By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Caprice Coleman vs. Will Ferrara Ended in a Double Disqualification
Prince Nana giving people mysterious cards never piqued my interest prior to this match, but it's starting to now that he has Donovan Dijak in his sights as well. As for this match, I liked how it was more than throwaway match featuring two guys who aren't showcased all that often. They have the Prince Nana connection, but instead of forming an alliance, they were the worst of rivals. They both showed more aggression than usual, which was refreshing, and the open-ended conclusion left me wondering what's next for Coleman and Ferrara and if this is beginning of a rivalry between them.
All Night Express def. Donovan Dijak and Ken Phoenix
This match was taped before All Night Express became the new No. 1 Contenders to the ROH World Tag Team Championship at Final Battle, so I was glad they scored a win here to further their momentum. That said, the focus wasn't entirely on them here but rather on Phoenix failing to impress Truth Martini and predictably paying for his sins with Dijak laying him out. I didn't care about Phoenix coming into the contest, but his mini-story made this match more meaningful as a result. As previously noted, Prince Nana scouting Dijak afterward was intriguing.
Kevin Kelly Interviewed Steve Corino
It was great to see Corino back and in good spirits only weeks removed from his neck surgery. Obviously, he did commentary at Final Battle under a mask, but he'll likely remain off TV until he's fully healed. The live crowd was receptive to his return as well. He teased going back after BJ Whitmer once he's cleared to compete, so there's a chance his in-ring career isn't over after all. Only time will tell.
ROH World Television Champion Roderick Strong, Cedric Alexander, Mark Briscoe, Moose and Matt Jackson def. ROH World Champion Jay Lethal, Cheeseburger, Adam Page, Cliff Compton and Jay Briscoe in a Christmas Surprise 10-Man Tag Team Match
No, there wasn't anything about this match that made sense, but I'd be damned if it wasn't a ton of fun, and isn't that what the holidays are all about? Sure, you hate seeing your relatives on Christmas, but you'll pretend to love them or at least coexist for a common cause. Stupid analogies aside, I absolutely loved this match. In fact, it was one of my favorite main events on ROH TV in some time. The Christmas Surprise stipulation made it a total trainwreck but in the best of ways and Cheeseburger was undoubtedly the star of the match. This was a very clever way of closing out a set of TV tapings that were going to air after the pay-per-view.
The post-pay-per-view shows that are taped prior to the event are usually confusing because there's no storyline consistency and they're made up of random matches, but this was a rare exception. The first two matches didn't have anything to do with Final Battle, but there was some storyline progression involved, anyway. Nothing that happened in the main event will carry over into future shows, but I can't say enough positive things about it. Anything that gets me into the Christmas spirit (or at least helps me stay in the Christmas spirit) gets a thumbs up from me. It was noted that next week's episode will be a "Best of 2015" episode, so I'll be back in 2016 with more ROH coverage. Now go enjoy Christmas!
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