By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Michael Elgin def. GHC Heavyweight Tag Team Champion Toru Yano
From what the commentators mentioned, Elgin and Yano clashed in the G1 tournament over in Japan and Yano beat him. Thus, this match had the story of Elgin attempting to avenge that loss. I'm not sure if the live crowd knew that because they were largely quiet throughout the bout (then again, this occurred late in the tapings), but it was a well-wrestled match, nevertheless. I realize Yano isn't a full-time ROH guy, but he should definitely be more of a regular because of how damn entertaining he is. He's essentially the equivalent to a Japanese Santino Marella if Santino was actually funny.
Dragon Lee def. ROH World Television Champion Bobby Fish in a Proving Ground Match (Non-title)
I was initially confused as to what a Proving Ground match was, but Kevin Kelly later explained that if the challenger could hold his own with the champion long enough, he would earn a future title shot. As expected, this was a very good match. It wasn't nearly as fast-paced as Lee's match with Kamaitachi from All Star Extravaganza, but it didn't need to be because it was a television match. The finish seemed to come out of nowhere, but I'm sure they'll have an even better match at Final Battle.
The Kingdom def. The Bullet Club in a ROH Six-Man Tag Team Championship Tournament Round 1 Match
As soon as it was announced that The Bullet Clubs would be represented by Adam Cole and The Young Bucks, I automatically assumed they were going over. I was curious as anyone to see who The Kingdom would consist of this time around, and I was thrilled to see Matt Taven joined by TK O'Ryan and Vinny Marseglia. I have followed all three men on the northeast independent circuit for years, so Massachusetts was a fitting place for them to debut. This match was mostly about Bullet Club, but The Kingdom had some fun spots themselves. I was truly shocked that The Kingdom advanced and I couldn't have been happier for them. Beating three established stars surely gave them credibility as a trio from the get-go.
ROH TV was very wrestling-heavy this week with three above-average matches. Elgin vs. Yano didn't serve too much of a purpose in the long term, but I enjoyed it for what it was. Lee vs. Fish set up a future rematch for Final Battle while The Kingdom had a hell of a debut versus Bullet Club in the main event. The card for Final Battle is coming together nicely and I'm looking forward to seeing what other matches are confirmed for the card in the weeks head.
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