2/21 ROH TV REPORT: “Bravo! This is everything Ring of Honor, and ROH TV, should be” – Shelley vs. Haskins, Flip Gordon vs. Slex, Castle & Hendry vs. The Righteous
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ROH TV REPORT (ep.440)
FEBRUARY 21, 2020
AIRED ON SINCLAIR SYNDICATED TV & ROHWRESTLING.COM
REPORT BY RYAN SULLIVAN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Host: Quinn McKay
-The opening theme aired.
-The show begins with a video package introducing Slex, one of the newest signees to Ring of Honor. It spotlights his ostentatious lifestyle, and ends with his catchphrase, “Business is Booming”!
-Quinn appears on-screen alone, acting as a solo host this week. She puts over Slex, and the major coup it was for ROH to sign him. Then she highlights the three matches we will see this evening, namely Mark Haskins vs. Alex Shelley, The Righteous vs. Dalton Castle and Joe Hendry, and the main event, Slex against Flip Gordon. All three matches occurred earlier in the month, at Free Enterprise. Quinn then throws to the ring for our opening contest.
(1) MARK HASKINS vs. ALEX SHELLEY
Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman were on commentary, as they are for all this week’s matches. Haskins and Shelley adhered to the Code of Honor. There was outstanding chain wrestling early in this contest, with both getting the upper-hand, yet neither was able to establish a clear advantage as we go to commercial. (c)
Back to “live” action, Haskins is on offense, and Shelley is selling an injury to his left arm. The match had an incredible up-tempo pace, with each man having a counter, to counter the other’s moves. Haskins continued to focus his attention on Shelley’s injured arm, which limited Shelley’s offense.
The finish happens when Shelley attempted to hit “Sliced Bread”, but Haskins was able to reverse it into a sharpshooter (his finisher) / wrist-lock combination submission for the win.
WINNER: Mark Haskins at 9:17
(Ryan’s Reaction: Bravo! This is everything Ring of Honor, and ROH TV, should be. I was previously not a big fan of Alex Shelley, but his work the past eight months has completely changed my opinion. He has not had a bad match since returning, and he is doing a phenomenal job of getting himself over, while letting younger talents GO over. This is a match worth seeking out.)
-Next, a video package is shown featuring Vincent cutting a promo, while clips are being shown of The Righteous’ recent actions. This was intended to remind everyone of how they injured Matt Taven, and Vincent’s continued descent into madness.
-They transition to a pre-match interview by Quinn McKay with Joe Hendry and Dalton Castle. Castle starts talking about Bateman and Vincent, saying he does not find them scary. Castle then takes an interesting turn, and starts talking about looking at spiders. Hendry then interjects, to say they are a dangerous team because they are unpredictable, and have been on a winning streak. This was an odd promo by Castle, who seems to be getting weirder by the week. (c)
-Back from commercial, Quinn McKay is now interviewing Mark Haskins and Tracy Williams. Haskins talks the entire promo about being singularly focused on the ROH World Title. Williams never speaks, and stands there with a look of “What about our tag-team”, while trying to keep a cool exterior. This was some quality acting by Williams, and hints at a future breakup.
(2) THE RIGHTEOUS (Bateman & Vincent Marseglia w/ Chuckles & Vita Von Starr) vs. DALTON CASTLE & JOE HENDRY
They go directly to the ring, skipping all introductions and going immediately to the bell, to start our match. Bateman and Castle begin the action, with Joe Hendry getting a quick tag and going on the offensive. Both Castle and Hendry are executing quick and fluid tags, and working well as a tandem. The momentum of the match shifts when Marseglia grabs Matt Taven’s crutch, distracting Castle and allowing Bateman to gain control into commercial. (c)
Returning to action, Bateman and Marseglia are working over Hendry in their corner, and Hendry takes a beating for several minutes. Hendry gets a hot tag to Castle about six minutes in, and Dalton immediately cleans house. A few minutes later, Hendry hits a monster fall-away slam on both Bateman and Vincent.
The finish occurs when Chuckles pulls Castle outside the ring, which also diverted Hendry’s attention. This allowed Vincent to hit his finisher, “Sliced Bread”, on Hendry for the win.
WINNERS: The Righteous at 9:59
(Ryan’s Reaction: This was a quality match, and did well to further the winning streak of The Righteous, while adding another layer to the expected breakup of Hendry and Castle. There was good in-ring action, and an even better story, told by the four competitors.)
-After the match, all four members of The Righteous are shown celebrating their victory in the ring.
-They quickly shift to an interview by Quinn McKay backstage with Slex. Slex gives a quick promo and finishes by saying Flip will see “Business is Booming”! (c)
-Back from commercial, we see a cameraman chasing down Vincent Marseglia, and the rest of The Righteous, for a post-match comment. Vincent cuts a bizarre, but interesting promo, saying you are only as sane as you want to be, and madness has its own rewards. He finished by saying they create their own reality, and it’s righteous. This was a strong promo, in a week filled with quality promos.
-We are back with Quinn McKay in the host role. She hypes future live event dates and next week’s main event, Flamita & Bandido vs. The Briscoes.
-What appeared to be another video package for Slex, somehow transitioned into his introduction from Free Enterprise. Slex comes out to surprisingly little crowd response. Flip Gordon then walks out to a large crowd pop and we are ready for our main event.
(3) FLIP GORDON vs. SLEX
Both men adhered to the Code of Honor, as the commentators put over Slex’s tremendous accomplishments in his home country, Australia. There was good, fast-paced action early, with neither able to gain an advantage before commercial break. (c)
Back “live”, Slex is on the offensive and the pace has dramatically slowed down, as Slex shows off his impressive power. After several minutes of punishment, Flip hits a nasty, twisting falcon-arrow to get back into the match. (c)
Returning to the ring, Slex hits a fierce spinning blue thunder-bomb for a believable near fall. The finish to the match occurs when Flip hits a “Flip Five”, followed by a devastating curb stomp, for the win.
WINNER: Flip Gordon at 7:25
(Ryan’s Reaction: This match was fine, but in my opinion, the weakest on the Free Enterprise card. I understand wanting to feature Slex, as he is a well-hyped new talent, but this match did little to make him look like a star, and more to make him look like a well-muscled enhancement talent. I never like to have a down note to end a show; thus, I would have flipped (pun intended) this match with Haskins vs. Shelley, to make the episode conclude on a more positive note.)
-After the match, the Code of Honor was, again, adhered to, and this lead to Flip lifting Slex’s arm in appreciation of a good match. Flip then goes to the locker room, leaving Slex in the ring.
However, the Soldiers of Savagery and Shane Taylor quickly descended on the ring, and Taylor destroyed the weary Slex with a variation of a package pile driver. Taylor grabs the microphone and says that everybody has been talking about ROH’s newest signees, when they should be talking about him. All of his contract demands have been met, and Shane Taylor is officially back in Ring of Honor. Now, “Business is Booming”!
-Shane Taylor and Soldiers of Savagery all posed for the camera as we faded to black.
FINAL THOUGHTS: This was a quality show, with a mediocre main event. On a positive note, there were several brand new, well-produced interviews and vignettes used to further storylines. I have asked for this multiple times in this column this year, and this week, ROH delivered.
This was a solid hour of television, and I am looking forward to next week’s main event of the Briscoes facing Bandido and Flamita.
CATCH UP… 2/14 ROH TV REPORT: Bouncers & Woods & Silas Young vs. Maff & Cobb & Lethal & Grisham, Lifeblood vs. The Righteous