By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Ring of Honor Wrestling TV (Episode 442)
Aired May 9, 2020 in syndication and on SBG regional sports networks, available Mondays on FITE.TV
The standard ROH Wrestling opening aired… Marty Scurll’s entrance video opened a highlight package… Scurll sat on a couch and welcomed viewers to the show. He said you might be wondering where Quinn McKay and Ian Riccaboni are. Scurll said he’s sure everyone is aware of the pandemic. He said they would normally have events and record their television show in front of big audiences all over the world, but they are unable to do so right now.
Scurll said the pandemic has affected everyone, including the health and jobs of people. He said he wanted to start by asking everyone to stay safe, stay indoors, and wash their hands. Scurll said he believes we will come out much stronger. He said it is their responsibility to entertain the fans. He said that the fans have been loyal and if they can help them forget about their stresses for an hour then they are doing their job as a company.
Scurll said it’s a historic episode because it will be presented by him. He said he couldn’t think of a better theme for the episode than to dedicate it to himself. Scurll said he wanted to take viewers for a ride through his ROH career and show them some of his favorite matches and moments, and he hopes everyone enjoys it.
Scurll recalled signing his ROH contract and debuting on the ROH tour of the UK in 2016. He recalled beating Will Ospreay in his second match with the company to become the ROH TV Champion. He said beating his rival is always a big moment, but winning the title in his home country was special. He said it’s an amazing match and said viewers who watch it on HonorClub won’t be disappointed.
Scurll spoke about working the All In show. He said he was a big focal point of the New Japan Pro Wrestling Junior Heavyweight division. He said he wanted to face a heavyweight and asked why not face the golden boy of NJPW in Kazuchika Okada. He said people didn’t think he had a chance against Okada. He said it’s one of his favorite matches and there were a lot of twists and turns. He said he gets goosebumps thinking about the match…
Powell’s POV: A really good opening with Scurll coming off as a good representative for the company by sending a good message before he set up the first match. I must admit that I’m disappointed that they didn’t include his match with Will Ospreay on this show, but zero complaints about Scurll going with his match against Okada.
Kazuchika Okada vs. Marty Scurll on September 1 in Chicago at All In. Ian Riccaboni, Don Callis and Excalibur were on commentary for the pay-per-view. The following is John Moore’s review of this match from his live review of the All In pay-per-view: Riccaboni and Jay Lethal were on commentary. Riccaboni noted that the crowd was torn over who to cheer. Okada started the match with the clean break and Don Callis talked about how he hates how Okada does that. Marty Scurll responded with his own version of the clean break. Scurll got the hammerlock on Okada and a pin attempt. Scurll showed some good agility to stay in the hammerlock. Okada no sold a forearm shot. Okada then stood tall over the shorter Scurll. Okada blocked an Ushigoroshi attempt. Scurll responded by getting some strikes in on Okada in the corner.
Okada turned the tables and hit a back elbow on Scurll. Scurll came back and almost hit a suplex but Okada turned the momentum into his own suplex. Marty took Okada outside with a few elbows. Marty didn’t relent with an apron superkick and suicide dive. Ian Riccaboni thought he saw Maculay Culkin in the crowd and Don Callis joked that he didn’t think the random guy with a beard was Macaulay. Marty regained control back in the ring with joint manipulation. Okada flapjacked Scurll. Excalibur noted that the joint manipulation weakens the Rainmaker ripcord. Okada gave Scurll a spike DDT at ringside. Okada caught Scurll with a slingshot senton.
Okada recoverd a bit and struggled to get clean chest chops on Okada which Okada no sold. Okada planted Scurll with a nice forearm smash. Marty fought his way out of Deep In Debt and countered into a Lungblower. Marty used a few kicks to chop Okada down to size. Scurll caught Okada with a tornado DDT for a nearfall. Don Callis said he thinks that Tiger Hitori is a slow counter. Ian Riccaboni said that that’s the opposite of fast counter Earl Hebner. Okada escaped a Graduation (Tiger Suplex?) attempt. Okada planted Scurll in the mat for a nearfall.
Scurll got a rollup attempt in. Okada blocked a superkick. Okada and Scurll had a strike exchange. Marty hit Okada with a brainbuster to pop the crowd. Ian Riccaboni noted that Scurll was wasting a lot of time. Scurll couldn’t lift Okada because his lower back gave up on him. Okada recovered and hit Scurll with an Air Raid Crash neckbraker. Marty and Kazuchika brawled on the top rope. Marty no-sold a few forearms and planted Okada with a Superplex. Marty and Kaz traded uppercuts and then traded rollup attempts. Marty hit a nice whiplash power bomb for a nearfall. Counters ensued and Okada caught Scurll with a shotgun dropkick. Okada hit a top rope Shotgun dropkick for a nearfall.
Scurll blocked a tombstone and hit Okada with a DDT. Okada recovered and hit the Pile Driver. Okada did the rainmaker pose (they didn’t do the cool zoom out we usually get). Scurll blocked the rainmaker with his signature finger break. Okada countered into another rainmaker but Marty ducked and put Okada in the rear naked choke. Okada kept his arm in between Marty’s triangle to prevent the lock. Okada lifted Scurll and fell on him from backpack position. Okada thought he had a moment of respite but Scurll locked in the Regal Stretch on Okada. Marty shoved Okada into Tiger Hitori. REF BUMP. Marty blocked Okada with an “All In” umbrella and then hit Okada with the umbrella and rainmaker for a really good nearfall that woke up the crowd into a standing ovation. Okada recovered and hit Marty with the Rainmaker but couldn’t get the pin due to fatigue.
Okada got to his feet and Marty begged Okada to come at him. Okada kept knocking Marty down but Marty showed his fighting spirit. Marty spit in the face of Okada. Marty tried to go for the finger break again. Okada hit Marty with two rainmakers for the victory.
Kazuchika Okada defeated Marty Scurll via pinfall in 26:00.
After the match, Scurll checked in from his couch and asked viewers if they would give the match five stars. He said he didn’t win the match, but he thinks he proved that he could compete with the best heavyweights in the world. He said the match did a lot for his career and he thinks the fans started to view him in a different way and started to see him as more main event. He said the fans were unreal and he spoke about their support and their passion. He said he didn’t win, but it’s one of his favorite matches because of the fight that he put up and he wanted to share it with the ROH fans…
Powell’s POV: The Elite members still have fun blaming Scurll for the show running long because of this match, and the main event of Kota Ibushi, Matt Jackson, and Nick Jackson vs. Bandido, Rey Fenix, and Rey Mysterio being cut short.
Scurll checked in from an echoey empty room in his house in Florida. He had a new chair in a box that needed to be set up. They did the fast speed bit while he set up his chair and had some visits from his dog along the way… An ad hyped that the 2010 archives are now available on HonorClub and listed some of the notable names that were part of the company…
Scurll sat on his couch and said the next match he wanted to share was against one of his rivals. Scurll said Bandido is one of the best wrestlers in the world. He said he remember thinking he had to test himself against Bandido. He said it was a match of the night, match of the month, match of the year and said it was a clash in styles when they met.
Marty Scurll vs. Bandido from August 24, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia at Center Stage. The following his my review of the match from my review of the August 24, 2019 edition of ROH Wrestling, episode 417, which includes a portion of my review from when it originally streamed live on HonorClub: The wrestlers shook hands before the opening bell. They went to commercial shortly thereafter. Bandido sent Scurll to ringside and performed a flip dive going into the final break.
Here’s my review of the remainder of the match from when it first aired on the Honor Club stream. Late in the match, Bandido hit a GTS for a near fall. Bandido followed up a short time later with a standing moonsault for another two count. The wrestlers ended up on the top rope and Bandido performed his impressive fallaway slam into a moonsault for a loud round of “holy shit” chants. Both men sold on the mat for a moment, then Scurll applied his chicken wing. Bandido rolled onto him for a two count. Moments later, Scurll hit Black Plague and scored the pin.
Marty Scurll defeated Bandido.
After the match, Scurll sat on his couch and applauded while saying, “Bravo, bravo.” He said it was one of his favorite matches from that year in ROH. He said the victory went to The Villain, but it could have gone either way, so much respect to Bandido. Scurll said that’s all they had time for on this episode. He said they would continue to provide viewers with entertainment and would DIY it with the wrestlers filming themselves at home while talking about their favorite matches. He said he hoped you enjoyed it and made viewers forget about things for even a short amount of time. He said he loves everyone and hopes to see them all soon…
Powell’s POV: Scurll vs. Bandido was good, but his match with Ospreay was even better. That said, this approach got another ROH regular on the show, so it wasn’t just Scurll facing a pair of NJPW regulars. Plus, Scurll vs. Bandido was quite the consolation prize.
Scurll came off very well. He was being himself and didn’t play The Villain persona. This was the first show with a wrestler speaking from his home rather than from when the participants in the previous “best of” shows were interviewed, presumably in Las Vegas when the shows were cancelled. As such, Scurll was able to talk more about the approach that ROH is taking these days and set the stage for how future shows will be handled until ROH is able to resume taping traditional shows again. It was a good episode with Scurll doing a fair amount of talking to go along with two very good matches.