ROH is coming off two huge live events this past weekend, with Bound By Honor in Nashville on Friday and Gateway To Honor in St. Louis on Saturday. Here are the top headlines from the shows:
5. ELI ISOM STANDS UP TO BULLY
Bully Ray hijacked the show both nights, as he came to the ring and insulted the fans and bragged about how he can’t be fired because he has an ironclad contract. He issued an open challenge and said that if anyone can beat him, he’ll leave ROH.
Isom, who was wrestling LSG before Bully came out and attacked both men in Nashville, accepted the challenge. Despite having just competed, Isom went right after Bully and nearly got the pin after a Scorpio Splash. Bully ended up catching him with a Bubba Bomb for the win.
The next night in St. Louis, Isom made the save after a chair-wielding Bully attacked Caprice Coleman and Cheeseburger. Isom speared Bully and nailed him in the back with two chair shots. Isom then set up a table in the ring, but Bully hit him low and powerbombed him through the table.
While Bully got the last laugh in both confrontations, the 24-year-old Isom showed plenty of fire and zero fear in taking on the Hall of Famer. Isom has all the physical tools to be a future champion, and now it’s apparent he possesses the intensity as well.
4. WOMEN JOCKEY FOR POSITION IN UPCOMING TOURNAMENT
The tournament to crown a new ROH Women’s World Champion begins at Quest For Gold in Philadelphia on April 24, and every match leading up to it will affect the seedings.
Three competitors already announced for the tournament -- Angelina Love, Nicole Savoy and Session Moth Martina -- were in action over the weekend.
Savoy scored an impressive victory over seven-time former world champion Love in Nashville, but Love rebounded to defeat Session Moth Martina in St. Louis. Martina was coming off a win over former Women of Honor World Champion Sumie Sakai at Free Enterprise in Baltimore on Feb. 9.
The takeaway from these results is that the tournament is going to be exciting and difficult to predict.
3. TWO BIG WINS FOR JAY LETHAL AND JONATHAN GRESHAM
Lethal and Gresham entered the weekend having only had one tag match since winning the ROH World Tag Team Title at Final Battle in December, and they lost that bout (to Jeff Cobb and Dan Maff in a Proving Ground Match at Free Enterprise). So it appeared they might be vulnerable champions, especially considering they were putting their belts on the line against 2 Guys 1 Tag (Silas Young and Josh Woods), a team that was undefeated and had beaten them in September.
However, Lethal and Gresham successfully defended their title against 2G1T in Nashville, and then defeated the dangerous duo of Bandido and Rey Horus -- two-thirds of the ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Champions -- in a Proving Ground Match in St. Louis, sending them to the back of the line of contenders.
In both matches, Lethal and Gresham ambushed their opponents before the opening bell. Honorable? Absolutely not. Effective? Absolutely.
2. PCO DEFEATS DRAGON LEE IN CHAMPION VS. CHAMPION MATCH
It was a rare match between the ROH World Champion and the ROH World Television Champion when PCO battled Dragon Lee in Nashville. Only PCO’s ROH World Championship was at stake.
This match more than lived up to the hype. It looked for a while like Dragon Lee might join Lethal as the only men to hold both titles simultaneously, but PCO survived three Incineration knee strikes, including a nasty one to the back of his head while Lee had his knee pad pulled down, and went on to hit a moonsault off the top rope for the win.
1. RUSH REGAINS THE ROH WORLD TITLE
PCO’s title reign survived Lee’s challenge, but it ended the next night in St. Louis against Lee’s older brother, RUSH. Thanks to interference from NWA World Champion Nick Aldis, RUSH pinned PCO in a Triple Threat Match that also involved Mark Haskins to become the fifth man to regain the ROH World Title.
Haskins will get his one-on-one shot at the championship when he challenges RUSH at 18th Anniversary in Las Vegas on Match 13. As for PCO, he has an opportunity to get revenge against Aldis when they meet at Supercard of Honor in Lakeland, Fla., on April 4.