- As announcers Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman began to introduce tonight’s show, NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion Nick Aldis stormed out to interrupt. He was with Kamille and Thomas Latimer and cut a great promo basically explaining that since Marty Scurll showed up at the NWA Into the Fire pay-per-view last month, he was here tonight to pay Scurll back.
Brody King and Flip Gordon came out and got into it with the NWA crew. It was a quick and fiery way to kick off the show and build this revamped cross-promotional angle.
Rey Horus defeated Andrew Everett
Very impressive match. There was a sparse crowd in Concord, which was apparent as soon as the camera cut to the ring for this one. It took a few minutes for them to heat up, but after a few minutes in, these two started cooking.
Everett hit a wild Asai moonsault from the top rope to the floor, and later Horus flew over the corner to the floor, taking Everett out with a tope con giro. They traded chops on the floor, and at one point they did a spot where they both missed their chops and hit the ring post.
Everett landed two quebradas in a row inside the ring for two. It’s crazy how smooth he is and how agile he is considering his size. He landed the “touch-toe” moonsault, the inverted gainer-type moonsault he used last night against Dragon Lee, for two, but a few minutes later Horus pinned Everett with a twisting body scissors driver from the top for the win.
This was very good. Everett looked great this weekend, and Horus will have no problem getting over if he sticks with ROH as a regular.
Dalton Castle & Joe Hendry defeated The Briscoes and Brian Johnson & PJ Black in a three-way tag match
Brian Zane of Wrestling With Wregret joined Riccaboni and Coleman on commentary for the next match and did a great job. He was a natural fit with this team.
The Briscoes were very over with this crowd and got a big reaction during their entrance. Tons of “Man up!” chants throughout this.
Before things got started, Johnson came out and yelled at everyone in the ring. He said that while The Briscoes and Castle were former champions, they still needed to get out of his way. The same went for Hendry, according to Johnson, claiming that Hendry sucks and that he didn’t deserve the spot that he has.
Black walked out and tried to settle Johnson down, explaining that this wasn’t the way to get where he wanted. Castle got on the mic and called Johnson a silly goose, which led to a “silly goose” chant from the crowd. Jay Briscoe then challenged Johnson to step into the ring and join the fight, so the match was changed to a three-way tag team match.
Johnson shouted at Castle at the start, and Castle flipped him off. Jay Briscoe tagged Castle in as Johnson argued with his partner, Black, on the apron. Jay took Johnson out with a big yakuza kick before laying in some fists.
Mark Briscoe came in and dished out some abuse for a couple moments until Castle tagged himself back in. Johnson couldn’t handle getting beat up, so he tried leaving the match and yelled “screw you” to both teams. Black went to talk him out of ditching the match but was taken out by The Briscoes, and from here this turned into a scramble-brawl around ringside
Black took them out with a tope suicida and later used a diving double stomp to take out a standing Jay Briscoe. When Black and Johnson finally had the match in their control, Johnson stalled to taunt and brag in Black’s direction, who’d been knocked to the floor. Johnson ate a codebreaker from Hendry, then a reverse slingblade from Castle for the win.
This was good -- lots of action where everyone looked good, especially The Briscoes. Johnson looks like he’ll be a more regular player in ROH this year.
Sumie Sakai defeated Nicole Savoy
Sakai turned on Savoy on Saturday night after they lost their tag match to The Allure. Savoy accidentally kicked Sakai and cost them the match, so Sakai took her out with Smash Mouth. Tonight Sakai came out with different gear, darker colors with black boots and kneepads.
Savoy charged the ring and they went at it from the bell, but Sakai mostly punished Savoy with submissions and later a missile dropkick off the ropes. Savoy responded with a butterfly superplex off the ropes and a dragon suplex, dumping Sakai onto her neck.
These two worked super hard here, despite the relatively dead crowd. They livened up when referee Todd Sinclair had his legs between the ropes and Sakai kicked it, taking him out for a moment. She got a lot of heat for that.
Savoy used a dragon suplex with a bridging pin next, but Sinclair was still selling the rope shot, so there was no one to make the count. Sakai slipped out of the ring, grabbed a chain, and smashed Savoy with a few shots, including a double axe-handle, then landed Smash Mouth to win the match (Sinclair was back up by now).
This didn’t get the best reaction, but it was a good match. Sakai works well as a heel.
Dak Draper defeated Danhausen
This was mostly comedy. The crowd caught on and backed Danhausen early on. There was a bit too much leg-slapping for me in this. 2019 Top Prospect winner Dak Draper used some nice power moves on the smaller Danhausen, who claims to weigh 326 lbs, according to the ROH Tale of the Tape stats.
Danhausen showed off some interesting offense -- lots of flying, swinging moves, running knee strikes, etc. He poured a jar of teeth into Draper’s mouth and kneed him in the face, sending the “teeth” flying. Draper ultimately won with the Magnum KO slam.
Alex Zayne defeated Bandido
This was Zayne’s first match in ROH. He blew up last summer after GCW’s Backyard Wrestling pay-per-view and has been floating around NJPW in the States and OWE for Cima overseas.
Zayne went for an insane twisting dive midway through the match but got caught up on the ropes and couldn’t stick the landing. Bandido sort of saved it, and the announcers smoothed things out on commentary. He recovered with the crowd by landing a tope con giro to the floor
Zayne was impressive and extremely creative, but it was obvious he’s still green. The smoothness between the two wasn’t there, but even still, this was entertaining. Zayne tried a number of innovative offensive moves, including what I guess we’d call a tilt-a-whirl flapjack.
Bandido used one of the crazier moves I’ve seen recently, a flipping hangman’s neckbreaker bomb from the top rope. At this point in the match, Zayne and Bandido were trading huge moves, ones that don’t have names yet. The crowd started doing “this is awesome” chants.
Zayne used a shooting star knee drop from the top, then, in a shocker, he put Bandido away clean with a straight jacket pumphandle driver for the win.
By the end of this the crowd was in love with Zayne, and they already sounded to love Bandido. The two shook hands afterwards, with most everyone in attendance on their feet. Zayne looked like he had some diehard fans in the front row, and before going to the back he autographed one of their signs. Very interesting, entertaining match.
- Out next was Shane Taylor with the Sons of Savagery. Taylor called out ROH CEO Joe Koff to follow up on the ultimatum Taylor gave Koff last night. He also mentioned that on January 31 he’d be wrestling Nick Gage for VIP Wrestling, which was intriguing. Looks as though ROH is keeping the door cracked open for cross-promotional projects in 2020.
LifeBlood (Mark Haskins & Tracy Williams) defeated Vincent & Bateman (w/ Vita Von Star and Chuckles) by DQ
Vincent and Bateman came out with Vita Von Star and Chuckles, a clown. They’re doing the Hot Topic horror gimmick that so many wrestlers are into lately.
When LifeBlood came to the ring they got into it immediately with Bateman and Vincent. LifeBlood showcased some nice double-team offense. Chuckles dragged Vincent out of the ring early in the match and it got zero reaction from the audience. The crowd sounded checked out for the most part here.
Chuckles tried going after Williams on the floor until Vincent took Williams out with a cutter onto the floor mats.
Haskins really stood out in this and worked very hard. He was maybe three times as fast as everyone in the ring. After he and Williams used a piledriver/kick bomb on Vincent, Haskins locked him in a sharpshooter and seemed like they were about to pick up the win when Chuckles interfered, hitting Haskins over the head with a block of wood. That was absolutely not what this match needed.
Williams chased the spooky heels out with a chair. Pretty weak overall, unfortunately.
Jonathan Gresham, Jay Lethal, Jeff Cobb & Dan Maff defeated Silas Young, Josh Woods, Beer City Bruiser & Brawler Milonas
Gresham and Lethal stalled before the match. They took their entrance gear off slowly, stretched, and Lethal talked some trash. A few wrestlers shook hands before the match. Gresham and Lethal took so long that The Bouncers went down to the front row and sipped a few fans' beers.
When the match finally got underway, Gresham and Young had two nice exchanges early on, with Young actually getting the better of both. Gresham acted very frustrated with it and threw a tantrum on the floor after Woods tagged in and yolked him up a bit.
Woods took on Lethal and it had me interested in a singles bout between those two. Woods excels when he’s with other wrestlers who are great with mat work, like Lethal and Gresham.
Beer City Bruiser came in next and roughed Lethal up with a couple jabs. Cobb entered next and took Bruiser out with a high dropkick. Maff and Milonas traded hard chops, and Maff later took Milonas out with a Pounce, believe it or not.
Lethal and Gresham dragged Woods out of the ring and beat on him behind the referee's back. Neither Lethal nor Gresham would tag Cobb or Maff into the match. In a gravelly voice, Maff screamed at Lethal to “tag his ass in,” to which Lethal denied.
Woods made a comeback late in this and took out Gresham with a gamengiri knee off the top rope, just like he did last night in Atlanta. Young did the Plunge but missed most of Gresham. Maff did a big tope suicida to the floor, then took Young out with a spear. At this point, the crowd was livelier than ever.
Cobb and Lethal brawled on the floor. Cobb was later able to pick up the win by slamming Beer City Bruiser with his Tour of the Islands finish.
Gresham and Lethal held their Tag Team titles up and taunted Young and Woods from the ring afterwards. Maff and Cobb then got into it with Lethal and Gresham, with Maff attempting to steal Lethal’s title belt before referee Todd Sinclair ordered him to give it back. Maff threw it into the ring back at Lethal, who kept yelling for his music to play before they cut to the next segment.
- They aired a quick vignette of Rhett Titus from after his match at Final Battle in Baltimore last month, where he lost to Kenny King in front of his wife and baby. He apologized backstage to his wife and told King via the camera that their feud wasn’t over yet.
- Bully Ray came out next. Ring announcer Bobby Cruise threw the mic at Ray when he called to him for it. Ray wanted to apologize to Cruise in the ring in front of everyone tonight and shake his hand to atone for attacking him last night.
Cruise got into the ring and Ray started putting him over before he face-palmed Cruise, knocking him to the mat like he did at the last show. Ray started riffing and laid into a couple down in the front row. He started talking about how he put Maria Manic through a table last night and sent her to the hospital so she wouldn’t be at the venue tonight.
Guess what? She was in the building. Manic speared Bully Ray twice before The Allure came out and distracted Manic long enough for Ray to take her out with a chair. Ray went to powerbomb Manic through a table in the corner of the ring, but Manic broke out of the hold with a low blow. “You’re not a bully, you’re a bitch,” she said.
Manic then threw Ray through the table. She got a good reaction, but I think Bobby Cruise got an even louder reaction when he got on the mic and yelled “You suck!” at a dazed Bully Ray.
Flip Gordon defeated Flamita
Short but good aerial match, as one would expect from these two flyers. It was mostly back and forth, with Flamita pulling off some impressively smooth spots. Gordon looked great as well and won this via submission with an STF.
Gordon ripped Flamita’s mask off before he left the ring.
La Faccion Ingobernable (Rush, Dragon Lee & Kenny King w/ Amy Rose) defeated Villain Enterprises (Marty Scurll, PCO & Brody King)
Rhett Titus was on commentary with Coleman and Riccaboni for this. Scurll, the latest addition to the ROH booking team, kicked the match off with Dragon Lee.
The unrelated Brody King and Kenny King were in next, but only for a few moments. PCO and Rush were next up, expanding on their recent program that started at Final Battle. Midway through, Kenny King and Lee suplexed Scurll on the floor while Rush whipped PCO hard into the barricade. Lee choked Scurll with a cable.
It went from a match to a bar fight outside the ring and then back to all action from that point to the finish. PCO did a couple huge somersault dives to the floor and onto the apron. La Faccion took Scurll out at the end with a double assisted-diving double stomp, with Rush and Kenny King holding Scurll up in a back suplex position while Lee spiked Scurll with aforementioned stomp.
La Faccion did one-armed push-ups together in the ring as the show faded to black.
Final thoughts --
It was another pretty good show from ROH tonight. Again, it felt like a slog at times, which was a problem with the night before as well.
Alex Zayne vs. Bandido stood out the most, but the whole show featured matches that had positive points about them, either in the ring or with new angles. Aside from Aldis and his crew's appearance at the beginning of the show, they didn’t appear for the rest of the night.
ROH’s next event on HonorClub will be on February 9 at Free Enterprise in Baltimore, which will be free of charge to all who attend.