By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Ring of Honor Wrestling TV (Episode 512)
Taped in Baltimore, Maryland at Chesapeake Employers Insurance Arena
Aired July 10, 2021 in syndication and on SBG regional sports networks, available Mondays on FITE.TV
The ROH opening aired and then Quinn McKay checked in from the studio and hyped Sunday’s Best in the World pay-per-view and listed this show’s three matches…
Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman checked in on commentary while ring announcer Bobby Cruise handled the introductions. They cut to a pre-taped interview that McKay conducted with Joe Keys and Dante Caballero, who were leery of facing the Briscoes. Keys said they were about to take a Sandy Fork ass whooping. The Briscoes made their entrance while a pre-taped promo aired with the brothers all fired up coming out of their Fight on the Farm…
1. Jay Briscoe and Mark Briscoe vs. Joe Keys and Dante Caballero. It was all Briscoes heading into an early commercial break. [C] The Briscoes hit Keys with Redneck Boogie. Riccaboni put over Keys being a rare wrestler to kick out after taking the move. The Briscoes clotheslined both opponents. Jay performed a neckbreaker on Keys, then Mark followed up with Froggy Bow to get the pin…
Jay Briscoe and Mark Briscoe beat Joe Keys and Dante Caballero.
A graphic listed Flip Gordon vs. PJ Black as coming up next… [C]
Powell’s POV: I felt bad for Keys and Caballero having to cut that defeatist promo, but it was definitely comical and it’s all good if they had fun with it. While the ROH Dojo students got a little offense in, this was very much a spotlight match for the Briscoes. With this being a go-home show, I would normally grumble about this not really playing into the pay-per-view. However, it was a good followup to last week’s Fight on the Farm in that it showed that the Briscoes are back on the same page.
Gordon made his entrance. They cut to Quinn McKay attempting to interview Gordon, but he blew her off. Black made his entrance while a pre-taped interview aired with McKay asking about the styles of both wrestlers. Black said Gordon is a younger version of him. Black put over his experience and promised McKay that she would care about the match…
2. PJ Black vs. Flip Gordon. Brian Johnson sat in on commentary and spent some time talking about him and Black facing The Briscoes at Best in the World. The wrestlers had a fist bump to adhere to the Code of Honor. Riccaboni noted that Gordon would challenge for the ROH World Championship in Philadelphia. Gordon caught Black with a superkick at ringside. “Nobody missed you, PJ, go back home,” Gordon said. [C]
Gordon performed a shooting star press for a near fall. There was a great spot where Gordon leapt onto the middle rope, Black followed and hit him with a Spanish Fly for a good near fall. Black followed up with a second near fall that Coleman and Johnson chalked up to a sloppy cover. Gordon rallied with a powerbomb for a near fall of his own. Gordon hit the Flip Five and then applied an STF and got the submission win.
Flip Gordon defeated PJ Black.
Gordon reapplied the hold after the match. Johnson ran in and chased Gordon to ringside. Johnson yelled at Gordon, who asked him who the hell he thinks he is. Johnson continued to bark as Gordon headed to the back. The broadcast team was surprised that Johnson stood up for Black. In the ring, Johnson spoke to Black about winning the ROH Tag Titles… A graphic listed the show’s main event… [C]
Powell’s POV: It’s nice to see Black back in the ring again following an injury layoff. The match was loosely related to the pay-per-view, as they showed that Black and Johnson are on the same page heading into their match against The Briscoes. It’s not a big match on the card and while the broadcast team has been hyping the pay-per-view, it’s been an underwhelming episode from a go-home show perspective thus far.
Dragon Lee and Kenny King made their entrances. A pre-taped promo aired with the duo. King was wearing a lucha mask. They agreed that they would sit back and watch the other teams beat each other up.
Jay Lethal and Jonathan Gresham were out next. Lethal did all the talking in their pre-tape and spoke about how he was looking past the three-way tag match for the Best in the World event. He said he would give Brody King the wrestling lesson of his life at BITW.
Brody King and Tony Deppen were out last. King did all the talking in his team’s pre-tape and said Lethal was going to get a taste of what’s in store for him at BITW. King said eat or be eaten…
3. Brody King and Tony Deppen vs. Jay Lethal and Jonathan Gresham vs. Dragon Lee and Kenny King in a three-way tag match. King and Deppen shook hands with Lethal and Gresham. There was a tense moment with Deppen and Gresham. Lee and Kenny King stood in their corner and applauded. Lethal debuted a new singlet rather than his usual trunks.
Lee and Kenny King went to ringside and let the other teams start the match. The duo pulled Gresham to ringside and suplexed him at one point. Deppen rolled Gresham back inside the ring but failed to pin him. Gresham caught Deppen with a kick. [C]
Gresham had a cool sequence where he performed a springboard moonsault on Deppen, then got up and performed a suicide dive onto Lee and Kenny King. Gresham returned to the ring and leapt over the top rope and onto the middle rope where he executed a springboard cross body block onto Deppen. Gresham came up selling knee pain. Deppen tagged out. Gresham performed a suplex into a bridge on Deppen, but legal man Brody King kicked Gresham and went on the offensive.
Brody King ended up at ringside where Lee and Kenny King failed to double suplex the big man, who responded by suplexing the two of them. Lethal performed a suicide dive on Brody King heading into a break. [C] Lee finally checked in and caught Gresham with a leaping knee to the head. Lee followed up with an impressive pump-handle Blue Thunder Bomb and went for the pin, but Lethal broke it up.
Later, Brody King set up for a superplex on Lethal, but Gresham snuck underneath and powerbombed King. Lethal launched Gresham into performing a cutter on Lee. Deppen took out Lethal with a leaping knee, then blasted Gresham with a shining wizard. Kenny King snuck in and blasted Deppen with a kick, then stole the pin on Gresham.
Dragon Lee and Kenny King defeated Jay Lethal and Jonathan Gresham, and Brody King and Tony Deppen in a three-way tag match.
Riccaboni noted that Kenny King pinned the Pure Champion. Riccaboni hyped some of the pay-per-view matches while small graphic appeared on the bottom left corner of the screen and listed Mandy Leon vs. Quinn McKay, and Lethal, Gresham, Tracy Williams, and Rhett Titus vs. Shane Taylor, Moses, Kaun, and O’Shay Edwards in an eight-man tag for next week.
In the ring, Lethal checked on Gresham while Brody King barked at his opponents while telling them it was their fault. Lee and Kenny King celebrated and headed backstage. Lethal and Brody King jawed at one another. Brody King shoved Lethal… Graphics listed all of the Best in the World pay-per-view matches to close the show…
Powell’s POV: An entertaining main event. The tension between Lethal and Brody King helped set up their pay-per-view match. I wish we had more of that on this episode. This was an entertaining hour of television, yet not a very good go-home show. ROH has improved in so many areas coming out of their pandemic break, but they need to get better about delivering final hype for their pay-per-view events. The match graphics at the end are just not enough, nor is their usual approach of going with their own version of ECW’s old Pulp Fiction montage with brief comments from the wrestlers. Why not go with matches, promos, and angles that are 100 percent geared on selling the pay-per-view? I will have more to say later today about this in my ROH Wrestling audio that is available each week for Dot Net Members.
Join me for my live review of ROH Best in the World as the show airs on pay-per-view and HonorClub tonight beginning with the one-hour “first hour free” at 6CT/7ET. Dot Net Members will hear my same night audio review of BITW.