By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Ring of Honor Wrestling TV (Episode 420)
Taped September 7, 2019 in Villa Park, Illinois at Odeum Expo (unless otherwise noted)
Aired in syndication on October 5, 2019, Mondays on the FITE TV app
The ROH opening video aired… Footage aired of various luchadores performing moves and concluded with Bandido standing on the ropes while the fans threw streamers… Hosts Ian Riccaboni and Quinn McKay checked in and noted that it was a lucha libre themed edition of the show in celebration of new ROH Champion Rush…
Powell’s POV: It’s refreshing to hear the title change acknowledged just a week after it aired on pay-per-view. ROH has been known to air two weeks of television before finally acknowledging their pay-per-view results. I’ll assume that Riccaboni and McKay filmed this before the match actually took place unless we see some footage of the match. Either way, I’m all for it, as it makes the show feel more timely.
1. Rush vs. Barbaro Cavernario. The match was taped in Villa Park as part of the Global Wars Espectacular tour. Cavernario performed a dive from the apron and through the ropes and then onto Rush at ringside heading into a break. [C]
Rush battled back after the break and performed his signature Los Ingobernables pose in the ring, then went to ringside and whipped Cavernario into the barricade. Back inside the ring, Cavernario performed the worm and then charged at Rush, who suplexed him into the corner. Rush hit his Bullhorns finisher and scored the clean pin…
Rush defeated Barbaro Cavernario.
Powell’s POV: A good showcase win for Rush, who beat Matt Taven to win the ROH Championship at the ROH Death Before Dishonor pay-per-view last weekend.
The hosts checked in again and hyped the Glory By Honor event for Saturday. They noted that the semifinals and finals of the Final Battle tournament will take place at the show in New Orleans. The semifinals feature PCO vs. Dalton Castle and Marty Scurll vs. Jay Lethal. The winner of the tournament will challenge for the ROH Championship at Final Battle on Friday, December 13 in Baltimore. Alex Shelley vs. Jonathan Gresham was also hyped for the show. Separate interviews with Dalton Castle and Marty Scurll were intertwined… [C]
Powell’s POV: Why in the world is Final Battle airing on a Friday night when pro wrestling fans can watching Smackdown for free on Fox? This is insanity.
The hosts pushed new merch for the four Final Battle tournament semifinalists. They also spoke about an eight-man tag match in CMLL that set up the highlights that were then shown of Jay Lethal, Jeff Cobb, and Jonathan Gresham beating Stuka Jr., Triton, and Caristico at the Chicago (Villa Park) show. Gresham pinned Triton to win the match for his team… [C]
The hosts hyped Rush vs. Jeff Cobb for the ROH Championship on the ROH Honor United UK tour. McKay set up footage of “Villain Enterprises” Marty Scurll, PCO, Brody King, and Flip Gordon beating Rey Bucanero, Okumura, Hechicero, and Barbaro Cavernario in Dearborn, Michigan. King pinned Okumura to win the match for his team… [C]
2. Caristico, Stuka Jr., and Volador Jr. vs. Rey Bucanero, Okumura, Hechicero. There was a light “lucha” chant prior to the match that both teams encouraged. Caprice Coleman wondered on commentary if the fans even know what they’re being treated to. Riccaboni said it was their job to bring the fans up to speed. [C]
Volador Jr. was isolated by the heels for a stretch of the match. In a move that made zero sense, Hechicero shot Volador Jr. into his corner where he made the tag going into a break. Riccaboni labeled it an unforced error. [C] In the end, Hechicero went to the top rope. Volador Jr. followed him up and performed a huracanrana that led to the three count…
Caristico, Stuka Jr., and Volador Jr. defeated Rey Bucanero, Okumura, Hechicero.
Powell’s POV: The conversation between the broadcast team members about whether the fans know what they are being treated to was interesting. The fact is that most fans do not because ROH doesn’t do a good job of showcasing the lucha talent. Sure, they book them in matches and the broadcast team provides some background info, but they really don’t spotlight most of these wrestlers in a meaningful way. And that was the case on this lucha edition of the show. The broadcast team does their best, but the company would be better off taking a less is more approach. Rather than cramming the lucha talent into trios matches, I wish the company would take their time and introduce the talent separately and give them actual storylines. This has also been an issue with ROH booking New Japan talent. It comes off like the creative forces just assume that everyone is familiar with the foreign talent. And surely some fans are, but they would be wise to take the opposite approach booking the talent as if none of their viewers are familiar with these wrestlers. On a positive note, it was nice that they were able to talk about Rush winning the championship so quickly by ROH standards. I will have more to say in my weekly Dot Net Members’ exclusive audio review of the television show.