The show aired Saturday night live from St. Charles, MO in front of a small but energized crowd, their second show in two nights after Friday's Bound By Honor show.
Villain Enterprises (Marty Scurll, Brody King & Flip Gordon) defeated the Briscoes (Jay & Mark Briscoe) and Slex
Like Friday night, this was a ripper of an opening match and if it happened under a different roof, it would have been torn to shreds.
Slex was impressive over this weekend. He and the Briscoes worked Gordon over for the first part of the match and both he and the Briscoes looked awesome here. King eventually got in and cleaned house, leading to some Villain Enterprises-led offense. They pulled off a handful of innovative and GIFable three-man attacks.
Mark Briscoe used a brutal looking uranage on Scurll that would surely make Sen. Hiroshi Hase proud. Then, because he’s Mark Briscoe, he busted out a flurry of Redneck Kung Fu and hit a huge dive from off a chair over the corner turnbuckles onto his opponents on the floor. Don’t sleep on the Briscoes.
When Jay called for the finish and was about to put Gordon away, Slex tagged himself in. Jay didn’t know what was going on. Slex went at the fully recovered Gordon and ate a crescent kick as a result of the hasty tag.
He bounced back and hit the Business Bomb, a spinning torture rack into a sit-out bomb which the crowd responded to. Gordon responded with a springboard spear and the Flip 5 for the win in a quick, all-action match. This was impressive stuff from everyone involved.
Shane Taylor and Sons of Savagery went after Slex after the match. Slex fended the heels off and was able to take Taylor out with a running dropkick to escape the ring.
Dan Maff defeated Alex Shelley
The two shook hands before the match, but right after the bell sounded, Shelley ran at Maff and blasted him with a low dropkick to the left knee. Maff later muscled Shelley back into a corner and connected with a big headbutt.
The mini-story inside this match was Shelley trying to get the much bigger Maff up and slam him somehow. First, he called for a German suplex and tried it on Maff, who countered and threw him to the mat with a rough waistlock slam. Shelley then shouted “You’re goin’ up!” to Maff before trying to bodyslam him. Maff ixnayed that and tore Shelley up with sharp chops in the corner.
Maff no sold a couple of Kawada-style soccer kicks to the head and screamed “COME ON YOU SON OF A B****!” which really woke the crowd up. Maff went on a tear late and whenever Shelley would try and rally back, Maff had an answer, shutting him down with a number of big power spots.
Shelley finally came through on his promise to slam Maff, getting him up into a bodyslam, followed by a German suplex and then Sliced Bread for a two count. It didn't help though as Maff eventually took Shelley out with the Burning Hammer for the win to wrap a really nice match between these two.
-- A training montage with PJ Black and Brian Johnson aired next. They were at the ROH dojo inside the ring. Black asked Johnson if he had a finishing move. Johnson got indignant with his mentor and asked Black what he could possibly teach him. Black then put Johnson out with a modified neckbreaker move and said that it would probably be his finisher.
By the end of the segment, Black had trained Johnson to focus his crazy misplaced anger and improve his in-ring skill at the dojo. He then offered Johnson his first white belt, which Johnson was ecstatic about.
The Righteous (Vincent and Bateman w/ Vita Von Star & Chuckles) defeated 2 Guys 1 Tag (Josh Woods and Silas Young)
Vincent and Bateman took Woods and Young out as soon as they stepped onto the entrance ramp. Vincent went after Young’s left knee in the ring. Ref Todd Sinclair signaled for the bell as soon as he had wrangled two men into the ring.
Bateman and Vincent both continued working over Young’s knee. Young powered out of a Vincent front facelock with a suplex and went to tag out to Woods, who was still gathering himself from the sneak attack on the entrance ramp. Woods eventually recovered and made into the match. He tossed Vincent and Bateman around with a few suplexes. He powerbombed Bateman onto Young’s knees as his knee was still tenderized from Vincent and Bateman’s cheap shots before the match.
The crowd fired up when Woods dove onto Bateman with a somersault off the apron. He’s getting into the zone and appears more comfortable with the charisma aspect of the game and is improving in sizable chunks every couple shows. He’s got some upside and ROH might have something with him.
A voice boomed over the PA and Brian Johnson stormed down the ramp and taunted 2 Guys 1 Tag for not having won the ROH tag titles Friday at Bound by Honor in Nashville. He said that when he and PJ Black got their shot at the tag titles, they wouldn’t lose like a “bunch of bozos.” Woods went after Johnson in the aisle while Vincent used the Acid Drop on Young for the crafty win.
Angelina Love defeated Session Moth Martina
The Bouncers (Brawler Milonas/Beer City Bruiser) were on commentary for this one and did a bit where Brawler Milonas has a crush on Martina.
Martina danced on her way to the ring, clad in a leopard print Snuggie, kissing a few older gentlemen on the hands around ringside. She didn’t have a problem getting over tonight and both she and Love looked to have some chemistry off the bat.
Martina offered Love a beer and everyone started chanting “Beer!” She made referee Steven Dumeng dance with her before the match. Love then attacked her at the bell and took her out with a running forearm.
Once the wrestling started, this was fine. The crowd was into the comedy and Mandy Leone interfered now and then. Midway through, they took each other out with a double clothesline. Love locked on a Koji Clutch until Martina got her foot on the bottom rope. Martina landed a pretty springboard codebreaker, but when she went for the pin, Leone stood up on the apron as a distraction so Dumeng ejected (or tried ejecting) her.
Martina came close to pinning Love with a few quick roll-ups, but Love finished her with a Botox Injection kick in a well-worked match.
The Bouncers got in the ring and offered Martina beers of condolence, and Martina went head-over-heels for the Bruiser but not Milonas.
Dalton Castle (w/ Joe Hendry) defeated Tracy Williams, Kenny King & Jeff Cobb
This was all action from the start. Cobb was on fire midway through, first ragdolling Williams with a spinning backdrop suplex and then planteing King with an Oklahoma Stampede powerslam, wrapping up the sequence by landing a standing moonsault onto all three opponents only to get a frustrating two count. Later, he busted out a tope con giro over the top to the floor onto all three. The guy is from another planet, I swear. This spot got an “R-O-H!” chant going.
Castle landed a spinning hurricanrana onto Cobb from off the apron, and Cobb then was launched into King at ringside with both crashing into the barricade. Castle went on to pin Williams after using the Bang-a-Rang to get the win.
-- Bully Ray came out next and got tons heat from his promo. He made fun of fans for not being able to hit him with streamers, and once someone did nail him, the crowd popped. He also wanted to give a shoutout to Stan Kroenke (sports owner that also owns the stadium next year's WrestleMania will be at), plus that Ring of Honor fans are the worst fans on the planet. He made fun of Bobby Cruise and went on to challenge anyone in the back to a match. If the winner won, he’d leave the company.
Caprice Coleman then stepped down from the announce table walked to the ring. Coleman told Bully Ray he understood what he was trying to prove. Since Ray said in his promo that none of the veterans would challenge him because he had dirt on them, Coleman responded that Ray didn’t have any dirt on him, and that he was ready to take Ray on in a match. Ray argued that Coleman was only an announcer now and wouldn’t wrestle him. Coleman said it was happening right here in St. Charles, MO, and the match was on.
Bully Ray defeated Caprice Coleman
Coleman speared Ray at the bell and laid in some punches. Ray countered with the Bubba Bomb and pinned Coleman in a squash that lasted under a minute or two.
Cheeseburger came out and made the save, but ate a big boot from Ray. A fiery Eli Isom ran out next and took Ray out, smashing him with a steel chair a couple times. Isom went to the floor and grabbed a table to the joy of the crowd, but once the table was set up inside the ring, Ray hit him with a low blow and powerbombed him through the aforementioned table.
Ray ordered referee Steven Dumeng to raise his hand and then called him stupid, pusheing him over before walking to the back.
ROH TV Champion Dragon Lee defeated Dak Draper to retain
Brian Zane joined Ian Riccaboni for commentary.
Instead of shaking hands, Draper teased Lee about his height. (Draper has to be at least a foot taller than Lee.) This was booked to have Draper look strong while in the ring with a national name as he dominated much of the match.
Lee rallied and caught Draper with a diving double stomp while Draper hung in a Tree of Woe in the corner. Draper later responded with a press slam into a powerslam for two.
When Draper went for a springboard attack, Lee caught him with a knee strike that looked a bit off. As Lee went for another running knee, he noticed Draper wasn't in position to take the move and had to stop, get his attention, and then do the move.
Lee picked up the win after the Incineration knee to the back of Draper’s head.
ROH Tag Team Champions Jay Lethal and Jonathan Gresham defeated Mexasquad (Bandido and Rey Horus) in a Proving Ground match
The stipulation in Proving Ground matches is that If Bandido and Horus defeated the champions or took them to a time limit draw, they earn a future title shot.
Lethal and Gresham attacked Mexasquad at the bell. They both worked Bandido over for a couple minutes until he tagged out to Horus, who went on a run of nonstop flashy spots including a big dive over the corner turnbuckle to the floor.
Gresham and Horus looked great in the ring together, especially in the middle of the match which is where the crowd really started to heat up.
Bandido used a Shooting Star Press but sold his knees after he landed and missed his chance at a three count. The finish came a bit after this when Lethal countered Bandido’s X-Knee and locked on the figure four for win via submission. Another solid match on tonight’s show in St. Charles.
Rush defeated PCO and Mark Haskins in a three-way to win the ROH World Championship
The crowd was chanting PCO’s name over and over before the match. Rush cursed at the crowd told them to shut up in both English and Spanish. It was all action from the start with lots of brawling and a number of dives. Haskins went for a dive at one point, but PCO caught him and chokeslammed him onto the apron.
When PCO went for the cannonball, Rush pulled Haskins out of the way and missed. He crashed against the apron, vicious looking as always.
Rush punished Haskins and whipped him into the barricades around the ring. There were a couple of enthusiastic Rush fans in the crowd and a few would yell for him while he brawled on the floor.
Haskins rallied back and ran from side to side in and out of the ring, serving up a penalty kick to PCO and a diving double footstep onto Rush, which he didn’t get quite all of.
Rush snapped PCO over with a belly-to-belly into the corner but was up immediately and laid Rush out with a running lariat. Haskins landed the Soldier Shoulder Roll on Rush for two. PCO landed the PCOsault on Haskins and at 2.5 of referee Todd Sinclair’s count, Rush pulled him out of the ring. He claimed he was distracted by a teenage fan in the front row, pulling rSinclair’s attention down to ringside and away from the match.
NWA World Champion Nick Aldis then did a run in and took PCO out with a belt shot to the face.
Rush got back into the ring and blasted PCO in the face with the Bull’s Horns and dragged him from the corner into the center of the ring to pin the champion.
La Faccion celebrated in the ring with Rush after the match. Haskins got into Rush’s face and the two jawed at each other until Dragon Lee threw Haskins to the mat. All three Faccion members stomped away at Haskins as the show ended.
Haskins is scheduled to face Rush, which will now apparently be a title match, on March 13 in Las Vegas at the ROH 18th Anniversary show.
For the most part, it was another quality show from ROH this weekend. The main event title change was a shock in that a) it kinda came out of nowhere and b) there wasn’t a real explanation as to what and why it happened. It makes it hard to discuss here as we have no idea where the ROH title picture is going into the coming spring season of joint shows with NJPW.
Hotshot booking aside, many of the matches were above average and worth checking out.