On ROH Episode #407, Tracy Williams challenges Matt Taven for the ROH World Heavyweight Championship. The other members of the Kingdom, Vinny Marseglia and TK O’Ryan fight the Bouncers. Josh Woods looks to shut the mouth of Number 1 Brian Johnson.
-The Kingdom defeat The Bouncers
-Josh Woods defeats “Number One” Brian Johnson
-Matt Taven retains the ROH World Championship against “Hot Sauce” Tracy Williams
The Kingdom vs. The Bouncers
The opening match of the night features The Kingdom vs. The Bouncers. This match was a solid opener. There were a couple of nice moves throughout the match. Bruiser hit a cannonball splash on to both members of the Kingdom. As the match went on, the Kingdom used tried and true tag team tactics. They focused their attack on Bruiser. Vinny hit a nice tornado DDT for a near fall. Eventually, the pin came with Bruiser went for a suplex but the Kingdom cheated for the win. Marseglia hooked his ankle from the outside. O’Ryan came down on top of Bruiser and together they pinned him.
After the match, The Bouncers offered The Kingdom a celebratory beer. At first, it looked as though The Kingdom were going to accept. The took the beers and O’Ryan asked for the mic. He first said ROH prides itself on elite tag teams. He thinks The Bouncers are elite. Elite, where have we heard that before? Anyhow, O’Ryan then goes on to say, they may be good, but The Bouncers are just like everyone in the crowd. He called them “big fat losers.” The Bouncer promptly knocked The Kingdom out of the ring.
The Kingdom seem like the team which could be on the rise. TK O’Ryan has a little bit of Hangman Page in him. He’s just got to find the spark to get him over the hump. Vinny Marseglia is creepy. While his gimmick is really good, he’s also pretty talented in the ring. It was the smart call giving the win to the Kingdom. Eventually, the tag belts need to make their way back into actual ROH competitor’s hands. The Kingdom are as good as any team on the roster. They need to built up as serious contenders.
Josh “The Goods” Woods defeats “Number One” Brian Johnson
Last week on ROH TV, we had a backstage segment where Johnson was calling Woods a bust. Woods was the 2017 Top Prospect Tournament winner. He has done very, very little since winning the tournament. Brian Johnson was announced as the first entrance into the top prospect tournament for 2019. As such, he has taken to calling out Woods on his failures and promising to not be a bust in this years tournament.
We got two pre-taped segments. Johnson acts like Ric Flair or Robert Roode. He reminds me a little of Buddy Landell, look him up if you don’t know who he is. Johnson continues to push that he will be the winner of the 2019 Tournament. Woods cuts a short backstage video. This was the best I’ve ever seen Woods. It was short, simple and to the point. He finally came across as believing himself to be the bad ass he’s billed to be.
The match started off with Woods taking Johnson down. Woods tossed Johnson all over the ring. However, he did end up missing on a should block which sent him into the post. Johnson tried to take advantage, but Woods winds up hitting the Seismic Toss for the win. Good match. Good showing. Johnson will be entertaining in the tournament. Although, I don’t expect him to win. Johnson does seem to be a good opponent for Woods. He’s a guy who can talk, and let Woods speak through actions. Good job here, ROH.
Matt Taven vs Tracy Williams for the ROH World Heavyweight Title
Earlier in the night, both men had backstage videos hyping their main event match. Williams won a 4 Corner Survival Match during the War of the Worlds tour to get this title shot. Taven came out talking trash. He was making fun of Tracy Williams and poking fun at him being the better technical wrestler. Williams showed out. He was one step ahead of Taven for the early going in the match. He had Taven in a leg lock and made a beautiful transition into an ankle lock, while still keeping the other leg trapped.
Taven went outside. He rammed Williams into the barricade. He grabbed his belt and looked like he was leaving. Williams stopped him and the match made its way back into the ring. Taven regained control by hitting a sweet Russian leg sweep off the middle rope. Williams landed awkwardly on his shoulder.
Taven focused on the arm, but Williams gained back the advantage. After some back and forth, Taven hits a Climax, but Williams kicks out at two. The back and forth continued until Taven grabs the referee in a scramble. The ref was shaken up. Taven takes advantage by slamming Williams’ shoulder into the turnbuckle where he had removed the pad earlier in the match. He hits another Climax for the victory.
Solid main event. There are probably bigger stars in ROH, but Taven is a guy who’s been around the company for a long time now. He’s had his runs in NJPW and isn’t being booked in their tournaments. Therefore, he’s around for TV tapings. He’s a guy they can put on TV each week and build around. He’s a really good heel. In this match, he was able to do what good heels do. They make themselves believable as a guy who can win without cheating, but cheats to win because it is the easy way out. Really good heels also make the challenger look great. Williams came out of this match looking pretty good. Overall, this match was a success.
ROH has been struggling recently. Their TV shows during the month of June were pretty average at best. It seemed as they didn’t have a direction or a plan. Heading into Best in the World, they hadn’t generated a lot of buzz. However, the rumors have been the July TV tapings from Philadelphia were great.
Tonight’s show was pretty good. Each segment had positives. The Kingdom look to being get built back up. They got a solid win over a team who has been winning each week on TV. Woods had his best showing on TV, ever. The main event was really solid. While it did have some heel gimmicks in it, it didn’t feel overbooked. This show gets a 3.5 out of 5.
If ROH can keep having shows like this, but start to mix in those newer guys to the company, then they may just be okay after all.