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Cook’s ROH TV Review 1.1.21

January 6, 2021 | Posted by Steve Cook
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Cook’s ROH TV Review 1.1.21  

– We open with some pictures & audio from Final Battle 2020 and a request to order the replay now.

– Quinn McKay welcomes us to Ring of Honor Wrestling and informs us this is a very special episode highlighting ROH during the pandemic and where they’re headed. Back in March, ROH was heading to Las Vegas for their Anniversary Show. During the process of when people were heading there was when the news hit of the NBA & NHL shutting down and all that. Some were informed to stay home before heading out. Prior to MLB cancelling Spring Training, ROH cancelled the Vegas show and all upcoming events due to the pandemic. During lockdown, ROH did its best to create multiple forms of content to keep fans engaged. Today we’ll hear thoughts from many members of the roster. Plus, two never before seen matches that were filmed in Las Vegas. Bandido took on Flip Gordon & Mark Haskins faced Jay Lethal. Quinn promises that this episode will be entertaining and informative.

Matt Taven says that Vegas & Sam’s Town has always held a special place in his heart. He’s had some of the biggest matches of his career there. He was looking forward to the scheduled Past vs. Present show the day after the Anniversary show. Taven shares his memories of hearing about the coronavirus, and he was worried about the international talent, since the virus was away from America at first. He got really worried when listening to Ian Riccaboni & Todd Sinclair talk, apparently Ian bought $700 worth of food to send to his house and Matt had just finished all the pasta at his house. The ROH office sat everybody down and told them everything would be all right, which made him feel better since ROH is a giant family.

Flip Gordon took a vacation to Barbados early in the year, being very excited about 2020 and his spot in ROH. Then when he got home and got ready for the anniversary weekend, he got a call saying the show had been cancelled, and he could either stay home or go to the show. He thought it was a joke at first, but when he got there ROH explained things to him & everybody else. They said people could wrestle if they wanted to, and Flip raised his hand. He always enjoys wrestling Bandido. Wrestling without fans was different. He went all over Vegas in his gas mask the next couple of days he was there. He doesn’t care when they get fans back, what he does care about is getting a shot at the ROH Championship.

Flip Gordon vs. Bandido: Ian Riccaboni rides solo on commentary. Flip representing something called Villain Enterprises, don’t know what happened to that. (I know what happened to that.) Bandido representing Mexisquad, which has been just as visible as Villian Enterprises has been recently. Flip with a height & weight advantage, Bandido with the experience. Handshake and we’re off. No Pure Rules here of course, since it was taped before the division was brought back, but this starts out vvery much in the style of a Pure Rules match. The two men are equal early on. Flip keeps kipping up, confusing Bandido and sending him outside. Taunts Bandido with a flip back into the ring. Bandido back up, mounts the turnbuckle & hits the froggy crossbody. Bandido with a rana, kicks Gordon outside, does a fakeout of his own, but Flip ensares Bandido in the ring apron as we go to commercial.

Bandido sent into the barricade as we return. Ian teases a return to Vegas for the 19th Anniversary or Death Before Dishonor 2021. Back into the ring, cover gets two. Chop in the corner. European uppercut, snap mare, kick to the spine, springboard elbowdrop gets two. Bow & arrow stretch by Flip. Bandido gets out, hits a splash off the top, superkick gets 2! I mean, it was only 1 superkick. Bandido places Flip up top, maybe not the best strategy, they going back and forth, lots of flips, Gordon with a Pele kick, knocks Bandido down to the mat, but Bandido meets Flip again at the turnbuckle. Reverse back kick from Flip gets a 2 count. Headbutts exchanged. Bandido lifts the man up, knee strike, Flip is down for two. SUPERKICK to Bandido, springboard spear, Flip lifts him up for an F-5 and gets the 3 count!

Winner: Flip Gordon (approximately 9:00 via pin)
Match Rating: ***

– I gotta say, that was one of the least impressive Bandido matches I’ve seen. Maybe one of the more impressive Flip matches. Not saying, just saying.

– Cheeseburger is here, along with the Beer City Bruiser & Session Moth Martina. Much more interested in what Martina has to say to be honest. Martina tried to get out when Trump closed the borders to everywhere except Ireland & the UK. Didn’t work. BCB talks about how he spoke with Brian Milonas when Milonas’ flight was cancelled. Cheeseburger talks about how he got to work one of his favorite matches, an eight-person tag. Martina was part of that too. They felt weird without a crowd. but they still got a chance to do it. BCB puts over how ROH has put content out there. Cheeseburger puts over how ROH takes care of them and keeps them safe. Martina is very very exicted to come back as soon as possible, and she thinks it’ll be soon.

Mark Haskins (w/ Vicky Haskins) vs. Jay Lethal: Would it be an ROH TV episode without Jay Lethal competing? I think not! Equal height, but Lethal has the weight and experience advantage. 34:01 Both men had to be discouraged heading into this, they had big matches on the Anniversary show. More Pure Wrestling! The future of the business, I’m telling ya. Ian shooting on governments here, he needs to tread a fine line. Haskins takes advantage on the floor, controls the wrist in the ring & works it. He keeps working it as we go to commercial.

We come back, Haskins working that left hand, but we end up on the outside. Some action outside here. Lethal with a cutter on the outside! He brings Haskins inside, covers for two. Haskins breaks up the Lethal Injection, but still eats a Combination for two. Haskins counters the figure 4, but Lethal kicks him down. Lethal goes up top, elbow reversed into a crossface, Haskins works into the Rings of Saturn, which Lethal breaks via ropes. Haskins on top, basement dropkick gets 2. Off top, Lethal fights back, reversals into the Sharpshooter! Haskins locks it in, and Lethal taps? An upset to me!

Winner: Mark Haskins (8:24 shown via submission)
Match Rating: ***1/4

Haskins was supposed to challenge Rush this weekend. That didn’t happen, but he did get a win over ROH’s franchise player.

– Amy Rose talks about how everybody took a vacation in Vegas. Mark Briscoe talks about how Jay called him after Mark & his wife got there & told him the shows were cancelled. They got out of there anf got home. Amy Rose puts over the matches. Mark does as well. Amy thinks we’ll see her soon.

– Quinn McKay closes us out by explaining how ROH created a pro wrestling bubble in Baltimore. Lots of swab tests. Lots of mat switching. Everything went pretty well according to Dave Meltzer & Jason Powell. ROH will continue to produce the best pro wrestling on the planet!

– We close with Maria Kanellis hyping The Experience. She wants our voices to be heard.

The final score: review Good
The 411
ROH putting themselves over for how they handled the pandemic. I don't hate how they handled it.

article topics :

ROH TV, Steve Cook