Jay White def. Kenny King
Considering this was a last minute addition to the card, this match was better than I thought it would be. Granted, I figured it would be well-wrestled from an in-ring standpoint, but they didn't have any storyline support and both men have been treading water for a while now. That said, they opened the event on a nice note with a solid match. White will face Jay Brisoce in a rematch on ROH TV in a few weeks, so at least he has something of note to look forward to, whereas King has been completely underutilized in The Rebellion. He would be better off on his own at this point.
Frankie Kazarian def. Cheeseburger, Hangman Page, Silas Young, Punishment Martinez and Chris Sabin in a ROH World Championship No. 1 Contender's Six-Man Mayhem Match
These Six-Man Mayhem matchups are merely designed to get everyone on the card, so as random as they are, this installment in particular was absolutely awesome and everyone involved had their time to shine. Cheeseburger was the most over of everyone, but I thought Martinez had the biggest breakout performance. It's a shame he's saddled with that damn gimmick alongside BJ Whitmer because he's an incredible athlete. Kazarian was the right winner considering what would happen later on in the main event.
Jay Lethal def. Bobby Fish
This was another match I feared for going in because there wasn't much of an established issue between the two outside of one brawl on ROH TV this past week. Plus, both are babyfaces, but this match ultimately exceeded my expectations in being excellent. The psychology specifically was what I loved most about this with Lethal selling his leg injury and Fish targeting it throughout. In fact, there were a few points where I actually believed Fish would win, so those close calls were great. Lethal needed this victory more considering he has his sights set on getting back into the world title picture and also has a rematch with Cody coming up over WrestleMania weekend.
ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Champions The Kingdom def. Dalton Castle and The Boys
While this was easily the weakest match on the show, all six stars put forth an exceptional effort and tried hard to get the crowd invested, and they did so wonderfully. I will say, though, The Kingdom shouldn't be going all out at the risk of getting hurt, such as with TK O'Ryan, who might be out for a while after his bad bump to the outside. Castle and The Boys are an entertaining act, but they can never seem to win when it matters most, yet the crowd remains behind them, regardless, so that's encouraging.
ROH World Television Champion Marty Scurll def. Lio Rush
Scurll is a superstar. That much is obvious. As much as I want him in the main event competing for the world title, I also want him to hold that TV title forever because he is so perfect in this role. Rush is a terrific talent in his own right, so I assumed this would be one of the better bouts of the night going in and they definitely delivered. Not only was the ring work exciting, but again, the storytelling was sensational as well. Rush was desperate to do whatever it took to capture the championship, but it backfired on him. Meanwhile, Scurll is so creative with the spots he innovates during his matches and that's why he's always such a treat to watch.
Bully Ray and The Briscoes def. Davey Boy Smith Jr. and War Machine
Smith stuck out like a sore thumb in this match. It wasn't that he was bad or anything but he was a weird partner for War Machine to have. That said, the commentators covered that nicely by saying he was supposed to be teaming up with his partner Lance Archer before he got hurt, so that made sense. Ray looked good here and I thoroughly enjoyed his pairing with The Briscoes. I figured this would be a one-off, but I would love to see them chase the six-man tag team titles. It would give all three men some much-needed direction, and hopefully Ray is more a nostalgia act in Ring of Honor compared to his latest run in WWE.
ROH World Tag Team Champions The Hardys def. The Young Bucks and Roppongi Vice in a Las Vegas Street Fight
For those curious, Jeff and Matt Hardy were never once referred to as being "broken," nor did they even utter the word "Delete!" or any of their signature catchphrases. That's likely due to them being sued by TNA for using the gimmick, but it would really suck if they couldn't use those characters anymore. Screw off, TNA, and your stupid owl! At any rate, this match was a masterpiece, and I'm glad they saved all the extreme spots for this one match on the show. Had the card been filled with them, this match may not have packed as much of a punch. It was pretty apparent Roppongi Vice weren't going to win the titles, yet they might have had the best performance of the three teams. This was a train wreck in the greatest way possible and I loved every single second of it. The Hardyz and The Young Bucks will have a tough time trying to top themselves in their rematch on April 1.
Christopher Daniels def. Adam Cole to Win the ROH World Championship
Thankfully, Daniels and Cole were able to contest a strong match despite having to follow the Las Vegas Street Fight. The crowd fully supported Daniels in his quest to finally become ROH World Champion and he was sympathetic throughout, and Cole was fantastic in trash talking Daniels and attempting to turn the crowd against him (which is hard given how beloved he is by the fans). ROH doesn't normally "overbook" their pay-per-view main events, but this is the one instance where I allowed the interference because it set up the story with Kazarian revealing him joining The Bullet Club was a ruse all along. I honestly wasn't expecting that whatsoever, so I was genuinely shocked by the swerve. Cole getting beat by not one, not two, but three BMEs was a tremendous touch and the moment of Daniels winning the world title was beautiful and long overdue. Him holding both the current and original world title belts was a spectacular sight to close the show with as well.
ROH tends to deliver above-average pay-per-views, but this might have been the best I've seen from them since I started watching regularly in the summer of 2015. They wasn't a poor match on the entire card, everything had something special to offer, the crowd was electric, and I wouldn't argue with any of the outcomes. Following the atrocity that was WWE Fastlane last Sunday night, I held out hope the 15th Anniversary Show would be the outstanding event I have been holding out hope for and it did not disappoint. If you aren't a full-time ROH fan, I would still strongly recommend you check this show out. On a side note, the commentary was phenomenal, provided by Ian Riccaboni, Kevin Kelly (happy to see him back for the big shows) and Colt Cabana, who flourished behind the booth. I would love if they kept that trio of guys as announcers going forward because they had a really remarkable chemistry together,
All #AskGSM Cruiserweight Classic JJF's Take John's Jargon Lists/Rankings Mae Young Classic Mixed Match Challenge News Opinion Previews Retro Reviews Reviews RJ's Two Cents Satire SummerSlam Recall Tribute To The Troops WrestleMania Recall
©2010 - 2019 Next Era Wrestling, Inc. All Rights Reserved.