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Cook’s ROH TV Review 1.8.21

January 11, 2021 | Posted by Steve Cook
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Cook’s ROH TV Review 1.8.21  

Hey kids! This week’s Ring of Honor Wrestling takes a look at the Best of 2020. One match I’ve already seen, but two I haven’t, so 66.3% of it is new to me!

– Quinn McKay welcomes us to Ring of Honor Wrestling. Today we’ll revisit some of her favorite matches! We’ll see the Pure Tournament Finals & a triple threat for the ROH World Championship. But first…a Battle Royal!

ROH Free Enterprise: Battle Royal for an ROH World Championship Match at a later date: Beer City Bruiser, Brian Johnson, Brian Milonas, Cheeseburger, Crowbar, Dak Draper, Danhausen, Delirious, “Dragon Lee”, Eli Isom, Gangrel, Josh Woods, Kenny King, LSG, Maria Manic, PJ Black, Rhett Titus, Silas Young, The Blue Meanie, Tracy Williams: Well, that’s quite the collection of talent if I’ve ever seen one. Danhausen doesn’t seem impressed. Crowbar looks approximately 85 years old in the face. The Bouncers make their way through the audience in a display that seemed much more sanitary at the time. Holy cow, that fan is as big as Milonas. Blue Meanie pretty much looks like he did in 1995, which is either good or bad depending on who you ask. Gangrel also pretty much looking like he did back in the day. Sadly, Kenny King made his entrance before Gangrel could spit his blood out. Who booked that crap? Kenny King wasn’t expecting to see Dragon Lee tonight, but Gangrel makes the man pay for interrupting his entrance. Here’s the bell, nearly everybody jumps in the ring and it’s pure bedlam! Delirious running around the ring, getting his exercise in. Gangel double underhook suplexes a dude. Johnson yells at Gangrel and eats an Impaler DDT for his trouble! Draper avoids the Impaler, picks Gangrel up out of it and dumps him outside!

When we return from commercial, it’s the Last Real Man Silas Young facing off with the Maneater, Maria Manic. Spit exchanged (not like that, pervs), Silas eggs on Maria for a chop exchange, and here we go. Silas sends her down with a backbreaker into a clothesline, then goes for the elimination. Maria fighting it off, but here comes Bully Ray to yank her outta there. Oh yeah, him. Chair to Manic’s back, and a powerbomb through the timekeeper’s table. Much like Gangrel, Bully’s offense attack has not evolved in 20 years. Delirious pauses to yell at Bully, backs into Danhausen and they have a civilized discussion. Danhausen wants his teeth. He hands the jar of teeth to Delirious, and Delirious drinks it. There’s a sentence I didn’t think I’d type. Danhausen delivers a kick and sends Delirious outside! Silas tries to toss him out, after an exchange Silas gets Danhausen out. Cheeseburger & Silas go at it. “Dragon Lee” has done a pretty good job of evading the action so far. Cheeseburger knocked out and we’re left with “Lee”, Silas, Josh Woods & Tracy Williams. Caprice questions Kenny King’s status since he got blinded by the blood, and it’s a good question to ask. Top turnbuckle DDT by Williams on Silas. Williams & Woods have an exchange in Tracy’s favor, but Silas saves Josh from elimination. 2 Guys 1 Tag doubleteaming Williams, and toss him outta there. Now they have to deal with “Dragon Lee”, and it goes pretty well early on. Until Silas misses a move and ends up on the apron, and sure enough Josh kicks him off and then gets eliminated his own self. Shockingly, Kenny King emerges to dump “Lee” over the top, but that doesn’t work. The mask comes off, and it’s Flip Gordon! King charges him, Gordon ducks & King flies over the top rope to end the match.

Winner: Flip “Dragon Lee” Gordon (17:45 via elimination)
Larry’s Match Rating: **

– So that’s how Gordon got a title shot. I’m just glad he’s not wearing the white trunks in more recent matches. A little too brief, if you get my drift. Other than that it was an entertaining enough piece of business. I think this was included to remind us that people like Maria Manic are still around.

ROH Gateway to Honor: ROH World Championship Triple Threat Match: Champion PCO vs. Mark Haskins vs. Rush: Brian Zane joins Ian on commentary here. No handshakes here, just a three way staredown into a strike exchange. PCO sent outside, rope running by Rush & Haskins, corner strike exchanges, Haskins sent outside with a dropkick. PCO with a strike sending Rush outside, then a tope suicida! PCO catches Haskins on a dive attempt, chokeslams him up onto the apron! PCO setting up that somersault senton on the apron he never hits…oh look, he missed. Rush sends both PCO & Haskins into the barricade. Smashes PCO’s head off the bell and the timekeeper’s table. Rush poses as we go to commercial.

Rush smacks PCO off the apron as we return, gets kicked in the corner by Haskins. Big shots being exchanged. Haskins running around, kneeing PCO, diving onto Rush, then onto PCO. Double stomp off the top onto Rush gets two. PCO back in, misses a dropkick, Haskins with a two count after a running kick. Clotheslines by PCO to both of his opponents. Rush runs into a pop up powerbomb. Things breaking down now, Rush & Haskins try to doubleteam PCO but that doesn’t work. Todd Sinclair with his usual counting style. Rush says something naughty, and suplexes PCO into the corner. Boot scrapes! Rush sets up for his finisher, but runs right into a spear from PCO. Haskins up top, double stomp to PCO while he’s trying to cover Rush! Haskins covers PCO for two, Rush misses a kick, gets set up for a Cradleshock for two. PCO & Haskins going at it, big chokeslam by PCO. Goes up top, hits the PCOsault! Rush pulls Todd Sinclair out of the ring and points his finger at a ring-sider when Todd asks him about it! Meanwhile in the ring it’s…Nick Aldis? Oh yeah, this was a thing for a minute. Aldis smacks PCO with the NWA title belt! Rush knocks PCO into the corner, and hits the Bull’s Horns for the three count!

Winner: Rush (10:30 via pin)
Larry’s Match Rating: ***

– Pretty short compared to ROH title matches I’ve seen, but they kept things moving. It might have even led to something if not for, well, 2020.

ROH Pure Wrestling Tournament Finals: “Hot Sauce” Tracy Williams vs. “The Octopus” Jonathan Gresham: It’s only been two months, so I don’t feel the need to re-review this one yet. From the 11.2.20 review:

60 minute time limit announced when there’s 23 minutes left in the show when the ring announcer starts with the introductions. SPOILER ALERT: This thing isn’t going to a time limit draw. Tracy has brought back the shoulder guard for this match, showing the mark that Jay Lethal left last week. Gresham is 3-1 against Williams, including 3-0 in singles matches. The tale of the tape shows a distinct height advantage for Williams. Code of Honor is followed. 33:10 We get off to a blazing start with the combatants rushing out of their respective corners. Quick headlock into a headscissors reversal and both men back up. Standing switches, hip toss blocked, blocked, blocked, and Gresham sent to the floor! Chain wrestling on the floor! Hip toss by Gresham! There’s a 20 count and Todd Sinclair’s counts are always slow, so there’s no reason to hurry back into the ring. Williams holds the ropes open for Gresham. Tieup, Williams gets the advantage until Gresham works into a leglock, Williams already trying to weaken the shoulder for a latter Crossface. Gresham with an interesting leglock, using his own neck pushing down on the ankle of Williams. Quick break. Gresham now going after that injured shoulder with the deep arm drag. Double axehandle just gets a glare from Williams. Williams uses his first rope break rather casually. No big deal. He sends Gresham down with a suplex. Cravate! He holds onto it for over a minute in various positions, and Gresham has to go to the ropes. Williams sends Gresham into the corner, who bounces out with a spear! Gresham removes his own wrist tape and doesn’t choke his opponent in the process. First time I’ve seen that. Williams sends Gresham down with a chop. Clothesline in the corner, Gresham slides out of the suplex attempt, into the other corner, Gresham caught on the spear attempt, hits a suplex but Williams suplexes him down! Gresham tries to go after that shoulder, but Williams with another chop! Kip up, leads to a German for two, Williams clotheslines him down for two. Commercial, we return to a bodyscissors by Gresham sending both men to the floor! Back into the ring, Williams tries a swinging DDT, Gresham reverses but eats a brainbuster and a two count for his troubles. Williams locks in that Crossface! Gresham nearly taps, he has no choice but to reach the ropes. Williams trying to get some feeling back in that shoulder. German suplex by Gresham & a couple of big strikes get two counts. Shot to the back of the head gets two! Gresham going for a Kimura, Williams gets out, teases a piledriver, reversal to a teased Octopus stretch, finally Williams hits the piledriver! Gresham had to use his third rope break there or the match was going to be over. Williams knew that, why he focused his pin attempt on the shoulders & outside leg. Williams takes his shoulder guard down, fires up, Gresham blocks the chop, works Williams into the Octopus stretch! Dang, Tracy picked the wrong time to take that shoulder guard off. He taps out!

Winner and New ROH Pure Champion: Jonathan Gresham (14:14 via submission)
Star Rating: ****1/4

– Quinn says they’ll continue to produce the best wrestling on the planet in 2021. Next week, Dragon Lee will defend the Television Championship against Rey Horus, & Rhett Titus will face Flip Gordon in a Pure Rules match.

The final score: review Average
The 411
I find it hard to hate a show featuring Gangrel & Blue Meanie appearances in 2020, even if it had Bully Ray powerbombing a woman through a table. Decent enough, but let's forget about this 2020 stuff and bring on 2021!

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ROH TV, Steve Cook