By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Ring of Honor Wrestling TV (Episode 445)
Aired May 30, 2020 in syndication and on SBG regional sports networks, available Mondays on FITE.TV
Powell’s POV: I’ve fallen behind on ROH coverage over the last couple weeks, so I’m playing catchup. My review of Episode 444 was posted on Sunday and I hope to have the latest episode reviewed by Tuesday.
The ROH Wrestling opening aired… A brief Rush highlight package aired… Rush checked in while standing in front of a backdrop with the ROH World Championship belt over his shoulder. He spoke about facing Matt Taven in a match for the ROH Title and how he had the support of his family…
Matt Taven vs. Rush for the ROH Title on September 27, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada at Death Before Dishonor. Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman were on commentary. The following is my live report on the match: Rush came out and greeted Dragon Lee and other members of his family in the crowd. Taven made his entrance and a few guys wearing wigs and title belts stood on the stage. Bobby Cruise delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. The bell rang and the wrestlers rushed to the middle of the ring and traded punches. They headed to ringside and Taven taunted Rush’s family while working him over. Taven went for a powerbomb on the ramp, but Rush powered him up and backdropped him onto the ramp instead.
At 4:00, Taven slammed Rush from the apron to the floor. Taven taunted the crowd by posing while the broadcast team marveled at what he did to Rush. Taven dropkicked Rush through the ropes and then hit him with a suicide dive. Taven followed up with a leap over the top rope onto Rush on the floor. Taven rolled Rush back inside the ring and then went up top and performed a frogsplash for a near fall.
Rush rallied and slammed Taven at ringside around 8:00. Rush took a piece of the barricade and threw it at a charging Taven. The security team scrambled to put the barricade back together while Rush continued to work over Taven. Rush brought Taven over to the other side of the ringside area and suplexed him onto the timekeepers table. Back inside the ring, Rush put the boots to Taven in the corner and then teased hitting his finisher. Rush stopped and kicked Taven instead, then struck his pose in the middle of the ring.
Rush sent Taven to ringside. A Rush chant broke out. Rush drilled Taven with a stiff dropkick from the apron. Back inside the ring, Taven rallied and hit Just The Tip and then followed up with his Climax finisher. Taven covered Rush for a two count and acted stunned when he didn’t get the pin. The wrestlers traded strikes in the middle of the ring. Rush eventually got the better of it and had Taven down in the corner.
Rush set up for his finisher, but Taven speared him. Taven performed the Just The Tip knee to the head twice and then leaned over Rush, who spat in his face. Taven gave him a third Just The Tip and then went for Climax, but Rush pushed him off. Taven went to the ropes, but Rush pushed him and caught Taven in the tree of woe. Rush performed a running dropkick and followed up with the Bull Horns. Rush dragged Taven to the middle of the ring and pinned him.
Rush defeated Matt Taven in 16:05 to win the ROH World Championship.
After the match, Rush’s family entered the ring to celebrate with him while some fans threw streamers into the ring. Rush went to hug a young male family member (his son?), but the kid performed his pose instead. Funny. Rush laughed. The kid got up and hugged him. Taven returned to the ring, spun Rush around, and shook his hand. Taven left the ring and then Cary Silkin presented the title belt to Rush, who celebrated to close the show…
Powell’s POV: A good main event and a necessary title change regardless of whether Taven opts to stay or go once his contract expires. ROH needs a shakeup and Rush winning the title is a start. Overall, there wasn’t a bad match on the show, but it was still hard to shake the feeling that ROH is in a rough place right now. Here’s hoping that Rush’s title win is the first of many needed changes.
Rush vs. Jeff Cobb from October 27, 2019 in Bolton, England. The following hi from my recap of the event: Cobb went for a late Tour of the Islands, but Rush countered into a pin for a near fall. Rush came back with two Bull’s Horns dropkicks on Cobb in the corner and pinned him. After the match, Cobb offered a handshake and this time Rush accepted. Cobb fell to the mat after the handshake, then Rush left the ring and looked into the mic and said he will be the champion for a long time.
Highlights aired of PCO defeating Rush to win the ROH Championship at the Final Battle 2019 event… Footage aired from the Final Battle Fallout event of La Faccion Ingobernable forming to counter Villain Enterprises… Highlights aired of Rush beating PCO to regain the ROH Championship at the Glory By Honor 2020 event…
Rush spoke in front of the backdrop about ROH having the best wrestlers in the world. He said he didn’t come to play and that’s why he’s a two-time champion. Some clips of him working out where shown and Rush said that he will gore whoever they put in front of him once they return to the ring. Rush said he will be champion for a long time…
Powell’s POV: I gave ROH the benefit of the doubt with the previous week’s Dragon Lee episode, but this was more of the same in that it was mostly match footage and very little first-run material from Rush. The thing I enjoyed about the previous episodes was that they did a better job of spotlighting the characters by giving the wrestlers a chance to talk in addition to airing the matches. Perhaps the fact that English is a second language for Rush and Lee had something to do with how little we heard from them, but it’s a shame because ROH hasn’t done a very good job of establishing their personas, so this felt like a chance to do so.
The Best of The Boom features Eric Bischoff joining Jason Powell in this March 20, 2019 discussion on whether there are similarities between Verne Gagne's booking during the AWA's dying days and Vince McMahon's WWE booking today, AEW, a Turner network shakeup, and more...