Jonathan Gresham and Jeff Cobb def. Kenny King and Dalton Castle
Maybe it's because we haven't seen a ton of him in Ring of Honor since his loss to Matt Taven at Best in the World, but I feel Cobb has cooled off considerably lately. Gresham was the real star of this match in my opinion and had a strong showing. King and Castle also looked good here, but I had no clue what brought these men together because there's no existing rivalries at the moment. Like he did at Best in the World, Gresham again resorted to underhanded tactics to beat King, so it's clear a heel turn is on the horizon for him (and possibly for Jay Lethal if their interaction later in the show was any indication).
Soldiers of Savagery def. Primal Fear
Soldiers of Savagery have been completely dominant since their arrival in ROH and that was once again the case here. They didn't even wait for the bell to ring to start beating down their opponents and ultimately made short work of them. This was a solid squash for S.O.S., though it didn't provide anything new regarding the potential alliance that was teased between them and Bully Ray a few weeks ago.
John Cena Addressed the Audience
I don't think Cena was ever advertised for this show in advance, so him showing up (not to mention kicking off the evening) was a pleasant surprise. He seemed genuine when he said he was happy to be back after so long and I enjoyed his little rap battle with The Usos. Cena's appearances are far and few between nowadays and therefore they've become special. I know he has one last run left in him, but the timing and the circumstances need to be right.
The Usos def. Raw Tag Team Champions The Revival (Non-Title)
Rikishi was a logical manager for The Usos here considering he's their father, but D-Von looked out of place standing in the corner of The Revival. I realize Bubba/Bully Ray reportedly turned down the invitation to appear, but they could have found another role for him that didn't feel as forced as that. The actual match was well wrestled, but I'm getting tired of the Usos vs. Revival rivalry. All of their matches deliver, but they're simply trading wins at this point without any end in sight.
ROH World Tag Team Champions The Briscoes def. The Bouncers
The Briscoes are fresh off regaining the ROH World Tag Team Championship at Manhattan Mayhem, meaning The Bouncers had virtually no chance of becoming the champions here. Despite that, they put forth a nice effort and had an enjoyable match with The Briscoes. Here's hoping this isn't the last of them as tag title contenders. Following their victory, The Briscoes were attacked by the former champs Guerrillas of Destiny (so now they bother to show up?), indicating that their feud isn't over yet.
Christian Casanova def. Jimmy Preston
I've been following these guys on the northeast independent scene for over five years now and am a big fan of them both. Thus, it was super cool to see them get an opportunity on a bigger stage. Their match didn't light the world on fire, but it was a fun showcase for both men while it lasted. I'd argue Casanova had the better showing in the ring, but Preston has star potential with his mic skills. Needless to say, I hope Ring of Honor brings them back for more appearances in the future.
Dragon Lee def. Jonathan Gresham
Lee and Gresham are two terrific wrestlers and were the perfect people to open this event, especially since they have no real rivalry going on at the moment. They worked wonderfully together and the crowd was electric for everything they did. I liked the subtle heel teases from Gresham, who utilized heel tactics to beat Silas Young back at Best in the World. I'm intrigued, so we'll see where that leads.
Kenny King Confronted ROH World Champion Matt Taven
I'm not normally a fan of doing talking segments such as this on live specials, just because I believe the focus should be on the wrestling, but this was necessary in adding King to the ROH World Championship match later on in the night. Both Taven and King received good heat from the New York City crowd and they played their roles well. Jay Lethal's attack on Taven was also well done and provided nice hype for the three-way. It was smart to keep this as short and as sweet as possible.
Eddie Edwards and Moose def. Rohit Raju and Cody Deaner in a Mash-Up Tournament First Round Match
Edwards and Moose had a heated rivalry late last year that spilled into the first month of 2019, so I was surprised to see them work as well together as they did together here. Raju and Deaner had no chance from the get-go, but at least it was a decent little match with a fun pace. Again, it would have been nice to see more dissension between former friends/foes Edwards and Moose, but this was a solid opener otherwise. Afterward, The Deaners and Desi Hit Squad brawled to continue their feud that I don't care about.
Jake Crist and Wentz def. Impact X-Division Championship Rich Swann and Madman Fulton in a Mash-Up Tournament First Round Match
You had to know some sort of shenanigans would go down as soon as you saw that Crist and Fulton were on opposite teams. I'm slightly shocked this lasted as long as it did considering how obvious the outcome was, but Crist and Fulton revealing they were in cahoots the entire time was a logical and well-done angle. However, I believe Crist and Fulton should have switched partners because I wasn't a fan of Swann eating an unnecessary pin.
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