ROH Mass Hysteria
July 21, 2019
by Samoa Rowe
From the Lowell Memorial Auditorium in Lowell, Massachusetts. Our hosts are Colt Cabana, Ian Riccaboni, and Caprice Coleman. I frequently attending live events at this venue, but was unavailable for this one, so I kind of hope this is good, but not "too good" if you know what I mean.
ROH World Tag Team Championship:
New Hampshire's Brian Milonas gets a "hometown" title shot. The Bouncers, despite their huge size advantage, are massive underdogs here, and initiate the brawl. Bruiser nearly kills a Briscoe with a somersault senton off the apron, but the Briscoes come back with a combination and dive and flying attacks. Mark summons his inner Sabu by leaping off a chair for a springboard dive. Mark hits the froggy elbow but Milonas catches him in a dive and smashes him around ringside. Milonas appears exhausted after hitting his patented slam and smashes his sizable rear into Jay's face. The fans get behind the Briscoes as Mark gets a hot tag. The match breaks down and they all go down (crowd is quiet after some sloppy spots and miscues). The Briscoes prevent the Last Call and Jay powerbombs Milonas off the turnbuckles to set up Mark's froggy elbow for the win at 9:08. Rough opener here that well missed the mark, *½.
Jay and Mark Briscoe © vs. The Bouncers (Beer City Bruiser and Brian Milonas)
Winners and still ROH Tag Team Champions: Jay and Mark Briscoe
The Bouncers show respect to the Briscoes with a Toast of Honor beer ceremony. These guys are just happy to be here. Briscoes enjoy their beer and play nice, so maybe they are softening their heel disposition. The lights go out and the Guerrillas of Destiny sneak in to ambush the Briscoes with their IWGP Tag Team titles. The fans give them a superstar reception, since they're from New Japan. The Briscoes are left in a bloody heap and are unquestionably babyfaces again.
A heel manager playing a trust fund brat named Jared Silversomethingoranother puts over his client, Thrill Ride Jimmy Preston.
Jimmy Preston (with Jared Silver-cannotfindoutwhoheisonGoogle) vs. Christian Casanova
The fans know Casanova from Beyond Wrestling and are on his side. Casanova quickly hits a flying crossbody for 2. He then gets Preston's legs stuck on the ropes for a guillotine leg drop. Jared interferes and allows Thrillhouse to take over with a power slam. Casanova throws some soft chops and hits a springboard crossbody to get back into it. Preston answers with an Angle Slam for 2. Casanova hits a Pele Kick, thrust knee strike, and low DDT for a nearfall. Preston counters with an ugly slam for 2. Casanova's Code Breaker sets up a top rope ax kick for the win at 5:45. Not a spotfest, but just a sequence of spots. There is a difference, I swear. Dark match quality here, *½.
Winner: Christian Casanova
Silas Young vs. PJ Black
Bell rings and they start with a standard chain wrestling sequence (hammerlocks, side headlocks, etc). Young takes the fight to ringside and brings Black back in with a leaping double stomp. Young knees the head and applies a chinlock. Snap suplex by Young gets 1 so he reapplies the chinlock. Black escapes and hits a series of elbows off the top rope and a flying crossbody. Black's springboard moonsault gets 2. Black's top rope Spanish Fly also gets 2. Young avoids a springboard 450 and hits Misery for the clean win at 6:26. Total house show match, **.
Winner: Silas Young
Women of Honor Champion Kelly Klein replaces Colt Cabana on commentary for the women's match.
Tasha Steelz vs. Karissa Rivera vs. Angelina Love (with Velvet Sky)
The Allure take time to trash talk everyone on the mic, making Love an easy target early on. Love tosses Steelz to attempt a stolen pinfall on Rivera with only 1:00 gone. Love's sunset flip gets 1 and Rivera pops up for a shotgun dropkick. Steelz returns and trades pinning predicaments with Love until eating a flatliner and then a Koji Clutch. Steelz gets the ropes, and hits Sliced Bread #2 on Rivera for 1, as Love breaks it up. Rivera countes Love with a Samoan Drop. Love catches Steelz and Rivera in a sloppy Tower of Doom but can't gain a pinfall. Steelz tosses Love in order to hit Rivera with her patented neckbreaker for the win at 6:07. Match was just random noise, *.
Winner: Tasha Steelz
Sky blindsides Steelz and Kelly Klein charges the ring to chase out the Allure. Klein and Steelz have a forceful handshake (they'll be facing each other at Summer Supercard) when the lights go out. The lights return to reveal Maria Manic, who beats up Rivera and foils a save attempt by Sumie Sakai. Maria beats up security for good measure, which the crowd actually pops for.
Kenny King vs. Dragon Lee
King is mad at coming up short in last night's ROH title match and refuses the Code of Honor. King breaks a wrist lock with an arm drag and takes a break to yell at the camera in Spanish. Match restarts with Lee getting the break and posing in a resting position. The pace quickens as Lee maneuvers into a single leg dropkick. Lee sits King in the turnbuckles for a Golden Globes variation. Lee hits a headscissors but King has his flying scouted and throws Lee over the rail onto some fans. King proclaims himself to be a luchadore as he works Lee over. King's cocky pin attempt is too disrespectful for Lee, who mounts a comeback with a running head scissors and is able to connect with his torpedo suicida. Lee's shotgun dropkick sets up a corner dropkick for 2. Amy Rose distracts from ringside and King nails a chin checker and Blue Thunder Bomb for 2. Lee recovers with a slingshot single leg dropkick. They trade stiff shots with King absorbing a German suplex and superkick and bouncing up to hit a nasty spinebuster. After numerous one star matches, the fans are eager to reward these two with a "This is awesome" chant. Lee hits a DDT but King catches him on the top rope with an uppercut. Lee puts King in a tree of woe for a double stomp for 2! Amy Rose distracts again, allowing King to hit the Royal Flush for the win at 12:57. Really good match with nicely executed back and forth action. The finish doesn't really hurt much, ***.
Winner: Kenny King
ROH Television Championship:
Not sure what Isom has accomplished to warrant a title match, but here we go. Isom attempts the Code of Honor but Taylor spits in his hand. Isom goes into survival mode, hitting numerous strikes, but Taylor easily knocks him out of the air with a shoulder tackle variation. Taylor (slips and) catches Isom in a dive, but Isom recovers with dropkicks. Taylor wants another dive, but Taylor pulls him out by the ankles for a splat on the floor. Taylor seats Isom in the corner for running knees into the barricade, which Isom admirably sells like death. Taylor continues to absolutely murder Isom in the beatdown, throwing him off the apron. Taylor soon misses a diving headbutt and Isom takes the opening for a desperate comeback. Isom's springboard moonsault off the turnbuckles to the floor pops the crowd. Isom's Lights Out frog splash gets 2, as does a DDT counter. Isom lifts the much bigger Taylor onto his shoulders for a slam that gets an extremely close 2.999 count. Isom absorbs a stiff punch from Taylor and unloads a flurry of punches, but Taylor nails a powerbomb and package piledriver, but ISOM KICKS OUT! Crowd goes crazy for that kickout! Taylor defiantly hits a second package piledriver for the win at 12:55! This was so much better than I was expecting, with Isom playing a great sympathetic underdog and Taylor looking monstrous in victory, ***¼.
Shane Taylor © vs. Eli Isom (with Cheeseburger)
Winner and still ROH Television Champion: Shane Taylor
Life Blood (Bandido and Mark Haskins, with Tracy Williams) vs. Villain Enterprises (Marty Scurll and PCO, with Flip Gordon)
Scurll seems to be quietly biding his time until his contract expires and he can join his fellow Elite friends in AEW. He starts off feeling out Bandido, who probably will also be AEW-bound in the future. Haskins and PCO tag in for an aggressive, almost joyful battle. PCO catches Haskins on the floor for a Scurll superkick and drives him into the barricade. Villain Enterprises work Haskins over, making quick tags and rapid double team attacks. Bandido gets a hot tag and catches Scurll with an axe knee for 2. Life Blood's blind tag, allows Haskins to hit Scurll with a Falcon Arrow and Bandido nails a moonsault. Scurll misses a superkick and hits PCO, allowing Life Blood to deliver stereo dives! Haskins slams Scurll, and assists Bandido in hitting a standing double stomp for 2! PCO tags and catches Bandido in a pop-up powerbomb. PCO's package piledriver on Bandido only gets 2. Scurll puts Bandido in a Cambridge Crab for PCO's flying legdrop! PCO wipes Haskins out with a dive, while Scurll hits a nasty Dragon suplex on Bandido for 2. PCO hits a skyscraper senton on Bandido but Haskins breaks the cover. Bandido hits desperation superkicks and counters PCO's flying attack with a power slam! PCO completely no-sells the slam and drops Bandido to "he's not human" chants. Bandido hits a Spanish Fly on PCO off the top rope for only 2! Flip Gordon ambushes Bandido, allowing Scurll to apply the crossface chickenwing for the win at 13:17. Just a joyful, high energy tag match that tore the house down. This is the first match of the night that I regret having missed live. The interference finish did not hurt it either, ***¾.
Winners: Villain Enterprises
Dalton Castle vs. Rush
These two are finally meeting again after Rush beat Castle in seconds at MSG. Bell rings and Castle immediately flees to ringside, seemingly determined to force the match to exceed the original. Castle returns and Rush has the opportunity to hit the Bulls Horns, but mockingly kicks Castle instead. Rush enjoys himself while showboating and toying with Castle, at least until Castle drives him into the barricade and counters with a rana off the apron. Rush does a nice job selling as Castle works him over. Rush finally has enough and spits at Castle before hitting a snap suplex. Rush batters Castle around ringside and empties a trashcan full of streamers onto him. Castle desperately swings Rush's chair but to no avail. Castle hits a blatant low blow at 9:58 to earn a DQ. Rush goes down like a rock, making himself an easy target for Castle's chair shots. This was going well up to the non-finish, with Rush doing well to draw sympathy and Castle looking ruthless, **½.
Winner via DQ: Rush
Jonathan Gresham, Jay Lethal, and Alex Shelley vs. The Kingdom (ROH World Champion Matt Taven, Vinny Marseglia, and TK O'Ryan)
Shelley is making a comeback after a lengthy absence and is gunning for Taven's ROH title at the upcoming Summer Supercard. Shelley wants Taven, but has to deal with Marseglia instead. They reach a stalemate after rapid head scissor counters. Lethal and O'Ryan make tags and feel one another out. They trade hip tosses, Lethal misses a springboard dropkick, and O'Ryan sends him packing to ringside. O'Ryan dares Lethal to tag in his "understudy" Gresham, and Taven is eager for a tag to face the Octopus. The pace quickens, and Gresham catches Taven in a springboard rana, but Taven answers with a discus clothesline. The Kingdom isolate Gresham just like heels are supposed to. Shelley gets a hot tag and takes out O'Ryan and Marseglia with a high crossbody. Lethal assists Shelley with an enziguri/DDT combo. Shelley puts O'Ryan and Marseglia in a single leg crab, but Taven breaks it up. Shelley delivers testicular claws while the ref's back is turned and nearly finishes O'Ryan with a mandible claw! O'Ryan becomes the hometown heel in peril. Marseglia interferes, but Shelley puts him in the Paradise Lock. O'Ryan hits a series of counters on the floor to buy enough space for a hot tag to Marseglia. The Kingdom pop the crowd with dives onto the "good guys." Marseglia runs wild, countering the Lethal Injection for a good nearfall. Shelley saves Lethal from being double teamed by taking the fight to Taven. Gresham and O'Ryan duke it out until Lethal assists with the Cornette Cutter for 2. Shelley makes a blind tag while Lethal and Gresham take care of Marseglia and Taven with dives, leaving him alone to make O'Ryan tap out to the Border City Stretch at 18:15! Good crowd pleasing main event here, though a tad bit "house showy" in feel, ***.
Winners: Alex Shelley, Jay Lethal, and Jonathan Gresham
Final Thoughts: This was a house show, even if ROH would claim otherwise. The second half was full of entertaining matches and good action, so while it was skippable, it provided enough entertainment value to warrant a mild recommendation. Just skip the undercard.
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