By Graham "GSM" Matthews
ROH World Television Champion Roderick Strong def. Jonathon Gresham
Two days ahead of Strong's title defense against Bobby Fish at the 14th Anniversary show, I figured there was no chance he was dropping the title here, but it was still a fun match with Gresham having an impressive outing. He's scored his fair share of upset victories in recent weeks, so he was a logical contender to the gold and he almost had me with that one super close nearfall. I was going to question Strong coming off like a babyface during the match after he teased turning heel late last year, but we saw shades of that afterward when he briefly brawled with Fish. Fish has has heel tendencies about his character, so I'm not sure who to root for on Friday.
ROH World Tag Team Champions War Marchine def. Brutal Bob Evans and Tim Hughes (Non-title)
I've never been the biggest fan of War Machine, but I tend to enjoy their matches depending on who they are in the ring with. Evans and Hughes aren't an established tandem in the slightest, so I didn't care much about the match, nor was it all that well wrestled. Thankfully, it didn't go too long and it served its purpose of hyping the upcoming tag title match between them and All Night Express. Speaking of whom, their post-match promo was awful. Kenny King is a great mic worker, but Rhett Titus should never be allowed to speak.
BJ Whitmer def. Chase Brown
I couldn't tell you the last time Whitmer wrestled before now and I might have missed it if it was mentioned by the commentary team. I don't think I have ever seen him in action before, or at least since I started watching Ring of Honor again last summer. Thus, I couldn't get a real feel as to how good he is in the ring because this bout was kept rather short with Whiter making quick work of his opponent. Last week's face turn from Adam Page came completely out of nowhere, so I was glad they gave fans more of a reason to care about him this week with another attack on Whitmer.
ROH World Champion Jay Lethal, Adam Cole and Kyle O'Reilly Brawled
I absolutely love ROH's attention to detail and it's the little things like that, that make me appreciate wrestling (NXT and Lucha Underground tend to do it as well). Cole brought up how he beat O'Reilly at Final Battle and will do so again at the pay-per-view while Lethal discussed beating the biggest names in the business during his time as champion. O'Reilly is easily the weakest mic worker of the three, so they were wise to not have him say anything at all and instead initiate the brawl that made me even more excited for the Triple Threat title match.
The Briscoes def. ACH and Alex Shelley
Uh, what has the meaning behind this match? I liked how Christopher Daniels sat in on commentary seeing as how he will be facing Shelley at the 14th Anniversary show, but this was a random assortment of wrestlers. Usually, I would say it isn't a big deal because it was a fun match, and it definitely was but there is a pay-per-view coming up; why not attempt to further those feuds? Everyone involved here will be a part of different matches at the event. That confused me, and they should have closed the night with the brawl that preceded this, but again, it's hard to complain about an enjoyable main event.
Putting aside how weird it was for the main event to feature four wrestlers who aren't feuding at the moment, this was a great go-home show that built up several matches for the 14th Anniversary. More often than not, the last episode of ROH TV before an event is poor because it has very little if anything to do with the pay-per-view, but that was not the case here and the hour was jam-packed with matches and segments that left me highly anticipating the event. As of now, I'm not sure if I will be writing a review of it or not, but based on how the card currently looks, I might be tempted to.
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