07th Oct2020

‘Ring of Honor: Pure Title Tournament – Week 4’ Review

by Nathan Favel

Welcome to this week’s Ring Of Honor review, right here on Nerdly. I’m Nathan Favel and we have the continuation of the Pure Title Tournament. Santa Claus is not real! Don’t like it?! Suck it! Begin!

Match #1: Tracy Williams def. Rust Taylor

The following is courtesy of rohwrestling.com:

Williams is a master wrestling technician whose skills translate perfectly to the pure style, but he faces a stiff challenge in Taylor, who possesses a similar skill set. While Taylor may be new to some ROH fans, he isn’t new to pro wrestling. The California native is a couple years older than Williams and has five more years of experience. Taylor, who began training at Jesse Hernandez’s School of Hard Knocks when he was 16, has wrestled all over the world, including Japan and Mexico. Williams, a native of Brooklyn, is one of the best pound-for-pound competitors in the sport. “Hot Sauce” made immediate impact in ROH in early 2019 when he became a charter member of LifeBlood, a faction whose mission statement was to restore honor to Ring of Honor. Williams holds victories over such stars as Jeff Cobb, former ROH World Champion Kye O’Reilly, Flip Gordon, Bully Ray, Colt Cabana, Chris Hero, and David Finlay, who has already advanced to the Block A semifinals. The winner of this match will face Fred Yehi in the Block A semifinals. Fast facts: Williams has a win over 13 participants in the tournament. Taylor and Matt Sydal are the only two men in the tournament he hasn’t faced. … “Ring of Honor Wrestling” will be the fourth nationally televised wrestling program Taylor has appeared on since 2019. After battling to a stalemate early, Williams caught Taylor in an STF, and Taylor had to use his first of three allotted rope breaks. Taylor began targeting Williams’ troublesome left shoulder. Taylor locked on a Cross Armbreaker, but Williams used his first rope break. Taylor connected on a knee strike to the back of the head and made a cover, but Williams got his foot under the rope to use his second rope break at 10:50. Less than a minute later, Williams applied a rear naked choke, but Taylor countered into Rings of Saturn, and Williams had no choice but to use his final rope break. Taylor grabbed an elbow lock. Out of rope breaks, Williams made his way to the ropes and propelled both him and Taylor out of the ring. They landed hard on the floor. After getting back inside the ring, Williams hit a big clothesline for a near fall. He tried to transition into a crossface, but Taylor escaped. Williams planted Taylor with a piledriver and locked on the crossface. Taylor tapped out at 14:23. Williams advances to the Block A semifinals against Fred Yehi.

My Opinion: 3.9 out of 5 – The racist said to the black guy, “Do you like bigotry?” He then held up a rope and said, “Well, we got a big ol’ tree over there!” Isn’t that offensive? You know what else is offensive? …not having more matches like this on national television. What a wonderful debut for Rust, who was actually quite well-kept for a guy with the name “Rust”. This was pure technical mastery, with all the great holds and dime-bags you can handle…wait… Tracy and Rust were fantastic together. I felt like I got more of an education from these two then I would have from an actual wrestling teacher. What a cool match. Give me your wallet.

Match #2: (Main Event) PJ Black def. Tony Deppen

The following is courtesy of rohwrestling.com:

This matchup pits Black, a 23-year veteran who has wrestled in 64 countries and spent five years in WWE, against Deppen, who may be pro wrestling’s best-kept secret. Just because Deppen isn’t as well known as Black doesn’t mean he isn’t capable of defeating him. Deppen wouldn’t be in the tournament if he wasn’t. The Pennsylvania native is intense, employs a hard-hitting style and is an outstanding mat wrestler. Moreover, Deppen knows this tournament is his opportunity to capture the attention of promoters around the world. Despite all of Black’s accomplishments in pro wrestling, he hasn’t won a championship in ROH and feels his resume is incomplete until he does. The South African native has a reputation for being one of wrestling’s best high flyers, but he’s much more than that. Black has a background in Muay Thai, jiu-jitsu and Greco-Roman wrestling and said he wants to prove that he’s one of the best pure wrestlers in the world. The winner of this match will face Josh Woods in the Block B semifinals. Fast facts: Black has trained with shamans from the Zulu tribe and witch doctors from the Kohsa tribe in South Africa. … Deppen is 8-3 in his past 11 singles matches and holds victories over fellow tournament participants Williams, Jonathan Gresham and Wheeler Yuta. Black was one step ahead in the early going, but Deppen got Black in an STF, and Black had to use his first rope break just 2:35 into the match. After the action spilled to the floor, Black connected with a superkick. Back inside the ring, Black went for a springboard crossbody, but Deppen got his knees up. Deppen landed a series of forearms in the corner followed by a running knee strike. He made a cover, but Black kicked out at two. Deppen applied the STF again, but Black used his second rope break at 10:00. Black slid to the floor and tried to call a timeout, but Deppen nailed him with a somersault dive. Shortly thereafter, Deppen hit a double stomp off the top rope for a near fall. Black answered with a cutter, but Deppen kicked out at one. Black then hit a twisting backbreaker into a face-first slam for a near fall. He was shocked that Deppen kicked out. Black followed with a crucifix driver for the win at 12:07. Black advances to the Block B semifinals against Josh Woods.

My Opinion: 3.8 out of 5 – This match turned out very well. Black was the old-pro here and it showed, in a good way. Deppen really shined here as the technician with attitude, which has been missing from ROH as of late. The match started off slow and firm, but got wilder and crazier as the bout marched on. I’m losing track of what I’m talking about. Koalas are assholes. As certain as I am that Martha Stewart is a skizank, I am just as certain that this match will make your heart go hawamp-hawamp-hawamp…or that might be a heart attack. My point is, is that you will enjoy this match…maybe. Shut up!

News Of The Night:

  1. Something called The Trend was teased as being on its way.
  2. A vignette for what appears to be EC3’s arrival was aired.

Final Verdict: 4/5

This turned out great, with no bullsh*t and plenty of smart, exciting wrestling to sell this great tournament.


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