By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Shinsuke Nakamura def. Roderick Strong
When I was initially exposed to the tremendous talents of Nakamura during that New Japan show back on January 4 of this year, I was blown away, so I knew going in this match was going to be something special. Sure enough, it didn't disappoint; in fact, it exceeded expectations in being a truly remarkable matchup. All the nearfalls and insane in-ring action had me sitting on the edge of my seat and exploding with excitement at every kickout like the rest of the live crowd. It was amazing, that's all I can really say to describe it. While it was weird watching Strong losing days after becoming the new No. 1 Contender to the Ring of Honor World Championship, but I can excuse that simply because this bout was so damn awesome.
Michael Elgin def. Gedo
Elgin is a highly skilled performer, but as I mentioned in my review of Best in the World from this past weekend, the biggest issue he faces is that he isn't connecting with the crowds. That was obviously evident here because the audience was quiet for most of his match, but I'm hoping this heel persona he has will get him to the next level. Then again, the crowd reaction to this match wasn't a good indicator of how he's getting over considering what match this had to follow.
AJ Styles and The Young Bucks def. Kazuchika Okada, Rocky Romero and Trent Baretta
The six-man tag team match The Bullet Club was phenomenal (no pun intended, AJ), and for a TV main event, this wasn't too far off. I sounded off about The Young Bucks and their constant use of the superkick, and maybe it's because I grew numb to it after the pay-per-view, but I didn't mind it as much in this match and as a result, I enjoyed it more. The Young Bucks and Styles have such awesome chemistry and the crowd was behind everything that everyone did, it was incredible. The finishing sequence with the two Tombstone piledivers into the Styles Clash was probably my favorite match of the whole match and ended the show on a high note.
What a show! And to think this was taped prior to the pay-per-view, you would have never known had I not just told you. Typically, that would make this show outdated and not worth watching, but the opener and the main event on this show are just too outstanding to pass up. Elgin vs. Gedo wasn't bad by any stretch, but it was nothing compared to the matches that followed it and proceeded it. This is the kind of wrestling you're promised in watching Ring of Honor regularly, and I hope this show picked up a new few viewers from Destination America.
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