By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Ring of Honor Wrestling TV (Episode 519)
Taped in Baltimore, Maryland at Chesapeake Employers Insurance Arena
Aired August 28, 2021 in syndication and on SBG regional sports networks, available Mondays on FITE.TV
Ian Riccaboni checked in as the studio host following the ROH opening video. Riccaboni noted that he was filling in for Quinn McKay and then praised her for her performance in the ROH Women’s Championship tournament. Riccaboni listed the three matches that would take place during the show…
An Angelina Love profile video aired. She ran through her credentials and spoke about having a first-round bye. Love also complained about Quinn McKay and boasted that she would have her hand raises as the champion…
Ian Riccaboni, Caprice Coleman, and Lenny Leonard checked in on commentary while the opening match introductions took place. Bobby Cruise was the ring announcer. The broadcast team noted that Love seemed a bit thrown off without having Mandy Leon by her side…
1. Angelina Love vs. Max The Impaler (w/Amy Rose) in an ROH Women’s Championship tournament quarterfinal match. Love acted fearful of Max. Rose took the mic and asked Love if she was sure she wanted to do this. When Love indicated that she did, Rose said she warned her. “Get her,” Rose said. Max charged at Love to start the match. Love avoided Max and eventually rolled to ringside where she jawed at Rose. Max went to the floor and tossed Love into the barricade heading into a commercial break. [C]
Love held the bottom rope while Max pulled her legs. Max eventually won that battle, causing Love to crash on the floor. Max threw a chip at Love, who ducked it, causing Max to chop the ring post. Love followed up by shoving Max into the ring post twice. Max shook it off and no-sold Love’s attempts to keep her out of the ring. Max put Love in a Torture Rack. Love eventually slipped off and tried to roll up Max, who didn’t budge.
Max picked up Love and tossed her onto the top rope. Love rolled to the floor. Max followed and shoved Love into the ring post. Max returned to the ring pulled Love onto the apron. Max put Love in a sleeper over the top rope. Max ignored the referee’s five count and was disqualified.
Angelina Love beat Max The Impaler by DQ in 5:53 to advance to the semifinals of the tournament.
The broadcast team observed after the match that Rose didn’t seem to be upset with Max losing by disqualification. Love sold a shoulder injury at ringside. The updated brackets showed that Love will face Rok-C in the semifinals of the tournament. A graphic listed the other tournament match as coming up after the break… [C]
Powell’s POV: I enjoyed that match more than I thought I would. Max plays her gimmick very well, and Love was really good at showing she was intimidated by the monster and gave her the vast majority of the offense. Rose also played her part well as Max’s sadistic handler. The finish worked in terms of getting Love to the semifinals without doing any damage to Max’s monster gimmick. In fact, the finish actually played right into the idea that she’s an uncontrollable monster.
Allysin Kay made her entrance for the last quarterfinal match. A pre-taped Kay promo aired. She said she was excited about the match and both women knew what was coming, but Adora would learn that “AK don’t play.” Adora made her entrance while her promo played. She said she had her entire community on her back and with her mother she was going all the way to the top…
2. Allysin Kay vs. Trish Adora in an ROH Women’s Championship tournament quarterfinal match. Miranda Alize sat in on commentary with Riccaboni and Leonard for the match. Adora put a standing Kay in a simultaneous armbar and head-scissors in a cool spot. Kay powered out of it and slammed Adora to the mat, then went for a cross arm breaker. Adora blocked the submission attempt and rolled onto Kay for a two count. [C]
Kay powered up Adora and then stumbled back to the ropes, causing Adora to tumble to the floor. Kay took a bow and then went to the apron and threw a kick to Adora’s chest. Kay went to the floor and slammed Adora’s face into the mat before tossing her back inside the ring. Riccaboni noted that both semifinal matches will take place on television next week and the finals will be at the Death Before Dishonor pay-per-view.
Kay taunted Adora and asked if she was getting mad. Adora fired up, but Kay ducked her punches. Adora avoided Kay charging her in the corner and then connected with a forearm and a running cross body block. Adora splashed Kay in the corner and then performed a swinging backbreaker and covered her for a two count. Adora followed up with a DDT for another two count.
Kay rallied with a German suplex. Kay went for another suplex, but Adora stuffed it and delivered a kick to Kay’s arm. Kay went for a Kimura, but Adora avoided it and rolled her into a pin for a two count. Adora laid over Kay in a bridge for a two count. Kay applied a rear naked choke. Adora slammed the mat with her hand a couple of times, but Riccaboni credited referee Todd Sinclair for knowing that she wasn’t tapping out. Adora rolled to the ropes to escape the hold.
Kay threw a kick to the back of Adora’s head and covered her for another two count. Kay went for a discus lariat that Adora ducked. Adora drilled Kay with an enzuigiri. Kay came right back by hooking Adora’s arm and throwing several elbows at her head. Kay hoisted up Adora for a move, but Adora slipped away and blasted Kay with a lariat and then scored the pin.
Trish Adora defeated Allysin Kay in 13:50 to advance to the semifinals of the tournament.
The updated brackets showed that Adora will face Miranda Alize in the semifinals. Alize said she was impressed. Adora and Kay shook hands afterward. A graphic listed the ROH TV Title match as coming up next… [C]
Powell’s POV: The best match of the tournament thus far. That was really fun and it felt like it could go either way. I hope Kay will be sticking around the ROH women’s division. She had a run with the NWA and just won that promotion’s tag titles over the weekend, but I’m really surprised that she hasn’t been signed by WWE or AEW by now.
A Death Before Dishonor logo appeared and then listed the following matches for the September 12 pay-per-view: Eli Isom vs. Dalton Castle, Matt Taven and Mike Bennett vs. The Briscoes, Shane Taylor, Moses, and Kaun vs. Dragon Lee, Kenny King, and Bestia del Ring for the ROH Six-Man Tag Titles, Jonathan Gresham vs. Josh Woods for the ROH Pure Championship, Bandido vs. Brody King vs. EC3 vs. Demonic Flamita in for the ROH World Championship…
Powell’s POV: It’s good to see ROH list the pay-per-view matches, but the main event graphic did not mention that it’s a four-way elimination match. That’s definitely worth adding because it makes the match more appealing than a standard four-way with only one pin or submission.
Eli Isom made his entrance. A pre-tape aired with Isom talking about how the ROH TV Title has been his focus for months and he’s steadily climbed the rankings. He said he’s three seconds away from the championship and fulfilling a promise that he made to his father, sisters, and mother. Isom got emotional while saying he would beat Lee and become the ROH TV Champion.
Lee made his entrance while his pre-taped promo aired. Lee said Isom is a good wrestler, but the champion is back and he would defend what he never lost. Lee said the dragon has awakened…
3. Dragon Lee vs. Eli Isom for the ROH TV Title. Dalton Castle sat in on commentary with Riccaboni and Coleman. He took a phone call before the opening bell. Riccaboni noted that Lee was wearing white gear. He explained that when anyone from LFI wears championship white it’s a big deal and it’s a sign of respect for Isom in this case. The wrestlers adhered to the Code of Honor with Isom looking surprised by Lee being respectful.
Castle asked if the white gear had anything to do with aerodynamics. He also said he tried to bring more out of Isom, but he didn’t know if he’d reached his full potential yet. Isom had Lee against the ropes and gave him a clean break. Lee kicked Isom and performed a snap mare. Isom ducked a kick. Lee struck the LFI pose. [C]
Lee offered another handshake coming out of the break. Isom shook Lee’s hand and then kicked him. Lee sent Isom to ringside a short time later and performed a flip dive onto him. Lee played to the broadcast team and was applauded by Castle. Lee whipped Isom into the barricade before throwing him back inside the ring.
Castle spoke about how his mentor David Arquette won two Blockbuster Awards. Castle said Arquette told him what changes need to be made in ROH and he was trying to instill that in others, including Isom. Meanwhile, Isom came back and performed a flip dive of his own onto Lee on the floor.
Back in the ring, Isom dove off the top rope with a cross body block and got a near fall. Lee and Isom traded big boots. Lee put Isom down with a dropkick. Lee leapt over the top rope and threw a kick to Isom, who was seated in the corner heading into the final break. [C]
Lee performed a Poison Rana that Isom inexplicably popped right up from and put Lee down with a big clothesline. Lee got right up and performed a snap German suplex. Isom got right up, but Lee turned him inside out with a big clothesline.
Later, Lee went for a running knee that Isom blocked. Le ducked an enzuigiri and then connected with a knee to the back of Isom’s head that led to a near fall. Castle acted like he was crying and said the drama was too much for him. Isom rallied with a brainbuster for a good near fall. Isom went for the move again, but Lee avoided it and blasted him with a knee to the head. Lee held onto Isom’s wrist and hit him with another knee to the head. Lee hit a Nukadora for a near fall. Lee performed a running knee and scored the pin…
Dragon Lee defeated Eli Isom in 12:25 to retain the ROH TV Title.
After the match, Lee waited for Isom to get up and then shook his hand before leaving the ring…
Graphics for next week’s show listed Trish Adora vs. Miranda Alize, and Angelina Love vs. Rok-C in semifinal ROH Women’s Championship tournament matches, and Shane Taylor, Moses, Kaun, and O’Shay Edwards vs. Rush, Dragon Lee, Kenny King, and Bestia del Ring in an eight-man tag match…
Powell’s POV: A strong main event. I could have done without that sequence where they both shrugged off big moves, including a Poison Rana, but that’s pretty much become the norm in pro wrestling today. Castle was comical on commentary. Castle’s humor did take away from the intensity of the match at times, so I can see why some might be turned off by it, but I got a kick out of him and I’m happy that he didn’t interfere to set up his pay-per-view match with Isom.
Overall, this was a really enjoyable hour of television. The tournament matches were entertaining and very different from one another, and the main event was well worked. The women’s tournament is getting better with each round and I am really looking forward to next week’s semifinal matches. I will be back later today with my weekly ROH Wrestling audio review for Dot Net Members.