By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Ring of Honor Wrestling TV (Episode 474)
Taped in Baltimore, Maryland
Aired October 17, 2020 in syndication and on SBG regional sports networks, available Mondays on FITE.TV
The ROH opening aired and then host Quinn McKay checked in from the studio. McKay set up footage of Jay Lethal beating David Finlay last week. Footage aired of Lethal talking after the match about facing Jonathan Gresham in the finals of the tournament. He said he wasn’t being cocky, he just knew they were the best two wrestlers in the tournament…
McKay set up footage of Jonathan Gresham beating Matt Sydal last week. Afterward, Gresham said pure wrestlers live in the moment and don’t enter matches with strategy. Gresham said the tournament is about pure technical wrestlers, but Sydal is known as one of the best high flyers in the world. Gresham complained that there’s a pure wrestler sitting at home watching who wishes that they had the spot that Sydal took away. He spoke of pro wrestling freedom and being allowed to present pro wrestling the way they see fit without being judged. Gresham noted that he had a “bum leg” and said he would continue on due to the importance of having real pro wrestling return to ROH…
McKay hyped the Fred Yehi vs. Tracy Williams match for after the first commercial break… [C]
Powell’s POV: Gresham came off a bit heelish while grumbling about a high flyer being in the tournament rather than a pure wrestler, which may have been by design.
Footage aired from last week’s angle involving Vincent and Matt Taven…
A Fred Yehi video package aired. The footage included his win over Silas Young in round one, and some comments he made coming out of the match… Highlights aired of Tracy Williams beating Rust Taylor, and Williams’ post match comments…
1. Fred Yehi vs. Tracy Williams in a second round Pure Title tournament match. Yehi and Williams did a Catch Point handshake. The broadcast team noted that it was from “an organization” where they used to wrestle. Yehi used a couple of early rope breaks. Coleman said the first was probably because he was in trouble, whereas the second was more instinctual. They cut to break at 3:45. [C]
Highlights aired from during the break that included Yehi forcing Williams to use his first rope break. Yehi exploded with a nice combination that included some foot stomps before he applied a submission hold that forced Williams to use his second rope break. Yehi rallied with a crossface attempt at the 10:00 mark, but Yehi avoided it only for Williams to perform a brainbuster for a near fall.
Williams knocked Yehi down with a clothesline. When Williams leaned down to grab him, Williams caught him in a pinning situation for a near fall. Yehi applied another submission hold that forced Williams to use his final rope break (pins and submissions in the ropes against Williams will no longer be broken up).
There was a good exchange of pin attempts. When both men stood up, Williams blasted Yehi with a forearm shot. Yehi caught Williams on the ropes, but Williams ended up dropping him on the top turnbuckle with a DDT. Williams covered Yehi for a two count, then went for his crossface finisher. Yehi blocked the hold and avoided it, but Williams was able to piledrive him and went for the pin. Yehi used his final rope break.
Williams caught Yehi in a crossface. Coleman noted that the ropes would only help in terms of being used as leverage to escape the hold. Yehi reached the ropes. Williams gave up the crossface and applied a dragon sleeper in the ropes. Yehi tapped out…
Tracy Williams defeated Fred Yehi in 14:03 to advance to advance in the tournament.
The updated brackets were shown. Williams will face Jay Lethal in next week’s block finals. Williams and Yehi shook hands in the ring… [C]
Powell’s POV: I wish ROH would have told the story of Yehi and Williams’ history. I suspect that there are far more ROH viewers who don’t know their Evolve history than there are those who do, so why not take the time to educate the audience rather than leaving them in the dark? It’s not like Evolve is even competition any longer. That aside, this was a terrific match with good use of the rope break rules. Williams vs. Lethal should be terrific, and I hope we see more of Yehi in ROH.
EC3 made his entrance for an in-ring promo. He asked if honor is real. He said there is no honor in what we do because we allow ourselves to be controlled by corporations, politicians, and media. EC3 said they take our freedom from us and we lose focus. He asked if there is honor in fighting back against those who control you. He asked if there is honor in the past. He spoke about the great men who built “the great house” he stood in. He mentioned Jay Lethal, the Briscoes, and others. He said they were men and men are fallible.
EC3 asked if the phrase “best wrestling on the planet” is a fact or self praise. EC3 said he wasn’t there to wrestle. “I am here to fight,” he said. He said he wants to face the best competition. “Without pain, without sacrifice, you have nothing,” he said. EC3 added that he would put the word “honor” to the test. “You have been warned,” EC3 said… [C]
Powell’s POV: A strong and very well delivered promo. EC3 has clearly put a lot of thought into his new persona and it’s nice to see it evolve sooner in ROH than it has in Impact Wrestling where he’s delivered a lot of promos about Moose and the defunct TNA Title.
EC3 was shown walking backstage where he crossed paths with Shane Taylor and the Soldiers Of Savagery tag team. Taylor stopped EC3 and said he’s known his own purpose since day one. Taylor noted that EC3 mentioned several names, but he didn’t mention his name. Taylor introduced himself and told EC3 that he wants to make sure EC3 washes his feet before he walks into his house. Jay Briscoe and Mark Briscoe showed up and took exception with Taylor calling it his house. Referees intervened. Jay suggested a six-man tag match. After Taylor and SOS walked away, EC3 looked at the Briscoes without saying anything…
Powell’s POV: I like the proposed six-man tag match. EC3 offered no indication that he’s friendly with the Briscoes, so that’s a good hook. Taylor really stepped up his game before the pandemic, so it’s good to see him in the mix as a potential early opponent of EC3.
A video package recapped Josh Woods beat Kenny King via judges’ decision, and PJ Black beating Tony Deppen in first round matches… Ring entrances for the main event took place… [C]
2. Josh Woods (w/Silas Young) vs. PJ Black (w/Brian Johnson) in a second round Pure Title tournament match. Johnson did a lot of jawing from ringside. Riccaboni said he would have to be careful (wrestlers are fired if they interfere). They cut to a break at the 5:00 mark. [C]
Woods forced Black to use a couple of rope breaks. Riccaboni noted that the winner of this match would face Jonathan Gresham in the block final in the opening match of next week’s television show. Late in the match, Woods performed a suplex into a bridge for a two count, then applied a cross arm breaker. Black rolled him into a pin to break the hold, but Woods countered into an ankle lock. Black tried to reach the ropes, but he couldn’t and opted to tap out…
Josh Woods defeated PJ Black in 13:27 to advance to advance in the tournament.
Riccaboni hyped Jonathan Gresham vs. Josh Woods, and Jay Lethal vs. Tracy Williams in the block finals for next week’s show. The winners will meet in the finals the following week…
Powell’s POV: A decent main event and another good tournament edition. Lethal continues to foreshadow a meeting with tag partner Gresham in the finals, which the company has done repeatedly since the tournament started. They’ve foreshadowed that match in the finals so heavily that you can’t rule out the possibility that it’s a swerve. I guess we’ll find out next week. Dot Net Members will hear my weekly ROH Wrestling audio review coming up shortly.