ROH was at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City on Saturday night for their Manhattan Mayhem TV tapings. Six of the matches were broadcast live on the HonorClub streaming service.
Quick results --
- Dragon Lee defeated Jonathan Gresham
- The Bouncers defeated Soldiers of Savagery and Coast 2 Coast in a three-way match
- Rush defeated TK O’Ryan
- ROH World Champion Matt Taven defeated Kenny King and Jay Lethal in a three-way match to retain his title
- LifeBlood (Bandido, Mark Haskins, Tracy Williams & PJ Black) defeated Villain Enterprises (Marty Scurll, Flip Gordon, PCO & Brody King)
- The Briscoes defeated Guerrillas of Destiny in a New York City street fight to win the ROH Tag Team titles
Dragon Lee defeated Jonathan Gresham
Great opener. They shook hands before the match, but Gresham was hesitant in doing so. He tried to swing himself into an octopus hold, but the two instead went into a really quick exchange of counters and strikes and the crowd began to percolate.
Gresham has been teasing a heel turn since his match with Silas Young at the last PPV. He’s gotten way jacked since seeing him at Best in the World last month. These two had a match in NJPW’s Best of the Super Juniors last month and the first few minutes of this were more heated than that one.
These two slapped the hell out of each other both on the chest and in the face until the ref turned his back and Gresham landed a very unsportsmanlike sack-tap that elicited tons of boos.
Gresham slowed things down for a while, bullying Lee and stretching him. It reminded me of Daniel Bryan when he went heel with the Wyatt Family a couple years ago, when he modified his style to make it less flashy and more mean.
Lee made a comeback and hit the Shibata running dropkick in the corner. They started trading tons of high spots and more strikes. They both wrestled on the top rope until Dragon Lee was able to land the tree of woe stomp and later an exposed running knee to Gresham’s temple to grab the win. Really good, and that’s crazy to say considering the quality of the G1 this week.
- Matt Taven came out wearing a Red Sox jersey. He recently threw out the first pitch at a Red Sox game and talked about that. He said it was the greatest moment of his life and people booed. He said tonight the rivalry between him and “that Melvin” Jay Lethal comes to an end. He said he’s going to prove the critics wrong because he’s Matt Taven. It was a good quick promo.
- Kenny King came out and called Taven’s jersey lame. He said he didn’t care who he beat because the last time he was in Manhattan he beat Jushin Liger and Great Muta. He insisted on being in Taven’s match with Jay Lethal. The crowd screamed “Noooooooo” and then started chanting “shut the f**k up” at him.
Taven basically said he was Matt Taven again and King called him more names as he went to the back. King was now in the ROH World Championship match.
Jay Lethal stormed out and got in Taven’s face. They got into it and started punching each other until “security” and referees came out and broke them up. The crowd was lukewarm at first but then started chanting “let them fight.”
The Bouncers (Beer City Bruiser & Brawler Milonas) defeated Soldiers of Savagery (Moses Maddox & Jasper Kaun) and Coast 2 Coast (LSG & Shaheem Ali) in a three-way match
The Bouncers drank beer in the crowd and Beer City Bruiser came out with a cigar in his mouth. Is he doing a Crusher parody?
LSG and Bruiser started off. Bruiser did the “I can’t bite -- I ain’t got no teeth!” spot and it bombed yet again. You could here one guy chuckling as production zoomed in on Bruiser’s face.
Milonas and Moses from Sons of Savagery were in next. Milonas ironically called Moses “fat boy.” SOS are huge dudes and remind me of guys you’d see in EVOLVE or NXT these days. The big guys hoss'd out and exchanged shoulder blocks and punches.
LSG tagged Milonas as he ran the ropes and Moses then tagged out to Jasper. They later chokeslammed Bruiser through the timekeeper’s table, so referee Brian Hebner ejected them from the match. The crowd booed and started chanting “bullsh*t.” They perked back up when The Bouncers landed the Closing Time (the Smoking Gunns’ Sidewinder) on LSG to win.
Vinny Marseglia and TK O’Ryan attacked The Bouncers with chairs after the match. People booed -- but aside from one girl with pink hair in the front row it felt like cold heat.
Marseglia smoked Bruiser’s cigar. The Kingdom sat on the chairs and talked about how they thought they should've been the Tag Team Champions long ago and then burned the cigar out on Bruiser’s chest. TK O’Ryan said he liked whiskey better. This segment was borderline embarrassing. No one seemed to care.
Rush defeated TK O’Ryan
O’Ryan stayed in the ring and called out Rush, who then made his entrance. He wrestled at Arena Mexico on Friday night. People were way into Rush but didn’t react much to O’Ryan.
O'Ryan wore new tights tonight so I guess he’s updating his look. The crowd was really quiet when he was on offense unless he cued the audience to boo for him. He did the Eddie Guerrero rolling vertical suplexes and did the Eddie shimmy to the crowd for some reason.
Rush spit on O’Ryan and started no-selling all of O’Ryan’s chops, then did a snap dragon suplex (like his brother Dragon Lee did in the match before). People started going nuts when Rush started whipping O’Ryan into the barricades.
This quickly turned into a disaster when Rush went to do a surprise back kick to O’Ryan, but Rush completely whiffed because O’Ryan was out of place. He sat up before Rush could see him and the camera caught the whole thing. Maybe on the side opposite the hard cam it looked okay because Rush smacked his thigh -- but wow, that didn’t look good.
Rush then tried doing a belly-to-belly into the bottom turnbuckle, but it looked atrocious and O’Ryan bumped short and on his side. The crowd barely reacted. Rush obliterated O’Ryan with the Bull’s Horns for the win moments later. It looked crazy. He was extremely over with this crowd, but they really didn't care about O’Ryan and it was stark.
Rush posed with fans in the front row and did the LIJ pose. One “fan” wearing a glittery Pierroth mask attacked him. It was Dalton Castle and they did the Jericho/Rey Mysterio or Jericho/Naito angle. Castle did his own Bull’s Horns and took the mask off before they cut to a promo package about Jay Lethal.
ROH World Champion Matt Taven defeated Kenny King and Jay Lethal in a three-way match to retain his title
Alex Shelley was on commentary for this match. They played up Lethal’s ties to NYC and how bummed out he was to lose the ROH title at MSG. Half the crowd was for Lethal and just about half were for Taven, but everyone seemed to hate Kenny King.
Once this got going, it was pretty good. It didn’t feel like there were any awkward transitions between any of the guys. King was a little clumsy in how he does some moves. He makes up for what he lacks in the ring as a decent heel and his ability to rile the crowd up.
Taven and Lethal started slapping each other in the corner. King broke things up and then he and Taven got into it. King was trapped in the corner when Lethal put Taven in a tree of woe and dropkicked Taven, then King. Taven and Lethal went pretty hard at each other and it looked real crisp.
King later took both Taven and Lethal out with a double lariat and everyone sold on the mat after that. King then did a capoeira kick to Lethal on the apron and Taven dropkicked king to the floor. Taven did a few dives, then Lethal did a few too. The crowd really heated up here. The rhythm was sort of fractured before but from here it felt like things began to cook.
Taven frog splashed Lethal as he tried locking on a figure four on King. All three traded submissions and about three guys in the crowd chanted “fight forever.”
King landed a double blockbuster for two on both Lethal and then Taven. When Lethal hit the Lethal Injection on Taven, the place actually went nuts. It’s so strange because they weren’t making a sound just a few seconds earlier.
King snuck in and landed his version of the Lethal Injection and a Royal Flush on Lethal, but Taven came from the corner and spiked King with the Climax. He then pinned Lethal to win the match. This was pretty good.
LifeBlood (Bandido, Mark Haskins, Tracy Williams & PJ Black) defeated Villain Enterprises (Marty Scurll, Flip Gordon, PCO & Brody King)
Good match with an excited crowd, especially towards the end. Villain Enterprises all came out in gear that looked like a steampunk remix of Demolition’s old ring gear. Williams and Scurll were in first. The crowd was hot for Scurll and chanted his name over and over. All four got in the ring and squared off a minute later.
Bandido and Gordon were in next. Ian Riccaboni said these two could be a main event anywhere. I think that might actually be true. Gordon tagged out to King, who did crazy lucha spots on the ropes.
Haskins and Scurll were solid together. Bandido later dove off the top rope and double-stomped Scurll’s left arm.
Later, King did a huge tope con giro to the floor, then Scurll back body dropped PCO onto everyone else outside. The crowd was freaking out. PCO looks huge and was great here. He has the one-strap top, old school style.
Bandido legitimately caught PCO mid-air and powerslammed him. What the hell? Then he did a dive from the top to the floor and Colt Cabana said he didn’t even know that was a move. I didn’t either. It was a crazy twisting delayed moonsault thing. He’s nuts.
PCO did a giant moonsault onto everyone and the place lost it. Bandido did a running Canadian Destroyer, but the timing was botched and PCO landed awkwardly near the edge of the apron.
King went on a tear and almost pinned Haskins when everyone started chanting “This is awesome.” Bandido hit the 21-Plex and Black landed a 450 to win the match. Black celebrated with LifeBlood afterwards.
The Briscoes (Mark & Jay Briscoe) defeated Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa) in a New York City street fight to win the ROH Tag Team titles
This was relentless. Wow. The crowd chanted “G-O-D” over and over when Tonga and Loa came to the ring. They sounded like the biggest stars on the show so far. People started chanting “New Japan” when they stepped through the ropes. Yikes.
When the bell rang, things got out of control quickly. This all felt like FMW meets Crossfit, if that makes any sense. There were always at least three chairs in the ring at all times.
The Briscoes pulled out a bunch of weapons from under the ring. They got into a rapid-paced brawl and didn’t let their feet off the pedal until the finish. Tonga did a crazy missile dropkick on the floor and landed on his back.
They beat the tar out of each other with chairs and kendo sticks. Mark Briscoe put Loa through a table, or rather down onto it, and onto the floor. Loa later body slammed him through the table and finally split it into pieces.
This just never let up. Loa dropped Mark off the apron onto a pile of chairs on the floor. Loa destroyed him with chair shots. This all had the same vibe as Jon Moxley’s G1 matches this week, raw and violent with none of the guys in the match holding back in the least.
Guerrillas of Destiny super powerbombed Mark onto Jay Briscoe off the apron through a table and the crowd freaked again. As if things couldn’t get more nuts, Mark dragged a ladder out from under the ring. Jay was cut open and was juicing everywhere.
Just as Loa and Mark were atop the ladder, the HonorClub stream cut out. It wouldn’t be a proper HonorClub show without the stream going out. Thankfully it didn’t miss the absolutely most insane finishing spot I’ve seen all year.
Mark and Tonga fought on the top of the ladder and there was a table set up in one corner of the ring. Jay came from underneath Tonga and put him on his shoulders and they did a high-angle Doomsday Device through said table and got the win. It looked crazy. The Briscoe Brothers are now 11-time ROH Tag Team Champions. Well deserved.
We’ll be back tomorrow covering ROH’s next HonorClub show, Mass Hysteria.