ROH Wrestling TV results: Powell’s review of Slex vs. Flip Gordon, Joe Hendry and Dalton Castle vs. Vincent and Bateman, and Alex Shelley vs. Mark Haskins from Free Enterprise

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

Ring of Honor Wrestling TV (Episode 431)
Taped February 9, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland at UMBC Event Center
Aired February 22, 2020 in syndication and on SBG regional sports networks, available Mondays on FITE.TV

The ROH opening aired… A Slex video aired with the new signee putting on his shades at an outdoor location and it included some footage of him signing his contract…

Quinn McKay checked in with a new backdrop behind her. She hyped Slex vs. Flip Gordon as the main event. She ran through the other matches and noted that they were all taped at the Free Enterprise event… The broadcast team for the matches was Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman…

1. Mark Haskins vs. Alex Shelley. There was a commercial break early in the match. From my live coverage of Free Enterprise: Todd Sinclair was the referee for the match. Late in the match, Haskins stuffed Shelley’s Sliced Bread No. 2 attempt and rolled him into his deep Sharpshooter finisher for the submission win…

Mark Haskins beat Alex Shelley in 9:20.

Powell’s POV: This was arguably the best match on the Free Enterprise event. I’m still not sure why it was slotted to go on first. The card was laid out awkwardly with some big dive matches running back to back. This match was a slam dunk in terms of being a quality match and it could have broken up those other matches. Of course, it was successful in terms of getting the show off to a good start. I covered the full show live, so I’ll be running a lot of my recap from that event rather than watching all these matches again.

A brief video package recapped the formation of Vincent forming the Righteous faction and attacking Matt Taven…

McKay interviewed Dalton Castle and Joe Hendry in front of another new backdrop. McKay said she finds Vincent and Bateman scary. Castle said she’s silly because they are not scary. He boasted that he once looked a spider right in the eyes. Hendry spoke about the energy they have as a tag team. Castle said they do the opposite of what people expect of him. Castle rubbed Hendry’s face and boasted that they are unpredictable… [C]

Powell’s POV: As much as this promo was about Castle being a goofball, it was nice to see a promo that led into one of the television matches. The presentation of the ROH Wrestling television series has left a lot to be desired and consistently airing promos that lead into the matches could go a long way.

McKay interviewed Mark Haskins and Tracy Williams. She congratulated Haskins on his victory over Shelley and then recalled him stating that his goal in 2020 is chasing gold. Haskins said his preparation for an upcoming match includes facing world class athletes like Shelley. Haskins said he’s more focused than ever before and his sights are set on the ROH World Championship. Williams nodded along, agreed with Haskins, and then walked away behind him…

Powell’s POV: Williams once again appeared to be subtly annoyed by Haskins pursuing singles gold. I’m curious to see how that plays out.

2. 2. Dalton Castle and Joe Hendry vs. Vincent and Bateman (w/Vita VonStarr, Chuckles). From the Free Enterprise live review: Castle was accompanied by a couple of Boys, but not the Tate Twins. Before the match, Castle said Hendry is neat and Vincent and Bateman would be so happy to shake his hand. The heels declined to adhere to the Code of Honor. Vincent showed off a crutch while standing in the corner. [C]

Riccaboni said there was an incident at the ROH meet and greet, and the crutch belongs to Matt Taven. Late in the match, Hendry performed an impressive fallaway slam on both opponents simultaneously. A short time later, Chuckles pulled Castle to ringside, then Vincent hit a distracted Hendry with a cutter and scored the pin…

Vincent and Bateman beat Dalton Castle and Joe Hendry.

Powell’s POV: This is from my Free Enterprise review: Vincent’s faction is going by the name of Righteous. They are very much a work in progress and it remains to be seen whether Vincent will click as a faction leader. ROH really needs to develop this act on television, but it just hasn’t happened yet. In fairness, Matt Taven’s injury probably changed some creative plans. Meanwhile, I still suspect that Castle and Hendry are teaming together just long enough to split them up for a singles feud.

McKay interviewed Slex heading into his match against Flip Gordon. He said ROH would find out that business is booming… [C]

Backstage, a cameraman caught up with Vincent and his crew. Vincent said you are only as sane as you want to be and madness has its own reward. “It’s Righteous, man. You dig what I’m saying?”…

McKay hyped this weekend’s live events in Nashville and St. Charles Missouri, and the 18th Anniversary pay-per-view on March 13 in Las Vegas, and ROH Past vs. Present on March 14 in Las Vegas, and ROH Supercard of Honor on April 4 in Lakeland, Florida. She noted that all events would be broadcast live on HonorClub. She hyped next week’s television main event as The Briscoes vs. Flamita and Bandido (also from Free Enterprise)… A portion of the Slex video aired…

3. Slex vs. Flip Gordon. Riccaboni ran through some of Slex’s move names. The referee made Slex remove his shades before calling for the bell to start the match. Gordon performed a nice falcon arrow and got a near fall going into a break. [C] Slex hoisted up Gordon in torture rack position and then swung him into a sit-out powerbomb that led to a near fall. Slex acted shocked that he didn’t get the win. Gordon had a nice flury of late offense and used a Stomp to get the clean pin.

Flip Gordon defeated Slex.

Afterward, Gordon offered a handshake, which Slex accepted. Once Gordon left the ring, the SOS tag team arrived at ringside. Shane Taylor entered the ring and gave Slex a headbutt, then hit him with his finisher. Taylor took the mic and said that everyone has been talking about ROH’s new signing when they should be talking about how all of his demands have been met. Taylor said he’s officially back in ROH and now business is booming…

Powell’s POV: From my Free Enterprise live review: “I don’t really understand the match outcome given the big buildup the company gave Slex. Gordon feels like the fourth man in Villain Enterprises. And while this win may be a sign of that changing with Marty Scurll’s involvement in creative, surely Gordon could have dropped one more match in order to get the newcomer off to a strong start. The post match angle with Shane Taylor was encouraging if for no other reason than it means ROH is finally giving up on the storyline of Taylor being on his way out of the company, which was hard to believe since he’s been appearing at all the shows.”

It turned out to be a big night for Gordon, so apparently the idea was to give him a big boost by having him win this match and then go on to do what he did later in the show (I won’t spoil it for those who only watch the television show). It still seems like a strange way to introduce Slex and I feel like they could have given Gordon the same big night had they given him a win over a quality regular. Here’s hoping that Gordon will be getting a traditional babyface push going forward because his Assassin gimmick has never felt right.

Overall, it was nice to see ROH tweak the format of their television show to include some interviewers that actually set up the matches. I’d still prefer a more traditional television taping format rather than having them run matches plucked from various ROH events, but this was an improvement. The promos make the matches feel more meaningful and give the wrestlers some time to establish their characters. I will have more to say about this show in my weekly audio review of ROH Wrestling for Dot Net Members coming up later today.


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