Episode 492 of ROH Wrestling featured #1 tag team contenders being determined, EC3 returning to reignite his feud with Jay Briscoe, Matt Taven going off the deep end into violence, and Shane Taylor’s crew making the most of their Six-Man title shot against MexiSquad.
Before getting into the recap, let’s start with a rankings update from ROH Week by Week. Quinn McKay revealed the new top 5 for the TV and Pure divisions.
ROH World Television Championship
5. Brian Johnson
4. Tony Deppen
2. Kenny King
1. Tracy Williams
Champ: Dragon Lee
Williams’ petition to join the TV division was granted, and he was placed into the top spot. His motivation is for the Foundation to hold all the gold and especially get it out of the hands of Los Ingobernables. Deppen took a tumble after losing to LSG last week. Bandido was booted from the 5th position.
ROH Pure Championship
5. Fred Yehi
4. Wheeler Yuta
3. Dak Draper
2. Rhett Titus
1. Josh Woods
Champ: Jonathan Gresham
With Williams out of the Pure title mix, Woods, Titus, and Draper all moved up a spot. Yuta entered the scene at #4.
Speaking of Yuta, it appears that the Foundation expanded with two new members after last week’s display of Pure wrestling. They welcomed Yuta and Yehi.
I’m not entirely clear on if that was an introduction for new members or just giving praise for the Pure skills of Yuta and Yehi.
Time to hit the weekly ROH broadcast.
Dragon Lee & Kenny King vs The Briscoes
The winner will become #1 contenders to compete against Jay Lethal & Jonathan Gresham for the tag titles. Amy Rose was ringside for Los Ingobernables.
The contest was evenly matched and ruggedly competitive. The Briscoes took an advantage by body slamming King on the floor followed by an elbow drop off the apron and a suplex into the apron edge. Lee swung the tide back in his team’s favor with a backbreaker, but Jay Briscoe rebounded for a Spicolli driver.
King stopped a double superplex to save his partner. He then tossed Mark Briscoe out of the ring and set up Jay for a flying double stomp from Lee. Dragon took flight again for a tope con hilo onto Mark. King slammed Jay, then Lee hit another flying double stomp. Jay still had life left within and kicked out of the cover.
Four-way fisticuffs erupted with the Briscoes earning control on a neckbreaker to King. As Mark climbed the corner, Amy Rose provided a distraction for Flip Gordon to interfere. Gordon kicked Mark off the turnbuckles. In the confusion, King rolled up Jay for the win.
Afterward, EC3 made his return to ROH after a COVID absence. There is no honor in the almighty dollar. EC3 proved that honor can be bought. He implied that he paid Gordon to screw the Briscoes and prove his point. Jay is one of the few men EC3 truly respects in this degrading industry. Jay never bent the knee to narcissism, and EC3 envies that. The question now becomes where does honor take Jay from here. Will he rise up to become champ? Or will he follow his emotions to come after EC3? Jay is free to control his narrative.
Bateman vs Mike Bennett
Vita Von Starr was ringside for this grudge match. As soon as the bell rang, Bennett speared Bateman. Bennett was driven by his anger at the Righteous breaking his leg last year. Bennett fought with anger to put his opponent down.
Bateman turned the tide with help from Von Starr. She provided a distraction long enough for Bateman to recover and go on the attack. He used the steel ring structure to catapult Bennett doing damage to the larynx.
The match resumed inside the ring with each man pounding the other with ferocity. Both competitors collapsed to the mat after double discus elbow strikes. Bateman kicked Bennett into the ropes only for Bennett to explode for a spear. Bennett was victorious via piledriver.
Immediately after the match, Matt Taven ran to the ring to pummel Batemen. OGK wanted to break Bateman’s ankle as payback. Taven demanded that Vincent give him a one-on-one match or else he would follow through on maiming Batemen. Vincent answered from the big screen. He said no to Taven’s pleas for attention, so Taven swung the chair to smash Bateman’s lower extremity.
ROH Six-Man Championship: MexiSquad vs Shane Taylor Promotions
Bandido, Flamita, and Rey Horus came in as champs. Shane Taylor, Kaun, and Moses were the challengers. This bout was originally scheduled for Final Battle, but it had been canceled due to COVID. Maria Kanellis joined the commentary table. She had no relevance to the match. Her purpose was to put over ROH’s Fan Experience gimmick.
The match immediately broke down to chaos on the floor as part of STP’s strategy to keep the luchadores away from the ropes. In the ring, it was speed versus power with a hectic pace of action. MexiSquad popped off a suicide dive train then a triple flying assault of two tope con hilos and one springboard moonsault.
MexiSquad had all the momentum. Flamita hit a 450 splash on Taylor. Moses made the break on the pin. The luchadores hit a triple powerbomb to Kaun then a teamwork pop-up splash. Moses broke that pinfall as well.
Taylor turned the tide with an escape to cause Horus to inadvertently hit a DDT on Flamita. Moses jacked Horus and Bandido out of the ring with a double clothesline then followed with a flipping cannonball off the apron. Taylor squished Flamita with a running splash. Flamita still had enough spirit to kick out, so Taylor wasted no time executed a spinning sitdown piledriver for the win. Taylor, Kaun, and Moses are the new trios champions.
Taylor will be riding high with momentum heading into next week’s World Championship clash against Rush.
ROH Wrestling was strong once again. All three matches had ramifications and post-match activity advanced storylines. For those that hop in and out of the ROH loop, I’d recommend this as an episode to watch.
It is too bad that Flip Gordon ruined the tag team opener, because that match was heating up for a riveting finish. EC3’s speech provides interesting leeway. Jay Briscoe didn’t seem as annoyed as previously when their feud was building. I assume Briscoe will go after EC3, otherwise, it would seem like an odd transition without ever having their blow-off match. On the other hand, maybe EC3 is hoping Jay does the hard work to win the world championship, so he can cut in line for a quick title shot. EC3 can be manipulative in controlling narratives.
Mike Bennett versus Bateman was a slugfest. Both men brought the ruckus. It was a little shocking to see Matt Taven snap by snapping Bateman’s leg. I imagine ROH will suspend Taven for those actions, so that should extend the timeline to finally get his hands on Vincent possibly at the 19th Anniversary PPV on March 26. ROH should just give in at that point to prevent any further chaos.
The Six-Man Championship main event was high-octane excitement. I’m surprised that the MexiSquad were the ones in control for the majority of the bout. Their creative teamwork was too much for Shane Taylor Promotions to handle. It took a savvy counter by Taylor for his team to power through for victory.
We’ll close with a little bit of fun. ROH asked their wrestlers about personal collections. It started wholesome then veered off into kookiness with Dalton Castle’s cats, Mark Briscoe’s gray hairs in the twig and giggleberry region, Jay Briscoe’s hustling strategy, Dak Draper’s short shorts, and Brian Johnson being a curmudgeon.
Share your thoughts about episode 492 of ROH Wrestling. Which wrestler had the standout performance?