By Graham "GSM" Matthews
ROH World Television Champion Roderick Strong def. Stevie Richards
Richards showing up in Philadelphia was essentially the equivelent to Tommy Dreamer returning to Raw last month. The crowd responded favorably to Richards returning, and while I've never been a huge fan of his, it was nice to see him receive a warm homecoming from the ROH faithful. Strong has been killing it as TV Champion these past few months and the slow-burning heel turn has been well done. Richards was the perfect foil for him and I liked how Richards scored enough offense to make it seem like he had a chance of capturing the gold.
Caprice Coleman def. Will Ferrara in a No Disqualification Match
This feud was hardly on my radar when it first started, but it has definitely exceeded expectations as of late with their recent battles. The No Disqualification stipulation was logical following the indecisive finish of their last encounter and they definitely got the crowd engaged in the action by showing more aggression than usual. Cole exhibited more charisma in his pre-match promo than I had ever seen from him before, so hopefully him winning here is a sign he's on the rise in ROH and he'll have more chances to showcase his skills.
Jonathon Gresham def. Cedric Alexander
I was initially concerned with the apparent local athlete Gresham getting the better of Alexander as much as he was, but the win pretty much ruined any credibility Alexander had left. It wasn't as if he dominated most of the match and then lost. Gresham winning was still an upset, but it did absolutely nothing for Alexander and I'm not sure what his direction is at the moment. Isn't he the same one who handed Moose his first singles defeat last year? What happened?
Michael Elgin def. Donovan Dijak
Through his excellent in-ring skills, Elgin has managed to get over with the ROH audience, which is encouraging considering he was stagnant at this time last year. Dijak has always impressed the hell out of me as an athlete and he did here as well, so I remain confused as to why they aren't doing more with him aside from him serving as a whipping boy in The House of Truth. Elgin built momentum toward his title match with Jay Lethal at Wrestle Kingdom, which occurred after this episode first aired on Sinclair Broadcasting.
Although it was an enjoyable hour of wrestling, it came across like a filler edition of ROH TV, which didn't surprise me with part of their focus on the Wrestle Kingdom show that weekend. While solid, Elgin vs. Dijak didn't feel like a suitable main event and Alexander's loss was strange. Coleman vs. Ferrara was a pleasant treat and the TV title match was fun, but nothing about this episode was must-see whatsoever.
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