Villain Enterprises (Marty Scurll, Brody King and Flip Gordon) def. Slex and The Briscoes
Scurll and Slex were involved in a three-way match together at Bound by Honor, so that was the connection here. It's odd how Slex has impressed in all of his matches so far since debuting last month, yet hasn't won a single one. He was able to dodge Shane Taylor and Soldiers of Savagery afterward, so I guess that's something. At any rate, this was a super fun six-man tag team match opener where they worked a frantic pace and kept the crowd invested in the action throughout.
Dan Maff def. Alex Shelley
This was not a match I expected to see and I'm so glad we got it. It was a such a contrast of styles yet that was exactly why it worked. Maff has been awesome since returning to Ring of Honor late last year and has been ripping it up in the singles and tag team ranks. Shelley has also been doing some terrific work lately and I loved the David vs. Goliath dynamic that they worked here. It didn't really matter who won, but I mean that in a good way. This was a blast all around.
The Righteous def. 2 Guys 1 Tag
Silas Young and Josh "The Goods" Woods were undefeated together before failing to beat Jay Lethal and Jonathan Gresham for the ROH World Tag Team Championship at Glory by Honor. I'm surprised they suffered two losses on back-to-back nights, but I understand The Righteous is who ROH are trying to build up at the moment. As I've said before, their matches aren't the most thrilling, but that didn't bother me as much as how it was a distraction from Brian Johnson that cost Young the victory. That was pretty lame.
Angelina Love def. Session Moth Martina
I feared the worst when I saw this match announced. Love hasn't had the best matches since coming to ROH, and Martina's debut matchup for ROH was a complete disaster in my opinion. I'm still not fond of her gimmick, but at least she was more straightforward here and Love was also bearable. To call this good might be a stretch, but on the bright side, it could have been way, way worse. This definitely did not need to be seven minutes long.
Dalton Castle def. Tracy Williams, Jeff Cobb and Kenny King in a Four-Way Match
This was a fairly random array of talent, but I'm not complaining as this was a good piece of business. All four guys had their time to shine and kept things flowing throughout, leading to a fun final stretch. This apparently marked Castle's first non-tag team match since October and he just so happened to come out on top. He's finding his footing again thanks to Joe Hendry, so hopefully there are no plans to split them up any time soon.
Bully Ray def. Caprice Coleman
It was almost as if ROH copied and pasted the segment with Bully from the night prior at Bound by Honor onto this show. As I said in that review, I applaud Bully's ability to elicit strong heel heat from a crowd and to get them to do whatever he wants, but I question who is actually benefiting from him being on the shows as often as he is. Sure, he's put over a bunch of people in his last three years at ROH, but it's the same song and dance every time. We're at a point now where beating Bully Ray doesn't mean much at all. It doesn't help that Bully already feuded with a commentator in Colt Cabana two years ago, so Caprice Coleman stepping up to him doesn't feel fresh. The crowd getting behind Eli Isom was cool, but again, I'm curious what he'll really gain from this in the long run.
ROH World Television Champion Dragon Lee def. Dak Draper
Draper won the Top Prospect Tournament roughly six months ago and has been owed a shot at the ROH World Television Championship ever since. He finally got it here, and although ROH has given him plenty of wins in that time, he didn't feel like a legitimate threat to the title. To his credit, this was his most memorable showing to date, but he also didn't really stand out much at all. It seemed like Lee had to carry him to a competent match.
ROH World Tag Team Champions Jay Lethal and Jonathan Gresham def. MexiSquad (Bandido and Rey Horus) in a Proving Ground Match
Any combination of MexiSquad can almost always be counted on for being the Match of the Night and having equally excellent opponents to work with in Lethal and Gresham made this that much more of a masterpiece. This was everything I adore about tag team wrestling with all four guys busting their ass, constantly keeping things exciting and telling a solid story. MexiSquad would've earned a shot at the ROH World Tag Team Championship had they won, but that wasn't necessary with Lethal and Gresham already scheduled to face Villain Enterprises at the 18th Anniversary Show. It was noted that this might have been the first time that Bandido has tapped out in ROH, which is pretty impressive if true.
Rush def. PCO and Mark Haskins in a Three-Way Match to Win the ROH World Championship
I'm very surprised this didn't last longer than it did with it being a three-way title match, not to mention that it didn't seem like the pay-per-view was short on time. What we got in those 10 minutes, however, was entertaining. It was a successful weekend for PCO between his top-notch main event with Dragon Lee at Bound by Honor and his quality three-way here. Granted, he didn't walk out with the ROH World Championship, but I'd argue he had no business winning it in the first place. He had his moment at Final Battle, but it was time to move on to someone who could be counted on for better main event matches more consistently. Nick Aldis costing PCO the title will only add more fuel to the fire when it comes to their scheduled matchup at Supercard of Honor next month.
Although Bound by Honor was a superior show on the whole, Gateway to Honor was enjoyable in its own right. I didn't think the ROH World Championship would change hands in the main event, so that was a pleasant surprise. We also now know the main event of the 18th Anniversary Show next Friday night will be Rush vs. Haskins for the title. It feels like that event has been totally neglected lately (due to the poor format of ROH TV and how it doesn't really allow them to promote upcoming pay-per-views), but at least the HonorClub shows they've been running in the meantime have kept the ball rolling for ROH. The two and a half hours flew by. Make time for Lethal and Gresham vs. MexiSquad and Shelley vs. Maff but skip over the stuff with the women and Bully Ray (which seems to be the norm for this company nowadays).
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