By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Ring of Honor Wrestling TV (Episode 499)
Taped in Baltimore, Maryland at UMBC Arena
Aired April 10, 2021 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 hyped the show’s matches. She played up the idea that Rey Horus got Bandido and Flamita on the same page following the MexiSquad meltdown at the 19th Anniversary pay-per-view. She also hyped Lethal vs. Gresham for next week’s show…
Powell’s POV: Hey, it’s the first show taped after the 19th Anniversary pay-per-view. It took a week longer than I hoped it would to get here, but I’m happy that we’re getting the post pay-per-view tapings.
A Delirious sit-down feature aired. He spoke in gibberish, which was “translated” with subtitles. He said he’s been with ROH since 2004 and the first ROH event that he competed on was also the first ROH show that Rocky Romero competed on. He said their paths will cross again. Delirious said he respects what Romero and said his influence in pro wrestling runs much deeper than what he portrays on camera.
Delirious said he thanks Romero for that, but they have wars in the past. He said he has a scar above his left eye and the red paint on his mask symbolizes what Romero gave him years ago (footage aired of Romero slamming Delirious’s face into a wall). Delirious said Romero loves the sport and so does he. “Because it’s you, I will compete,” he said. Delirious added that he will go back into seclusion after the match because he doesn’t like the attention. He said the scars of the past could manifest at any moment and may cause him to hurt Romero because those scars are forever…
A Rocky Romero sit-down feature aired. He said things didn’t go his way in the Pure Championship tournament, but he finds himself back in ROH after some time to reflect. He said he and Delirious go back many years and debuted in ROH on the same day. He said they have unfinished business. He said their battles have been rough. Romero said he was kind of an (censored) in the old days and maybe he needs to tap into that. He said Delirious has been hanging out in a basement and doesn’t wrestle much, whereas he’s been on New Japan Strong every Friday night. He thought that would work against Delirious.
Romero said it’s crazy how much the landscape of pro wrestling has changed over the last year or so. He said it’s been amazing to have ROH talent be on New Japan Strong. He said they’ve had ROH, AEW, and Impact talent on Strong. He said it’s important for him to come to ROH because it could open another door, especially if he wins the Pure Championship and defends it somewhere else. Romero said he wasn’t sure what Delirious said to him when he spoke in his ear at the 19th Anniversary pay-per-view. He said that if Delirious was in the room now, he’d tell him the following. Romero spoke in gibberish and then closed by saying, “See you soon”… [C]
Powell’s POV: This is the latest proof of the greatness of the current ROH television format. Before the pandemic, the company likely would have aired this match without any promos and left it up to the broadcast team to fill in viewers on the history between Romero and Delirious while their match was taking place. It’s so much better coming from the wrestlers and getting to see the classic footage from their previous matches. So any viewer who didn’t see their past matches is now up to speed and has a basic understanding of their history.
Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman checked in on commentary while Bobby Cruise handled the ring introductions…
1. Rocky Romero vs. Delirious in a Pure Rules match. The wrestlers adhered to the Code of Honor. Romero forced Delirious to use a rope break a couple minutes into the match. Romero clotheslined Delirious and covered him for a two count heading into a break. [C]
Delirious applied a Cobra Clutch, which caused Romero to use his first rope break. Romero came back with a Kimura that led to Delirious using his second rope break. Delirious went for another Cobra Clutch, but Romero stomped his bare feet to avoid it momentarily. Delirious was able to apply the hold on the mat. Romero stood up and reached for the ropes, then escaped the hold without using a rope break.
Delirious performed a discus lariat for a two count. Both men stayed down. They got to their knees and traded forearm shots. Once they got to their feet, Romero blasted Delirious with a knee strike. Delirious in a Cobra Clutch, which Romero escaped. Romero caught Delirious in a backslide for a two count.
Romero followed with and inside cradle and got a two count, then Delirious rolled him over for a two count of his own. Delirious threw a punch and got his one warning. Romero caught Delirious in a cross arm breaker, which caused Delirious to tap out with just nine seconds remaining in the time limit.
Rocky Romero beat Delirious in 14:51 in a Pure Rules match.
The wrestlers adhered to the Code of Honor afterward. Romero spoke into the camera and threw out the names of several ROH regulars that he wants to face… [C]
Powell’s POV: A good match between a pair of pros. I like the way they used the time limit to their advantage. So not only did it feel like the match could go either way, but a time limit draw before going to the judges was also an option during the frantic final minute.
Footage aired from the 19th Anniversary pay-per-view of Brody King’s new faction arriving after the main event. The new members are Tony Deppen, Homicide, and Chris Dickinson…
A video package aired on Mark Briscoe and Jay Briscoe, who will face one another on next week’s 500th episode. Mark spoke about how they were supposed to face one another at last year’s anniversary show, but the pandemic cancelled the show. Jay said they had a tag title shot in their back pocket. Mark said Jay was more focussed on EC3 than going after the tag titles.
Mark recalled getting PCO as a partner for the tag title match. Jay spoke about it not feeling like the same Briscoes when they lost a number one contender’s tag match. He said they had to get their unfinished business out of the way. Childhood pictures aired of both brothers while they spoke about how they have fought ever since Mark came home from the hospital. Jay hyped the match and said may the best man win…
McKay interviewed Rey Horus and Bandido in the backstage area. She said Horus had been pulled from the match due to injury. She asked if they had a backup plan. Flamita showed up and offered to replace Horus. They spoke in Spanish and subtitles were used. Bandido was apprehensive, but he agreed to team with Flamita, who laughed when the other two walked away…
Powell’s POV: This was a little sloppy. McKay promoted the match as Bandido and Flamita teaming together at the start of the show, and now they are acting like Horus was supposed to team with Bandido.
Jay Lethal and Jonathan Gresham delivered a backstage promo. Lethal was fired up. Gresham told him that he has to calm down… [C]
2. Jay Lethal and Jonathan Gresham vs. Bandido and Flamita. Lethal and Flamita started the match. Riccaboni said it was the first time they’ve been in the ring together to the best of his knowledge. Gresham checked in and took Flamita down with an arm drag. [C]
Bandido got the better of Lethal coming out of the break and performed an impressive overhead press slam. Later, Gresham checked in and performed a German suplex, then flexed his muscles. Lethal tagged in again and got the better of Flamita heading into a break. [C]
Lethal caught Flamita in an abdominal stretch. Bandido tried to break it up and had to fight off Lethal, then accidentally kicked his own partner. Bandido was apologetic. Lethal pulled Bandido to ringside. In the ring, Gresham worked over Flamita and performed a Spanish Fly.
Bandido and Lethal tagged in and traded forearms. Bandido caught Lethal running the ropes and tagged him with a big boot. Bandido followed up with a crucifix bomb for a two count. Lethal came back and went for the Lethal Injection, but Bandido dropkicked him.
Bandido and Flamita double teamed Lethal. They set up for another move where Bandido was supposed to go around the world on his partner before hitting a move on Lethal, but Flamita dropped him. They bickered and ended up fighting one another. Lethal dropkicked Flamita to ringside. Lethal and Gresham doubled up on Bandido. Lethal put Bandido in a figure four. Flamita acted like he was encouraging his partner, but he walked out on him while Bandido was forced to tap out…
Jay Lethal and Jonathan Gresham defeated Bandido and Flamita in 13:45.
Riccaboni hyped Gresham vs. Lethal for the Pure Championship, and Jay Briscoe vs. Mark Briscoe for next week’s 500th episode…
Powell’s POV: It was logical for Lethal and Gresham to win since they are facing one another on next week’s show, and because they needed to cement the Flamita heel turn. I continue to wonder if Flamita will be a temporary replacement in La Faccino Ingobernable for Dragon Lee, who had to miss these tapings, but there’s no sign of that yet.
Overall, a solid show. I enjoyed Delirious vs. Romero, but it felt like that could have taken place on any show rather than on the first show coming out of the pay-per-view where there are more timely storylines to address. I will have more to say about the show my weekly ROH Wrestling audio review for Dot Net Members.