Pre-Show: Jeff Cobb def. ROH world Six-Man Tag Team champion Brody King
I guess there was some fan frustration over this ending up on the pre-show instead of the main card, but I personally didn't have a problem with it. If the ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Championship wasn't going to be defended and Cobb didn't have anything else going on, why the hell not? This was a really good match and also served as a nice incentive for fans to check out the pay-per-view pre-show. Cobb going over made sense as he'll soon be challenging for the ROH World Championship on the company's upcoming United Kingdom tour.
Pre-Show: Joe Hendry Interrupted Dalton Castle
As I've said before, I don't see the hype surrounding Hendry. He has had a good look and is decent in the ring, but the whole singing thing is stupid and clearly the crowds aren't enjoying it. I have zero desire to see him feud with Castle, but they could be a fine tag team if handled properly. I'm glad this was put on the pre-show so it didn't have to waste precious pay-per-view time.
ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Champion Marty Scurll def. Colt Cabana in a Final Battle No. 1 Contender's Tournament Quarterfinal Match
Considering it's been years since Cabana was last a regular on the Ring of Honor roster, I never really thought he had a shot of winning here, but he had a hell of a showing, nonetheless. This was perfectly positioned as the opener and I thought they contested a very enjoyable outing. I was glad that this was more straightforward and less about the comic relief we've come to expect from Cabana's matches (even though there was a little of that, too). Cabana appeared to be upset with coming up short afterward, so I'm interested to see if that will lead anywhere or that was just him selling the loss.
Kenny King def. ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Champion PCO in a Final Battle No. 1 Contender's Tournament Quarterfinal No Disqualification Match
First and foremost, I love PCO's new entrance theme, which was composed by the legendary Jim Johnston. That must mean ROH has high hopes for him despite his age, and it's hard to blame them considering how over he is with the audience. I liked the match a lot more than I thought I would, as the effort was there and they kept the crowd engaged. PCO winning was a pleasant surprise, but Amy Rose tasing PCO only for it to backfire was a silly finish.
Angelina Love def. Kelly Klein to Win the WOH World Championship
I've given it enough time to grow on me (almost six months to be exact), but I'm simply not sold on The Allure. It's basically The Beautiful People 2.0 and their matches are the drizzling shits. This was no exception. Klein tried, but there was too much interference from Mandy Leon and everything else just wasn't good. It looks like they're building toward Love vs. Maria Manic for the title at Final Battle, but Klein vs. Manic would have been much more appealing, in my opinion.
Jonathan Gresahm def. Jay Lethal
I've been digging the story these two have been telling for months now and this was another exciting chapter in the ongoing saga. Gresham has been in the midst of a heel turn and Lethal hasn't approved of his underhanded antics. They had the excellent match I expected from them here, though I do feel they could do better (and they will once the rivalry progresses). Gresham winning Lethal was the right call, though I assumed he'd cheat to beat him. Interestingly enough, I don't believe Lethal has won a single match on pay-per-view this year, so perhaps a heel turn for him too wouldn't be the worst thing.
The Bouncers def. Silas Young and Vinny Marseglia in a Barroom Brawl Match
The Bouncers have become a really fun duo and this was easily their most memorable match so far. This was different than anything else on the show and that was what helped it stand out. Young and Marseglia were a weird pairing (I read somewhere that TK O'Ryan might be out with a concussion), but they worked well together and went all out with some of the spots. Marseglia throwing darts at Beer City Bruiser's back was slightly uncomfortable, but otherwise, this was a strong brawl that ended with Marseglia finally getting his comeuppance courtesy of Bruiser.
ROH World Television Champion Shane Taylor def. Flip Gordon, Tracy Williams and Dragon Lee in a Four-Way Match
Lee was a last-minute addition to this match. This was a short and sweet four-way that probably would have been just as enjoyable without Lee involved. They're obviously setting up Taylor vs. Lee sometime soon, so Lee should have been saved as a post-match surprise. Nonetheless, all four guys had quality chemistry together and Taylor retaining the title was what needed to happen. He's had a terrific reign thus far, not to mention that Gordon and Williams can continue to feud on their own.
ROH world Tag Team Champions The Briscoes def. Lifeblood
Mark Haskins and Bandido have been a tremendous team since joining the tag team ranks a few months ago and there isn't a bigger threat to The Briscoes at the moment than them. This was the best bout on the card by a country mile with all four stars delivering phenomenal performances. ROH's tag team division doesn't have a ton of depth, but you can always count on their top tandems to come through when it matters most. Post-match, Bully Ray returned after a few months away and laid out Lifeblood. That feud was teased months ago, so I guess it's continuing, for better or for worse. I like Lifeblood and Bully Ray, but that's not a program that intrigues me in the slightest.
Rush def. Matt Taven to Win the ROH World Championship
Although Taven hasn't exactly lit the world on fire as ROH World Champion, he tends to thrive in big match situations and I thought he did exceptionally well here. He had an outstanding opponent in Rush to work with and the drama, intensity, suspense and storytelling were on point. It didn't drag on longer than it needed to and could have gone either way, but in the end, it was Rush who reigned supreme as the new champion. The title change was necessary and I hope this helps get ROH back on track, at least creatively. I've read reports that indicated Taven could be WWE bound, so it's possible that played into the decision to take the title off him here with his contract expiring soon. That'd be huge for him if it happens, and as a longtime fan of his, I pray that it does.
It's sad that I saw more people talking on my Twitter timeline about tonight's episode of IMPACT! Wrestling than this show. That should be a sign of how far ROH has fallen in 2019, and that's a shame because they still have a very talented roster. The issue is that they have minimal buzz and the build to this pay-per-view was nearly nonexistent. Luckily, there were enough above-average matches to make it worthwhile and the two title changes resulted it being in a newsworthy night. Fingers crossed they can pick up some steam heading into what's supposed to be their biggest show of the year, Final Battle, in December.
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