Manolo Has Pizzazz
Are looking for a hoss fight to get the blood pumping? Well, Brody King and Shane Taylor delivered a slugfest worthy of hoss fight of the year consideration in episode 480 of ROH Wrestling. Seriously, that battle is worth watching for lovers of big men going hard. The show also included a fantastic Pure rules bout between Jay Lethal and Josh Woods.
Let’s jump right in with the recap.
The Foundation will collect every title in ROH to purify and restore honor to the company. They revealed that the masked octopus man in their group is Rhett Titus.
Josh Woods vs Lay Lethal
Woods doesn’t feel he is the underdog against Lethal. Woods’ advantage will be his reactive and defensive wrestling skills. A win over Lethal will change the way people look at Woods. Lethal is proud how Pure wrestling has turned out. It warms his heart that fans are watching. Pure rules were made for Woods. Woods should win, but he won’t.
Pure rules with a 15-minute time limit. Mat work and hand control opened the action. Woods exploded for a Judo toss then transitioned to a short arm scissor. Lethal was forced to use his first rope break.
Woods was hopping around with energy. Lethal asked if he thought this was funny. Woods replied that he thought Lethal was sad. Lethal popped up with intensity for fisticuffs. Woods came out on top with a T-bone suplex then heavy shots on the ground to open Lethal up for a triangle choke.
Lethal gained momentum by working the back. Woods was forced to use his first rope break when Lethal cranked a seated rear chinlock. Short-term damage was done as Woods could not complete the lift for any suplexes.
Lethal found his groove with a suicide dive. He went up top for a flying elbow drop, but Woods caught him for a cross armbreaker. Lethal positioned Woods’ shoulder on the mat so Woods would let go to avoid a pinfall. Lethal went for his cutter finisher. Woods caught that too. This time the counter was a rear naked choke. Again, Lethal got Woods’ shoulders on the mat to get free. Wood snatched Lethal’s legs for a knee bar then an ankle lock. Lethal was able to get Woods’ back on the canvas for the third time, so Woods shifted into a spladle pin to win at 14:03. Lethal was impressed and offered a handshake in defeat.
Matt Taven interviewed Mike Bennett about his return to ROH. When Bennett left, he always kept tabs on Taven. Through it all, Bennett observed Taven was missing something. That was somebody to have his back.
Being a 12-time tag champ sounds good to Mark Briscoe. The Briscoes have a rematch clause to challenge Jay Lethal & Jonathan Gresham, but Jay Briscoe has been too focused on EC3 instead of the gold. Mark declared that a man has to do what a man has to do, so he’s going to find a new partner to get the belts.
Brody King vs Shane Taylor
King’s only motivation is championships. They both want the world title, so King will prove he deserves the next shot. Taylor is also focused on climbing the ranks toward the World Championship. Being world champ will dictate his value.
This was two beefy boys throwing hands. They went blow for blow until King blasted Taylor out of the ring. King followed with a running cannonball off the apron. King battered Taylor around the ring. Taylor came back by knocking King off the apron to set up a hanging DDT onto the floor. It was Taylor’s turn to unload heavy shots. He smashed King through the barricade wall on a running knee.
King barely made it back in the ring to beat the count-out. The match progressed with hefty slams and strikes, such as King with a Spicolli driver into the corner.
King was the first to get a near pinfall after a swinging side slam then a piledriver. Taylor shot back with a package piledriver, but King stayed alive. King dug deep to finish it with a German suplex then a running lariat. Taylor kicked out at 1, so King clobbered him with three straight short lariats. Taylor was out cold for the three count at 12:37.
Whoa! That was the best episode of wrestling I’ve seen in awhile. Lethal versus Woods was fantastic with an electric finish. It was a star-making performance from Woods. He solidified himself as a man that can carry ROH as top champ. His personality and promos can be a little goofy at times, but he is aces when inside the ropes. Woods’ combination of strategy and skill will make him tough to knock down the mountain once he reaches the peak.
That hoss fight between King and Taylor was glorious. So much power and fury with high stakes on the line of chasing a title shot. That was the type of war that shortens careers. I don’t think there was a wrong call in choosing a winner. Both men would give Rush a run for his money. Taylor’s story seems better suited to win the world title in his first opportunity, whereas King will be a quality scalp for Rush to take at this point in time.
We’ll wrap with some bonus material. EC3 expressed his feelings after last week’s fight with Jay Briscoe. He was disappointed in Jay’s lack of honor.
Inspired by Mike Bennett’s return last week to reunite with Matt Taven, The Honor List counted down the greatest reunions in ROH history.
7. Adam Cole & Kyle O’Reilly
6. Midnight Express
5. Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley
3. Kenny King & Rhett Titus
2. Mike Bennett & Matt Taven
1. Jimmy Jacobs & Lacey
Share your thoughts about episode 480 of ROH Wrestling. Which match stole the show? Do you want to see Brody King be deemed #1 contender against Rush? Who would you like to be Mark Briscoe’s tag team partner?