It’s been a while since we took a look at the ROH YouTube – so let’s see what they’ve put up from their Women and Future of Honor series…
Deonna Purazzo & Mandy Leon vs. Sumie Sakai & Kris Wolf
We’re in Lowell for this tag match, taped just before the Best In The World PPV. It’s a short one, I’m afraid, as Wolf starts by kicking away at Mandy as she then bit her rear end.
There’s a lot of fake-outs and missed punches as Wolf scored with a roll-up, only to get caught with a sloppy roll-up from Leon. There’s more biting as Leon’s forced to tag out, and we get Purazzo and Sakai now, with Deonna enjoying the upper hand in their first exchanges. A dropkick takes Sakai into the corner as we then get Leon back into the match… and her first thing is to go for a double leg nelson, a la the Axel Dieter Special. For someone who’s been wrestling for three years, Leon’s got “moves” down, but the rest does seem to be far from a complete package.
Purazzo and Leon combine with kicks and knees as a Curt Hennig neck flip rocks Sakai, as does a German suplex from Purazzo that forced Wolf to run in to break the cover. Sakai does manage to kick away Leon as Purazzo looked for a back suplex, instead taking a bulldog as Wolf came back in with kicks.
An Exploder suplex nearly won it for Wolf, but Leon broke it up before the “Dojo Sisters” were taken into the corner…and return to take a Victory Roll and a ‘rana for a pair of near-falls. The match threatens to fall apart as Purazzo and Wolf stays in the ring, with Wolf hitting a double kneedrop off the top for another near-fall. In the end though, the “Dojo Sisters” insistence to do things in tandem backfired, as Leon had Sakai tied up in the Havana Dream… which meant she was helpless as Wolf countered Purazzo into a small package for the win. This was alright – way too short to be of any consequence, but it says something when the focal point in the match was someone whom doesn’t seem to be improving… **¼
Speaking of… they did try her out in another role…
Stacy Shadows vs. Kelly Klein
Mandy Leon was moved to commentary for this match. Just because. Stacy Shadows has the generic WOH entrance video, and we’re actually seeing the commentators on camera here. I wonder why?
Kelly Klein’s the unofficial “Gatekeeper” of ROH. But unlike those in EVOLVE, she keeps her name. She’s claiming a near 600-day undefeated streak, ignoring a count-out loss to Kelly Q on another Women of Honor match.
Shadows has the size advantage over Klein, and they start by butting heads before Klein heads to the ropes to start a battle of shoulder tackles. Neither woman goes down, at least until Shadows nails a Samoan drop. Klein rebounds with a Codebreaker in the corner, before a snapmare and a knee to the back of the head dazes Stacy. Somewhere in here, Mandy Leon reveals that she’s going to Japan for a tour of Stardom, which is an achievement, but completely overshadows what’s going on in the ring.
They stop talking just in time for Klein to hit a DDT and another knee for a near-fall, before going for a sleeperhold in a bid to keep Shadows on the mat. Eventually Stacy powers out and throws some forearms, but since both of these are sort-of bad guys, the crowd barely makes a murmur as the two women throw bombs at each other.
Finally Klein’s taken down with a bicycle kick as Shadows nearly picked up the win, but Kelly comes back with a Fisherman’s suplex, before rolling into The End of The Match (a guillotine choke) that forces Shadows to tap. As a match this was pretty decent, aside from the fact that the crowd didn’t know who to cheer for, but this was one of those fillers that served as a background for other stuff on commentary. **½
The Rebellion (Rhett Titus, Shane Taylor & Kenny King) vs. Cheeseburger, Will Ferrera & Gedo
We’re going to the third night of this year’s War of the Worlds tour for this one. The Rebellion had Caprice Coleman out with them because, reasons, and they seem to have adopted Barry O’s hand gesture.
Oh, hi Cheeseburger! Thanks for the retweet that killed our mentions after the British J Cup!
Titus and Ferrera open up exchanging headlocks on the mat, before Kenny King came in and attacked Ferrera from behind to give the Rebellion an advantage. They double-team Ferrera as Shane Taylor has the referee distracted, with King flying with a tornillo to the floor, before blasting Ferrera with punches back in the ring.
Taylor makes his way in as he dropped Ferrara with a headbutt before bringing King back into play. Eventually Taylor miscommunicates as he levelled Titus, allowing Ferrera to bring in Gedo who unloads with the Dusty punches before dropping Taylor with a jawbreaker. Gedo outsmarts the Rebellion as he sidestepped a charge from Taylor, then hit a superkick for a near-fall before bringing in Cheeseburger!
The crowd roar as Cheeseburger flew into Taylor with a crossbody that was easily caught. Somehow Ferrera gets Taylor up for a Samoan drop as the ring started to fill, giving Cheeseburger to unload on King and Titus with forearms… but he got too cocky and ended up eating a Capoeira kick from King, then a Blockbuster/Powerbomb before Taylor squashed the burger with a big splash off the top for the win. Short, simple, and effective. **½
Brandi Lauren vs. Tasha Steelz
We end with one more look at the Women of Honor, and it’s back to WrestleMania weekend for this match from the Supercard of Honor pre-show. Brandi Lauren’s done some work for SHINE wrestling, but is currently with Global Force Wrestling (slash TNA slash Impact slash whatever Double J’s calling them this week) as Ava Storie.
The commentary from Ian Riccaboni’s clearly done in post (and somehow makes it to air in poor quality), and it feels weird hearing him tout Lauren as a “veteran of one year”. Eh?
Steelz tries to get the crowd going, but this is the first thing the Lakeland crowd is seeing… and unknown names are always going to struggle. A dropkick sends Lauren to the outside, but she returns with a Stunner across the middle rope as Lauren tries to suplex her back into the ring.
Lauren uses her boot to choke Steelz in the corner, before we get some nonchalant stomps as they run through some basic, but uninspiring stuff. They’ve been put in a tough position to say the least. Steelz mounts a comeback with a back elbow, but this crowd really don’t care, nor do they make a murmur when Lauren countered a double-arm DDT by escaping and working into a neckbreaker for a near-fall. In the end though, Tasha avoids a kick and hits a butterfly suplex… and that’s all folks. A basic enough outing, but these two didn’t stand a chance in what may as well have been an empty arena try-out. *¾