ROH Pure Championship Tournament: Kenny King vs. Josh Woods
Kenny King is one of the faces of Ring Of Honor, having spent about 18 years of his career in this company. He’s been a tag team champion, he’s been a TV champion, and now he could become Pure champion. Recently he’s joined forces with RUSH & Dragon Lee, but if they interfere, they risk being fired. They have the ROH Championship & TV Championships, so Kenny King could bring all the singles gold to their branch of Los Ingobernables.
Meanwhile, Josh Woods is slowly climbing his way up the ROH roster and is a promising prospect for the company. He’s the student of The Last Real Man, Silas Young and has been a combat athlete his entire life. He was built for the Pure ruleset. This was always a sleeper hit of this first round, and both men were ready to go to war.
Josh Woods Came Ready For Kenny King
Code of Honor would be adhered too, and this one would get started with some chain wrestling like all matches in this tournament. Woods is a top level wrestler, but Kenny King is well versed in all aspects of this sport. King would break out of a hammerlock, nail a hip hoss and arm drag; then move right into an armbar with insane smoothness. Woods countered into some nice pinning predicaments, but failed to get the win.
King would sit in the ring and goad Woods to come grapple with him MMA style, Woods would be on top before getting his head caught, King asking the ref to call it when he didn’t even have a hold applied. Woods got a front facelock applied, but King grabbed the legs and got on top, but Woods tried to get a kimura lock needing to get it all applied. King recognized this hold, but not the triangle hold looming which would be quickly applied. This exchange showed how dangerous Woods is on the ground, going for two potential submissions at once, thinking two steps ahead.
A commercial break would interrupt the action, and during the break Woods would hit his first suplex of the match to gain some extra control over Kenny King. King tried to leapfrog over Woods but got caught in an ankle lock, letting it go before King could waste a rope break on this, a rookie mistake, instead he went for a double ankle lock. King used a rope break to get out of the hold, slipping under the ropes, so while he didn’t use the ropes to get the referee to break the hold, he still broke the hold so it counts.
A short brawl on the outside would benefit King, who even found time to taunt. Woods would be thrown back in the ring, but he’d catch King as he tried to fly in, nearly hitting the Seismic Toss, but King had it scouted. Some heavy strikes from Woods would end early as he didn’t want to use his one closed fist to the face, but this hesitation led to King getting him with his one closed fist instead.
This rocked Woods, but now King needs to worry about getting DQ’d if he does this again. A springboard leg drop got a one count on Woods, showing where Woods is at in terms of stamina and awareness. King trapped the arm and applied a sleeper hold, but Woods would fight out and get moving with an overhead belly to belly and a running knee strike in the corner.
This One Goes To The Judges
Woods would drop King with a knee to the face, but King slipped out of the ring to prevent a pinfall attempt, and burnt a bit more off the clock. There was just about four minutes left, and this one was inching towards a draw, neither man looking near done. King would hit the Royal Flush, and Woods used a rope break to prevent the pinfall, just flopping his arm under the rope, which was enough in this situation.
Woods would be set up for a big superplex, but turned the table with a twisting neckbreaker off the middle rope. This left both men down and struggling to their feet, with both men getting back up for a slugfest of forearms as there was only two minutes left. King blocked an attempt at the Seismic Toss, and nearly got pinned with a roll up.
As we entered the final minute of this match, it was do or die. King threw some big chops, and Woods came back with some of his own before throwing King across the ring. Woods would be caught into a single leg crab, but with five seconds left, Woods would survive until the bell rang.
This one went to the judges, who would determine that through a split decision, Josh Woods moves on! It came down to Sumie Sakai who disliked King using the closed fist, joining Will Ferrara on Josh Woods side. Gary Luster was the only one who voted for Kenny King as a winner.
Did the judges make the right choice picking Josh Woods at the victor of this match? Let us know what you think in the comment section down below.
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