The first round of the ROH Women’s Championship tournament has concluded. It featured high-quality women’s wrestling as a 19-year-old prospect upset a former champ, Allysin Kay used savvy technical skills, Quinn McKay shocked in victory, a slugfest erupted between Max The Impaler and Holidead, and much more. Let’s break down the results.
Maria Kanellis-Bennett is overseeing the tournament as head honcho. Ian Riccaboni and Lenny Leonard called the action. Chelsea Green and Caprice Coleman rotated as the third person in the booth. Take a look at the prize at stake.
Of note, Angelina Love earned a first-round bye, so there were only seven contests.
Episode 515 of ROH Wrestling (here) featured three tournament matches. Each contest had an introductory promo package to hype the competitors. That format remained throughout the tournament.
Miranda Alize defeated Alex Gracia. (Highlights.) Alize gained momentum by dodging a springboard attack to the outside. She smashed Gracia twice into the ringside barriers. Gracia came back with a backcracker in the ring. She followed up with a Thesz press, clotheslines, kick to the face, and a diving neckbreaker. Alize turned the tide with a big knee strike in the corner. A head kick, cutter, and running knee from Alize put her opponent away at 8:43.
Nicole Savoy defeated Mazzerati. (Highlights.) Savoy showed her suplex skills early. Mazzerati returned fire with a bridging suplex, hard right hand, and a DDT. Savoy weathered the storm for a fireman’s carry cutter. A bridging half nelson dragon suplex earned the win for Savoy at 8:45.
Rok-C defeated Sumie Sakai. Rok-C used her speed and slick skills to dominate early. Sakai grounded her opponent to take control. After a round of back and forth fisticuffs, Sakai focused on weakening the lower back of Rok-C. The youngster rallied with a flying Thesz press, Russian leg sweep, and neckbreaker. Rok-C unloaded spinning head kicks to Sakai then executed a super hurricanrana. Sakai was able to reverse the pin to continue the action. A back elbow and fisherman’s buster by Sakai looked to be the end for Rok-C, but she was able to kick out on the pin. When Sakai caught a leg kick, Rok-C smartly dropped low for a surprise roll-up to win at 9:36. The 19-year-old prospect upset the former Women of Honor World Champion.
The following episode of Women’s Division Wednesday kicked off with Dixie Carter wishing good luck to the tournament competitors. Forbidden Door! The first round match between Allysin Kay and Willow aired at the end (at 1:03:59).
Allysin Kay defeated Willow. Willow scored the first major contact with a cartwheel kick. Kay turned the fight gritty with scrappy strikes, such as a cravat with vicious knees to the head. Willow took the pain as fuel to fire up, but Kay was often one step ahead to regain control. When Willow picked up Kay in a fireman’s carry, the veteran slipped down for a sleeper. Willow’s answer to escape was to put all her weight into a forceful backward slam knocking the air out of Kay. Willow followed with a running cannonball in the corner. She went high-risk for a moonsault to finish, however, Kay evaded impact. After taking a discus clothesline from Kay, Willow played possum for a roll-up. Willow picked Kay up in a fireman’s carry one more time. Kay escaped again to counter with a kimura submission victory. The unofficial match time was 11:30.
Episode 516 of ROH Wrestling (here) featured two tournament matches.
Quinn McKay defeated Mandy Leon. (Highlights.) McKay was granted entry into the tournament due to fan vote after Leon won the qualifying match with brass knuckles. McKay charged for a fiery spear at the opening bell. McKay’s energy provided a strong start, but Leon got back on track with a running Unprettier as the match progressed. McKay still had heart to explode for a powerslam. As she tried for a rear choke, Leon countered with a backpack stunner. On a pumphandle pickup by Leon, McKay rolled through for a shocking roll-up win at 7:12. That was McKay’s first win in ROH.
Trish Adora defeated Marti Belle. (Highlights.) The bout was evenly contested for much of the duration. Adora turned up the heat with a running crossbody and a judo throw into a crucifix pin. Adora kept on the pressure to apply the Cattle Mutilation submission for victory at 7:13.
Episode 517 of ROH Wrestling (here) featured the final opening round bout.
Max The Impaler defeated Holidead. Amy Rose was ringside as Max’s manager. The two women collided with fury right out of the gate. The whole contest was a slugfest. Max scored a pair of body slams early. Holidead responded with a headbutt then a body slam of her own. Holidead picked up steam for highlights of a butterfly suplex, release German suplex, and a suicide dive. Max’s strategy was to work the lower back. That paid off in the end with a backbreaker across the knee and a drop down backbreaker over her shoulder to win at 9:18.
The opening round of the ROH Women’s Championship tournament was a blast. The contests all had an engaging back and forth flow. The matches were on the short side, since it was filmed during a bulk taping session. However, each wrestler had room to flash their skills and earn interest from fans.
Rok-C versus Sumie Sakai was the top match, in my opinion. The action was on point, and the result was surprising. It set up seeds for a story of the 19-year-old prospect to run the table. Allysin Kay took her match to the next level by selling the pain from attacks of her larger opponent. I liked how she was visibly knocked out of breath on the corner cannonball. Her veteran savvy came into play with the smooth submission win. Quinn McKay and Mandy Leon had a heated feud going in, and they played it up well. McKay looks like an athlete with star potential. The final contest was a classic monster fight. Max The Impaler and Holidead went toe-to-toe kicking ass. That is a rematch I’d love to see.
Let’s close with the current tournament bracket.
Which first round match was your favorite? Who are you picking to win the round two bouts? Which wrestlers stood out to make you a new fan?