By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Ring of Honor Wrestling TV (Episode 432)
Taped at various locations throughout the year
Aired in syndication on December 29, 2019, Fridays on SBG regional sports networks, Mondays on FITE.TV
The ROH opening aired and then footage played of Kazuchika Okada defeating Jay White to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship at the April 6, 2019 G1 Supercard at Madison Square Garden…
Show host Ian Riccaboni checked in while standing in front of the ROH backdrop and set the table for the show. Riccaboni said this episode would feature highlights and matches from the G1 Supercard…
Powell’s POV: With this being a flashback show, the match descriptions will be taken straight from my live review of the G1 Supercard event unless otherwise noted. I’m not going to insert commercial breaks into the matches because, well, who cares?
1. Never Openweight Champion Will Ospreay vs. ROH TV Champion Jeff Cobb for both championships. There was a tale of the tape graphic shown. There were dueling chants for the wrestlers. Referee Paul Turner held up both title belts. The wrestlers shook hands and the match was underway. Cobb had his left shoulder heavily taped. Ospreay performed a big handspring into a dive over the top rope. It looked like Cobb was supposed to catch him, but he stumbled a bit.
Ospreay went for a huracanrana, but Cobb caught him and powered him into a bearhug. Ospreay came back with a handspring into the ropes and a big kick that knocked Cobb down just before 5:00. Cobb bounced back and performed a standing moonsault for a two count.
Ospreay removed his elbow pad. Cobb cut him off, but Ospreay ended up performing a Code Red for a near fall at 9:30. Cobb blasted Ospreay with a great clothesline and went up top for a frogsplash, but Ospreay rolled out of the way. Ospreay went for his OsCutter finisher, but Cobb caught him and tossed him into the corner. Ospreay landed on his feet and leapt back into an OsCutter for a great near fall at 11:10.
The wrestlers fought for position on the ropes. Cobb got the better of it and performed a super Tour of the Islands from the ropes. Cobb picked up Ospreay and performed a Tour of the Islands in the middle of the ring and pinned him clean…
Jeff Cobb defeated Will Ospreay in 15:55 to win the Never Openweight Championship and retain the ROH TV Title.
Powell’s POV: From my G1 Supercard Review: A good opening match. I’d love to see what these two could do with five more minutes, but I’m not going to complain about the opening match of a long show not going 20 minutes.
Coming out of a commercial break, Riccaboni wished fans happy holidays and set up highlights of Rush defeating Dalton Castle in just twenty seconds…
Powell’s POV: Technically, the full Rush vs. Castle match aired, but Riccaboni just spoke over it.
Riccaboni set up footage of the Honor Rumble match that took place on the G1 Supercard pre-show. Kenny King hid under the ring and then returned to eliminate Jushin Liger and Great Muta to win the battle royal… [C]
Riccaboni reminded viewers that they could relive the G1 Supercard in full by signing up for HonorClub membership. Footage aired of IWGP Heavyweight Tag Champions Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa beating PCO & Brody King and Evil & Sanada and Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe to win the ROH Tag Titles, and of Dragon Lee defeating Bandido and Taiji Ishimori in a Triple Threat to win the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship. Riccaboni set the table for the ROH Championship match from the G1 Supercard…
2. Jay Lethal vs. Matt Taven vs. Marty Scurll in a Triple Threat ladder match for the ROH Championship. Nick Aldis joined Riccaboni and Colt Cabana on commentary while his manager Kamille stood behind him holding the NWA Championship. Scurll got a great reaction during his entrance and received the streamer treatment. A pianist played The Kingdom theme and one streamer was thrown as Taven stood on the apron, which he swatted away. Aldis noted during Lethal’s entrance that it was the defining moment of his life to walk into MSG as the champion. Bobby Cruise delivered in-ring introductions for the title match.
There were ladders set up around the ringside area. Lethal and Scurll fought to ringside and fought over a ladder. Taven dove over the top rope and his opponents held up a ladder that he crashed into. Aldis said he was surprised by the strategy of going for a high risk spot that early in the match (good sports-like call). Lethal through ladders at both opponents and then wedged another in a corner between the bottom and second rope. Lethal went for a drop toehold on Scurll, but he blocked it and slammed Lethal’s faceinto the ladder. Scurll set Lethal upside down with his head in between the ladder rungs. Scurll grabbed a chair and slammed the ladder with it a few times.
Scurll tried to use the umbrella he carries to the ring to pull down the belt when he climbed the ladder, but he was stopped. Taven made a play for the belt and the fans booed. Lethal was seated in the middle of the ring with his head between a ladder. Taven performed a running knee to drive the ladder into his face. Fans booed. Aldis was pro Scurll on commentary due to their friendship and the idea that they could have a title vs. title match at the Crockett Cup event on April 27. Scurll sold a knee injury. At 11:00, Taven powerbombed Lethal onto a ladder that was resting on two chairs in the entrance ramp area. Scurll made a play for the belt and sold knee pain, then gave up his play to fight Taven once he spotted him entering the ring.
Scurll performed a 619 on Taven. Scurll called for the chicken wing and the fans came to life. Taven kicked Scurll and DDT’d him to boos. Riccaboni said he doesn’t think there’s anyone in the building who wants to see Taven walk away with the title. Right on cue, a “f— you, Taven” chant broke out. At 15:00 Scurll superplexed Taven from a ladder. At 17:30, Scurll caught Lethal in a chicken wing at the top of the ladder. Lethal broke it and was knocked off the ladder. Taven crawled up the other side. Taven reached for the belt, but Scurll grabbed his hand and did the finger break spot twice. Scurll was knocked off the apron. Taven was alone on the ladder, but he sold sold finger pain and fell off. A brief “you deserve it” chant broke out.
At 19:30, Lethal performed a Lethal Combination that drove Taven into a ladder. There were two ladders that were put together to form an X. Scurll picked up Taven in suplex position and dropped him chest first onto the ladders. Lethal hit a Lethal Injection on Scurll. Lethal tossed the X ladders to ringside and the top of one of the ladders went over the barricade into the front row. “That’s a lawsuit,” fans chanted. Aldis said they apparently had 20,000 lawyers in attendance. Scary moment, funny chant and comment.
Scurll set up a table on the floor and then fought with Lethal on the apron. Taven speared Scurll through the ropes and drove him through the table. Lethal placed Taven on a table at ringside and then set up a giant ladder next to the table (rather than in the ring where, you know, the belt is hanging above). Lethal dove off the taller ladder and dropped an elbow that put Taven through the table. “This is it, boys, this is the rest of your life right here,” Aldis said. Scurll set up a ladder in the middle of the ring and then sold knee pain as he climbed it and then Lethal climbed the other side.
Taven introduced a giant purple ladder. Aldis asked how he snuck a purple ladder into the building with all the union people. Hilarious. Taven set up the giant ladder next to the ordinary sized ladder. All three wrestlers fought inside the ring. Scurll used the smaller ladder to jab Taven in the corner. Scurll wedged the smaller ladder into the middle of the purple ladder and put the other side over the top rope. Lethal did the same with another ladder on the second rope. Taven knocked them down with a chair. Taven climbed the purple ladder and Lethal climbed up the other side. Lethal and Taven traded punches at the top of the ladder. Taven slammed the title belt onto Lethal’s head, knocking Lethal off the apron. Taven pulled the title belt down to win the match…
Matt Taven defeated Jay Lethal and Marty Scurll in a ladder match in 29:35 to win the ROH Championship.
Powell’s POV: There were two commercial breaks that aired during the match. From my G1 Supercard review: An entertaining ladder match with hard work for all three men. The finish was expected. Taven’s heat rarely strikes me as good heat and so it will be interesting to see how his title reign goes. He had a strong 60-minute draw with Lethal at the 17th Anniversary show and another very good match here, but the question is whether people will pay to see him defend the championship. Only time will tell.
The show closed with credits for the ROH production crew and a thank you to “everyone who makes ROH possible, the dedicated and tireless ring crew, the all-star ROH talent, and the best fans on the planet”…
Powell’s POV: It’s a nice touch that ROH continues to close out their year with credits acknowledging the production staff and others. There was no indication of what will air on next week’s show, but I believe we’re through the holiday break, so my Dot Net Members’ exclusive audio reviews of the ROH television series will return with the first-run programming.
The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Jake Barnett co-hosting the Boom and Dot Net Weekly combo show. Jason and Jake discuss Becky Lynch announcing her pregnancy, Alberto Del Rio being accused of sexual assault, WWE's IC Title tournament, Mike Tyson appearing at AEW Double Or Nothing, Undertaker's Last Ride documentary, AEW Dynamite and NXT TV thoughts, and more...