Wrestling Review: ROH Death Before Dishonor (2019)

From Sam’s Town Live in Las Vegas, Nevada, comes the 2019 edition of Ring Of Honor’s (ROH) annual extravaganza, Death Before Dishonour. In the main event, long running ROH World Champion Matt Taven will face the undefeated Rush, with the top title on the line. The ROH Tag Team Champions, Mark and Jay Briscoe, defend their gold against two members of LifeBlood, Mark Haskins and Bandido, whilst the third member of LifeBlood, Tracy Williams, will be one of three competitors vying for the ROH Television Championship as he faces new rival Flip Gordon and current champion, Shane Taylor. Two tournament matches, a huge grudge match and a Women of Honor Championship bout round out the card, as well as what is sure to be a brutal ‘Barroom brawl’.

+ Matt Taven (c) vs RUSH (ROH World Championship): this was fantastic, mostly due to how incredibly popular RUSH was with the crowd. RUSH is incredibly talented, and a great choice to go against the supremely arrogant Taven, and while i can’t stand him as a wrestler, Taven has carved out a niche for himself in Ring of Honor. This was a great match, a great main event and a great showing for both men
+ Shane Taylor (c) vs Flip Gordon vs Tracy Williams (ROH World Television Championship): a pre-match change meant that this match was not as written here, but the change was never quite done to its best. I’ve enjoyed the Taylor ‘buying out his contract’ story. This was pretty good, with Williams in particular really shining, but overall this seemed more a set up for the post-match
+ Jonathan Gresham vs Jay Lethal: this was really, really good, the culmination of a great story between two great workers. There was nothing overly special here, but what was shown was just particularly great
+ Marty Scurll vs Colt Cabana (Final Battle ROH World Championship #1 Contender Tournament First Round Match): this was relatively standard, but these two are so technically proficient, of course it was good. As an opener, I was surprised that the crowd was so quiet, because I really enjoyed this

The Briscoes (Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe) (c) vs LifeBlood (Bandido & Mark Haskins) (ROH World Tag Team Championships): this technically a fine match, but something about it just didn’t click for me at all. The Briscoes are a great team, and I like Haskins as a solo guy, but Bandido was heads and shoulders above the others in this match, and I really want to see him get more singles opportunities
The Bouncers (Beer City Bruiser & Brawler Brian Milonas) vs Vinny Marseglia & Silas Young (w/ Josh Goods) (Barroom Brawl): this was super violent but had almost no intensity, though one spot between Vinny/Bruiser will stick in my mind for a long time
Kelly Klein (c) vs Angelina Love (WOH World Championship): this match was absolute garbage, due to an unbelievable size difference between champion and challenger, and the fact that Angelina Love was never a good wrestler, let alone this much later in her career than her TNA Knockout days
Kenny King v PCO (Final Battle ROH World Championship #1 Contender Tournament First Round Match): this was not good. I absolutely love PCO, from a real-world career-comeback stage and the character he now plays, but this was not a good showing for him or the K-I-N-G Kenny King either

Should you watch this event: Avoid the womens’ match like the plague (something something Marty Scurll pun), but the rest of it is worth watching, either as background noise or deserving of your full attention. Definitely seek out Cabana/Scurll, Gresham/Lethal and the Taven//RUSH main event.

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