By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Ring of Honor Wrestling TV (Episode 522)
Taped in Baltimore, Maryland at Chesapeake Employers Insurance Arena
Aired September 18, 2021 in syndication and on SBG regional sports networks, available Mondays on FITE.TV
Quinn McKay checked in from the studio following the usual ROH opening. McKay said the show would be all about pure wrestling. She hyped the two matches… Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman checked in on commentary while ring announcer Bobby Cruise handled the introductions.
1. Eric Martin and World Famous CB in the opening stage of a Pure Rules gauntlet match. Brian Milonas sat in on commentary. Graphics listed the rules of the Pure Rules matches. Martin and CB shook hands to start the match. CB forced Martin two use all three rope breaks in the first 80 seconds of the match.
Martin fired up and threw a kick that knocked CB off the apron to the floor. Martin tossed CB back inside the ring. CB caught Martin in a submission hold and forced him to tap out. Milonas questioned what would happen if CB tried to put him in the same hold.
Eric Martin was eliminated by World Famous CB in 3:15.
Delirious made his entrance as the third match entrant. A graphic noted that Delirious trained CB and this was the first time they’ve met in an ROH ring. [C]
1b. World Famous CB vs. Delirious in the second stage of a Pure Rules gauntlet match. The match started coming out of the commercial break. CB caught Delirious in a head-scissors and forced him to use a rope break just under two minutes into the match. Delirious applied a Cobra Clutch, but CB was able to escape it.
CB performed a wicked suplex and went for a palm strike, but Delirious cut him off and reapplied the Cobra Clutch. Both men stood up. Delirious performed a Cobra Clutch suplex. The wrestlers traded near falls. Delirious applied the Cobra Clutch again. CB escaped, but Delirious countered into a leg lock submission hold and got the submission win. Riccaboni screamed while selling the submission hold as “disgusting” due to the way that CB’s arm bent.
World Famous CB was eliminated by Delirious in 5:32.
LSG made his entrance as the fourth entrant. [C]
1c. Delirious vs. LSG in the third stage of a Pure Rules gauntlet match. LSG offered a handshake, which Delirious accepted. Delirious’s lost rope break carried over per the rules of the gauntlet match. Delirious applied the Cobra Clutch and forced LSG to use a rope break roughly 90 seconds into the match.
LSG had a streak of offense. Delirious came back with a grapevine brainbuster for a near fall. LSG rallied and applied a Muta Lock in the middle of the ring. LSG grabbed Delirious’s right arm and pulled it across his throat, which forced Delirious to tap out with his free hand. The wrestlers shook hands afterward.
Delirious was eliminated by LSG in 5:20.
Joe Keys made his entrance as the fifth entrant in the match. [C]
1d. LSG vs. Joe Keys in the fourth stage of a Pure Rules gauntlet match. LSG was down one rope break coming out of his previous match. Keys was dominant early. He put LSG in a half crab and kicked his head. LSG used his second rope break. Keys performed three German suplexes. LSG grabbed the ropes to use his final rope break. Keys went for a superplex, but LSG fell onto him and scored the pin.
Joe Keys was eliminated by LSG in 4:37.
Brian Johnson made his entrance as the sixth and final entrant in the match. He had a mic and talked smack as he headed to the ring.
1e. LSG vs. Brian Johnson in the fifth and final stage of a Pure Rules gauntlet match. The wrestlers adhered to the Code of Honor while jawing at one another. Johnson held LSG’s hand and kicked him to start the match, which LSG started with no remaining rope breaks. LSG went on a quick flurry of offense and forced Johnson to use his first rope break roughly 40 seconds into the match.
Johnson stood on the apron and punched LSG. The referee gave him his one closed fist warning. Johnson dove onto LSG and used the ropes for leverage while pinning him. The broadcast team quickly explained that Johnson was able to use the ropes because LSG was out of rope breaks.
Brian Johnson defeated LSG in 1:03 to win the Pure Rules gauntlet match.
Afterward, Johnson offered a handshake, which LSG accepted. They jawed at one another again… A graphic listed the main event as coming up next… [C]
Powell’s POV: A good gauntlet match overall. The final match being so brief was underwhelming, but the idea of the loudmouth Johnson winning after getting lucky final spot in the match works for his character.
Entrances for the main event took place. Tracy Williams walked out with Rhett Titus, but he did not accompany him to ringside. Footage aired from ROH Best in the World of Jonathan Gresham beating Mike Bennett to retain the Pure Championship (which he has since lost to Josh Woods).
2. Mike Bennett vs. Rhett Titus in a Pure Rules match. Tracy Williams sat in on commentary. Bennett and Titus adhered to the Code of Honor. Titus rolled onto Bennett and got a two count heading into a break just a few minutes into the match with both wrestlers still having all three rope breaks. [C]
Titus put Bennett in a Boston Crab. Bennett reached the ropes to use his first rope break just over four minutes into the match. Bennett went for an armlock submission hold. Titus escaped the hold and pushed Bennett into the ropes, which was counted as Bennett’s second rope break. Williams sang the praises of the non-title Pure Rules matches having 15-minute time limits.
Bennett dropped Titus with a forearm to the face and then covered him. Titus grabbed the ropes to use his first rope break around 7:25. Bennett dropkicked the left leg of Titus and then attacked it with various moves heading into a break. [C]
Footage aired of Titus catching Bennett with a dropkick during the break to take offensive control. Titus hit a big boot in the corner and covered Bennett, who grabbed the bottom rope to use his final rope break. Titus wrenched on the head and neck of Bennett while in the ropes.
Titus performed a gut wrench suplex and covered Bennett for a two count. Titus went to the ropes. Bennett cut him off and applied an ankle lock while Titus was draped over the top rope. Bennett pulled Titus into the ring. Titus grabbed the bottom rope to use his second rope break around 12:10. Williams said Bennett applied the hold illegally because Titus was on the ropes.
Bennett went for a leg lock, but Titus pulled him into an inside cradle for a near fall. Titus set up for a move, but his left knee gave out. Bennett dropkicked his bad knee. Bennett went for a piledriver. Titus stuffed the move and went for a back body drop, but Bennett rolled through for a two count. Bennett caught Titus in an ankle lock. Titus rolled him into a pin for a two count to escape the hold.
Titus picked up another two count just before Bobby Cruise announced that there was one minute remaining in the match. Bennett performed a backslide for a two count. Titus and Bennett traded pin attempts. Titus ducked a clothesline and then hit one of his own. Bennett stood up and threw a clothesline. Both men stood up and clotheslined each other. They were both down when the time limit expired. The announcers debated who deserved the win.
Mike Bennett defeated Rhett Titus via split-decision in a 15:00 in a Pure Rules match.
The wrestlers adhered to the Code of Honor… Graphics listed PJ Black vs. Brian Johnson, and Brody King vs. Kenny King vs. Jay Lethal vs. Shane Taylor for next week…
Powell’s POV: Well, at least I think they were advertising those matches. They just listed those wrestlers in two separate graphics without offering any additional details. Anyway, the main event was well worked. I like that Pure Rules matches go to a decision because viewers are guaranteed a winner. I know they’ve said who the judges are in the past, but it would be a nice touch to actually see them. They could always pre-tape the judges in a location that viewers can’t see during the matches to make it seem like they are present even they are not.
Overall, a solid hour of television. This show was taped prior to the Death Before Dishonor pay-per-view, so the gimmick of going with a Pure Rules show helped make up for it not being a newsworthy show since they weren’t able to acknowledge the pay-per-view results. It also created a spot for some wrestlers who don’t get a lot of television time. My weekly ROH Wrestling audio review will be available for Dot Net Members on Wednesday.