JOHNATHAN GRESHAM vs. WILL FERRARA - 6/10
A good solid wrestling match that told two nice little stories (the deterioration of the sportsmanship due to the misunderstanding in the ropes and Gresham working the knee), ending in a finish I've never seen before but absolutely adored. Gresham really differentiated himself with his style here, and Ferrara looked better than I can ever remember him looking against an opponent not named "Roderick Strong."
CHRISTOPHER DANIELS PROMO - he puts over the possibility of facing either Adam Cole or Bobby Fish for the ROH World Title at the 15th Anniversary Show.
THE ADDICTION vs. THE TEMPURA BOYZ - 6.25/10
This was a solid babyface in peril tag team match until the heel finish, which saw Adam Cole come out and distract Daniels, allowing one of the Tempura Boyz to roll Kaz up. The point of this finish was to build up to the fake Kazarian turn just so they could do the swerve at the 15th Anniversary Show and reveal that Kaz hadn't really joined Bullet Club. As I wrote in my review of the initial turn, I think it would have been much better to just not do this whole thing and have some clean wrestling matches (especially in our world title PPV main event). This match was yet another casualty of that. I also don't in any way buy the announcers pushing this as a "signature victory" (one of Ian Riccaboni's favorite stupid terms) for the Tempura Boyz because Cheeseburger pinned Daniels CLEAN on PPV last year and it didn't do anything for him, so why should I think that a dirty win over Kaz will do anything for these two?
ROH WORLD SIX-MAN TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH:
The Kingdom(c) vs. War Machine & Jax Dane - 7/10
Dane and War Machine have never teamed together before and are getting this title shot for absolutely no reason, which shows you how much these belts are worth.
The Kingdom jump War Machine & Dane from behind to start things off. They brawled around on the outside for a long time, with ROH Senior Official Todd Sinclair making no effort whatsoever to count them out. Other than that the match was pretty great. I just wish they could have put some effort into coming up with a reason for why it was a title match.
The finish of the match saw The Kingdom use a weapon shot to pin Rowe. Dane blamed Rowe for the loss. This was fine and all, but they shouldn't have put this match right after we just got the same "guy blames his partner for the loss" angle in the previous match. Higher placement on the card would also make these belts look more important.
JAY LETHAL vs. BOBBY FISH vs. DALTON CASTLE (w/the Boys) - 7.25/10
And speaking of people who have done jack sh*t to earn a title shot...
They pushed this match as a match-up between "top contenders." Well Fish won Survival of the Fittest and Castle pinned ROH World Champion Adam Cole in the Champion vs. All-Stars match... but what the hell has Jay Lethal done to earn a title shot since losing to Cole in the UK in November? All he's done is lose in the Decade of Excellence Tournament, which was itself a #1 contendership match.
This match was shockingly short for three of ROH's top guys going at it, but they made the most of the time they had with a very good three-way story of the other man always coming in to interrupt things. Fish was upset with Lethal for getting pinned in this almost completely meaningless match and so he was yelling at him after the match and it turned into a brawl. Bobby came off like a huge dick here.
DALTON CASTLE PROMO - great!
KEITH LEE & SHANE TAYLOR vs. THE BRISCOES - 6.75/10
Ian Riccaboni told me that this was not an ordinary match but rather a match about "settling a very personal score." I have no idea what he is talking about. From what I can glean, something happened at the January TV tapings in Atlanta. I know this because Ian Riccaboni keeps talking about "what happened in Atlanta" or, even more painfully unnaturally "the deed that was done in Atlanta." JUST TELL ME WHAT THE F*CK HAPPENED! If you're worried about TV spoilers then you've already f*cked up because you told me that something happened between these two teams (and the booker should be more conscious of this and not book follow-up to things that are going to air on TV before they have aired). Otherwise, it's just obnoxious to me as a viewer (and even more so in hindsight because the thing that happened wound up not airing due to Keith Lee signing with Evolve and ROH didn't want to air an angle with no conclusion. Why they couldn't have taken that policy for the Whitmer/Sullivan/Corino/Martinez/Cody bullsh*t I'm not sure, but I wish they had).
Jay Briscoe tried to hit Shayne Taylor with a steel chair behind the referee's back. You know... like a heel. They had a very good brawl, but it ended with Jay and Taylor grabbing chairs and then both shoving ROH Senior Official Todd Sinclair when he tried to stop them from using them, so we got a double DQ. Yes, Keith Lee is leaving for a rival company, but we've apparently got to do a DQ here instead of having one of the Briscoes pin him clean in the middle of the ring in Delirious' ROH, clean finishes are to be avoided at all costs. You'd think that, after seeing this decision, the whole locker room would just go to Joe Koff and say "this guy is a moron. For the good of this company YOU NEED TO FIRE HIM," but apparently not. Probably because half of them either have steady paychecks from other sources (Cody, the Bucks) or are on their way out the door already anyway (Lee, Fish, Cole, Dijak, Rush).
Anyway, they continued to brawl and use weapons on each other until the Briscoes put Lee through a table. Yeah. Because that's totally better than a clean finish. And yes, I know Lee was scheduled for the next night's show as well but not against the Briscoes, so as far as this feud was concerned, it WAS his last night in the company and there was no reason for him to not do the job (and ROH sent him home without using him that night anyway, so Delirious specifically avoided having him put someone over on his way out. What an idiot).
CODY RHODES vs. DONOVAN DIJAK - 7/10
Great match, including one SICK bump by Cody. Cody kept up his storyline of using low blows to win.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT - Cody attacks Dijak with a chair. This whole time Ian Riccaboni is crowing about how Cody's various violations of the Code of Honor are disrespectful to ROH, the wrestlers, and the fans. This is the sort of thing that would work A LOT better if people weren't violating the Code of Honor in three quarters of the matches on every single show.
LIO RUSH, JAY WHITE, & THE MOTOR CITY MACHINE GUNS vs. BULLET CLUB (Adam Cole, Adam Page, & the Young Bucks) - 7.25/10
Alex Shelley, a babyface, grabs the heels by the testicles. Making matters worse, he does so right in front of the referee and there is no disqualification. The fact that Delirious has not told MCMG and the Young Bucks off for doing this spot (which they have done in just about every single match they have had against each other in ROH) is clear evidence that he either can't control his locker room or he doesn't understand what ROH is supposed to be.
Oh. But now Todd Sinclair is telling Adam Page off for pulling Shelley's hair MERE MOMENTS AFTER SHELLEY GRABS THE YOUNG BUCKS BY THEIR SCROTUMS. Remember when it used to be easy for wrestlers to no do sh*t that should clearly warrant a DQ in the middle of a wrestling match. More dumb comedy ensued until they started actually doing thing that belong in a main event. It was good for a while, but whoever had the idea to have the Bucks pin Lio Rush while also getting a visual pinfall on White is a f*cking idiot.
1. It basically kills White's streak of not having been pinned or submitted.
2. Rush is about to be set up for a TV Title shot
3. The announcers use the fact that THEY GOT PINNED BY THE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS IN THIS VERY MATCH to try to build up the idea that Lio Rush & Jay White would be a threat to the tag titles. Because that's totally how this is supposed to work. Do you remember when Ronda Rousey was destroying women left and right? And do you remember how the announcers would always say "well... Sara McMann just got her ass handed to her by the champion, so she deserves a title shot?" No? Me, either. LEARN HOW TO BOOK!
This was a very middling show from ROH. Everything was solid but very little was actually great, and the booking, as usual, is quite frustrating. Additionally the main event was extremely disappointing. Giving those eight guys twenty minutes to out there and go nuts should have resulted something much better than we got, and the reason for that was the wrestlers' absolutely foolish decision to devolve their main event match into stupid comedy. That sh*t needs to stop yesterday.
STUPID ANNOUNCER QUOTES
1. Ian Riccaboni (about the Briscoes)- "Both men equally accomplished in singles competition."
Well seeing as how Jay is a two-time ROH World Champion and Mark has never, ever won a singles title in ROH- or even a big singles tournament like Survival of the Fittest, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that they're not even close to being equally accomplished as singles wrestlers.