By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Ring of Honor Wrestling TV (Episode 497)
Taped in Baltimore, Maryland at UMBC Arena
Aired March 27, 2021 in syndication and on SBG regional sports networks, available Mondays on FITE.TV
Quinn McKay checked in from the studio after the ROH opening. She hyped the first Pure Wrestling gauntlet match. She said any rope breaks or rules warnings will carry over throughout the entire match. McKay hyped the opening match…
Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman checked in on commentary. Matt Taven joined them for the opening match. Ring entrances for the first match took place and included comments from both men. Beer City Bruiser said he’s sick and tired of not getting anywhere. He said he will win by any means necessary starting with his match against Mike Bennett. Riccaboni noted that Brian Milonas was not in the corner of Bruiser even though he was eligible to be there.
Mike Bennett’s promo aired. He said everyone has been pushing his buttons since he returned to ROH. Bennett recalled Bateman talking about random acts of violence. He said this match would not be a case of that, rather it would be a very methodical and deliberate act of violence…
1. Mike Bennett vs. Beer City Bruiser. Bruiser attacked Bennett from behind to start the match. Taven said Milonas wouldn’t have allowed that to happen and that’s why he wasn’t in Bruiser’s corner. In the ring, Bruiser put Bennett down with a DDT and then told him that it’s his time. [C]
Taven said there are limits that you don’t cross when you are in the ring with a friend, and Bruiser smashing a beer bottle over Bennett’s head was definitely a case of crossing a line. Bennett performed uranage slam to take offensive control, then worked over Bruiser with chops in the corner.
A short time later, Bruiser came back with a cross body block and another DDT, then covered Bennett for a two count. Bruiser rolled to ringside and pulled a bottle out from underneath the ring. Bruiser broke the bottle on the ring post. Referee Todd Sinclair called for the bell to stop the match.
Mike Bennett beat Beer City Bruiser by apparent DQ.
Matt Taven headed to the ring and stopped Bruiser from using the bottle as a weapon. Bruiser headed to the back while Bennett sold an ankle injury inside the ring… [C]
Powell’s POV: Bennett is still selling the ankle injury from the attack by Vincent and Bateman. The match was fine in terms of cementing Bruiser’s heel turn. The finish was underwhelming, yet logical in that it would be silly for a referee to wait for a guy to slice another dude open with a bottle before calling for the bell. It remains to be seen whether Milonas will feud with Bruiser or turn with him. I lean toward Milonas turning, as the Bouncers as heel could be a fun act, and the idea could be to feud them with Bennett and Taven.
2. The Pure Rules gauntlet match. Ring announcer Bobby Cruise stated that each section of the match would have a 15-minute time limit. Riccaboni reminded viewers that rope breaks and rule warnings carry over throughout the match. Dane Caballero and Will Ferrara started the match.
Riccaboni said that if the match goes long, the remainder would air on HonorClub. Coleman pointed out that Ferrara is usually one of the Pure Rules judges. Riccaboni said the judges for this match were Gary Juster, Sumie Sakai, and Ferrara’s replacement Kevin Eck.
Powell’s POV: I always appreciate it when broadcast team members try to add realism to the shows they call. In this case, they teasing the possibility that the match could run past the end of the show and what the fallback plan was, and they also addressed the judge replacement. It’s simple to do and adds to the sports-like feel of shows where the announcers go the extra mile like Riccaboni and Coleman did.
Caballero stuffed a backslide attempt, but Ferrara countered into a crucifix for a near fall. Caballero came right by hoisting up Ferrara and giving him a gut buster and a running big boot. Caballero set up for a move, but Ferrara shoved him over and rolled into a pin for the win. Ferrara and Caballero shook hands. Riccaboni said the entrant order was decided by the luck of the draw.
Will Ferrara beat Dante Caballero in 5:56 to advance in the gauntlet match.
The World Famous CB made his entrance as the third entrant in the gauntlet match. Riccaboni recalled noting in the previous portion of the match was that Ferrara’s last match before the pandemic break was a fight without honor against CB, who worked as Cheeseburger at the time… [C]
Ferrara asked CB to put the past behind them and then offered him a handshake, which CB accepted. The match clock was reset for this portion of the gauntlet match. Ferrara forced CB to use a rope break. After some back and forth action, CB used a straight jacket into a soft powerbomb pin for the win. Ferrara shook his hand afterward.
The World Famous CB beat Will Ferrara in 4:14 to advance in the gauntlet match.
Eric Martin made his entrance as the fourth entrant. Coleman said Martin is one of Ferrara’s students… [C] Martin threw a light looking kick that knocked CB down. Martin dropped repeated elbows on him and then went for a Boston Crab, but CB avoided it. He went for the hold again, but CB grabbed the ropes to use his second rope break of the gauntlet match.
A short time later, CB dodged a charging Martin in the corner, then gave him a dragon screw leg whip. CB threw a superkick and covered Martin for a two count. CB went for a springboard move, but Martin caught him and gave him a Northern Lights Suplex, then applied the Boston Crab. CB reached the ropes to use his final rope break.
Martin went for the hold again, but CB countered into a pin for a near fall. Martin charged CB, who caught him with an elbow. Martin blocked the Shotei, but CB performed a nice takedown and then applied a submission hold that Coleman compared to a bowtie. Martin tapped. Both men adhered to the Code of Honor afterward.
The World Famous CB beat Eric Martin in 6:03 to advance in the gauntlet match.
The fifth entrant Wheeler Yuta made his entrance as the fifth man in the gauntlet match. [C] CB and Yuta shook hands. CB had no rope breaks remaining. CB went for a few pin attempts early. Yuta eventually came back with a senton onto the back of CB and covered him for a two count. A short time later, Yuta leapt from the middle rope and hit a DDT on the way down and scored the pin. Yuta and CB shook hands afterward.
Wheeler Yuta defeated The World Famous CB in 3:09 to advance in the gauntlet match.
Fred Yehi made his entrance as the final entrant in the gauntlet match. [C] The wrestlers adhered to the Code of Honor. Yuta threw a nice dropkick, but Yehi came right back with a good suplex. A short time later, Yehi pulled Yuta to ringside and then gave him an exploder suplex on the floor. Yehi rolled Yuta back inside the ring.
Yehi applied a Koji Clutch, but Yuta wrenched on his ankle to break the hold. Yuta targeted the same leg, but Yehi caught him in a rear naked choke. Yuta countered into a pin for a two count. Yuta caught Yehi in a leg lock submission hold. Yehi used his first rope break to escape the hold. Yehi performed a double stomp onto the back of Yuta, then sold his bad leg. Yehi applied the Koji Clutch. Yuta wrenched his ankle again. Yehi released the hold and simply switched sides and then reapplied it and got the submission win.
Fred Yehi defeated Wheeler Yuta in 6:24 to win the Pure Rules gauntlet match.
Yehi and Yuta shook hands afterward. Riccaboni said Yehi should move up the Pure division rankings after this win. Riccaboni closed out the show on commentary. No matches were announced for next week’s show…
Powell’s POV: They saved the best for last in terms of the gauntlet matches. In fact, I wish they would have saved more time for Yehi vs. Yuta. The gauntlet match was fine for a pay-per-view weekend show. It allowed the wrestlers who didn’t have pay-per-view matches to appear on the show while also giving some television time to some of the ROH Dojo students. I wish they would have given the match a little more purpose by making it for a shot at the ROH Pure Championship, but it was fine for what it was and at least they acknowledged that it should be beneficial to Yehi in the rankings.
Unfortunately, some of Yehi’s win came off as luck of the draw just in terms of him being the final entrant. They could have told a better story by having Yuta be in the match longer to create the need for a rematch. I suspect they will go in that direction anyway since he did have a previous win in the gauntlet, but that previous match was just a three-minute win over CB, who had two previous matches. Overall, this was a decent hour of television for a pay-per-view weekend, but it’s also a missable episode if you are short on time since there were no major storyline developments. My weekly audio review of ROH Wrestling will be available for Dot Net Members later today.