Ring Of Honor
Bound By Honor
February 28, 2020
Nashville Municipal Auditorium
Watch: Honor Club
Triple Threat Match
“The Villain” Marty Scurll def. Bandido & Slex
This was the first of a number of matches across this weekend of events that got changed around after Flamita went down with an injury. Now while this bout didn’t get a ton of time (it only went about seven or eight minutes), it was a lot of fun to watch while it lasted. They wrestled at a pretty quick pace, and all three men had opportunities to shine throughout. There were a couple of particularly cool moments involving Bandido and some wacky pins and submissions. The first of these saw Bandido trap Slex in the Romero Special while he simultaneously had Scurll in a package piledriver position. A few moments later, Bandido nearly got the win via a unique pin attempt after getting involved in an attempted backslide exchange between Scurll and Slex. The second half of the match was where the action really picked up, and in the end, Scurll got the win after hitting Bandido with the Black Plague. Nice to see that Slex avoided taking the pin here. As a whole, this was a triple threat match that featured really fun action from start to finish, and was very easy to watch. ***1/2
After Bandido and Marty Scurll left the ring, Shane Taylor and The Soldiers Of Savagery came out and attacked Slex. We saw the same thing happen back at Free Enterprise, so it’s very clear that Taylor is going to be the first feud for Slex in ROH.
Four-Corner Survival Tag Team Match
Dalton Castle & Joe Hendry def. PJ Black & Brian Johnson, Lifeblood (Mark Haskins & Tracy Williams), & The Righteous (Vincent & Bateman with Chuckles & Vita Von Starr)
Here we have another match that was impacted by the injury to Flamita, as he and Bandido were supposed to be in this bout. PJ Black and Brian Johnson were the team that filled that spot. This was a perfectly solid four-way tag team bout. It took a few minutes to get going, but the pace definitely picked up a bit as they got to the closing stretch. What many people might not realize is that ROH actually has a lot of tag teams right now. If you include the teams in this match, the other regular tag teams on the card, and the different teams that you could put together from the various factions, the number of teams in the division would likely get into the double digits. On its own, that’s pretty impressive, but the issue is that the quality of these teams doesn’t exactly match the quantity (especially when you look at different periods of the company when the tag team division was loaded). Anyway, all four teams in this one had moments to shine and, as I already mentioned, the final stretch was the strongest part of the match. Dalton Castle and Joe Hendry ultimately got the win after hitting The Crescendo (a codebreaker by Hendry followed by a Reverse Sling Blade by Castle) on Brian Johnson. Again, this was a fine undercard match that allowed Castle and Henry to get a solid win. ***
Nicole Savoy def. Angelina Love (with Mandy Leon)
Session Moth Martina joined Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman on commentary for this women’s bout (she was actually passed out at the table when they first cut to them). This probably could’ve cut the time a little bit (it went close to twelve minutes when it should’ve been kept under ten minutes), but as a whole, it was a relatively decent match. There were almost no shenanigans from The Allure until the very end, and the way it was wrestled was very much in Nicole Savoy’s wheelhouse. We got a number of submissions, hold exchanges, and so on. Now most of this was executed by Savoy, but Angelina Love tossed out some submissions of her own at a few points. The finish, unfortunately, did involve some shenanigans. Mandy Leon hopped up on the apron as Savoy had Love in a Half Boston Crab. This allowed Love to recover, but she accidentally took out Leon when Savoy dodged her attack. Savoy then rolled up Love to score the victory. This wasn’t memorable by any means, but again, it was perfectly fine. **1/2
Villain Enterprises (Brody King & Flip Gordon) def. La Faccion Ingobernable (RUSH & Kenny King with Amy Rose) via DQ
Before PCO and Dragon Lee would face off later on in the main event, their respective factions faced off in tag team action. The wrestling throughout this one was pretty solid, and they told a simple story, as RUSH and Kenny King isolated Flip Gordon for a few minutes until Brody King was able to get the hot tag. The final few minutes featured some good back-and-forth, but we ultimately didn’t get a clean finish, as Villain Enterprises won by DQ after RUSH grabbed a cable on the floor and choked Brody King with it. The two sides continued to brawl until security was able to separate them. The wrestling was solid throughout, but the finish made it very clear that this was simply a continuation of the larger La Faccion Ingobernable vs. Villain Enterprises feud. Nothing much else to say beyond that. ***1/4
Eli Isom vs. LSG – No Contest
This was a late addition to the card. They wrestled for about three minutes before Bully Ray got involved and attacked them both. He put LSG through a table before going after Eli Isom in the ring. Bully took the mic and said that he’s been entirely too nice for the last three years (man, has it really been three years since he showed up). He claimed that he’s now going into business for himself, and talked about the “marks” on social media who want ROH to get rid of him. Bully explains that ROH can’t get rid of him, because he has an ironclad contract (as he said that he’s apparently the only one who actually reads and negotiates his own contracts). He proclaims that he’ll leave voluntarily if anyone is able to beat him, and notes that it won’t be any of the veterans in the locker room, as he has “dirt” on all of them. Eli Isom finally recovers and cuts a fiery promo, calling Bully Ray out. He takes Bully up on his offer, and we’ve got a match.
Bully Ray def. Eli Isom
So this match was even shorter than the match that just ended in a no contest. Isom pretty much ran wild on Bully Ray for a good minute or so until Bully was able to hit a Bubba Bomb to score the pin. Bully continued his assault with a chair immediately afterwards. Following a failed save attempt by Cheeseburger, Caprice Coleman ran down from the commentary desk to send Bully packing. I guess we’re going to see Bully Ray vs. Caprice Coleman at some point? I would guess so, but we’ll see. Hopefully, this is the beginning of the end for Bully Ray in ROH, though I feel like we’ve been saying that for well over a year.
ROH World Tag Team Titles
Jay Lethal & Jonathan Gresham (c) def. Two Guys, One Tag (Silas Young & Josh Woods)
Believe it or not, there’s actually a bit of a backstory to this title bout. Silas Young and Josh Woods came into this match undefeated as a team (a streak which dates all the way back to last fall). Interestingly enough, one of their earliest victories as a duo was against the very same team they faced here. Of course, that loss only happened after some miscommunication between Lethal and Gresham (this was right before their PPV match at Death Before Dishonor, which set the stage for both of them turning heel). The team that became known as Two Guys, One Tag was looking to continue their winning ways by capturing the ROH World Tag Team Titles, but as Silas Young and Josh Woods were making their entrance, the champions attacked. They specifically went after Young’s knee (which he injured several years ago), as Lethal smacked it with one of his tag team title belts. The match officially got underway after a series of dives by Lethal.
When the dust settled, this ended up being a fairly entertaining tag team contest. The pre-match attack set up the story right out of the gate, as Lethal and Gresham would go after the legs of Young throughout the match. The pace gradually picked up as the match progressed, and Josh Woods showed some good fire when he was on offense, mounting a comeback against the heel champions. There was some really solid action down the stretch, with the champions almost getting the win over Young after a Lethal Injection from Lethal, and a Shooting Star Press from Gresham. The finish was pretty clever, as a small package by Young on Gresham got turned the other way when Lethal pushed the cradle the other way while the referee was distracted. I liked this finish, because even though Lethal and Gresham are heels, they can still beat you simply by outsmarting you. A pretty good match from start to finish that could’ve been a tad better if they were in front of a better crowd. It should be interesting to see where Two Guys, One Tag go from there. Obviously their whole thing up to this point was that they were undefeated, so we’ll see if they can get back in the title picture. ***1/2
Alex Shelley def. Rey Horus
It’s so cool to see Alex Shelley back in ROH on a semi-regular basis. Sure, he isn’t the insanely talented wrestler that he was in his prime, but even with all of the wear-and-tear on his body, he’s still able to have very good matches. On this night, he managed to pick up a win over Rey Horus in what was a really entertaining singles contest. What I enjoyed about it the most is that we saw a little bit of everything, from hard-hitting strikes, to technical wrestling, to high flying, to some brawling on the outside. It didn’t light the world on fire by any means, but it was a lot of fun seeing these two go at it. The finishing sequence saw Shelley connect with the Sliced Bread and the Shell Shock, before forcing Horus to tap out to the Border City Stretch. Shelley has already been confirmed for the upcoming ROH Pure Title Tournament, and I really hope he ends up going far. ***1/2
The Briscoes def. Jeff Cobb & Dan Maff
In an interesting little moment, Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman briefly mentioned AEW (by name) on commentary when Jeff Cobb was making his entrance (they were referring to Cobb’s recent appearances in AEW). Riccaboni even shouted out The Young Bucks. I could be reading way too much into it, but with the rumors from several weeks back regarding Marty Scurll wanting to ROH to strengthen relationships with other promotions (including AEW), it was worth making note of.
Anyway, Jeff Cobb and Dan Maff were coming off a huge win back at Free Enterprise, where they earned a shot at the ROH World Tag Team Titles by defeating Jay Lethal and Jonathan Gresham in a Proving Ground Match. On this night, they went up against The Briscoes, and even though they had the size and power advantage, they ultimately came up short. The idea of Cobb and Maff losing wasn’t a total surprise, but what did shock me was that Cobb was the one who ate the fall, as Jay Briscoe pinned him after he got hit with a Jay Driller and a Froggy Bow. The match itself was packed with hard-hitting action from start to finish, which shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, considering who was involved. The Briscoes were their usual great selves, while Cobb and Maff continue to get better as a tag team with each outing. Like the pair of matches that preceded it, this wasn’t overly amazing, but it was still a lot of fun to watch. With this victory over a team that just earned a title shot, one would think that The Briscoes are now back in title contention, but time will tell. ***1/2
Before the main event began, NWA World Heavyweight Champion Nick Aldis joined Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman on commentary. Of course, Aldis is scheduled to face PCO at Supercard Of Honor in April. It should also be noted that commentary mentioned that the other members of La Faccion Ingobernable and Villain Enterprises were thrown out of the building after a backstage brawl following their earlier tag team bout, which meant we wouldn’t get any interference in the main event.
ROH World Title
PCO (c) def. ROH World TV Champion Dragon Lee
Out of all the matches that ROH was putting on during this weekend of events, this match was probably the one I was looking forward to the most, mainly because I just didn’t know what to expect. On paper, I had no idea what PCO vs. Dragon Lee was going to look like. While the result of this one was never in question (especially since Dragon Lee is already the ROH World TV Champion), the bout ended up being a very strong one. In fact, I would go so far as to say that it was my match of the night (not by a huge margin, but definitely the best of the bunch on this card). Dragon Lee nearly got the win right out of the gate after catching PCO in a pinning combination. Once PCO managed to fight back after the initial flurry of offense from Dragon Lee, we got to see both guys bust out some of the wild moves. Some of those moves were what we’ve come to expect (PCO doing a dive to the floor, Dragon Lee doing his rana over the top rope to floor), but there was also stuff I didn’t see coming. At one point, PCO tried a rope walk, but got tripped up by Dragon Lee, and that resulted in PCO pulling Lee with him as they both tumbled out. It’s a spot that looked more planned while watching it than it does through my description (it looked as though it could’ve been a botch, but it also wasn’t at the same time, if that makes sense). Then these two just decided that they wanted to kill each other. PCO nailed Dragon Lee with a package piledriver on the exposed concrete floor. Somehow, Lee managed to beat the count, and later drilled PCO on his head with an impressive Bastard Driver. Dragon Lee then through some vicious knee strikes in an attempt to score the win, but it wasn’t enough. PCO ultimately retained after a tombstone piledriver and a second PCO-sault (he connected one a few moments earlier but Lee kicked out). While it would’ve benefitted from a hotter crowd, this was still a surprisingly strong match that featured some insane action down the stretch. If you’re morbidly curious about how a PCO/Dragon Lee match would turn out, I can safely say that you won’t be disappointed. ***3/4
Afterward, Nick Aldis (who did a really good job on commentary) came down to the ring and had a confrontation with PCO, which not only helped set the stage for their match coming up in April, but it also served as a little teaser for what would go down the following night.
While Bound By Honor didn’t feature one particularly great match that absolutely needs to be seen, there were plenty of really good matches scattered throughout the card. The second half of the show (pretty much everything from the ROH World Tag Team Title bout on) was certainly the stronger half of the card, but I also recommend checking out the opener, which was also very strong. Another nice thing about this show is that nothing is overly long. There were one or two matches that would’ve benefited from losing a few minutes (and perhaps one or two matches that could’ve used a few extra minutes), but nothing went super long, which definitely makes live events like this a little more enjoyable.