Location: Baltimore, Maryland
The Big Takeaway --
Fred Yehi defeated Rocky Romero in a great match, while The Foundation made their first ROH Tag Team title defense against The OGK.
Quinn McKay made her return as host and checked in from the ROH studio. McKay gave thanks to all the fans who guided her to her first ROH match. McKay said while it was her first, it certainly won’t be her last.
McKay previewed the main event of tonight’s episode, pitting The Foundation’s Tracy Williams & Rhett Titus against The OGK in an ROH World Tag Team Championship match. McKay revealed that Vincent is still on voluntary hiatus, so Matt Taven & Mike Bennett should have a clear path to regain the gold they once held.
McKay also previewed the opening contest, where we will see the “Savageweight” Fred Yehi take on Rocky Romero in a Pure Rules match.
Right before the opening match started, the camera cut backstage and showed Matt Taven laying on the ground in pain. Mike Bennett came to Taven's aid and helped him to the trainer’s room.
Fred Yehi submitted Rocky Romero in a Pure Rules match (14:44)
The Code of Honor was adhered to.
Yehi and Romero went to the mat quickly, which resulted in Yehi applying a deathlock. Romero swept the leg and got out of the hold rather easily. Both guys attempted to apply a couple of different holds, but they all resulted in a stalemate.
Romero had a great headlock applied through a commercial break until Yehi used a rope break to escape the hold. Yehi took advantage of the opening he was afforded and powerslammed Romero.
Romero kept trying to hit big moves, but Yehi had him scouted very well. Yehi applied a wristlock at one point and hit a chokeslam with the wristlock still applied. Romero eventually was able to recover and attempted his Forever Clothesline, but Yehi again had it scouted. This took us into a commercial break.
Back from the break, Romero was able to lock in his signature armbar, but Yehi used his second rope break to escape. Romero went to the top turnbuckle and was positioned, but Yehi yanked him off. Yehi followed it up with a brutal looking T-Bone suplex. Yehi applied the Koji Clutch, but Romero used his first rope break.
As we approached the 15-minute time limit, Romero and Yehi made it back to their feet. Romero tried to deliver a knee to the face, but it was blocked swiftly. Yehi clocked Romero with a forearm that sent him crumbling to the canvas, then applied the Koji Clutch again. Romero hesitated but then eventually submitted.
Flip Gordon speaks
Flip Gordon came to the ring. Gordon said he was sick of waiting around for ROH World Champion Rush and seeing everybody else fail to beat him. Gordon demanded that Rush come to the ring and give him his World title match right now (despite Rush being suspended from ROH last week).
EC3 came out instead. EC3 said “You’ve been warned” to Gordon and walked off.
ROH Tag Team Champions The Foundation (Tracy Williams & Rhett Titus) defeated The OGK (Matt Taven & Mike Bennett) to retain their titles (16:01)
Williams and Bennett began the match. Both men exchanged wristlocks, followed by a few headlocks. Williams was able to take Bennett to the mat first though, giving The Foundation an edge. Bennett was able to get back to his feet fast, tagging in Taven.
Taven traded strikes with Williams before being Irish whipped into the corner, where he avoided a running Williams by using the ropes to lift himself into the air. Taven was sent back to the canvas ankle-first, and he immediately limped to tag out.
Bennett worked on Titus throughout a commercial break, but Taven eventually tagged back in. Titus and Williams were able to perform a few double team maneuvers on Taven before Williams cinched in a beautiful cloverleaf submission.
Taven tried to muster up some momentum after clocking Titus with an enzuigiri, but it was stopped after Williams tagged back in and continued to cut the ring in half. Taven was able to deliver his Just The Tip knee strike to Williams eventually, allowing for Bennett to come in for the hot tag.
Titus and Bennett came in and Bennett took control of the match immediately, backing Titus in the corner and delivering about 20 chops. Williams came in to help his partner but was dropped with a hammerlock DDT from Bennett. Bennett kept the heat on and tagged back out to Taven, allowing the duo to hit a great superkick/spear combination. Taven tried to put away Titus with a pin, but it only resulted in a two count. This took us into a commercial break.
Back from the break, Williams tagged in and brutalized Taven with a clothesline. A few moments later, Taven was able to hit a flatliner and turn it into a crossface. Williams lifted himself up and just tossed Taven over his head with ease. A hell of a performance by Tracy Williams here.
As the match continued, there was a great moment where Bennett had Titus in a vice grip. Williams responded by putting Taven in a Boston crab right in front of Bennett. The two had a slap off before both men spiked their opponents with the same style of piledriver. A little bit of an ego-off.
Bennett and Williams continued their face-off, trading stiff forearms. Titus eventually was able to tag in and position Taven in the corner for a big boot, which connected swiftly. Titus then dropkicked Taven into Williams' grasp -- and Williams spiked him with a piledriver for the win.
After the match, Taven and Bennett were discussing his ankle injury when Vincent appeared on the screen. Vincent taunted Taven with Taven's own catchphrase before vanishing.
Final Thoughts --
What a phenomenal episode of television for ROH. Both matches more than exceeded expectations, especially the Tag Team title match. It’s definitely worth going out of your way to watch. Matt Taven has really improved as an all-around wrestler, especially when it comes to selling. Rhett Titus, who once was an afterthought for ROH, is on the run of his career right now with constant great performances. Tracy Williams might be the best wrestler in the company. Mike Bennett looked great.
Rocky Romero putting over Fred Yehi was an excellent decision as well. Yehi has true star potential and is a really good wrestler.
I don't have too much to say about the Gordon/EC3 promo. Gordon is a really awkward promo, and did nobody inform him of Rush's suspension? EC3 should have just dropped him right then and there.
One complaint I have: I think the Taven/Vincent stuff has gone on too long at this point. The feud should have ended with their match at the 19th Anniversary PPV. I personally want to see Vincent and The Righteous explore new feuds and opponents. Same with Taven.