This week’s episode featured three big segments. We had Silas Young facing off against Jeff Cobb for the ROH Television Title. Rush had a match with Vinny Marsaglia. The final segment featured Matt Taven hosting an open challenge for his “Real” World Championship.
Jeff Cobb defeats Silas Young
Rush defeats Marseglia
Jonathan Gresham defeats Matt Taven by Disqualification
Jeff Cobb Defeats Silas Young To Retain World Television Title
The story of this match was the fact that Silas Young got the upper hand after a few minutes in the match and dominated Cobb for a large portion of the match. Young extended a hand shake to Cobb and Young took advantage with a thrust to the throat. Cobb eventually fights back after some nasty trash talking from Young. He hit a beautiful standing moonsault and a series of german suplexes. Cobb puts Young away with the Tour of the Islands slam. After the match, it’s announced that Cobb will be facing Shane Taylor at the 17th Anniversary show.
This match was different from the majority of Cobb matches in ROH. Cobb has been dominant and hasn’t had the opportunity to show his ability to show vulnerability. This match allowed Cobb to show his selling skills and his ability to build to a come back. Doing it agains Silas Young was a smart move. He’s a credible opponent and former two time TV champ. I think ROH has bigger plans in store for Cobb. If he’s going to eventually be an ROH Champion, he has to be able to build credible challenger to make people believe he could actually lose at some point. This match was really good. It wasn’t pay-per-view level, but it was a really, really impressive TV match.
Rush defeats Vinny Marseglia
Rush was looking to get a little payback on the Kingdom. The Kingdom attacked Rush a few weeks ago with a chair shot after Rush beat TK O’Ryan in a match. Rush came out hot. The first few minutes were intense. Guys were slamming each other into tables and railings. Rush hits a big drop kick into the corner for the win.
Rush is in a really interesting situation in ROH. He’s been a villain in Mexico as part of the Los Ingobernobles faction. However, here in ROH he’s working as a face. He’s really great and the crowd is behind him. However, it’s interesting to see how he transitions to a face. He threatened the ref at one point during this match. Naito has acted a lot like a heel in NJPW and has gotten over because of it. It will be interesting to see if Rush can do the same in ROH. Early indicators show that he is definitely getting over. I, for one, cannot wait to see his match with Bandido at ROH 17th Anniversary.
Matt Taven’s Open Challenge
Earlier in the night, we got a backstage vignette from Matt Taven. Taven talks about how he’s the real champ and is going to prove it through an open challenge tonight to anyone except Jay Lethal. In the main event segment, Taven grabs the mic and repeats a similar promo. Out comes Jonathan Gresham to answer the challenge. A new storyline in ROH is that the refs have more authority to enforce rules. Because of this, the ref tosses Marseglia and O’Ryan out of the match.
The match started with Taven blindsiding Gresham. Gresham then reversed momentum and took Taven into the Octopus. O’Ryan and Marseglia ran down and attacked Gresham, hence the DQ. Jay Lethal came down to make the save, but the numbers were too much. Eventually, Life Blood lead by Juice Robinson each made their way out to the ring to run off the Kingdom. In doing so, all the Kingdom’s weapons were left lying around the ring. Taven also left his purple world title.
The Purple Belt is No More
Tenille Dashwood grabbed the mic. She called the fake title a slap in the face and encouraged Jay to destroy it. Destroy it he did. After unleashing a bat attack on the belt, he finally got ahold of Vinny’s axe. He chopped the title to bits and the Kingdom watched from the ramp.
Obviously, this wasn’t about the match. This was about the angle. It was a pretty good angle to end the show and continue the build for Lethal vs. Taven at next week’s pay-per-view. Lethal has broken all the ROH records for title reigns and days. It seems the stage is set for Taven to take over the number 1 position in the company. However, will ROH want Taven as the headliner heading into G1? This is one of those matches that could go either way and ROH has done a fairly good job of building to it in a simple and straightforward manner. ROH has had a fairly lengthy run of face champs with Lethal and Castle. It might be time to put it on a heel for a while. I think this match will be intense and a solid match for the pay-per-view.
ROH TV gets a solid 5 out of 5 for me this week. We had 2 really good matches with Cobb/Young and Rush/Marseglia. I don’t love Matt Taven, but the open challenge and the destruction of the title did a great job of moving a story along. ROH isn’t about the convoluted storytelling other brands do. When they stick to their roots and tell simple stories, they can be great. This was the first show, in my opinion, where you truly didn’t feel the missing pieces left behind from the AEW exodus. This was a great show this week.