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ROH : Death Before Dishonor XVII
by Samoa Rowe
September 27, 2019
From Sam's Town Hotel and Gambling Hall in Sunrise Manor, Nevada. Our hosts are Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman. The room is pretty small and the crowd appears sparse, though some camera angles reveal attendance to be more in the 300-400 range.
Jeff Cobb vs. Brody King
They stare each other down before locking knuckles and trading power moves without letting go. They trade several shoulder tackles, popping the fans, and Cobb scores a dropkick, but King retaliates with clotheslines into the corner. Cobb counters a splash into an overhead belly to belly suplex! King absorbs some chops but rallies with a springboard crossbody and back senton for 2. A double clothesline attempt leaves them both down. They summon their fighting spirit (and an f-bomb) as they pummel their way back to their feet. Cobb hits a superkick but King answers with a sidewalk slam for 2. Cobb fires off a running European uppercut and dropkicks King into position for a delayed superplex. Cobb's standing moonsault only gets 1. King comes back with a hurricanrana and suicide dive. King follows with a running cannonball on a draped Cobb for a good nearfall. King hits a piledriver but Cobb kicks out at the last second. Cobb blocks a Gonzo Bomb and unleashes a flurry of German suplexes. Cobb hits Aloha Means Goodbye for the win at 13:04. Good match, as it felt like they had the green light to go out there and get themselves over. King definitely outshined Cobb here, despite picking up the L. ***
Winner: Jeff Cobb
Quinn McKay hosts Dalton Castle in the ring to fill up the remainder of the preshow. Castle has a mystery item on a stand and "entertains the fans" by throwing glitter around the ring. He's interrupted by Joe Hendry and his ironic folk song entrance music. Hendry declares himself to the most entertaining man in ROH. Castle reveals his mystery item to be a mimosa, which he drinks for our entertainment. Hendry responds by leading the fans in a karaoke ballad of their short, failed tag team run. Just when it feels like this act is bombing hard, it turns around the fans cheer for Hendry's mocking singing performance. Castle throws the mimosa and storms out, leaving Hendry to beat up the Boys. Hendry sure is different, I'll give him that.
#1 Contender Tournament - First Round
Marty Scurll vs. Colt Cabana
Colt steals a handshake from Scurll and they're off to the races with fast paced chain wrestling. Cabana embarrasses Scurll by pelvic thrusting while in a bridge and the mind games help him break out for a stalemate. They trade fake-outs and Cabana is clearly enjoying himself as he pours on more mind games by mocking Scurll's bird flap. Scurll is angry and hits a superplex, mostly out of spite. Scurll chops the neck and rakes the back, and I find myself feeling angry that this man could have been ROH Champion all year long, but Taven got the nod instead. Colt powers out of a chinlock and rallies, complete with a "Flyin @sshole" for 2. Scurll answers with a superkick on the apron, but Cabana leg wrenches him onto the floor. Scurll rolls to avoid a Cabana dive, but he improves with a bouncing splash. They trade running blows and Scurll hits a snap dragon suplex and powerbomb with a cover for 2. I am enjoying the hell out of this. Scurll stomps the fingers, but Colt fights back with jabs. Scurll blocks an elbow and snaps the fingers, but Cabana pops up to hit the elbow anyway. Scurll counters a springboard moonsault and nails a piledriver for a good nearfall. Scurll spends too much time signaling the chickenwing and it's countered, but Scurll manages to lock on the hold, only for Colt to counter into a pin attempt. Cabana's moonsault gets a great 2 count, followed by the Billy Goat's Curse! Scurll gets the ropes and rakes the eyes. Colt manages a Chicago Skyline (fireman's carry drop on the turnbuckles) but Scurll completely no-sells and sprints into the Black Plague for the win at 14:06. Scurll's blatant no-sell at the end felt like they had run out of time and abruptly needed to end this, but everything leading up to that finish was tremendous character driven pro-wrestling that deserves your time, ***¾.
Winner: Marty Scurll
#1 Contenders Tournament - First Round (No Disqualifications)
Kenny King (with Amy Rose) vs. PCO
PCO is sporting fancy new entrance music provided by none other than the legendary Jim Johnston! Sadly, it's pretty generic, but it sure beats his old Jean-Pierre LaFitte theme. PCO is really playing up the Frankenstein aspect of his gimmick since an "electric malfunction" incident at a recent live event I didn't watch. PCO gets the better of King early on, including a pop-up powerbomb. The ringside area is filled with weapons, so PCO throws King into a cinder block and bounces him off a table before hitting a suplex onto the steel ramp. PCO hammers in the point that he's crazy with a back senton on the ramp and brings King back to the ring for a power slam. PCO almost misses a somersault senton, but King sells it anyway, but PCO's second somersault senton on the ring frame definitely connected. PCO drapes King on some chairs for a high spot, but he stalls due to head pain and mistakenly dives into the wrong side of the ring. That is soooo cheesy, but the fans are nice enough to not turn on the match. The unforced error gives King his first opening in a while and he goes to work abusing PCO with a ladder. King places PCO on two ladders for a running corkscrew senton! King exposes some hard floor, but PCO counters and King needs Amy Rose to save him with a slap. This allows King to deliver a sick (and possibly botched) sunset flip powerbomb off the apron onto the exposed floor! PCO survives, but King follows with an exploder suplex into the turnbuckles. Rose attacks PCO with a cattle prod, but it seemingly revives PCO, who immediately chokeslams King for the win at 11:52. I'm a bit torn on this match, as the part of me that loves cheesy wrestling gimmickry wants to praise this, but my purist side acknowledges that this was all kinds of stupid. Let's compromise and call this *** and all agree that wrestling is the best form of entertainment.
Women of Honor Championship:
Kelly Klein © vs. Angelina Love (with Mandy Leon)
The general consensus across the ‘net seems to be that the Allure is terrible and a drag on the ROH product, but I kind of feel like Love still has some decent star power. I legitimately like Klein, so this might possibly be the best possible WOH championship match that ROH has in them. Bell rings and they engage in an intense collar and elbow tie-up. Love hits an early neckbreaker for 2, but Klein answers with a slam. Klein shakes off a chinbreaker and hits Snake Eyes for 2. Klein hits a flying crossbody off the apron onto both Love and Leon. Love shakes it off and hits a hard Irish whip into the guard rail. Love follows with a suplex on the floor, but Klein answers with a hip toss into the barricade. Klein's back suplex gets 2. Love answers with an STO into a Koji Clutch. Klein gets a rope break and hits a top rope fallaway slam! Love kicks out and hits an ace cutter off the top rope but a late cover gets 2. Klein comes back with another hard slam for another 2 count. Leon distracts the ref so Love can spray Klein with some canister, but Klein manages to kick out. Klein uses the spray for her own advantage and spears Leon out of the ring. Love hits a Botox Injection for the win and the title at 9:06. I'm actually bummed about Klein losing the title, so I guess this match did something right, **.
Winner and new Women of Honor Champion: Angelina Love
Love and Leon aren't satisfied and continue to hurt Klein when the lights go out. Maria Manic appears in the ring and puts Love in a torture rack and beats up a squad of security. I'm guessing that Manic vs. Love is our Final Battle Women of Honor title match.
Jonathan Gresham vs. Jay Lethal
They're feuding due to Gresham's random heel turn this summer. This could be really good, as their partnership first came to be due to their mutual respect from a previous heated rivalry. Gresham refuses a handshake, so you just know he's evil. Despite the bad feelings between the men, they start with some good sportsmanlike chain wrestling. Lethal gets repeated clean breaks and hip tosses Gresham over the ropes. Lethal scores a springboard dropkick off the apron, but catches Gresham returning to the ring with another dropkick. Lethal nails a suicide dive into the ramp! They sprint through a back and forth exchange, ending with Lethal dropkicking the knee but Gresham uses the ropes to prevent a figure four. Gresham scores a springboard inverted DDT (of sorts). Gresham seems to have tweaked his knee, but goes on the offense with disgusting arm submissions. Gresham is a wizard as he applies a modified Stretch Muffler. Lethal breaks with a slam, but Gresham holds onto the arm. This match is freaking awesome so far. They trade chops and Lethal surprises with a buzzsaw slam and Gresham barely blocks a figure four, but Lethal powers through to to apply the hold! Lethal holds on until they roll to the floor! Seriously, this is just awesome. Gresham wins a chopfest and referee Todd Sinclair stops him from using a chair. Lethal tells Gresham off, and he answers with slap, and they brawl back to the ring. Gresham blocks Lethal Injection and hits a head scissors takedown, but Lethal responds with a cutter. Lethal reapplies the figure four! Gresham gets the ropes and reverses a Lethal Injection into a backslide, but Lethal escapes for a Lethal Combination. Lethal's superkick is good, but he's too hurt for the Lethal Injection. Gresham capitalizes, hitting a flurry of stiff attacks and applying the Octopus! Gresham hyperextends the arm even further and Lethal taps at 17:24! This was FANTASTIC in ring action and I am so happy that ROH actually pulled the trigger and put Gresham over! ****½.
Winner: Jonathan Gresham
Lethal confronts Gresham as the fans chant "hug it out." They end up slapping hands and embracing. Perhaps the Gresham heel turn is pivoting to simply him having a harder edge as he moves up the card.
Bar Room Brawl:
Silas Young (with Josh Woods) and Vinny Marseglia vs. The Bouncers (Beer City Bruiser and Brian Milonas)
The Bruiser attacks Marseglia behind during his entrance and the brawl is on as the bell rings! Milonas enters through the crowd and ambushes Young with a crossbody in the ring. This helps the Bouncers dominate the early portion with a ringside brawl. Sadly, Young clotheslines the back of Milonas' knee, and the bad guys zip tie him to the ropes, allowing a 2 on 1 beatdown on Bruiser. Young and Marseglia set up a table at ringside but Milonas breaks out and cleans house in a hot tag-ish sort of manner. Bruiser stops Milonas from getting a cover as he wants revenge on the m-fer. Bruiser brings in a wrench, but Marseglia takes it for his advantage, busting open Milonas in the process. Marseglia then uses a broken pool cue to gouge in the forehead of Milonas. Bruiser makes a save and attempt to climb the ropes, but Young cuts him off. Young draps Bruiser in the turnbuckles, and Marseglia throws DARTS at him! THAT IS DISGUSTING! Young's moonsault almost finishes Bruiser when Milonas makes a save with a chair. Milonas seats Young in a chair for a splash, and slams Marseglia for 2. Young ambushes Milonas with a chair for a save, and Marseglia puts Milonas through a table with a top rope splash! A Spicolli Driver leaves everyone down, and Josh Woods tries to carry Young out. Meanwhile, Bruiser suplexes Marseglia onto a pile of chairs, but Marseglia kicks out! Bruiser calls Mareglis a B-Movie Bitch and DDT's him onto some chairs for the win at 14:33! Color me impressed and surprised, as these guys busted out a hell of a performance, using the stipulation incredibly well to blow off a heated feud, ***½.
Winners: The Bouncers
PJ Black joins commentary for reasons.
ROH Television Championship:
Shane Taylor © vs. Tracy Williams vs. Flip Gordon vs. Dragon Lee
ROH ran a fake shoot angle this month where Taylor was going to leave the company because he wasn't featured on the PPV poster, so we're supposed to to feel grateful that he showed up here. I like Taylor well enough, but it's been a bit hard to stomach that his push has come at the expense of better options (Bandido springs to mind). Dragon Lee is a last minute addition, only announced at bell time. Bell rings, and Taylor and Lee stand back and watch Williams attack Gordon. Lee and Taylor square off once they're alone. Lee dispatches Taylor and fights off both Gordon and Williams. Tracy dumps Lee and squares off with Gordon, and the fans are really into this. Taylor breaks it up, but Lee catches him with a swinging dropkick to the face. Lee shines again, outmaneuvering Williams until ambushed by Gordon, but Lee takes them down with a suicide dive. Taylor follows with a cannonball senton off the apron onto all challengers. Gordon breaks Taylor's dominance, but Williams DDT's him onto the turnbuckles, and then Lee returns to hit a snap German. Lee puts Williams down with a Brainbuster for 2. Taylor returns and counters Lee's rana, and hits a running knee to the face. Gordon ambushes Taylor and hits a superkick, breaks Taylor's powerbomb, and gets a chair. Williams steals the chair, and Taylor piledrives Gordon for the win at 8:28. Hell of a spotfest sprint, ***.
Winner and still ROH Television Champion: Shane Taylor
Taylor and Lee jaw off afterwards, signalling a possible Final Battle showdown. If Lee takes the title from Taylor, this senseless reign might almost be worth it.
ROH Tag Team Championship:
Jay and Mark Briscoe © vs. Life Blood (Mark Haskins and Bandido)
As time goes by, it's getting more difficult to tell the Briscoes apart, so it takes me a minute to be sure that it's Mark in there against Haskins in a standard opening chain wrestling sequence. Bandido and Jay make tags and go through the motions. Bandido wins the exchange, prompting tags. Mark and Haskins light each other up with open hand shots. Bandido returns, but gets caught with a tandem clothesline from the Briscoes. Haskins saves with kicks and causes the Briscoes to miscue with a dive. Bandido delivers a dive of his own and hits a running thrust kick on a seated Jay. Briscoes retaliate with stereo dropkicks on the floor. Mark leaps off a non-folding chair onto Life Blood and his own brother. The Briscoes set up plunder around the ring but settle into working Bandido over in their corner. Haskins gets an ice cold hot tag, as the fans have been behind the Briscoes throughout. Both Haskins and Bandido cover Mark after a Frog Splash but it gets 2. Life Blood hit a combination superkick/brainbuster but Mark kicks out. Bandido survives Mark's uranage and Jay's neckbreaker. Bandido's corkscrew senton allows a pop-up cutter. Jay and Haskins return and knock each other down with stereo big boot attempts. All four guys brawl and until they all go down and fail to draw an ovation from the fans. Haskins flips over Bandido to put Mark in the sharpshooter, while Bandido hits Jay with a sunset flip, but Jay grabs his brother to save them both. Bandido's superplex sets up Haskins' double stomp, but the Briscoes break the cover. Late "This is awesome" chant as Haskins kicks out after a pair of lariats. Haskins kicks out of a J-Driller, which feels desperate and unearned. Jay hits the Spicolli Driver on Bandido, and a second J-Driller finishes Haskins at 20:17. This match was so much less than the sum of it's parts, as these are four talented guys who worked hard, but it just wasn't clicking tonight, **¾
Winners and still ROH Tag Team Champions: Jay and Mark Briscoe
Life Blood are in a daze when Bully Ray runs in and powerbombs them both. Ray grabs a chain and Tracy Williams runs in for the save. Williams gets ambushed by Flip Gordon weilding a kendo stick. Ray talks some smack at Haskins' wife and puts Mark through a table right in front of her. Mrs. Haskins jumps the rail and Ray orders security to escort her out. None of this is particularly interesting.
ROH World Championship:
Matt Taven © vs. Rush
Rush enters wearing an all white suit and matador mask, which is custom for the Los Ingobernables stable. Taven is accompanied by a trio of Taven cosplayers, each representing different stages of his ROH tenure. That would be cool and all if this title reign wasn't actively contributing to the downfall of the company. I'm not kidding, reports came out this week that this PPV drew somewhere in the ballpark of 800 buys, down from 3,500 buys for Best in the World, which I panned for it's dire creative decisions. I wouldn't say this is all Taven's fault, as the guy has worked hard and it's getting harder for ROH to justify it's place in the wrestling landscape when NXT is on USA, AEW is on TNT, and New Japan is holding more shows in the U.S. (and seems to be distancing themselves from ROH more and more as time goes by).
Anyhoo, the bell rings and they go straight to brawling. Rush hits an over head suplex into the turnbuckles but Taven dodges the Bull Horns. Taven repeatedly throws Rush into the barricades and talks some smack to Rush's friends and family at ringside. Rush answers with a backdrop onto the stele ramp and sends Taven into the rails. Taven counters with a power slam off the apron to the floor! Taven follows with a Spicy Dropkick and torpedo suicidas. Taven's frog splash gets 2. Taven seats Rush in the ropes for a backstabber for another 2 count. Taven continues to target the back with a hard Irish whip into a backbreaker. Rush returns with a snap German suplex. Rush rips apart the barricade and suplexes Taven into them at a sickening angle. Rush hoists another piece of rail and drives it into Taven's skull. Rush fishhooks the mouth with a cable suplexes Taven onto the timekeeper's table. Coleman: "This is why we need a Spanish announce team!" Taven hits desperation chops, but that only pisses Rush off. Rush fakes Taven out with the Bull's Horns and hits an insulting kick instead. Rush hits a pair of missile dropkicks off the top rope and apron. Rush misses a flying back senton but recovers with a J-Driller. Taven desperately (no sells) and hits a running knee and Climax, but Rush kicks out. They trade slaps, Rush suplexes to set up Bulls Horns, but Taven counters with a spear. Rush is down and spits up into Taven's face. Rush blocks another Climax and puts Taven in a Tree of Woe for the Bulls Horns! A second Bulls Horns finishes Taven and ends our long national nightmare at 16:05! The title change gets a warm reaction from the fans. This was a middling main event, as despite his hard work and effort, Taven got exposed again for not being worthy of this spot and was outclassed by Rush from beginning to end, **¾.
Winner and new ROH World Champion: Rush
The ring fills with Rush's friends and family for the celebration. Taven briefly interrupts to offer a sincere handshake and slips off.
This was a decent show that provided a much needed ROH title change. I continue to feel very concerned about the health of this company. Thumbs in the Middle.
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