BULLY RAY WASTES TIME - This is a PPV, which means you've only got a three-hour window in which to fit in all of your matches, entrances, and video packages, and any sort of other pre-match or post-match stuff you have planned. If you want to have Bully Ray come out to fluff the crowd so that they're all primed and ready when it's time for the action to start, you do it BEFORE YOU GO ON THE AIR. I'm no expert in the field of pornography, but my understanding is that the scene starts with the dude delivering a pizza to the sorority house, not with the fluffer getting the dude's dick ready on the doorstep.
FLIP GORDON vs. HIROMU TAKAHASHI - 4.25/10
I laughed at Hiromu making fun of Flip's pointless flippiness. I had hoped that we were done with this stupid Darryl sh*t but apparently not. Poor Colt Cabana- yes, COLT CABANA, THE WORLD'S MOST FAMOUS COMEDY WRESTLER- even felt compelled to try to explain why this all wasn't completely idiotic, saying that "I like to think that Hiromu got him with his fist" to explain either 1) there was no DQ for use of a clearly loaded foreign object, or 2) Flip Gordon just took a bump after getting hit with a STUFFED ANIMAL. Please remember this spot (and the fans booing when Sinclair to the foreign object away from the heel) later in the night when they want you to be concerned about how badly the Briscoes are beating up MCMG.
They also felt the need to do a SPOT- and I do mean SPOT in big letters- where Hiromu hit a Canadian Destroyer, and Flip had to do a delayed-sell of it just so he could give Hiromu a superkick first and we could do a double-down. Say what you will about WWE's style of wrestling, but at least this sh*t doesn't happen.
Of course this double-down led to them trading forearms on their way to their feet. More stuff then happened, before Hiromu hit the Time Bomb for the win. The match was just spots and flips.
ROH WORLD TITLE #1 CONTENDERSHIP MATCH:
Punishment Martinez vs. Marty Scurll - 5.25/10
This match was mostly just stuff happening. It all happened in an order that mostly made sense and there was a bit of a story with Marty's attempts to cheat (which both started off the match and eventually brought him victory), but even that was hurt by Martinez being the one to bring out the table, which itself led to one of those frustrating situations where they were on the outside forever without getting counted out.
ROH TV TITLE MATCH:
Kenny King(c) vs. Silas Young - 6/10
The graphic for this match still has Silas holding the belt. It's been WEEKS since Kenny won the title back. There is no excuse for not having made a new graphic. The match was good, with Kenny being a good babyface, but I was hoping for more from a title match. I also hated the ref bump and visual pinfall for Silas. It's RING OF HONOR! Can we please get a match without bullsh*t in it?
POST-MATCH SEGMENT - Yeah, so this is going to be the most newsworthy thing coming out of tonight's show. Austin Aries came out from backstage, holding not just a microphone, but all four of his other belts. Yes, including the TNA World Heavyweight Title. I really liked the fact that they didn't play any sort of music for him and just let him kind of stroll out there and let people notice him on their own. It felt pretty cool.
Aries says that he only belt he hasn't won in ROH is the TV Title... which isn't actually true, even among active championships because he hasn't been a Six-Man World Tag Team Champion, either (never mind the retired ROH Pure Championship).
LAS VEGAS STREET FIGHT FOR THE ROH WORLD SIX-MAN TAG TEAM TITLES:
Bullet Club (Adam Page & the Young Bucks)(c) vs. SoCal Uncensored - 8.25/10
This was an awesome, action-packed match with lots of weapons, some creative spots, and nice little callbacks to other matches such as the Kaz vs. Page Strap Match from last year and the Ladder War between the Bucks, Addiction, and MCMG. The only real problem I had with it was that I found it ridiculous that none of the other Bullet Club members in the building came out to help the Bucks once Shane Taylor made it four-on-three.
The most annoying thing, however, were the idiot fans who supposedly love the Young Bucks so much revealed that they don't actually care about the Young Bucks and only care about chanting things. Thus, when Kaz and Sky were holding one of the Bucks down so Daniels could punch him, and Daniels was mockingly doing crotch chops and shouting "SUCK IT!" between each one, the fans chanted it with him.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT - Now Vinny Marseglia and TK O'Ryan of The Kingdom are attacking Bullet Club. Who comes out to make the save? Is it Cody Rhodes, a member of Bullet Club currently involved in an internal power struggle in which the Bucks have not yet taken a side so he has incentive to help them, and who also has a match against The King's leader Matt Taven scheduled for tonight? Or maybe one of the other members of Bullet Club in the building? OF COURSE NOT! It's f*cking Bully Ray. The announcers are trying to tell that Bully is somehow overstepping his bounds or something, but his official title is "enforcer," so what else is he supposed to do?
MATT TAVEN vs. CODY RHODES (w/Brandi Rhodes & Bury the Country Bear) - 6.75/10
Taven worked over Cody's back and everything was fine until someone decided that they needed to have a ref bump. This was done for two reasons. The first was so they could play off of a heat spot they did earlier in this where The Kingdom held Cody up so Taven could kick him in the nuts, but this time clever Cody wore a cup. The second reason was so the interfering Kingdom members could be chased off. By members of Bullet Club? Of course not! That'd be silly. It's not like Marty Scurll is just sitting around doing nothing in the locker room, right?
No. Instead they were chased off by BULLY RAY. The best possible explanation for this is that it is going to build to a feud between Bully Ray and the Kingdom, which sounds terrible, but at least it's better than doing it just so Bully can get a pop. The problem is that just not doing it at all would be even better, because a feud between a has-been ECW nostalgia act and a no-talent loser nobody like Vinny Marseglia is what your local C-Level indy is for. This is not something that a company the size of Ring of Honor should be doing.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT - Cody took his stupid ring back from Taven, so now Cody's matches are going to become even more insufferable again. Cody, Brandi, and the bear celebrated their win with a bit of posing, and watching the bear pose was hilarious.
The bear pushed Cody down, then revealed himself to be Kenny Omega and laid Cody out with a V-Trigger. Brandi started to slap him... and then things got WEIRD.
She stopped slapping Kenny, then grabbed him by the face and made him with him. After she broke the kiss Kenny acted disgusted but Brandi shouted "you liked it! You fraud!" and said something about telling Ibushi. I assume this was meant to play off of Cody's comment calling Ibushi "Omega's rat" and the.... "rumors" isn't the right word so much as "theories" because as far as I have heard, no one who would have any way of knowing has never advanced this... that the Golden Lovers are shoot lovers as well.
Even if that does turn out to be true, I don't think that's the intended storyline simply because any sort of delving into someone's personal life is a very un-NJPW thing to do. And even if it does turn out to be intended for that to be part of the storyline, Brandi's attempt to expose Kenny here seems odd. I guess her plan is to tell Ibushi that Kenny liked getting kissed by a female and thus Kota would think that Kenny was lying about loving him because it would mean that he's not gay... but has Brandi never heard of a bisexual before?
Like I said, this got weird.
ROH WORLD TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH:
Motor City Machine Guns(c) vs. The Briscoes - 7.25/10
I am in no way trying to suggest that this was a bad match because it wasn't; it was great. The angle going in was great and the match was great and these teams brought the intensity and the hatred that you'd want to see in a match like this. But this match-up occupied such a legendary place in ROH history that I quite honestly would rather they not book it if it isn't able to deliver (whether due to the wrestlers themselves or, more likely, the time it was given) to the level that made it legendary. It's just another thing that makes today's ROH feel like a watered-down version of the exemplary product of years past.
ROH WORLD TITLE MATCH:
Dalton Castle(c) (w/The Boys) vs. Jay Lethal - 8.5/10
Now THIS is what I expect from and ROH World Title match! A long, intense, and (relatively) clean battle between two top athletes, with no comedy bullsh*t, either. Yes, the Bobby Cruise bump was totally pointless and yes, they were on the outside for way too long without getting counted out in the build-up top that bump. but the rest of this match was fantastic. Lethal worked the knee while Dalton worked Jay's head and neck, including one CRAZY spot late in the match that I don't want to spoil, but will say it was enough to make Colt Cabana make reference to Gabe's old signature terrible commentary call of "DANGEROOOOOOOUUUUUUS!"
Marty Scurll came out to confront the winner afterwards.
Despite large chunks of it being disappointing, the two best matches on this show were enough to at least earn it a spot in the "good" category. The time management on this show was much better than usual, and it always felt like I was watching a big show, despite them running the PPV building that always draws the smallest crowd of any of their PPV buildings. That, combined with the major surprise of Austin Aries' return definitely makes this show worth watching, though I really wish they would cut down on the ref bumps and other similar bullsh*t (only the top two matches didn't feature anything like that).