THE KINGDOM (T.K. O’Ryan & Vinny Marseglia) vs. VILLAIN ENTERPRISES (Brody King & PCO) - 4.75/10
The Kingdom worked over POC’s bad eye. That seems to happen in every Kingdom vs. PCO match. PCO and Brody King screwed up their catapult dive spot and the Kingdom had to noticeably move into PCO’s way to make sure he hit them instead of splatting on the floor. Villain Enterprises won clean.
The Bouncers came out to watch this match from ringside. They did nothing during the match other than occasionally get shouted at by the Kingdom, and after the match they waited for the Kingdom to initiate a confrontation with them. Considering that the Kingdom assaulted them after a match at Manhattan Mayhem 2019, these two guys who are supposed to be drunken brawlers were WAY too timid. The aforementioned confrontation resulted in an okay brawl at ringside.
SILAS YOUNG MANAGES TO GET OUT OF A MATCH WITH P.J. BLACK - IDIOTIC! P.J. comes out for their match. Silas comes out in street clothes and says that he thought their match was later in the show and that he has had a little too much booze so he doesn’t want to wrestle P.J. right now. He also says he doesn’t want to wrestle P.J. because he beat him at Mass Hysteria. The announcers say that Silas cheated to get that win, but I don’t remember him cheating. Silas also wasted our time with some clearly false story about a “message board fan” tweeting him the imagine of the match announcement graphic for this match and saying that he was excited for it because they would have a “five star match” and this also made Silas not want to wrestle P.J. because apparently we’ve got to shoe-horn generic, cheap-heat bullsh*t into this even though it doesn’t make sense. I can say with confidence that this story is false because not even the most naïve new fan who has only just discovered that there is wrestling out there that isn’t just territorial-era TV squashes thinks that Silas Young vs. P.J. Black would even approach *****.
Anyway, for all of these completely ridiculous reasons, Silas has decided that he’s just not going to wrestle this match. Ian Riccaboni is completely outraged that Silas thinks he shouldn’t have to wrestle P.J. again because Silas cheated in their first match… but P.J. himself doesn’t seem to give a sh*t and neither does anyone from ROH management, as the latter just let Silas avoid this advertised match, and the former didn’t say a single word about being robbed of his chance for revenge on Silas.
Instead P.J. just talked about how he was bummed out now because he was so excited to wrestle on this show. He says he saw some people in the back who weren’t booked so he calls out Cheeseburger. Instead of Cheeseburger, Marty Scurll comes out and everyone pops. Okay… that’s a nice surprise, but it makes P.J. look kind of heelish to call out f*cking Cheeseburger when MARTY SCURLL is free. This would later be made even worse when Ian Riccaboni told us that P.J. has always considered Marty Scurll to be a “dream opponent” for him. Also, why the f*ck did ROH promote this as their biggest show of the summer and only book one of their biggest stars for a f*cking autograph signing?
The announcers pointed that Marty usually doesn’t come to Toronto with ROH. I checked on this, and according to Cagematch.net, this will be not just Marty’s first match in Toronto, but only he’s second match in all of Canada. That seems like something that would sell some tickets if you advertised it… so why the f*ck would you book a bait-and-switch which hurts your ongoing storyline by making it not seem important to the babyface, makes management look like they don’t care about someone just refusing to wrestle his match, and pass up on the opportunity to use a major star’s first match in a major world city as a selling point on your show? Why not just announce the match you actually intend to and will help you sell the most tickets?
Anyway, we got…
MARTY SCURLL vs. P.J. BLACK - 6/10
They had a good eight-minute match with Marty winning clean. This should have been given more time.
Also, Rhett Titus was on commentary for this match, and because “fatherhood changes you,” Rhett is now all of a sudden a demure respectful babyface, even though he has been an arrogant womanizer for almost the entirety of his professional career. Apparently the moment the baby popped out of Mrs. Titus, the magical switch in his head got flipped. Making this all even dumber is the fact that the “fatherhood changes you” platitude doesn’t even make sense here because- as they even acknowledged on commentary- THIS ISN’T RHETT’S FIRST KID.
ROH WOMEN OF HONOR TITLE MATCH:
Kelly Klein(c) vs. Tasha Steelz -5.75/10
They did their best they could to make sure that Tasha got over in defeat while still giving Kelly the clear win. The problem is that they were only given 8:15 in which to do so.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT - Good. Both women show each other respect after the match, then Angelina Love comes out and lays them both out before standing over the champion and posing with the title.
JAY LETHAL & JONATHAN GRESHAM vs. LIFEBLOOD (Mark Haskins & Bandido) - 7.75/10
The action was great as expected, but the story with Lethal and Gresham- and Gresham’s performance in particular- was the real highlight. The only complain I have is that they should have found a way for Gresham to clearly communicate to Lethal- and, by extension, to the viewers- that he had some sort of plan in mind when he grabbed the chair and he wasn’t just going to get them disqualified. Haskins making Lethal tap out felt like a HUGE deal, and announcers noted that Haskins has now defeated two former ROH World Champions.
ROH WORLD TV TITLE MATCH:
Shane Taylor(c) vs. Tracy Williams - no rating, never happened.
As Williams was making his entrance, Flip Gordon hit him in the shoulder with a Kendo stick, injuring him. That will teach Tracy not to come to the ring without his shoulder brace on.
NO DISQUALIFICATIONS MATCH:
Rush vs. Dalton Castle (w/new Boys) - 7.25/10
Dalton came out with Boys who were dressed as bulls to mock Rush. This was a good, new use of the concept of Dalton’s Boys. This was a very good brawl, but didn’t feel like the big blow-off it was advertised as being. I also thought Ian’s forced musical references took away from the atmosphere of danger this match was supposed to have.
ROH WORLD TV TITLE MATCH:
Shane Taylor(c) vs. Tracy Williams - 6.5/10
Tracy is “wrestling against doctor’s orders.” He made a good showing of it, but couldn’t pick up the win. Obviously the shoulder was the story of the match.
JOE HENDRY VIDEO PACKAGE - Fine.
HECHICERO, TEMPLARIO, & BARBARO CAVERNARIO vs. CARISTICO, EL SOBERANO JR., & STUKA JR. - 7/10
Very fun Lucha with the usual cool spots.
ROH WORLD TITLE MATCH:
Matt Taven(c) vs. Alex Shelley - 6.75/10
There was some utterly moronic sh*t with a fan who had fallen asleep in the first row. If he was a plant then the wrestlers were idiots for setting it up. If he wasn’t a plant, the fans kin the crowd were idiots for drawing attention to him with their “WAKE HIM UP!” chant. Also, Shelley hitting Taven with the sleeping fan’s shoe right in front of the referee should have been a DQ but wasn’t. The only one who showed any brains here was Ian Riccaboni, who tried to spin this as the fan having some sort of medical condition rather than the fan being bored to sleep by an ROH World Title match.
In addition to that, I felt like all of the time they spent on the outside (often without being counted out) killed the flow of the match. They had great individual sequences, but the match was a whole was extremely disappointing.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT - Fine. Taven named a bunch of people he had beaten and claimed to be “on pace to be the greatest ROH World Champion of all time.” Rush came out and Taven backed down from him.
LADDER WAR FOR THE ROH WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES:
The Briscoes(c) vs. Guerrillas of Destiny - 8.25/10
This was your usual modern violent ladder match, but with no big ladder teases… which basically made it a no DQs match but without nearfalls. It’s not that this wasn’t awesome, but it wasn’t anything our of the ordinary, either. People are definitely raving about the wrong Briscoes vs. Guerrillas of Destiny match.
This was a disappointing and slightly troubling show from ROH. I have loved what I’ve seen from ROH for the past few shows, but this show felt like it had quite a few elements to it that were things had been frustrating me so much over the past few years, with Lethal and the Briscoes serving as my islands of sanity. That being said, I’m willing to overlook the Scurll/Black/Silas thing as an adjustment made due to the NWA pulling out of the planned Scurll vs. Aldis match, and upon further examination, some of the matches not delivering to expected levels (particularly Dalton vs. Rush and the world title match) can be attributed more to the match not clicking than to not being given enough time like we’ve seen over the past few years. Hopefully the next few shows prove this to be an anomaly rather than a return to disappointing form.