This week's Ring of Honor hyped up Saturday's Final Battle pay-per-view by featuring World Champion Bandido vs. PJ Black in a non-title match (with a twist) and Willow vs. Mandy Leon in a ROH Women’s title number one contender's match.
Willow defeated Mandy Leon (w/ Angelina Love) in an ROH Women's World title no. 1 contender's match (11:30)
Current champion Rok-C was on commentary for this bout.
Leon tried to ground Willow as soon as the bell rang, but was met with strength and resilience from the “Power Babe." After the two traded a few strikes, action spilled to the ringside area. Leon tossed Willow into the barricade right before the first ad break.
Leon was stomping on Willow in the corner when the match returned before applying a headlock in the center of the ring. Leon stayed true to her strategy of grounding Willow to the mat, but was still met with strong resistance.
Leon took a breather and allowed Willow to climb back into the match, hitting a momentum-changing spinebuster on Leon. Willow followed it up with a cannonball in the corner before going to the top rope and attempting a moonsault. However, she missed as Leon moved out of the way at the last second. Leon tried to capitalize shortly thereafter with a running dropkick, followed by an Astro Projection, but Willow kicked out of a pin attempt at the last second.
The finish was really overdone and didn’t need to happen. Leon called for Love to get a chair, but Quinn McKay ran down to the ring to stop Love from helping Leon. The rest of the women’s roster, separated by heels and faces, ran down and had a tug of war over this chair. Max The Impaler came down separately, threw Love into the heels, and seemed to turn face. Willow then struck Leon with a superkick and a Babe Bomb for the win.
Willow will challenge Rok-C for the title at Final Battle.
ROH World Champion Bandido (w/ Rey Horus) defeated PJ Black (w/ Flip Gordon) by DQ in a non-title match (6:03)
In a pre-match promo, Black hypnotized Gordon by saying that when he clapped twice, he would become “The Mercenary” again.
Black and Bandido wrestled to a stalemate early on with neither gaining a real advantage, despite having multiple wrestling exchanges that were very good. Bandido and Black eventually made their way on the apron where they traded a few strikes before hitting the floor.
Black showed frustration and asked Gordon to punch Bandido, but Gordon said that wasn’t “honorable." When Black clapped twice, Gordon nailed Bandido with a punch, therefore awarding the win to Bandido by disqualification.
Referee Todd Sinclair discussed this with both “sides” before then making the encounter a tag team match.
Mexisquad (ROH World Champion Bandido & Rey Horus) defeated PJ Black & Flip Gordon (6:56)
Horus was isolated by Black and Gordon early on thanks to frequent tags. Gordon hit a Kinder Surprise that warranted a close two count into a commercial break.
As soon as the bout returned from the break, Horus nailed Black with a tornado DDT off the top rope. Instead of attempting a pin, Horus sprinted and tagged Bandido in. Bandido immediately planted two kicks to the midsections of both Black and Gordon which sent them stumbling to the outside of the ring. Bandido then assisted Horus with a lift-up dive to the outside while the “Most Wanted” prepared to hit a frog splash on Gordon once he was rolled back in the ring by Horus. When the move was hit, Gordon kicked out at the last moment.
Once Black regained his composure, he rushed the ring and isolated Horus again. After instructing Gordon to lift Horus up on his shoulders, Black went to the top rope and hit a South African Destroyer with the assist from Gordon, but the pin was broken up by Bandido.
The finish came quickly after with Bandido hitting a top rope Spanish fly on Black before following it up with a 21-Plex for the win.
This week's episode featured two very illogical booking finishes, but some good wrestling. I genuinely felt like I was watching a WWE pay-per-view. Although it was nice to see Willow win, the end of the match was completely unnecessary. I could have done without any of the Mexisquad/Black & Gordon stuff as well. My rating for this week's episode is Avoid at all Costs.