This week's 498th episode of Ring of Honor featured two very competitive matches with one settling a rivalry and another advancing the winner toward a possible TV Title shot.
Brian Johnson defeated Danhausen
This was the third match in a series as the macabre Danhausen picked up the first win with Johnson earning the second by "cheating" as Danhausen explained. The commentary team (joined by Mark Briscoe) were having fun with this being one of the great trilogies in combat sports history.
This was a very competitive match ultimately helped along by Johnson cheating once again. He almost didn't get away with it the first time as he poked Danhausen's eyes, but his knee gave out (a tie-in to earlier in the match). Danhausen hit the Go To Sleephausen, but accidently swung Johnson into referee Todd Sinclair and knocked him silly in the process. He had the visual pin, but it was to no avail.
Later, Johnson and Danhausen both went into the corner and stopped just short of running into Sinclair. Johnson took advantage and connected on a low blow off a back kick up the middle that gave him an opening to hit Trust The Process, while clutching his bad knee, leading to the pin.
He did a promo afterward putting the roster on notice now that he was done with Danhausen. Caprice Coleman had a funny line asking, "How did the mic get in there?" when the microphone randomly appeared in the middle of the ring after the match.
Eli Isom defeated LSG
It's pretty clear ROH has some plans for Isom as he went 2-0 in his return, defeating LSG after initially beating Rey Horus several weeks ago. In promos before the match, both guys made it clear they want a TV Title shot because of the history of those who have won it before. Isom said that he isn't the same young guy LSG knew as he was learning the business and the Horus win proved it.
Riccaboni said this match was supposed to happen at the October tapings, but Isom was held out due to COVID-19 contact tracing protocols.
Like the first match, this was very competitive. It took a while to get going but the last few minutes were very entertaining. At 15:15, it went a few minutes too long.
Both guys unloaded the truck with moves in that aforementioned second half including a Isom sequence that included a double pump northern lights suplex, a sidewinder back suplex, and a springboard moonsault. LSG later rallied with a Rockabye Baby, springboard elbow and a Saintsplosion that got a close two count.
The gateway to the end was a big Isom spear to LSG through the middle ropes, taking both guys to the outside. Both guys hit hard and Isom barely got in before the count hit 20. The two exchanged a slew of elbows and punches before LSG attempted his Starjammer finisher. Isom blocked and hit his Promise brainbuster to get the victory. Isom has the look and likeability, so it should be fun to see where ROH goes with him throughout the year.
They opened the show recapping last week's Pure wrestling gauntlet, won by Fred Yehi. Yehi did a promo where he didn't call out Pure Champion Jonathan Gresham, but that would seem to be the obvious next step for both guys.
Speaking of Gresham, he will defend the Pure title against friend and tag team partner Jay Lethal on the 500th ROH TV show coming up in two weeks.
And speaking of that 500th show, Mark Briscoe and Jay Briscoe did promos ahead of their clash on that very show.