Baltimore, MD – 4.12.2021
Commentary is provided by Ian Riccaboni & Caprice Coleman.
Delirious vs. Rocky Romero
Delirious challenged Romero to this match by whispering into his ear while Romero was on commentary during the 19th Anniversary Show. The only other singles match they have had prior to this episode was at “Domination” in June of 2007, which Delirious won. Both of them also debuted for ROH at “Reborn: Stage One” in 2004. Delirious has a scar on his eye from Rocky Romero from when they competed against one another at “Death Before Dishonor V, Night 2” in a Philadelphia Street Fight and Romero drove Delirious’ face into a wall.
The Pure Rules are as follows:
*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 15 minute time limit. If the match goes the time limit, three judges will determine the outcome.
*Any wrestler who interferes will be automatically terminated from the roster.
Romero shuffles to prevent an ankle pick from Delirious. Delirious also is careful to avoid being placed in an armbar. Delirious uses his first rope break when Romero goes for an ankle lock. Romero snaps off a couple armdrags and dropkicks Delirious to the floor. They trade forearms back inside the ring. Delirious uses misdirection to hit a diving clothesline. Romero avoids a corner attack. He gets in a few Forever clotheslines before turning Delirious inside out with a regular clothesline for two. Delirious comes back with a neckbreaker and begins to focus his attack on Romero’s neck. He forces Romero down to the mat in a Cobra Clutch and Romero uses his first rope break to escape. Romero brings down Delirious in a double wristlock and puts on a kimura lock. Delirious gets the ropes again to escape. Romero places Delirious on the second rope and dropkicks him in the ribs. Delirious is able to maneuver Romero into a brainbuster, but he nurses his wrist after doing so. Romero resists another Clutch situation by stomping on Delirious’ feet, but Delirious Judo throws Romero over and applies the Cobra Clutch. Romero uses a hip toss to free himself and gives Delirious an uppercut. Delirious comes back with a rolling clothesline for two. When Delirious goes for another Clutch, Romero knee strikes him in the face. He tries a Shiranui. Delirious stops him mid move with a backbreaker into a Cobra Clutch. Romero picks Delirious’ ankle and rolls him onto his shoulders to escape, then backslides Delirious for two. They trade position in an inside cradle. Delirious uses a closed first and gets a warning, but it does earn him a nearfall. Romero reverses the momentum of a suplex attempt and goes for an armbar. He finally gets it on, and Delirious taps out at 14:51. This was a very fun match to watch, with a simple story to follow with the Cobra Clutch versus the armbar, with a sense of urgency and intensity to their wrestling. I also like Delirious using a closed fist out of desperation when the time limit was closing in. Good stuff from two stalwarts. ***¼
Rocky Romero makes it known he is sticking around and puts the Pure Division on notice. Considering Romero and Delirious are trainers of the respective school, I think a ROH Dojo vs. New Japan LA Dojo challenge series on Week by Week would be a whole lot of fun.
We are shown the end of the 19th Anniversary Show, where Brody King introduces his new stable Violence Unlimited, which consists of himself, Homicide, Tony Deppen, and the debuting Chris Dickinson. They laid waste to LFI and The Foundation after the main event. We are then treated to a hype video for the main event of next week’s episode, where Jay Briscoe and Mark Briscoe face one another in the main event.
The Foundation (Jay Lethal & Jonathan Gresham) vs. MexiSquad (Bandido & Flamita)
Quinn McKay informed us earlier in the episode that Rey Horus successfully got Bandido and Flamita back on the same page after tempers flared between them at the 19th Anniversary Show. This is supposed to be reaffirmed by a pre-match meeting between Flamita, Bandido, and Rey Horus, but Horus and Bandido seem a bit surprised Flamita is so amenable to teaming with them so quickly after leaving them high and dry at the PPV. He gives a chuckle when Horus and Bandido go off screen. In another pre-recorded interview, Jay Lethal admits he is still sore from the beating Violence Unlimited gave him at the 19th Anniversary show, but he’s also pissed off, and is going to take that energy into the tag match tonight.
Flamita gets the better in the opening exchange, sending Lethal outside with a Frankensteiner. Gresham wins a shoulder block battle with Flamita. He kicks Flamita’s arm after avoiding an armdrag, and sends Flamita outside with an armdrag. Bandido gives Gresham a reverse suplex and running knee strike. Bandido press slams Lethal for a one count. MexiSquad takes out Lethal with some tandem offense, but there is a little miscommunication between Bandido and Flamita in the process. Lethal ducks a double clothesline. He sends Flamita into Bandido, which sends Bandido outside. Gresham sneaks in from behind and German suplexes Flamita. Lethal and Gresham wear down Flamita in their corner, targeting his left shoulder specifically. Bandido tries to save him, but when attempting an enzuigiri on Gresham to free Flamita from an Octopus, he ends up hitting Flamita instead. Lethal drags Bandido to the floor as he tries to apologize. Gresham takes down Flamita with a moonsault press. Flamita is able to come back with a Spanish Fly. Bandido gets the tag. He pump kicks Lethal to end a forearm strike exchange. He spikes Lethal with a crucifix driver for two. Bandido blocks a Lethal Injection with a dropkick to the back. Flamita runs in and knocks Gresham off the apron. Flamita’s shoulder is so hurt that he drops Bandido during an assisted headscissor. Flamita almost forearms Bandido when Lethal ducks, and Flamita decides to hit Bandido intentionally! Bandido tackles Flamita and the two roll around on the mat. When they get back to their feet, Lethal dropkicks Flamita to the floor. He suicide dives onto Flamita as Gresham dragonscrew leg whips Bandido. He then assists Lethal with a powerbomb onto Bandido. He locks Bandido in a figure four leg lock. Flamita decides to leave Bandido instead of helping him out and Bandido taps out at 13:45. I am very bummed to see MexiSquad apparently dissolving, as they have been a consistent bright spot on every ROH event. Their miscommunication felt a bit forced, but I think the shoulder injury working into Flamita dropping Bandido did work, and Gresham and Lethal were a fine choice to aid in telling this story. I am interested in seeing what comes of MexiSquad and hoping the best for all three members of the team. **¾
Overall: This episode provided good wrestling and some story progression, which is more or less all I want from this show. The MexiSquad story is a bit shaky, so hopefully it steadies and leads somewhere positive for all parties involved.