Baltimore, MD – 5.28.2021
Commentary is provided by Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman.
This was a loaded week for ROH on YouTube, starting with a singles match on the May 25th edition of “Week By Week:”
Chris Dickinson vs. Eric Martin
This is Dickinson’s first singles match in ROH since January of 2015. Martin cheap shots Dickinson with a boot before the bell. Dickinson brings down Martin with a double leg take down and taps him out to a kneebar at 0:17. Love me a good squash, especially one that exemplifies Dickinson’s no nonsense persona.
The May 26th’s Women’s Division Wednesday featured another singles match. Lenny Leonard hosted this one, and will be commentating the Women’s title tournament, which I am super stoked about:
Angelina Love vs. Mazzerati
Love has a bye in the upcoming Women’s Championship tournament. Mandy Leon is in her corner. Mazzerati is a former OVW Women’s champion, and has a 1-1 ROH record. Maria Kanellis-Bennett is on commentary. Mazzerati shows poise and confidence as she outwrestles Love to start. Leon helps Love regroup on the floor when Mazzerati dropkicks her outside. Love is able to catch Mazzerati’s PK attempt and send her crashing face first onto the ring apron. Leon then sends Mazzerati into the barricades while Love has referee Joe Mandak distracted. Mazzerati is able to recover with a pump kick to the side of the head for a two count. Love shuts her down again with a neckbreaker and drives the back of her head into the canvas repeatedly. Love is angry when a top-rope assisted Ace Crusher doesn’t keep Mazzerati down for a pin. Mazzerati escapes a Camel Clutch with a Judo throw, then takes down Love with a series of strikes. Love ducks a spin kick, but gets an enzuigiri on the rebound for two. Love escapes off of Mazzerati’s shoulders. She drops Mazzerati with a jumping Complete Shot into a Koji Clutch. Mazzerati uses the ropes to escape and takes down Love with Eat Defeat for two. Love rolls away from a double knee attack in the corner. She nails the Botox Injection for the pin at 11:18. Mazzerati’s endurance and determination, and the odds being against her, made it easy to root for her in this match. She had a very good showing against Love, who herself got to implement some impressive offense during the course of the bout. Mazzerati is then offered a spot in the Women’s tournament which I think from this showing is well deserved. **¾
On May 27th, ROH released the threematch between O’Shay Edwards and Sledge, who went to a 10 Minute Time Limit and 15 Minute Time Limit in their other bouts. Commentary says this has no time limit, but ring announcer Bobby Cruise says it has a 20 minute time limit, so I don’t know which it is. The two got into a brawl before the match, and Sledge challenged O’Shay to a No Disqualification, No Count Out match. O’Shay agrees, and senior official referee Todd Sinclair tells referee Joe Mandak it is official.
No Disqualification, No Count Out Match
O’Shay Edwards vs. Sledge
Sledge is able to avoid an Oklahoma Stampede in the ring, but Edwards is able to block a PK from the floor and pull Sledge down into a powerslam on the floor. Sledge is able to send Edwards into the barricades. Edwards moves when Sledge comes after him with a somersault senton, and Sledge crashes into the barricades himself. Edwards hurts his wrists when a chairshot misses and lands against the guardrail. Sledge hits Edwards in the back with a chair and pump kicks him down. Sledge places Edwards onto four chairs right next to the barricades. Before he can pull off any offense, Edwards shoves Sledge over the barricades. Sledge charges and gets backdropped over the barricades onto all four chairs! Minutes later when Edwards has been thrown back in the ring, he finds the strength to deliver a slingshot spear. He’s moving slow as he gives Edwards an exploder suplex out of the corner and a spinning elbow drop for two. Edwards stops a charging Sledge with a pop-up spinebuster for two. Edwards brings a table into the ring. Sledge fights from being put through it and then brings his own table into the ring, setting the two tables next to one another. He places Edwards on the tables and climbs to the top turnbuckle. Edwards headbutts Sledge after crawling off the tables. Edwards brings Sledge off the top with a super Air Raid Crash through both tables! With both men worn out and Edwards landing on top, he ends up pinning Sledge at 19:51. All the big offensive moments worked, especially the ending, and you definitely felt that neither man was going to stay down until they physically could not go any more. My only complaint was there was too much dead air between those big moments, but even so I don’t think this dragged to a substantial degree. This match had an ending befitting the rivalry and I think both competitors ready to move into something substantial with more established roster members. ***¼
Now onto this week’s episode!
Joe Keys vs. LSG
These two were the last men standing in a Rankings Battle Royal two weeks prior. The winner of this singles match will be ranked in the singles division of their choosing. After evading each others’ key offense in the opening, the two men turn to strikes. LSG rolls through a sunset flip and hits a dropkick, and Keys responds by catching an oncoming LSG with a backbreaker. Keys follows up with a German suplex for two. LSG fights off a Boston Crab attempt and connects with a springboard forearm for two. He also gets two with a rolling neckbreaker. Keys bodyslams his way out of a cravate. LSG comes back with Rocket-Bye-Baby and a Muta Lock. Keys escapes and inside cradles LSG up into a suplex. Keys avoids a pump-kick and O’Connor rolls LSG for two. LSG then swings Keys into a crucifix pin and gets the win at 10:25. The wrestling here was solid but fairly pedestrian. LSG’s long journey to being ranked has been fun to watch and I look forward to seeing what his and Keys’ future looks like. LSG tells Quinn McKay backstage that he’s decided to be in the Pure Division rankings. **
We’re shown the 19th Anniversary Show when Silas Young turned on Josh Woods, hitting him with a steel chair during his match with Dalton Castle. We then see two weeks ago on ROH TV, where Young used the ropes to gain leverage and pin Woods when Woods had Young in a submission. Backstage, the two of them got in a verbal tiff, where Young tells Woods he could defeat him in a Pure Rules match. Woods laughs at the prospect, and next week, that match will take place.
The Survival of the Fittest tournament returns for the first time in three years, with the opening round kicking off next week!
The Foundation (Jay Lethal, Jonathan Gresham, Tracy Williams & Rhett Titus) vs. VLNCE UNLTD (Brody King, Chris Dickinson, Homicide & Tony Deppen)
Kenny King of La Facción Ingobernable, who has been banned from ROH in the month of May, joins commentary for the bout. Williams pummels Deppen, who defeated him for the Television title a few weeks prior. Williams goes for a piledriver after some knees to the head but Homicide attacks Williams from behind. Williams suplexes Deppen to the corner and Homicide tags in, but he wants (and gets) Lethal. Homicide then tags in Dickinson before they make contact. Lethal and Dickinson trade blows, and when Lethal looks to dive, Homicide attacks him from behind. Referee Todd Sinclair prevents a full blown eight man brawl from occurring, and when the dust settles, Gresham frustrates and mocks Homicide during their exchanges. Although Homicide does get in some shots on Gresham, a blind tag from Titus takes him off guard, resulting in him falling to a slam and splash. The Foundation beat down Homicide in their corner until he goes to Gresham’s eyes and tags in King who cleans house on the Foundation apron before chopping Gresham in the corner and cranking on his neck. VLNCE UNLTD beat down Gresham fights through his lower back pain to suplex Homicide and tag in Titus. Titus and King each clear their aprons of the opposing faction. Titus dropkicks King to the corner and lariats Dickinson twice before tossing him to the apron. Dickinson tries a slingshot which Titus turns into a powerslam. Titus Northern Lights suplexes and belly-to-belly suplexes Deppen before giving King a pair of yakuza kicks. He comes off the top with a knee drop to the back of King’s neck for two. Titus dropkicks King into a Death Valley Driver from Williams, and all of VLNCE UNLTD jumps in to break the pin. As things break down between the competitors, Lethal goes for the Lethal Injection on King. King catches him and hits the Ganso Bomb for the pin at 15:32. King pinning a two time World champion is a great move, especially if he will in fact be getting a rematch against RUSH at Best in the World. We got some fun interactions, witnessed VLNCE UNLTD having the ability to get under the Foundation’s skin (especially Lethal), and Titus got to show off more than usual. Overall this was a success, but not an amazing match by any means. ***
Overall: The whole week was solid but nothing that must be seen. With Survival of the Fittest happening in June and the PPV coming in July, the show should have more focus in the upcoming weeks which will be helpful. I do appreciate that they gave Young vs. Woods a lot of build-up, as it is rare to see them hype the next weeks episode on their actual television show.