Quinn McKay opened the show, running down the card for us tonight.
Jay Briscoe cut a promo on EC3. Briscoe said that he had been derailed from his purpose of winning the tag team titles, and had to take on EC3. EC3 said he was looking to find out if honour is real, and he wanted to see if Briscoe would live up to the ROH name and if he had what it took to show him if honour is real.
EC3 defeated Jay Briscoe via DQ
EC3 kept offering to shake hands with Briscoe, but he wouldn’t meet Briscoe’s eyes. After a brief exchange, EC3 connected with an elbow and offered to shake the hand again, as the announcers speculated that EC3 has lost his mind, as he refused to look directly at Briscoe. Jay refused the handshake and attacked. Briscoe choked EC3 in the corner and didn’t stop at the 5 count, so the referee disqualified him.
Briscoe continued to attack and claw at EC3 as EC3 begged Briscoe to hit him, yelling “Control your narrative!”. He offered himself for a Jay Driller, but security broke it up.
Quinn McKay asked why Jay Briscoe, of all people, wouldn’t uphold the Code of Honor when against EC3. Briscoe said “Because f*** him.” A simple enough reason, I suppose.
A video aired for LSG telling us how he became a fan of ROH, and how seeing Jay Lethal live is why he became a wrestler. He said after years of work, and a bad 2019 with his tag team Coast 2 Coast he’s now in the position Lethal was years ago – no longer a young boy. He’s ready to step it up.
LSG said he was training harder than ever during the break from the pandemic, and that this match with Lethal meant everything to him because he wanted to prove he could hang with Lethal, saying “The boy who wanted to be you is now going to beat you!”
Jay Lethal cut a promo about how the Pure title tournament didn’t quite go as he planned, losing to Tracy Williams. He had no problem that Williams was the better man that night, and that his goal is rebuilding ROH and bringing structure to it. He wanted to have this match with LSG because LSG was in the same position he was with Samoa Joe years ago.
These video packages were phenomenal. I understood the motivation and character of both right away, with Lethal being the experienced veteran and LSG looking to Lethal as a mentor that he needed to overcome.
Jay Lethal defeated LSG in a Pure Rules Match via split decision
This was contested under Pure Match rules, meaning it went for 15 minutes and each wrestler would get 3 rope breaks the entire match. LSG watched Lethal for years, so he was able to counter a lot of Lethal’s offence staying with him throughout the match. Lethal went for a figure four, but LSG used his first rope break. LSG stayed with Lethal as the match went on, with Lethal being one step ahead for most of the match.
Lethal went to the top rope, but LSG read him and knocked Lethal to the floor before hitting a dropkick to the floorl. LSG targeted the neck from that point forward. Lethal finally hit his cartwheel dropkick and dropkicked LSG to the floor before hitting a suicide dive. Lethal went for a Lethal Injection, but LSG caught him and hit the Rock-a-By-Baby Suplex and locked in the Muta Lock, pulling Lethal’s arm across his face.
Lethal managed to reach the ropes just as the time limit expired. It went to the judges decision, where they awarded Lethal the victory via split decision. They shook hands after the match, with LSG making it clear that he thought he could have beaten Lethal with more time. Lethal smiled and looked like he was embracing the challenge.
Matt Taven defeated Bateman
This match marked Taven’s official return to the ring after his injury that left him out for almost a year. In storyline, Bateman and Vincent took out Taven, and he wants revenge en route to Final Battle, when he faces Vincent.
Taven took it to Bateman quite aggressively in this match. Taven hit a suplex early, so he went for one again later, but Bateman countered into a Twist and Shout. Taven countered an Irish whip with a complete shot then locked on the Trend Setter, but Bateman made the ropes.
Taven hit a dive over the top rope and nailed Bateman, but immediately began selling his knee. Taven then missed a frog splash, but succeeded in rolling Bateman up for a pinfall. Bateman attacked Taven after the match and hit a tombstone in Vincent’s direction.
Vincent cut a promo about how Taven was embarrassing and that there wasn’t a single soul in the arena, yet he was still desperate for attention. Vincent said that he would never get the approval he was looking for, and his legacy is that of a failure.
Vincent went to throw a dart at Taven’s chest, but the lights went out and it ended up being none other than Mike Bennett. Bennett ran Bateman and Vincent off and hugged Taven as the show went off the air. The Kingdom is back.