By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Dalton Castle def. Roderick Strong, Adam Page and ACH in a No. 1 Contender's Four Corner Survival Match For the ROH World Television Championship
Without any storyline support behind it, this was the perfect match to kick off the pay-per-view. All four guys have been in the title hunt for a while now, so each of them had an equal chance of winning and thus the ending outcome wasn't predictable. The action was as enjoyable as you'd expect it to be and I was happy to see Castle score the victory. Coming off his excellent feud with Silas Young, he deserved to be more prominently featured and I hope a run with the TV title is in his future.
Jushin "Thunder" Liger and Cheeseburger def. The Addiction
I appreciate any chance I get to see Liger wrestle because even at his age, he's still a blast to watch in the ring. I loved the chemistry he had with Cheeseburger and they made for a fun duo. The Addiction were a fantastic foil for them in that respect, and for the time it received, this was a nice little tag team match. Cheeseburger scored the upset win while The Addiction got their heat back afterward with the attack.
ROH World Tag Team Champions War Machine def. The Briscoes
I've never been the biggest fan of War Machine, but they had their fair share of supporters in the crowd on this show and this was easily my favorite match of theirs to date. Then again, The Briscoes can get a great match out of any tandem and they contested a highly entertaining match with them. Granted, the excessive amount of nearfalls was a bit bothersome toward the end, especially given the anticlimactic finish that the crowd didn't know how to respond to, but that's par for the course with Ring of Honor, so I guess I shouldn't have been too surprised.
IWGP Heavyweight Champion Tetsuya Naito def. Kyle O’Reilly (Non-title)
Is it just me or has O'Reilly been downplayed on ROH programming, even just a little, in recent months? I realize that's obvious considering he was contending for the ROH World Championship three months ago and now he's not, but he was on the verge of breaking out on his own and then he had his momentum cut short for whatever reason. A loss here didn't help, but hey, it was to the IWGP Heavyweight Champion, so there's no shame in that. The match should have gone a little longer, but they made the most of what they were allotted.
Kazuchika Okada and Moose def. Hiroshi Tanahashi and Michael Elgin
Tanahashi and Eligin have been teaming semi-regularly in recent months, but Okada and Moose seemed like a strange pairing on paper. Then again, I can't complain because it was cool seeing the two teams clash considering their history. As a result, it made for a very well-wrestled match and the crowd was engaged the entire time. I don't know if I would have had Okada and Moose go over, but a good match, nevertheless.
Bobby Fish def. Tomohiro Ishii to Win the ROH World Television Championship
I really wish more was done to establish Ishii to the ROH audience before he dropped the title. I'm not arguing he should have won here, but him holding the strap was a wasted opportunity in my eyes. My only exposure to his work including the footage of him winning the title in Japan back in February and then the 14th Anniversary show that same month. I've been much more invested in the Fish character this year, so I was happy he finally captured the prestigious prize. They produced a very hard-hitting affair that stood out from the rest of the matches on the card in a positive way.
The Bullet Club def. IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Kushida, IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion Matt Sydal and The Motor City Machine Guns
As soon as Steve Corino introduced the Superkick Counter, I figured we were in for a match filled with superkicks (The Young Bucks' specialty), it was the exact opposite: there were none at all! That was a nice twist seeing as how they were saved for after the main event, though since the superkicks (or lack thereof) were mostly the focus of this match, the actual bout was somewhat of an afterthought. Even still, everyone involved worked hard and put forth a strong effort.
ROH World Champion Jay Lethal vs. Colt Cabana Ended in a No Contest
I was really looking forward to Cabana's return to the ring on pay-per-view, and while I won't say the match was a disappointment because of the finish, I was hoping we would get a bit more before it abruptly ended due to The Bullet Club's interference. The match was barely underway before they got involved. That said, I love the addition of Adam Cole to The Bullet Club. He's gone under the radar since The Kingdom went their separate ways and this was the perfect way to make him relevant again. The 50+ superkicks might have been silly to some, but they were worth it for Corino's reaction alone. I don't typically like pay-per-view main events ending without a finish, but this was a newsworthy angle. Plus, ROH doesn't do this often, so it's not like they have a track record of scewing over their PPV audience.
As is usually the case with ROH PPVs, there was awesome wrestling up and down the card, making it a highly enjoyable three hour show. I can see why a portion of the fan base may not have been satisfied with the main event, but I assume we'll get Lethal vs. Cabana at some point soon and it reintroduced The Bullet Club in a major way. At the same time, it makes me question why they didn't bring in The Bullet Club as a full faction sooner, and I'm hoping that's the direction they're going in because otherwise it would be pointless. If things go back to normal after this show and it was merely an out to extend the Lethal vs. Cabana program, then I'll be critical, but as of now, I'm intrigued.
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