PORTLAND, Ore. -- One of three contenders would either earn an ROH World Title shot or not receive another shot for the foreseeable future, as ROH World Champion Matt Taven, PCO, Flip Gordon and Mark Haskins competed in a Defy or Deny elimination match at State of the Art at Portland State University’s Viking Pavilion on June 2.
In other matches during ROH’s debut in Portland, a pair of two-time former ROH World Champions clashed when Jay Lethal and Jay Briscoe renewed their rivalry, and six tag teams competed in a gauntlet match for a shot at the ROH World Tag Team Titles.
-- Hardcore Match: Tracy Williams defeated Bully Ray
-- Mazzerati defeated Danika Della Rouge
-- Mark Briscoe defeated Josh Woods
-- Jeff Cobb defeated PJ Black
-- The Bouncers won a tag team gauntlet match to earn a future shot at the ROH World Team Titles (The Kingdom, RUSH and Dalton Castle, Silas Young and ROH World Television Champion Shane Taylor, Coast 2 Coast and The Voros Twins were the other participants)
-- Jay Lethal defeated Jay Briscoe
--Defy or Deny Elimination Match: ROH World Champion Matt Taven defeated Flip Gordon for the final elimination in a match also involving PCO and Mark Haskins (as a result, Gordon will not receive a shot at the title as long as Taven is champion)
Hardcore Match: Bully Ray vs. Tracy Williams
Just as the show was about to begin, Bully Ray stormed to the ring and issued an open challenge. Williams came out with a garbage can filled with weapons and said he will accept the challenge, but he wants it to be a hardcore match. Bully kicked Williams low, and then agreed to the match.
Bully assaulted Williams with a combination of suplexes and shots with the garbage can and a kendo stick. Bully brought a table to the ring and put Williams on top of it. Just as Bully came off the top rope, Williams hopped off the table and caught Bully with a clawhold to the crotch. Bully regained the advantage and went for a back senton off the middle rope, but Williams moved and rolled Bully into a crucifix for the win.
After the match, Bully attacked Williams and punched referee Todd Sinclair. Williams’ fellow LifeBlood member Mark Haskins came out and began pummelling Bully, but Bully stopped him with a big boot to the face. Bully powerbombed Haskins through a table.
Mazzerati vs. Danika Della Rouge
In this matchup of competitors looking to make a name for themselves in Women of Honor, Mazzerati, the more aggressive and cocky of the two, hit a Northern Lights suplex into a bridge for a near fall. Rouge answered with a slap to the face and a suplex. Mazzerati connected with a spin kick for the victory.
After the match, The Allure (Angelina Love, Velvet Sky and Mandy Leon) hit the ring and attacked both women. Then they used lipstick to mark Rouge with the Allure symbol on her head.
Josh Woods vs. Mark Briscoe
In Woods’ two matches since making his return to ROH, he needed just 88 seconds combined to defeat his opponents. Neither of those competitors were anywhere close to the experience and skill level of Mark Briscoe, however, so this match would be a good indicator as to whether Woods had truly taken elevated his game.
As his t-shirt says, Woods is always down to fight, and he went toe to toe with Briscoe right from the start. Woods tossed Briscoe out of the ring and threw him into the guardrail, and then suplexed him on the floor. Briscoe responded by throwing Woods into the guardrail twice and hitting a snap suplex on the floor. Briscoe then hit Froggy Bow off the top onto Woods outside the ring.
Woods proved resilient, as he landed a sick-looking German suplex off the apron to the floor. He followed up with a GTS in the ring and went for a cover. Briscoe managed to grab the bottom rope just in time. Briscoe, perhaps realizing he was in trouble, grabbed a chair and entered the ring. The referee took it from him, which gave Briscoe an opening. While the referee disposed of the chair, Briscoe delivered a low blow to Woods. Briscoe then hit a Death Valley Driver and followed with Froggy Bow to score a tainted victory. Woods was impressive in defeat.
PJ Black vs. Jeff Cobb
Cobb hit a big vertical suplex for a near fall in the early stages of the match, but Black seized control shortly thereafter. Black locked on the Koji Clutch, but Cobb made it to the ropes to break the hold. Black hit a missile dropkick for a near fall, a springboard moonsault for a near fall, and Spanish Fly off the top rope for a near fall. Cobb weathered the storm and hit Tour of the Islands for a hard-fought victory. Cobb, who will face ROH World Champion Matt Taven for the title at the Best in the World pay-per-view on June 28, has still yet to be pinned or forced to submit in ROH.
Tag Team Gauntlet Match (winner receives a shot at the ROH World Tag Team Titles)
Silas Young and ROH World Television Champion Shane Taylor vs. The Voros Twins (Chris and Patrick)
The Voros Twins kept Young and Taylor off balance with their unorthodox style throughout the match. Ultimately, Young put both twins in an abdominal stretch -- while smoking a cigarette -- and the twins tapped out.
Silas Young and ROH World Television Champion Shane Taylor vs. Dalton Castle and RUSH
To the surprise of absolutely no one, bitter rivals Castle and RUSH -- who were put together by ROH officials as a “wildcard” entry in the match -- bickered with each other as soon as they entered the ring. Young and Taylor isolated Castle, but eventually RUSH tagged himself in. RUSH ran wild on both Young and Taylor and appeared to be on the verge of winning the match for his team, but Castle tagged himself in. In the end, RUSH hit Bull’s Horns on Young for the win.
Dalton Castle and RUSH vs. Coast 2 Coast (LSG and Shaheem Ali)
As was seemingly inevitable, the tension between Castle and RUSH boiled over. As RUSH set up for Bull’s Horns, Castle tripped him. Castle exited the ring, but RUSH followed him up the ramp, and they brawled on the stage. The referee counted them out.
Coast 2 Coast (LSG and Shaheem Ali) vs. The Bouncers (Beer City Bruiser and Brawler Milonas)
There’s bad blood between these two teams, so they immediately started brawling. The Bouncers prevailed after hitting Closing Time on Ali.
The Bouncers (Beer City Bruiser and Brawler Milonas) vs. The Kingdom (TK O’Ryan and Vinny Marseglia)
The Kingdom seized the early advantage and isolated Bruiser. Milonas eventually was tagged in, and he took over the match. The Bouncers hit Last Call on O’Ryan to earn the victory and a shot at the ROH World Tag Team Championship sometime after the no-disqualification match between champions The Guerrillas of Destiny and the Briscoes on July 20 at Manhattan Mayhem.
Jay Briscoe vs. Jay Lethal
The two two-time former ROH World Champions, who have had some legendary matches against each other, faced off for the first time in a one-on-one match in nearly two and a half years.
Briscoe kept threatening to use a chair in the early going, which prompted Lethal to grab a microphone and encourage Briscoe to discard the chair and show the fans what happens when two of the best wrestlers in the world are in the ring together. Briscoe put down the chair and agreed to have a fair fight.
After several minutes of furious back-and-forth action, Lethal connected on three suicide dives and a Lethal Combination, but Briscoe answered with a superplex. Kenny King, who is engaged in a best-of-three series with Lethal and had been doing commentary during the match, came down to ringside. Lethal was distracted by King, and Briscoe took advantage by hitting a Jay Driller, but Lethal managed to kick out just in time. King slid a chair into the ring for Briscoe to use, but Briscoe decided to toss the chair at King. Lethal had gotten back to his feet at that point, and he hit Lethal Injection for the win.
Defy or Deny Elimination Match: ROH World Champion Matt Taven vs. PCO vs. Flip Gordon vs. Mark Haskins
The rules of this bout are as follows: If Taven wins, whoever is eliminated last cannot challenge for the world title as long as he remains champion. Should one of the three challengers win, they will receive a future ROH World Title shot.
It was announced prior to the start of the match that Haskins wasn’t medically cleared to compete due to being injured by Bully Ray earlier in the show, but Haskins defied the medical staff and inserted himself back into the match.
Taven refused to get in the ring and compete during the early portion of the contest. The other three competitors finally had enough and ganged up on him. Taven’s chest was bleeding from being chopped by everyone. Gordon, with an assist from Haskins, powerbombed PCO off the apron. PCO came back to hit a moonsault onto his three opponents on the floor.
Taven’s fellow Kingdom members O’Ryan and Marseglia came out. They have been banned from ringside during Taven’s title defenses, but the title was not at stake in this match. Taven nailed PCO with a chair behind the referee’s back, but it didn’t phase PCO. PCO took the chair from Taven and hit him with it. The referee saw it and disqualified PCO. Several minutes later, Taven rolled up Haskins and grabbed a handful of tights to eliminate him.
Now it was down to Taven and Gordon. Gordon hit a blockbuster off the stage on Taven. Gordon went for a hurricanrana off the apron, but Taven caught him and powerbombed him through the ringside table. Taven hit a frog splash for a near fall. Gordon countered Climax with a slingbade, and followed up with a twisting Falcon Arrow for a near fall. Gordon went for the Flip-5, but Taven slipped out and hit Climax for the victory.
As a result of the decision, Gordon cannot challenge for ROH World Title as long as Taven is champion.
TK O’RYAN & VINNY MARSEGLIA
COAST 2 COAST
SHANE TAYLOR & SILAS YOUNG
RUSH & DALTON CASTLE