This week's Ring of Honor TV furthered the Pure Championship Tournament with the A and B block semifinal matches. On tap tonight: Josh Woods vs. PJ Black and Fred Yehi vs. Tracy Williams with an EC3 appearance expected as well.
The lovely Quinn McKay recapped last week’s episode with Jay Lethal's win David Finlay and Jonathan Gresham's win over Matt Sydal. They both did promos with Lethal saying he knew from the beginning, he was going to face Gresham in finals just due to them being the two best wrestlers in the tournament. Gresham said he was disgraced by the fact Sydal was even allowed in the tournament, while also speaking up for the “pure” wrestlers at home not getting an opportunity.
Tracy Williams submitted Fred Yehi to advance to the Block A finals (14:03)
Yehi advanced to this point with a win over Silas Young while Williams defeated Rust Taylor.
They started off with a Catch Point handshake. They went to the corner where Yehi used his first rope break out of instinct. Williams tried to maneuver multiple types of headlocks which Yehi countered with a strong chinlock. Williams quickly countered and Yehi used his second rope break out of instinct again, leading into the first commercial.
During the break, Yehi forced Williams to use his first rope break. Williams grounded Yehi with a strong chinlock. Yehi found his way out and hit a German suplex on Williams and didn’t let go after, applying a strong waistlock. Yehi turned it into a Koji Clutch after working Williams to the ground, but Williams quickly used his second rope break. Williams took advantage of his time, and worked Yehi to the ground to apply a crossface. Yehi escaped and Williams brought him down quickly with a nasty looking brainbuster.
Both men made their way back up and the pace picked up dramatically. They exchanged forearms and schoolboy pins, but Williams trapped Yehi in the corner. He went up to the top with Yehi and hit his signature DDT onto the turnbuckle which only netted Williams a two count. Williams quickly followed up with another brainbuster, but Yehi got his foot on the rope at two and a half.
Yehi used his final rope break, but Williams stayed on the prowl, locking him in a dragon sleeper inside the ropes getting Yehi to quickly tap. Williams now faces Jay Lethal in the A Block finals
EC3 was out for a promo. He asked if honor is real and said that nobody really has honor. He questioned, "What actually is honor?" He ran down the big ROH name and asked if they have honor. He said he’s not here to wrestle, but to fight. He wants to purify himself with pain and sacrifice himself for honor. He says he’ll justify himself soon. He then went backstage and ran into Shane Taylor. Taylor told him to wipe his feet before he stepped into his metaphorical house. The Briscoes then approached Taylor and shot down the idea that ROH is Taylor’s house. Taylor and his Taylor Promotions goons challenged the Briscoes and EC3 to a six-man tag match in the future.
Josh Woods (w/ Silas Young) submitted PJ Black (w/ Brian Johnson) to advance to the B Block finals (13:27)
Woods got here by beating Kenny King via decision while Black beat Tony Deppen to advance.
The two traded arm holds early on. The cocky Woods tried to outsmart Black multiple times, but Black caught him every time. Silas and Johnson jawed at each other early in the match -- a friendly reminder that the tourney rule is that if someone interferes in a match, they will be fired.
After a commercial break, Black got knocked off the apron. Johnson checked on him quickly before Woods chased him off. Woods tossed Black back into the ring shortly after, and the competitors went to the mat almost immediately. Woods locked in an ankle lock almost immediately, causing Black to use his first rope break. Both guys then exchanged submissions before Black got Woods back up and hit a fireman's carry armbuster type maneuver. They laid in agony on the mat before springing back to their feet.
The pace picked up a bit with Black hitting a springboard clothesline, followed by a top rope axe handle, followed by a top rope crossbody. The series of maneuvers only netted Black a two count. Black eventually locked in a swinging submission, but Woods escaped and they traded stiff kicks and forearms. Woods got the advantage, taking Black to the ground and locking in the grapevine ankle lock which Black tapped quickly to.
Woods will now face Gresham in the B Block finals next week.
Next Week: Josh Woods will face Jonathan Gresham while his ROH Tag Team Championship partner Jay Lethal will face Tracy Williams.
Final Thoughts: I thought this week was above average. I preferred Williams vs. Yehi much more as a match over Black vs. Woods. I hope they keep Williams around for a long time as he’s really good while Yehi is a nice piece to keep around as well. I can’t seem to get myself into the whole EC3 thing in general as this type of character just doesn't seem to fit him. I am excited to see the Briscoes again though and the eventual six-man tag should be something to see.