The Big Takeaway: Flip Gordon defeated Rhett Titus in a stiff Pure Rules match and Dragon Lee defended his ROH Television Championship against 1/3rd of the ROH Six-Man tag team champions Rey Horus.
We began the broadcast with Quinn McKay, per usual. She ran down the TV card. McKay also showed a contender ranking system for the Television title similar to AEW’s. In first place was Rey Horus, followed by Tony Deppen, Dak Draper, Kenny King, and LSG. McKay mentioned that this will be a regular thing going forward for all divisions in ROH. I like this a lot and it should work out for ROH a lot better than it does for AEW.
McKay also announced that for the health and safety of the crew, Matt Taven and Vincent are banned from appearing at the same ROH event for now. I don’t think I really care about drawing this feud out more.
Rhett Titus cut a promo package before his match. He shamed Gordon for not shaking Jonathan Gresham’s hand after his loss at Final Battle. Titus also made fun of Gordon for thinking the earth is flat. He said he is going to beat the honor into Gordon.
Flip Gordon was up next and he defended his decision to not adhere to the Code Of Honor at Final Battle. He said there was no honor in the way Gresham won the match. Gordon also bragged about defeating Titus every single time they’ve wrestled each other. This wasn’t Gordon’s best promo work at all. His facial expressions really ruined it for me.
Flip Gordon pinned Rhett Titus in Pure Rules match (14:47)
Gordon again refused to adhere to the Code Of Honor.
Both men twisted up early with the end result being Titus attempting multiple pinning maneuvers with Gordon’s arms pinned to the mat. Titus maintained control afterward, wrenching in multiple armbars. Gordon eventually used his first rope break. Titus still remained in firm control of the match, locking in a Boston crab that caused Gordon to use his second rope break.
Gordon came back firing on all cylinders with a couple of open hand chops, followed by a swinging neck breaker on Titus. Gordon kept the momentum up with a stiff kick to the throat and cinching in a leg lock. Titus eventually made it to the ropes, using his first rope break to stop the hold.
Titus gave Gordon a stiff running boot in the corner that made his eyes turn inside out. Titus tried to cinch in another Boston crab after but Gordon escaped quickly. Titus went to the second turnbuckle but Gordon got up and sprung off the second rope, planting a kick square on Titus’ jaw. Titus fell to the outside and Gordon followed him and dumped him back in the ring. Gordon talked trash for a second before Titus rolled him into another Boston crab, causing Gordon to use his final rope break.
Gordon and Titus made their way back to their feet, with Gordon using a closed fist that sent Titus crashing to the mat. Gordon was only issued a warning and capitalized with a Flip-5 to get the win.
Gordon met with Quinn McKay after the match. McKay informed Gordon that due to his lack of honor and using a closed fist, he’s been suspended from the Pure Division. Gordon said he didn’t care and would join another division.
Rey Horus cut a promo prior to the main event. He revealed he was trained by Rey Mysterio Sr and that he has spent his entire life in the wrestling business. Horus said despite using a lot of Lucha Libre, he’s wrestled all over the world and can adapt to any style.
Dragon Lee appeared on screen with an ROH producer. The producer mic’d him up and asked him to sit, but Lee kicked the chair and shooed away the producer. Lee said that he’s going to destroy Horus and make him feel pain like never before. Lee came across like a superstar and a badass here with a short, effective promo..
Dragon Lee pinned Rey Horus to retain the ROH TV Championship (11:14)
Before Lee could enter the ring, Horus came flying over the top rope. Horus rolled Lee into the ring and planted him with a hurricanrana DDT which only warranted Horus a two count. Horus went to the apron but Lee came flying over the top rope and took Horus out with a hurricanrana to the floor. Lee and Horus stood back on their feet and began exchanging blows to the head until the ref reached a 19 count. Both men rolled back in the ring.
Lee connected with a pump knee, but Horus retaliated with a Spanish fly. Lee eventually cornered Horus and began delivering elbows to a grounded Horus. Lee brought Horus back to his feet and attempted to dropkick him, but Horus launched him over his head and into the turnbuckle.
Horus hoisted Lee on the top rope and connected with a Spanish fly. Lee bounced back with a flurry of offense and followed it up with a running powerbomb for a two count. Lee tried another powerbomb, but Horus reversed it into a Mexican destroyer. Horus still couldn’t put him away, however. Lee rose back to his feet and delivered two running knee strikes for the win..
ROH started off 2021 with a strong TV episode, despite a few weak points. Gordon’s promos came off really weak and forced. Dragon Lee was the highlight of this show by far, his promo was phenomenal and he’s an ELITE wrestler.
Not a fan of Gordon winning if he was just going to get removed from the pure division rankings. Speaking of rankings, I'm a big fan of them introducing a ranking system. As i said before, I feel like it will benefit ROH more than it does AEW.