ROH Title Defenses: June 2022

It took 26 days for AEW to have any ROH titles defended, so this month’s entry is quite slim. Luckily, I have three matches from previous months I’ve covered to help bulk up this post a little bit:

*Josh Woods and Rhett Titus had a match in which both the Pure and TV Titles were on the line at UEW in January. 
*Jonathan Gresham’s title defense against Emeritus from Denmark in February was finally released on IWTV. 
*Mick Foley talked FTR into defending their tag team titles against Griff Garrison and Marcus Kross last month.

Now onto the two total defenses from this month:

1 - FTR vs UE vs RPG Vice

IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship & ROH World Tag Team Championship
United Empire (Jeff Cobb & Great-O-Khan) vs. FTR (Cash Wheeler & Dax Harwood) vs. Roppongi Vice (Rocky Romero & Trent Beretta

AEWxNJPW Forbidden Door – Chicago, IL – 6.26.2022

United Empire have been IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions since 6.12.2022 and this is their first defense. FTR has been ROH World Tag Team Champions since 4.1.2022 and this is their third defense. Bobby Cruise does the introductions and Caprice Coleman is on commentary. Harwood hurts his shoulder missing an elbow drop on Romero and is taken backstage by a crew member. The United Empire tags themselves in so they can attack a lone Harwood, attacking his lower back which has kinesio tape on it. Wheeler makes the tough choice when he notices Harwood is gone and tags Beretta. Beretta sends O-Khan flying with a tornado DDT, and Romero sends Cobb to the floor with him via flying Frankensteiner. They quickly take O-Khan back in the ring for a double stomp to the back and Busaiku knee for two after taking out Cobb with a flying knee. Harwood makes his return with tape around his shoulder as the United Empire is double teaming Wheeler. Wheeler shoves Cobb into O-Khan and tags Harwood. Harwood takes out O-Khan with a lariat and impressively German suplexes Cobb thrice. Beretta aids Harwood with a superplex to Cobb. Wheeler tags himself in on the sly so he can follow up with a top rope splash onto Cobb for two. Romero assists Wheeler with a spike piledriver, and then takes out Wheeler with a running Shiranui and pescado. O-Khan pulls down Romero from climbing the turnbuckles as Cobb powerbombs Beretta. Beretta then kicks out of a Claw Bomb/German suplex combo. Harwood pulls O-Khan out to the floor and Romero suicide diveso nto them. Vice hits Strong Zero on Cobb, and Wheeler breaks the pin just in time. Romero tries several pinning combinations on Harwood. As Romero comes off the ropes, however, he runs right into the Big Rig from FTR and is pinned by Harwood at 16:19. We all knew Romero was here to take the L, but just like at Capital Collision, he had a hell of a run at the end to make us believe for a moment his team was actually going to pull it off. The shoulder injury story with Harwood worked, as the crowd was happy for his return, and even happier when FTR added another set of tag gold to their collection. Perhaps they’ll defend on STRONG next month when New Japan is in their home state. ***½

2 - YUTA vs Nese

ROH Pure Championship
Wheeler YUTA vs. Tony Nese

AEW Dark #150 – Orlando, FL – 6.28.2022

YUTA has been champion since 4.1.2022 and this is his second defense. Mark Sterling is in Nese’s corner.
*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 60 minute time limit. If the match goes past the time limit, three judges will determine the outcome. The judges for this match are ROH alumnus BJ Whitmer & Christopher Daniels, and current ROH Women’s World Champion Mercedes Martinez.
*Any wrestler who interferes will be automatically terminated from the roster.

Albeit legal, Nese is not happy with YUTA giving him an open handed strike while in a headlock. Nese then places referee Mike Posey in a position where he can nail YUTA with a closed fist without his knowledge. Nese kicks at his leg before applying a half crab, and YUTA decides to use his first rope break to escape. Nese further wears down YUTA’s back. YUTA grabs the top rope to block a Death Valley Driver, which counts as his second rope break. YUTA catches Nese coming off the top with a Manhattan Drop. A corner clothesline and flying clothesline send the Premier Athlete to the floor, and YUTA follows with a suicide dive. Sterling trips YUTA as he re-enters the ring. Nese grabs a front facelock, and since YUTA is underneath the rope, it counts as his third rope break. Sterling is thrilled. YUTA strategically nails Nese with a closed fist, resulting in a warning. Nese tries to bait YUTA into another strike, but YUTA resists and German suplexes Nese for two. Nese gets YUTA in a Boston Crab, and while rope breaks are gone, YUTA is able to climb to the second rope to escape the hold. Nese crashes and burns on a shooting star press. YUTA lays in elbows to the side of his head before locking in an STF with a half straightjacket choke. Nese taps out at 10:16. Twice is a trend, and that’s now both of YUTA’s defenses where he used a closed fist intentionally and was at a rope break deficit against his opponent. The Woods match was stronger, but Nese was certainly a formidable and logical challenger. ***

Daniel Garcia and 3.0 attack YUTA after the match. If this leads to YUTA vs. Garcia for the Pure title, I am all about it.

And that’s it! No World, TV, Women’s and of course no Six Man Tag Title defenses. Why Mercedes Martinez went from defending the title four times in one month to zero the next I do not know.

It was announced on Monday the 27th that ROH would return to PPV with “Death Before Dishonor” on July 23rd, and a new ROH logo was unveiled as well. Hopefully this means a far busier month for the titles in general.

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