Full Disclosure: This is a review/report of the ROH broadcast that airs on a local Sinclair broadcast channel over the weekend. It is the same show that airs Wednesday night on the new Comet TV Network. Check your listings to see where Comet and/or your local Sinclair Network Affiliate is on your dial.
Ring of Honor Weekly Television, Taped On October 29 at the William J. Myers Pavillion in Baltimore, MD
Aired December 14, 2016 on Comet TV, and previously in ROH syndication
We got the opening video then Ian Riccaboni and Nigel McGuinness checked in for the call.
Deonna Purrazzo came to the ring as they aired footage of her speaking on how she was fortunate to have established a great reputation early in her career. She called wrestling a lifestyle and it’s all she wants to do. She said she was proud to have been in the match that kicked off the rebirth of WOH. They featured Candace LeRae in a backstage interview during her entrance. She said she’s among the funnest, cutest, and toughest wrestlers. She noted she has been wrestling for 15 years and has finally made it to WOH.
Match #1 – Deonna Purrazzo vs. Candace LeRae;
LeRae hit two hip tosses, but Purrazzo blocked the third. LeRae came back with a drop kick then followed with a nice suicide dive to the floor. LeRae went up on the ropes but Purrazzo knocked her down and to the floor going to a break.
Back with the action, LeRae sold a shoulder injury that let Purrazzo take over. Candace hit a jawbreaker and some strikes in the corner. She went top rope and hit a double stomp on Purrazzo’s back to get a near fall.
Purrazzo came back with a Russian leg sweep into an arm bar. LeRae got into the ropes to break it. Later, LeRae used her version of the octopus, but Purrazzo backed off into the corner to break it. LeRae tried a tornado DDT, but Purrazzo tossed her off. LeRae landed a few kicks, but Purrazzo came back with an armbar for the submission win. The two shook hands afterward.
Bill Says: This was a very solid women’s match to open the show. LeRae, for those unaware, is married to NXT’s Johnny Gargano and appears regularly on PWG events. Purrazzo has appeared with NXT as well. The intro videos were great to make fans aware of who the talents were. It’s something ROH could make more use of for their entire roster – men and women alike. No real rooting interest for one over the other, but an entertaining match that kept my attention.
Match #2 – Veda Scott and Kennadi Brink vs. Sumi Sakai and Faye Jackson (w/Solo Darling);
Scott’s team was the heel here, and the fans were into the babyface trio. They all shook hands, but Scott and Brink definitely played into the heel role. Brink teased starting off with Jackson but tagged Scott in. Sakai got an early tag, then stood on the ropes and stuck her butt out so Sakai could run Brink into it.
Sakai hit an Ace Crusher then a missile drop kick for two. Scott caught Sakai with a kick from the apron, then Sakai sold for the heels. Brink used Scott as a battering ram at one point on Sakai. Jackson got the hot tag and gave butt splashes to both opponents in opposite corners. She hit a slam (an ugly one at best) on Scott and hit Chocolate Thunder (her version of Rolling Thunder) on Scott for the pin. Brink broke the cover.
Later, Brink accidentally hit Scott, then took a slam from Jackson. She followed by helping Sakai hit a cannonball leg drop for two. Scott and Sakai fought out to the floor, and in the ring Brink used the ropes to clothesline Jackson to get her down and lock on the Anaconda Vice for the win.
Bill Says: Solo was sidelined by a knee injury, and the commentary team pointed that out as the reason she wasn’t wrestling. This match was okay, but it kind of overstayed its welcome and was sloppy in spots. I thought Brink did a nice job of selling her heel role through her facial expressions and Jackson has some charisma and sold it when she did her butt move spots.
Mandy Leon gave a sit-down interview about the tension between her and Taeler Hendrix. They ran footage of Hendrix attacking her with a chair after a past match, and Leon returning the favor. Leon said she’s a woman of honor and respect who has worked her butt off for her position. She called Hendrix a woman of dishonor who sent Havok to do her dirty work for her. Leon said she wouldn’t back down from Havok.
Match #3 – Mandy Leon vs. Jessicka Havok;
Ian played into the story of Hendrix having sent Havok to take out Leon. Not much crowd reaction for either woman in this case. Havok laughed at the Code of Honor handshake. Leon sold nerves then charged Havok, who knocked her right down with a forearm. Leon dodged a charge, then threw some forearm shots. Leon hit her version of Natural Selection followed by a running knee. She only got a one count (IT’S NOT A FINISHER, CHARLOTTE!!!) Havok came right back with a face first slam.
After the break, Havok dominated and had Leon pinned, but pulled her up to dish out more abuse. Havok grabbed a chair and brought it into the ring, but Deonna Purrazzo ran out to cut her off and take it from her. With the distraction, Leon rolled her up and pinned her for the win. After, Havok beat down both women and stood over them.
Bill Says: I’m fine with the roll-up finish here. Havok should be treated as a monster and not give up a pin this early, but the spacing of these shows is such that it really won’t harm her character in the long run. The action was fine, but the crowd just didn’t engage in it for whatever reason.
They ran a brief video to hype up Kelly Klein. She then made her entrance, but got no reaction nor gave the fans a reason to. She didn’t play much to the crowd other than striking a fighter’s pose at one point, then flexed at the hard camera. ODB came out and did her normal entrance routine and got a favorable reaction. Klein didn’t look impressed.
Match #4 – ODB vs. Kelly Klein;
Klein blew off the Code of Honor to start, then bailed to ringside out of frustration in the early action. ODB followed and took a forearm, but ODB ran Klein into the post. She followed with a whip to the guardrail then played to the fans, high-fiving some at ringside. Klein caught ODB with a kick coming into the ring as the action moved back in the ring. ODB slapped Klein’s chest twice as they fought again at ringside, then threw her in. Klein hit a DDT going to break.
Back with the action, Klein was still in charge. ODB dumped her to ringside. Later, the two exchanged punches, with ODB getting the better of things. She followed with shoulder blocks, then hit the Dirty Dozen and a Thesz Press. Klein hit a German suplex and a nice bridging suplex for two. In the end, Klein locked in her submission hold and the referee ended up calling for the bell.
As the show ended, Ian Riccaboni hyped a “year end” edition for next week’s show.
Bill Says: Like the match before it, a solidly worked affair that just didn’t draw much reaction. I think if ROH spotlighted the women a bit more and gave fans more reason to invest, they’d get more reaction. I can see why they positioned ODB in the main event because she has some more exposure via TNA and such, and she would draw more reaction than some of the others. There is definitely a place for her in the company, but ROH also needs to spotlight their best workers as well if they really want to make the WOH venture as successful as it can be.
I liked this show, though. The action throughout was solid overall, but not really memorable. You’re not going to walk away and say that you saw something like we’ve seen out of WWE of late. I hope ROH does more with the WOH idea, spotlighting matches on the regular show or by doing more frequent WOH specials. I think it would help engage fans with them and create more interest. They could even create a championship and set them up as a more regular division. It’s hard to get behind the women they utilize and invest in their characters when you only see them on television “once every so often.”
I’ll have more to say on this show later tonight on Around the Ring. I’ll be watching the “year end” ROH show, but if it turns out to be a highlight/recap show, we won’t be posting coverage next week. I’ll play that by ear. In the meantime, be sure to hit me up with questions and thoughts on all things pro wrestling via Twitter @RingRap or @Bill_SoonerFan before roughly 8PM EST and I’ll plug those into the show tonight as well.