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ROH Wrestling recap: Mike Bennett returns to save Matt Taven

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Episode 479 of ROH Wrestling featured Jay Briscoe whooping EC3’s ass, Jay Lethal being taken to the limit by an underdog, and the return of Mike Bennett.

Let’s jump right in with the recap.

EC3 vs Jay Briscoe

Hype promo package. Briscoe’s focus has been shifted from winning the tag titles to taking care of EC3 first. EC3 said it was part of his plan to fight Briscoe to find out if honor was real in ROH. He actually envies Jay. While EC3 was chasing paychecks, Jay remained in ROH to fight and bleed. For that, he has EC3’s respect. Jay will honor EC3 with an ass-whooping. EC3 closed with a threat. If Briscoe can’t show him honor is real, then he has been warned.

Jay left EC3 hanging on the honor handshake before the bell. A little bit of wrestling followed. Jay shoved EC3 away on the second handshake attempt. A little bit more wrestling followed. On the third honor attempt, Jay shoved EC3’s hand away. EC3 responded with a pie-face. Jay stomped a mudhole in EC3 and put his foot on EC3’s throat. Jay failed to break on the referee’s five count, so a disqualification was handed out for the EC3 victory at 1:57.

After the decision, EC3 tackled Jay for some ground and pound. Jay got on top, then officials separated the two. EC3 was on his knees begging Jay to hit him. Briscoe obliged until he was pulled off by officials. The whole control your narrative gimmick from EC3 was in play throughout as Briscoe was not able to control his emotions.

Backstage, Quinn McKay caught up with Briscoe. She questioned his honor as a veteran representing ROH. Why did he act that way? Briscoe replied, “Because f—k him. That’s why.”

LSG vs Jay Lethal

LSG discovered ROH at the age of 15, and his mind was blown. Seeing Lethal inspired LSG to become a wrestler. He’s not a young boy anymore. This match means everything to him. LSG will prove he can hang with the best. The boy who wanted to be Lethal will be the man who beats Lethal. Lethal put over The Foundation faction as cleaning up ROH. One of the main goals is to find those who have put in the time to become better wrestlers. That’s why Lethal requested this bout with LSG, and it is time for LSG to be rewarded with an opportunity. Nothing is free, so Lethal warned LSG to get ready to pay.

This bout was contested under Pure rules with a 15-minute time limit. LSG was ready from the get-go to counter Lethal’s standard moves, however, Lethal still had tricks up his sleeve. Lethal snatched a leg, so LSG grabbed the ropes for his first break.

LSG picked up momentum by shoving Lethal off the turnbuckles down to the floor. LSG controlled Lethal with a neck grip. Lethal escaped to score a side Russian leg sweep. Lethal found his groove for a hip toss into a cartwheel dropkick, a springboard dropkick to knock LSG down to the floor, and a suicide dive. Back in the ring, Lethal connected on an inverted DDT.

Down the wire, LSG anticipated Lethal’s handspring cutter to catch him for a side facebuster. LSG transitioned from a crucifix pin to a crossface submission.

Lethal escaped, but LSG trapped him in a Sharpshooter then an Indian death lock.

Lethal grabbed the ropes for his first break with a few seconds remaining in the bout. Time ran out. Pure rules dictated that the winner would be in the judges’ hands. They sided with Lethal on a split decision.

ROH teased that John Walters will be returning. He held the Pure Championship for 189 days back in 2004/2005.

Matt Taven vs Bateman

Bateman painted Taven as a coward. Taven will go through Bateman if that means getting his hands on Vincent.

Heated fisticuffs right at the opening bell. Bateman tried to slow down the pace, but Taven was full speed ahead. Taven locked in a crossface submission. Bateman barely got his foot on the ropes for a break. Taven continued his momentum with a flying plancha that tweaked his own leg upon impact with the floor. Taven brushed off the pain to go high risk. Unfortunately, he missed a frog splash. Fortunately, Taven countered Bateman with a roll-up to win at 9:33.

After Taven’s victory, Bateman attacked. Enter Vincent with a message. Bateman hit a piledriver on Taven, so I’m not sure how much he absorbed Vincent’s diatribe. No matter how hard Taven tries, he will never get the approval he seeks. Vincent wanted to up the violence level. With a throwing dart in his hand, the lights went out. Mike Bennett’s music hit. Lights on, and Bennett cleared the ring.

In a post-show bonus, Bennett and Taven cut a promo as former members of The Kingdom. Taven could always count on Bennett. The love flowed from bro to bro.

Episode 479 of ROH Wrestling had intrigue, mild controversy, and surprises. This particular show was back into more of a sports entertainment feel, but they still kept the efficient format with promos for effective hype. ROH deserves a double thumbs up for the promo story for LSG versus Jay Lethal. That basically transformed a throwaway match into one with meaning.

Speaking of Lethal vs LSG, I disagree with the judges’ decision. I would have picked LSG as the victor. Lethal controlled the action for more time, but it was LSG who did more damage and came closest to finishing. I’d like to see ROH do a little more explaining about why a winner was chosen. It could just be a simple line from commentary as an official statement. Instead, we were left with wild guesses from Caprice Coleman.

Neat surprise seeing the return of Mike Bennett. I don’t have the ROH viewing hours under my belt to care about Bennett and Matt Taven back together as pals from The Kingdom, so I had no reaction about that part. After enjoying Bennett wrestle Nick Aldis for the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship earlier this year, I am interested in seeing Bennett get a chance to put on quality matches.

Jay Briscoe was the show-stealer for me. His unique style of promo is always a delight. I appreciate that his actions matched his words. Often times, a wrestler will cut a heated promo, but the wrestling approach won’t follow through with the same attitude. Jay said an ass-whopping was coming, and that’s what he gave EC3. I’m curious how this feud will affect Jay. It seems like EC3 will attempt to teach Jay to control his emotions. I’m not sure if that would be a benefit or a detriment for Jay in the long run.

We’ll close with a message from The Foundation. It was revealed that the man in the octopus mask is Rhett Titus. That makes him the fourth member alongside Jonathan Gresham, Jay Lethal, and Tracy Williams.

Share your thoughts about episode 479 of ROH Wrestling. How excited are you for Mike Bennett’s return to ROH? Where do you think EC3’s story will lead? Who should have won the decision between Jay Lethal and LSG?

Check for ROH channel listings in your area. Watch the episode on ROH Honor Club (here) or Fite TV (here) released on Mondays.

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