venue. We are looking for reports or basic results from the taping. If you can help us out, email me at email@example.com.
2. Kenny King (w/Amy Rose) vs. PCO in a No DQ, Final Battle No. 1 contenders tournament match. PCO entered to his new theme song “Shocker” that was composed by the great Jim Johnston, who composed so many great themes for WWE. Riccaboni noted that he was born in 1987, the same year that PCO started wrestling (also the same year the Minnesota Twins won their first World Series!). There was a ladder and a table set up at ringside.
PCO performed an early popup powerbomb. King rolled to ringside. PCO followed and slammed King face first into one of two cinderblocks that were at ringside. PCO suplexed King onto the entrance ramp. A short time later, PCO performed a senton from the top rope onto King, who was lying under the bottom rope. PCO hit the table at ringside when he hit the floor. A “you killed Kenny” chant broke out briefly.
PCO set up three chairs at ringside and placed King on top of them. PCO set up for a move, then started holding his head in pan. PCO ran the ropes and performed a suicide dive onto the floor on the opposite side of the ring from where he left King. Attendants were trying to help PCO up and to the back when King attacked him.
King placed PCO’s head inside the ladder and then rammed it into the ring post. King pulled out a second ladder and laid it on the mat at ringside, then placed the other ladder on top of it. King slammed PCO onto both ladders. King returned to the ring and performed a corkscrew dive over the top rope onto PCO on the floor.
PCO fought back. Rose slapped him across the face and then ran away from him. Moments later, King performed a sunset bomb from the ring and onto PCO on the floor. King brought him back to the ring and covered him for a two count. Rose threw King a bottle of water, which he poured onto PCO. Rose entered the ring and shocked PCO with a cattle prod. PCO fired up and chokeslammed King and pinned him. PCO will face the winner of Saturday’s Mark Haskins vs. Dalton Castle match in the semifinals…
PCO defeated Kenny King in 11:20 to advance in the No. 1 contenders tournament.
Powell’s POV: Both men worked hard, but that was a cornball finish. The idea is that the jolt from the cattle prod somehow woke up Frankenstein’s monster PCO.
A video package set up the Women of Honor Championship match…
3. Kelly Klein vs. Angelina Love (w/Mandy Leon) for the Women of Honor Championship. Ring announcer Bobby Cruise delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. Klein performed an early dive onto Love and Leon on the floor. Love came back and applied a submission hold inside the ring, but Klein reached the ropes. Love went to the ropes, but Klein cut her off and hit a fallaway slam from the middle rope.
A short time later, Leon provided a distraction while Love sprayed a substance into the eyes of Klein, which led to a near fall. Leon tried to spray Klein again from the floor, but Klein moved and Love acted blinded, which led to a near fall for Klein. In the end, Love hit a Botox Injection on Klein and pinned her…
Angelina Love defeated Kelly Klein in 9:10 to win the WOH Championship.
After the match, former ROH owner Cary Silkin entered the ring to present Love with the title, but Leon took it from him and handed it to Love. Leon grabbed Klein from behind and Love started to draw the Allure symbol on her face, but the lights went out. Maria Manic was in the ring when the lights turned on. Manic roughed up the Allure duo and then beat up multiple members of the security team.
Powell’s POV: The Allure act just hasn’t clicked in ROH. The referee ignoring Leon’s interference was weak. Love is talented and perhaps the title change will breathe some life into what was a heel trio. I thought they were working toward a Klein vs. Manic showdown match, but it doesn’t look like that’s in the company’s short term plans. For that matter, Klein may be better in chase mode. Velvet Sky and boyfriend Bully Ray continues to be MIA.
A brief video package set up the next match…
4. Jay Lethal vs. Jonathan Gresham. Lethal received the streamer treatment from the live crowd during his entrance. Lethal offered a handshake, but Gresham blew off the Code of Honor. Lethal sold an early wrist injury, then Gresham sold a knee injury. At 7:20, Lethal went for a figure four, but Gresham reached the ropes before he could apply it. Gresham came back with a nice springboard moonsault. Gresham applied a wristlock, which Lethal eventually escaped.
Lethal came back with a figure four. Gresham broke it and rolled to the floor, bringing Lethal with him. Lethal tried to return to the ring, but Gresham pulled him back to ringside and threw chops at him. They fought on the floor and Gresham set up to hit Lethal with a chair, but referee Todd Sinclair took it away. Lethal asked Gresham if that’s the only way he could beat him. Gresham barked that Lethal thinks he’s better than him. Gresham slapped Lethal and then they exchanged forearms on the floor and eventually continued to do so once they returned to the ring.
Lethal hit a superkick and set up for a Lethal Injection, but Gresham cut him off. Lethal went for a figure four, but Gresham caught him in an inside cradle for a two count. Lethal came right back with a Cutter for a two count. Lethal applied a figure four. Gresham eventually reached the ropes to break the hold. The wrestlers fought as they got to their feet and a pro Lethal chant started. Lethal went for a Lethal Injection, but he sold the wrist injury and couldn’t perform the move. The wrestlers traded strikes. Gresham applied an octopus hold and Lethal tapped out to arm submission hold.
Jonathan Gresham defeated Jay Lethal in 17:20.
Gresham and Lethal spoke afterward. A “hug it out” chant broke out. Gresham offered his hand, Lethal slapped it, and they hugged…
Powell’s POV: A good match with a nice story with Lethal’s wrist injury that continued to be a factor throughout the match. Gresham going over was the logical choice, though I am surprised that it wasn’t via cheating given that the storyline has been that Gresham has benefitted since he started taking shortcuts. I still wonder if Gresham will eventually lure Lethal to the dark side with him.
A video package set up the tag team match…
5. “The Bouncers” Beer City Bruiser and Brian Milonas vs. Vinny Marseglia and Silas Young in a Barroom Brawl tag team match. Bruiser attacked Marseglia from behind during the entrances. Josh Woods came out with Young and sat in on commentary. Marseglia bled from the forehead and was chokeslammed by Bruiser onto the ring apron. Bruiser pulled out a pool cue and swung it at Marseglia, who moved, causing the cue to break over the ring post. Marseglia shoved Bruiser into the post.
Young and Marseglia worked over Milonas. Woods said he didn’t approve of what Young and Marseglia were doing. Milonas was zip tied to a ropes in a corner of the ring. Young pulled a table out from underneath the ring. Woods continued to say he wasn’t in favor of what the heels were doing even though Riccaboni pointed out that it was legal given the rules of the match. Milonas broke the zip tie and then got the better of both opponents.
Milonas was busted open. Woods approached Young, who had a broken half of the pool cue. Young told Woods he’d let Marseglia do it and then threw him the cue, which Marseglia jabbed into the forehead of Milonas. A short time later, Young held Bruiser in the corner while Marseglia pulled out darts and threw him at the back of Bruiser. Milonas recovered and worked over the heels until Young hit him from behind with a chair.
Marseglia worked over Milonas next to a table that was set up at ringside. Meanwhile, Young set up a few chairs inside the ring. Marseglia went up top and performed Redrum (swanton) and put Milonas through the table. Bruiser performed a Death Valley Driver on Young onto the ring apron. Woods scooped up Young on his shoulders and carried him to the back. In the ring, Bruiser placed Marseglia on the ropes and spat at him. Marseglia flipped him off. Bruiser suplerplexed Marseglia onto the chairs in the ring and covered him for a two count. Bruiser called Marseglia a B-Movie Bitch and then DDT’d him onto a chair and pinned him…
The Bouncers defeated Vinny Marseglia and Silas Young in 14:25.
Powell’s POV: A wild brawl with great effort from everyone involved. I’m mildly surprised that Bruiser got his revenge on Marseglia for putting out a cigar on his chest so quickly, but I guess the barroom brawl stipulation should have tipped off which team was going over. This served as a nice followup to the technical based Lethal vs. Gresham match. By the way, I’m waiting for referee Todd Sinclair to rip off his shirt and take his rightful place as the third member of The Bouncers.
An ROH on tour video aired with a listing of upcoming events… An ad aired for the two-disc “Best of Matt Taven” DVD set… PJ Black joined the broadcast team for the ROH TV Title match…
6. Shane Taylor vs. Tracy Williams vs. Flip Gordon vs. Dragon Lee in a four-way for the ROH TV Title. The match was billed as a three-way between Taylor, Williams, and Gordon. Ring announcer Bobby Cruise announced Lee as a late addition without any further explanation. Prior to the change, Taylor made his entrance with a small entourage, and Gordon wore a gas mask during his entrance and was billed with “The Mercenary” nickname.
Late in the match, Gordon grabbed a chair and then Williams fought him and took it away. Williams gave the chair to the referee. Taylor hit Gordon with his Welcome To The Land finisher and scored the pin…
Shane Taylor defeated Tracy Williams, Flip Gordon, and Dragon Lee in 8:30 to retain the ROH TV Title.
After the match, Lee entered the ring and got in Taylor face for a moment while Riccaboni said that’s the match he wanted to see for the TV Title. Riccaboni thanked Black for joining him on commentary for the match…
Powell’s POV: I was surprised to see the match end so quickly. Taylor has been a pleasant surprise as the ROH TV Champion so it was a good call to keep the title on him. The addition of Dragon Lee to the match was weird. It was nice to see him and all, but it’s not like it led to anything they couldn’t have accomplished by having him come out after the match to challenge Taylor to a future match.
An ROH merchandise ad aired and featured Cody and Marty Scurll prominently…
7. Jay Briscoe and Mark Briscoe vs. Mark Haskins and Bandido for the ROH Tag Titles. Prior to the match, Haskins went to ringside and kissed his wife Vickie, who was in the front row. Bandido performed an early flip dive onto Mark at ringside for a big pop. All four men fought on the floor with the Lifeblood duo getting the better of it initially, but the Briscoes bounced back. Vickie leaned over the barricade to check on her husband.
Later, Jay performed a neckbreaker on Bandido for a near fall around 13:50. Riccaboni noted that a table was set up at ringside while Bandido rallid and performed a popup cutter when Mark tried to interfere. Haskins ran in and he and Jay hit each other with simultaneous single leg dropkicks. All four men leapt to their feet at the same time and then the teams traded strikes in the middle of the ring. A short time later, Haksins applied a Sharpshooter on one Briscoe and then Bandido hit his 21 Plex finisher on the other.
Haskins placed Mark on the top rope. Bandido superplexed Mark, then Haskins performed a top rope double stomp. Haskins had the pin, but Jay broke it up. The Briscoes rallied. Jay hit Haskins with a Jay Driller and covered him for a near fall. The Briscoes set up for the Doomsday Device, but Bandido broke it up. Jay hit the same move a short time later and scored the pin.
Jay Briscoe and Mark Briscoe defeated Mark Haskins and Bandido in 20:00 to retain the ROH Tag Titles.
After the match, the Briscoes left and then Bully Ray came out and powerbombed Bandido and Haskins. Tracy Williams came out and backed Bully down with a chain. Flip Gordon came out and hit Williams from behind with a bat. Bully looked surprised by his former rival helping him out. Gordon headed backstage.
Bully brought Mark to ringside and taunted Vicky, who slapped him. Bully responded by powerbombing Mark through a table. Vicky hopped the barricade to check on her husband, but security pulled her off and placed her back over the barricade while Bully barked to get her out of here. Haskins bad blood coming out of his mouth.
Powell’s POV: A very good tag match and my favorite match of the night thus far. I should have known Bully would return when I wrote that he and Velvet Sky have been MIA. I wasn’t sure what Vicky’s purpose was when popped up at ringside. I was actually hoping that she would somehow lead Mark to turning heel to put an end to Lifeblood. I like all three of the remaining Lifeblood members, but I also feel like they’d be better off as singles wrestlers. Bully returning won’t please some fans, but the company can use a guy who can generate mega heat. Contrarily, evil Flip Gordon hasn’t done much for me and I still question why they felt the need to turn him heel.
Riccaboni set up a video package on the ROH World Championship match…
8. Matt Taven vs. Rush for the ROH World Championship. Rush came out and greeted Dragon Lee and other members of his family in the crowd. Taven made his entrance and a few guys wearing wigs and title belts stood on the stage. Bobby Cruise delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. The bell rang and the wrestlers rushed to the middle of the ring and traded punches. They headed to ringside and Taven taunted Rush’s family while working him over. Taven went for a powerbomb on the ramp, but Rush powered him up and backdropped him onto the ramp instead.
At 4:00, Taven slammed Rush from the apron to the floor. Taven taunted the crowd by posing while the broadcast team marveled at what he did to Rush. Taven dropkicked Rush through the ropes and then hit him with a suicide dive. Taven followed up with a leap over the top rope onto Rush on the floor. Taven rolled Rush back inside the ring and then went up top and performed a frogsplash for a near fall.
Rush rallied and slammed Taven at ringside around 8:00. Rush took a piece of the barricade and threw it at a charging Taven. The security team scrambled to put the barricade back together while Rush continued to work over Taven. Rush brought Taven over to the other side of the ringside area and suplexed him onto the timekeepers table. Back inside the ring, Rush put the boots to Taven in the corner and then teased hitting his finisher. Rush stopped and kicked Taven instead, then struck his pose in the middle of the ring.
Rush sent Taven to ringside. A Rush chant broke out. Rush drilled Taven with a stiff dropkick from the apron. Back inside the ring, Taven rallied and hit Just The Tip and then followed up with his Climax finisher. Taven covered Rush for a two count and acted stunned when he didn’t get the pin. The wrestlers traded strikes in the middle of the ring. Rush eventually got the better of it and had Taven down in the corner.
Rush set up for his finisher, but Taven speared him. Taven performed the Just The Tip knee to the head twice and then leaned over Rush, who spat in his face. Taven gave him a third Just The Tip and then went for Climax, but Rush pushed him off. Taven went to the ropes, but Rush pushed him and caught Taven in the tree of woe. Rush performed a running dropkick and followed up with the Bull Horns. Rush dragged Taven to the middle of the ring and pinned him.
Rush defeated Matt Taven in 16:05 to win the ROH World Championship.
After the match, Rush’s family entered the ring to celebrate with him while some fans threw streamers into the ring. Rush went to hug a young male family member (his son?), but the kid performed his pose instead. Funny. Rush laughed. The kid got up and hugged him. Taven returned to the ring, spun Rush around, and shook his hand. Taven left the ring and then Cary Silkin presented the title belt to Rush, who celebrated to close the show…
Powell’s POV: A good main event and a necessary title change regardless of whether Taven opts to stay or go once his contract expires. ROH needs a shakeup and Rush winning the title is a start. Overall, there wasn’t a bad match on the show, but it was still hard to shake the feeling that ROH is in a rough place right now. Here’s hoping that Rush’s title win is the first of many needed changes. I will have more to say in my Dot Net Members’ exclusive audio review of this event.
The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Ring of Honor's PJ Black discussing the ROH Pure Title tournament beginning on ROH Wrestling TV this weekend, ROH's COVID-19 safety precautions, his run in WWE as Justin Gabriel with The Nexus, wrestling as The Bunny, and more...