Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Quinn McKay welcomed the audience to the show from her usual spot in the ROH studio. McKay revealed that this week’s episode is a “Top Prospect” special. Some of the rising stars in the company will be in action, and the two most recent winners of the Top Prospect tournament will face off in singles action as ROH Pure Champion Josh Woods takes on Dak Draper in the main event.
Rayo defeated Joe Keys, Adrian Soriano, and Eric Martin in a four-way match (7:57)
Adrian Soriano was on a different level early on in the match, hitting a combination of moves on all of his opponents. After downing Rayo with a great standing dropkick, Soriano was stopped dead in his tracks by Joe Keys, who executed a few German suplexes.
Eric Martin ran in and tried to stop the momentum of Keys, but he was met with another German suplex. Keys was in control of the match headed into a commercial break.
Rayo nailed Soriano with a butterfly backbreaker as the bout returned from commercial. Rayo tried to capitalize by going to the top rope, but Soriano met him up there and was able to hit a superplex. Keys found his way back in the match -- but before he could do anything of substance, he was shoved into the corner post by Soriano.
Soriano and Keys kept focusing strictly on each other, while Rayo and Martin were more focused on winning the match. Martin tried for a spinebuster, but Rayo reversed the move and hit a standing kick to Martin’s face. Rayo followed it up with a springboard DDT, then a springboard elbow drop that was able to secure him the victory.
Matt Makowski (w/ Rocco) defeated Dante Caballero (12:06)
Matt Makowski took Dante Caballero to the mat with a headlock early on, focusing on that area heavily. Caballero virtually got no offense in on Makowski into a commercial break.
Makowski was still in full control of the match when the break returned. He nailed Caballero with a few forearm strikes. But after Makowski celebrated for a split second, Caballero was able to pick him up and hit a very quick Falcon’s Arrow for a near fall.
Caballero used the momentum to his advantage, hitting a spinebuster on Makowski shortly after. After kicking out of Caballero’s pin attempt, Makowski took back control of the match and delivered a kick to the face of Caballero before locking in an armbar. Caballero submitted to the maneuver almost immediately.
ROH Pure Champion Josh Woods defeated Dak Draper to retain his title (13:45)
Although this was supposed to be a non-title match, Dalton Castle and Dak Draper convinced Josh Woods to put his Pure Championship on the line shortly before the bell rang.
Woods hoisted up Draper in a clutch, but Draper caught the top rope with his feet, therefore costing him his first rope break. Draper was frustrated, but he would turn his frustration into an ankle pick that took Woods off the mat. Woods escaped the hold rather quickly and began unloading on Draper in the corner with open hand strikes.
Draper responded to the offensive onslaught with a closed fist, which he was issued a warning for. A commercial break ensued shortly after.
Draper had control of the match when the break ended, but Woods changed course with a springboard knee strike that landed right between the eyes of Draper. Woods kept it going with a few running strikes in the corner. But when he attempted a pin, Draper got his foot on the rope.
Draper escaped an armbar and turned it into a powerbomb, but it wasn’t enough to score the victory. Draper attempted another move, but Woods reversed it and positioned Draper in the tombstone before launching him over his head with a suplex. Woods picked up the victory via pinfall shortly after.
Next Week --
- ROH Women’s World Champion Rok-C defends against Holidead
- Christmas tag team match
Final Thoughts --
Although these matches still fail to bring much of a purpose to the table, they were all still solid bouts that entertained me thoroughly. Woods vs. Draper was especially very good, and I'm excited to see what the two can do if they are brought back to ROH in the future.