Here’s a preview of the ROH Pure Title tournament block semifinal matches that will take place on this weekend’s episode of “Ring of Honor Wrestling.” The time limit for matches in this round is 20 minutes.
Jay Lethal vs. David Finlay
How they got here: Lethal defeated Dalton Castle by pinfall in the first round; Finlay defeated Rocky Romero by pinfall in the first round.
Lethal continues his quest to be the first man to regain the Pure Championship. Standing in his way is Finlay, a member of the New Japan Pro-Wrestling roster who wants to prove his promotion’s superiority by beating “The Franchise of ROH.”
Lethal and Finlay have never met in a singles match, but they have been on opposite sides twice in tag team competition, with Finlay’s team winning both.
While Lethal came through his first-round match healthy, Finlay’s surgically repaired left shoulder was heavily targeted in his first-round bout and could be an issue for him.
The winner of this match will advance to the Block A finals against the winner of the semifinal bout between Fred Yehi and Tracy Williams.
Fast facts: Lethal threw more strikes in the first round than any other competitor. … Finlay also was aggressive in his first-round match, as he applied a submission hold five times and made eight pinfall attempts.
Jonathan Gresham vs. Matt Sydal
How they got here: Gresham defeated Wheeler Yuta by submission in the first round; Sydal defeated Delirious by submission in the first round.
Despite being two well-traveled veterans, Gresham and Sydal have never faced each other in singles or tag team competition.
Gresham showed why he is one of the favorites to win the tournament with his first-round victory over a plucky Yuta, who had defeated him in a previous encounter. “The Octopus” attacked Yuta’s left knee and forced him to submit after repeatedly slamming it onto the mat.
Sydal also was impressive in the first round. In his first ROH bout since 2017, Sydal scored a hard-fought victory over longtime friend and rival Delirious in 9:57, the shortest match in the tournament thus far.
The winner of this match will advance to the Block B finals against the winner of the semifinal bout between Josh Woods and PJ Black.
Fast facts: Gresham did not use a single rope break in the first round, and he made six counters and applied five submission holds. … Sydal also did not use any rope breaks in his first-round match, and he had six escapes.
To view the tournament bracket and schedule, click here.
To find out when and where “Ring of Honor Wrestling” airs in your area, click here.