Sam’s Town Casino – Las Vegas, NV – Saturday, September 28, 2019
Ian Riccaboni, Colt Cabana, and Caprice Coleman are on commentary.
Dak Draper defeats Austin Gunn to win the 2019 Top Prospect Tournament. Draper beat Makita and Haitian Sensation to get here, while Gunn got by Brian Johnson and Dante Caballero. The winner here gets a guaranteed shot at the ROH World Television Title. They start slowly, showing off some basics while trying to set the tone and pace. Draper controls a lot of the match with his impressive size and power, but Gunn shows a lot of heart by kicking out of big moves like a Draper (Doctor) Bomb. Gunn fights back and hits a Swanton Bomb for two. Draper powers up and connects with his version of Wade Barrett’s Wasteland to get the pin. Good showing for both guys, who are obviously green but have potential. Draper was the right choice here.
Dalton Castle defeats Mark Haskins in a first-round tournament match. Winner here gets PCO at Glory by Honor NOLA. These two fight aggressively from the start, causing the announcers to wonder if there’s some heat between them nobody knows about. They trade control back and forth, both hitting some big moves early on, and trying various submission holds. The fight spills to the floor, where Castle capitalizes by hitting a Bangarang! Back in the ring he covers but only gets two! The delay between hitting the move and getting back to the ring allowed Haskins just enough recovery time to kickout. Castle tries another one, btu Haskins counters to a victory roll for two. Back on their feet Castle hits a hybrid Sling Blade / Bulldog to get the pin. Good match, but the finish felt a little abrupt.
Jay Lethal defeats PJ Black in a first-round tournament match at 15:45. The winner faces Marty Scurll at Glory by Honor NOLA. Black is replacing Bandido, who was injured in his match against the Briscoes last night. They chain wrestle back and forth to start, feeling each other out. Lethal targets Black’s knee and puts on an early Figure-Four Leglock. Black counters by going after Lethal’s arm, which was picked apart by Jonathan Gresham last night. The pace picks up as they start to trade momentum back and forth, getting the crowd into it. Lethal looks poised for a win when he hits the Lethal Combination and Hail to the King, but Black kicks out. They fight back and forth until Lethal hits a superkick and a Cutter. Lethal follows that with the Lethal Injection to get the pin. Really good effort here, as Lethal has become one of those guys who simply doesn’t have bad matches. Lethal was clearly the favorite here, but Black put on a good showing and the match was better than I anticipated.
Kathy Campanelli joins Riccaboni and Coleman on commentary.
Bateman defeats Jake Atlas. This is the ROH debut for both men, who apparently impressed during a tryout camp. Both men look eager to impress as they trade control back and forth. While there isn’t much of a size difference, the styles are very different here, as Atlas is more of a high-flyer and Bateman is mostly brawling stuff. Bateman controls Atlas for a while, until Atlas hits an impressive springboard flatliner. A superkick, release German Suplex, running knee strike trio from Atlas isn’t enough to keep Bateman down. Atlas hits a beautiful moonsault form the top rope for a near-fall. Bateman cuts him off and reclaims control. He hits a Brainbuster for two. Both men get to their feet, and after a series of reversals, Atlas hits the LGBDDT and Bateman wisely rolls to the floor. Atlas goes up top again, but that doesn’t work for him. Bateman clubs Atlas out of mid-air, and then hits him with This Is a Kill (Tombstone Piledriver) to get the pin. Fine match but nothing to get excited about. I think this is the only time Atlas was featured on ROH Television.
Jeff Cobb, Kenny King, Josh Woods & Brian Johnson defeat Silas Young, Cheeseburger, Joe Hendry & Rhett Titus in an eight-man tag team match. This is a Wild Card Match, so teams are random. I’m okay with that. Young and Woods are a regular tag team but they’re on opposite sides here. Titus and King, also on opposite sides, USED to be tag team partners. Those are the stories here. Lots of tags are made early on, as both sides search for an advantageous combination. Woods and Young even wrestle each other early on. Momentum changes frequently until the referee just tops enforcing rules and everyone comes in the ring when they want. Cobb and Hendry clear everyone out and then clothesline each other so everyone is down. They both roll to the floor and then clothesline each other again. That was cute. Moments later, Woods gets a pin on his mentor and tag team partner with a schoolboy rollup. Fun match and I like the finish, but absolutely nothing that happened here mattered.
Tracy Williams defeats Flip Gordon at 14:53 in a No Disqualification Match. Riccaboni says the Lifeblood music can “only mean one thing,” but since there have been as many as six members of that group, I have to question his detective work. Gordon attacks Williams during said entrance, and the fight is underway. They spend a lot of time fighting outside the ring, using various weapons (including a steel chair and a kendo stick) as they go. After spending some time in the ring, they go back outside, where Williams produces his own kendo stick and wears Gordon out with it. Gordon finds his kendo stick and they have a sword fight. Eventually they get back to the ring, and Williams puts Gordon through a table with a piledriver from the second rope. That’s more than enough to get the pin. Solid hardcore match and I liked the finish. Also important to note, Flip Gordon thinks the Earth is flat so he’s not smart.
ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Champions Villain Enterprises (Marty Scurll, Brody King & PCO) defeat The Briscoes (Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe) & Dragon Lee to retain the titles. VE have been the Champions since 3.16.09, and this is their fifth defense. The crowd is horny for this match before anything even happens. Scurll and Lee start it off and it’s fast-paced from the get-go. The Briscoes get into a brawl with PCO and King on the floor, and Scurll and Lee soon join them. It’s tough to keep up with all the action, and the crowd is loving it. I remember wrestling with crowds, it was pretty cool. At one point, Lee hits King with a Frog Stomp, and he references Silverchair and I’d like it if he and I could be friends now. We come down to the end with Scurll and Mark going at it, and Scurll hits the Black Plague to get the pin. Really entertaining, action-packed match and a good win for the Champions. For a reshuffled card, I’d say they delivered in the main event.
~BONUS MATCH #1: Episode 421, 10.11.19~
Silas Young & Josh Woods defeat Coast 2 Coast (LSG & Shaheem Ali) at 9:05. LSG and Young start it off with some chain wrestling. Woods and Ali get a turn as well, and then we cut to a commercial starring MLB Hall of Famer Frank Thomas. He says he discovered a supplement called Nugenix, which sounds way too close to Eugenics and they should change the name. When we come back Woods and Young are in control of Ali in their half of the ring. Coast 2 Coast make a brief comeback, but Woods stops the himself and tags Young back into the match. The referee loses control and all four men fight in the ring. Woods hits LSG with a freakishly beautiful Chaos Theory. Moments later, Woods helps Young hit Ali with Misery to get the pin. That’s the fourth win in a row for Young and Woods. Solid match here, but the C2C guys do a lot of extraneous rolling around that just looks silly.
~BONUS MATCH #2: Episode 422, 10.18.19~
Joe Hendry defeats Dom Kubrick at 5:29. I really enjoy watching Henry, and I have no frame of reference for Kubrick, but I do wonder if he’s related to the greatest film director to ever live. This feels like it should be a squash match, but Kubrick actually gets a ton of offense for some reason. In the end, Hendry puts Kubrick away with the Hendry Lock (Ankle Lock). Hendry has a TV Title shot against Shane Taylor coming up, so I feel like they should’ve had him go over stronger here, especially against someone who as far as I know hasn’t been back to ROH since this match.
~BONUS MATCH #3: Episode 423, 10.25.19~
The Bouncers (Beer City Bruiser & Brian Milonas) defeat Chris Bey & Slice Boogie. Bruiser starts it off with Boogie, and quickly takes control while getting the crowd to chant “beer.” It’s much the same when Milonas and Bey tag in. The Bouncers control most of the match, save for a brief period. They put Boogie away with You Don’t Have To Go Home But You Can’t Stay Here. Fine little tag squash to capitalize on their big win last night.
~BONUS MATCH #4: Episode 423, 10.25.19~
ROH Women of Honor World Champion Angelina Love (w/ Mandy Leon) defeats Jenny Rose and Sumie Sakai in a three-way match to retain the title. Love has been the Champion since 9.27.19, and this is her first defense. Sakai and Rose join forces early on to try and take the Champion out. That’s not a bad strategy really. When they knock her to the floor, Rose goes after Sakai right away. Rose hits a Perfect-plex on Sakai for two as they head into a commercial. We come back with Rose still in control, but Love makes her way back in and sends Rose to the floor. Sakai and Love battle now, and they trade moves back and forth. Some miscommunication must be going on, because Rose very obviously talks upcoming spots with both Love and Sakai. Even with them talking about it, the match totally falls apart. Rose gets sent to the floor, and Sakai sets Love up for Smashmouth. Leon gets on the ring apron to distract Sakai, and that allows Love to hit the Botox Injection for the pin. This just never came together at all.
This was a solid collection of matches, many that ended up being shown on the Ring of Honor Wrestling television program. The six-man tag team title main event match was easily the highlight here, but your mileage may vary on Williams v Gordon.