Philadelphia, PA – 8.21.2021
Commentary is provided by Ian Riccaboni & Caprice Coleman.
Danhausen vs. Dalton Castle
Castle inadvertently resulted in Danhausen losing the Six Man Mayhem match last night, keeping him out of the World Title rankings. Dak Draper joins commentary. Danhausen’s cleverness results in him sending Castle outside three times, the last with a headscissors. Dak Draper comes to the ringside, and his distraction allows Castle to attack Danhausen from behind. Draper learned his lesson from his match with Isom by not physically getting involved, even when he caught Danhausen after a pescado and could have slammed him. He put Danhausen down and Castle attacked from behind with a knee strike to the back. In the ring, Castle does some damage, but Danhausen takes him down with a trio of German suplexes. Castle avoids Danhausen’s jar of teeth, but his baby chicks try to eat them. As Castle shoos them away, Danhausen pours another jar of teeth down Castle’s throat and pump kicks him for two. Castle blocks Very Nice, Very Kneevil. He swings Danhausen into the Bang-A-Rang on the teeth for the pin at 8:08. Having two very engaging and fun wrestlers open the show is always a good move. The teeth stuff is ridiculous, but even if that isn’t for you, there’s totally solid wrestling to be found as well. **¼
The World Famous CB vs. LSG
Josh Woods joins commentary, absorbing as much Pure Wrestling as he can before challenging Jonathan Gresham for the Pure Title at “Death Before Dishonor.” The Pure Rules are as follows:
*The competitors are to obey the “Code of Honor”, shaking one another’s hand before and after the match.
*Each wrestler has 3 rope breaks to stop submission holds and pinfalls. After a wrestler has used all 3 of their rope breaks, submission and pin attempts on or under the ropes by the opponent are considered legal.
*Closed-fist punches to the face are not permitted. Punches to other parts of the body are permitted, excluding low blows. The first use of a closed fist results in a warning, a second will be a disqualification.
*This match has a 15 minute time limit. If the match goes past the time limit, three judges will determine the outcome.
*Any wrestler who interferes will be automatically terminated from the roster.
CB uses his first rope break when LSG escapes a side headlock and looks for The Cosmic Clutch (Muta Lock). CB climbs LSG’s body in La Escalera and pushes his two wrists together so that his shoulder blades almost touch. LSG is forced to bite the ring ropes in order to use his first rope break. LSG has a headscissors, and when CB looks to pop out, LSG simply gives him a piledriver. Ken Dixon interrupts commentary as LSG controls CB in a cravate. Woods and Coleman get him to leave. CB kicks out after taking a springboard forearm strike and trades forearm shots with LSG. CB rolls him into a superkick and Dragon suplex, and LSG uses his second rope break to stop CB’s pin. CB blasts him with a shotei and LSG uses his third rope break to stop CB’s pin. LSG throws CB out of the ring when CB tries for a sleeper. LSG pulls CB into an Ace Crusher and Rocket Bye Baby and crucifix pins him at 7:21. Uncharacteristically, CB briefly shakes LSG’s hand before walking away. I was hoping for a bit more of a story around LSG using all of his rope breaks, only for him to win the match moments later. The wrestling was good, but not up to the usual Pure match standards. **½
Miranda Alize & Rok-C vs. Chelsea Green & Willow
Maria Kanellis-Bennett is on commentary for this bout. Alize and Rok-C defeated Green and Sumie Sakai in a dark match last night. Willow takes the opening exchange with Alize thanks to a Pounce. Willow has Rok-C’s number, but Rok-C manages to send Willow outside with a wrist clutch drag to the floor. Alize dropkicks Green to the floor and with Rok-C land stereo suicide dives. Rok-C has Willow taken down in the corner, but what she doesn’t notice is Green blind tagging herself in. Green wipes out Rok-C with a missile dropkick for two. Green holds onto Rok-C by her wrist to keep control as she’s on the offensive. Rok-C though rolls Green into a moonsault knee drop. Willow breaks her pin and works with Green to keep Rok-C isolated. Rok-C German suplexes Green and knees her in the face and tags in Alize. Alixe face wash kicks Willow in the corner and delivers a bulldog for two. Rok-C lands a high crossbody on Willow. Green breaks the pin and drops Rok-C with a Cutter. Alize pulls Green into a knee strike, and Willow pulls Alize up into the Baebreaker. Willow cannonball sentons onto Rok-C, but misses the follow up moonsault. Rok-C drops Willow with the Code Rok (Code Red) for the pin at 7:45. As if the tournament so far wasn’t proof enough, this match symbolized ROH ushering in a new era of women’s wrestling. All participants played their roles so well and the fans were very much into it. I am really excited to see more out of everyone. ***
ROH World Six Man Tag Team Championship
Shane Taylor Promotions (Shane Taylor & S.O.S. (Kaun & Moses)) vs. Incoherence (Delirious, Hallowicked & Frightmare)
Shane Taylor Promotions have been champions since 2.19.2021 and this is their fifth defense. Ron Hunt and O’Shay Edwards are in their corner. This is Incoherence’s first match as a trio since April 26, 2009, which also was in the ECW Arena. This is Frightmare’s ROH debut, and Hallowicked’s first match in ROH since Final Battle Fallout 2019. The great and devious UltraMantis Black leads Incoherence to the ring and then joins the commentary booth.
Delirious uses his quickness to thwart Kaun and Hallowicked does the same with Moses. After Frightmare lands a moonsault on Moses, Taylor tags in. Frightmare shows no fear against the much larger opponent. Unfortunately, Taylor decks him with a haymaker. Hallowicked and Delirious lure all of STP to the outside. Delirious DDT’s Moses as Frightmare and Hallowicked take out Taylor and Kaun with dives. STP regroups, and Kaun boots Delirious into Moses’ arms. Moses Hot Shots Delirious on the barricades, and also swings an oncoming Frightmare into the barricades as well. This leaves Hallowicked to be beaten down in the champions’ corner without aid. Hallowicked halts S.O.S. in the corner, giving Kaun a super snapmare onto Moses. A recovered Delirious tags in, dizzying Moses before hitting a leaping lariat. Delirious headscissors and German suplexes Kaun. Hallowicked and Frightmare hit an enzuigiri/gamengiri combo on Moses, and Delirious follows up with the Panic Attack. A swanton from Hallowicked and Kneecolepsy from Frightmare don’t get the pin, only because Taylor and Kaun interject. Taylor haymakers Hallowicked off the apron and lariats Frightmare. Delirious dropkicks Taylor to the corner, but Taylor stops his charge with an STO. Hallowicked and Frgihtmare stop Taylor on the top turnbuckle and hit the Headless Horsemen. Shadows Over Hell from Delirious follows and Kaun breaks up the pin. Kaun blocks Hallowicked’s Go 2 Sleepy Hollow and gives him a gutbuster. Moses wipes out Hallowicked and Delirious on the floor with a cannonball off the apron. Frightmare almost has Taylor pinned with a schoolboy. Taylor kicks out, blasts him with a knee to the face and hits the Marcus Garvey Driver for the pin at 13:18. It’s no secret I was over the moon for Incoherence’s reunion when it was announced; just seeing them with Mantis made me emotional. Shane Taylor Promotions have also been on a tear as a trio, and this match was no different. The two trios had great chemistry, kept a quick clip, and had the fans in the Arena with them the entire time. I think the Six Man Titles may have worn out their welcome, but if they are to continue, I think one-off challenges from local stars is a great way to go with them when on the road. I hope and pray we see more Hallowicked and Frightmare in ROH going forward. ***½
EC3 appears in the aisle way as STP make their way to the back. Taylor has some words for EC3, but EC3 just smirks and joins the commentary table.
Mark Briscoe & Brian Johnson vs. Flip Gordon & Demonic Flamita
Briscoe recruited Johnson to be his partner since his brother Jay was pulled off the weekend shows due to COVID, as Johnson was stewing backstage about not being booked. Even when Jay was involved this felt like a random tag match, and with Johnson replacing him it’s even more random and truthfully unimportant. The good news is that Johnson as the babyface partner for Mark worked since he’s the hometown boy. He got upset with Mark down the stretch when Gordon shoved Briscoe into Johnson. Johnson decided to abandon Mark. Gordon and Flamita also had issues, leading to them almost coming to blows. The referee had to hold back Flamita after Gordon spit on Flamita and he looked to retaliate. While the referee was tied up, Mark gave Gordon a Jay Driller on a chair, and got the pin at 11:23. They worked hard for a filler match, but I think it’s fair to say the ending of this was needlessly overbooked. **
The Foundation (Jay Lethal, Jonathan Gresham, Tracy Williams & Rhett Titus) vs. VLNCE UNLTD (Brody King, Tony Deppen, Chris Dickinson & Homicide)
LFI’s Kenny King is on commentary to keep an eye on both factions. During the opening exchanges, we get to see former rivals Jay Lethal and Homicide come to blows. The Foundation end up wearing down Deppen in their corner, focusing on his left leg, taunting VLNCE UNLTD in the process. Gresham almost allows Deppen to take in King so they can go at it, but Lethal pulls back Deppen so they can stick to their game plan. Deppen almost fights out of Gresham and Lethal’s double team, but he gets blindsided with the Combination Cutter. Deppen is able to kick out of a second cutter from Lethal and Gresham’s shooting star press, so Gresham locks him in a figure four. King powerbombs Titus onto Gresham to break it up and drags Deppen over to the corner so he can tag in. King runs roughshod on all of the Foundation and ends up face to face with Gresham. A table appears ringside and Dickinson puts Gresham through it with a Falcon Arrow off the apron. Homicide slingshots Lethal into a knee to the face from Deppen. Deppen pins Lethal after Homicide gives him a Doomsday Cutter off of King’s shoulders, and Lethal gets his shoulders up just in time. Titus Cactus clotheslines Dickinson to the floor and Homicide follows with a tope suicida. King crushes Williams against the barricades with a splash. In the ring, Lethal escapes a suplex from Deppen. Deppen’s leg buckles upon landing, leaving Lethal the opening to hit the Lethal Injection at 16:05. Lethal is the one Foundation member consistently not pulling their weight as of late, so seeing him not only pick up this win, but course correct for Gresham when Gresham almost let emotions get the best of him, was vindication for the former two time champion. I still don’t know that VLNCE UNLTD as a stable is doing it for me, even if I do like most of the individual parts, but here it was clear the Foundation was the superior unit. This was intense and fun to watch, and for me a definite step up from last night’s eight man tag team match. ***¼
After the match, King drops Lethal with a Ganso Bomb and Homicide gives him a Cop Killa. Dickinson gives Titus a Pazuzu Bomb, and Deppen cracks him with a pumping knee strike. Dickinson called tonight a fluke win for the Foundation. He mocks the Code of Honor and Pure rules before putting out a challenge for any Pure wrestler from the past, present, or future to challenge VLNCE UNLTD.
MexiSquad (Bandido & Rey Horus) vs. La Facción Ingobernable (RUSH & Dragon Lee)
Silas Young joins commentary for the bout. The dynamics between the participants is very interesting. Lee and Bandido are friends, and Lee embraced Bandido after he defeated RUSH for the World title. RUSH attacks Bandido’s leg with a chair before the match starts. This makes Lee unhappy, but the brothers embrace and get back on the same page for the match proper. LFI take out both of MexiSquad. Horus gets LFI to crash into one another. Horus sends Lee outside with a wheelbarrow. Horus assists Bandido with a headscissors that sends RUSH to the floor, and Horus dives onto both of them. Bandido then Orihara moonsaults on RUSH and Lee. In the Ring, Horus and Bandido give Lee a tandem powerbomb and Ace Crusher. RUSH eats a double superkick after breaking their pin. RUSH and Lee take down Horus and Bandido in opposite corners and tranquilo punt them both before landing dives onto their opponents. LFI beat down Horus back inside. Although Lee blocks Horus’ Roll of the King, Bandido takes down Lee with a super Spanish Fly. A series of offenses leaves all four men laying. Bandido and Lee nailing each other with knee strikes to the face. Lee flips out of the 21 Plex and blasts Bandido in the back of the head with a knee strike. Horus dropkicks Lee and RUSH knocks Horus down in the corner. Horus spikes RUSH with a DDT when RUSH comes charging for Bull’s Horns, and also gives Lee a DDT. Horus crash and burns on the floor when trying to dive onto RUSH. RUSH sends Bandido into the barricades and then he and Lee beat down Horus in the ring. RUSH is showing obvious knee in his pain, so Horus kicks it out. Lee blocks the Roll of the King again and double stomps Horus out of the corner. Lee suicide dives Bandido in the barricades. RUSH fights through his knee pain to hit the Bull’s Horns on Horus for the pin at 13:02. Lee and Bandido give each other props for a good match, but does not receive it from the rest of LFI. This match banged hard, with super fast, exciting offense. They also did just enough with the complicated dynamics of the competitors without going overboard or getting in the way of the action. I expected this to be great and it was. ***¾
Quinn McKay previews the upcoming “Death Before Dishonor” card which takes place in Philadelphia on September 12th. New matches include Shane Taylor Promotions defending the Six Man Tag Titles against RUSH, Dragon Lee, and Kenny King, and Bandido defending the World title in an elimination match against Brody King, Demonic Flamita, and EC3.
Steel Cage Match
Matt Taven vs. Vincent
Mike Bennett joins commentary for the bout. Before they get in the cage they brawl all over the building. Two tables are set up ringside, including one with Taven’s logo spray painted onto it. When they finally get in the ring, Vincent slams the steel cage door into his head and locks the door with a purple lock. Taven stops Vincent as he climbs the cage by kicking him in the knee. Taven brings down Vincent with a swinging neckbreaker off the top turnbuckle. Taven hits Just The Tip four times against the cage before hitting a frog splash for two. Vincent blocks the Climax but ends up being dumped into the cage. Vincent puts Taven in a Guillotine Choke to block a suplex. Taven low blows Vincent to escape. Vincent takes down Taven off the top rope with a Side Effect. Taven throws Vincent into the cage a couple times before hitting Kick of the King for two. Bateman comes to ringside and throws barbed wire into the ring. Taven gets distracted and ends up being German suplexed. Bennett attacks Bateman and Bateman lays him out. He helps Vincent string up barbed wire in one section of the cage. Bennett recovers and sends Bateman into the barricades with a t-bone suplex. Taven is busted open by the barbed wire. He blocks Vincent’s Orange Sunshine as well. He wraps barbed wire around Vincent’s head to bust him open and then gives him a DDT. Taven pulls out a purple hatchet and digs it into Vincent’s head before hitting Just The Tip. Vita VonStarr tosses a bag into the ring. Taven enzuigiri’s Vincent. VonStarr climbs up to the top of the cage. She accidentally high crossbody’s onto Vincent. Taven dumps out thumbtacks and backdrops VonStarr onto them. Taven gives Vincent Climax onto the thumbtacks and Vincent is able to kick out. Taven climbs to the top of the cage. He misses a Superfly Splash, landing in the thumbtacks! Vincent then hits Orange Sunshine into the tacks for two. Taven gets his knees up to block Red Rum just as Dutch appears. Dutch climbs the cage. Taven stops him on the top rope with a kick that sends Dutch crashing through the two tables below. Vincent brings down Taven with a super Ace Crusher for the pin at 19:37. This felt big and had big moments, but I think those moments could have been laid out in a more cohesive manner. The time in between those big moments also could’ve been more focused. For those invested in this story I imagine this is a pretty satisfying payoff, but as someone who isn’t, I appreciated the effort and the blood given by both competitors, but just can’t help but feel like with some changes this could’ve been a lot better. **¾
Night 2 was definitely a step-up from Night 1.