Marty Scurll def. Kenny King
King was my original pick to win considering the push he's been receiving in recent months, but once it was announced that Scurll will be contending for the ROH World Championship at G1 Supercard, it was pretty obvious he'd go over instead. I would have preferred him winning clean, but it made sense for Scurll to cheat seeing as how King beat Scurll via dirty tactics several months back. This was a well-wrestled opener with a logical outcome. Despite King's loss, I hope he continues to climb the ladder in Ring of Honor.
ROH World Television Champion Jeff Cobb def. Shane Taylor
Cobb's title defenses have quickly become my favorite part about ROH's pay-per-views. His match against Adam Page at Final Battle in December set the bar fairly high, yet his clash with Taylor on this show definitely came close to topping it. For two men their size, they shouldn't be able to pull off half of the aerial maneuvers they do, so that never ceases to amaze me. Not only does Cobb roll on as the TV champ, Taylor was able to gain a ton in defeat, so this was a win-win all around.
WOH World Champion Mayu Iwatani def. Kelly Klein
I liked that this wasn't as random as other WOH World Championship matches we've gotten on ROH pay-per-view before and that it actually had a backstory. To put it simply, Iwatani beat Klein for the title last month and Klein is determined to regain the gold. This wasn't the smoothest encounter, but it was a good match overall with both ladies putting forth a commendable effort. I'm happy Iwatani's reign as champion isn't over yet because she's an awesome competitor and can have a lot of fun title matchups in the months to come.
ROH World Champion Jay Lethal vs. ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Champion Matt Taven Ended in a Time Limit Draw
It's safe to say that no one thought this match would go the full hour heading into this event. Lethal always delivers in big match situations, but while I'm a big fan of Taven's, I felt he was the wrong guy to do this with. He has improved immensely in every aspect over the years and I could certainly envision him as the ROH World Champion eventually, but he isn't nearly as exciting as Lethal in the ring. Therefore, the first half or so of this suffered until they began to hit their signature moves and kick out of everything that was being dished out. If nothing else, the live crowd ate this up and reacted to it like it was some sort of instant classic. I thoroughly enjoyed it for the most part, but by no means was it the most amazing ROH World Championship matchup I've ever seen. On the bright side, Taven came away from this looking like a star, but I don't want him being added to Lethal vs. Scurll at G1 Supercard (even though I'm preparing myself for that possibility).
Bully Ray Issued an Open Challenge for G1 Supercard
Any match following that time limit draw was going to fall flat in front of this exhausted crowd, so it was smart for this segment to be placed in that spot. Some rapper dude Mega Ran came out with one of his friends to sing about G1 Supercard before being interrupted by Bully Ray. I understand why some fans are sick to death of Bully (because he's been around for so long and shouldn't be featured in the main event scene), but he never fails to get fans to hate him and draw genuine heat. Between his attack on Mega Ran and subsequent promo, he did a wonderful job of building anticipation for his upcoming New York City Street Fight at G1 Supercard. Now the question is who will answer the open invitation.
Rush def. Bandido
ROH was promoting this as a "dream match" in the lead-up to the show, but truth be told, I wasn't feeling the hype, if only because it had barely been promoted ahead of time. Plus, both guys just arrived in ROH and still need to be established a bit more (a handful of victories against members of The Kingdom will only do so much). Don't get me wrong, this was a blast from an in-ring standpoint and the pace was exactly what it needed to be, but I know they could do better. Furthermore, neither guy should have lost here, especially with Bandido challenging for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship next month. On a side note, I'm curious if Dalton Castle vs. Rush at G1 Supercard will end up being anywhere near as excellent as this encounter.
Villain Enterprises def. The Briscoes in a Las Vegas Street Fight to Win the ROH World Tag Team Championship
I had my doubts about this being a worthy pay-per-view main event, but boy, did they prove me wrong. Brody King and PCO formed their partnership with Marty Scurll only a few short months ago, but already they have shown that they are right at home in ROH working with tremendous talent such as The Briscoes and giving every match their all. This benefited from the last-minute addition of the Las Vegas Street Fight stipulation and everyone involved went above and beyond to put their bodes through absolute hell simply so the fans could be entertained. There were certain spots even I cringed at, but the presentation of this by and large was fantastic. Villain Enterprises picking up the surprise title victory was merely the icing on the cake, and assuming they don't drop the straps back to The Briscoes before then, them versus The Guerrillas of Destiny in Madison Square Garden could be a real treat.
Due to Lethal vs. Taven running way longer than expected, Lifeblood vs. The Kingdom as well as Jonathan Gresham vs. Silas Young were bumped from the card, which was the right call since they could always occur on ROH TV at some other point. ROH has produced some strong anniversary shows over the years and this installment continued that trend nicely. The top two title matches really carried this pay-per-view, but the undercard was also super solid. Better yet, there was plenty of hype for G1 Supercard coming up in three weeks. It has hardly been mentioned up to now, but I'm happy ROH is starting to put together a loaded lineup for that event. All in all, this was a great show.
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