By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Ring of Honor Wrestling TV (Episode 473)
Taped in Baltimore, Maryland
Aired October 10, 2020 in syndication and on SBG regional sports networks, available Mondays on FITE.TV
A video package opened on the Pure Tournament and noted that there were eight wrestlers remaining and round two was about to begin… The ROH opening aired…
Quinn McKay checked in from the studio and ran through the list of wrestlers remaining one one side of the tournament bracket. Highlights aired of Tracy Williams beating Rust Taylor last week. They cut to a backstage promo with Williams saying he came to ROH for the best competition. He said he had to go cold turkey without competition for six months. Williams said Taylor took him to his limit and knocked off the ring rust. Williams spoke about facing Fred Yehi and noted that they go way back. Williams told Yehi to bring it, just as he knows he can…
McKay ran through the list of the wrestlers remaining on the other side of the bracket. Highlights aired of PJ Black beating Tony Deppen last week. They cut to a Black promo, who spoke about having a thousand moves in his pocket that no one has seen. He used the old “always bet on Black” line. Black put over Deppen by saying he would remember his name from now on… McKay hyped the Jay Lethal vs. David Finlay match… [C]
Powell’s POV: A nice promo from Williams. He came off like an athlete who was coming off the high of winning a big contest. I like the way both match winners put over their fresh faced opponents.
Highlights aired of Jay Lethal beating Dalton Castle, and David Finlay beating Rocky Romero in first round matches… Ring entrances for the opening match took place while the broadcast team of Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman checked in…
1. Jay Lethal vs. David Finlay in a second round Pure Title tournament match. Lethal once again brought an ROH Tag Title belt to the ring (Jonathan Gresham did not bring his out for his first round match). Lethal targeted Finlay’s surgically repaired shoulder early on. Later, Lethal performed a cartwheel into a dropkick on a seated Finlay. Lethal came up and clutched his knee, then made a cover for a two count. [C]
Highlights aired from during the break as the match reached the 10:00 mark. Lethal caught Finlay with a Lethal Combination. Riccaboni noted that the move caused Lethal to wince from knee pain. A short time later, Finlay applied a leg lock that led to Lethal using the first of his three rope breaks.
Lethal rallied with a dropkick that knocked Finlay off the apron. Lethal followed up with a suicide dive. The broadcast team noted that Lethal was calling an audible of his usual approach of hitting three suicide dives due to his knee injury. Back inside the ring, Lethal went for a figure four, but Finlay countered into a cradle for a near fall. Lethal came right back with a Lethal Injection and scored the clean pin.
Jay Lethal defeated David Finlay in 14:58 to advance to advance in the tournament.
Lethal will face the winner of the Fred Yehi vs. Tracy Williams match in the A-Block final. Lethal and Finlay adhered to the Code of Honor afterward. Lethal spoke into the camera about becoming the first ever two-time Pure Champion… [C]
Powell’s POV: A strong match with Lethal doing a really nice job of selling the knee injury, which I assume will be a story to follow through the remainder of the tournament. Riccaboni and Coleman are doing a terrific job of telling the stories of these matches. In this case, they told the story of Lethal’s knee injury and how it affected some of his decisions. I still assume the tournament closes with Lethal vs. Jonathan Gresham due to the heavy foreshadowing on the first tournament episode, but only time will tell whether that was a swerve.
Vincent stood in the ring with a mic in his hand. He said there was a lot to talk about. He said there was a lot of talk about change in ROH. Vincent said he doesn’t need to change. He said he is righteous. Vincent pointed to ringside and said he stood in the shadows, but now he stands in the ring as the face of ROH. Vincent said suffering is like everything else. He said you learn to live with it and it gets to a point where it tastes so good. Vincent said that if you want to be successful then you have to have friends, but if you want to be very successful then you have to make enemies. “You dig what I’m saying?” he asked.
A brief video aired. Matt Taven entered the ring and performed a uranage slam on Vincent, then put him in a submission hold. Taven yelled that he would take out Vincent’s eye. Taven ended up putting his belt around the neck of Vincent briefly. Taven exposed a portion of the ring, then blasted Vincent with a running knee.
“You made me do this,” Taven barked at Vincent before hitting his finisher on the exposed boards. Taven said he wasn’t finished yet. Taven set up a table at ringside. Taven ran Vincent into the ring post, then placed him onto the table. Taven went to the top rope. Vincent said Taven wouldn’t do it because he didn’t have it in him. Taven frogsplashed Vincent, then told him this was just the beginning… [C]
Powell’s POV: It looked like the end to me since Taven got his revenge by leaving Vincent lying. I’m surprised they went as far as they did and didn’t come up with a way to have Vincent escape so that viewers would be leaving wanting to see him get his.
An EC3 video aired. The instant you realize that your freedom is all you have, you will finally control your narrative. EC3 was shown walking into a wrestling gym and he looked up at a sign that read, “You have been warned”…
Highlights aired of Jonathan Gresham beating Wheeler Yuta, and Matt Sydal topping Delirious in first round tournament matches… Ring entrances for the next match took place. Jonathan Gresham wore his ROH Tag Title belt to the ring this time. He also waved a giant “The Foundation” flag…
2. Jonathan Gresham vs. Matt Sydal in a second round Pure Title tournament match. The wrestlers shook hands and they cut to break. [C] Riccaboni noted that Gresham was wearing a mouthguard. He said Gresham doesn’t always wear one, but he did in this case because he was facing a skilled striker. Later, Gresham avoided a standing moonsault, then put Sydal down with an elbow. [C]
Sydal tried to use the same Cobra Clutch hold that he won his first round match with, but Gresham avoided it. Sydal targeted the left knee of Gresham, who sold it once both men got back to their feet. Sydal knocked Gresham down with a kick to the head. Sydal went for the Cobra Clutch, but Gresham blocked it again.
After a series of back and forth pin attempts, Sydal put Gresham down with a kick to the head. However, Gresham caught Sydal with a kick from the ground, then put him in a surfboard hold. Gresham dropped Sydal on top of him while holding his leg in a submission hold, which caused Sydal to immediately tap out. Riccaboni said he wasn’t sure what to call the hold that Gresham used, then settled in on an ankle breaker…
Jonathan Gresham defeated Matt Sydal in 13:27 to advance to advance in the tournament.
Gresham will face the winner of next week’s Josh Woods vs. PJ Black match. Fred Yehi vs. Tracy Williams will also be on next week’s show. Riccaboni noted that we will know the final four of the tournament by the end of next week’s show…
Another EC3 video aired. It once again focused on controlling your narrative. EC3 was shown beating a wrestler in black and white footage (I believe it was from the video he released once he became a free agent) and his face was shown…
Powell’s POV: A good television main event. It gets no better for me than to hear the sports-like strategy talk that Riccaboni and Coleman provided about Gresham wearing a mouthguard while facing a skilled striker. Pro wrestling is at its best for me when it is presented as a simulated sport, which is really what this tournament is all about.
Overall, another good episode. The profile videos didn’t continue into the second round, which is understandable. I was hoping they would be replaced by some mic work from the wrestlers prior to their matches, but no such luck. It wasn’t a deal breaker by any means, as the tournament shows continue to be highly entertaining and a true alternative compared to what other companies are presenting. My weekly audio review for Dot Net Members will be available shortly.