By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Ring of Honor Wrestling TV (Episode 502)
Taped in Baltimore, Maryland at UMBC Arena
Aired May 1, 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 this week’s matches along with her own match against Angelina Love that will air on next week’s show. McKay said she’s excited and nervous, but she’s hoping to get things back on the right track…
Powell’s POV: I am really looking forward to the McKay vs. Love match, but that doesn’t have much to do with the build on the weekly television show. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been much build to speak of. Rather, it’s something they built up online, which is a shame because McKay is a likable personality and her debut on the show should feel bigger than it does for viewers who are only watching the weekly show.
The broadcast team of Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman checked in from their desk. They cut backstage where McKay asked Flamita if this match would help him get his frustrations with MexiSquad out of his system. He told her in Spanish that he didn’t know and he didn’t care. He added that if Bandido wants to play by fire, they can play. They cut to McKay interviewing Bandido, who cut a brief babyface promo…
1. Bandido vs. Flamita. Flamita dropkicked Bandido, who rolled to ringside. Flamita followed with a suicide dive, then threw him into the ringside barricade a couple times heading into a commercial break. [C]
Both wrestlers ended up standing on the ringside barricade. Bandido performed a huracanrana from the barricade. Both men returned to the ring as referee Todd Sinclair’s count reached 19.
Bandido performed a crucifix bomb for a good near fall coming out of the break. Flamita came right back with a 450 splash for a near fall of his own. Flamita went for a followup move, but Bandido countered into a knee bar.
Later, Bandido hoisted Flamita on his shoulders, but Flamita’s legs hit Sinclair. Ref bump!!! Flamita hit Bandido with a low blow. Flamita covered Bandido with his foot while Sinclair recovered and counted the pin…
Flamita defeated Bandido.
A graphic hyped the tag match for after the break… [C]
Powell’s POV: There was some excellent athleticism from both men. Flamita cheating to win was logical given that he’s newly turned. I’m enjoying Flamita as a heel and it should lead to him having some great matches with Bandido and Rey Horus.
2. “OGK” Mike Bennett and Matt Taven vs. Beer City Bruiser and Ken Dixon. A graphic noted that Bruiser and Dixon teamed together once before and won their match back in 2019. Brian Milonas sat in on commentary and admitted that he was disappointed in seeing his longtime tag partner Bruiser teaming with someone else. An OGK promo aired. Taven said his hit list includes Vincent, Bruiser, and Rush. The heels were getting the better of Bennett heading into a break. [C]
Dixon performed a powerslam on Bennett and could have pinned him, but he sat up instead. Bruiser wondered what he was doing. Dixon put Taven on his shoulders and then Bennett made a blind tag. Bennett performed a backpack stunner while Taven dropkicked Dixon simultaneously. Bennett covered Dixon and pinned him to win the match.
“OGK” Mike Bennett and Matt Taven defeated Beer City Bruiser and Ken Dixon.
After the match, Bruiser was barking at Dixon when Taven slammed a beer bottle over Bruiser’s head. “You knew that was coming,” Taven said. Riccaboni said it was an eye for an eye. Brian Milonas barked at Taven, who said they would have done the same thing.
Milonas rolled inside the ring and checked on Bruiser. Milonas said Bruiser has been right all along. Milonas kicked Dixon, then punched him repeatedly while Bruiser watched from the corner. Milonas kicked Dixon until he rolled out of the ring. Bruiser and Milonas hugged…
A graphic hyped the main event… [C]
Powell’s POV: They took a strange path to turning The Bouncers heel, but they got there. I thought the idea might be that Milonas would make Bruiser see the light, but I like them as heels more given their in-ring style and the current direction of the company.
3. Tracy Williams vs. Tony Deppen for the ROH TV Title. Deppen came out by himself. Williams was accompanied by the rest of The Foundation (Jay Lethal, Jonathan Gresham, Rhett Titus), but they headed to the back after walking him onto the stage. Williams and Deppen had a tense handshake while adhering to the Code of Honor. The broadcast team noted that Williams seemed to be trying to force Deppen to use rope breaks even thought it was not a Pure Rules match. Deppen came back and was in offensive control. [C]
Late in the match, the wrestlers traded forearm shots. Williams caught Deppen going for a leapfrog and put him down with a Death Valley Driver that led to a near fall. Williams tried to pick up Deppen, who fell to the mat. When Williams tried to pick him up a second time, Deppen rolled him into a pin for a two count. Deppen hit Williams with a couple of punches, which the broadcast team noted are legal in standard matches.
Deppen rolled Williams into a one-armed version of Cattle Mutilation, but Williams reached the ropes to break it. Williams came back with a clothesline and a piledriver and went for the pin, but Deppen put his foot on the ropes. Deppen smiled at Williams and called for more. Williams granted his wish with several strikes, but Deppen hooked his arm when he went for a clothesline and rolled him into a pin for the upset title change.
Tony Deppen defeated Tracy Williams to win the ROH TV Title.
After the match, Brody King, Homicide, and Chris Dickinson came out and celebrated with faction mate Deppen at ringside while Williams seethed inside the ring. Riccaboni closed out the show…
Powell’s POV: I assumed that it was only a matter of time before Williams dropped either the ROH TV Title or the ROH Tag Titles. I like the decision to put the belt on Deppen, who felt like the weak link of the new Violence Unlimited (or whatever their weird spelling is) faction simply due to his size and lack of name value compared to the others. The ROH TV Title win makes Deppen, who has been very impressive during his ROH matches thus far. Overall, a good episode with a title change, storyline developments, and plenty of good in-ring action. My audio review of this episode will be available for Dot Net Members later today.