Christopher Daniels def. ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Champion TK O'Ryan
This was an impromptu match that the crowd largely sat on their hands for because they didn't have any real reason to care about what was going on in the ring. This was far from a bad bout, but it was a weird match to open the evening with because it didn't have any heat and The Kingdom was made to look like a joke faction. At the very least, Daniels picked up the win to build momentum ahead of his title shot at the 15th Anniversary Show.
Dalton Castle def. Colt Cabana
The match these two had at Final Battle a few months earlier wasn't an instant classic in the slightest and this was more of the same. While that isn't necessarily a negative, because it was meant more for comedy, the chemistry just wasn't there. It was also a somewhat flat follow-up to the first match of the night, but on the bright side, Cabana's debut on commentary the next week at the 15th Anniversary Show went off without a hitch, while this victory pushed Castle toward ROH World Championship contention.
ROH World Television Champion Marty Scurll def. Sonjay Dutt
This was merely a one-off for Dutt in Ring of Honor, and we were told by the commentators that this was his first appearance in a ROH ring since 2013. Well, he hadn't missed a beat in his time away as he and Scurll contested a very entertaining matchup with the perfect pace that picked up when it needed to and especially down the stretch. Scurll continued to deliver with another strong showing when his TV title was up for grabs.
Dragon Lee def. Will OSpreay
These are two of the best high-fliers in the game today, so it was appropriate that they worked the style of match they did. They went all out and the audience ate up everything they did. Ospreay didn't win many matches in the year he was with ROH, and although this was no exception, he definitely looked awesome in defeat. ROH really should have gotten more out of Ospreay by putting him in more matches like this if nothing else.
ROH World Tag Team Champions The Young Bucks def. Lio Rush and Jay White
Rush and White were a terrific team whenever they paired up and both are perennial babyfaces, yet they were actually booed here more often than not because the Bucks were/are so damn beloved. This was all action from start to finish and extremely enjoyable as a result, even though the titles never truly felt like they were in jeopardy. But the Bucks weren't done for the night just yet...
The Hardys def. The Young Bucks to Win the ROH World Tag Team Championship
Wow! The Hardys were already signed to appear at Supercard of Honor the following month for their match against The Young Bucks, but their appearance on this show was totally unexpected and the crowd popped huge for them. It was also days removed from their TNA departure, so they were technically free agents at the time. Since they were set to have that match in early April, they could have easily made this a quick encounter, but instead, they delivered a great match with suspenseful nearfalls. Everything about this was excellently executed.
Matt Taven won a Manhattan Battle Royal for a Future ROH World Championship Match
I'm a Taven fan and believe he has plenty of untapped potential to be a big singles star in the future, but the crowd couldn't have cared less about this or him winning. The match itself wasn't exciting whatsoever because few stories were told and the final few minutes were uneventful. It was just a bunch of directionless wrestlers thrown together for a random Battle Royal where the winner would earn a title shot that everyone knew they wouldn't be victorious in. The placement of this on the card was also questionable coming off that super hot Hardys/Bucks angle.
Bullet Club def. Jay Lethal and The Briscoes
Bullet Club consisted of Cody, Hangman Page and Frankie Kazarian here. Yes, there was that very brief period of time where Kazarian "turned" on Daniels to join Bullet Club, only to reveal it was a ruse at the 15th Anniversary Show the following week. Lethal and Cody had been feuding since Final Battle, so this was a smart way of progressing their storyline and giving the heels a victory. It had a little bit of everything with it being chaotic early on, having some solid wrestling in the middle, and a fun frantic pace toward the end.
ROH World Champion Adam Cole def. Bobby Fish
I liked how the commentators brought up how it was in that same arena (the Hammerstein Ballroom) that Cole previously dropped the ROH title to Fish's tag partner, Kyle O'Reilly, at Final Battle 2016. Aside from that, though, I didn't think Fish had a chance in hell of capturing the championship so close to the 15th Anniversary Show. Nevertheless, this was a very good matchup with a logical story told throughout with Fish targeting Cole's knee only for that plan to backfire in the end. Afterward, Bully Ray debuted and laid out Cole through a table before proclaiming that he had signed with ROH. It was a cool moment considering his history in the building and he was a nice pickup for the company.
Manhattan Mayhem 2017 was a newsworthy night and an entertaining evening on the whole, but still not the incredible event the 15th Anniversary Show was. In other words, it wet the appetite of fans before the real attraction and successfully set the stage for that show. The Battle Royal was the only truly below-average match on this card, as everything else ranged from average to exceptional. Throw in an electric atmosphere in New York City and you have yourself a quality event that is worth checking out on Honor Club.
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