By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Silas Young and Beer City Bruiser def. The Boys
For two guys that don't receive much in-ring time, The Boys are surprisingly much better wrestlers than you would expect them to be, aside from their lack of selling. They worked extremely well with Young and Bruiser with the crowd rallying behind them following every one of their offensive moves. Young promising to quit wrestling if he lost definitely made the match more meaningful and the outcome more exciting. That said, I'm glad Young and Bruiser went over and this should be the blow-off to the long running rivalry between Young and The Boys. Don't get me wrong, it's been entertaining, but it's lasted a whopping nine months and I'm ready for Young to get involved in something new.
Brian Fury def. Action Ortiz in a Top Prospect Tournament Semifinals Match
Ortiz impressed the hell out of me in this bout as much as he did in his his quarterfinals match. It was well-wrestled on the whole, but Ortiz's crazy dive to the outside was undoubtedly the highlight. Fury seems to have the total package, so I was happy he advanced to the finals, but both guys deserve props for putting forth a outstanding effort. Hopefully this isn't the last we see of Ortiz despite getting eliminated from the tourney.
Lio Rush def. Punisher Martinez in a Top Prospect Tournament Semifinals Match
This match was easily my favorite of the two semifinal matchups. They sold such a simple story with Martinez playing the Goliath to Rush's David yet they did so in such fantastic fashion. Similar to Ortiz, don't be deceived by Martinez's giant size; he can really go, and Rush played off him perfectly. They pulled off a number of sick spots and managed to hold my attention the entire time. Since Rush failed to get the better of Martinez throughout and took an ample amount of punishment, his ultimate win packed a punch and didn't feel like a fluke. Rush has my pick to come out on top in the tournament, as good as Fury is.
Matt Sydal def. Adam Cole
There isn't any history between these two as far as I know, so it was a rather random main event, but boy, did I enjoy the hell out of it. Their in-ring styles meshed beautifully, making for an action-packed matchup from start to finish. It's well-established that Cole is an absolute star, but I've always been high on Sydal and I was pumped to see him have such a strong showing and even pull out the victory. It's possible this will be more about Cole losing than Sydal scoring a major win, but I hope it's the latter. At the very least, fingers crossed this isn't forgotten about all together given it occurred before the pay-per-view aired.
If you were expecting the fallout from the 14th Anniversary show, you were likely disappointed, but if you have been watching Ring of Honor for any stretch of time, then you would know that they tape so far in advance that the weeks that follow their events are full of meaningless matches. Although that was somewhat the case with this episode, the two semifinal tournament matches were noteworthy (and awesome) and the opening and closing matches were excellent. This show gets a thumbs up from me, but I am anxious to see what will happen coming out of the 14th Anniversary.
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