ROH Summer Supercard
by Samoa Rowe
August 9, 2019
Ten bell salute for the late, great Harley Race.
From the Mattamy Athletic Centre, in Toronto, Ontario. The venue is a small arena with another pitiful turnout, as the floor seats are somewhat full and the lower bowl has scattered fans. When I'd look at tickets, the seating chart suggested a better turnout, so I'm guessing that many ticket resellers got burnt on this one. Our hosts are Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman.
Villain Enterprises (Brody King and PCO) vs. The Kingdom (Vinny Marseglia and TK O'Ryan)
The Bouncers are hanging out in the front row, perhaps looking for payback after Marseglia put a cigar out on Bruiser's chest. I'm really distracted by all the empty seats in the background as PCO dukes it out with O'Ryan. King and Marseglia make tags and club away at each other's ugly tattoos. It's all Villain Enterprises until PCO takes a double flapjack neck-first onto the top rope. The fans get behind PCO as he gets worked over by the Kingdom, including many cheap shots to his one good eye. King gets the hot tag and runs wild through the Kingdom, hitting a somersault senton off the apron, and then monkey flipping PCO off the apron in an assist! PCO hits the pop-up powerbomb on O'Ryan, but Marseglia breaks the cover with a Swanton Bomb. Marseglia outsmarts PCO to cause him to wipe King out with a dive. The Kingdom trashtalk the Bouncers (remember them?) and hit stereo dives of their own. PCO kicks out after taking a spinebuster and frog splash. King catches O'Ryan with the Gonzo Bomb, and PCO finishes with his moonsault at 10:11! This was a straightforward formula tag match with some cool spots sprinkled in, **¾.
Winners: Villain Enterprises
The Bouncers gloat over the Kingdom's loss. Marseglia pulls Bruiser's comically sized cigar out of his mouth and Brian Milonas retaliates with a spray of beer, and the brawl is on! Security breaks it up before the Bouncers can dish out a satisfying ass-kicking, so they'll have to try again another day.
Rhett Titus joins commentary because why not?
PJ Black vs. Silas Young
Young picked up a quick victory over Black at Mass Hysteria, so Black is trying to get himself into the 50/50 club. Young shows up in his street clothes and tipsy. He claims he didn't know the match was so early and since he already beat Black, feels like he doesn't have to do it again. Black needs a new opponent, and Marty Scurll answers the call to a big reaction from the fans.
PJ Black vs. Marty Scurll
This is a nice upgrade from the previously scheduled match, so I guess sometimes a bait and switch is a good thing! Scurll swings and misses his umbrella. Black answers with a roundhouse kick and springboard crossbody for 2. Black hyperextends Scurll's arm with a stomp to the wrist. Black rolls on with a superplex and springboard moonsault for 2. Black misses an ax handle and Scurll capitalizes with a German suplex. Scurll sends Black sailing with an uppercut and superkick on the apron. Tornado DDT by Scurll gets 2, as does a powerbomb into a pin. Scurll signals the end, but Black catches him off guard with a top rope Spanish fly trap and Ace Cutter for 2. Springboard moonsault gets another nearfall for Black, but not too many fans bought it. Scurll counters a second moonsault, but Black no-sells with a superkick. Scurll is mad and snaps the fingers. They trade pinning predicaments and hard blows until Scurll hits Black Plague for the win at 8:02. Good exhibition match with some surprising intensity, **¾.
Winner: Marty Scurll
Women of Honor Championship:
Kelly Klein © vs. Tasha Steelz
Bell rings and they exchange waistlock takedown blocks. Klein blocks a cutter, but Tasha dropkicks her into the corner, where Kelly reverses into a powerbomb! Klein applies a chinlock with only about 1:00 gone, but Tasha breaks it only to eat a clothesline. Tasha is selling as if they've been wrestling for a long time, but manages a rana, but Kelly cuts her off with a big boot. The match is beginning to feel really aimless as Tasha hits some jabs and drives Kelly off the apron. Tasha botches a dive, but Kelly is nice enough to catch her and sell it anyway. They switch to “late match drama” stuff, like trading shots while getting on their feet, which does not feel earned or warranted one bit. Klein puts together a string of offense, including nearly killing Tasha with a messy Saito Suplex. Klein hits another pair of dangerous looking suplexes, and I'm sincerely worried for Steelz' safety. Tasha kicks out and successfully hits her patented cutter, but Klein rolls into the ropes. Klein snapmares her way out of a sleeper and hits K-Power for the win at 8:14. I like Klein and want this division to succeed, but these matches continue to be complete death more often than not, *.
Winner and still WOH Champion: Kelly Klein
Klein puts over Tasha's effort in a show of respect, making herself an easy target for an Angelina Love run-in.
Jonathan Gresham and Jay Lethal vs. Life Blood (Bandido and Mark Haskins)
Haskins and Gresham show off their technical wrestling chops, with Gresham cleverly crossing his own legs to escape a leg submission. Gresham seems to take joy in flipping his way out of holds, which begins to irritate Haskins. Gresham disrespects Haskins by kicking his hand away from a handshake and cooly tags in Lethal. Bandido and the fans ask for a tag, and the masked man and Lethal have an epic staredown before locking up. They have an even exchange resulting in a hot stalemate and crowd ovation. Life Blood double team Lethal with a power bomb variation and superkicks, and take control with ground and pound offense. Gresham makes a blind tag and catches Haskins by surprise with a delayed German suplex! Gresham resumes annoying Haskins with painful and disrespectful submission holds. Lethal continues to roll with a high elevation drop, but Bandido tags in. Gresham goes nuts, cutting off Bandido's dive and smashing him around ringside. Lethal prevents Gresham from using a chair and gets shoved down by his own partner. Bandido sneaks away for a tag and Haskins surprises Lethal with a dive. Lethal tries to save Gresham with a blind tag, but Haskins counters the Cornette Cutter with by slamming Gresham onto Lethal. Haskin's Falcon Arrow gets 2 on Lethal, making it something like 503,050 consecutive times that move has failed to end a match. Bandido frog splashes Lethal but Gresham still cares enough to break the cover. Lethal and Gresham overwhelm Haskins but can't get a pinfall, and Lethal manages a Figure Four in the center of the ring. Bandido breaks the hold via powerbomb on Gresham! Bandido and Gresham stumble into a slugfest until Bandido elevates him for a neckbreaker. Bandido hits Lethal with an X Knee and 21 plex. Lethal is easy pickings for Haskins' Sharpshooter for the submission at 19:31. This provided great action and nicely told the story of dissension between Lethal and Gresham, ****.
Winners: Life Blood
Tracy Williams makes an entrance for his scheduled TV title match and gets ambushed by Flip Gordon wielding a Singapore cane. The match is post-poned and the crowd is pissed.
Dalton Castle vs. Rush
Castle enters with a pair of boys wearing cow masks and ceremoniously beats them up while pretending to be a matador. Rush is none too amused and cuts off Castle's immediate Bulls Horns attempt with a clothesline and bats him around ringside. Rush dropkicks the back of the head and bows for the fans. Rush applies a chinlock with only about 2:00 gone and follows with a draping armbreaker and a disrespectful heel kick. Castle tries to leave but Rush violently whips him through a metal rail. Rush dominates for several minutes before Castle uses a chair to get himself back into the fight. Castle seats Rush for a dropkick and poses like Rush. Castle continues the assault with a sick backdrop on the floor. Rush blocks a suplex so Castle slams him onto some front row fans. I wonder if ROH officials are sick of having to bribe fans to avoid lawsuits yet. Castle finds time to pose for a fan selfie before bringing Rush back in with a backbreaker. Castle hits another slam and rubs his face with Rush' hand. Rush hulks up and delivers a snap German suplex and powerbomb onto the timekeepers table in short order. Rush throws a chair at Castle's head, in a dangerous unprotected fashion, and fills the ring with plunder. Rush no-sells some garbage can shots and delivers another suplex. Bulls Horns finishes Castle at 15:17! Man, it ended just as it was heating up. I enjoyed watching both guys disrespect each other, but this was mostly one sided in either guy's favor for long stretches and not all that competitive. Rush still looks awesome in victory and should be in line for an ROH title match, ***.
Tracy Williams, clutching his shoulder, marches to the ring and wants a do-over. It doesn't matter if Flip Gordon rips his arm off, he still wants Shane Taylor's big ass.
ROH Television Championship:
Shane Taylor © vs. Tracy Williams
Williams is fighting with one good arm as he's in there “against doctor's orders.” Taylor quickly capitalizes with body shots. Williams answers with the same draping armbreaker that Rush used in the previous match. Taylor recovers and tosses Williams into the guard rail to aggravate the bad shoulder. Williams desperately blocks a superplex and nails a frog splash for 2. Taylor answers with a sick looking headbutt. Taylor misses a diving headbutt and Williams rolls him into a crossface. Taylor gets caught on the top rope with chops to the back of his legs and Williams scores a top rope Angle slam! Williams looks for a piledriver but can't due to Taylor's size and his own bad shoulder. Taylor catches him in the Package Piledriver for the win at 8:23. Good underdog performance by Williams. Taylor continues to surprise me with the quality of his title defenses, ***.
Winner and still ROH TV Champion: Shane Taylor
Video package highlighting ROH's most recent "major free agent" signing, Joe Hendry. I don't know much about this guy other than he's an allegedly great talker and had a run in Impact Wrestling. ROH is still in desperate need of some breakout stars, so he seems like a guy worth taking a chance on.
Cavernario, Templaro, and Hechicero vs. Soberano Jr., Stuka Jr., and Caristico
This is a CMLL showcase match. I'm not familiar with any of the participants, so I apologize in advance for what will likely be a lousy recap. Silas Young joins commentary to scout the competition. Stuka Jr. starts against Hechicero with a lively back and forth exchange and CHOPPING. Stuka hits a backbreaker and almost botches a rana into a nearfall. Caristico gets a tag and shows off his speed to avoid a double team. The match breaks down at 2:30 with guys running in to hit their high flying spots. Bodies crash and burn to the floor and the crowd gives them an ovation. Match restarts with Hechicero cutting off Soberano with a spin drop. Cavernario, playing a caveman gimmick, gets a shine as his team takes control. Soberano cleverly escapes a triple team situation and Caristico gets a hot tag, hitting a dazzling springboard armdrag. Soberano returns for a lighting quick exchange with Templaro. Soberano suffers a top rope flapjack variation, and quick tags are made as Hechicero and Stuka resume trading finisher attempts. Stuka and Soberano hit top rope dives to the floor, leaving Cavernario and Caristico to duke it out. Cavernario viciously blocks a moonsault with his boots but Caristico answers with a top rope armdrag for 2. Caristico applies his patented armbar and gets a quick submission at 11:51! Great showcase match that was basically these six guys giving viewers their business card and giving us a reason to tune in to the upcoming Global Wars tour, ***¼.
Winners: Caristico, Soberano Jr., and Stuka Jr.
ROH World Championship:
Matt Taven © vs. Alex Shelley
Shelley recently returned from a long hiatus and played the “veterans card” to demand a title shot. I have strong mixed feelings about Matt Taven's ROH title reign. I was against him getting the belt at G1 Supercard and against him retaining at Best in the World against Jeff Cobb. However, I must admit, that more often than not, Taven's title defenses have been highly entertaining, particularly against Mark Haskins and PCO. Despite this, Taven's reign is having a disastrous effect on ROH's business, so I could see them cutting their losses with a title change here or at the very least need to be putting together a plan to get the gold off of him soon (cough, RUSH, cough).
Bell rings, they shake hands, engage in chain wrestling, and Taven ruins the mood with a slap to the face. They resume chain wrestling and Taven gets spooked by some pinning combinations. Taven looks for the Climax but it's continually blocked and countered. Shelley cuts Taven off with a simple palm thrust and applies a CHINLOCK! The fans amuse themselves with sarcastic counting. Taven escapes but Shelley dropkicks his previously injured knee. The fight heads to the floor, where Shelley hits a flying knee to the back of the head. Shelley wipes his hand on a fan's t-shirt in between dishing out open hand chops. There's a fan passed out in the front row and Shelley steals his shoe to use as a weapon (crowd chants “Wake him up!”). What a perfect metaphor for Taven's reign, amirite? Shelley attempts Sliced Bread off the ring post but Taven counters with a BRUTAL power slam through the timekeeper's table! Shelley smells blood and follows with a sick backbreaker for a 2 count. Taven applies a bow and arrow stretch but Shelley escapes, only for Tavne to hit another pair of backbreakers. Taven's spinning neckbreaker is only good for 2, and the crowd is starting to get behind Shelley, who answers with a DDT onto the ring frame! Taven splashes water in Shelley's face, but it matters not, as Shelley DDT's him into the guard rail, followed by a backbreaker. Desperation enziguri by Taven over the rail, followed by a running dive into the crowd. Shelley no-sells a frog splash and dishes out a powerslam for a good 2 count. Shelley hits another slam and Taven flips him the bird. Shelley hits a superkick and Sliced Bread #2 but Taven kicks out! Shelley rolls right into a crossface, but Taven reverses and hits a penalty kick. Taven hits Climax, but Shelley counters the pin, but a second Climax ends it at 18:02. This was an overwhelming solid match that breezed by. Everytime Taven has a good ROH title match, I die a little bit inside, ***½.
Winner and still ROH World Champion: Matt Taven
Taven grabs a mic and gloats about all the success he's having as champion. He's interrupted by none other than Rush! Taven acts like this is no big deal and scoots from the ring without any contact. Rush stands tall, clearly setting Taven in his sights. Please, please, PLEASE switch the title.
ROH Tag Team Championship (Ladder War):
Jay and Mark Briscoe © vs. Guerillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa)
Bell rings and both teams immediately start swinging chairs. Tonga quickly gets tossed over the ropes for a hard bump. G.o.D. manage to gain control of the brawl when Tonga backdrops Mark onto a table. Jay pummels Loa onto a table on the floor and places a ladder on him for an insane dive by Mark! Crowd chants This is awesome" as they brawl around ringside. The Briscoes manage to put G.o.D. through half set tables. Tonga responds with a shotgun dropkick that sends Mark crashing into the first row. Loa backdrops Jay onto a chair. G.o.D. dish out more weapon shots and bust open the Briscoes. The Briscoes take a prolonged beating before Mark desperately puts Loa through a ringside table with a blockbuster! Jay is a bloody mess as he squares off with Tonga to a “fight forever” chant. They duel with chairs and Tonga hits a nasty suplex, but Jay answers with a lariat. Jay puts Tonga through a table with a J-Drilla! Mark wakes up and brings in a ladder but can't put Loa through it. Loa powerbombs Jay through the ladder instead! Mark leaps off the top rope for a chair shot on Loa. Mark sets Loa on a ringside table and climbs a tall ladder to deliver a HIGH ELEVATION SPLASH! Mark pops up and quickly sets up an unbroken ladder to climb for the gold, but Tonga climbs a draped ladder up from the floor to catch him with a cutter! Tonga and Jay duke it out on top of the ladder and both men get their hands on the gold. Jay headbutts Tonga off and retrieves the titles at 21:58! Crowd is pleased with this outcome. While not reinventing the wheel or anything, this was another satisfying hate-fueled brawl and worthy sequel to their Manhattan Mayhem war, ****.
Winners and still ROH Tag Team Champions: The Briscoes
Final Thoughts: This was a good show that seems to end the chapter of ROH that stretched from G1 Supercard until tonight. The CMLL guys and Rush' elevation provided some fresh energy. Thumbs Up
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