The show opening played to begin the show. This one will need some serious editing soon…
Ian Riccaboni and Colt Cabana are on commentary for a fresh set of shows coming from Chicago Ridge, Illinois, in the Fieldhouse that according to Ian, has hosted more Ring of Honor shows than any building ever. Alex Shelly is joining them on commentary for the first match. They put over Punishment Martinez vs Jay White in the main event, and Silas Young vs Bobby Fish in a grudge match.
Jonathan Gresham vs. Flip Gordon
Gresham is part of Shelly’s Search and Destroy group. Gresham and Gordon are hyped as the two most recent Ring of Honor signees. They go to lock up, but Gresham ducks under and they exchange reversals but neither can lock anything on and they stalemate. They get to their feet and lock up, and Gresham grabs a wristlock. Gordon tries several times to roll through with the hold, but Gresham twists with it every time, keeping up the pressure. Gordon then responds by going through a series of kip ups, breaking the hold, although Gordon does a few just for fun and poses. Gresham looks on in amusement, then takes Gordon down with a single leg. He runs the ropes and Gordon drops down, but Gresham cartwheels over and catches Gordon with a headlock takedown, but Gordon counters quickly with a headscissors, but Gresham kips right out. They exchange the headlock takedown/headscissors several more times, but when Gordon kips out the last time, Gresham grabs him by the wrist and takes him back down into the headscissors.
Gordon has to work a little harder to get free this time, and frees his neck and then walks on his hands to get out, before kipping out into a pose. Riccaboni puts over Gordon’s background as a gymnast and a mascot. They shake hands, but Gresham breaks the shake with his leg and nails Gordon with a dropkick and breaks out his own pose.
Gresham nails Gordon with a chop to the chest, then whips him in but Gordon jumps to the second rope and dares Gresham to come on. He flips over a charge, does an insane back handstand to duck a clothesline, and catches Gresham on the jaw with a dropkick, but instead of going down, Gresham’s eyes widen and he drops to a knee, like he’s been hit in the jaw. What a great, simple sell. Gordon catches Gresham with a double handspring elbow in the corner, snapmares him, then catches with a running kick to the chest going straight to a standing moonsault for a two count. Gresham catches him charging with a boot, then hits a second rope senton to the standing Gordon. Gresham follows it up with a round kick to the arm, then catches him an armdrag, one that snaps the arm and elbow. Commercial Break.
BFC, Gresham had control of Gordon’s wrist, and the two are exchanging forearms. Gresham twists the arm, but Gordon pops him with a hard forearm to break his grip. He tries to whip Gresham in, but Gresham blocks it, hurting Gordon’s bad arm. Gresham charges but eats a back elbow. Gordon tries a whip, but Gresham reverses it, and Gordon catches him with a springboard Sling Blade! Both come up slowly and Gordon tries to follow up with spinning kicks to the head and leg, but missed both, buts hit the Pele. Gordon rallies the fans for a charge in the corner, but eats a double boot. Gresham goes to the second rope, but Flip springboards to the top and nails the sitting Gresham with a superkick that sends him to the floor! I love that spot. Gordon then builds the momentum for an incredible double springboard Spaceman Planchua!
Gordon throws him back in the ring and hits a spinning splash off the top for a two count. Gordon is selling his arm still. He nails a few leg kicks, then tries a whip, but Gresham counters with a modified stunner, then follows up with an enziguri and a snap German suplex. Gresham pumps his arm and gets the fans behind. Cabana argues with Shelly on commentary about Gresham not following up. Gresham charges, but Gordon slips in and catches him with an enziguri. He charges and he eats a double boot, and Gresham follows up with a second rope crossbody for a two count. They get to their feet, but Gordon catches him with a rolling DVD, followed by a PK, and covers back first but at one, Gresham catches him in a grounded crucifix for a two count.
Gordon catches him with a few leg kicks, and Gresham ducks one to the head, but not the second one. Gordon sets him up and rallies the fans before going to the top. Gordon tries a 450, but Gresham moves, only to have Gordon land on his freaking feet and roll through. He charges, but Gresham rolls through and catches with a European uppercut to the arm. He missed a shot, and Gordon missed a kick to the head, but Gresham jumps on his back an goes for the Octopus Hold! Gordon tries to keep his arm close, but Gresham is able to extend it and pull it behind his head and Gordon was forced to tap out.
Winner: Gresham via submission
After the match, the fans are chanting “ROH.” Shelley comes down and says how awesome he thought the match was. Cabana says he should buy a ticket. Shelley tells Gordon he is the future of this company, and for Gordon to realize he needed ROH just as much they needed him, and offers all the help he can give to Gordon. They shake his hands and Gresham and Shelley raise his arms. Riccaboni wonders if this means Flip is officially a member of Search and Destroy.
Then we get a promo from Jay White. He talks about how at Best In the World, he had a career defining match with Will Ospreay, and how irked he was that people doubted he could have a match like that. But after that match was done, and he and Ospreay were trying to soak in that moment in the ring, Punishment Martinez jumped them and stole that moment. White said that Martinez had jumped him twice now and he knew Martinez was pissed because White beat him, but now White was pissed off. He said that he was a man who valued sportsmanship, but if Martinez wanted to be like that, he would face him anytime, anywhere, and promised Martinez would be facing a different Jay White.
They then went to Riccaboni and Cabana at the booth and they spent some time talking about the ROH World Television Title scene. Of course, two weeks ago, thanks to partly due to a distraction from Adam Cole, Kushida had been able to hit Marty Scrull with the small package driver and win the title, and take it back to Japan.
They then threw to an inevitable future challenger to that title, Top Prospect tournament winner Josh “The Goods” Woods. They then showed a video capping his run through that tournament, eventually defeating John Skyler to win it all. Then “The Product” David Starr had come in and ruined his moment, but Woods then tapped out Starr in a revenge match a few weeks later.
Riccaboni then interviewed Woods. He said with the champion all the way in Japan, he wasn’t one to sit around and twiddle his thumbs-he wanted a challenge. Woods then called out “the most badass guy” in the locker room-Jay Briscoe. Riccaboni then asked he knew what he was getting into? Woods said even Briscoe could get knocked out, or tap out.
Silas Young vs. Bobby Fish
Could this be the last time we hear that iconic reDragon music? Fish has a band-aid over his left eye. Young eschews the Code of Honor and tries to jump Fish at the bell, but Fish gets a boot up on the charge, then catches him with a bodyshot and schoolboys him into the Fish Hook, but Young gets the ropes and goes to the outside. Fish tried to slide out after him, but Young slid back in the ring and caught Fish with a stomp as he came back in, but Fish got to his feet and the two traded various strikes until Fish went to the body and set up a hard knee to the face. Fish hit a snapmare and tried to go inside out with a slingshot senton, but Young moved and Fish rolled to his feet, and gave chase to Young and caught him a spear into the guardrails. Fish caught him with some kicks (Riccaboni called that his jiu jitsu background. WTF?) and then speared him again into the rails!
Fish tossed him back in the ring and Young got to the opposite corner. Fish charged, but of course Young caught him with a boot, then followed up with a second rope back rake and a clothesline. Young went for Misery, but Fish slipped out and nailed him with a front kick, then followed up with a hard knee to the gut. Fish went for a whip but Young reversed it, but Fish caught him a pair of front kicks, then took him down with an arm ringer, then followed it with an uppercut to the arm. Young ducked a round kick, but Fish hit a back kick to the ribs and went for a Flying Cross Armbreaker, but Young was in the ropes. He slid to the floor and Fish caught him with a front kick, but Young caught the second one and took him down, then draped him over the apron and started dropping bombs. Young followed up with a slingshot double stomp to the ribs, then using the ropes to drill his feet in. Commercial Break.
BFC, Young whipped Fish chest first into the corner for a two count. Young snapmared him into a a rear chinlock. Fish quickly fought his way to his feet, but Young threw him down by the hair before he could fight out of the hold. Fish tried to feet up from his knees, but Young beat him down and hit a snap suplex for a two count. Cabana compared Young to an opera singer who gets better with age. Fish fights back and goes for a German suplex, but Young counters with A Sushi Roll for a two count. Young went for a whip but Fish reversed it, only to have Young kip over and roll through and catch Fish with a side backbreaker, followed by a short clothesline for a two count. Young chided the ref for his count, then caught Fish with a pair of Yakuza Kicks in the corner, then a charging forearm. Young then went for the lariat, but Fish caught it and spun through and came alive with a pair of leg kicks and a round kick to the chest, followed by a Saito suplex! Fish charged again, but Young caught him with an uppercut. They came up trading rights, but Young ducked one and caught Fish with a cutter.
The two had a crazy exchange of ducks and counters from the apron to the floor, then somehow ended with Fish catching Young in the ring with a sleeper. Young got to the ropes and dropped down so Fish clotheslined himself on the top rope, but he snapped up and grabbed a sleeper again with Young on the apron only to get his neck snapped on the top rope. Young came back in the ring but Fish came out of nowhere with a spear that sent them both to the floor! They came up trading shots and each tried to send the other on the timekeepers table, but in the end, it was Young that sent Fish skidding across the table. Commercial Break.
BFC, the two men are battling through the turnbuckles and replays show us some of the chaos that happened during the break. The announcers note the ref eschewing the count, wanting these men to finish their rivalry. Young caught Fish with a shoulder to the ribs, but Fish avoided the next one and caught him with a knee, then tucked the bad arm behind the buckle before nailing him with a kick. Fish caught Young with a pair of brutal kicks to the chest and got the fans behind him, but Young grabbed him by the arm and pulled him into the top turnbuckle, then followed up with a brutal series of knees to the head. Young pulled him into the ring, and used a kneestrike from a Full Nelson, and then hit Misery for the three count.
Winner: Young by pin
After the match, Young held his hand out to Fish, taunting him with it, and Fish shoved him rather than shake it.
They then hyped a hardcore match between Adam Cole and Marty Scrull, available on ROHWrestling.com for a fee. Heaven forbid they put that match on TV…
Main Event Time
Punishment Martinez vs. Jay White
Super hot start. White ducked a right and nailed him with some chops. Martinez shoved him off, but missed another right, and White grabbed him a headlock. Martinez tossed him in and White went for a shoulder block, but Martinez stood tall and laughed, and White slapped him in the face. Martinez grabbed him by the throat, but White hammered the arm and Martinez tossed him in the corner, but White caught him charging with a back elbow. Martinez missed a follow up boot and got his foot caught in the rope. White hammered the other leg with some kicks and got a running start for a dropkick to the leg, then caught him with a clothesline that sent him to the floor, but Martinez landed on his feet and laughed. He did a box jump back to the apron, but White dropkicked the knee sending him back to the floor. Martinez avoided a pescado, but White caught him with a flying forearm from the apron, then caught him with a pair of running European uppercuts against the rails. White lit him up with a few chops, then tossed him in the ring and hit a missile dropkick for a two count.
White hit a European uppercut and went for a Saito suplex, but Martinez fought out and went for a boot, but White avoided it and hit a chop, but went off and charged and Martinez finally caught him with a spinkick.
Martinez then whipped White into the corner and caught him a jumping backelbow, then a clothesline, then another jumping backelbow. Martinez followed up with a snap powerslam, but didn’t go for the cover. He went for it again, but White slipped out the back. Martinez charged and White caught him with a dropkick, but he charged into the corner, and Martinez caught him with a boot and drove White into the mat with it. The fans tried to rally White, but Martinez caught him with a series of knees, then snapmared him and punched him in the head and covered for a two count. Martinez then waited for White on his knees and White threw a forearm from his knees, but Martinez hit him with a Mongolian Chop. Martinez whipped him in and caught him with the jumping back elbow in the corner, but went for another and White hit a dropkick to the knee. Martinez reversed a whip, but White hit a running dropkick to the knee again! White hit some forearms and Martinez said something to him in his big voice, but White went to his body before going back to the head with forearms.
White hit a Dragon Screw and went to follow up with the Figure Four, but Martinez kicked him into the corner. Martinez charged but White sent him into the second corner and White hit a German suplex and held on. White hit another, but Martinez got to the ropes. White pounded his back and Martinez tried to fight him off with a back elbow, but White ducked and hit a flatliner, then deadlifted him into a bridging German suplex for a two count. Commercial Break.
BFC, White hit Martinez with a chop, then pounded him from the corner mount. Martinez tried to counter with a Last Ride, but White escaped and low bridged Martinez to the floor, but he landed on his feet again. White went for a tope, but Martinez blocked it and chokeslammed him on the apron! Martinez tossed him back in the ring and hit his jumping back elbow in the corner, then a short clothesline and a right hand, then hit a Released Falcon Arrow for a two count. Martinez went for the Trouble In Paradise, but White ducked it and went for a uranage, but Martinez fought out and went for what looked like the Feast Your Eyes, but White blocked it and hit the textbook Hase style uranage suplex for a two count. White then called for the Kiwi Krusher, but Martinez blocked it and White countered into a brainbuster for a VERY close near fall. White rallied the fans and was about to set up a charge, but Martinez grabbed him and hit a sitout Burning Hammer for a near fall. Martinez couldn’t believe he kicked out. He pulled White up and White came throwing chops, before kicking the knee out and hitting some forearms. Martinez grabbed the throat, but White fought out. Martinez blocked a palm strike and missed a head kick, but Martinez caught him with a high knee and went for a chokeslam, but White used a kneebar and turned into a rollup for the three count!
Winner: White via pinfall
After the match, Martinez tried to jump White with a Trouble In Paradise, but White saw it coming and ducked and dropkicked him to the floor. But White kept going after him and you know what’s coming. Martinez cut him off with a knee to the gut, and threw him into the rail. Martinez then cleared away the timekeepers table and powerbombed White through the table. Martinez stood tall on the apron and they hyped a four-corner’s main event to close the show.
Frank’s Take: This may have been my favorite episode of Ring of Honor TV since I started reviewing for FightBooth a few months ago. I loved everything about the opening match. Flip Gordon is a freaking star. He has a great look, decent size, and is super athletic. Gresham is a wrestling machine. Young vs Fish was a fun grudge match and another win that tells you what the promotion thinks about Young. See ya in NXT, Bobby. The main event was instructive in many ways. White is the prototypical white meat babyface, but he’s so damn good you can’t help but cheer for him. And with how they’ve been building Martinez, I’m shocked that White got in so much offensive! If Martinez would have dominated, and White stolen the win at the end, I would have thought something different, but White took most the match and got the win. That tells me that ROH is super high on him and probably, so is New Japan. I loved this episode.
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