Date: November 2nd, 2020
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Looking Ahead: For the first time in 14 years, we will crown a new Ring Of Honor Pure Champion. Also on tab, Shane Taylor Promotions takes on the trio of EC3 & The Briscoes.
Quinn McKay welcomed us to the show. We get a promo package hyping up Tracy Williams vs. Jonathan Gresham. McKay notes that this is Gresham’s match to lose. She also reviewed last week's encounter between Matt Taven and Vincent. She revealed that ROH will not tolerate another incident like this, and both men would be punished if it happens again.
McKay then replayed last week’s promos from EC3 and Shane Taylor to set up the six-man tag match.
Shane Taylor Promotions (Shane Taylor, Moses Maddox, & Jasper Kaun) defeated EC3 and The Briscoes after Taylor pinned Mark Briscoe (9:16)
EC3 started the match with Kaun. After an early lock up, EC3 immediately took Kaun down. Kaun rolled out, but baited EC3 right back in the ring. EC3 continued to dominate Kaun before tagging in Mark Briscoe. After some back and forth, Kaun sent Briscoe into the corner and hit a running splash, followed by Moses tagging himself in. After both men ran the ropes, Jay Briscoe tagged himself in and hit a double team maneuver on Moses.
We came back from break and all hell had broken loose. Kaun ran and ate a clothesline from EC3. Moses took advantage and smushed EC3 in the corner. Moses then ate a springboard dropkick from Mark Briscoe. Taylor and Jay made their way back in the ring, to which Taylor hit a V-Trigger type knee strike which only got a two count.
Taylor tagged out to Moses, who repeatedly stomped Briscoe in the corner, causing EC3 to enter the ring. The referee backed EC3 out of the ring while Moses tagged back in Taylor. Taylor knocked EC3 off the apron. Jay made the hot tag to Mark Briscoe, to which Briscoe double drop kicked Moses and Kaun off the apron. Briscoe went to the top and attempted a frog splash, but nobody was home. Taylor followed up the missed maneuver with his piledriver finisher for the win.
We shift our focus to the main event. We first heard from Tracy Williams, who admitted his time in ROH so far has been flawed by failures. He also admitted he has failed to restore honor. Williams said he called Gresham before the tournament began and told him he’d meet him in the finals. Williams called his shot and says he’d be the one holding the Pure Championship over his head by the end of the night.
Gresham talked about this phone call as well. He says this tournament is more than just the championship, but it’s based on the principle of The Foundation. Gresham said it’s his job to bring attention to the men and women who view the sport the way he does. Gresham also said that ROH had lost honor and identity. Gresham said that no matter who wins, The Foundation has achieved their goal in restoring Honor.
Jonathan Gresham submitted Tracy Williams to win the Ring Of Honor Pure Championship (14:36)
Williams wore a cast on his left shoulder, selling the injuries from last week’s match with Jay Lethal. Both men adhered to the Code Of Honor. Gresham and Williams exchanged holds and twists early, which resulted in both men rolling out of the ring. Gresham hit an arm drag on Williams on the hard ringside floor. Williams recovered rather quickly and gawked down Gresham. Gresham and Williams mutually agreed to get back in the ring. As Gresham worked on Williams' ankle, we went to break.
Back from break. Gresham sprung off the rope and kicked Williams bare arm. Gresham got Williams on the ropes, which cost Williams his first rope break. Williams takes advantage and begins to work on the neck of Gresham. Williams worked Gresham down to the mat for a series of near falls. Gresham used his first rope break. Gresham and Williams made their way back to their feet, where Williams began to work on the neck of Gresham again. Williams applied a front face lock to Gresham, but Gresham countered with a brainbuster.
Williams popped back up very fast and chopped Gresham in the chest, which dropped him to the mat. Gresham made his way back to his feet quickly, and pounced on Williams, nailing his shoulder with an Engurazi. He followed it up with a bridging German suplex, which warranted him a two count. Both men got up fast, to which Williams stiffly clotheslined Gresham for a two count.
Back from break and Williams and Gresham are laying on the ringside floor from a body scissors maneuver that took both men out of the ring. Williams was the first one back in. Gresham tried to spring through the middle rope, but Williams caught him and planted him with a brainbuster. Williams immediately followed it up with a crossface. After being in the submission for 25 seconds, Gresham used his second rope break.
Gresham sprung up as quickly as possible and hit a series of running forearms onto a grounded Williams. Williams fought through the pain and spiked Gresham with his signature piledriver, which got him a two count after Gresham used his third and final rope break. Williams, clearly frustrated, brought Gresham to his feet. Gresham blocked a chop from Williams, spun him around, and locked in The Octopus for the win.
Jonathan Gresham is the new ROH Pure Champion!
Jay Lethal makes his way to the ring to celebrate with Gresham after the match. Williams shook hands with Gresham and exited the ring. Lethal straps the title on Gresham and exits the ring as well.
ROH rolls on with another great show. The six-man tag match was excellent. Shane Taylor has improved SO much over his tenure in Ring Of Honor, He’s quickly becoming one of my favorites. It was refreshing to see The Briscoes back in action as well. Also impressed by Kaun and Moses, they have the potential to be a great tag team.
I honestly expected the finals of the Pure Championship tournament to be a longer match, considering the time limit being 60 minutes. The story was excellent though, and the odds on favorite of the whole tournament, Jonathan Gresham, won. He deserves it, he’s worked his ass off to become one of the best in the world.