By Graham "GSM" Matthews
All Night Express def. The Briscoes and The Young Bucks in a Triple Threat Tag Team No. 1 Contender's Match for the ROH World Tag Team Championship
When you have three of the very best teams not only in Ring of Honor but in the world going up against each other, it's virtually guaranteed to be a classic. There wasn't much in the way of storytelling, but the amazing in-ring action was definitely there. Granted, it was a complete spot-fest, but it was a fun one at that. All six competitors shined at one point or another and the ending outcome wasn't predictable at all. I like the idea of All Night Express winning because they're still fresh coming off their ROH return a few months ago, but the crowd wasn't as pleased. Did they turn heel without me knowing or does the crowd not like them as much as the other two teams?
Silas Young def. Dalton Castle
I've been very vocal about ROH not properly following up on this feud after All Star Extravaganza, but this match was a treat, regardless. The dynamic they have is just so great that it's hard not to like their matches. Their last outing might have been better with more on the line, but they managed to have another enjoyable matchup. It's awesome that Castle is back with The Boys and the crowd popped big for the post-match reveal, but if The Boys were in cahoots with Castle all along, I was confused as to why they wouldn't have helped him win here.
Michael Elgin def. Moose
I was skeptical going into this bout because big man vs. big man matches rarely work out, but it ultimately exceeded my expectations. Then again, I should have figured that considering how athletic Moose and Elgin are and the crowd didn't crap all over it like I thought they would. ROH is infamous for having people kick out of each other's finishers, and while that was the case for a majority of this show, it hasn't happened often with these two, so it meant more. Furthermore, it was a notable win for Elgin considering Moose's losses have been far and few between this year.
Adam Cole def. Kyle O'Reilly
This was the perfect example of a match that featured two ruthless rivals and didn't start out the way a traditional match would. O'Reilly went right after Cole before the bell even rang and they were off to the races from there. You could feel the intensity just based off how hard they were hitting each other and it made for a marvelous match. I've always seen O'Reilly as a tag team competitor, even when he was contending for the ROH World Championship against Jay Lethal, but this was his breakout performance for me. I loved how Cole scored the win yet O'Reilly got the last laugh by refusing to let go of the armbar. It keeps the feud alive and I look forward to more matches between the two.
Alex Shelley, Matt Sydal and ACH def. The Addiction and Chris Sabin
Without anything at stake, this match might have been better suited in the opening slot of the show. It was added to the card at the last minute and because the confrontation between Shelley and Sabin happened only a week or so ago, this match felt premature. I appreciated the action and it was entertaining at times, but it was hard to care when we saw a similar spot-fest earlier in the evening.
ROH World Television Champion Roderick Strong def. Bobby Fish
This was another match I wasn't overly excited for coming into the event because the build (or lack thereof) has been sub-par at best, but I knew they'd deliver a great wrestling match. As it turned out, that was exactly what happened. It was far from the best bout of the night, but they put forth a good effort and the pace was kept consistent throughout. The finish bared a strong resemblance to what we saw at SummerSlam from The Undertaker and Brock Lesnar, so it will be interesting to see if Strong goes heel after this.
War Machine def. The Kingdom to Win the ROH World Tag Team Championship
Well, this was a disappointment. I wasn't exciting anything special to begin with, but for the match to be over in under two minutes and for a title change to occur was strange, to say the least. I've read speculation that Matt Taven might have been injured coming into the contest or was injured during it, but either scenario would be bad. I've been high on The Kingdom these past few months, so I hated seeing their title run come to an end so soon. Apparently, Michael Bennett has yet to re-sign with ROH, so that probably played a factor in the finish.
ROH World Champion Jay Lethal def. AJ Styles
I've said since All Star Extravaganza that this was the most anticipated ROH World title match for me as a fan. Both of them have owned the year of 2015 and it was only inevitable before they went one-on-one. They told a stellar story from the get-go with Lethal going straight after Styles' injured back and all of his nearfalls gave fans hope that Styles would walk away with the title. Lethal putting Styles away with Jerry Lynn's own finisher was a tremendous touch and it was huge to have Lethal win cleanly over such a big name, establishing him as a credible champion in the process.
I don't watch all of ROH's pay-per-views, but this was among the few that had the potential to be something special and I knew I had to tune in. I had high expectations and on the whole, it didn't disappoint. The wrestling was simply exceptional from start to finish with every match on the card having something to offer. Not to mention that it was the perfect way to end such a wonderful week in wrestling. If you're not a regular viewer of ROH, I'd strongly recommend checking this event out as it could make you reconsider watching more often.
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