Location: Baltimore, Maryland
The Big Takeaway --
Jonathan Gresham defeated Joe Keys in a Pure Championship match, while The Bouncers fell to The OGK in tag team action. After being goaded by Vincent, Beer City Bruiser smashed a beer bottle over Matt Taven's head in the show-closing angle.
Per usual, Quinn McKay welcomed us to the program and ran down the card. Jonathan Gresham is defending his Pure Championship against Joe Keys and The Bouncers are squaring off with The OGK.
Keys had a pre-match video package. Keys revealed that the ROH Dojo participants didn’t have much faith in the system until Gresham took over and went to bat for them. He got emotional at one point, noting that his original trainer RJ Meyer tragically passed away a few months ago. Keys dedicated the match to him and the rest of the ROH Dojo.
Gresham also had some comments before the match. Gresham touted the success of The Foundation at Final Battle. He shamed Flip Gordon for even trying to become a pure wrestler, saying it takes years and years to master that craft.
Gresham applauded Keys for earning a Pure Championship shot and dared him to come at the throne. Gresham’s promo skills have turned the corner since coming back -- he’s showing real confidence and ease with the microphone.
ROH Pure Champion Jonathan Gresham submitted Joe Keys to retain his title (12:42)
Dak Draper joined the commentary team before the match.
The Code of Honor was adhered to.
After a few seconds of back and forth, Gresham locked in a leg head lock on Keys. Keys almost immediately used his first rope break. Gresham stood Keys up and shook his hand, separating themselves and locking up again. Gresham started a shoulder tackle battle that Keys ended up winning.
Gresham and Keys exchanged forearms to the skull before Gresham began targeting the shoulder of Keys. Gresham cinched in a head scissors submission, but Keys escaped quickly and turned it into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Keys took advantage of the situation and turned Gresham’s attempt at a small package into a beautiful deadlift suplex. Keys kept on the attack, lifting Gresham into a deadlift German suplex.
Keys attempted a Boston crab that didn’t look very good, but it forced Gresham to use his second rope break. Keys kept the speed on and went to the top rope, then flew onto Gresham with a flying headbutt. Keys attempted a pin, but Gresham used his third and final rope break. This was only the second time Gresham has used three rope breaks in a Pure match. He gave Keys a lot in this match.
In the final sequence, Keys missed a diving headbutt and Gresham took advantage, twisting the arm of Keys behind his back and making him submit.
Mike Bennett was shown backstage getting his ankle taped up. Matt Taven approached him and told him constantly that he didn’t have to go out there tonight and compete. Bennett waived Taven off and told him he’d be out there.
Danhausen had a promo introducing himself to the ROH fans. Danhausen said he wanted to become a wrestler because it gets him on television and makes him famous in order to take over the world. Danhausen also said he doesn't swear because it’ll get him taken off TV. He called Brian Johnson an idiot for challenging him again.
Johnson had some words for Danhausen. Johnson said the problem with ROH is that nobody is talking about him. He called the fans clowns for getting Danhausen a contract and said he sacrificed his life for the business. Johnson claimed that Danhausen’s tombstone will read “Mecca vs. Everybody.”
It was announced that the Danhausen vs. Johnson rematch will be a match streamed on HonorClub and YouTube. This doesn’t really make much sense in my eyes, since the hype for it got 10 minutes of TV time.
The Bouncers hyped themselves up before their match with The OGK. Beer City Bruiser said that their quest to the ROH Tag Team titles starts tonight. Brian Milonas said they’re done messing around and they’re serious contenders now.
Taven and Bennett had a pre match promo as well. Taven apologized to Bennett for involving him in the Vincent feud the second he came back. Bennett said it’s always been about The OGK and to not worry about Vincent anymore, as he’s banned from the building for their match.
The OGK (Matt Taven & Mike Bennett) defeated The Bouncers (Beer City Bruiser & Brian Milonas) (11:56)
Milonas and Bennett started the match off. Bennett tried to test his ankle out a few times to no avail. He then tried to shoulder tackle Milonas again to no avail. Milonas threw Bennett into the ropes, causing Taven to tag in. The OGK then hit a double dropkick on Milonas.
Milonas drove Taven into his corner and tagged in Beer City Bruiser. The Bouncers were showing more heel tendencies here, which was nice to see. Bennett tagged himself in and tried to start chopping Bruiser, but Milonas tagged himself in.
After a while of tagging in and out, Bennett superkicked Milonas with his bad ankle. Taven came in to check on him, but Bruiser delivered a strong right hand to him and stomped on the ankle of Bennett. Bruiser continued to destroy Bennett's ankle while Milonas looked on in confusion. Bennett eventually baited Milonas and Bruiser to run at him. Bennett dodged both men and sent them over the top rope and onto the floor. Bennett finally tagged in Taven, who kicked Bruiser and dove onto Milonas at ringside.
Milonas eventually regained control of the match, slamming Taven to the mat and almost getting the pinfall victory, but Bennett broke it up. Taven jumped on Milonas' back and tried to apply a sleeper hold. Bennett then superkicked Milonas, sending him on his back and crushing Taven.
Bruiser tagged himself in and tried to bulldoze Taven, but Bennett came in and speared Bruiser. That prompted Taven to lock in “The Trendsetter'' for the win.
The Bouncers tried to toast with Taven and Bennett after the match, but Vincent and The Righteous interrupted. Vincent insulted Beer City Bruiser, calling him a lost cause in ROH. He also went after Milonas, calling his 18-year career a waste.
Vincent said that Taven’s stock is at a high right now while Bruiser and Milonas are collecting lint in their pockets. Bruiser had heard enough and smashed a bottle across Taven’s head and walked off. Milonas sat there in shock as the show went off the air.
Final Thoughts --
Another good show for ROH, but it definitely had its flaws. Gresham gave Keys a lot in their Pure Championship contest, but Keys unfortunately messed up a few key moments in the match.
Despite using about seven minutes of TV time to promote a Danhausen vs. Brian Johnson rematch (which I bought into), ROH is deciding to put the match on HonorClub and YouTube. I personally think the match belongs on TV, especially for a guy like Johnson who is trying to build his stock.
The main event was a good match on paper, but it really didn't deliver. All involved just seemed off in their timing.
The final angle of the show was very good though. Vincent getting so far in the head of Beer City Bruiser to make him turn heel was a good way to complete the turn, as Bruiser was already showing heel tendencies. I don’t really know where Milonas goes from here though.
Though Rush will be back in an eight-man tag match next week, he's getting to Brock Lesnar territory in terms of his championship run. He hasn’t appeared on ROH TV once since they came back from the pandemic break, only appearing at Final Battle. He should be on TV more, even if it’s just a phone promo.