ROH on SBG #505

Baltimore, MD – 5.21.2021

A Pure Rules contest was presented on the May 18th episode of Week By Week:

Pure Rules
The World Famous CB vs. Wheeler YUTA

YUTA defeated CB in the Pure Rules Gauntlet in March. 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.

CB more or less controls things to start with a headscissors on the mat. After snapping off a couple armdrags, he climbs up YUTA’s back while applying a submission to YUTA’s left arm. YUTA jams CB’s right hand, which he utilizes for the Shotei, against the top turnbuckle, then twists up his wrist and hand to make CB use his first rope break. YUTA hammerlock slams CB for two. CB manages to take down YUTA with a flying forearm. He’s caught a moment later in a Fujiwara armbar, and CB uses his second rope break to escape. YUTA gives him a hammerlock slam, suplex, and side suplex, and still only gets a two count. CB monkey flips YUTA into a short-arm scissor. YUTA tries rolling CB on his shoulders to escape, but CB keeps it applied. YUTA finally gets his foot on the rope, using his first rope break to escape. YUTA blocks a shotei. After an enzuigiri and German suplex he puts CB back in a Fujiwara armbar. CB’s third and final rope break allows him to escape. YUTA hurts his hand connecting with a shotei. He side steps an attack, sending YUTA shoulder first into the ring post. A left handed shotei leads to CB putting YUTA in the Nudo de la Muerte, and YUTA submits at 9:50. The wrestling felt very distinct from other Pure matches we’ve seen and told a very good story. YUTA may have defeated CB in the gauntlet, but when they were fresh, CB was able to outmaneuver and out wrestle YUTA, even when his rope breaks were exhausted and YUTA had muted his shotei. Given how important Pure wrestling had become to the ROH product since it’s relaunch, having it featured on the one year anniversary of Week by Week was a great call. ***

On the May 19th (?!?!) Women of Honor Wednesday, two competitors from the first episode of the series returned for singles competition:

Hyan vs. Max The Impaler

Hyan has trouble taking the much larger Max off of her feet and ends up being clobbered in the back of the head with a clothesline. Max tosses Hyan across the ring twice. Hyan gets her boot up to avoid a follow-up corner attack and puts Max in a backpack sleeper hold. Max sits out to escape, but Hyan’s adrenaline leads to her placing it back on. Max escapes again with an overhead mare. Hyan drop toe holds Max to the middle rope and kicks the rope into her throat. Max escapes a firewoman’s carry but eats a running knee from Hyan. Max escapes a double arm hook and gives Hyan a chokebreaker. Max follows up with an over the shoulder backbreaker for the pin at 7:49. The blatant cooperation between them at times and general clumsiness made for a very awkward match. Max was certainly the better of the two, and they’re dominance was appreciated, but this was just not good. ½*

Maria Kanellis-Bennett then invites Allysin Kay to participate in the ROH Women’s championship tournament this Summer. I am really happy to see Allysin in the tournament, but I can’t help but think that it says something that neither of the people who competed in today’s episode were offered a spot (at least not yet).

Now onto this week’s episode, where Quinn McKay is back in the hosting chair! We find backstage that Matt Taven has been attacked and his left ankle smashed. Mike Bennett helps him to his feet and to the trainers area.

Pure Rules
Rocky Romero vs. Fred Yehi

Yehi won the Pure Wrestling Gauntlet in March, and Romero made it known he wanted the Pure Title after he defeated Delirious in a Pure Rules match last month. The winner of this match faces The World Famous CB, who is on commentary for this match. CB just defeated Wheeler YUTA on “Week By Week”, so he and the winner of this match will both be close to the top of the Pure division rankings.

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.

Yehi goes after Romero’s left knee in the early going. Both men implement side headlocks in an attempt to control one another. Yehi backs Romero to the ropes with a headlock break, which referee Joe Mandek counts as Yehi’s first rope break. It worked for Yehi, as he was able to bodyslam Romero after the headlock was released. Yehi also stomps on Romero’s fingers when Romero is on the mat. Yehi keeps his focus on Romero’s left wrist. Romero jams Yehi’s left arm over his shoulder and places a kick to his bicep. Yehi cuts off the forever clotheslines early, but Romero stops him with a divorce court. During the commercial, Romero turned the tables by doing significant damage to Yehi’s left arm. Yehi ducks an enzuigiri and goes for a Koji Clutch. Romero is able to escape, but Yehi hits him in the ear with a rolling chop. Romero rolls Yehi into a Fujiwara armbar. Yehi uses his second rope break to escape, but Romero gets in some head kicks before letting go entirely. Yehi is able to blocka Shiranui attempt and t-bone suplexes Romero back into the Koji Clutch. Romero uses his first rope break to escape. He jams Yehi’s arm on the top rope and then dropkicks Yehi as he dangles on the second rope. With less than a minute remaining, Romero tries to fight for the Fujiwara armbar. Yehi escapes and blocks a knee strike. He knocks down Romero with a hard forearm and a kick to the side of the head. Yehi locks in a deep Koji Clutch, and Romero taps out at 14:44. The intensity and focus from each competitor added an air of importance to the proceedings, as they both knew a win would get them closer to a Pure Championship opportunity. Both had made strides in the division, so it was a total toss-up as to who would win, and as much as I like Romero, Yehi becoming more of a fixture in ROH excites me more. This was a very good match, and I think Yehi vs. CB has a ton of potential. ***½

Matt Taven is having his ankle taped up in the trainer’s room after his attack. He assures Bennett that he can tough it out for their tag title shot tonight, and although he’s reluctant at first, Bennett decides to trust Taven.

Flip Gordon makes his way to the ring. He says he is finally ready to cash in his World title opportunity he earned at “Free Enterprise” and calls out RUSH for a match right now. Instead, EC3 makes his way to the ring, tells Flip “you have been warned”, and leaves.

Jay Lethal informs Tracy Williams and Rhett Titus of Taven’s injury. Williams and Titus’ instinct is to reschedule tonight’s title match, but Lethal says Taven still wants the match tonight and to not take the opportunity away from him and Bennett. Williams and Titus agree to keep the title defense tonight. I like that a lot, as it shows the integrity the Foundation has and puts the onus on the OGK for proceeding ahead with the title match.

ROH World Tag Team Championship
The Foundation (Tracy Williams & Rhett Titus) vs. The OGK (Matt Taven & Mike Bennett)

The Foundation have been champions since 3.26.2021 and this is their first defense. Taven and Bennett come out in their Kingdom leather jackets they wore during their initial tag title reign. Bennett and Williams’ exchange ends with a double dropkick from the OGK. Taven realizes he’s in trouble when he goes up and over in the corner, immediately tagging in Bennett and going to the floor. Bennett and referee Todd Sinclair check with Taven, who insists he is fine and tells Bennett to go on with the match. After the commercial, we see the OGK has Titus isolated in their corner. Titus holds onto Taven’s left leg so he can tag in Williams. After some tandem offense, Williams puts Taven in a cloverleaf, and Taven uses the ropes to escape. Taven escapes the Foundation’s corner by nailing Williams with Just The Tip. Bennett tags in and lights up both Williams and Titus with rapid fire chops. Bennett drops Williams with a hammerlock DDT. Titus leapfrogs over a spear attempt. Bennett catches a second leapfrog of Titus and drops him with a Death Valley Driver for two. Taven superkicks Titus into a spear from Bennett for two. Taven’s knee buckles again when he escapes from a back suplex from Titus. Bennett saves Taven from being pinned after a superplex. Williams is able to give Taven a DDT on the top turnbuckle, but Taven comes back with a Complete Shot and a modified crossface. Williams escapes with a leg-capture overhead suplex. Williams puts Taven in a crossface, not noticing Bennett had been tagged in. Bennett puts Williams in an ankle lock. Williams kicks his way free and knocks down Bennett with a rolling clothesline. Taven spin kicks Williams, and Titus sneaks in with the Thrust Buster. Bennett superkicks Titus and puts him in the London Dungeon. Williams puts Taven in a cloverleaf, which results in both Bennett and Williams breaking their holds and fighting one another. They both take out Titus and Taven with stereo piledrivers. Taven however blind tags himself in after recovering and tries an O’Connor Roll. Williams stops him and goes for an ankle lock, with Bennett saving him quickly. Taven misses the Kick of the King, landing on the knee. Titus yakuza kicks Taven twice and dropkicks him into a piledriver from Williams. Titus pins Taven at 19:28 (17:01 shown) to retain the titles. The match got a bit tough to follow at times with so many tags and so many people jumping in illegally, but the core story of Taven trying to tough out his knee injury was really solid. You got to see how much Bennett cares for Taven and how wise he was to constantly save him from submission, and how The Foundation for the longest time wanted to fight clean and not go after Taven’s knee until things got more tough for them. This was a really good first defense for the Foundation, and if I heard commentary right, because they now have one successful defense behind them, all future defenses will be contested under Pure Rules, which is great. ***¼

The show ends with Vincent on the ROH tron screen mocking Taven’s catchphrase with a heart “I’m Matt Taven.” Taven simply notes “he’s back” with a sense of disbelief.

Overall: Two rock solid wrestling matches and some story advancement makes for an easy recommendation. YUTA vs. CB from Week by Week also deserves your attention.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s