Manolo Has Pizzazz
Episode 481 of ROH Wrestling featured Matt Taven leaping like Superman to save Mike Bennett in the war with Vincent and John Walters making his return after 14 years in a Pure match against Tracy Williams.
Quinn McKay opened with a recap of last week and comments from the winners. Brody King’s two wins over former champs speak for itself to become #1 contender. He is coming for Rush and the ROH World Championship. Josh Woods was pumped about pinning Jay Lethal. Pure rules were made for Woods’ skills. He plans to go to the top of ROH.
Vincent vs Mike Bennett
Bennett is disgusted by who Vinny has become. Vincent wondered why he is considered the bad guy. He warned that Bennett is making the biggest mistake he’s ever made.
Vincent held the early lead in fisticuffs. Bennett bounced back with a clubbing forearm blow. The first big move came from Vincent leaping for a cutter off the apron to Bennett hung between the ropes. Vincent followed with a suplex on the floor.
Vincent continued dishing out pain on a pump kick and a German suplex. Bennett fought back with superkicks and a fireman’s carry driver. Bennett charged for a spear, but Vincent caught him in a guillotine choke.
Bennett eventually broke out for a brainbuster. In the end, Bennett hit a clean spear then showboated before his finisher. Vincent used that delay to charge Bennett into the turnbuckles. Vincent pummeled Bennett with punches and swear words. Vincent refused to break from the corner, so the referee declared Bennett the victor via disqualification at 11:34.
Afterward, Vincent rammed Bennett into the security wall. He continued beating Bennett from pillar to post. All of a sudden, Matt Taven launched off the entrance stage to crash into Vincent.
Bateman entered the fray. Extra security separated the four men.
The Foundation had a vignette touting the promise of Rhett Titus.
Mark Briscoe revealed PCO as his tag partner to take the titles from Jay Lethal & Jonathan Gresham.
Tracy Williams vs John Walters
Williams formed a bond with Gresham during the Pure tournament to rebuild ROH on the foundation of Pure wrestling. He believes Walters’ name belongs on the list with ROH greats. Williams will prove he has what it takes to defeat Walters. Winning the Pure championship was the most prestigious achievement in Walters’ career, and he aims to be on top again by running through Williams in convincing fashion.
Flip Gordon was on commentary and announced to challenge Gresham for the Pure Championship at the Final Battle PPV on December 18.
The bout had Pure rules with a 15-minute time limit. Williams worked the arm and shoulder, while Walters focused on the knee. Walters was forced to use his first rope break on an omoplata. Williams reached the ropes to escape a Sharpshooter for his first break, but he immediately pounced to trap Walters in a heel hook for Walters’ second rope break. Walters exhausted his third and final rope break with five minutes remaining on a crossface submission.
The finishing sequence began with both men rocking back and forth trading pinfall attempts. That led to Williams getting the upper hand for a DDT onto the top turnbuckle. He exploded with a discus clothesline to set up the win on a piledriver at 11:41.
Next week’s show will see Josh Woods versus Flip Gordon in Pure rules and a tag bout between the Bouncers and Mark Briscoe & PCO.
Both matches had great intensity. The first was built out of hatred, and the second was built out of competition. Matt Taven flying onto the scene was a neat moment. I figured he would appear eventually, but the manner in which he chose caught me completely by surprise.
I wasn’t a fan of the DQ finish for Vincent. By itself, it is fine and completely fits in that story. My issue is it happening on the heels of Jay Briscoe being disqualified against EC3. That referee intervention was still fresh in my mind, so this week’s felt too similar.
John Walters had a quality effort in his return to ROH. He worked the ring well by showcasing his submissions skills to inflict pain. Losing to Tracy Williams was the right call since Walters had been out of action for so long. It will now give Walters a chance to build fan support by climbing up the ranks.
Share your thoughts about episode 481 of ROH Wrestling. Which match stole the show? Did Walters impress you in his return to ROH?