ROH on SBG #516

Baltimore, MD – 8.6.2021

Commentary is provided by Ian Riccaboni, Caprice Coleman, Lenny Leonard & Chelsea Green.

The August 3rd edition of “Week By Week” was supposed to feature a tag team match between The OGK and the Righteous, but with Taven not medically cleared after the attack on him by the OGK at “Best in the World”, Bennett decided to go it alone in a handicap match.

Mike Bennett vs. The Righteous (Bateman & Dutch)

Vita VonStarr is in the corner of the Righteous and Vincent joins the commentary team for the bout. Bennett valiantly fights against both members of the Righteous with mild success. Dutch takes Bennett down with Death Walks (a ripcord Black Hole Slam), but instead of pinning him for three, he pulls Bennett up for two so he and Bateman can inflict more damage. As Dutch is choking Bennett, Todd Sinclair tries to get Dutch to stop, and Bateman shoves him down. This results in Sinclair disqualifying the Righteous, making Bennett the winner at 2:26. VonStarr joins the Righteous’ post match beat down. Like they tossed Taven into his “Trending With Taven” sign at “Best in the World”, they tossed Bennett over the barricades and onto the concrete. Vincent looks into the camera and tells Taven his ego dies forever at “Glory By Honor 2021, Night 2.” A totally solid follow up to the PPV angle to hype Taven and Vincent’s cage match later this month. I just hope that does in fact end that storyline and Bennett can return to the Pure division. ½*

The August 4th Women’s Division Wednesday featured a first round match in the Women’s Title tournament:

ROH Women’s Championship Tournament Opening Round Match
Allysin Kay vs. Willow

Lenny Leonard and Chelsea Green join Ian Riccaboni on commentary. Willow had what may have been the breakout performance of every Women’s Division match to date. With big strikes, big offense, and a big personality, she grabs your attention and is impossible to dislike. Kay wrestled an incredibly smart match, doing her best to keep Willow grounded at first, and then halting her momentum with submission attempts at every turn when on the defensive. She also attacked Willow’s neck which was seriously injured in 2018. Oftentimes persistence pays off, but once Willow escaped Kay’s sleeper several ways, Kay switched to a kimura which caught Willow off guard and resulted in her tapping out at 11:30. There’s been good matches on this program, but this is the first I would recommend going out of your way to watch. ***½

Now onto this week’s episode! Since Quinn McKay is in action, Ian Riccaboni is our host. We see footage of Kay vs. Willow before heading into this week’s tournament matches.

ROH Women’s Championship Tournament Opening Round Match
Quinn McKay vs. Mandy Leon

Thanks to Angelina Love surreptitiously passing Leon brass knuckles, Leon defeated McKay in a tournament qualifier match three weeks ago. Maria Kanellis-Bennett took notice of the cheating and left it up to fan vote if McKay deserved to be in the tournament, and overwhelmingly voted in her favor. For this tournament, Maria also determined Leon and Love are not allowed ringside for each other’s matches, so presumably McKay will have a fair chance in this bout. Coincidentally, McKay meets Leon in the opening round of the tournament. In the inaugural Women of Honor tournament, Leon defeated Madison Rayne in the opening round and lost to Kelly Klein in the quarterfinals. Lenny Leonard joins commentary for this bout.

McKay takes a page out of Leon’s book from their first match and catches Leon off guard with a spear before the Code of Honor. Leon drags McKay to the outside but it’s McKay who gives her a suplex on the floor. In the ring, Leon yanks McKay by her hair down to the mat. Leon smothers McKay, attacking her neck and back. McKay is able to follow up Leon when she goes to the top turnbuckle. Leon however slips under, pulling McKay down so that her face collides with the top turnbuckle. Leon hits a running Unprettier for two. McKay comes back with a backbreaker and falling neckbreaker. Leon escapes a Tangerine Dream attempt with a backpack stunner for two. McKay counters Astral projection with a cross-legged prawn hold for the pin at 7:12! You don’t often get the warm and fuzzies out of wrestling these days, but it’s hard not to smile when you see how happy Quinn was to win and how happy her broadcast team colleagues were on her behalf. With no Love ringside, McKay was able to remain fully focused on the match at hand, especially after burning her emotions at the start. This was definitely a step-up from their first encounter, and Rok-C vs. Quinn in the quarter-finals has a lot of potential. **½

ROH Women’s Championship Tournament Opening Round Match
Trish Adora vs. Marti Belle

Both Lenny Leonard and Chelsea Green are on commentary for this bout. Belle is fully aware of Adora’s “Lariat Tubman” finisher and attacks Adora’s arm before blasting her with a forearm strike. Belle almost scored a pin with a PK but Adora was able to get up at the two count. Adora goes up and over to avoid a corner attack, stringing together some strikes before taking down Belle with a running crossbody. She kicks Belle in the left arm as a measure of revenge before Judo throwing her down into a crucifix pin for two. Adora attacks the arm some more before Magistral cradling Belle for two. Adora blocks Hell’s Belle’s with a fallaway kick to the arm and locks Belle into Cattle Mutilation for the submission victory at 7:13. As a huge fan of Adora’s I was thrilled to see her advance, especially since I convinced myself that with all the talk of Belle and Kay’s connections that they would surely have them square off in the quarter-final round. I also like the story of Belle neutralizing the Lariat Tubman and Adora showing she has more than just one killer move in her arsenal to get the job done. Bring on Adora vs. Kay. **¾

We are shown a clip of Bandido’s ROH World Title victory at “Best in the World 2021”, and reminded that Bandido’s first defense is next Friday at “Glory By Honor 2021 Night 1” against Flip Gordon.

Meisquad (Bandido & Rey Horus) vs. VLNCE UNLTD (Brody King & Chris Dickinson)

Silas Young joins commentary for this match, as he is set to face Rey Horus at “Glory By Honor 2021 Night 1” next weekend. All four of these men were successful “Best in the World 2021” with Bandido winning the ROH World Title and Chris Dickinson winning the ROH Tag Team titles with Homicide. Mexisquad throws shots and VLNCE UNLTD to start, but VLNCE UNLTD responds more aggressively and isolates Horus right from the jump. Horus escapes when he ducks a double team attack. King accidentally clotheslines Dickinson, giving Horus the space to jump up to the top turnbuckle and come down with a tornado DDT on King. Bandido rocks Dickinson with right hands and grazes him with a twisting torneo press. Bandido dropkicks King to the floor and press slams Dickinson onto him! Bandido lands a Fosbury Flop onto both of them after, then holds them for Horus to hit a twisting Asai moonsault. In the ring, Bandido lands a running shooting star press on Dickinson, and King breaks up the pin just in time. Horus runs into a running Death Valley Driver from Dickinson, and King senton splashes onto him. This leaves Bandido on his own. Dickinson drops a knee onto Bandido’s spine as King has him in a Boston Crab. Dickinson puts Horus in an STF so that he cannot help Bandido escape, but Bandido is able to reach the ropes regardless. Horus takes King out on the floor with a slingshot headscissors. Bandido superkicks Dickinson. Dickinson counters the 21 Plex with a German suplex. Horus kicks Dickinson from the floor. He holds onto Dickinson’s head so Bandido can hit the 21 Plex for the pin at 10:49. Perhaps with that ending we’ll see Horus and Bandido get a future tag title opportunity. Something about the final portion of the match just didn’t click for me, but it wasn’t due to a lack of effort. I think the match just lacked a general through line amidst all the really impressive offense, especially from the Mexisquad. This was a totally solid main event, but some more substance would’ve gone a long way. ***

As if the match wasn’t chaotic enough, La Facción Ingobernable attacked all four men after the bell. Homicide runs out to aid his partners. The episode ends with RUSH standing tall over Bandido while holding Bandido’s mask as VLNCE UNLTD brawls with LFI.

Overall: The Women’s Division Wednesday bout is one to seek out. The episode had two more good tournament matches, with a moment of emotional catharsis many months in the making, as well as a solid main event, which makes it easy enough to recommend.

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