By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Ring of Honor Wrestling TV (Episode 483)
Taped in Baltimore, Maryland at UMBC Arena
Aired December 19, 2020 in syndication and on SBG regional sports networks, available Mondays on FITE.TV
After the ROH opening, Quinn McKay checked in from the studio and noted that it was Final Battle weekend. She hyped the two matches…
A Dalton Castle sit-down feature aired. Castle spoke about his loss to Josh Woods and how Brian Johnson threw a drink in his face afterward. Castle said that Johnson is lucky they are handling their business in the ring because if they met on the street he would have a sock full of batteries with his name on it.
Castle said PJ Black can settle Johnson down, but with Black sidelined there’s no one to keep Johnson in check. Castle asked if Johnson had any idea how lucky he was to be in ROH. Castle said he had a lot of anger inside him and Johnson is just the right shape to break it…
Brian Johnson’s sit-down feature was up next. He said ROH prides themselves on honor being real. He complained about how ROH touts what it used to do with their Fresh Friday videos. He said he’s tired of hearing about what everyone used to do. Johnson said he might have been wrong when he threw a drink in the face of Castle, but Castle was wrong for interrupting him.
Johnson said people call him angry and bitter because the company has been hanging on to relics like Castle for too long. Johnson said Castle had his chance and won the ROH Championship at Final Battle, then he fell apart under the pressure. Johnson said honor isn’t real with him because he sees through it. Johnson said he will run through Castle and then run through 2021 and beyond. Johnson said Castle and the world would find out that it’s Mecca versus everybody… [C]
Powell’s POV: I have a notoriously bad memory, but did ROH show the angle with Johnson throwing a drink in the face of Castle on ROH television before now? They showed it during Castle’s feature, but it seems like something that should have been shown and spotlighted to help set up this match in advance. Either way, both men delivered good mic work to set up their match. Johnson continues to come off like the angriest man alive.
The broadcast team of Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman checked in during the ring entrances for the opening match…
1. Dalton Castle vs. Brian Johnson. Johnson dropped Castle on the top rope. Castle tumbled to ringside. Johnson kicked Castle as he tried to reenter the ring, then followed up with a suicide dive. Johnson looked into the camera and yelled about Mecca versus everybody. Castle went after a distracted Johnson, who quickly regained offensive control. Castle went for a clothesline, but Johnson ducked and then Castle hit the ring post. Johnson remained in offensive control heading into a break. [C]
Johnson went for a pin, but the referee spotted that he was using the ropes for leverage and stopped his count. Johnson continued to dominate the match and wrenched Castle’s arm over the ropes. Castle finally came back with a pair of running knees, including one that hit Johnson while he was on the ropes. Johnson crotched himself on the top rope and let out some over the top comedic howls to sell the pain. Johnson came back by wrenching Castle’s arm on the ropes again.
Johnson performed a draping cutter for a two count. Johnson showed frustration while the broadcast team said he’d wrestled the perfect match but needed to stay on his opponent. Castle came back with a big German suplex. Castle followed up with his Bangarang finisher for the win.
Dalton Castle defeated Brian Johnson in 10:30.
Afterward, Castle offered a handshake. Johnson jawed at hime and told him it was just a matter of time, then backed off when Castle teased going after him. Johnson eventually shook Castle’s hand…
A Final Battle ad aired… [C]
Powell’s POV: You had to assume that Castle was going to win the match, but the path they took to get there was surprising with Johnson dominating until the end. It will be interesting to see if Johnson is elevated in 2021 or if he continues to be the angry loser.
McKay interviewed Castle backstage. He said Johnson had that coming. He said he’s been getting the wrong results, but he was able to focus and put it together against Johnson. Castle said he has buttons and Johnson pushed the wrong one. Castle invited McKay to go have a drink, and she accepted…
An LSG sit-down feature aired. He said Jay Lethal didn’t beat him in their Pure Rules match, the rules beat him. He said he would have tapped out Lethal if he had another minute. LSG said that he would go through Kenny King to make a name for himself. LSG said he is smarter than ever. He knows King wants to take him out with the Royal Flush. LSG said he’s coming in with quickness and endurance, which are things that he has that King used to have…
A Kenny King sit-down feature aired. King spoke about losing clean to Shane Taylor. He said Taylor has grown as a man and leveled up, so he has respect for him. King said Rush and Dragon Lee aren’t concerned with little setbacks, but he has to look in the mirror. He said two losses are not acceptable. King spoke about LSG and praised some of his work, but he said that as a tag team wrestler he’s going to be looking for that tag. King said no one is coming to save LSG.
King said that as fast and quick as LSG is, he’s seen it and done it before. King said that LSG hanging with Lethal is nice, but hanging with someone isn’t going to get you anywhere. King said that he’s coming off two losses and that’s the worst possible scenario for LSG because he’s going to come in and try to knock his head off. King said LSG is hungry, but he’s starving and he knows what it’s like to eat good. The King vs. LSG match was listed for December 24 on HonorClub and YouTube… [C]
Powell’s POV: I was going to praise ROH for doing a nice job of setting up a match for next week’s show, but apparently King vs. LSG isn’t actually airing on next week’s show. Oddly, it’s actually listed in the onscreen preview guide for this week rather than the Delirious vs. Rhett Titus match. Honestly, I’d rather see LSG vs. King than Delirious vs. Titus on television.
Rhett Titus’s sit-down feature aired. He removed the octopus head mask and said he is The Foundation. He said he can’t remember what life was like before ROH. He said ROH has come ahead of family functions. Titus recalled that Delirious was the first person to bloody him up and scar his face. He said people might think he was angry about it, but he thanked Delirious or making him the tough person that he is today.
Titus said that they started off friendly, but a girl got in the way. Titus said he’s 0-4 in matches against Delirious, but he said this will be a Pure Rules match. He said Delirious bloodied him up because he knows he can’t outwrestle him. Titus spoke about his cardio and other training and how he doesn’t take days off. Titus touted his dropkick. He said he wanted the match to relive his own personal history. He said he hopes Delirious brings his best because he will do the same and wants to close the chapter once and for all…
A Delirious sit-down feature aired. He spoke in gibberish and subtitles appeared on the screen. Delirious noted that Titus requested this match. He recalled being 4-0 against him. He said Titus has been underrated and under-appreciated. He said Titus trains like a world class athlete every day and his family has added another layer. Delirious said he lives off the grid and doesn’t want anyone to know about his life or his motivations.
Delirious said Titus knows him better than most and he was there at the beginning of his career and again at the end of his full-time career. He said that Titus and Austin Aries took him out and he was never a full-time wrestler again. Delirious said he is and always has been a master of his craft and he will always beat Titus… [C]
Powell’s POV: This was another example of just how much the new television format is helping the product. I had minimal interest in watching this match when it was announced, but the wrestlers gave the match meaning with their mic work.
2. Delirious vs. Rhett Titus in a Pure Rules match. The wrestlers worked a back and forth style heading into an early break. [C] Delirious took control and performed a neckbreaker around the 5:00 mark. Delirious went for a Cobra Clutch, but Titus used a rope break to avoid the hold. He used his second rope break a short time later.
At 8:40, Delirious went for the Cobra Clutch again. Titus ducked through the ropes and both men fell to ringside. It was ruled a rope break, leaving Titus without any additional rope breaks (meaning the referee will count pins and submissions even if Titus reaches the ropes). Delirious sold a knee injury and struggled to pull himself up once he was back inside the ring. Titus performed a pair of running kicks in the corner.
Delirious went for his submission hold again. Titus reached the ropes, but it didn’t matter because he was out of rope breaks. Titus rolled onto Delirious to break the hold. Titus caught Delirious against the ropes and performed a nice belly-to-belly suplex. Titus went for a suplex, but Delirious blocked it. Titus eventually got him up, but Delirious escaped and performed a Cobra Clutch slam.
Delirious charged at Titus, who tripped him into the corner. Delirious went for the Cobra Clutch again, but Titus avoided it and then tagged him with a dropkick and scored the clean pin.
Rhett Titus defeated Delirious in 12:23 in a Pure Rules match.
After the match, Delirious put icepacks on his face to sell the dropkick. He eventually shook hands with Titus to adhere to the Code of Honor. Riccaboni said he thinks it’s the start of something good for Titus. Riccaboni hyped the Christmas Surprise match, and The Briscoes in action for the next ROH Wrestling television show…
Powell’s POV: A good match. I love that a dropkick can actually be used as a finisher in ROH. Overall, this was a solid show, especially considering that it was a pay-per-view weekend edition. It’s another testament to the new format. The gap shows that taped prior to the pay-per-views and then aired after the pay-per-views were typically uneventful and flat in the past. But now the wrestlers are able to give purpose to their television matches through their promos and it makes all the difference in the world. That said, I continue to hope that ROH can improve the turnaround time between when the shows are taped and when they actually air on television. Hopefully that will change in 2021. My members’ exclusive audio review of this episode will be available later today.