Mark Haskins def. Alex Shelley
Shelley is fresh off his brief run in NXT, where he reunited with his Time Splitters partner Kushida. I'm still holding out hope that they'll bring him back at some point and sign him to a deal, but it's cool to see him continue to wrestle for Ring of Honor in the meantime. At any rate, Haskins has been on the ascent since beating Bully Ray at Final Battle and will be competing for the ROH World Championship soon, so it was necessary for him to win here. This was an enjoyable opener from him and Shelley.
The Righteous def. Joe Hendry and Dalton Castle
The Righteous are the new name for the faction consisting of Vincent, Bateman, Chuckles (the clown dude) and whoever the woman is. As for Hendry and Castle, they've gotten over as a popular face tag team recently, but their losing ways continued here. It's worth noting that it wasn't due to miscommunication this time and that The Righteous simply got the better of them (because of outside interference, of course). It wasn't an overly exhilarating match, but that isn't really what The Righteous are about. As I've said before, the group is growing on me.
Flip Gordon def. Slex
Slex's ROH signing has been heavily touted for a while now and this marked his official debut for the promotion. He had the perfect opponent for his first match, as Gordon works well with just about everyone he wrestled and can always be counted on for a quality contest. I wasn't super high in him losing in his debut, but at least he looked good in defeat. It also looks like he'll be feuding with Shane Taylor going forward, who announced that he has officially re-signed with ROH. I can't say I'm surprised, but it would have been cool to see him pop up elsewhere. He's really come into his own over the last year.
Alex Zayne def. Andrew Everett
Zayne and Everett have had some impressive showings recently in ROH, so while both guys could have used this victory to further establish themselves, it was a fun showcase for the two of them, nonetheless. I don't think either man is under contract to the company, so I wouldn't be shocked if this was designed to be a tryout of sorts for them. If I was ROH, I would sign both guys. This was action-packed from start to finish.
The Briscoes def. ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Champions Bandido and Flamita
The Briscoes have been with ROH for what feels like forever (and they actually recently re-signed), yet they never cease to have outstanding matches with whoever they're up against. Bandido and Flamita have been a terrific team (and trio alongside Rey Horus), so as you would probably expect, this was fantastic. Both teams put forth a hell of an effort and delivered an incredibly exciting and suspenseful second half. The crowd and the commentators were losing their minds toward the end and it really was tag team wrestling at its finest. Bandido and Flamita lost nothing here because they're two-thirds of the six-man tag team champs, while The Brisoces are owed a rematch for the ROH World Tag Team Championship eventually. Now I need Round 2 as soon as possible.
Flip Gordon Won a ROH World Championship No. 1 Contender's 20-Man Battle Royal
I like Battle Royals that tell stories and feature fun moments and this excelled at both of those things. Granted, it wasn't the most amazing Battle Royal I've ever seen and it may have lasted a little longer than it needed to, but it had a solid layout on the whole. Danhausen was in there for a bit before being eliminated, Maria Manic and Bully Ray furthered their feud (ugh), Gangel and Blue Meanie had their time to shine, Brian Johnson predictably turned on his partner PJ Black, and Gordon shocked everyone by tossing out Kenny King to win while dressed as Dragon Lee. Gordon technically can't challenge for the ROH World Championship for a few more months (he lost a match to Matt Taven last year that forced him out of the title picture for one year), but maybe this was their way of working around that.
Session Moth Martina def. Sumie Sakai
I've heard of Martina before and I was interested to see what she'd bring to the table, but now I'm hoping this was a one-off and she won't be brought back. Holy shit, this was an embarrassment. I thought she was known for her wrestling ability, but apparently not. She instead spent the match grinding against the referee and spanking Sakai. I can't believe they had Sakai lose so soon after turning her heel and giving her a win over Nicole Savoy. If this is what we're going to be getting from Women of Honor, then they might as well cancel the division all together.
Jeff Cobb and Dan Maff def. ROH World Tag Team Champions Jay Lethal and Jonathan Gresham in a Proving Ground Match (Non-Title)
Originally, I wasn't thrilled with the idea of Cobb joining the tag team ranks, just because I think there's so much more that can be done with him on his own. However, much like Castle and Hendry, his pairing with Maff has grown on me and they've become an awesome unit over the last few months. Lethal and Gresham are exceptional in their own right and thus this was an above-average affair. As a result of their victory, Cobb and Maff have earned themselves a future shot at the ROH World Tag Team Championship.
Brody King def. ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Champion Rey Horus
Horous, Bandido and Flamita beat Villain Enterprises for the six-man tag titles last month at Saturday Night at Center Stage, so this match made sense. They weren't given a ton of time, but this was quite the sprint while it lasted. King avenged his loss of the titles with the win and looked as impressive as always. On a random side note, I had no idea Rey Horus was Dragon Azteca from Lucha Underground until I looked him up while watching this show. Maybe it's because his mask doesn't look like a watermelon anymore.
ROH World Champion PCO and Marty Scurll def. NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion Nick Aldis and Rush
I love that this feud between Aldis and Scurll has crossed over into ROH after starting in the NWA. The cross promotion benefits both companies big time. PCO and Scurll worked well together per usual and Rush and Aldis had an interesting dynamic as partners until Rush walked out on Aldis because Aldis accidentally hit him with a diving elbow. PCO pinning Aldis sets them up to do battle at Supercard of Honor over WrestleMania weekend, though it wasn't said if either of their world championships are going to be on the line (I assume not). We also found out that Scurll vs. Aldis will happen at Crockett Cup and if Scurll loses, he'll pay him half of a million dollars. It's on!
The two excellent events ROH produced last month gave me hope that the company is on track to bounce back from an awful 2019 in 2020, and Free Enterprise reaffirmed that. I can honestly say that this was among the best all-around shows I've seen from ROH in at least a year if not longer. The only match I didn't care for was Martina vs. Sakai, which was a complete joke. I was entertained by everything else and the build for future feuds and matches was well done. It appears Scurll has largely had a positive influence on ROH as its new head booker so far, so fingers crossed they can keep it up.
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