By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Ring of Honor Wrestling TV (Episode 501)
Taped in Baltimore, Maryland at UMBC Arena
Aired April 24, 2021 in syndication and on SBG regional sports networks, available Mondays on FITE.TV
The ROH opening video aired… Quinn McKay checked in from the studio and hyped the show’s matches…. The broadcast team of Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman checked in on commentary during the opening match introductions, which were handled by ring announcer Bobby Cruise.
A Draper promo aired while he was making his entrance. He spoke about the similarities he shares with Isom. Draper said he gets his satisfaction from climbing up the ladder, whereas Isom is just as happy in the opening match or the main event. Draper showed off the participation ribbon that he planned to give Isom after beating him…
An Isom promo aired during his entrance. Isom called Draper one of the most arrogant men he’s ever met. Isom said he is happy to be in ROH because it has the best wrestling on the planet. Isom said he wasn’t there to participate, he was there to humble Draper and said that was a promise. They cut to the first commercial break… [C]
Powell’s POV: Simple and effective promos in terms of setting the table for the match.
1. Eli Isom vs. Dak Draper. The wrestlers adhered to the Code of Honor. Isom went for a springboard cross body block. Draper stumbled a bit, yet managed to catch Isom, who then slipped away into an armdrag. Draper came right back with a Hot Shot. A short time later, Draper pulled Isom to ringside and slammed him back first onto the apron, then rolled him back inside the ring and covered him for a two count. [C]
Draper controlled the action coming out of the break, but Isom hit him with a moonsault from the middle rope to the floor. Isom rolled Draper back inside the ring and then performed a nice top rope cross body block for a near fall. Draper rallied and hit a Doctor Bomb for a near fall of his own.
Draper put Isom down with a springboard elbow and then kipped up and set up for his finisher, but Isom rolled him into a pin for a near fall. Draper got up and knocked Isom down with a boot and set up for the Mile High Muffler, but Isom avoided it. Draper went for his Mile High Magnum finisher, but Isom rolled him into a pin for another near fall.
Isom set up for his brainbuster finisher, but Draper stopped it with a knee to the head. They fought a little more and then the bell rang to end the match in a draw. Isom called for five more minutes. [C]
Eli Isom fought Dak Draper to a 15:00 time limit draw.
The match was about to restart coming out of the break when the lights went out. When they turned on, Dalton Castle was on the stage with four “boys” who were dancing. Castle danced his way to ringside dressed in a pink suit while the boys followed.
Castle said he was blown away by Draper and Isom. He said he wasn’t there to fight them. He said he’s been watching them both since they first arrived in ROH and they have blown him away. He asked if he could join them inside the ring. Two of the boys laid down and he used them as a step to enter the ring.
Castle said things have gotten a little dull in ROH. He said everyone wants to win, while he’s the only one who is thinking about the viewer. He said he wants to bring drama back. He said both men have so much potential and he sees things in them that he likes and that he doesn’t. Castle kicked Isom below the belt. Draper laughed and then handed Castle a participation ribbon. Castle kicked Draper in the balls, then said he would tell them more but he was busy…
Powell’s POV: A good back and forth match between two of the wrestlers who should be pushed as the rising stars of the promotion. I like the idea of a draw because there’s not reason to have either guy take a loss right now. Castle’s dancing entrance was a fun way to avoid going another five minutes, but I wasn’t a big fan of him being scripted to make both of the young stars look like goofs by kicking them in the balls. We’ll see where it goes.
Homicide, Brody King, Chris Dickinson, and Tony Deppen delivered a promo in a backstage room. Homicide said The Foundation makes them sick. He said they love to fight and they love to win and they love violence. Dickinson boasted that they are the past, present, and future of ROH. He said LFI and The Foundation have nothing on them.
Deppen said they are the future of ROH. He said he would be damned if he would ever let LFI attack him again like they did when he beat Kenny King and that’s why he joined the faction. King said they are the underrated, unappreciated, and undervalued. He said they were in ROH to establish dominance and called the group Violence Unlimited. King said they weren’t coming for the crowns, they were coming for their heads… [C]
Highlights aired of Beer City Bruiser beating Joe Keys on the ROH Week By Week show that is available on the ROH YouTube page. After the match, Ken Dixon, Eric Martin, and Dante Caballero came out to protect Keys from a further attack. Suddenly, Dixon slammed a beer bottle over the head of one of the dojo wrestlers, then he and Bruiser slammed the other over the barricade. “Welcome to my bar,” Bruiser said. Dixon opened a beer and drank some, then slammed the can on his forehead…
McKay checked in from backstage and interviewed Bruiser and Dixon. Bruiser compared what Dixon did to picking up his tab at the bar. Dixon asked what happens when pure wrestling fails. He said he told the dojo wrestlers that he doesn’t fit in. Bruiser said he’s out to make a name for himself and he wants likeminded individuals…
Bruiser and Dixon vs. Mike Bennett and Matt Taven was listed on a graphic for next week’s show…
Vincent’s entrance theme played. Bateman, Vita VonStarr, and Dutch made their entrance while footage aired of the Taven vs. Vincent match from the 19th Anniversary pay-per-view. Bateman said that while the seat at the top of the mountain might be empty, it doesn’t mean they can’t hear the thunder. He added that while Vincent might be gone, his hand is still the hand that is guiding the knife.
Dutch anded a sheet of paper to VonStarr, who read from it. It was apparently written by Vincent and said that he’s a master of survival. He might not be there physically, but it doesn’t mean that he ceases to exist. It’s the door to a righteous rebirth. “Hear what I’m saying, man?” she closed.
Bateman said VonStarr could tie the world in knots if given the opportunity. He said Dutch is an inhuman monster. Bateman said he was born with the devil in him. “Just because he’s gone don’t meant that the good work goes undone,” Bateman said. “Dig what he’s saying, man.” Dutch turned around to show a V painted on the back of his gear…
Powell’s POV: A good promo segment with the followers showing that they are still being led by Vincent even if he isn’t present for whatever reason. They found the right mix of creepy and weird without going too over the top wit it.
A graphic listed the main event… [C] The LFI trio made their entrance for the main event. An LFI promo aired. Kenny King asked if they looked worried or concerned. He said LFI is a weapon and a force. King said they were not prepared when they lost the ROH TV Title and ROH Tag Titles while Dragon Lee was out. Kenny King said that Brody King emerged from under a dumpster and brought trash with him. Rush said ROH is their company and they don’t care about anyone… Violence Unlimited made their entrance.
2. Brody King, Homicide, and Chris Dickinson vs. Rush, Kenny King, and Bestia del Ring. The teams brawled to start the match. Rush and Brody King ended up fighting at ringside, as did Bestia and Homicide while Dickinson and Kenny King fought in the ring. Kenny King performed a power slam on Dickinson and went for a cover, but he kicked out before the ref could hit the mat once. The match seemed to be settling into a standard six-man heading into a break. [C]
Rush and Brody King tagged in. Brody worked over all three members of LFI and picked up a two count on Rush. Dickinson tagged in again and performed a falcon arrow on Rush. Dickinson splashed Rush and went for the pin, but Bestia kicked him to break it up. Dickinson and Bestia traded shots. Rush and Kenny pulled Dickinson off the ropes, then Bestia performed a senton from the top rope that led to a two count.
Rush hoisted up Dickinson and slammed him to the mat and stomped him. Brody hit Bestia with a chair to the back. The teams brawled again. Rush got the chair and hit Brody with it. “The Foundation” members Jay Lethal, Jonathan Gresham, Tracy Williams, and Rhett Titus ran out and joined the fight, which led to the referee throwing out the match.
Brody King, Homicide, and Chris Dickinson fought Rush, Kenny King, and Bestia del Ring to a on-contest.
The brawl continued as Riccaboni said they had to go…
A brief video package aired with Tony Deppen talking about how he tried to be nice to everyone, but LFI attacked him because he won a match. He said Violence Unlimited believes in honor, yet they also believe that there is violence in honor. He said they would run through the divisions and take all of the titles for pure dominance…
A Tracy Williams promo aired. He said he would work even harder to keep the ROH Tag Titles and the ROH TV Title. A graphic hyped Deppen vs. Williams for next week’s show…
Powell’s POV: Both television matches concluded without winners and losers. And while a case could be made for keeping those matches on separate shows, both were logical outcomes from a storytelling standpoint. The main event was more of a brawl than anything. I love that ROH took the time to promote a match for next week by giving Deppen and Williams some mic time. I will have more to say about this episode in my weekly audio review of ROH Wrestling for Dot Net Members.