ROH Wrestling TV report: Powell’s review of the Mark Haskins spotlight episode with matches against Jay Lethal and Alex Shelley

By Jason Powell, Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

Ring of Honor Wrestling TV (Episode 441)
Aired May 2, 2020 in syndication and on SBG regional sports networks, available Mondays on FITE.TV

The ROH Wrestling opening kicked off the show… Mark Haskins was shown seated at an undisclosed location. He spoke about being picked on as a kid nearly every day. He recalled a friend turning on a pro wrestling show and how he fell in love with it that day. Haskins said his friend who turned him onto pro wrestling suffered from cerebral palsy and that made him feel like he needed to make it in pro wrestling because his friend could not.

Haskins said it was always his goal to win a world championship so that he could show his friend and thank him. Unfortunately, his friend died a few years ago and they never had that moment. Haskins spoke about moving out of his home at age 18 and moving two hours away to a city that he hated just for the opportunity to train.

Haskins looked back on receiving a call from ROH for a match against Silas Young that was held in the UK. He said he won the match and that opened some eyes, but it was a match in London with Jay Briscoe that really opened the door for him. He said he took the fight to Briscoe. He said he beat Jonathan Gresham and Flip Gordon in the International Cup and then beat Hangman Page in the finals.

Haskins said he thinks ROH management really saw something in him. He said they didn’t know him from anybody and he was able to hang with some wrestlers and hand others their asses…

Powell’s POV: Haskins told the story about his friend with CP during the build to his match against Bully Ray. I asked him during a recent Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast interview if the story was legit or simply storyline fodder, and he said it was 100 percent legit. It’s a touching story so no complaints about it being told again on this week’s episode. I really enjoyed talking with Haskins, so be sure to check it out if you haven’t done so already.

Jay Lethal vs. Mark Haskins (w/Vicky Haskins) for the ROH Championship from Honor Re-United in London, England on August 19, 2018. Ian Riccaboni and Colt Cabana were on commentary for the match. Lethal won the lengthy match clean following a Lethal Injection…

Powell’s POV: This was a really good match. Haskins took the loss, but the match was booked to make him look strong against the then ROH World Champion. The only thing that really hurt the match was that there was no reason to think that Haskins would beat Lethal to win the championship because he was not under contract to the company at the time.

A video package recapped the Haskins vs. Bully Ray feud that concluded with Haskins beating Bully at Final Battle…

Powell’s POV: This feud wasn’t what it should have been. I’m a fan of the Bully formula in ROH of getting a ton of heat before putting over his opponent in their final match, but this feud felt a little too similar to Bully Ray vs. Flip Gordon.

Ring entrances for Mark Haskins vs. Alex Shelley aired heading into a commercial break…

Mark Haskins vs. Alex Shelley from ROH Free Enterprise in Baltimore, Maryland at UMBC Event Center on February 9, 2020. Haskins applied his deep Sharpshooter and stopped Shelley from reaching the ropes with his hand, which resulted in Shelley tapping out with the other hand…

A brief Haskins video package aired. He said he’s been beaten up and bled so many times that he’s lost count. He said you have no idea about the things he’s gone through in his life, but his opponent would find out one thing about him, which is that he hits really, really hard…

Powell’s POV: Haskins vs. Shelley was the opening match of the Free Enterprise card that was shown on FITE TV and eventually made its way to the ROH Wrestling television show. It was a very well worked match and one that is worth going out of your way to see if you haven’t watched it already. Overall, this was a good episode. I once again came away wishing that we would have heard more from the person spotlighted and less match time, but I still enjoyed the show.

Haskins is definitely a guy that the company needs to do more with once things get back to normal. He is excellent in the ring and has a very likable personality. Haskins belongs in the ROH World Championship mix. It’s interesting that the show didn’t pay any attention to the Lifeblood faction that Haskins is in along with Tracy Williams and Bandido. As much as I enjoy the work of all three men, the faction quickly lost Juice Robinson, David Finlay, and Tenille Dashwood. At this point, it feels like the three remaining members would be better off working as individuals, so hopefully it’s scrapped when things get back to normal.



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