3/26 ROH 19th Anniversary PPV results: Powell’s live review of Rush vs. Jay Lethal for the ROH Title, Jonathan Gresham vs. Dak Draper for the ROH Pure Championship, Matt Taven vs. Vincent, EC3 vs. Jay Briscoe, Kenny King and Bestia del Ring vs. Tracy Williams and Rhett Titus for the ROH Tag Titles

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

Ring of Honor 19th Anniversary
Aired March 26, 2021 on pay-per-view, FITE TV, HonorClub
Taped in Baltimore, Maryland at UMBC Event Center

ROH 19th Anniversary “First Hour Free”

Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman welcomed viewers to the show from their usual perch. Riccaboni acknowledged the Dragon Lee injury. They ran through the pay-per-view card…

1. Eli Isom vs. Danhausen vs. Brian Johnson vs. LSG in a four corner survival match. The wrestlers adhered to the Code of Honor. Johnson barked at the others about how they should want to shake his hand and how it’s his ring. Riccaboni noted that the ROH TV Title match will open the main card. There were a series of late near fall for everyone involved. Johnson crawled under the ring and entered on the other side, then poked Danhausen’s eyes. Johnson hit his The Process finisher and scored the pin…

Brian Johnson beat Danhusen, Eli Isom, and LSG in 10:55 in a four corner survival match.

Powell’s POV: A solid opener. I’m surprised they didn’t go with Isom to keep his momentum going given that he just scored an upset win over Rey Horus on the ROH Wrestling television show.

Jay Lethal delivered a backstage promo while holding a Foundation flag in his hand. He said the faction will capture all of the titles in one night. Lethal spoke in Spanish and said he will be the next champion and the company will be set right by The Foundation…

Rush, Kenny King, and La Bestia del Ring were shown doing pushups backstage… Cameras cut to inside The Foundation locker room where Lethal, Jonathan Gresham, Tracy Williams, and Rhett Titus were talking…

A video package aired on the EC3 and Jay Briscoe feud… A Flip Gordon promo aired. He said he’s not the same kid that Mark Briscoe originally met, and he thinks its time that someone puts Briscoe out of his misery…

The Matt Taven and Vincent feud was featured in a video package that included comments from Vincent. They cut to Mike Bennett, who said he didn’t know where Matt Taven was. Brian Milonas told Bennett to let him know if there’s an update. Beer City Bruiser showed up and said Milonas should be worried about their tag team rather than Taven…

A Dak Draper promo aired. He spoke about being pressured from a young age because of his natural ability. He also spoke about getting a TV Title shot later in the show…

Riccaboni hyped the Dalton Castle vs. Josh Woods match for the pay-per-view. Woods and Silas Young were shown talking while seated near a ring. Young said Castle is a desperate man and that desperation can help or hurt him. Woods said he knows it. He said this Castle has holes in his game and is a fool. Woods said he would beat Castle and then earn ROH gold. Young told Woods that he has to learn lessons, particularly that he shouldn’t look past his opponents. Woods got fired up and said that wasn’t the case…

A Dalton Castle promo aired. He said he closed the holes he left open in his first match with Woods and beat him in the rematch. Castle said that it could be his last match in ROH if he loses. If it is, he hopes fans will look back on the moments he created and enjoy them. Castle said he would be fighting with emotion and so will Woods…

2. Shane Taylor, Moses, and Kaun vs. “MexiSquad” Bandido, Flamita, and Rey Horus for the ROH Six-Man Tag Titles. Riccaboni noted that this was the first of five title matches and delivered a hard push for the pay-per-view. Coleman said the champions let the challengers decide the match style and they chose lucha rules. The champions held up their title belts and were dropkicked from behind by the challengers. Taylor and SOS headed to ringside. The MexiSquad members all performed dives onto them.

Later, Bandido stood on the middle rope and then his teammates climbed onto his back before he fell onto Taylor for a cool triple splash. The MexiSquad trio worked over Taylor, who eventually caught Flamita with a knee to the head, then blasted Bandido with a punch. A short time later, Taylor rocked Bandido with a knee to the head. Horus performed a tornado DDT on Taylor. Kaun performed a top rope Jackhammer on Flamita, then Moses and Kaun hit their assisted DDT finisher and Flamita and got the pin.

Shane Taylor, Moses, and Kaun defeated “MexiSquad” Bandido, Flamita, and Rey Horus in 7:55 to retain the ROH Six-Man Tag Titles.

After the match, Bandido checked on Flamita, who shoved his hand away. Once Flamita got to his feet, he shoved Bandido. Horus stepped between them with a mic and told them to calm down. They kept bickering, which led to Horus challenging them to a three-way match on the main card…

The broadcast team delivered final hype for the pay-per-view. Rocky Romero showed up and joined the broadcast team. Coleman was beyond giddy…

Powell’s POV: A fun match. I’m a big fan of Taylor’s work, but it was nice to see the SOS duo get a credibility building win. The post match bickering between the MexiSquad trio sets up a really nice addition to the main card.

ROH 19th Anniversary Main Card

Ian Riccaboni, Caprice Coleman, and Rocky Romero were on commentary, and Bobby Cruise was the ring announcer…

3. Kenny King (w/Amy Rose) vs. Tracy Williams for the ROH TV Title. King defended the title on behalf of Dragon Lee, who had to miss the show due to injury. Williams caught King in a Fujiwara armbar. Rose put King’s foot on the bottom rope to break the hold. A short time later, Rose slid the title belt into the ring between both men. King went for the belt, but Williams gave him a piledriver and pinned him…

Tracy Williams defeated Kenny King in 7:15 to win the ROH TV Title.

Powell’s POV: A solid main card opener, but they didn’t get enough time to make it memorable beyond the title change. It’s understandable given that both men are doing double duty. While it’s awkward that Williams beat a substitute to win the title, it does set up an obvious match once Dragon Lee is healthy. Plus, the show is built around The Foundation attempting to hold all the titles, so it would have been awkward if their mission had failed in the opening match.

4. Mark Briscoe vs. Flip Gordon. A few minutes in, Gordon went for a springboard move, but Briscoe shoved him off the ropes and down to the floor. Briscoe followed up with a blockbuster off the apron. Back inside the ring, Briscoe went up top for his finisher, but Gordon popped up and connected with a kick. Gordon joined Briscoe on the ropes and they fought for position. Gordon won the battle and performed a superplex.

Later, Briscoe sent Gordon to ringside and then pulled a chair out from underneath the ring. Briscoe set up the chair and planned to use it as a launchpad, but Gordon moved it. While the referee was clearing the chair from the ring, Gordon low-blowed Briscoe and then hit him with his finisher to win the match…

Flip Gordon defeated Mark Briscoe in 7:45.

Powell’s POV: A solid match. The story going into the match was that Gordon cost the Briscoes their recent tag title shot. The story was fine, but Briscoe didn’t bring the type of revenge match intensity that we’ve seen from him in the past. The outcome is logical if Gordon is going to work singles matches while the Briscoes go back into the tag division. For that matter, I suppose it could lead to a rematch if the EC3 vs. Jay Briscoe feud is extended beyond this show.

5. Dalton Castle vs. Josh Woods (w/Silas Young). After being roughed up at ringside early, Woods came back and returned the favor by throwing Castle into the barricade multiple times. Young barked at Woods to stay on him. Woods powerbombed Castle on the apron. Young encouraged Woods to use the chair that he had been sitting on at ringside, but Woods declined.

Later, the referee ducked to ringside to avoid getting tangled up with Woods and Castle. There was a spot where Woods went face first into the ropes and Young hit him with a chair from the floor. Castle rolled up Woods and pinned him.

Dalton Castle defeated Josh Woods in 10:20.

After the match, Young stood over Woods and delivered a promo. He said he has been teaching Woods lessons and the last and most important is what it takes to be a real man…

Powell’s POV: The turn was easy to see coming, especially once Woods balked at using the chair. I like it. Woods has been clicking as a singles wrestler to the point that I had no desire to see him and Young work as a team again. This feud should be good for both men. Meanwhile, Castle sneaks out a cheap win, which works for his current character.

Quinn McKay hosted an ROH merch ad…

6. EC3 vs. Jay Briscoe. EC3 worked in boots and trunks rather than the jeans he’s been wearing. He was jacked. EC3 offered his hand, but Jay shoved him to blow off the Code of Honor. Briscoe sold a knee injury after leaping off the apron at EC3. Briscoe approached EC3, who pulled him into the ring post.

EC3 cut off Briscoe on the top rope and then looked up and laughed at him. EC3 joined Briscoe on the ropes and superplexed him. EC3 went to work on the bad knee. “Honor me!” EC3 yelled at Briscoe. EC3 went for a figure four, but Briscoe kicked him off, only to have EC3 blast him with a clothesline.

EC3 performed an Olympic Slam, then let out a primal scream before giving Briscoe a brainbuster. A short time later, Briscoe caught EC3 on the ropes and gave him a Death Valley Driver on the ring apron. EC3 sold neck pain. Back inside the ring, Briscoe executed three neckbreakers.

EC3 came back and hoisted Briscoe onto his shoulders, but he slipped away off and put EC3 down with another Death Valley Driver. EC3 smiled and motioned for Briscoe to bring it. Briscoe obliged with a running kick. EC3 laughed and called for another, which Briscoe granted.

EC3 laughed again and pulled himself up to his knees. Jay told him that he was a dead man and gave him a running dropkick that led to a near fall. EC3 laughed. EC3 took Briscoe down, but Briscoe poked his eye and hit him with a clothesline and a discus forearm. Briscoe threw another running kick and covered EC3 for another near fall.

Briscoe stood over EC3, who got to his knees and offered his hand. Briscoe shook his hand and then hit him with the Jay Driller and pinned him. Briscoe shook EC3’s hand afterward…

Jay Briscoe beat EC3 in 20:55.

Powell’s POV: This was the first time tonight that I really missed having a live crowd. The ROH product plays well in the empty venue setting, but it would have been fun to see who the fans would have sided with or if they would have had a spirited split crowd type of reaction. That said, this was my favorite match of the night thus far and I’m happy they gave them plenty of time. I didn’t really buy Briscoe’s near falls because he never used his finisher until the end, but they told a nice story with EC3 losing the match, yet getting Briscoe to show respect by shaking his hand.

7. Bandido vs. Flamita vs. Rey Horus in a three-way. Bandido and Horus shook hands and hugged, but Flamita declined to shake hands with both men. Horus ended up at ringside following a wild sot. Flamita told Bandido that he wanted to fight. Flamita got the better of it and performed a sit-out powerbomb. Flamita had the pin, but Horus returned to break it up.

Flamita got cocky and told his opponents that there was no more MexiSquad. Bandido and Horus worked together. Bandido sent Flamita to ringside with a huracanrana. Bandido and Horus had an exchange inside the ring. Bandido got the better of it with a popup cutter. Flamita returned with a frogsplash on Horus. All three men met in the middle with simultaneous big boots.

Later, Bandido ended up on the shoulders of Flamita. Horus performed a cross body block from the top rope, but Bandido countered into a fallaway slam in mid-air. Wow. Bandido performed an around the world huracanrana on Flamita into a pin for a near fall. Bandido followed up with a GTS style kick, then hit the 21 Plex and scored the pin. After the match, Flamita declined to shake hands with his former partners…

Bandido defeated Rey Horus and Flamita in 10:50 in a Triple Threat.

Powell’s POV: This was a blast of a spot fest. This needs to be the launching point for Bandido. The six-man tag title reign was fine, but ROH desperately needs singles stars and he definitely has the ability to break out in a big way.

8. Matt Taven vs. Vincent in an unsanctioned match. Riccaboni framed it as the match being taped earlier at a different location and sent to them. He acted like he had no idea what happened. The match was fought at PAL Hall in Fall River, Massachusetts, which is where both men started.

Taven arrived outside the venue and had the camera crew follow him. Vincent was in the balcony of the empty venue. They fought into a room where the ring was located briefly, then continued to brawl around the venue. Back in the ring, Vincent pulled the canvas and pads back and then performed a move on the exposed boards in the ring.

Vincent set up some tables next to one another at ringside while talking to Taven. They made their way to the balcony and fought. Both men were shoved off the balcony and through a pair of tables below by a big bearded man dressed in bibs. The bearded man walked down to the main level, picked up Vincent, and carried him out of the building…

Matt Taven fought Vincent to a non-finish.

Riccaboni said the bearded man looked familiar…

Powell’s POV: It’s no secret that I’m not high on most cinematic style matches, so my guard was up going into this match. It turned out to be a good, gritty brawl in a unique setting. There was no broadcast team, no needless musical score, and no campiness. It was two guys fighting in an empty building. The non-finish was disappointing, but the match provided a nice change in atmosphere and style, which should help the rest of the card.

Backstage, Jay Lethal asked referee Todd Sinclair not to let the match end early. Sinclair told him that he would use his better judgement…

Quinn McKay stood inside the ring and introduced Maria Kanellis, who made her entrance. Maria announced that there will be a tournament to crown a new women’s champion this summer. A graphic listed the tournament for “Summer 2021.” She invited women from all over to compete in the tournament.

“The Allure” duo of Angelina Love and Mandy Leon made their entrance. Love asked Kanellis what position got her her current position. Maria told her that she has to earn her opportunities. Love said she’s a seven-time champion and asked what she has to earn. Maria said Love hasn’t had a match in a year. She said she would give her a bye in the first round of the tournament if she can beat Quinn McKay on ROH television. Love laughed, then had a staredown with McKay…

A video package set up the ROH Pure Championship match…

9. Jonathan Gresham vs. Dak Draper for the ROH Pure Championship. Tracy Williams and Rhett Titus walked onto the stage with Gresham, but they did not accompany him to ringside. Gresham used one of his three rope breaks during the first five minutes. Gresham used his second rope break a short time later.

Draper applied the Mile High Muffler. Gresham grabbed the ropes to use his final rope break, meaning he can no longer break up a pin or submission by using the ropes. Gresham came back and applied an ankle lock, but Draper shoved him off. Gresham dropkicked the knee of Draper, who came right back with a cross body block.

Gresham rallied and went for a pair of pins, which Draper broke by using two of his rope breaks. Draper used his final rope break moments later, meaning both men used their rope breaks. Draper punched Gresham and received his one warning for using a closed fist. Riccaboni pointed out that Draper used the same strategic punch during his recent television win over Fred Yehi.

Draper stood on the middle rope and powered up Gresham from the apron for a superplex. Draper followed up with a Doctor Bomb for a near fall. Draper caught Gresham with a big boot, then shot him into the corner where Gresham flipped over to sell his power. Draper stood the middle rope, powered up Gresham, and powerbombed him for a good near fall.

Draper applied the Mile High Muffler, then dropped Gresham. Draper set up to run the ropes, but he acted like his knee went out. Gresham pounced on him and ended up applying a sleeper hold at ringside. Draper eventually backed into the barricade, but Gresham held on. Draper entered the ring with Gresham still applying the hold. Draper held the top rope, but Riccaboni noted that there were no more rope breaks. Draper fell down and the referee checked on him and stopped the match…

Jonathan Gresham defeated Dak Draper in 20:27 to retain the ROH Pure Rules Championship.

Powell’s POV: Great work. Draper definitely gained something in defeat. Gresham gave him the majority of the offense and sold big for him. I was skeptical when ROH announced that they were reintroducing the Pure Rules division, but I don’t think it could have gone any better than it has thus far. By the way, Mike Johnson of PWInsider.com reported that the bearded man in the Taven vs. Vincent match is former WWE developmental wrestler Bill Carr. The ROH broadcast team did not mention Carr by name.

The broadcast team spoke at their perch when they were approached by Delirious, who spoke to Rocky Romero and walked away. Riccaboni asked if he understood what he said. Romero said he thought it was a challenge of some sort…

10. La Bestia del Ring and Kenny King (w/Amy Rose). vs. Tracy Williams and Rhett Titus for the ROH Tag Titles. Bestia replaced his injured son Dragon Lee in the match. Roughly six minutes in, Williams put King in a Sharpshooter. Bestia hit him twice to break it, but Williams held on. Titus put Bestia in a single crap. King reached the ropes to break the hold.

King came back with a nice leg lock on Williams, but Titus dove from the top rope and dropped a knee on King to break the hold. Titus tagged in and knocked Bestia off the apron with a big boot. Williams gave King a piledriver, then Titus applied a Full Nelson. Bestia broke up the hold. Titus and Bestia squared off.

Bestia had Rose slide a chair into the ring. The referee cleared the chair, then Bestia scolded Rose for not handing it to him. Titus put Bestia in a Full Nelson and ended up getting the win.

Tracy Williams and Rhett Titus defeated La Bestia del Ring and Kenny King in 10:30 to win the ROH Tag Titles.

After the match, King held back Bestia, then turned and started barking at Rose. She gave him the finger. King acted like he calmed down and they shook hands, then he gave Bestia the signal and he speared her…

Powell’s POV: My least favorite match of the night. The finish looked rough, as Titus wasn’t able to lock his fingers while applying the hold. The post match angle left me numb. The LFI members started barking at Rose out the blue recently, so there’s not much of a story here in terms of them turning on her. She was recently announced as re-signing with the company, so it doesn’t appear to be a case of writing her out. I’m just not sure what they can do with her. Anyway, the story continues that The Foundation has a chance to accomplish their goal of capturing all the titles.

A video package set up the main event…

11. Rush vs. Jay Lethal for the ROH World Championship. Bobby Cruise delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. Rush actually adhered to the Code of Honor. Riccaboni said it was the first time to date. Rush sold an early left knee injury, which Lethal targeted.

Rush came back and slammed the ringside barricade door on Lethal’s head three times. Coleman said Rush knew that referee Todd Sinclair was giving leeway due to it being a championship match and he was taking full advantage of it. Rush used camera cords to choke Lethal.

Late in the match, Kenny King and Bestia del Ring ran out. Coleman wondered where the Foundation was. Lethal went for a Lethal Injection, but Bestia hit him with a chair while King distracted the referee. Foundation members Tracy Williams and Rhett Titus ran out and fought King and Bestia to the back.

Rush went for his Bull’s Horns finisher, but Lethal hit him with a spinebuster. Lethal ended up hitting a Lethal Injection for a good near fall. Rush came back and connected with his finisher, but Lethal rolled to ringside. Rush rolled Lethal back inside the ring and placed him in the corner again. Rush drilled Lethal with his finisher again and then pinned him…

Rush defeated Jay Lethal in 18:30 to retain the ROH Championship.

After the match, King and Bestia joined Rush in the ring and celebrated with him. Rush put his foot on Lethal. They started to attack him. Williams and Titus ran out again, but they were beaten down by the LFI members.

Brody King walked out and congratulated Rush for almost making it through an entire match without his family getting involved. King said LFI had the numbers when they attacked him previously, but this time he didn’t come alone. Tony Deppen came out. The LFI members laughed at him.

King indicated that he had more help and said it would be good. Homicide and Chris Dickinson came out from the other side of the ring and helped King and Deppen clear the LFI members from the ring. King helped Lethal to his feet, but then dropped him with a clothesline. Homicide gave Lethal the Cop Killer. King, Homicide, Dickinson, and Deppen posed in the ring while Riccaboni said a new group had formed. Riccaboni closed the show by wishing the company a happy anniversary…

Powell’s POV: A good main event. I was hoping that the rushed dismissal of Amy Rose from LFI was going to lead to Thea Trinidad showing up as her surprise replacement. LFI desperately needs a strong mouthpiece and she would be perfect. Instead, we got the debut of King’s new faction. I like Deppen’s work, but I can’t say that he feels like a natural fit with the others, but we’ll see how it goes.

Overall, a this was a good pay-per-view and is definitely worthy of a replay for the $9.99 price. It’s a shame that Dragon Lee had to miss the show, as he would have made it even better. I will be back shortly with my audio review of the 19th Anniversary pay-per-view. Let me know what you thought of the show by grading it below.

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