ROH Wrestling TV report: Powell’s review of the Matt Taven spotlight episode with matches against Mark Haskins and Ultimo Guerrero, plus Vincent checks in

By Jason Powell, Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

Ring of Honor Wrestling TV (Episode 439)
Aired April 18, 2020 in syndication and on SBG regional sports networks, available Mondays on FITE.TV

The ROH opening started the show… Matt Taven spoke in an empty arena in the sit-down setting. He said 2016 is a year that he thinks of fondly and negatively. He said he was rehabbing an injury and he had a list of goals that included becoming ROH World Champion, but he knew he had to take other steps first.

Taven spoke of having to prove himself against Adam Cole. He said the match they had in Minnesota doesn’t get the recognition it deserves and yet it opened eyes. Footage was shown of Taven pinned Cole to win that match.

Taven recalled main eventing in Mexico and coming back to ROH as the Real World Champion and looked back on beating then ROH World Champion Dalton Castle. Taven switched gears to talking about beating Jay Lethal in a match at the ROH 17th Anniversary show. Taven said he can watch the match back and see himself digging deeper than he ever had before. He said he didn’t leave with the title, but he proved to people that he is world title material.

Taven said his ROH World Championship win at the G1 Supercard is his finest moment. He spoke of standing on top of the ladder after pulling the belt down and said the smile on his face is pure joy after achieving the goal he’d worked his entire life for. Taven said he defended the title so many times that there were matches that flew under the radar and don’t get the respect they deserve. Taven said the first one of those matches that comes to mind is his match against Mark Haskins…

Matt Taven vs. Mark Haskins for the ROH World Title from May 11, 2019 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The footage picked up with ring announcer Bobby Cruise’s introductions. Late in the match, Haskins applied his deep Sharpshooter. He released the hold when Bully Ray walked out with a mic and asked him how his wife was doing. Taven low blowed Haskins, then performed his Climax finisher and got the win…

Taven spoke of feuding with Ultimo Guerrero in Mexico. He said it flew under the radar in the United States and their first chance to show people what was going on in Arena Mexico lived up to the billing. Taven said he wasn’t sure if people came away from the match thinking he was a future world champion, but he thinks people saw he had something going on that night…

Matt Taven (w/TKO O’Ryan) vs. Ultimo Guerrero from June 2, 2018 in New York, New York. Late in the match, Guerrero was setting up for a move on the ropes when the red balloons floated from underneath the ring. Vinny Marseglia emerged and popped a balloon next to the ear of Guerrero, who then dropped off the ropes. Taven hit Guerrero with Climax and scored the pin…

Taven said all the hard work and rehab he’s doing are because his story is far from over. The footage cut to weird shots of Vincent (Vinny Marseglia), who was then shown clapping at an outdoor setting. Vincent said Taven hasn’t changed because he still loves talking about himself every chance he gets. Vincent boasted that he beat Taven at Final Battle and turned him into a “broken toy.” Vincent said historians might look back on 2019 as the last great year of society. He said that while Taven might think it was his year, he ended it in a hospital bed. “I am the best of Matt Taven,” Vincent concluded…

Powell’s POV: I enjoyed Taven vs. Guerrero, but I was not a fan of that silly balloon finish. Both of the full length matches were entertaining and they make this episode worth watching for those who have not seen them before or even if you want to enjoy a second viewing. I also liked the footage at the end with Vincent interrupting to remind viewers of his feud with Taven, which should pick up again once things get back to normal. I still wish there was more sit-down interview footage on these spotlight shows, but I suspect they were done on the fly when ROH made the call to cancel the 18th Anniversary pay-per-view and the Past vs. Present shows, so it’s definitely understandable.


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