Chuckie T. def. Jonathan Gresham
Well, this was random. Don't get me wrong, it was a nice little opener, but what was the point? I guess ROH does that from time to time by giving viewers a meaningless match just to fill out a card, but these are two of the more directionless wrestlers on the roster right now, so it was an odd combination. Nevertheless, it was well-wrestled and the crowd was lively for the contest, if only because Best Friends are so damn over.
Punishment Martinez def. Tomohiro Ishii
Martinez has a very hard-hitting and physical style, so Ishii was the perfect opponent for him and I thought they worked well together. I'm okay with Ring of Honor bringing in Japanese stars every now and again, but they need to put their own talent over them on occasion as well, so I was glad that was the case here. Martinez had a terrible match at Manhattan Mayhem last month, but this was a solid comeback showing from him.
Kota Ibushi def. Adam Page
Ibushi is an absolute star, and Page is well on his way to being a breakout babyface in ROH. Thus, you shouldn't have been surprised that this was an awesome, awesome outing. Ibushi is insane with some of the stuff he does, and Page is as well, so their chemistry was off the charts and the crowd was into everything they did. Page lost nothing in defeat. This also played into the ongoing Golden Lovers/Bullet Club storyline as well.
Sumie Sakai def. Kelly Klein to Win the ROH Women of Honor Championship
ROH fans aren't used to sitting through multiple women's matches in one night, so I commend them for not disrespecting the ladies by chanting anything obscene or "Boring!" or whatever. That said, this was easily the weakest match on the show up to this point. It was far from terrible, but the fans in attendance were largely disinterested and the finish felt extremely anticlimactic, especially when you consider this marked Klein's first-ever loss in the handful of years she's been with the Women of Honor division.
ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Champions So Cal Uncensored def. The Young Bucks and Flip Gordon in a Ladder Match
Did you really expect anything less than complete chaos from these guys given the stipulation? This was incredibly entertaining from start to finish and all six stars should be commended for the amazing effort they put forth. There were too many unbelievable spots to count and the atmosphere for this was tremendous. Unfortunately, The Kingdom hindered the momentum of the matchup ever so slightly with their interference. They should have just held off on showing up until afterward, but even with them involved, this was an exceptional Ladder match.
Beer City Bruiser & Brian Milonas def. The Motor City Machine Guns and Luke Hawx & PJ Hawx in a Three-Way Tag Team Match
The Hawxs are a father-son duo that I had never heard of before this bout. This was supposed to serve as a buffer after that red-hot Ladder match and not be anything special (there weren't many fans in the audience at this point because it taped before the show and it aired during the intermission), but they did have a few fun moments down the stretch. Bruiser and Milonas are obviously the new team on the block, but the Guns were total afterthoughts here, which was strange considering they just lost the ROH World Tag Team Championship.
ROH World Tag Team Champions The Briscoes def. Jay Lethal and Hiroshi Tanahashi
It was obvious that, as a makeshift team, Lethal and Tanahashi weren't winning the twin titles. Despite that, this was a good match with a strong second half. Lethal and Tanahashi did enough to attempt to convince some fans that the titles were changing hands at a different points, not to mention that The Briscoes are killing it right now. I'm looking forward to seeing who The Briscoes feud with next over their belts.
Silas Young def. Kenny King in a Last Man Standing Match to Win the ROH World Television Championship
Last Man Standing matches are usually either hit or miss, and sadly, this fell into the latter category for me. There was nothing too special about it until the very end and I was pretty bored by it. I guess the interference from Bruiser made sense because there were no disqualifications, but it was still a stupid finish. It brought back bad memories of when John Cena duct taped Batista's feet to the ring post back in 2010. On the bright side, Austin Aries coming to King's aid afterward was sweet, and I assume Aries vs. Young for the TV title will be happening sometime soon.
ROH Enforcer Bully Ray and Cheeseburger vs. The Dawgs Ended in a No Contest
Everything about this was awful, awful, awful. I like Bully Ray, but he has been too overexposed in his role as ROH Enforcer in recent months. It was cool to see him appear at the WWE Hall of Fame the night before and then this show, but this dragged on for much longer than it needed to. A heel authority in ROH is the wrong way to go, and even if Bully is coming out of retirement, then why did they bother with that farewell tour for him late last year? Talk about a waste of time.
Cody def. Kenny Omega
The Bullet Club saga and the bad blood between Cody and Kenny has been building and brewing for months, so expectations were high for this marquee match and they did not disappoint. You can argue that Cody relied too much on smoke and mirrors (no pun intended) instead of focusing on making this a pure wrestling matchup, but that was exactly what made this work and what kept the crowd engaged. He's a master of controlling a crowd and that's what he did here. The ref bump and the Bucks accidentally costing Kenny the win would normally sour me on the match because I would have preferred a clean finish, but if anything, I thought it added to the excitement and unpredictability of this. Besides, this is merely the beginning of their program, so they can always go all out in a future rematch.
ROH World Champion Dalton Castle def. Marty Scurll
I thoroughly believe this match would have been much better received if the show wasn't already well into overtime. The shenanigans didn't help, either. Although they made for some suspenseful nearfalls toward the end, we had already seen enough interference in the Ladder match, King vs. Young, and even Cody vs. Omega, so here, it was overkill. I still did enjoy their encounter, but I question putting it on last over Cody vs. Kenny, which was clearly the match of the night. I realize they wanted to respect tradition by putting the title match on last, but Cody vs. Kenny was the real attraction on this show if we're being honest.
Was this meant to be a five hour-plus long show? It was a marathon of a night, and that was probably the biggest knock against it (I'm probably being much more kind to it than most because I didn't watch it live but rather the replay). Having two main event matches go over a half hour each when the event is already running way past when it should have is unacceptable. However, it's almost impossible to give this event a thumbs down when it featured excellent action on the whole and a handful of memorable matches between the Ladder match, Cody vs. Kenny, and Ibushi vs. Page. Definitely seek those out and perhaps part of the main event, but be prepared for a loooong show if you watch it in its entirety.
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