Tonight at ROH 17th Anniversary, Matt Taven and ROH World Champion Jay Lethal look to book a ticket to Madison Square Garden with the world title on their waists as they square off for the championship. Plus, ROH tag champions The Briscoes defend against PCO and Brody King of Villain Enterprises, while ROH TV and Women of Honor gold is on the line. All that and more tonight at ROH 17th Anniversary!
Video package kicks off the show.
We are LIVE from Sam’s Town Hotel and Gambling Hall in Las Vegas, Nev. Ian Riccaboni, Caprice Coleman, and NWA World Heavyweight Champion Nick Aldis have the call for tonight.
Kenny King vs. “The Villain” Marty Scurll
Scurll sends King out with an uppercut and lands a superkick from the apron. Scurll superkicks the parody mascot of himself that accompanied King. They exchange chops in the corner inside and Scurll with a back elbow. King with a Blue Thunder Bomb for a nearfall and he works Scurll down. Backbreaker and armbar applied by King. Scurll kicks out of the corner, but King meets him up top. Jumping enzuigiri drops Scurll outside. Slingshot corkscrew misses and Scurll comes off the apron with a tornado DDT. Scurll with a clothesline and they exchange strikes. Scurll with a drop toehold and 619. Wheelbarrow roll gets a nearfall on King. King comes back with a head kick for a nearfall and follows with a spinebuster for another. Pinning predicament exchanged and Scurll stomps the hand of King. King with a handstand kick and they go outside. King hits a cannonball dive off the apron. King with a Royal Flush inside, but Scurll rolls out. King rolls Scurll back in and tries to bring in a chair, but loses a tug-of-war with the referee. Scurll knocks King out with his umbrella.
Winner by pinfall: Marty Scurll
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Fine enough opener, but pretty standard and seemed to move from spot to spot without getting much from the crowd.
ROH World Television Championship: Jeff Cobb (c) vs. Shane Taylor
Cobb punches Taylor back into the corner. Taylor with a Saito suplex, but Cobb pops back up and they exchange punches. Exploder suplex from Cobb and he follows with a dropkick. Taylor with a Pounce and he lands chops on Cobb. Cobb comes back with chops of his own. Cobb sends Taylor out, but Taylor sweeps him onto the apron. Spear off the apron for Taylor and they go back to exchanging strikes inside. Pumphandle throw lands for Cobb. Taylor pushes Cobb away to land a running knee for a nearfall. Strikes exchanged and Cobb with a superkick, Taylor with a right hand, and Cobb with a clothesline that drops Taylor and sends Cobb falling out to the floor. Cobb back in and they go toe-to-toe with forearms. Cobb with a jumping uppercut in the corner. Taylor kicks away, but Cobb throws Taylor across the ring off the top. Standing moonsault gets a nearfall on Taylor. Cobb with chops, but Taylor with a spinebuster for a nearfall. Taylor with a splash off the middle rope that is unable to finish Cobb. Cobb ducks a shot from Taylor to land a delayed German suplex with a bridge for a nearfall. Taylor turns Cobb inside out with a clothesline and lands a Canadian Destroyer, but Cobb kicks out again. Cobb gets Taylor for Tour of the Islands. Taylor sits up and Cobb gets another.
Winner by pinfall and STILL ROH World Television Champion: Jeff Cobb
Rating: 3.75 out of 5 stars
Really good hoss fight here that got the crowd going at a fairly fast pace for the big guys.
Women of Honor World Championship: Mayu Iwatani (c) (w/Sumie Sakai) vs. “The Gatekeeper” Kelly Klein
Klein drops Iwatani and kicks her to the outside. Klein whips her into the corner repeatedly. Klein works her from corner to corner and uses her power advantage, dropping Iwatani with a back elbow and landing ground-and-pound. Iwatani gets a Sling Blade and she tries a ripcord, but Klein with a back elbow. Iwatani with a kick combo and a Northern Lights suplex for a nearfall. Double stomp to the body and a single-leg dropkick get another for the champion. They exchange strikes and Klein and Iwatani botch on a head kick, allowing Klein to throw her out. Iwatani comes in with a German suplex, but Klein with one of her own that folds Iwatani on her neck. Iwatani gets to her feet before Klein and lands ground-and-pound. Iwatani with a head kick and she goes up top. Moonsault lands and she calls for one more, but it lands on the knees of Klein. Klein with a Kleinline and she paintbrushes Iwatani, but Iwatani with a small package.
Winner by pinfall and STILL Women of Honor World Champion: Maya Iwatani
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
This had a good David vs. Goliath element going for it and had some intensity, but just a little sloppy at points.
ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Champion Matt Taven makes his way out before the Kingdom vs. LifeBlood match and says he can’t stand to hear people calling the Jay Lethal the ROH World Champion any longer when Taven is the “real” world champion. Taven calls Lethal out for the match right now.
ROH World Championship: Jay Lethal (c) vs. Matt Taven
No Code of Honor as they exchange punches and chops in the corners to start. Lethal with a back elbow for a nearfall and he works Taven in the corner with strikes. Taven with a running suplex for a nearfall. Lethal stops the Taven offense with a clothesline and lands a dropkick to the back of the head. Taven slams Lethal and piefaces him around the ring. Lethal tries to fight back and gets punched in the corner. Lethal drops Taven for a nearfall and gets a suplex for another. Taven with a running back elbow to drop Lethal and he applies a sleeper. Lethal fights off the submission and lands a Dragon screw leg whip to drop Taven. Both exchange small packages and figure-four attempts. Taven flips Lethal over him on a Lethal Injection attempt and lands a spinning hook kick that turns Lethal inside out. Taven works Lethal down as Lethal favors his shoulder that he landed on off the spinning hook kick. Lethal falls to the outside on his head after Taven throws him out. Lethal fights back with chops inside and lands a dropkick. Lethal works Taven down until Taven lands a dropkick. Taven trash talks the fans and chops Lethal in the corners, allowing Lethal to come back with a powerslam. Lethal with corner chops. Taven favors his leg after floating over Lethal in the corner and Lethal with a back bodydrop on Taven to the floor. Lethal with three suicide dives. Taven gets rolled in and he rolls back out, allowing Lethal to land a fourth. Nearfall inside for Lethal.
Lethal works the leg of Taven back inside. Taven runs Lethal into the ring post on his shoulder and locks in a cross armbreaker. Lethal fights up and Taven with a roundhouse kick to the arm. Crossface applied on Lethal and it turns into a Regal Stretch. Lethal again fights up, but gets his left shoulder driven into the mat. Taven goes back to work on it. Inverted Falcon Arrow connects and Taven goes up top. Lethal rolls away and catches Taven for the Lethal Combination. Lethal works the comeback. Taven and Lethal fight up on the top rope. Lethal punches him down, but the balloons come up from under the ring. Vinny Marseglia sneaks in from under the ring as TK O’Ryan comes out to distract the referee. Marseglia with the bat to Lethal and Jonathan Gresham gets taken out by Kingdom with a chair to the knee outside. Kingdom get a table out, but Mark Haskins and Tracy Williams run them off. Taven with a low blow and the Climax. Lethal able to kick out. Taven with a Frog Splash and Lethal again able to kick out. Another Frog Splash lands on the knees of Lethal for a small package nearfall. Cutter gets another for Lethal. They exchange strikes. Lethal catches a springboard for the Lethal Rack and a Finlay Roll for a nearfall. Lethal with a corner forearm and a running Death Valley Driver. Lethal up top and Hail to the King gets caught for a crucifix pin by Taven for a nearfall. Lethal rolls to the figure-four leglock on Taven. Taven punches at the leg of Lethal. Lethal slaps him down and Taven looks for the roll to reverse the submission. Taven gets it. Lethal struggles and reverses back, but Taven gets to the bottom rope. Lethal attacks the leg on the rope. Taven suplexes Lethal out through the table outside, but only gets a nearfall inside. Taven gets Lethal to the top rope inside and he gets a backpack stunner for a nearfall. Lethal comes back with a knee and Lethal Injection. Taven kicks out. Cutter on the apron from Lethal. Cutter to the floor by Lethal. Both able to beat the count. Lethal rolls back out and brings out another table. Taven laid on it, but he fights up and DDTs Lethal onto the ring apron. Taven tells Lethal it is time to learn that he is the real world champion as he makes a ladder bridge from the ring to the barricade. Lethal fights away for a dropkick and lays Taven out on the ladder. Lethal up top and he flies, but Taven moves and Lethal puts himself through the ladder. Lethal gets helped up by officials, but Taven dives and takes all three out. Cutter by Taven and running knee after running knee lands. Taven lands five or six, but Lethal able to kick out. Taven up top and he comes down into a Lethal cutter for a nearfall.
They exchange shots from their knees to their feet. Lethal with an enzuigiri and three superkicks. Lethal Injection lands, but Taven kicks out and the bell sounds.
Time Limit Draw
Rating: 1.75 out of 5 stars
This wasn’t a bad match throughout, but handling a just decent match for a sixty minute draw is a lot more of a chore than expected and actually ends up making the match worse. To their credit, they got a dead crowd into it towards the end, but everything in the match just felt overlong. This one will cause some divided opinions.
Post-match, Marty Scurll comes in and walks out with the title.
Ian Riccaboni introduces Mega Ran and they hand out t-shirts before performing. Bully Ray comes out and throws chairs into the ring, demanding the performance to end. Bully asks why they are wasting time on his pay-per-view. Bully says he hates rap music and runs them down before pushing them out of the ring. Bully says no one in ROH knows about “going to the Garden” and says he is the only guy who knows anything about wrestling in Madison Square Garden. Bully says he main-evented and sold out the Garden. Bully threatens to smack two kids ringside and says no one is ready to wrestle him at the Garden. Bully calls for an open challenge to the entire wrestling business for a New York City street fight. Bully says the target knows who he is calling out and says it is eating them alive that he could get the better of them. Bully says “see you at the Garden, punk.”
Dalton Castle joins commentary with The Boys by his side.
Rush vs. Bandido
They feel each other out early to stalemates. Rush stomps Bandido down and they exchange lucha offense to another stalemate. Bandido with a headscissors to send Rush out, but a senton gets caught and Rush powerbombs him through the timekeeper’s table outside. Bandido thrown around ringside and Rush with a corner splash and dropkick inside. Hair snapmare slings Bandido across the ring. Bandido comes back with a corkscrew out of the corner and a suicide dive to send Rush into the barricade outside. Flip dive connects and a springboard crossbody gets a nearfall inside. Rush stops the rally with a snap German suplex for a nearfall of his own. Bandido stomped down in the corner and hit with a kick. They exchange strikes. Bandido rolls out of a Canadian Destroyer and lays Rush out. Rush up top and hit with a head kick, but he comes back with a superplex for a nearfall. Bandido comes back with a running suplex for a nearfall. Rush hung on the second rope and Bandido with a springboard 450 for a nearfall. Bandido tries another springboard, but Rush dropkicks him out of the air. Flip dive to the outside lands for Rush. Bandido with a head kick on the apron and he lands a hurricanrana to send Rush to the floor. Torture Rack GTS from Bandido inside, but he runs into a throw into the turnbuckles from Rush. Rush stomps Bandido down and lands a basement dropkick.
Winner by pinfall: Rush
Rating: 3.25 out of 5 stars
Good, fast-paced, high-energy match in contrast with much of what we’ve seen on the card tonight.
Dalton Castle gets in the ring post-match and challenges for a match at G1 Supercard and Rush accepts.
Las Vegas Street Fight for the ROH World Tag Team Championships: The Briscoes (c) vs. Brody King & PCO
Both teams start pouring chairs into the ring and duel with chairs. King gets tossed out of the ring and hit with flip dive by Mark Briscoe. Jay Briscoe works PCO down inside and kicks a chair into his face. The Briscoes in control until King comes out of the corner with a crossbody on Jay. Mark and PCO trade on the apron and PCO hits a Michinoku Driver through a table outside. PCO in the ring and he gets King to chop him before they attack Jay in the corner. King isolated by The Briscoes, but he fights back and sends one into a wedged chair in the corner and lands a Death Valley Driver on a cornered tabled on the other with PCO taken out outside. PCO uses a piece of the table as a baseball bat against Jay and King and PCO lift the ramp onto two chairs. The Briscoes fight back with kendo sticks, but Jay accidentally takes out Mark. PCO gets hit with a back bodydrop that bounces him off the ring apron and one that bounces him onto the elevated ramp. The Briscoes go back to attacking King ringside. Two tables set up side-by-side ringside. Mark goes up top and hits a blockbuster through the tables outside on King. The Briscoes take kendo sticks to King inside, but PCO returns to the ring and walks through kendo stick shots to the head. PCO breaks both kendo sticks over his knee and clotheslines both down. The Briscoes take it to the apron and PCO knocks Mark off into a pile of chairs ringside. King and Jay on the apron and King fights off a Jay Driller. Piledriver sees King fall on his side and break the table legs in a botch. PCO Moonsault inside connects.
Winners by pinfall and NEW ROH World Tag Team Champions: PCO & Brody King (Villain Enterprises)
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Solid intensity throughout and had some good spots, even if the finish was a little lackluster due to the failed table spot.
In all, we continue to see ROH sort of struggle to create their own identity outside of the New Japan lens. Half of the show was spent hinting at setups for the G1 Supercard co-promoted show at the Garden. ROH at least took some chances here, such as moving the title match to the middle of the show, but it is really hard to find a wholly good show from them in the last few years as they sit firmly under the thumb of NJPW and the draws related to them.
Nolan Howell can be reached at [email protected] for any questions or comments.