10th Mar2021

‘Ring of Honor’ Wrestling Review (Mar 5th 2021)

by Nathan Favel

Welcome to this week’s review of Ring Of Honor, right here on Nerdly. I’m Nathan Favel and we have our ROH TV episode and a special TV Title Match shown only on the internet. Wait…TV on the internet?! Does not compute! Danger, Will Robinson! Danger! We have a #1 Contender’s bout to get to for a shot at the ROH World Title. Why don’t we get right to the fun? No? Then what the hell are you even doing here? F—k off!

ROH The Experience (Facebook/YouTube)

Match #1: (Main Event) Dragon Lee def. Brian Johnson – ROH World Television Championship Match

The following is courtesy of rohwrestling.com:

“The Mecca” Brian Johnson gave ROH World Television Champion Dragon Lee some anxious moments, but Lee ultimately retained his title in a match aired exclusively on YouTube and the ROH The Experience Facebook page. An ultra-aggressive Johnson took the fight to Lee right from the opening bell. After several minutes of hard-hitting, back-and-forth action, Johnson hit The Process and came within an eyelash of pinning Lee. The champion recovered and went on to hit Incinerator for the victory at the 6:52 mark. Lee, the first man to hold the ROH World Television and World Tag Team titles simultaneously, is riding a wave of momentum. He and fellow La Faccion Ingobernable member Kenny King defeated Jay Lethal and Jonathan Gresham for the tag title on last weekend’s episode of “Ring of Honor Wrestling.” Lee has held the World Television Title since December 2019. Johnson secured the title match by winning a Facebook poll to determine who among six candidates should receive a shot at Lee’s title.

The Score: 7 out of 10

  • The Good: Brian was fired-up the whole way through. It was a blast to see Dragon Lee get aggressive like Brian and take it to him in very un-lucha like fashion. Lee is really showing a tremendous amount of progress in his ability to wrestle a more balanced style, but still in the lucha libre skill-set.
  • The Bad: This felt a little disjointed from time to time and a bit anemic in the middle of the bout.
  • The Verdict: I wish that this had appeared on the actual ROH TV broadcast, but I understand that a certain portion of wrestling fans watch wrestling exclusively on the internet, so there you go. The match was damn good.

ROH TV

Match #1: Dalton Castle def. Josh Woods – Pure Rules Match

The following is courtesy of rohwrestling.com:

It would be an understatement to say that things have not been going well for Castle. The former ROH World Champion has lost four of his past five singles matches, the most recent of which was to Woods by submission in a Pure Rules Match six weeks ago. Castle asked for this rematch with Woods in an effort to get back on track. If Castle doesn’t win it, he suggested that his time in ROH could be over. “If I don’t beat Josh Woods, maybe I don’t belong here,” Castle said. “If I don’t beat Josh Woods with the plan I got in my head, I’m out.” Woods, who has defeated two former ROH World Champions (Castle and Lethal) in the past few months, has plenty of motivation to defeat Castle again. Woods is the No. 1 contender for the ROH Pure Title held by Jonathan Gresham, and a loss to the unranked Castle undoubtedly would knock him out of the top spot. “Beating Dalton Castle for a second time, that gives me momentum to face Jonathan Gresham,” Woods said. “An opportunity I don’t deserve; an opportunity I earned. To look Jonathan Gresham in the eye and confidently tell him I am going to be the next Ring of Honor Pure Champion.” Woods caught Castle in the Gorilla Lock, but Castle used his first of his three allotted rope breaks. After the match spilled to the floor, Castle rammed Woods back-first into the apron and hip-tossed him over the barricade. Castle then hit an exploder suplex on the floor. Back inside the ring, Woods hit a springboard enziguri to halt Castle’s momentum. Woods hit a butterfly suplex for a two count. Woods applied the Gorilla Lock again, and Castle used his second rope break. At that point, Castle pulled up, as it appeared his chronic back pain had flared up. Woods hesitated, and Castle caught him in an inside cradle for the win at 9:44.

The Score: 7 out of 10

  • The Good: This was pretty damn good for a bout that needed a bit more time on the clock. Castle and Woods continued to have chemistry in the ring together. They ducked and weaved in and out of each other’s maneuvers like waves crashing in the tide. Castle always had the impish behavior of a deviant mind on display and that really helped the match get to the end.
  • The Bad: This bout felt like it ended rather abruptly, but perhaps that was just because the match went a bit shorter than it ought to have.
  • The Verdict: While not the most exciting bout possible from these two, you can expect to see some top-notch action from two very talented wrestlers and that’s just fine.

Match #2: (Main Event) Jay Lethal def. Jay Briscoe, EC3 and Matt Taven – Four Corner Survival Match for ROH World Title Shot

The following is courtesy of rohwrestling.com:

Each of these elite competitors knows what it’s like to be world champion. Lethal, Briscoe and Taven have five ROH World Titles between them, and EC3 was a two-time world champion before coming to ROH. While all four of them are focused on winning this match for the right to face ROH World Champion RUSH in the main event of the 19th Anniversary pay-per-view on March 26, there also are some compelling subplots. Lethal and Taven have been rivals for nearly a decade, battling each other numerous times in classic ROH World and World Television title matches. Although their rivalry has been fierce, Lethal and Taven gradually developed mutual respect. As for Briscoe and EC3, they’ve been butting heads since EC3 showed up in ROH last fall. In their match against each other in November, EC3 goaded Briscoe into losing his cool and getting disqualified less than two minutes into the bout. EC3 resurfaced a couple weeks ago when he paid “The Mercenary” Flip Gordon to cost Jay and Mark Briscoe their match against Dragon Lee and Kenny King for a shot at the ROH World Tag Team Title. Lethal, Taven, Briscoe and EC3 recently spoke with ROH about the upcoming match. Here are some excerpts: Lethal: “Me becoming the Ring of Honor Champion, sure I want to say that I need to do it, I want to say that it’s my destiny; it’s this company’s destiny. And it’s going to happen. Because The Foundation is rebuilding this company brick by frickin’ brick.” Taven: “Maybe the fact that [Vincent] is too much of a coward to agree to [face me] is exactly what I needed, because now I can focus on the only reason why I’m here. The only reason why any of us should be here is to be the Ring of Honor World Champion, and if you don’t understand that, there’s the door, don’t let it hit you in the ass on the way out.” Briscoe: “No disrespect to the other three guys in this match — well maybe a little bit to ‘Narrative Boy’ (EC3) — but what the people want to see whether they realize it or not is RUSH versus Jay Briscoe. So I’m fittin’ to give the people what they want.” EC3: “These three men have tasted it. They have craved it. They desire it. They yearn for it. They challenge for it. They eat, live, breathe and sleep for the Ring of Honor Championship. That is not purpose, that is addiction. How can you control your narrative if you allow something to control you?” Before the match began, everyone adhered to the Code of Honor except Briscoe, who refused to shake EC3’s hand. Briscoe unloaded punches and kicks on EC3 as soon as the opening bell sounded. EC3 rolled out of the ring, and Briscoe followed him and stayed on the attack. Taven dropkicked Lethal out of the ring, and the two of them also started fighting on the floor. EC3 tried to whip Briscoe into the barricade, but Briscoe ended up simultaneously clotheslining Lethal and Taven. Later, Taven clotheslined Lethal over the top rope and hit Flight of the Conqueror on Lethal and EC3. After a series of moves left all four men down, Lethal and Briscoe formed a momentary alliance to superplex Taven. However, EC3 got underneath them and sent all three of them crashing to the mat. EC3 grabbed a weakened Briscoe and yelled at Lethal to kick him in the head, but Lethal punched EC3 instead. Lethal applied the figure-four leglock to Briscoe, but EC3 powerbombed Taven onto Lethal to break the hold. EC3 and Briscoe again brawled outside the ring. This time, they fought over the barricade. EC3 headed to the back, with Briscoe in pursuit. Suddenly, Vita VonStarr of The Righteous appeared at ringside perched on the barricade. Taven hit Just the Tip on Lethal for a near fall. Taven hit a DDT and connected on a springboard enziguri on Lethal for another near fall. As Taven set up for the Climax, VonStarr ran around outside the ring and hopped on and off the apron. Taven released Lethal and implored the referee to deal with VonStarr. Lethal got to his feet and hit Lethal Injection for the win at 14:04.

The Score: 7 out of 10

  • The Good: I’d say there was a lot of snappy action here. This was no master-class in wrestling technique, but it was a proper display in how to pace a multi-man match and get some-thing good out of it. EC3 looked excellent here, with his bruising style of combat really coming through in a pinch. Jay Briscoe brought his usual fervor to the bout, which balanced well with the other Jay, Jay Lethal. Each man’s individual offensive slant didn’t necessarily complement one another, but they did co-exist, so that’s some-thing encouraging.
  • The Bad: This wasn’t the most spectacular match, despite being solid as a rock…The Rock…The Rock says shut your mouth ya thong wearin’ fatty! The match sort of just ended rather than culminated in a grand climax.
  • The Verdict: If you want a light and fluffy main event with some heavy cream splashed in to the deliciousness, then you might be fairly pleased with this Dwight Yoakum of matches.

Major News:

  1. Jay Lethal will challenge RUSH for the ROH World Title at the 19th Anniversary pay-per-view on March 26.
  2. Next week’s matches are:
    Flip Gordon vs. Flamita
    Kenny King (w/Amy Rose) vs. Tony Deppen
    Dak Draper vs. Fred Yehi – Pure Rules Match
  3. Silas Young wants to get back to tagging with Josh Woods so he can teach him the final skills to become a great main eventer.

Final Verdict: 7/10

This was an easy show to watch, because the matches were of solid stock and the way they were promoted was very believable. There’s nothing on this show that was offensive to the senses. That being said, there wasn’t a lot of sizzle to this steak, but when you order steak and receive an edible steak, the lack of sizzle, while unfortunate, doesn’t detract from the fact that you got some steak. This show was a nice, thick slab of steak and it was damn easy to chew. If there had been some spice on that beefy sucker, then this f—ker might have been better than good.

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