ROH was in Columbus, Ohio on Sunday for their Masters of the Craft special broadcast live on the HonorClub streaming service. Ian Riccaboni, Colt Cabana, and NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion Nick Aldis were the announce team for the night.
ROH TV Champion Jeff Cobb defeated Rhett Titus in a non-title match
Titus flexed and posed before the match. The announce team used the word “striations” very much with regard to Mr. Titus.
They did some light comedy chain wrestling at the beginning. Titus kept slipping out of Cobb’s holds and the announcers said it was because he had so much baby oil on his body. At one point, Titus tried a tope to the floor and landed very close to head-first onto the concrete. Yikes.
Titus hammered down on Cobb for a few minutes inside the ring until Cobb came back with a huge overhead belly-to-belly suplex. He later used a delayed superplex followed by a standing moonsault for a two-count. At some point during this part of the match, Cobb’s nose looked to be busted open hardway.
Titus used a top rope X-Factor at one point. Cobb did a new move, or rather combination of moves: two floatover gutwrench suplexes into one floatover piledriver. He followed up with the Tour of the Islands for the win.
This was a decent opener. Both looked good, but Cobb, as usual, looked especially impressive. He had a rock-solid response from this crowd, too.
Jenny Rose defeated Holidead
Before the match, Riccaboni brought up how Holidead was trained by Gangrel. She bullied Rose around at the beginning of the match -- good powerhouse heeling around on her part.
As Rose picked up some steam and knocked Holidead out of the ring, the Allüre (Mandy Leon, Angelina Love, and Velvet Sky) came out from the back and distracted her. They came out with selfie sticks and sat ringside. They’re doing a mean girls gimmick that feels fifteen years out of date. They are being called “influencers” by the announce team.
Nick Aldis made a great "Glengarry, Glen Ross" reference during one of the slower parts of the match (“Always Be Closing”). Rose eventually made a final comeback and used a uranage for the seemingly out-of-nowhere win.
This wasn’t great. What momentum the match might have built to was killed by the Allüre angle, but the crowd seemed satisfied nonetheless.
Eight-man tag match: Shane Taylor, Silas Young & The Briscoes (Jay & Mark) defeated Coast 2 Coast (Shaheem Ali & LSG) & The Bouncers (Brian Milonas & Beer City Bruiser)
This was better than you’d think it’d be. Ali and Young were first in and chain wrestled. Jay Briscoe was next in and he and Ali traded blows. LSG and Taylor had a good exchange that ended in LSG literally flying into Taylor and bouncing off his body.
Milonas and Taylor had a shoulder block contest which the crowd was pretty into. The match devolved into a massive brawl that spilled out around the ring.
Mark Briscoe and LSG had a nice exchange back in the ring. Beer City Bruiser and Young had a few exchanges as a part of some angle the two have going.
They did a sequence of dives at the end that had the crowd going pretty crazy. Taylor did a running cannonball off the apron, LSG and Ali did a pair of dives, Mark Briscoe did a corkscrew senton from the top to the floor, and finally Bruiser hit a plancha from the top to the floor that Cabana politely called as follows: "It wasn’t pretty, but it was effective!”
After more madness both in and out of the ring, Taylor was able to land a big Fire Thunder Driver that they’re calling Greetings from 216 on LSG for the win.
Again, this was better than you might think it’d be from looking at the lineup on paper. Milonas and Taylor had a few good big man exchanges that might lead to something down the road. Coast 2 Coast shined brighter than usual here tonight, as well.
So Aldis kept poking fun at Cabana on commentary from the beginning of the broadcast, all for beating him in a match a year ago in China. After the tag match, Cabana got on the mic and challenged Aldis to a rematch on this show. Aldis accepted but was indignant about it and stormed to the back after the challenge. He assured Cabana he’d “stretch” him.
Rush defeated Soberano Jr.
Riccaboni talked about how Soberano is the son of CMLL’s Euforia. He’s currently CMLL Welterweight Champion. Compared to a year or two ago, Soberano has noticeably improved. He used an awesome tornillo on Rush early on in this one for two.
Rush came back quickly and did a few of his signature spots to Soberano -- the fake-out dropkick into kick-in-face into Tranquilo pose, etc. He later took the match to the floor and whipped Soberano from corner to corner, shoving him into the barricades.
It was only moments later that Rush had Soberano lying prone in the corner ready to take the Bull’s Horn basement dropkick to the face. Rush hit it and grabbed the quick and dominant win. It seems like ROH are booking Rush in short squashes to build him for something much bigger this summer.
Four-way match: Bandido defeated PJ Black, Caristico, and Flip Gordon
Crazy match. Caprice Coleman joined Riccaboni on commentary for this one. Riccaboni did a nice rundown of Caristico’s career in Mexico before the bout.
Bandido and Gordon got the loudest reactions upon their entrances. Crazy to think Bandido is getting twice the reaction Caristico gets these days considering how popular Caristico used to be.
Gordon has what looks to be a 20-pack now. Looking at him just a year ago to now is wild, a pretty crazy transformation. He was really good in this match.
It was fast action in this from the start, as you might imagine. Caristico and Bandido were pretty amazing together, as were Bandido and Flip Gordon. Those were the especially good parts of this match. The crowd treats Bandido and Gordon like total superstars already.
PJ Black was hanging in a Tree of Woe while Bandido attempted to superplex Caristico when he sat up and German suplexed Bandido, who in turn superplexed Caristico. Whew.
The match was filled with lots of innovative stuff, really cool flying, though there were a few obviously botched moments, like when Caristico slipped off the ropes, or when Black went to do some double lucha-style submission to two guys but collapsed. Thankfully the crowd stuck with everything, and since there were so many moving parts in this match it was easy to forget. Bandido and Caristico did multiple dives to the floor just after this.
In what will surely be in GIF form this week, Flip Gordon did a tope con giro from the ring over the barrier into the upper level of the crowd onto all three opponents. He launched himself really, really far.
The finish saw Black attempt an O’Connor Roll on Gordon, but Bandido swooped in and used his slingshot German suplex on both Black and Gordon, pinning Black in the process.
Huge reaction from the crowd after this. They cheered everyone in the match separately, but for some reason the ring announcer gave a special instruction to the crowd to thank the “CMLL Legend” Caristico. Very good match with Bandido and Gordon looking especially impressive.
30-Minute Iron Man tag team match: Jonathan Gresham & Jay Lethal defeated LifeBlood (Mark Haskins & Tracy Williams) (2–1)
Kenny King joined the announce team for this. King sold Great Muta’s mist he got in the eyes at G1 Supercard. He wore sunglasses and came out with a cane and acted like he was blind. He rambled a lot before the match started.
The winners of this match will face IWGP & ROH World Tag Team Champions Guerrillas of Destiny in Buffalo, NY.
Jay Lethal was loudly over with the crowd. Williams had great grappling sequences with both Gresham and Lethal. At one point, Lethal ordered Haskins to tag Williams back into the ring to keep wrestling.
The ring announcer gave the time at five-minute intervals during this match, unlike what they did during Lethal and Matt Taven’s 60-minute draw last month.
Haskins and Gresham exchanged really hard chops and kicks. LifeBlood isolated Gresham on their side of the ring for a while. Both Williams and Haskins did some interesting catch submissions that worked over Gresham’s shoulder and taped-up arm.
Every few minutes ROH would display a small scoreboard in the bottom right corner of the screen. Jay Lethal made his way back into the ring at around 11 minutes into the match to bail Gresham out. The two then started working over Williams’ knee, with Gresham using some unique figure-four variations.
Later, Lethal put Williams in a traditional figure-four leg lock and Williams seemed close to tapping before grabbing the bottom ropes for the break. Williams then connected with a diving rocker dropper from the second rope onto Lethal and was then able to tag out to a fired up Haskins, who used a brutal looking double arm breaker submission on Gresham for a close submission victory until Gresham caught the ropes with his ankles.
Haskins dove onto both Gresham and Lethal outside the ring, then used a pumphandle driver for two. Minutes later, Haskins put Gresham in a Sharpshooter that Caprice Coleman put over as “the deepest Sharpshooter in professional wrestling.” Whatever works. It was around 20 minutes into the match when LifeBlood went up 1-0.
Williams and Lethal kicked off the second fall and exchanged stiff forearms and chops. LifeBlood did a suplex into an atomic drop on Lethal for two. I’d never seen that one before.
A few minutes later, Lethal and Haskins exchanged suplex attempts. LifeBlood double-teamed Lethal while Gresham sold on outside the ring. Gresham made his way back into the match, though, and was able to catch Williams mid-air than German suplex him. With under five minutes to go, Lethal launched Gresham into Williams to deliver a big Cornette Cutter to even the match score to 1-1.
LifeBlood hit their signature moves and looked like they were about to get a double tap until Lethal and Williams spilled out of the ring. While Haskins had Gresham in another Sharpshooter, Gresham rolled Haskins up and scored another quick win, his team now up 2-1.
The last few minutes consisted of Haskins using a number of leg locks on Gresham until Lethal could make the save, tagging Gresham discretely and landing a big diving elbow drop for a close two. The teams brawled until the time limit ran out; Lethal and Gresham won, 2-1. They will face Guerrillas of Destiny in Buffalo, NY soon for the double tag titles.
Solid match that flew by. It didn’t feel like 30-minutes at all. Lethal is a master at pacing, apparently, like Keiji Muto or something. Hard-hitting with lots of action, well balanced. Not perfect, but very good. The crowd was in and out during it but was generally on board.
I think this was also good for LifeBlood, who actually needed more exposure. The longer nature of the match at hand gave them a chance to show the crowd that they are, in fact, very good wrestlers. Haskins is especially good.
NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship match: Colt Cabana defeated Nick Aldis (w/ Kamille) by DQ
It was announced as a title match just as Cabana made his way to the ring. Sounds like there was some miscommunication as Riccaboni announced that the match was for the NWA title, but then Cabana got on the mic and did an angle about how they hadn’t announced it yet. Riccaboni saved it by saying Cabana was “making sure” it was for the championship.
They did some smooth chain wrestling at the top of the match. These two complement each other physically, they’re just about the same height and around the same weight. The crowd was pretty loudly behind Cabana for this match.
Cabana missed a splash off the ropes when Aldis got his knees up. Cabana was able to counter back with the Billy Goat's Curse submission; Aldis grabbed the ropes for a break.
Aldis later landed a tombstone and a big diving elbow drop for a late-match two count. Cabana returned with a big quebrada onto Aldis for two. The crowd was into this.
Right as this happened, Marty Scurll ran to the ring and stole the NWA title. Kamille got in his face and Aldis blindsided him. Cabana then dropkicked Aldis but knocked him into Scurll. Scurll and Cabana then started jawjacking and getting into it physically, causing the ref to call the match as a DQ in favor of Cabana, who won, though Aldis retained.
Scurll smashed the NWA title over Aldis' face after to build for their match at the Crockett Cup event on April 27, which will also be on Honor Club.
Dalton Castle came to the ring next. People still cheered him despite turning against The Boys at the MSG show last week. He walked around the ring and through the crowd with a mic and teased saying something but didn’t. He smirked and walked to the back. That’s it. People still chanted his name after he was gone.
ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Championship match: Villain Enterprises (Marty Scurll, Brody King & PCO) defeated The Kingdom (ROH World Champion Matt Taven, Vinny Marseglia & TK O’Ryan) in a Columbus Street Fight to retain their titles
Chaotic brawl that went all over the place. Scurll got on the mic and said since they had done this match so many times before, tonight they'll make it interesting and make the match a Columbus Street Fight. The Kingdom didn’t hesitate to agree and the teams brawled as the bell rang.
Brody King and PCO did tope con giros at the beginning of the match. King and PCO have such unique and distinct charisma. A few minutes later, the chairs were brought in. There were four or five chairs in the ring at one point and they did a series of chair spots. Scurll sat and flexed on the chairs and probably got the biggest pop of that section.
Later, Marseglia and O’Ryan superplexed 51-year old PCO onto about five of the aforementioned folding chairs inside the ring, which was followed by a “holy sh*t” chant from the crowd.
The crowd then chanted for tables. Marseglia and O’Ryan argued over whether to use a table or not and Taven tried to mediate -- but Scurll and King caught them and tossed them back into the ring. Scurll and King did some cool double-team moves together.
There was a lot of stalling as the Kingdom set a table up in the corner of the ring. King later used the table by putting Matt Taven through it with a Death Valley Driver. Scurll snapped Taven’s fingers after this.
Marseglia kept acting like he wanted to pull out more tables from under the ring. The teams spilled back to the floor and later King gave Marseglia a big lariat on the entrance stage.
O’Ryan was on the top rope going for something when Scurll snapped fingers on both of O’Ryan’s hands, then spit in his face until O’Ryan lost his balance and fell through a few tables. Marseglia did an Acid Drop from the apron to the floor, then a somersault senton through a table to King near the announce table. Carnage and craziness all over the place.
In the ring, Taven gave PCO a low blow and hit the Climax on him, but Scurll made the save. Taven screamed about how he’s so sick of Scurll and called him a Melvin. He did Just the Tip, the running knee, then kept telling Scurll to get up so that he could hit him with the ROH belt.
Instead, PCO out of nowhere got up like Frankenstein and hit Taven with the belt. PCO then hit his monstrous moonsault on Taven to pin the current ROH World Champion only one week after he won the title. The announcers put this over huge and were screaming their heads off.
The show’s final shot was of PCO holding not just his ROH Six-Man title but also the ROH World title over a prone Matt Taven. Let’s see if this leads to a title shot for PCO in the next few months.