By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Ring of Honor Wrestling TV (Episode 475)
Taped in Baltimore, Maryland
Aired October 24, 2020 in syndication and on SBG regional sports networks, available Mondays on FITE.TV
The ROH opening video aired… Quinn McKay checked in from the studio and hyped the block final tournament matches. She set up footage from last week of Tracy Williams beating Fred Yehi to advance in the tournament…
Tracy Williams spoke backstage after the match and put over Yehi by calling him one of the best wrestlers in the world. He said he hopes he sees him again and knows that they will cross paths again. Williams asked if Jay Lethal even mentioned his name. He said Lethal walks around the locker room like he doesn’t even know who he is. Williams said he won’t just be breathing down Lethal’s neck, he will bite his nose off when they meet face to face…
McKay set up footage of Josh Woods beating PJ Black to advance in the tournament… Woods and Silas Young spoke backstage after the match. Young put over Woods as being born and bread for pure wrestling. Young said Woods has no reservations. Woods acted like he thought Young was talking about dinner reservations…
Powell’s POV: The cutesy Woods character is fine when he’s in a mid-card tag team with Young, but it will need to be phased out when the time comes to give Woods a meaningful singles push. His boyish simpleton act just doesn’t feel main event.
McKay hyped a Matt Taven vs. Vincent match… [C] A brief video package spotlighted the first semifinal match… Ring entrances for the first match took place while the broadcast team of Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman checked in…
1. Jonathan Gresham vs. Josh Woods (w/Silas Young) in a Pure Title tournament semifinal match. Woods offered a handshake. Gresham took his time, but he eventually adhered to the Code of Honor. Gresham took an early powder and stalled a bit. Gresham used his first rope break during the first two minutes of the match. [C]
Woods caught Gresham on the ropes and essentially superplexed him by tossing him overhead by wrenching on his arm. Woods covered Gresham, who put his foot on the bottom rope and thus used his second rope break around 9:00.
Gresham came back with a submission hold. Young barked to Woods that there was no quitting. Gresham used his fist to pound on the side of Woods’ head while Riccaboni compared it to the way Bryan Danielson (Daniel Bryan) won the Pure Title. Woods escaped the hold, but Gresham wrenched on his knee.
Moments later, Woods tried to leapfrog, but his knee gave out. Gresham went for a figure four, but Woods caught him in an inside cradle, which led to both men rolling each other over until Woods got a two count. Gresham went for the figure four again, but Woods kicked him off. Gresham ran the ropes and performed a sunset flip and scored the pin.
Jonathan Gresham defeated Josh Woods in 12:00 to advance to the Pure Title tournament finals.
Riccaboni noted that Gresham would face the winner of Lethal vs. Williams in the finals next week… [C]
Powell’s POV: This was the more predictable of the two tournament matches. Gresham used the early rope breaks, but they didn’t create a lot of drama beyond that. I thought they might do a little more to make Woods look strong in defeat, but this was pretty straight forward.
Matt Taven made his entrance and was attacked from behind by opponent Vincent, who shoved him off the stage. Vincent ran Taven’s head into the ring post. Vincent barked at Taven that it’s over, then slammed Taven’s head onto the ringside floor. Vincent performed a cutter on the floor.
Vincent pulled a table out from underneath the ring and set it up at ringside. Taven fought back, but Vincent cut him off and placed him on the table. Vincent pulled out a purple ladder and asked Taven if he remembered it. Vincent said it represented when Taven forgot about everyone else and only thought about himself. Taven stood up, but Vincent kicked him and dropped the ladder on his head.
Vincent set up the big purple ladder and told Taven that this was his last string. The broadcast team wondered what he was talking about. Vincent roughed up Taven and put him back on the table while Riccaboni explained that the ladder was the same one that Taven used to win the ROH Championship at Madison Square Garden.
Vincent climbed to near the top of the ladder and struck a crucifix pose while saying that he is a god who is stronger than a king. Vincent performed a swanton from the ladder and put Taven through the table. Vincent looked into the camera and said no one could hurt him more than he can hurt himself. “So what power do you really have over me?” Vincent asked. Riccaboni barked to get the camera off of Vincent… [C]
Powell’s POV: A good angle with Vincent getting his heat back after Taven destroyed him during his return angle.
A video package focused on EC3 and Shane Taylor’s confrontation on last week’s show. EC3 said he knows Taylor’s name, plight, and story. He said they fight for the same freedoms, but they also fight for different things. EC3 said he fights for himself, whereas he has no idea what Taylor fights for. “You’re mad because someone didn’t mention your name?” EC3 asked. “Grow up, get over it.”
Taylor spoke from a different location about his tough upbringing, then then said he fights for himself, his family, his community, and his people. EC3 said he didn’t mention Taylor amongst the legends of the past and today is because Taylor hasn’t earned it. He said he mentioned the Briscoes because there is honor in what they have done. Taylor said that no one like EC3 will tell him what he’s earned. Taylor said he would adjust EC3’s attitude quickly. The video closed with EC3 saying, “You’ve been warned”…
A video focused on the Lethal vs. Williams match and then entrances took place for their match while some factoid graphics listed some stats involving both men in the tournament… [C]
2. Jay Lethal vs. Tracy Williams in a Pure Title tournament semifinal match. Lethal applied a side surfboard just before the 3:00 mark. Williams escaped the hold. Lethal took him down and applied a chinlock. Williams countered into a leg hold, causing Lethal to use his first rope break. Lethal stood up and kicked the ropes in frustration over using the rope break.
A short time later, Lethal went for a leapfrog, but Williams ducked down and rolled him into a pin for a two count. Williams went for his crossface finisher, but Lethal reached the ropes to use his second rope break of the match.
Coleman recalled that Williams forced Fred Yehi to use all of his rope breaks and then submitted him while in the ropes during his previous tournament match. Lethal caught Williams in a figure four, causing Williams to use his first rope break. [C]
Lethal dropkicked Williams off the apron. Lethal set up for a suicide dive, but Williams moved out of the way and Lethal slid under the ropes. Williams dropkicked Lethal at ringside. Coleman said that the only problem with Lethal is that you know certain thing are in his playbook.
Williams sold a shoulder injury at ringside while Riccaboni said Williams has blamed his history of shoulder injuries for preventing him from having more success in the business. Williams stood up and picked up the Pure Title belt for a moment, then rolled back inside the ring while still selling the injury.
Williams asked Lethal what the hell he was looking at, then told him to bring it. Lethal charged at Williams, who caught him for a moment, but Lethal escaped and dropkicked him. Williams sold the shoulder while Lethal threw kicks at it. Lethal stood up Williams and threw a double sledgehammer at the bad shoulder.
Lethal hoisted up Williams and performed a shoulder breaker that led to a near fall. Lethal applied a Fujiwara armbar, which led to Williams using his second rope break, leaving both men with only one rope break remaining. Lethal continued to target the bad shoulder.
Williams came back with a punch to Lethal’s back as Lethal was winding up to wrench the bad shoulder. Williams threw some strikes at Lethal, who dropkicked the bad shoulder. Williams went to the ropes and Lethal cut him off, but Williams surprised him with a DDT on the top turnbuckle. Williams performed a piledriver on Lethal and had the pin, but Lethal used his final rope break.
Williams rolled over Lethal and applied a crossface, which Lethal rolled out of. Lethal put Williams down with a cutter, then hit a Lethal Injection. Lethal covered Williams, who put his foot on the ropes to use his final rope break.
Williams hit Lethal with some strikes and ducked a kick. Lethal wrenched the bad arm and sent Williams to the mat. Lethal went up top and hit his Hail to the King elbow drop. Lethal called for a Lethal Injection, but Williams grabbed him by the back of the trunks.
Lethal fought free and went for the move again, but Williams caught him in a rear naked choke instead. Lethal put his foot on the ropes, but he was out of rope breaks. Lethal rolled Williams into a pin, but Williams kicked out and held onto the hold. Lethal tapped out.
Tracy Williams defeated Jay Lethal in 19:29 to advance to the Pure Title tournament finals.
Riccaboni called it the signature win of Williams’ career. The updated graphics showed Tracy Williams vs. Jonathan Gresham in the finals of the tournament. Lethal and Williams ended up shaking hands. Riccaboni said Williams wrestled the match of his life and wondered if he had enough to left to capture the Pure Championship next week…
Powell’s POV: A terrific main event match. Williams did a great job of selling the shoulder injury, which should be a big part of the story of next week’s match. Will Gresham exploit the shoulder injury to beat him or will the injury be something that Williams overcomes to create an emotional tournament victory?
Either way, I am pleased that ROH did not go with Lethal vs. Gresham after foreshadowing it as the final match from day one. Rather, they planted that seed and it helped create the upset vibe for Williams beating Lethal in this match. Very well done. The Gresham vs. Woods match was decent, the angle with Taven and Vincent was solid, the EC3 and Taylor video package was good, and the main event was the highlight of a very good show. I am really looking forward to the finals of what has been an excellent tournament.
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