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ROH: Best in the World
by Samoa Rowe
July 11, 2021
Live from the Chesapeake Employers Insurance Arena in Baltimore, Maryland, with about 500 socially distanced fans in attendance. Our hosts are Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman.
PJ Black and Brian Johnson vs. Jay and Mark Briscoe
Johnson has 16 months' worth of pent up rage and lets the fans know all about it in a long winded promo. The Briscoes are lovable babyfaces yet again and respond to Johnson's insults with a hot start. Mark hits a step up senton off a chair to ringside. Johnson is already in a daze and gets worked over by the Briscoes' tandem offense. Black tags in for a flying crossbody on Mark. Jay gets a timely tag and aggressively slugs it out with Johnson. The Briscoes suffer a miscue, allowing a nearfall for Johnson, but Jay recovers with a superkick. Black interrupts the Doomsday Device, Johnson hits a piledriver, and Black's springboard 450 gets 2. Mark helps with a blockbuster off of the apron, followed by a Cactus elbow drop. The J-Driller and Froggy Elbow put Black away at 8:05. Not bad, just a pretty straight forward Briscoes victory, **½.
Winners: The Briscoes
Flip Gordon vs. EC3
They shake hands, Flip goes right for a headlock, but gets swatted off. They exchange holds, Flip kips up after a shoulder block. EC3 hits a second tackle, Flip chop blocks his knee. EC3 chops the chest, but Gordon kicks his knee out from under him. Flip works over the knee while the announcers credit his improved focus after quitting social media (what a relief for the rest of us). EC3 fights back with chops, but Flip kips up in order to hit an enziguri. EC3 answers with a Thesz press, and then a fireman's carry drop onto his knee. Flip rolls to safety while EC3 realizes he shouldn't have sacrificed his bad knee. Flip resumes attacking the knee and locks on an STF. EC3 escapes and hits a superplex. Flip soon springboards into a knife edge chop, and EC3 nails a powerbomb, but is too hurt to go for a cover. EC3 laughs off Flip's superkick and hits a butterfly driver and wins with a crossface at 11:33. Solid, if unspectacular match, that was all about a knee injury storyline that ended up not being important when it was over, **.
Flip rejects the Code of Honor and slaps EC3 in the face. EC3 stubbornly asks for a handshake again, so Flip spits at him and leaves.
ROH Six Man Tag Team Championship:
Shane Taylor Promotions © (Shane Taylor, Kaun, and Moses, with O'Shay Edwards) vs. Dalton Castle (with The Boys), Eli Isom, and Dak Draper
Six Man tag titles are the most useless belts in any promotion. I would so much prefer it if these companies would just hold annual trios tournaments like CHIKARA instead. Oh well. Draper starts but flies into a dropkick counter. Isom tags in and has trouble against the bigger Moses. Castle steps up as team leader, but Moses corners him too. Castle dumps Moses with a low bridge, and showboats with the Boys. Castle gets carried away and doesn't see Shane casually walk over to sock him from behind. Isom tags and runs into Taylor's spinebuster. STP attempt to cut the ring in half, but cheating babyface interference results in a tag to a fresh Draper. The challengers look to be in a winning position, but Isom and Castle start arguing. Moses tags and takes Draper down with a crossbody. Moses cannonballs off of the apron onto Castle and Isom. Draper recovers with a jackhammer slam on Moses. Shane returns and nails Draper with a gnarly headbutt. Taylor hits a driver, but Isom breaks the cover. Isom hits a Samoan Drop variation on Shane, but has to stop to push his own partner, Castle, off the top rope. Kaun hits a super jackhammer, leading to a breakdown sequence, resulting in Taylor's piledriver to win at 10:57! Pretty average match, although Shane Taylor Promotions look impressive in victory, **¼.
Winners and still ROH Six Man Tag Team Champions: Shane Taylor Promotions
Coleman and Riccaboni get caught on camera playing with the new ROH Honor Pals stuffed toys. I'd be lying if I said I didn't want one.
Last Man Standing:
Silas Young vs. Josh Woods
Woods assaults Young during his entrance and the match starts in the aisle. Young recovers with a springboard clothesline. Woods fires back with a German suplex. Woods almost slips, but manages a lariat/backbreaker combo. They resume brawling at ringside, Woods slams Young into the ring post. Woods sets a table in the corner, softens Young up with running attacks, but Young counters with a spear through the table! Woods comes back with a Gorilla Lock! Silas won't tap, so Woods stacks some tables at ringside. Young gets up and looks for a cannonball through a chair, but Woods reverses with a powerbomb into a leaning ladder. Woods fills the ring with chairs, but Young cuts him off with shoulder thrusts. Young hits a backbreaker and leaves Woods sitting in the ropes for a vicious chairshot. Young hits a TKO onto some chairs. Woods rolls off the apron onto his feet to beat the count. They slug it out on the apron until Woods hits a German suplex through two tables! Woods pulls himself up before the 10 count and wins at 14:05! Standard brawl, but that finish was pretty cool, ***.
Winner: Josh Woods
Quinn McKay talks to Matt Taven about the beating he took from The Righteous on the preshow. Taven still wants a cage match with VINCENT. This might have been the worst day of his life, but he knows this will all come to an end at Glory By Honor.
Brody King vs. Jay Lethal (with Tracy Williams)
Lethal engages the bigger King in a firefight to start. Lethal hits an early Lethal Injection for only 1. Lethal hits a tope suicida to knock King into the rail, but not off his feet. King back body drops Lethal over the ropes for a breather. King takes over with brutal chops. Lethal counters with a desperation powerbomb, but King blocks the Figure Four. Snap piledriver by King, but Lethal rolls to ringside in search of safety. King pursues and smashes him into a chair for a running crossbody against the barricade! Lethal can't seem to get back into it and King nails a vicious lariat and Ganso Bomb. “This MFer is a dead man” states King, right before hitting a second Ganso Bomb to finish at 10:42! Serious statement victory for King, Lethal put him over and then some, **¾.
Winner: Brody King
ROH Pure Championship:
Jonathan Gresham © vs. Mike Bennett
They pace themselves with some friendly chain wrestling. Bennett gets the best of the exchange and forces Gresham to use a rope break to escape the London Dungeon. Gresham goes after the arm and twists it into some disgusting angles. Gresham makes Bennett tap out to a Kimura, but it doesn't count because it occurs at ringside. Gresham at least manages to drag Bennett into the ring to force a rope break. Bennett answers with the London Dungeon, and Gresham burns his second rope break. Bennett hits a frantic Spicoli Driver for 2, and reapplies the London Dungeon. Gresham counters into a roll-up, but Bennett stops him with a lariat. Gresham reverses a piledriver into a backdrop, and puts Bennett through the wringer, despite selling various injuries. Bennett has to use his last rope break to earn some respite. Gresham resumes his assault, until he flies into Bennett's superkick, followed by a powerbomb and lariat! Gresham answers with a crossface, and Bennett is out of rope breaks. Bennett powers to his feet and cannonballs Gresham into the buckles in a backpack position! Bennett strings together a brutal series of holds and gets a 3 count that gets waved off due to Gresham's foot being under the ropes. A few fans are vocally anguished. Gresham senses he's in trouble and puts Bennett into a devastating knee bar to win at 19:21! Really fun chess match that made great use of the Pure rules, and elevated both men, ***¾.
Winner and still ROH Pure Champion: Jonathan Gresham
Backstage, the Foundation are fretting that Lethal got hurt against King and cannot defend the tag titles, so Jonathan Gresham needs to perform double duty.
ROH Television Championship:
Tony Deppen © vs. Dragon Lee (with Bestia Del Ring)
These guys are strapped for time and aggressively tear into each other at the bell. They light each other up like they owe money or something. Deppen scores a brutal reverse suplex on the floor. Deppen hits a flying sunset flip bomb! Deppen follows with a low lariat to the back of the head for only 2. Lee shakes it off (er, no-sells) and pummels Deppen into the corner for a running dropkick. Deppen no-sells as well, but gets caught in a tree of woe flying double stomp off of the apron! They frantically trade counters and Deppen hits another sunset flip into a cover. Kenny King shows up for a distraction. Lee and Deppen absurdly trade German suplexes in a burst of adrenaline. Poison rana by Lee, but Deppen pops up for a decapitation lariat, and they both go down for a standing ovation. They slug their way back to their feet, and Lee hits a nasty Dragon Driver for a great nearfall. They exchange more stiff blows, and Lee delivers a tight Falcon Arrow and Incineration to win at 10:16. I know I nitpicked about them no-selling early on, but that can be waved away by the story of both guys powering through an adrenaline rush for 10 minutes. Tremendous, nonstop action, ****.
Winner and new ROH TV Champion: Dragon Lee
Faction warfare results in an immediate start to the Tag Title match.
ROH Tag Team Championship:
The Foundation © (Rhett Titus and Jonathan Gresham) vs. VLNCE UNLTD (Homicide and Chris Dickinson)
The bell rings in the midst of a wild brawl and there appears to be no rules, as Dickinson throws TItus through a chair. Gresham puts Homicide into an abdominal stretch, and then dropkicks the vet to ringside. Titus puts Homicide through a table with a falcon arrow! Homicide yells “My ribs! I hate you, man!” Dickinson chokes Gresham and drops a knee to the throat. The match totally breaks down with all four guys blatantly in the ring at once, but it doesn't seem like a problem because no one on commentary makes catty comments about it. More importantly, it gets over with the fans in attendance. Titus hits Dickinson with a chair assisted dropkick and then hits Homicide with a chair assisted belly to belly suplex. Gresham puts Homicide into an octopus and Titus hits cheap shots, until Dickinson plows through them. Dickinson and Homicide swarm Gresham and nearly finish him with a deep chinlock. Homicide grabs a fork and declares "Imma cut this MFer" but Titus cuts him off with a gut wrench suplex. Dickinson overpowers Titus and puts him through a table with a SUPER RAZOR'S EDGE! Homicide destroys Gresham with a Cop Killa and wins at 10:59! Just a relentlessly shameless and awesome stunt show, ****.
Winners and new ROH Tag Team Champions: Homicide and Chris Dickinson
Maria Kanellis-Bennett and Lenny Leonard promote the upcoming ROH Women's Championship tournament. Chelsea Green then debuts and cuts a big time promo putting the other competitors on notice.
ROH World Championship:
Rush © (with La Faccion Ingobernoble) vs. Bandido
They tease a squash with Rush hitting an instant Bull Horns and nearly winning in under 20 seconds. Rush hauls Bandido to ringside and smashes him against the barricade repeatedly. Rush whips with production cables and chokes Bandido while applying a vicious head scissors. Rush destroys Bandido for several minutes, but falls into the trap of “playing with his food” when he stops to pose. Rush hits a blatant chair shot and dares referee Todd Sinclair to disqualify him. Bandido makes him pay with a surprise tope suicida! Bandido hits a slick corkscrew plancha and then hauls Rush in for a Shooting Star Press, but RUSH KICKS OUT! Rush breaks the rules of a slugfest by going low, and then superkicks the head. Bandido answers with a brutal crucifix bomb for 2. Rush hits an overhead belly to belly into the buckles. Bandido springboards into Rush's dropkick, and then eats a flying somersault senton on the floor. Rush sets up a pair of tables on the floor but is unable to put Bandido through them. Instead, Bandido leaps over the ropes and puts them both through the tables with a Blockbuster of sorts! They both barely beat the countout. They trade snap suplexes and tight KO blows until Bandido hits a popup cutter! Rush drags Bandido by the hair to the apron and viciously stomps his head. Rush hits a dead lift suplex off the bottom rope but Bandido kicks out! Bandido pops up for an enziguri and top rope power slam! Bandido hits a snap German suplex but RUSH KICKS OUT! The fans reward them with a “This is awesome!” chant. Rush hits another overhead suplex into the bukles and then tries to tear off Bandido's mask. Bandido manages a desperation roll-up for the pinfall at 16:04! Terrific come-from-behind victory by Bandido, with a little extra drama from winning in a maskless state, ****.
Winner and new ROH World Champion: Bandido
Bandido's celebration is cut short when he gets swarmed by La Faccion Ingobnerable. Looks like he has a tough road ahead of him as champion.
Final Thoughts: Bandido's championship win has been a long time coming and capped off a stellar final hour of the broadcast. I am happy to endorse the current direction of ROH. If you haven't checked out ROH in a while, give them a shot. Thumbs Up.
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