By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Ring of Honor Wrestling TV (Episode 478)
Taped in Baltimore, Maryland
Aired November 14, 2020 in syndication and on SBG regional sports networks, available Mondays on FITE.TV
The show opened with Amy Rose narrating a video package about La Faccion Ingobernable. She stated that it’s been a long time and the world has changed, but the faction should not be forgotten. Rose noted that Rush is the ROH Champion and Dragon Lee is the ROH TV Champion. “When we return, all of Ring of Honor will be ours,” Rose said… The ROH opening aired…
Quinn McKay checked in from the studio and hyped the show’s two matches. She also set up footage of Brody King beating Dalton Castle on last week’s episode…
Footage aired from after the match of Brody King stating that he is a new Brody King. “Just violence,” King said before walking off… McKay listed the show’s matches again…
A video package focused on The Briscoes vs. SOS. Both teams delivered promos. Moses said that when teams enter the ring with SOS, those teams’ lives are in danger… [C]
Powell’s POV: I was hoping for the longer sit-down style interviews that we saw during the Pure Title tournament and on last week’s show, but at least both teams got a chance to hype their match.
The broadcast team of Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman checked in on commentary during the introductions. EC3 sat in on commentary with the duo and said he has yet to see anything honorable about Ring of Honor..
1. Jay Briscoe and Mark Briscoe vs. “SOS” Moses and Kaun. The teams shook hands prior to the match to adhere to the Code of Honor. A timer graphic appeared in the upper left corner of the screen. EC3 grumbled that the men in the match were not controlling their narrative. “What’s original? What’s unique,” EC3 asked.
EC3 noted that Jay Briscoe had a two-year undefeated streak in ROH, then noted that he also had a two-year unbeaten streak. The Briscoes performed a double superplex on Kaun. Mark covered Kaun, but Moses broke it up heading into a break. [C]
The SOS duo pulled chairs out from underneath the ring and threw him inside the ring. The referee quickly cleared the chairs from the ring. SOS returned to the ring and exchanged punches with the Briscoes. “There is honor in a slugfest,” EC3 said. Jay took Khan to ringside.
Moses performed a nice cross body block from the middle rope on Mark, then followed up with a headbutt from the middle rope. Moses took out Jay with a senton. Kaun performed a top rope frogsplash on Mark and got a good near fall.
The Briscoes rallied. Jay sent Kaun to ringside, then isolated Moses. Jay performed a neckbreaker on Kaun. Mark slid a chair to Jay, who set it up in the ring. Mark ran and leapt off the chair and took out Kaun with a flip dive. In the ring, Jay performed a Death Valley Driver on Moses, then Mark finished him with with Froggy Bow.
Jay Briscoe and Mark Briscoe defeated “SOS” Moses and Kaun in 9:41.
The teams shook hands afterward. The Briscoes left the ring and found EC3 standing stone faced in the entrance aisle. Jay asked if EC3 had a problem. “Who cares, man, it look like he lost,” Mark said. The Briscoes headed to the back while EC3 flashed a half smirk…
Powell’s POV: A nice match. SOS looked good in defeat. I bought into the frogsplash near fall in part because I thought there was a chance this episode would be dedicated to building up Shane Taylor Promotions, which SOS is part of. I know ROH loves the Code of Honor, but I wasn’t a big fan of SOS shaking hands afterward because it seems to go against their personals. EC3 was true to his character while on commentary. His darker persona didn’t exactly boost the energy of the broadcast, but he certainly brings star power. The post match angle is clearly building to an EC3 vs. Jay Briscoe match, which looks like a lot of fun on paper.
A video package featuring Bateman and Matt Taven aired. Both men spoke separately. Bateman asked what it’s like to live life as a coward. He said Taven went from winning the ROH Title at Madison Square Garden to living life with a yellow stripe on his back. Taven focused on Vincent while noting that he says the word “man” obsessively. He said that’s exactly what Vincent is not.
Taven said vengeance is coming and revenge is forever. Bateman said Taven should want him rather than Vincent because Bateman is a much nicer guy. Taven said that if he had to go through “Master Bateman” to get to Vincent then he would. Taven vs. Bateman was advertised for next week…
An ad aired for the ROH Pure Title tournament being available on HonorClub… [C]
Powell’s POV: Good promo work. Bateman was looked and sounded menacing, and I liked the way he put over the faction leader Vincent by saying that he’s a much nicer guy than Vincent is. Taven calling him “Master Bateman” is par for the course considering the names of his signature moves.
Quinn McKay interviewed Jay Brisco and Mark Briscoe in the backstage area following their match. Mark told them both to stop worrying about EC3. Mark said they won a tag team match and they are going for the ROH Tag Titles. Jay was still fired up about EC3 and issued a challenge to him for next week’s show. Mark told Jay to focus. Jay said he is focused, but he needs to get EC3 out of the way…
Matt Taven was featured in an ad for HonorClub…
A video package set up the Shane Taylor vs. Kenny King main event. Taylor spoke about growing up in Cleveland with guns and violence, and how his father and uncle wanted to fight the drug dealers on the corner. Taylor said pro wrestling was a lifesaver for him because it gave him focus and a goal.
Taylor spoke about being trained by Ray Rowe, and he credited Rowe with getting him in front of the right people in ROH. Taylor also spoke about teaming with Keith Lee. He said he had to figure out what to do next once Lee left. He spoke about the Rebellion faction and said it was incredible for him. He said a lot of the success he has now is due to the Rebellion.
Taylor said King is an influence on him both in the ring and as a person. He recalled King giving him a pep talk. Taylor said he works best when he hates his opponent. He said he had a tough time until now doing that with King. He said they know each other better than anyone in the ring. He said beating King would put him a step closer to winning the ROH World Championship.
The King portion of the video package aired. He complained about how he lost the ROH TV Championship and how a man hid under the ring and tied his feet together. King read a letter from the faction lawyer that was sent to ROH complaining about the way King was eliminated from the Pure Title tournament.
King said he meant it when he told Taylor that he could be great. He said he is in Ingobernable now while Shane has his own crew. King praised Taylor’s ROH TV Title reign and said their match isn’t personal, it’s just business. King said he’s not ready to give up his spot to Taylor and said he would shut him down just like he did the last time they met… [C]
Powell’s POV: That’s more like it. Taylor is a terrific talker and this was no exception. This video package was like a condensed version of what he and I spoke about during his two appearances on the Pro Wrestling Boom podcast. The only thing I disliked was the talk about the Rebellion faction. It may have helped Taylor in some way, but that was one forgettable faction. King’s promo was also strong and they did a really nice job of setting the stage for their match. I’m not really sure which wrestler ROH wants viewers to pull for since both have been heels, but at least we know each wrestler’s motivation, so I guess fans could simply choose for themselves.
2. Shane Taylor vs. Kenny King. King offered a handshake, but Taylor declined. When King put his fist up for a bump, Taylor slapped it away. King responded with a punch to the face. The bell rang to start the match, and a graphic noted that it carried a 20-minute time limit. Riccaboni reminded viewers that closed fists are acceptable because it’s not a Pure division match.
A little over a minute into the match, Taylor blasted King with a big punch that King sold by falling to the mat. Taylor was on the offensive heading into an early break. [C] King set up to perform a move from the apron, but Taylor blasted him with a headbutt. Taylor picked up a near fall shortly thereafter. King came back with a spinning heel kick heading into the final break. [C]
King performed a German sulex and then delivered double knees in the corner. King performed an impressive powerbomb style move and got a near fall. “It ain’t going down like that,” Taylor could be heard saying to himself. King hoisted up Taylor, who fought free, then picked up King, who also escaped. King tripped Taylor into a pin and got a two count.
Taylor caught King going for a kick, pushed him over, then drilled him with a knee to the head. Taylor followed up with a package piledriver for a near fall. Both broadcast team members acted shocked that King was able to kick out while Taylor protested to the referee. King came back with a t-bone suplex for a two count.
King jawed at Taylor about always being one step up. King went for a move that Taylor blocked. Taylor caught King in the ropes and put him down with Welcome To The Land for the clean pin.
Shane Taylor defeated Kenny King in 10:14.
Taylor let out a primal scream and then pounded the mat several times while the broadcast team emphasized how much the win meant to him. Riccaboni said Taylor likely put himself into ROH World Championship contention with the win. Taylor and King got to their feet at the same time and spoke with one another King offered a handshake. Taylor slapped King’s hand, then hugged him…
Riccaboni hyped Matt Taven vs. Bateman, and Jay Lethal vs. LSG (Leon St. Giovanni). In the ring, Taylor let out another primal scream, then looked into the camera and said that’s one down, and “you know what’s going to happen next.” Taylor rolled out of the ring and said to get the world championship ready…
Powell’s POV: This easily could have been just another match, but Taylor and King told a really nice story during their video package that continued past the pinfall. Taylor showed great emotion after beating King, which really made it feel meaningful as a viewer.
The new television format for ROH continues to be a huge improvement. They didn’t just throw King and Taylor out there without any build like would have if they were still using the old format. Both men were given promo time to set up their match and put over their history together. This is so much more effective than just throwing three matches out there with minimal mic time. Taylor is one of the ROH wrestlers who will benefit greatly from the wrestlers getting more mic time.
The new format also makes it easy for new viewers to get invested in the ROH product. A new viewer can see the promos and understand what the wrestlers are fighting over in each match, and those same promos serve as an introduction to each wrestler’s character, which should keep that viewer coming back for more. I will have more to say about this episode in my weekly ROH Wrestling audio review that will be available later today for Dot Net Members.