By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Ring of Honor Wrestling TV (Episode 435)
Taped February 28, 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee at the Nashville Municipal Auditorium
Aired March 21, 2020 in syndication and on SBG regional sports networks, available Mondays on FITE.TV
The ROH opening video aired… A video package focused on the Silas Young and Josh Woods tag team… Show host Quinn McKay checked in and hyped that Young and Woods are unbeaten and have momentum heading into the main event with the duo challenging for the ROH Tag Titles. She also hyped the other two matches…
Powell’s POV: We finally have a show that I didn’t see when it first streamed on Honor Club. The lineup looks good and it feels like a treat to have some first-run content (at least for me) with a live crowd in attendance.
1. Jeff Cobb and Dan Maff vs. Jay Briscoe and Mark Briscoe. Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman were on commentary along with former ROH owner Cary Silkin. Jay put Cobb down with a clothesline, then Mark knocked Maff off the apron heading into an early commercial break. [C]
Matt had a flurry of offense and worked over both Briscoes coming out of the break. Cobb tagged in and performed a standing moonsault on Jay that led to a near fall. Mark checked in and exchanged blows with Cobb, who got the better of it and whipped Mark into his corner. But Mark dropkicked Maff off the apron and then cleared Cobb from the ring.
Jay tossed Mark a chair, which he set up the in the ring. Mark performed a leap off the chair onto Maff, then Jay performed a dive over the top rope onto Cobb. Back inside the ring, the Briscoes double teamed Cobb and got another near fall.
Later, Cobb popped up Jay for a cutter from Maff, who had the pin until Mark broke it up. Jay avoided Cobb’s finisher, a clothesline, and a corner splash, then caught him with a kick to the gut. Jay hit the Jay Driller on Cobb. Mark performed Froggy Bow on Coff and then Jay pinned him to win the match…
The Briscoes defeated Jeff Cobb and Dan Maff.
Mark smiled while looking at the camera while a graphic hyped the next match… [C]
Powell’s POV: A strong television opener. I still wish that ROH would tell stories around their television matches. I’d gladly give up one weekly match in favor of interviews, promos, and angles that set up the matches that air. That said, this was an enjoyable match and it was a pleasant surprise to see a clean finish, as a good case could be made for protecting both teams, especially since we just saw Cobb and Maff win a Proving Ground match to earn an ROH Tag Title shot last week.
2. Alex Shelley vs. Rey Horus. Both men were in the ring coming out of the break and the bell rang to start the match. Horus dropkicked Shelley to ringside and then joined him on the floor. Shelley performed a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, then returned to the ring to break the referee’s count. Horus fired away with chops, then Shelley shoved him into the barricade. Shelley threw Horus back inside the ring and went for a cross body block, but Horus rolled through and got a two count. Shelley got right up and knocked Horus down with a forearm to the head. [C]
The wrestlers exchanged chops in the ring and then Shelley turned Horus inside out with a clothesline. Shelley sold the chops, then went to the top rope and leapt into a Horus dropkick. Horus went for a sunset flip, but Shelley rolled through and dropkicked him. Horus came right back with a dropkick of his own on a seated Shelley. Riccaboni said the match was so back and forth that it was like watching mirror images.
A short time later, Horus performed a running Sliced Bread on Shelley for a nice near fall. Shelley rallied briefly, but Horus performed an overhead belly to belly suplex into the corner and then got another two count. Horus played to the crowd and then went up top and tried for a 450 splash. Shelley moved out of the way and Horus landed on his feet. Shelley performed Sliced Bread No. 2 for a near fall. Shelley superkicked a kneeling Horus and gave him a variation of a Flatliner went for the pin. Horus kicked out and then Shelley immediately applied the Motor City Stretch and got the submission win…
Alex Shelley defeated Rey Horus.
Oddly, an ad aired for the cancelled ROH 18th Anniversary pay-per-view replay… [C]
Powell’s POV: A very well worked match. Does Shelley age? This was another example of a match that would have benefitted from mic work or a video package even if they simply explained what the wrestlers hoped to gain. Were they trying to move in contention for an ROH Title shot or an ROH TV Title shot? For that matter, I’ve seen Horus in ROH and MLW and I don’t feel like I’ve learned anything about him. He’s very good in the ring, but sadly he comes off as just another luchador who uses Rey as his first name.
McKay checked in and spoke about how the company just had the 18th Anniversary pay-per-view and the Past vs. Present event. She said viewers could still check out those events via HonorClub. She hyped Rush vs. Flip Gordon for the ROH Championship at the Supercard of Honor event. She also hyped Jay Lethal and Jonathan Gresham vs. The Briscoes in a Ladder War for the ROH Tag Titles, Dragon Lee vs. El Phantasmo for the ROH TV Title, Bandido, Flamita, and Rey Horus vs. Will Ospreay, Rocky Romero, and Amazing Red for the ROH Six-Man Tag Titles, Nick Aldis vs. PCO for the NWA Championship, Marty Scurll vs. Jay White, Dan Maff and Jeff Cobb vs. Kenta and Taiji Ishimori…
Powell’s POV: It’s strange that ROH was unable to remove the pay-per-view replay ad and this McKay plug for a cancelled event. I understand that everyone is in a tough position because of the coronavirus outbreak. I don’t know if ROH is to blame or if this is another example of Sinclair requiring them to have the show submitted so early that they were unable to make the change. By the way, Supercard of Honor looked really good on paper and it’s a shame that the event won’t take place.
Ring entrances for the main event took place. Silas Young and Josh Woods were introduced first by ring announcer Bobby Cruise. Jay Lethal appeared at ringside and hit Young’s bad knee with one of the ROH Tag Title belts. Jonathan Gresham was right behind Lethal and joined him in working over the challengers prior to the bell. Lethal performed suicide dives on both opponents while Gresham held them in place. He tried one too many times and Young was able to pull away, causing Lethal to hit Gresham. Woods suplexed Lethal at ringside.
3. Jay Lethal and Jonathan Gresham vs. Silas Young and Josh Woods for the ROH Tag Titles. Young was selling his bad knee in the middle of the ring. Once Gresham entered the ring, referee Todd Sinclair inexplicably rewarded the heels for their pre-match attack by calling for the bell to start the match. Lethal got the better of Young going into an early break. [C]
The champions isolated Young and continued to target his bad knee. Woods eventually took a hot tag and got a near fall on Lethal that was broken up by Gresham. Woods hit Lethal with a GTS and covered him, but Gresham broke up the pin again. Lethal leapt off the middle rope into a knee to the head. Gresham grabbed the foot of Woods from the floor, then Lethal hit a Lethal Combination on Woods for a two count.
Later, Woods powerbombed Gresham onto the knees of Young, who sold his bad knee before making a cover that resulted in a two count. Gresham rallied and performed a dropkick from the second rope that took out both opponents going into the final break. [C]
Lethal put Young in a figure four while Gresham stood guard and tried to prevent Woods from breaking it up. Woods eventually picked up Gresham and powerbombed him onto Lethal to break up the submission hold. A short time later, Young and Woods hit some tag moves on Gresham. Young dove onto Lethal at ringside. Woods put Gresham in an ankle lock, then powered him into a suplex and a bridge, but Lethal broke up the pin.
Young tagged in. Gresham kicked his bad knee. Lethal hit Young with a Lethal Injection and then dove onto Woods at ringside. Gresham performed a Shooting Star Press on Young for a two count. Gresham set up for a figure four, but Young countered into an inside cradle and had the pin, but referee Todd Sinclair got caught up with clearing illegal man Woods from the ring. Lethal rolled Gresham over and he maintained the inside cradle and scored the pin.
Jay Lethal and Jonathan Gresham defeated Silas Young and Josh Woods to retain the ROH Tag Titles.
The champions celebrated their win at ringside while Woods checked on Young. Lethal and Gresham taunted Woods and Young from ringside and held up their title belts to close the show…
Powell’s POV: Another well worked match. The final moments felt inconsistent with the rest of the match given that the referee suddenly (and conveniently) cared about the illegal men being in the ring. Plus, it was hard to believe that Young and Woods would win given that Young started the match selling the knee injury. Given the injury, perhaps the better approach would have been for Young to put up a hell of a fight only to lose clean in the end.
Overall, this was an entertaining show with three quality matches. The presentation still leaves a lot to be desired, but it was nice to see a few matches in front of a live crowd again. I will have more to say about this episode in my weekly audio review coming up later today for Dot Net Members.
The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Kenny Herzog discussing his journalism career, his new Outside Interference podcast, doing a feature story on CM Punk, pro wrestling in the pandemic, WWE talk on Retribution, The Hurt Business, Roman Reigns as a heel, and much more...