Episode 485 of ROH Wrestling featured never-before-seen matches from the cancelled COVID weekend during March 2020 when the 18th Anniversary and Past vs Present shows were supposed to take place. Flip Gordon battled Bandido, Jay Lethal fought Mark Haskins, and several wrestlers shared their experiences from the situation.
Matt Taven spoke about his feelings heading to Las Vegas for the 18th Anniversary show when news started breaking about COVID cancellations around the USA. He was most concerned about the uncertainty of the situation. Taven found solace leaning on his family of co-workers in ROH.
. @MattTaven shares his experience during the weekend of the Past vs Present PPV in Las Vegas and finding out the shows have been canceled due to the rapid spread of COVID-19 and the start of a life changing pandemic...— ROH Wrestling (@ringofhonor) January 5, 2021
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Flip Gordon didn’t take the warning seriously at first. He went around Las Vegas wearing a gas mask as a goof. Gordon later realized the severity of the situation.
Since some wrestlers had already arrived in Las Vegas before the official cancellation, ROH decided to film a few matches in an empty venue. Participation from the roster was purely voluntary.
Flip Gordon vs Bandido
The match began with a game of taunts. Gordon came out on top by trapping Bandido in the ring apron for a clobbering session. He threw Bandido into the barricade then slammed him on the floor. Bandido rallied back with a flying corkscrew crossbody and a flurry of kicks. The match progressed as a competitive affair. In the end, Bandido had momentum until he ran into a head kick from Gordon. A springboard spear and a fireman’s carry cutter gave Gordon the win.
Cheeseburger, Beer City Bruiser, and Session Moth Martina spoke about their travel issues and the general sense of confusion from that same weekend. They partied together one last time, since it was unknown when they would see each other again.
Tune in now to watch the stars of ROH share their stories of the 18th Anniversary / Past vs Present PPV weekend being canceled due to COVID-19!— ROH Wrestling (@ringofhonor) January 5, 2021
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Mark Haskins vs Jay Lethal
Mat work to begin with Haskins working the elbow. The action spilled out of the ring. Lethal won the game of cat and mouse with a handspring cutter on the floor. Lethal was in control, but Haskins seemed to always have a trick up his sleeve to avoid major punishment. For example, Lethal flew for an elbow drop only to be caught in a crossface by Haskins. Lethal stuck his leg out reaching for the ropes, so Haskins grabbed it for added pressure on the crossface. Lethal was able to slowly inch forward to reach the ropes with his free foot.
In the end, Lethal had momentum on knife edge chops. He went for a handspring cutter off the ropes, but Haskins dodged and snatched Lethal’s legs for a Sharpshooter. Lethal reached for the ropes, so Haskins reacted by using Lethal’s arm to bow back on the Sharpshooter. Lethal was forced to tap out.
Amy Rose, Mark Briscoe, and Slex also spoke about their adventures with the pandemic that same weekend.
Quinn McKay explained the health protocols for ROH to have their own bubble in Baltimore to return filming the Pure title tournament for TV. The show closed with an announcement that Maria Kanellis is returning to ROH for The Experience fan gimmick.
2021... let’s do this! #ROHStrong— ROH Wrestling (@ringofhonor) January 5, 2021
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Both matches were entertaining. Bandido is always cool to watch. Mark Haskins was impressive. I’ve only seen a couple of his matches before, so his submission modifications caught me surprise as something very cool. Haskins was supposed to challenge Rush for the world championship that weekend. Airing this win over Lethal did the job of keeping him fresh on our mind for a future title shot.
Share your thoughts about episode 485 of ROH Wrestling. Which wrestler stole the show?