ROH World Champion Jay Lethal successfully defended his title against international superstar Will Ospreay in an “instant classic” in the main event of Death Before Dishonor in Las Vegas Friday night, but he had little time to savor the victory.
After the match, Vinny Marseglia and TK O’Ryan of The Kingdom attacked Lethal. Jonathan Gresham came out to make the save, but he also fell victim to a two-on-one attack.
Then a hooded figure hit the ring and nailed Lethal with an object that was concealed by a red cloth. The mystery man revealed himself to be Kingdom leader Matt Taven, who was sporting a new look: a buzzed Mohawk, which was the result of him coming out on the losing end of a hair vs. hair match at CMLL’s 85th anniversary show in Mexico a couple weeks ago.
Taven then removed the red cloth to reveal that the weapon was a replica of the ROH World Title belt with a purple strap. Proclaiming himself “the real Ring of Honor World Champion,’ he threw down Lethal’s championship belt and raised his replica.
Also making an unannounced appearance earlier in the show was Jeff Cobb. The powerhouse had a confrontation with ROH World Television Champion Punishment Martinez after Martinez’s successful title defense against Chris Sabin. Martinez was about to inflict more damage to Sabin after the match, but Cobb prevented him. Cobb and Martinez had a faceoff that turned physical, and it ended with Cobb standing tall.
In a disturbing development, after Tenille Dashwood came up just short against WOH World Champion Sumie Sakai earlier in the night, Dashwood -- who had been fighting through an injured shoulder during the match -- was discovered writhing in pain backstage, apparently the victim of an attack by an unknown assailant.
-- Kenny King defeated Jushin “Thunder” Liger
-- ROH World Tag Team Champions Jay and Mark Briscoe defeated The Addiction (Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian)
-- WOH World Champion Sumie Sakai defeated Tenille Dashwood by referee stoppage
-- ROH World Television Champion Punishment Martinez defeated Chris Sabin
-- Bully Ray and Silas Young defeated Flip Gordon and Colt Cabana in a Tables Match
-- Bullet Club (Cody, Young Bucks Matt and Nick Jackson, Marty Scurll and “Hangman” Adam Page) defeated CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii, Rocky Romero, Beretta and Chuckie T.)
-- ROH World Champion Jay Lethal defeated Will Ospreay
Jushin “Thunder” Liger vs. Kenny King
King targeted Liger’s back after driving the Japanese legend back-first into the apron. King scored a couple near falls, but Liger was resilient. Liger came back with a superplex for a near fall, but the move did even more damage to his own back.
Liger hit Shotei and followed with a bulldog and frog splash for a near fall. Again, the move took a lot out of Liger as well as King. The referee checked on a fallen Liger as King respectfully backed off. Liger eventually made it back to his feet, and King offered a handshake. Liger accepted the gesture of sportsmanship, but then King pulled Liger in and hit a spinebuster to score a less-than-honorable victory.
After the match, King looked into the camera and thanked Austin Aries for helping him see the light.
ROH World Tag Team Champions Jay and Mark Briscoe vs. The Addiction (Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian)
Daniels and Kazarian, who are literally fighting for their careers because of ROH COO Joe Koff’s announcement earlier this year that he was going to let their contracts expire after Final Battle in December, took the early advantage. The momentum shifted after Mark Briscoe hit a blockbuster off the apron on Daniels.
The Briscoes isolated Daniels and proceed to punish him before Daniels eventually tagged in Kazarian. After several minutes of back-and-forth action and near falls by both teams, Mark hit a Uranage Driver on Kazarian onto a chair outside the ring. Kazarian was bleeding heavily from his head, which prompted SCU teammate Scorpio Sky and medical personnel to come to ringside to check on him.
With Kazarian incapacitated, Daniels valiantly fought both Briscoes. It actually appeared that Daniels would overcome the odds and win the titles for his team after he hit the Best Moonsault Ever on Mark, but Jay Briscoe made the save.
Jay hit a Jay Driller on Daniels on the floor, and then tossed him back in the ring. Amazingly, Daniels kicked out of a pin attempt. He would not kick out after a second Jay Driller, however, as the Briscoes retained their titles.
WOH World Champion Sumie Sakai vs. Tenille Dashwood
Mutual respect between these two had been established heading into the match, but they both came out very aggressive. Dashwood, who has been battling an injury to her right shoulder, had the shoulder heavily taped, which provided a bull’s-eye for Sakai.
Sakai went after the shoulder with submission moves, but Dashwood persevered and went on to score several near falls. Dashwood even kicked out of Sakai’s Smash Mouth finisher, which stunned the champion. Dashwood hit a power bomb, but Sakai rolled through and locked on the cross armbreaker. Dashwood refused to tap out, but she eventually went limp and the referee called for the bell.
ROH World Television Champion Punishment Martinez vs. Chris Sabin
Immediately after the opening bell sounded, Martinez went for the South of Heaven chokeslam, but Sabin countered with a victory roll that Martinez kicked out of at the very last second. Martinez, who towered over Sabin, eventually began to dominate the match, but Sabin rallied with his quickness and high-flying maneuvers.
After the referee was inadvertently knocked down, Martinez grabbed a chair and was about to use it as a weapon, but Sabin took out Martinez’s knees and the champion landed face-first on the chair. Sabin followed with a Tornado DDT onto the chair for a near fall. Martinez answered with a Psycho Driver/Silencer/South of Heaven combination for the win.
After the match, the sadistic Martinez set up a chair in the corner and was about to drive Sabin face-first into it, but Jeff Cobb hit the ring to a loud ovation. Cobb and Martinez had a brief faceoff before Martinez backed away and started to exit the ring with his title belt.
Cobb momentarily let his guard down, and Martinez slipped back in and whacked Cobb in the back with the chair. Shockingly, it had no effect. Cobb hit Tour of the Islands on Martinez and then held up the belt before dropping it on the fallen champion.
Bully Ray and Silas Young vs. Flip Gordon and Colt Cabana
Gordon, who has been on the receiving end of multiple low blows from Bully in recent months, immediately jumped on him. Gordon and Cabana initially overwhelmed their opponents, and to add insult to injury, Gordon came off the top rope onto Bully with the Dudley Boyz’ trademark “Wassup” diving headbutt.
Bully and Young eventually gained the advantage, and the action spilled outside the ring. Bully repeatedly smashed Cabana’s back with a chair, and as he did so, he looked toward Cabana’s friend and broadcast partner Ian Riccaboni, who was calling the action. Riccaboni couldn’t take it anymore, and he came down to ringside to check on the fallen Cabana.
Gordon hit a suicide dive on Bully, who had been threatening Riccaboni, but when Gordon attempted the same move on Young, Young was ready for it and used Gordon’s momentum to send him crashing into the barricade. Meanwhile, Riccaboni handed a chair to Cabana, who nailed Bully with it twice. Cabana attempted to power-bomb Ray through a table, but Ray blocked it, shoved down Riccaboni and then power-bombed Cabana through the table to eliminate him from the match.
After some miscommunication, Ray and Young began slugging it out with each other. Ray managed to get them back on same page, and then whipped Gordon into a table that had been set up in the corner. Gordon, however, did a Parkour-like flip off the table. Bully charged him, but Gordon sidestepped him and sent Bully through the table. It now was down to Gordon and Young.
Young went for Misery, but Gordon inadvertently knocked down the referee with his feet. Gordon slipped out of Young’s grasp and went on to hit a 450 Splash on Young through the table, but the referee was still down and didn’t see it. Bully attacked Gordon from behind and then switched Gordon and Young’s positions in the ring, making it appear that Young had put Gordon through the table. Even though the referee didn’t see what happened, he awarded the match to Bully and Young after he got his bearings.
After the match, Bully whipped Gordon with a chain and nailed him with a broken piece of the table.
Tenille Dashwood injured backstage
The camera cut to the back, where a fallen Dashwood clutched her injured shoulder as ROH officials tended to her. Dashwood’s broken sunglasses were near her on the floor.
CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii, Rocky Romero, Beretta and Chuckie T.) vs. Bullet Club (Cody, Young Bucks Matt and Nick Jackson, Marty Scurll and “Hangman” Adam Page)
The Bullet Club members’ timing was uncharacteristically off throughout the match, which caused them to inadvertently strike each other multiple times. After several minutes of fast and furious action, Romero became a one-man wrecking crew, hitting a series of hurricanranas and clotheslines on all of his opponents before Bullet Club eventually halted his momentum with a five-way superkick.
With an assist from Chuckie T., Okada hit a spike piledriver on Matt Jackson, but other Bullet Club members made the save. Cody hit Cross Rhodes on Okada, but the former IWGP Heavyweight Champion answered with the Rainmaker on Cody, and they were both down.
In the end, Scurll caught Romero in the Chicken Wing and forced him to tap out, giving the victory to Bullet Club despite all the miscues.
During the match, Nick Aldis, who sat in on commentary, announced that his rematch for the NWA Championship against Cody at the NWA 70th anniversary show on Oct. 21 would be two out of three falls.
ROH World Champion Jay Lethal vs. Will Ospreay
Ospreay, who was visibly bigger and more muscular than usual, refused to adhere to the Code of Honor. After they batted to a stalemate in the early stages of the match, Lethal hit his trademark three successive suicide dives, the last of which sent Ospreay over the barricade. Ospreay later halted Lethal’s momentum by nailing him with a handspring, twisting kick to the head.
The match then turned into a chopfest, with each man demanding to take the other’s best shot. The action spilled outside the ring, where Lethal inadvertently superkicked ring announcer Bobby Cruise, who was holding the championship belt. Upon impact, the belt went flying out of Cruise’s hands and landed right into Ospreay’s hands. Ospreay considered using the belt as a weapon on Lethal, but ultimately decided against it.
After a slugfest ensued on the floor, Ospreay power-bombed Lethal onto a ladder that was leaning against the barricade. Back inside the ring, both men countered each other’s attempts at hitting their finishers before Ospreay eventually connected with his devastating OsCutter, which had been named the Move of the Year in 2017. It appeared that the three count and a new world champion was just a formality, but, remarkably, Lethal kicked out at the very last second.
Ospreay went for a hurricanrana off the top rope, but Lethal turned it into a powerbomb. He followed up with Lethal Injection to score the hard-fought victory. After the match, Ospreay did adhere to the Code of Honor this time.
Suddenly, The Kingdom’s Vinny Marseglia and TK O’Ryan hit the ring. They tossed Ospreay out and concentrated their attack on Lethal. Jonathan Gresham came out to help Lethal but was thwarted. That’s when Matt Taven showed up with his replica title belt and used it to KO Lethal.
The show ended with The Kingdom standing tall.