Ring of Honor TV – August 2, 2017: It’s Like I’ve Always Said

Ring of Honor
Date: August 2, 2017
Location: Lowell Auditorium, Lowell, Massachusetts
Commentators: Joe Koff, Ian Riccaboni

This is a special episode of the show as we’re looking at the Women of Honor this time around. Ring of Honor does have a women’s division but outside of some one off matches on their website, they very rarely make television. Therefore, there are going to be stories built in here but it’s not like anything is going to have been covered on TV. Hopefully the announcers cover things so let’s get to it.

The opening video tells us who we’ll be seeing tonight and explains the story of the triple threat main event, which we’ll get to later.

Opening sequence.

High Speed Title: Sumie Sakai vs. Kris Wolf

Wolf is defending and the title from Stardom, a major Japanese women’s promotion. They slug it out to start as the announcers talk about how Women of Honor will be seen a lot more frequently going forward. I’m glad we got that out of the way as it’s been promised every time they’re featured and nothing ever comes of it.

Sakai works on a wristlock but gets sent to the floor with a headscissors sending her crashing down. A running kick from the apron drops Sakai and we take a break. Back with Sakai grabbing a Crossface as Koff (the company’s COO) tries to figure out what to call various holds, though he’s clearly having a good time here. Sumie ties her in the ring apron and offers a few spanks, followed by a slightly more serious missile dropkick for two.

A horrible slam puts Wolf down but she avoids a moonsault. Wolf gets two off a Shining Wizard but walks into a fisherman’s buster for the same. The announcers, as in the people supposed to hype up this stuff, ignore the entire thing to talk about Cody not being signed. Wolf gets a rollup out of the corner for two before diving into another rollup to put Sakai away at 8:13.

Rating: C-. And here’s the problem with this concept: I have no idea who these two are outside of their appearances on other Women of Honor shows. They’re just women doing moves to each other and one of them happens to have a title. Why should I care about that belt? It means nothing here and unless I follow women’s wrestling in Japan, I have no idea why it’s important.

Silas Young and Beer City Bruiser come out with Young saying this show needs some testosterone. He updates the sign, which now says it’s been thirty six days since we’ve seen Jay Lethal and he’s never coming back. This didn’t need to be here but they had to fill the time in somehow.

We recap Mandy Leon vs. Jenny Rose. They trained together in the New Japan Dojo. Leon tried to help Jenny when Kelly Klein grabbed a chair but cost her the match instead.

Mandy Leon vs. Jenny Rose

Feeling out process to start as you can see more empty seats in the first few rows than there are fans. AWA tapings weren’t even that bad. Mandy kicks her down and grabs a Hennig neck snap for two. Jenny gets taken down again with Mandy sitting on her back and waving a lot, which has the announcers criticizing her for being silly. Fair enough actually. Leon hits a Cannonball off the apron, only to get caught in a DDT on the floor as we take a break.

Back with Jenny kicking her in the ribs as Koff talks about both of them wanting to get over. Mandy charges into a spinning side slam and a middle rope clothesline gives Jenny two. A quick Unprettier gives Leon two of her own as the announcers talk about spreading the word about Women of Honor through social media. You know, instead of putting them on TV more than twice a year.

A full nelson with the legs has Jenny in trouble until she reverses into a modified surfboard. That gets let go for no apparent reason, allowing Mandy to grab a completely bridgeless (and therefore bad looking) reverse cradle. Some of the weakest kicks I can ever remember seeing have little effect on Jenny so Mandy heads up top, only to be spanked (that’s all it can be described as) to slow her down. Rose grabs an electric chair for the pin at 8:22.

Rating: D-. This really didn’t work and a lot of that is on Leon. She has a good look and a lot of energy but there’s just not enough in-ring ability to back it up. Between the horrible kicks and the lack of bridging, it felt like I was watching someone who had only been wrestling for a few months. I get that she’s one of the faces of the division but she needs WAY more experience and likely some better coaching to really make any of this work.

We recap the main event. The undefeated Kelly Klein tapped out to Deonna Purrazzo at the Supercard of Honor preshow but the referee was bumped, allowing Klein to steal a win. Purrazzo then cost Klein a countout loss against Karen Q for her first ever loss in over 520 days. The triple threat was made for tonight.

And now, for a way to fill in some time.

We recap some of the top stories in Ring of Honor, including Bully Ray having issues with the Briscoe Brothers due to Jay Briscoe’s issues with Dalton Castle. This really hasn’t sat well with the Briscoes, who seem to be teasing a heel turn.

Next up is Shane Taylor destroying various people after the Rebellion was forced to disband. Taylor was in the Rebellion for all of five minutes so I have some issues making this feel like a big deal.

Kenny King is ready for his shot at the TV Title.

Karen Q. vs. Kelly Klein vs. Deonna Purrazzo

Klein tries a double clothesline to start and gets double teamed in the corner. A pair of handspring clotheslines in the corner have Klein in trouble and a bicycle kick puts her outside. Karen and Deonna fight over a test of strength until Klein grabs Deonna from the floor and sends her into the barricade.

That means it’s time to double team Klein again with Karen taking her down with a high crossbody to the outside. A standing moonsault gets two on Kelly back inside but she powerbombs Karen out of the corner for the same. Purrazzo finally comes back in but Kelly breaks up the double teaming with a double clothesline. This really isn’t the best way to make Klein out to be a huge heel. Kelly gets in a forward DDT on Purrazzo and we take a break.

Back with the announcers talking about Cody vs. Christopher Daniels as this HUGE match, including Klein suplexing both of them at the same time, gets ignored. Deonna slugs away on Kelly and hits a running knee, followed by a release German suplex for two. The Fujiwara armbar doesn’t work so Kelly grabs a cravate for some knees to the face. Karen pops back up and dropkicks Klein to the floor though and a rollup pins Deonna at 9:02.

Rating: C+. Easily the best match of the night here and the fact that Klein and Purrazzo are a lot more experienced has nothing to do with that I’m sure. Now that being said, there was the huge issue of the match: Klein as the huge heel who kept making face comebacks because she was being double teamed. The story makes sense on paper but it made for a really weird dynamic the whole way through. Not bad, just strange.

A recap of Cody vs. Daniels wraps things up.

Overall Rating: D. I appreciate what they were going for here but when you have people like Charlotte and Sasha Banks tearing the house down a lot of the time (at least in NXT) and even the good efforts from the Knockouts, this really isn’t cutting it. The main event was watchable but the first two matches felt like something you would see on a small indy show rather than something like this.

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The women need more time and experience and putting them on YouTube once every how often and two TV specials a year isn’t going to cut it. This show came, went and disappointed, which isn’t what you want when it’s supposed to feel special. The biggest problem is that’s what I’ve been saying since they started airing these things over a year ago. It really should have gotten better since then and that’s just not the case. They’re trying but you need a lot more than that and it’s really showing.

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