Manolo Has Pizzazz
Episode 491 of ROH Wrestling featured LSG aiming to get his win back from Tony Deppen, the Foundation making a statement with Pure wrestling skills, and the Briscoes getting on the boat to go after the tag titles.
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 Tag and TV divisions.
ROH World Tag Team Championship
5. The Righteous (Vincent & Bateman)
4. SOS (Moses & Kaun)
3. Dragon Lee & Kenny King
2. Tracy Williams & Rhett Titus
1. The OGK (Matt Taven & Mike Bennett)
Champs: Jay Lethal & Jonathan Gresham
The Righteous replaced the Bouncers after the beer drinkers lost to OGK. There is also uncertainty if Beer City Bruiser and Brian Milonas will remain a team after Bruiser broke a beer bottle on Matt Taven’s head.
The tag champs’ next defense will be on the TV episode of ROH Wrestling for the weekend of February 27. Challengers have yet to be announced.
ROH World Television Championship
4. Brian Johnson
2. Kenny King
1. Tony Deppen
Champ: Dragon Lee
Dak Draper dropped out from #2 to chase Pure gold. Kenny King and LSG both moved up one spot, and Brian Johnson popped in at #4.
Time to hit the weekly ROH broadcast.
After the Foundation was disgusted with last week’s disregard for the rules by Los Ingobernables, Jay Lethal proposed a trios match between like-minded individuals with the goal of bring back honor, respect, and Pure wrestling as the foundation of ROH. Lethal wants to lead by example. In an effort to shake things up, he looked around and called out teams of Rhett Titus, Wheeler Yuta, and himself versus Jonathan Gresham, Tracy Williams, and Fred Yehi. Everyone was on board. As the crew exited, Lethal called back Williams. They agreed to start the match against each other with friendly teasing about Williams defeating Lethal in their previous encounter.
Nobody believed Tony Deppen could win the four-way to earn a TV title shot at Final Battle. Deppen saw LSG was vulnerable, so he took advantage of the situation for victory. Deppen lost to Dragon Lee in the championship contest, but he earned respect and new fans. Deppen also proved that he belongs in ROH. In a singles bout against LSG, Deppen’s focus is to cement his spot on the ROH roster.
LSG has earned his spot, and Deppen will have to go through him. LSG questioned if Deppen’s previous pin over him was a fluke and if Deppen can do it again.
LSG vs Tony Deppen
Competitive action inside and outside the ring. LSG was able to gain momentum with a swinging neckbreaker on the floor. Deppen made it back in the ring at the count of 19. LSG pounced for a hangman’s neckbreaker submission. Once Deppen escaped, he fired back with strikes, a flying crossbody, dropkick, and running knees in the corner.
Both men stood in the center of the ring to chop wildly back and forth. LSG lowered his shoulder to drive Deppen into the corner. LSG attacked with a rock-a-bye baby facebuster and a springboard crossbody.
Deppen regrouped to almost snatch victory on a brainbuster and running knee. LSG kicked out. Deppen tried to finish with a flying double stomp, but LSG rolled away. The two exchanged roll-ups on the mat. LSG transitioned the position into a hangman’s bomb to win at 11:57.
The Briscoes sat across from each other staring eye to eye when McKay popped in to get a scoop. Jay had nothing to talk about. He missed the boat. Mark clarified that Jay jumped out of the boat to swim after EC3. McKay questioned if Mark would drive the boat back to pick up Jay, but Jay won’t be swimming. Mark shouted that the boat is there. Get in or stay out. Jay accepted as the Briscoes reunited to chase tag team gold.
Shane Taylor will get the his shot at Rush and the ROH World Championship in two weeks.
Jonathan Gresham, Tracy Williams, & Fred Yehi vs Jay Lethal, Rhett Titus, & Wheeler Yuta
Lethal and Williams kicked off the match. Williams was on top with a submission, but Lethal was able to escape. Lethal had a grin on his face appreciating the Pure wrestling on display as he tagged in a teammate. Each man got a chance to dance with their skills. Even tag champs Lethal and Gresham squared off for a bit. There was a competitive sparring feel to the action overall.
The match began heating up as intensity increased. Lethal’s team tried to isolate Yehi, but the savageweight kept slamming fools to stifle their plans. Yehi locked in a Koji Clutch on Titus. Gresham blocked Lethal, but Lethal was able to power through to break the submission. As Lethal came off the ropes for a handspring cutter to Yehi, Gresham pushed Yehi out of the way as protection to take the move himself. Titus made use of the confusion to blast Yehi, as the legal man, in the face with a dropkick to win at 17:47.
Next week should be a banger with the Briscoes versus Dragon Lee & Kenny King and the Mexisquad defending the ROH Six-man Tag Team Championship against Shane Taylor Promotions.
ROH Wrestling continues to produce high-quality matches. I was genuinely surprised by LSG’s victory. ROH has been putting Tony Deppen over hard recently as a fan favorite, so I figured his momentum would keep rising higher. That hangman’s bomb by LSG was pretty cool and played well as an unexpected maneuver after the previous hangman’s neckbreaker submission.
Fred Yehi was the standout from the main event. His explosiveness really pops on screen, not to mention his savagery as a savageweight. The finish had an interesting call in strategy. Jonathan Gresham displayed his leadership skills by trying to protect Yehi, who was the legal man in the ring, from a cutter. That decision earned respect and shows why The Foundation follows his lead.
The Briscoes stole the show with their funny promo about getting on the boat. There is nobody in wrestling quite like dem boys. They are so uniquely their own characters. A rematch against Gresham and Jay Lethal would be full of intensity. I’m hoping that comes to fruition quite soon.
We’ll close with a few tidbits of news. Kenny King and Slex have officially re-signed with ROH. King will join his fellow Ingobernables brethren Rush, Dragon Lee, and Bestia del Ring with new deals. The next ROH PPV has been announced for March 26. The 19th Anniversary show will feature all championships defended. No matches have been revealed yet. ROH Week by Week had a bonus match between O’Shay Edwards and Sledge. It was big men going strong to a 10-minute time limit draw. The bout was a solid showcase for the powerful prospects. This could become an enjoyable hoss fight feud for the future.
Share your thoughts about episode 491 of ROH Wrestling. Which wrestler had the standout performance?