The SmarK Rant for ROH Death Before Dishonor 2022
Holy crap Top Gun Maverick was GREAT. I wish I had gone sooner. I don’t have much specific nostalgia for the original but I was damn near standing up and cheering by the end and then wanted to run out and buy one of the 18 re-releases of the original. That’s a successful movie.
Also since it’s the hot topic on the blog lately, I’m not gonna lie, things are not going great on the legal front. I’ve been conferring with the best free lawyers who email me about Star Trek and Invasion rebooking, and the situation is down to about 55% under control. Probably more realistically 46%, but I like to think positively. But DON’T WORRY, nothing’s going to happen, it’s fine, and the Coliseum Video rants will be back on Wednesday morning.
Live from Lowell, MA
Your hosts are Ian Riccaboni & Caprice Coleman
ROH World title: Jonathan Gresham v. Claudio Castagnoli
No octopus head or Tully for Gresham tonight. In fact he now has Prince Nana with him for reasons that haven’t been explained, unless it was on the pre-show. They battle over a wristlock to start and Claudio immediately takes him down for the Giant Swing, but Gresham continues holding the wrist after recovering. Gresham takes out the knee and goes to work on it, but Claudio sends him to the apron and then deadlifts him into the ring with a gut wrench for two. Gresham dropkicks the knee to take it out again, but Claudio catches him with an epic backbreaker for two. Forearm shot gets two. Claudio with a double stomp for two. Gresham takes out the knee again and follows with a shotgun dropkick for two, but he goes for an anklelock and Claudio makes the ropes. Gresham throws chops, but Claudio fires back and puts him down with forearms. He tries the UFO slam, but the knee gives out and Gresham goes for an anklelock. He turns that into a german suplex for two and a forearm for two. Claudio fights back with Swiss Death, but Gresham rolls him up for two. Claudio beats on him with elbows, and the Ricola Bomb wins the ROH title at 10:02. That was just kind of a Rampage TV match with an abrupt finish out of nowhere. *** And really, what the hell was the point of all the stuff with Gresham turning heel and Tully Blanchard if they were just gonna job him out to an unrelated guy like this anyway?
Meanwhile, Daniel Garcia doesn’t even want the Pure title. Nobody wants more rules! So he’s going to win the title and take it back to Dynamite and smash it.
ROH Six Man title: The Righteous v. Dalton Castle & The Boys
I’m not familiar with the champions but clearly they’re going for a Charles Manson Family type of deal and will be losing the belts to the contracted Dalton. The Boys have even been given names now in the new AEW era, dubbed Brent and Brandon. Dalton tries a backbreaker on Vincent and gets sent to the floor with a legsweep as a result. Back in, he gets worked up and hits Bateman with an exploder and then drops the Boys on him for two. The Boys double-team Bateman, but Dutch makes a blind tag and lays out Brent to take over. Suplex gets two. Vincent comes in and drops Brent with a backdrop driver and then follows with a running knee in the corner. Bateman with a neckbreaker for two. Castle gets the hot tag and hits Bateman with a short DDT before cleaning house with suplexes. Dalton throws Boys at the various heels on the floor over and over in a funny bit, but he distracts by the valet and the Boys get taken out on the floor. Back in, they triple team Brandon and Vincent hits him with a swanton for two, with Castle making the save. Dalton takes out Vincent on the floor and hits Dutch with a german suplex, and then the Bangarang finishes Bateman at 9:48 and Dalton wins the six-man titles. Match didn’t have much heat until the Boys-tossing sequence, but it was OK. I didn’t know anyone in the match besides Castle so I didn’t feel much investment in it. **1/2
Meanwhile, Jay Lethal and his crew are all in white for symbolic reasons. These backstage interviews are shot exactly like AEW, as I continue not to understand why they even bother with the ROH branding at this point.
ROH Pure title: Wheeler Yuta v. Daniel Garcia
They exchange forearms and Yuta takes him down, as Mr. Regal notes that he won’t be happy if it goes to the time limit. “Do you have a strategy for him?” “Yes. Win.” Fair. Yuta ties up Garcia in a straitjacket hold on the mat, but Garcia reverses and then smashes him with a headbutt. Yuta absorbs it and gets a facelock, but Daniel throws him out to the floor to break. Garcia runs him into the railing, which seems against the spirit of the Pure title, and back in for one. Yuta reverses a piledriver into a rollup for two and fights back with a senton, and then wraps him up and beats on him with forearms. Yuta with a bow and arrow, but Garcia falls on top for two, so Yuta hits him with a german suplex. Garcia escapes a wristlock by biting the ear, but Yuta fights back with chops. Garcia runs him into the corner. They fight to the top and Yuta sends him down and follows with a missile dropkick and a flying clothesline. Garcia with a rollup for two, and both guy are out. They slug it out with chops and exchange slaps until Garcia goes down. Straitjacket suplex gets two. Yuta beats on him with elbows, but Garcia reverses out and does his own before sinking in a choke. Yuta rolls him over for two and follows with an Angle Slam for two, and into the crossface. Gracia reverses into a Sharpshooter, but Yuta goes back to the crossface, and then Garcia puts him in a Regal Stretch. Yuta tries for the ropes, so Garcia drops knees on his head, and then Yuta powers up and into the Liontamer, forcing Gracia to make the ropes and burn his first rope break. They trade rollups and Garcia gets a piledriver for two. Regal gives us some insight on surviving a piledriver: Turn your head to the side. And then Garcia goes for the head stomp, but Yuta reverses to the Chuck Taylor cradle for the pin at 15:59 to retain. Excellent match, but it had nothing to do with the Pure rules and I kind of wish that Garcia HAD won the title and then smashed it as promised. It’s basically a worthless belt. ****
Rush v. Dragon Lee
Rush hits his brother with a chop to start, but Dragon takes him down with some mat wrestling, and grabs a headlock. Lee throws some kicks, but Rush puts him down with an elbow and then unloads on him with a chop in the corner. Lee fires back with a slingshot kick in the corner, but Rush puts him on the floor with a shotgun dropkick and follows with a tope con hilo. He tosses Lee into the railings and back in for some boot rakes in the corner and a powerslam for two. Lee catches him with a rana to put him on the floor and he follows with his own dive, and then puts Rush on the table and then launches himself with a tope suicida into Rush, smashing the table in an incredible spot. Back in, a flying double stomp gets two. Lee beats on Rush with kicks, but Rush gets all fired up, so they exchange elbow strikes and then ridiculous chops. They trade german suplexes and both guys are down, but Rush recovers first with a suplex from the apron for two. To the apron and they exchange more chops out there and then trade kicks, but Lee charges and Rush tosses him with an overhead suplex to the floor in a crazy bump. But then Lee pops up and takes Rush off the apron with a rana and they’re both down on the floor. Back in the ring, they trade chops, but Lee charges and Rush suplexes him into the turnbuckles and follows with the shotgun dropkick for two. Lee comes back with a powerbomb for two. Lee with a Shining Wizard for two. Rush pretends to be hurt and then hits Lee with a superkick into the corner, and another shotgun dropkick finishes at 15:51. Finish looked a bit messed up, but obviously Rush was motivated here and decided to put on a great match. ****1/4
ROH Women’s title: Mercedes Martinez v. Serena Deeb
They trade hammerlocks on the mat and Mercedes grabs a headlock, but Deeb cradles her and goes to the armbar. Mercedes escapes with a spinebuster and follows with a running boot in the corner to put Deeb on the floor, and they fight to the apron, which the announcers remind us is THE HARDEST PART OF THE RING. Deeb spears Mercedes to the floor, but hurts her own shoulder in the process. Back in, Deeb manages a Diamond Dust press for two, but Mercedes suplexes her and they fight to the top. Mercedes with the dragon sleeper up there, but Deeb elbows out and puts the boots to her. Deeb ties her up with a wacky submission hold, but Mercedes powers out and they trade rollups for two. Mercedes hits her with a running knee and they head to the top again, and this time Mercedes brings her down with a german suplex. Mercedes goes for the finish, but Deeb goes dead weight and then suckers her into a dragon suplex attempt and bites the arm. Serena fights back with a neckbreaker and gets the Serenity Lock, and Mercedes manages to reverse for two. So Deeb tries it again, but Mercedes sends her into the corner to escape and follows with a crucifix bomb for two. And she puts Deeb in the dragon sleeper and retains at 17:22. They worked really hard but I never got a sense that the crowd was particularly invested in it, and they seemed to run out of steam by the end. ***1/2
ROH TV title: Samoa Joe v. Jay Lethal
They brawl on the floor before the bell, and Jay hits him with the three topes. Joe fights back with a boot on the floor, sending Jay into the railing, but Satnam Singh interferes and they run Joe’s arm into the post. Into the ring to start the match, but the ref tosses Satnam. Jay beats on the arm, but Joe fires back with kicks and a corner splash for two. Lethal hits him with a missile dropkick for two, and they exchange chops until Lethal puts him down with a dropkick. Joe fights up and slaps him one, so Lethal puts him down with an enzuigiri. Joe manages to throw him out and follows with a tope suicida, and back in for two off a lariat. Joe catches him with a powerslam for two. They fight to the top and Lethal tries a muscle buster, but Joe fights him off and comes down with a leg lariat for two. There was about a foot of space between them on that one. Joe tries the muscle buster, but Lethal escapes and hits the Lethal Injection for two. Lethal charges and Joe hits the slam out of the corner, but Sonjay Dutt runs interference and Lethal hits Joe with the belt for two. Another Injection follows, but Joe counters with the choke, and Lethal taps at 12:22. Obviously this had the most heat of the show by far to this point, but Joe was looking pretty slow most of the way. ***1/4
ROH World tag team title: FTR v. The Briscoes
Uncle Dax and Mark fight for the lockup to start and Mark wins that battle, but Dax puts him down with elbows. Cash comes in and works the arm, so Mark uses REDNECK KUNG FU to escape. Jay comes in and Dax tries to grind him down with a headlock, but Jay suplexes him a few times and further injures Dax’s taped up shoulder. Back to Cash and he exchanges shots with Jay, but the Briscoes double-team him in the corner to take over. They trap Cash in the corner and Jay chokes him out before Mark hits a suplex for two. Mark with a corner clothesline and Jay puts the boots to him and follows with a back elbow for two. Wheeler fights back with a powerslam on Mark and makes the tag to Dax, who runs wild with suplexes on Jay. Cradle on Mark gets two. Rollup gets two. Mark gets his own rollup for two. Dax slugs him down, but the Briscoes clobber him in their corner. They fight outside, but Dax reverses the J-Driller into a DDT for two. Jay catapults him into the post and that sets up a Doomsday Device for the first fall at 16:32.
Jay goes for Dax and gets cradled for two. Mark drags Dax to the floor and chops the crap out of him and sends him into the railing. Dax’s chest is horrifying, and Mark headlocks him back in the ring and cranks on that, but Dax fights out with a back suplex. But Mark yanks Cash off the apron to cut off the tag, and Jay goes back to beating on the chest with chops. This sets up the Redneck Boogie powerbomb for two. Mark goes to a chinlock, but Dax fights out and they exchange more chops until Dax falls into the hot tag to Cash. He beats on Mark and follows with a lariat and brainbuster for two. Mark tries another powerbomb, but Cash reverses into a Gory bomb for two. Dax and Jay fight into the crowd, meanwhile, while Mark and Cash prep the table at ringside. Back in, Cash hits a flying bodypress on Mark for two, but Jay hits him with the bell and that gets two. Froggy Elbow gets two, but Dax makes the save and drops Mark on the stairs outside. Back in, Jay walks into the Big Rig to tie it up at 29:34.
Mark and Dax fight on the apron and Mark is busted opn now, but he wins a chop battle and puts Dax on the floor and follows with a blockbuster. Back in the ring, Jay gets a superkick and tries the J-Driller, but Dax reverses to a piledriver for two. The Briscoes try another Doomsday, but Cash breaks it up and the ref is bumped. So Jay hits the Driller with no ref and they set up for another Doomsday, but Cash breaks it up again and they catch Jay with another Big Rig, before Cash tosses the ref back in for two. They try the PowerPlex, but the Briscoes reverse to another Doomsday for two. Cash and Mark slug it out and awkwardly fall to the floor, leaving Jay and Dax to slug it out in the ring. Dax with a lariat for two. Jay rolls him up for two and goes to a camel clutch, while Mark goes to his own on Cash, but FTR bonds like the Megapowers and breaks free. Mark sets up for another Doomsday, but Cash suplexes him off the top to finally smash that damn table. Jay with the Driller in the ring on Dax, and that gets two. Jay tries it again and Dax is out on his feet, but he powers Jay to the top and they slug it out up there. This leads to Dax hitting a piledriver off the top, and that finishes at 43:30 to retain. Well I should hope so. I thought it was great, but the crowd didn’t really know the Briscoes and it had a lot of slow points compared to the manic brawling pace of the original, and couldn’t really follow it. Still a great main event and great ending to the show. ****1/2
I still think the price point was too high, but this show way overdelivered given expectations and it’s an easy thumbs up, even if it’s basically an AEW show with different color scheme.