Eck's Files: Pure Title Tournament Marathon Coming to ROH Best On The Planet; Cautionary Tale For Matt Taven; Big Guest On ROH Podcast

By Kevin Eck

If you’ve missed any of the ROH Pure Title tournament or just want to watch it all again, you’ll have an opportunity to do so for free.

ROH Best On The Planet, a streaming TV service that offers Ring of Honor Wrestling content 24/7, will present a Pure Title Tournament marathon beginning on Friday, Nov. 6 at 9 p.m. ET.

The eight, one-hour episodes of the tournament will be shown in order continuously for 48 hours. Fans can stream BOTP anytime on STIRR and Plex.

***

The tournament continues on this weekend’s episode of “Ring of Honor Wrestling” with Fred Yehi taking on Tracy Williams in a Block A semifinal and Josh Woods facing PJ Black in a Block B semifinal.

Last week, Jay Lethal defeated David Finlay to advance to the Block A final, and Jonathan Gresham beat Matt Sydal to advance to the Block B final.

You can watch this week’s episode and interact with the stars of ROH on Twitter Monday at 7 p.m. ET using #ROHPure. To participate in the Twitter watch party, view the episode on ROHWrestling.com or FITE. The watch parties will continue at that same time every Monday for the duration of the tournament.

At the conclusion of the episode, stick around for the wrap-up show with Ian Riccaboni, Caprice Coleman and Quinn McKay on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Check out the preview video for the Yehi-Williams and Woods-Black matches. To read more on those matchups, click here, and for the full bracket and schedule of matches, click here.

***

In addition to the tournament matches, the other big news on last weekend’s show was the return of Matt Taven. The former ROH World Champion had not been seen or heard from since he was attacked in his home by Vincent June.

Taven, who was revealed as the man behind the #FollowTheTrend videos, ambushed Vincent, who was in the ring delivering his “state of The Righteous” address.

Taven went after Vincent’s eye, and then ripped off the canvas to expose the wood underneath. Taven hit Climax on Vincent on the wood. He proceeded to put Vincent on a table outside the ring and hit a frog splash that sent Vincent through the table. Taven told Vincent this is just the beginning.

It’s great to have Taven back on the scene, and he appears to be fully recovered from Vincent’s attack on his surgically repaired ankle. I am concerned, though, about Taven being consumed by his desire to eliminate Vincent from ROH. 

Taven needs to move on from his blood feud with his former friend as soon as possible and return his focus to regaining the ROH World Title. I’d hate to see what happened to “Wildfire” Tommy Rich happen to Taven.

As old school fans surely will recall, Rich won the NWA World Title in 1981 at the age of 24. In 1982, he began an ultra-violent feud with “Mad Dog” Buzz Sawyer that lasted well over a year, culminating with the famous “Last Battle of Atlanta” steel cage match.

Rich prevailed in that final showdown, but there were no winners in the long run, as neither man was ever the same. Rich’s subsequent attempts to regain the world title were unsuccessful, and by 1986 he was no longer a top contender.

Hopefully, Taven’s career will not trend in the same direction Rich’s did.

***

I’ve lined up a big guest for the next “ROHStrong Podcast.” The show drops on Monday at 7 a.m. ET on ROHWrestling.com and most podcast platforms.

This episode is essential listening.

***

More videos featuring EC3 appeared on last weekend’s TV episode and have been circulating on social media.

When will EC3 finally make his ROH debut? And what are his goals in ROH?

Stay tuned.

***

ROH talent and crew returned to the #ROHBubble in Baltimore this week for the next round of TV tapings. The stringent COVID-19 protocols established by the Maryland State Athletic Commission for the August tapings remain in place.

Several ROH stars have been providing video updates from the bubble on social media.

***

ROH Director of Operations Gary Juster shared his memories of AWA legend Verne Gagne on this week’s episode of the Old School In Session podcast on YouTube. Gagne played a significant role in Juster breaking into the wrestling business at the age of 15.

A new episode of Old School In Session is uploaded every Wednesday. To submit a question for Juster about his many years as a promoter in the NWA, WCW and AWA, send a tweet using #AskGary.

***

More matches from 2008 have been added to the HonorClub archives for Fresh 50 Friday, including: Naomichi Marufuji versus Nigel McGuinness; Bryan Danielson versus Takeshi Morishima; The Briscoes versus American Wolves versus McGuinness and Claudio Castagnoli; Kenny King versus Kenny Omega; and Castagnoli versus Omega.

***

Until next time, keep safe and stay #ROHStrong!

Kevin Eck is a veteran pro wrestling journalist who has worked for The Baltimore Sun, WWE and WCW before joining ROHWrestling.com. Eck’s Files appears every Friday.