Before we get into my Ring Of Honor Weekly Review, I’ve got a question for you. When is a wrestling show not really a wrestling show? Why, when it’s a highlight reel, of course. Now normally, your friendly neighborhood wrestling writer, wouldn’t touch a clips round-up with a ten-foot pole but this is Ring Of Honor after all and as it’s my job to report on such matters, I sucked it up and sat down to view this week’s episode.
I’ll be honest; I wasn’t holding out great hopes for our first-ever ROH Weekly Review together but hush my mouth and call me Cheryl, even a Ring Of Honor round-up is still a bloody good watch.
Every match on this week’s card, bar one, was the best of the best from fights that had taken place at Glory By Honor XVII. This makes sense as it had the Semi-Finals of the #1 Contender Tournament for the ROH World Championship. It also had the Tag Team Titles on the line as well as The Women Of Honor World Championship rematch, all done in clip form. They kept the best for last though as we got a full run of the Final for the #1 Contender Tournament, and that alone was worth the price of admission.
So let’s lace up our boots and head to the ring.
Kelly Klein vs. Angelina Love
After a quick recap of the quarter-finals of the #1 Contender’s Tournament, we get straight into the action with highlights from the rematch for the WOH World Championship. A couple of weeks earlier at Death Before Dishonor XVII, Klein had lost her title to Love, with no small interference from Mandy Leon, so invoked her rematch clause at the first opportunity.
The match between Klein and the former Beautiful Person (pauses for someone in the comments section to point out that that was the wrong promotion) had quite a few highlights going for it, including a Flatliner into a Coquina Clutch, as well as a Flying Crossbody into a Lou Thesz Press, by Love. She’s still one of my favorite wrestlers as she’s always been able to back up her total asshole persona with being great in the ring and this match was no exception.
It looked like there’d be a couple of Dusty Finishes when the Ref found himself laid out not once, but twice but when it did happen it didn’t go down the way I was expecting. Normally in these circumstances, the Heel wins and that seemed to be the way of things as when the ref was knocked out the second time, Mandy Leon got in the ring a beat on Kelly Klein with a chair. Yet, just as all looked lost for our brave Babyface the lights went out, and when they came back up, Maneater Maria Maniac was stood in the ring. She no-sold the hell out of a couple of chair shots from Leon before throwing her into a Torture Rack/Burning Hammer combo and then turned her attention to Angelina Love. One Forearm From Hell later and Klein hits the K-Power for the 1-2-3.
Winner And New WOH World Champion: Kelly Klein
Luke And Perry Hawx vs. The Briscoes
If you’re going to do any form of a highlight show, then you’ve got to have Dem Boys on the card. Their smash-mouth style and million miles an hour pace is tailor-made for edge of your seat matches, as well as gif worth clips. Yes, I’m a fan-boy. No, I don’t care.
With the ROH World Tag Team Championship on the line, The Briscoes and The Hawx went to war, which was unfortunate for Perry Hawk as he seemed to be on the receiving end of most of the punishment.
There were some great spots here too. Mark Briscoe proved he has no care for his own well-being by performing a cannonball over the top rope, off a goddamn chair, into the Hawx but both Luke and Perry would get their revenge as the latter whipped Mark Briscoe into a barricade while the former performed a stun gun on Jay from the apron onto the ropes. It all culminated when Dem Boys isolated Perry Hawx and hit him with a Redneck Boogie, followed up by a Jay Driller to secure the win.
It was goddamn mental.
Winners And Still ROH World Tag Team Champions: The Briscoes
#1 Contender’s Tournament Semi-Finals: Jay Lethal vs. Marty Scurll and PCO vs. Dalton Castle
Two for the price of one here, and not just because I’m a lazy bastard. It seemed that the company wanted to rush us through the semi-finals of the #1 Contender’s Tournament so we could get to the final fight itself. This is fine an all, but it does mean that there wasn’t really a lot on offer to talk about.
The opening of Lethal vs. Scurll was intense, right out the blocks Jay dropped kicked Marty and Suicide Dived him three times, but it was all over in a bit of a flash after Scurll locked in the Chicken Wing and Jay tapped.
The same goes for the second semi-final, where PCO seemed to take a hell of a beating before somehow getting the win over Dalton Castle, setting up a meeting between himself and his CEO in The Villian Enterprises.
I would have liked to have seen more from these matches.
Winners And Through to The Final: Marty Scurll And PCO
#1 Contender Tournament Final: Marty Scurll vs. PCO
If you ever doubt just how brilliant Marty Scurll is, then you need to go and watch this match. The CEO of The Villian Enterprises is the best Heel in the world today and when you can put on a match with PCO that could be a contender for Match Of The Year, then you know that you’re doing something right.
Right from the outset, Scurll is at his rat-bastard best. Taking the mic, he explains to PCO that they always knew it could come to this but it shouldn’t come between their friendship. He wants a clean fight and no hard feelings. This is about two seconds before he beams PCO in the head with his umbrella as they shake hands. Like I said, Best.Heel.In.The.World.
The match itself is mostly Marty as he tries to take out the French Canadian Frankenstein and that makes sense. PCO is, after all, nearly 52 so you can’t expect him to be bouncing off ropes and flying through the air every five seconds. Don’t get me wrong, for a guy that’s half a century old he is pretty damn impressive. I’m 47, and if I even thought about doing some of the stuff that PCO does, I’d need CPR and probably a mortician, but it makes much more sense to let the younger man do a lot of the leg work.
No matter what the Villain did, however, he couldn’t put PCO down and keep him that way. Even taking him outside and driving him hard into a barrier didn’t do the trick. Though it did allow Scurll another moment of genius as when he went to slap hands with a fan at ringside, he pulled back at the last minute and flipped him the bird instead.
A lot of back and forth that saw Scurll lay in the superkicks before PCO fought back with a Pop-Up Power Bomb, a Spear, A Choke Slam, and a Senton off of the top turnbuckle (no, really) and it was a very close kick-out at two.
The match picked up even more in the home stretch with Scurll throwing PCO through a table as he prepared to dive onto The Villain and then what looked like that good old Dusty Finish showed why a Dusty Finish can work if it’s done properly.
With the Ref out, Brody king stormed to the ring and lay a beating on PCO. This should’ve been enough to see the monster off but he kept fighting. This brought Flip Gordon to the ring as all the remaining members of Villian Enterprises tried to rob their compatriot of his victory. Yet it didn’t work.
Having laid him out with a massive Lariat, Marty went back for a second trip to the well but only came up dry.
An Irish Whip into the ropes saw PCO duck the assault and Suicide Dive through the ropes, taking care of King and Gordon. This is followed up by eh PCOSAULT, yet another kick-out, a botched apron cannonball that puts Scurll back in charge before PCO somehow, somehow, finally hits the PCOSAULT and gets a massive win.
Winner And New #1 Contender: PCO
As I said in the intro, I wasn’t holding out much hope for this clip show, but I’m glad that ROH managed to prove me wrong. Sure, it wasn’t the best 50 minutes they’ve ever put out and I have no doubt that normally it would’ve faded from memory about an hour after I’d finished watching it, but that Marty Scurll vs. PCO match really is that good.
It’s a masterclass in in-ring storytelling, wrapped up in some of the best action and near pin-falls that I’ve seen in a while and it’s worth your time to go check it out. Where Villain Enterprises goes from here is anyone’s guess, but there’s bound to be some fall out now that they’ve seemingly cut PCO loose, and maybe we’ll start to see dissension in the ranks in the not to distance future.
As for the other matches on the show, it’s obvious that Maneater Maria Maniac is heading into a feud with Mandy Leon and it wouldn’t surprise me if Angelina Love wasn’t a major part of that as well.
As for Dem Boys, well they can do no wrong. Seriously, they could be put up against a couple of trash cans and still pull an A+ match out of it, so it doesn’t matter who goes after their gold, it’s gonna be a hell of a fight.
With all that in mind, I’m looking forward to what ROH has in store for us and you’ll be able to read my thoughts on it here at 25YL.
I’ll see you next week, same bat time, same bat channel.