ROH is returning for closed set tapings with the Pure Championship tournament. 16 wrestlers will duke it out to determine the man to bring the title back after a 14-year hiatus.
Pure bouts have a slightly different rule set than standard professional wrestling matches. ROH outlined the regulations and format for the tournament.
— Every match begins and ends with the Code of Honor handshake.
— Each wrestler has three rope breaks to stop submission holds and pinfalls. After a wrestler exhausts his rope breaks, submission and pin attempts on or under the ropes by his opponent are legal.
— Closed-fist punches to the face are not permitted; only open-handed slaps or chops to the face are allowed. Punches to other parts of the body are permitted, excluding low blows. The first use of a closed fist will get a warning; the second will be a disqualification.
— As in standard ROH matches, there will be a 20-count when a wrestler is on the floor.
— Outside interference will result in automatic termination from the roster for the wrestler that interferes.
— There will be two blocks, single-elimination format.
— Round 1 matches have a 15-minute time limit.
— Block semifinals have a 20-minute time limit.
— Block finals have a 30-minute time limit.
— The tournament final has a one-hour time limit.
— There will be three judges for each match, and time-limit draws will go to a judges’ decision.
The first rule has earned jokes about handshakes during the coronavirus pandemic. ROH will be following stringent testing guidelines prior to the show, so handshakes in the ring shouldn’t be passing COVID cooties. Besides, matches will have two sweaty men all up in each other’s faces. I think a handshake is the least of their concerns.
The rule that caught my attention most is, “Outside interference will result in automatic termination from the roster for the wrestler that interferes.” That is a very smart idea to close the door on third party shenanigans. I’ve never been a fan of using outside interference during a tournament bout to advance a feud. The whole point of a tournament is to see who is best. Extracurricular monkey business defeats that purpose. This rule also plays into the idea of pure, classic wrestling as opposed to sports entertainment.
Three more names have been confirmed for the 16-man tournament. PJ Black, Tony Deppen, and Rocky Romero join the field to make the number of participants at 10 so far.
- PJ Black
- Tony Deppen
- David Finlay
- Jonathan Gresham
- Jay Lethal
- Rocky Romero
- Matt Sydal
- Tracy Williams
- Josh Woods
- Wheeler Yuta
I’m still keeping my pick to win as Jonathan Gresham. He is going to be stretching fools worse than medieval torture.
Do you like ROH’s rules for the Pure Championship tournament? Who would you like to see fill the remaining six spots?