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Cook’s ROH TV Review 10.17.20

October 18, 2020 | Posted by Steve Cook
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Cook’s ROH TV Review 10.17.20  

Hey kids! We’re back on a somewhat regular schedule this week for the end of the block semi-finals. We get to find out who Jay Lethal & Jonathan Gresham face in one week’s time, so that should be pretty exciting. Also this week: EC3 making his first appearance in the ROH Bubble. Let’s hook em up!

Cook’s ROH TV Review 10.17.20

Quinn McKay welcomes us to Ring of Honor Wrestling. The Pure Wrestling Tournament contineus this week. We take a look at the finish of Jay Lethal vs. David Finlay and get some comments from Lethal. Everybody’s thinking that the finals will be Jay and his best friend, Jonathan Gresham. He’ll see Gresham in the finals, not that he’s overlooking his next opponent. (He totally is.)

We see the finish of Jonathan Gresham vs. Matt Sydal, then Gresham says some words. Gresham says that pure wrestlers live in the moment, and don’t go into these things with strategies. Matt Sydal is part of the problem currently with Ring of Honor. Why was he part of this tournament instead of a real pure wrestler? ROH needs to return to its roots, of being the place that represents wrestling freedom. They can present it the way they see fit without being judged. He doesn’t care who he faces next, he will restore honor to ROH. He has a bum leg, but he’ll keep going because it’s too important.

We go back to last week, when Vincent re-emerged. The Trend was revealed as Matt Taven, who put Vincent through a table to begin his quest for revenge.

The video package begins with clips of Fred Yehi’s win over Silas Young in Round 1. We then see Tracy Williams out-wrestling Rust Taylor. Tracy can’t think of any better opponent than Fred, who is everything that Ring of Honor is supposed to be. Fred Yehi will be his next step.

Block A Semi-Finals: Fred Yehi vs. Tracy Williams: Ian & Caprice are on the call as per usual. Fred & Tracy do have history as tag team partners in the fabled Catch Point stable. Tracy holds a 3-0 advantage over Fred in their previous matches, but his shoulder is still a point of concern. Fred with wrist control into a headlock takeover into a cover. Into the corner, that top turnbuckle is looking pretty loose. Todd Sinclair might want to check that out. Fred slithers over to the corner. Full nelson by Tracy, Fred twists out, exchange of holds here and Yehi still is showing the advantage. Williams with a hammerlock, Yehi tries to reverse with a headlock, but can’t get out and has to use his first rope break less than three minutes into the match! And there’s another one when Williams goes back to the hammerlock! Now they go to strikes for a second before Williams goes back to that left arm. Fred elbows Tracy down, hits an exploder as we head to commercial. During that break, Yehi was in control and forced Williams to use a rope break, but Williams is back on top as we return. Suplex gets two, and now Williams with a facelock. Yehi fights out, snap mare and a kick to the spine of Yehi gets a near-fall! Big forearm and a chop by Yehi. German suplex, and Williams is trapped in the waistlock. One more German! Go-behind by Williams unto a rollup by Yehi for two! Now a series of strikes by Yehi gets two, he tries to lock in the Koji Cliutch and Williams has to use another rope break. Each wrestler only has one left. Williams goes for that Crossface, Yehi rolls out for a second, but Williams is still going for it at the 10 minute mark, Brain bustaaa gets two. Yehi with a quick rollup for two! Now he’s got that Koji Clutch, and Tracy has no choice but to use that third and final rope break. Gets a quick near-fall in the process, but now Yehi can use those ropes against williams. Exchange of palm strikes! Piledriver reversed, roll throughs, big ol shot by Williams! Misses in the corner, they head up, Williams with a DDT on the turnbuckle! Back to the mat and Williams goes for that crossface one more time! Back up, but Williams hits the piledriver! Yehi gets his foot on the rope, but you can’t fault him for that cause he was losing otherwise. Williams back to that Crossface, and it’s locked in now…Yehi goes to the ropes, can’t break it but he can get out of the hold…welp, that ends up with Tracy locking in a dragon sleeper in the ropes! Yehi has no choice but to tap out.

Winner: Tracy Williams (14:04 via submission)
Match Rating: ****

Outstanding! One of Tracy’s best efforts that I’ve seen, and we better be seeing more of Fred Yehi in ROH. That man proved he belonged with his two matches in this tournament.

EC3 has made his way into the ROH bubble and heads towards the ring. Look at those abs! He asks if Honor is real. There’s no honor in what we do. Everyone has authority over us. Every day they take freedoms from us and we lose focus. Is there honor in fighting back? Is their honor in finding purpose, or in the past? He alludes to former ROH stars, who built a great house. Is there honor in the now? He puts over the current stars. EC3 is not here to wrestle, he is here to fight against the best competition in the world. Without pain & sacrifice, you have nothing. He is willing to purify himself with pain. He will put the Ring of Honor name to the test. We have been warned.

I mean, the man has delivered everywhere he’s wrestled except WWE. I think he’ll do well here.

Backstage, EC3 is confronted by Shane Taylor, whose name wasn’t mentioned in EC3’s speech. He tells EC3 to wipe his feet before walking in his house. Jay & Mark Briscoe take offense & offer to battle Shane & his boys, with EC3 by their side. EC3 didn’t tip his hand on his feelings about teaming with Dem Boys, though…

Clips from Josh Woods vs. Kenny King lead into clips from PJ Black vs. Tony Deppen.

Block B Semi-Finals: Josh Woods (w/Silas Young) vs. PJ Black (w/Brian Johnson): Josh is 1-0 against PJ, but PJ is 4-2 in all ROH non-singles matches since June 2019. Silas Young wins the battle of style on the outside, and the two men shake hands before the commercial. Some grappling to start, Black with the wrist lock, Woods reverses into a pinning combination, then a banana split. More grappling & reversals, Woods on top working Black’s arm. Black tries a body scissors, but Woods wiggles out of it and goes back to the arm. Black with a waist lock, released. Headscissors by Black, Woods tries to break out, Black maintains control. Johnson tells Black not to embarrass him as we go to commercial 5 minutes in. Black tries an up and over in the corner, but Woods tosses him to the floor! They wander around the outside, back up onto the apron, Woods locks in a rear naked choke on the ropes and Black uses a rope break. Leg lock by Woods and there’s another rope break for Black. Chops by Black, he misses the dropkick & Woods locks in a deathlock that Black can counter out of into a pinfall. Woods with a facelock and goes to a wristlock, PJ with a fireman’s carry into a drop to get Woods off of him for a second. Woods back on him with a double arm lock. Cravate! Johnson suggests fingering Woods’ eyes. Black doesn’t, and winds up back in the cravate. Elbow off the second rope, double axehandle, cross-body by Black, rollthrough gets two. Black twists Woods into the Billygoat’s Curse! Now he’s got him in the bucket swing, drops him into the corner. Stomps to tbe back by Black! Woods fights back with a high knee, but Black elbows him. Woods Germans Black off the ropes, then goes for the cross armbreaker. Black gets out of that, but finds himself in an ankle lock! Black has a rope break left, but can’t reach either one and taps out!

Winner: Josh Woods (13:27 via submission)
Star Rating: ***1/2

These guys had a tough act to follow, and it got off to a bit of a slow start for my liking, but they still put together a very good match. I had no real exposure to Josh Woods prior to his episode of ROH TV awhile back, he’s a very impressive in-ring talent. His match with Gresham next week should be something else.

Happy wrestling!

The final score: review Very Good
The 411
This is worth watching purely for Tracy Williams vs. Fred Yehi. I wasn't familiar with their work in EVOLVE, but it didn't surprise me that they tore down the house here. If ROH doesn't bring Yehi into the fold permanently, I don't think the Savageweight will have problems finding some company that will. Also very impressed with Josh Woods and intrigued by his match with Jonathan Gresham next week. Add in EC3 and the return of the Briscoes, and this was one of my favorite episodes of ROH recently.

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ROH TV, Steve Cook