Thursday, February 13, 2014

ROH Pursuit: Night 2 Review

C & C Wrestle Factory vie for the gold one more time!

ROH Pursuit: Night 2
Columbus, Ohio 11/16/13

1.) Silas Young vs. TaDarius Thomas: ***1/4

The show opens up with a rematch from Death Before Dishonor XI. This was actually a really good opening match. Thomas showed off some really good stuff and Silas was looking great at well. Young would pick up the win in a very solid opener to get the crowd going.

2.) Jimmy Jacobs vs. Sik Rik Matrix: **1/2

Never heard of Sik Rik Matrix, but he's a pretty big dude. Jacobs is coming off his World Title loss the previous night. This was a surprisingly competitive match that saw Jacobs get dominated by Matrix at several points, but Jacobs would fight back and eventually picked up the win.

After the match, ROH Matchmaker Nigel McGuinness comes out and tells Jacobs that he's officially back on the ROH roster. Jacobs asks about what his match at Final Battle would be, but McGuinness tells him that the card is full. Jacobs leaves seemingly despondent.

3.) "Sicilian Psychopath" Tommaso Ciampa vs. Mark Briscoe: ***1/2

Here we have a first time match up. It was actually a really good match. I don't a lot people were expecting this to be as good as it was. These two just clicked, and it made for a very entertaining match. Tommaso Ciampa would get the win and the momentum heading into Final Battle.

4.) The American Wolves vs. Outlaw Inc.: ***1/4

Another first time match up. I also believe this is the first time that Eddie Kingston has ever interacted with either Davey Richards or Eddie Edwards in any capacity. This was definitely the best match Outlaw Inc. have had up to this point. You can always count on the American Wolves to put on a good match with anybody and this contest was no exception. After a good back-and-forth match, Kingston & Homicide would pick up the win. 

We did not know it at the time, but this would end up being Davey Richard's last match in Ring of Honor. Shortly before Final Battle, which was going to be the last match in ROH for the American Wolves anyway, Richards and the company split seemingly on bitter terms. Richards would go on to wrestle a match for both CZW & Evolve before heading to TNA with his American Wolves partner Eddie Edwards in January 2014.

5.) Proving Ground Match - ROH World Champion Adam Cole vs. ACH: ***1/2

This is the third straight first time ever match up we've had on this card, and I think this is the one people have been looking forward to the most. If ACH wins or gets the match to go to a draw, he's gets an ROH World Title Shot. Unfortunately, ACH apparently tweaked his knee during his match at Pursuit: Night 1 and limited his famous high flying ability. On the other hand, however, it made for great psychology as Cole continuously went after the leg throughout the entire match. ACH fought back hard and came close beating Cole, but in the end, the champ reigned supreme.

6.) Four-Corner Survival - Roderick Strong vs. Jay Lethal vs. ROH World TV Champion Matt Taven (with Truth Martini & Scarlett Bordeaux) vs. "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin: ***3/4

Taven's World TV Title is not on the line in this match. A pretty great Four-Corner Survival. ROH has been putting a number of these on lately and the majority of them have been really great. While I don't think this was as good as the Four-Corner Survival from Reclamation: Night 1, it was still a very entertaining match. Towards the end of the match, Lethal hit his Hail To The King Elbow Drop on Matt Taven through a table. This left Strong & Elgin alone in the ring and Elgin would pick up the win.

Before the Main Event, Steve Corino is in the ring to conduct an interview with Jay Briscoe. He asks a few questions about Jay Briscoe's title not being the real World Title. This gets Briscoe angry, but both Adam Cole & Michael Elgin come out and brawl ensues. Cole would end up getting the better of the scuffle and laid out both of his Final Battle challengers.

7.) ROH World Tag Team Titles - reDRagon vs. C & C Wrestle Factory: ****1/2

Coleman & Alexander have been asking for a clean shot at reDRagon for some time now, as previous title matches were either three-ways, four-ways, or were mired by outside interference. Now they finally get that clean two-on-two shot. This match was fantastic. It really had that big fight feel, which is something you normally don't see on a live event like this. The crowd was really behind Coleman & Alexander. reDRagon also looked really great in here as well, and this was probably the best title match reDRagon had this year, which is surprising when you consider that they've faced the likes of The Briscoes, The Forever Hooligans, and The American Wolves in 2013. C & C came extremely close on several occasions, but Bobby Fish & Kyle O'Reilly would sneak out with the win and remain the World Tag Team Champions.

After the match, Caprice Coleman took the mic and said that it was time to end the C & C Wrestle Factory, saying that they've gone as far as they could as a tag team and that it was time for them to go their separate ways. He puts over Cedric Alexander in a big way, saying he's the future of wrestling. The two thank the crowd to close out the show and their run as a tag team

Overall: 8.5/10

Coming into this weekend, I was actually looking more forward to Night 1 and actually thought that would be the better show. Night 2 certainly proved me wrong by putting on a pretty great show. In contrast to Night 1 in Dearborn, Night 2 in Columbus was a much stronger and more consistent show in terms of match quality. Several matches went above *** and the Main Event, for me, is a must see match and is definitely in my Top 10 Ring of Honor matches from 2013. Again, a good deal of this was shown on TV, but I think this is good if you want to get the full show, not separated into parts and no commercial breaks. Plus the after match promo from Caprice Coleman, which I don't think was shown on TV, is a must see. Overall, it was honestly a very good show from Ring of Honor.

ROH Pursuit: Night 1 Review

Jimmy Jacobs pursues his dream of becoming World Champion!

ROH Pursuit: Night 1
Dearborn, Michigan 11/15/13

The show kicks off with the self proclaimed "Real" World Champion Jay Briscoe. He talks about being added to the Final Battle Main Event and his Open Challenge tonight. Silas Young comes out to answer his challenge, saying that he'll win and take Jay's "Fake" Title home with him.

1.) "Real" World Title Open Challenge - Jay Briscoe vs. Silas Young: DUD

Their really wasn't much to this one. They brawled for a good minute or so (mostly dominated by Jay) until Silas distracts the ref so he can sneak in a weapon, but Mark Briscoe (who Silas has been feuding with) comes in and takes the ring bell hammer Silas was trying to sneak in, leading to the Jay Driller and the win. Pretty much an extended segment that advances both the Mark Briscoe/Silas Young feud and the story of Jay Briscoe's "Real" World Title.

2.) Triple Threat Match #1 - ROH World Tag Team Champion Bobby Fish vs. Cedric Alexander vs. TaDarius Thomas: ***

This is the first of two triple threat matches on this show between reDRagon, C & C Wrestle Factory, and Adrenaline RUSH. A pretty solid match here. It had a slow start but got better down the stretch. Cedric Alexander would score the win and the momentum heading into their World Tag Team Title Match in Columbus.

3.) ROH World TV Title - Matt Taven (with Truth Martini & Scarlett Bordeaux) vs. Zach Gowen: **1/4

Last time Gown was in ROH, he actually wrestled as part of the House of Truth on a weekend of shows, before being unceremoniously kicked to the curb by Truth Martini & Michael Elgin. Before the match, Taven & Martini cut a promo before the match making fun of Gowen's handicap. The match itself was fine. The crowd was really into Gowen, but Matt Taven needing the usual interference to retain doesn't make much sense in this case and I think hurts him a good deal. Taven eventually picks up the win.

After the match, the House of Truth go to beat down Gowen with a crutch but Tommaso Ciampa makes the save! Ciampa puts over Gowen. He says he doesn't want to wait until Final Battle, and wants his World TV Title Shot right now! Taven and the HOT turn him down and retreat to the back.

4.) Eddie Edwards (with Davey Richards) vs. Jay Lethal: ****

This is the first time that Lethal and Edwards have faced each other in ROH, but they did have a match in PWG earlier in the year that was pretty great. Compared to that match, I'd say this one was about on the same level, maybe slightly better. These two are great wrestlers and it's no surprise that they put on a great contest here. Jay Lethal would pull out the win.

5.) "Barrister" RD Evans (with Veda Scott) vs. Hakim Zane: **

Before the match, Veda Scott cuts a promo about how she's taken on most of RD's legal work so he can focus on wrestling. She also says Hakin Zane will be the first of a long list of victims. The match itself was ok. Of course Zane gets a good deal of offense on RD Evans and sends the Barrister backpedalling on several occasions. Zane actually looked good. In the end, however, it would be Evans who would eventually pick up a victory.

Afterwords, Veda Scott calls out Tommaso Ciampa for a match with RD Evans. As Ciampa is coming out, Matt Taven attacks him from behind with a crutch. Even though no official match had started, Veda counts out Ciampa and RD Evans claims his second "victory" of the night. 

6.) Triple Threat Match #2 - ROH World Tag Team Champion Kyle O'Reilly vs. ACH vs. Caprice Coleman: ***1/4

Here we have the second of two Triple Threat Matches involving the members of reDRagon, C & C Wrestle Factory, and Adrenaline RUSH. Early in the match, all three guys were doing a leg sweep/cover sequence, and Referee Paul Turner gets caught up in it, sweeping Kyle O'Reilly and pinning him for a quick three count by ACH or Coleman (Can't remember which)!! Kevin Kelly raises Turner's hand in a really funny moment. Very CHIKARA-esque sequence there. It's actually kind of cool to see ACH & O'Reilly work a completely different style of match from the ones they've had in PWG & AAW and have it actually work. A good three way here. I think it was the better of the two. Caprice Coleman gets the win and swings more momentum the way of C & C Wrestle Factory ahead of their big title match in Columbus.

7.) "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin vs. Mark Briscoe: **3/4

This is a very interesting matchup in terms of the conflicting styles. These two were putting on a decent match until Silas Young interferes to attack Mark Briscoe. This brings out Jay who in turn goes after Silas. Elgin hits a baseball slide on the both of them, and then Mark hits a moonsault off the top rope to the floor on top of all three of them! The match is thrown out and ruled a no contest.

8.) Davey Richards (with Eddie Edwards) vs. Roderick Strong: ***3/4

These two have clashed various times over the years. They know each other very well and always seem to put on great matches. This one was no exception. While not as good as Edwards/Lethal from earlier, this was still a very good contest. Pretty much exactly what you would expect from these two. In this match, it would be Roderick Strong who would come out on top over his long time foe.

9.) ROH World Title - Adam Cole vs. Jimmy Jacobs (with BJ Whitmer): ****

BJ Whitmer is out a ringside to support his longtime rival and friend. Of course Cole and Jacobs had a great match right here in Dearborn back in January at The Hunt For Gold, so it's pretty much come full circle. Jacobs got this title shot by winning 3 out of 5 matches in his Trial Series. A pretty awesome main event. Though I would say it was only marginally better than their previous match, it was still pretty great and the fact that this time was for the ROH World Title upped the stakes for sure. Their came a point in the match where the ref was down and Cole tried to use his title belt. Whitmer ended up with the belt and gave it to Jacobs to use, but he threw it down, trying to prove that he could win the title honorably. We saw a lot of great moves and close near finishes, but in the end, Adam Cole would somehow find a way to win and retain his title.

Jacobs & Whitmer thank the fans for their support after the match to close the show.

Overall: 7.75/10

This was a pretty good show on the whole. You had three really great matches in Edwards/Lethal, Richards/Strong, and the Cole/Jacobs match for the World Title. Although the two Triple Threat matches were entertaining, the rest of the card was relatively average which brings down the rating for me. Still, I'd say this was a enjoyable show to sit throw, and even through a good portion of this show was seen on ROH TV, it's nice to watch a show as a whole without it being in separate parts and hampered by commercial breaks.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

ROH The Golden Dream Review

A last minute twist has big implications on the World Title picture!

Let me start off by saying that I LOVE the cover for this DVD! Very cool design.

ROH The Golden Dream
Cincinnati, Ohio 11/2/13

The show starts off with ROH Matchmaker Nigel McGuinness. He tells the fans that due to a concussion he sustained in the Champions vs. All-Stars Match at Glory By Honor XII, Adam Cole would not be able to defend the ROH World Title against Kevin Steen as scheduled. Jay Briscoe vs. Kevin Steen had been named the replacement Main Event a few days prior with Briscoe finally being cleared to wrestle. Nigel also states that anyone who touches Adam Cole tonight will be suspended indefinitely. This brings out Jay Briscoe, who lobbies to be in the Final Battle Main Event, which at the moment, is Cole vs. Elgin for the World Title. Michael Elgin comes out and has some words with Jay Briscoe. Kevin Steen comes out and also lays his claim to the World Title, having yet to receive his championship rematch. Nigel decides that the winner of the Kevin Steen/Jay Briscoe main event tonight will be added to the Final Battle Match Event in a Triple Threat Match. The upsets Michael Elgin, who leaves in a foul mood.

1.) ROH World Tag Team Champion Bobby Fish (with Kyle O'Reilly) vs. Mike Posey (with Corey Hollis): **

This is the first of two "Instant Reward" Matches. If Mike Posey gets the win here, Alabama Attitude will get an immediate ROH Word Tag Team Title shot. It was an ok match, nothing much else to it, to be honest. Fish gets the win.

2.) ROH World Tag Team Champion Kyle O'Reilly (with Bobby Fish) vs. Corey Hollis (with Mike Posey): **3/4

Alabama Attitude can still get their "Instant Reward" Title Shot if Hollis is able to knock off O'Reilly. a fine match that had some good action. Hollis is known for his singles work in places like PWX and showed here that he could be a future player in the singles ranks of ROH. In the end, O'Reilly defeats Hollis and denies Alabama Attitude a title shot.

3.) "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin vs. Silas Young: ***3/4

These two had a very good match at Brew City Beatdown and have a long history together in AAW. I really enjoyed this match. Wouldn't call it as good as their Brew City Beatdown match, but it came extremely close and was still very solid. Elgin gets the win.

4.) ACH vs. "American Wolf" Davey Richards: ****1/4

I'd compare this match to ACH vs. Kyle O'Reilly from Night 2 of PWG's Battle of Los Angeles two months prior. Slow to start, but picked up to the point where by the end it was great. Lots of back & forth action that eventually sees Davey Richards (sporting some blond highlights) getting the victory. ACH has had a great year match quality rise, and he was mad over here. He's proven that he can hang with the best in the company, and got a standing ovation after the match. Anybody who says ACH is on a "Job Tour" is sorely mistaken.

5.) ROH World TV Title - Matt Taven (with Truth Martini) vs. Adam Page: ***1/2

Who in the world would have thought Adam Page's best match in ROH to date would come against Matt Taven? Really enjoyed this match actually, a lot more than I thought I would. Their was scary moment where they took a nasty bump on the guardrail that has to be seen to believed. Kudos to both of them for being able to continue. Distraction from Truth Martini & Scarlett Bordeaux eventually allow Taven to pick up the win and retain his title.

6.) Trial Series Match #5 - Jimmy Jacobs vs. Roderick Strong: ****1/2

This is the final match in the Trial Series. If Jimmy Jacobs wins, he gets a World Title Shot in Dearborn, Michigan. I was wondering how Jacobs & Strong would match up, and they went out there and had a fantastic match. It was definitely one of the best matches of the year from ROH in my opinion. A lot of it had to do with the drama. I gotta say, having BJ Whitmer on commentary added SO MUCH to this match. It really made it seem special (especially his reactions to stuff in the second half of the bout) and elevated this match a lot for me. Jacobs gets the huge win and earns his World Title Shot. In hindsight, this match is very odd to look at given what would happen involving these three at Final Battle, but more on that in a later review...

Before the #1 Contender's Four-Corner Survival, Maria Kanellis comes out, but Michael Bennett is nowhere in sight. She says Bennett won't be in the match because the World TV Title is below him and that he's focused more on Kevin Steen.

7.) #1 Contender's Four Corner Survival Triple Threat - Michael Bennett vs. Mark Briscoe vs. "Sicilian Psychopath" Tommaso Ciampa vs. Jay Lethal: ***1/4

It's always a bid odd seeing a multi-man match that's all good guys, but this proved to be pretty entertaining. They never really slowed down and it was a lot of fun to watch. Matt Taven was on commentary, and his presence playing into the end of the match, as Taven got physically involved which caused Jay Lethal to go after him, leaving Ciampa in the ring to pin Mark Briscoe and earn a World TV Title Shot at Final Battle

Taven tries to attack post match but is laid out. Briscoe, Lethal, and Ciampa shake hands over the fallen Television Champion.

Before the main event, Adam Cole is out to cut a promo before he joins the commentary table. He says it doesn't matter who's added to the Main Event at Final Battle because he will walk out still the ROH World Champion.

8.) Kevin Steen vs. Jay Briscoe: ***1/4

This is a rematch from their World Title encounter at Supercard of Honor VII, where Briscoe dethroned  Steen to become champion. The match was not as good as their World Title Match, and was a bit of a disappointment compared to some of the other matches on the card. Still, it was a solid match. During the match Cole would get involved an tried to goad Jay Briscoe into hitting him. At one point Steen had the match won but Maria interfered by distracting referee Todd Sinclair. Steen chased here off but this allowed Briscoe to recover, hitting two Jay Drillers on Steen to win the match and punch his ticket to Final Battle.

After the match, we get more of Cole taunting Jay Briscoe by taking Jay's World Title. He gets it back but Michael Elgin comes out and gets into it with Jay Briscoe. Cole scatters as his two challengers go at it. Things calm down enough where Briscoe & Elgin are escorted to the back. Then Kevin Steen comes out pulling Maria by her hair back to the ring! He attempts to give her the Package Piledriver but is stopped by referees and security. Maria escapes, and Steen proceeds to beat up both the refs and security, giving Package Piledrivers to a few security guys and referee Paul Turner. He closes the show by saying that after Final Battle he's coming for the World Title, no matter who the champion is.

Overall: 8.75/10

I gotta say that this was a really great show. Their are a lot of awesome matches on here. Jacobs/Strong and Richards/ACH are worth getting the DVD by themselves. You also had very solid Elgin/Young match, a very good World TV Title Match and an entertaining #1 Contender's Match. While the main event was a bit of letdown (compared to the rest of the card. It was still a good match by itself) and a slow start to the show with the opening two matches, the event as a whole was still very good. This show was definitely one of Ring of Honor's top live events of 2013, and it's definitely worth seeking out.

ROH Glory By Honor XII: Champions vs. All-Stars Review

A massive Eight-Man Tag highlights the twelfth edition of Glory By Honor!

ROH Glory By Honor XII: Champions vs. All-Stars
Chicago Ridge, Illinois 10/26/13

Pre-Show/Ringside Member Exclusives

1.) The Romantic Touch vs. Will Ferrara: **

I believe Ferrara is a student at the ROH Dojo. I won't spoil the identity of The Romantic Touch, because I think everyone can figure out by themselves who's under the mask (Hint: It's pretty obvious). The match itself was ok. Nothing really special. Basic pre-show match.

2.) MsChif vs. Kasey Ray (with Truth Martini & Scarlett Bordeaux): **

This is Kasey Ray's first match in ROH (though she's wrestled in various other indie promotions) and also, interesting enough, an extension of the long running MsChif/Truth Martini feud from AAW. MsChif is wearing Clockwork Orange inspired ring gear. She actually starts doing this demonic singing while she was beating up Kasey Ray, which was kind of creepy. Again, typical pre-show match that sees MsChif get the win.

After the match, The Romantic Touch comes out and offers MsChif a rose, apparently forgetting that she already has an "Unbreakable" husband. She dismisses him pretty quickly.

Main Show

1.) Mark Briscoe vs. Silas Young: ***

The issue between two started back at A New Dawn where Silas attacked Mark Briscoe at various points throughout the show. This was a pretty entertaining opener. I'd say they were able to step it up from their first match. Young gets the win via some chicanery (school-boy rollup with his feet on the ropes). 

Mark Briscoe attacks Young post match, and Young responds by taking off the belt of referee Todd Sinclair and whipping Briscoe with it until they're finally separated.

2.) Trial Series Match #4 – Jimmy Jacobs vs. Adam Page: ***

This is a must win for Jacobs, who comes into Match #4 of his Trial Series at 1-2. Another fairly good match. Jacobs was pretty over with the crowd here. Page continues to impress every time he's out there, especially against experienced opponents. He'll definitely get better over time. In the end, Jacobs would end up pulling out the victory, extending his record to 2-2, and setting up the deciding match at The Golden Dream.

3.) Kevin Steen vs. Michael Bennett (with Maria Kanellis): ***1/4

These two have been feuding since September over who has the better piledriver (a feud that's really been instigated by Maria). A pretty good match here. The crowd was really into this one, which is a good thing. Once again, we have another solid Michael Bennett match. Good back and forth action. but  Maria ended up being the deciding factor, leading to her man getting the win over Mr. Wrestling.

After the match, Bennett & Maria looked to do more damage, but Lisa Marie Varon (aka Victoria/Tara from WWE/TNA respectively) came out and went after Maria. A wild brawl breaks out that sees Steen dive off the top rope to the outside onto Bennett and a bunch of security guys. Varon ends up hitting the Widow's Peak on Maria and she & Steen celebrate.

Before the next match, Steve Corino officially rejoins the commentary booth with Kevin Kelly. Corino, with a lot of help from Veda Scott, "reached a settlement" with ROH that allowed him to return to the broadcast team.

4.) “Sicilian Psychopath” Tommaso Ciampa vs. Jesse Sorensen: **1/2

Sorensen, you may remember, was the wrestler who infamously got his neck broken during a match in TNA, and later ended up being released by the company after Dixie Carter allegedly promised him a "job for life" (way to be an ass, TNA...). This is his ROH debut, and he has a tough challenge ahead of him. The match itself was fine. Nothing really wrong with it, but it was pretty average by ROH standards. Ciampa gets the win via submission, and Sorensen gets a standing ovation.

5.) Outlaw Inc. vs. Adrenaline RUSH: **1/2

Interesting match-up here. Much like the match that preceded it, the match itself was fine, but it just felt kind of average. To this point, Outlaw Inc. has had some solid performances, but nothing really spectacular. We do get some high flying offense from ACH & TaDarius Thomas, which is nice to see, but in the end, they fall to Eddie Kingston & Homicide.

After the match, Kingston & Homicide cut a promo, talking about breaking Sinclair's "no cussing" rule, and that reDRagon had been "ducking them". They say they're coming for the champs.

6.) “Intrepid Traveler” Paul London vs. Roderick Strong: ****1/4

This is Paul London's third match since returning to ROH. The match was pretty fantastic. This is the type of match that makes people fall in love with Ring of Honor. Just two guys going out there and putting on a kick-ass match. It's definitely worth going out of your way to check out. London gets the win with an awesome Shooting Star Press.

7.) Champions vs. All-Stars – ROH World Champion Adam Cole, ROH World TV Champion Matt Taven (with Truth Martini & the Hoopla Hotties) and ROH World Tag Team Champions reDRagon vs. “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin, Jay Lethal, and C & C Wrestle Factory: ****1/2

Much like the Eight-Man Tag from Northern Aggression, this match has a two hour time limit. This match was awesome for so many reasons. Firstly, it had great story telling, from Cole trying to run from Elgin every chance he got, to a pretty cool mini-Future Shock reunion. Then there was of course all of the action that occurred during the match, which even saw Outlaw Inc. jumping the guardrail. The match saw Elgin & Cole pretty much eliminating everyone on their opposite sides (including Elgin giving Bobby Fish his first pinfall loss in ROH) until they were the only two left. This match was also pretty injury-filled, from Bobby Fish getting a massive cut above one of his ears after getting slammed in the guardrail, to Jay Lethal & Kasey Ray taking a sick bump off the top rope through the timekeepers table, to the Super Elgin Bomb at the end of the match which gave Adam Cole a concussion. On the whole though, the match was pretty awesome. Definitely worth checking. Elgin won the match for his team, and by virtue of pinning Adam Cole, earns a future World Title Shot.

As Cole & Elgin are recovering after the match, Jay Briscoe comes out with a bag in hand. He asks how you could have Champions vs. All-Stars without the "Real World Champion". Jay exchanges words with Elgin before hitting him with whatever was in the bag, and then proceeds to do the same to Cole. He then opens the bag and reveals a Briscoe-version of the ROH World Title to close the show!

Overall: 8.0/10

This turned out to be a pretty solid show on the whole. While their isn't really a bad match on the show itself, it does give the impression of being a bit top heavy, with London/Strong and Champions vs. All-Stars being really great, while the rest of the card just being average. That being said, the top two matches are well worth going out of your way to watch, and while the undercard is average, most of the matches are very solid. Add the advancement of several storylines, and you have a good show on your hands.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

ROH Charm City Challenge Review

A surprise World Title Match highlights ROH's return to Baltimore!

ROH Charm City Challenge
Baltimore, Maryland 10/5/13

1.) Adam Page vs. Eddie Edwards: ***

This is probably Adam Page's biggest test to date as he takes on the former ROH World Champion. A very solid. Pretty much the perfect opener. Edwards gets the win and Page has a good showing.

2.) Four-Corner Survival - Tadarius Thomas vs. Antonio Thomas vs. Caprice Coleman vs. Roderick Strong: **3/4

A very random group of guys for a Four-Corner Survival. We also have two guys with the last name of Thomas. Pretty average for a Four-Corner Survival. Their were one or two rough points but other than that, it was fine. Roderick Strong picks up the win.

After the match, Veda Scott (who was on commentary for Four-Corner Survival) cuts a promo about how Steve Corino should be back at the Broadcast Table where he rightfully belongs, but the entrance of Outlaw Inc. scares Veda off...

3.) Outlaw Inc. (Homicide & Eddie Kingston) vs. BLK Out (Ruckus & BLK Jeez) : **1/2

The original opponents for Kingston & Homicide were the Monster Mafia of Josh Alexander & Ethan Page, but they had troubles at the Canadian/US Border and couldn't make it. BLK Out from CZW are their replacement. It was an ok match. I think they're familiarity with each other (Kinston's a former BLK Out member) helped, but when Kingston & Homicide went for their tag team finisher at the end, it was botched, and it looked bad. It was going fine until that moment. Hurt the match for me, personally.

Up next we have a special in-ring promo from ROH World Champion Adam Cole. He talks about how Jay Briscoe has been barred from ROH events until Jay is medically cleared, but is interrupted by Roderick Strong. He calls out Cole for being a coward during their Ringmaster's Challenge at Road To Greatness: Night 2, and also says that he and Cole are 3-3 in singles matches in ROH. He wants a World Title Shot tonight! Cole tells him to get in line, but Strong says he already went to Nigel McGuinness and the match has been made, but with a No DQ/No Count Out Stipulation so that Cole doesn't try to run away from a title defense. A brawl breaks out and it's quickly broken up.

4.) ROH World TV Title - Matt Taven (with Truth Martini) vs. Cedric Alexander: ***1/4

A pretty good World TV Title Match. Cedric has been really stepping up his singles games in ROH and elsewhere (PWX) and matches like this show that. The interference from the Hoopla Hotties and Truth Martini hurt the match for me. Despite that, the action was still good and it made for a fun match. Taven retains the TV Title.

5.) ACH vs. Kevin Steen: ****

This is a first time ever match. Basically the mini-story here is that Steen is really annoyed at ACH because he's always running his mouth and never shuts up. These two had a really entertaining match. I'd say it was better than the match they would go on to have two weeks later at PWG Matt Rushmore. Pretty fun match on the whole. Steen would eventually pick up the win.

6.) Trial Series Match #3 - Jimmy Jacobs vs. Michael Bennett (with Maria Kanellis): ***1/2

Jacobs comes into this match 1-1 in his Trial Series. I can't believe I'm saying this, but for the second show in a row, we have another great Michael Bennett match. He & Jacobs worked really well and had a very good match here. Jacobs even stole one of Maria furry boot covers and put it on himself, calling back to his earlier "Huss!" days in Ring of Honor. In the end, Bennett would pick up the win, putting Jacobs in the hole at 1-2.

7.) ROH World Tag Team Titles - reDRagon vs. "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin & Jay Lethal: ***3/4

Caprice Coleman is out on commentary, and I should say that he was quite entertaining. He also did a great job of putting over the story of he & Cedric trying to get "one clean shot" at reDRagon. Kind of random that two singles guys are getting a World Tag Team Title Shot, but since these four are on opposing sides for the upcoming Champions vs. All-Stars Match, it makes sense. A very solid title match. It was slow at the start, but it picked up to the point where it got very good (actually, the match got better any time Elgin was in the ring). Fine stuff here. Outlaw Inc. was also out in the crowd watching the match, taunting reDRagon at various points. Despite this distraction, Fish & O'Reilly retained their titles.

8.) ROH World Title - No DQ, No Count Out - Adam Cole vs. Roderick Strong: ****1/4

Kevin Steen is out on commentary. Yay! I'd have to say that out of all the matches these two have had, both in 2012 & 2013, this was probably their best match. Really good stuff here. Cole took a massive amount of punishment but never succumbed to defeat. Both guys really hit each other with a lot of hard hitting stuff. I wish they would have played the up the No DQ Stipulation a bit more, but what they did worked very well. Adam Cole would eventually pick up the win and retains his World Title for the second time in the span of one week.

After the match, Steen left the commentary table to confront Cole, but Michael Bennett came out and the two beat down Steen until Michael Elgin came out for the save to close the show.

Overall: 8.25/10

This was a really good show. I think it's one that snuck up on a lot of people and proved to be one of more entertaining live events of the year. The first half was decent, but the second half really lifted this one up to a higher. Cole/Strong had a great World Title Match, Steen/ACH was a lot of fun, the World Tag Team Title Match was pretty much what you'd expect (given the guys involved), and the Bennett/Jacobs match, I think, surpassed most people's expectations. A great show overall.

ROH A New Dawn Review

The Honor Rumble determines Adam Cole's first challenger!

ROH A New Dawn
Hopkins, Minnesota 9/28/13

The show starts off with an in-ring promo from ROH World Champion Adam Cole. He says he's grown up and now realizes that you need to do whatever it takes to win. Cole claims he'll beat whoever wins the Honor Rumble and calls Michael Elgin & Jay Briscoe some rather unflattering names. This brings out Jay Briscoe, who says that once he's medically cleared, he's going to kick Cole's ass and take back his title.
1.) Non-Title Match - ROH World Tag Team Champions reDRagon vs. The Monster Mafia (Josh Alexander & Ethan Page): ***1/2

This is the first time I'm seeing the Monster Mafia of Josh Alexander & Ethan Page. I'd heard a lot about these two. It was a very solid match. The Monster Mafia looked pretty good and hit some really cool double team moves. Even though Fish & O'Reilly came out on top, it was a really good showing from the Monster Mafia.

2.) Silas Young vs. Mark Briscoe: **3/4

A fine match here. Nothing really outstanding, just a pretty solid undercard match. The main story is what happened after the match. Silas Young attacks Mark Briscoe after Briscoe won the match with a roll up. They would later have a confrontation in the Locker Room. This would be the start of their feud, which would go to Final Battle.

3.) Adrenaline Rush vs. Jay Lethal & "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin: ***1/2

I was actually really looking forward to this. It turned out to be a pretty good tag team match. We oddly didn't see a lot of high flying from ACH & TaDarius Thomas, but I thought they worked really well together. Their was a lot of great action, including Elgin hitting Jay Lethal's Top Rope Elbow Drop! Elgin & Lethal would pick up the win.

4.) Honor Rumble: ***1/4

I took the liberty of writing up the entry/elimination order. Entry order is first, elimination order in parenthesis.

1. (12) Jay Lethal by Bobby Fish
2. (13) Mat Taven by Bobby Fish
3. (8) Kyle O’Reilly by Mark Briscoe
4. (9) Davey Richards by Bobby Fish
5. (3) Michael Bennett by Roderick Strong
6. (1) Delirious by Michael Bennett
7. (6) ACH by Kyle O’Reilly
8. (10) Roderick Strong by Jay Lethal
9. (2) Cheeseburger by Michael Bennett
10. (5) Silas Young by Mark Briscoe
11. (Winner) Mark Briscoe
12. (4) Josh Alexander by Silas Young
13. (11) Eddie Edwards by Matt Taven
14. (7) TaDarius Thomas by Eddie Edwards & Roderick Strong
15. (14) Bobby Fish by Mark Briscoe

I think I enjoyed this more than the Southern Defiance Honor Rumble. In comparison, this one felt much more like a Rumble Match, if that makes any sense. Seeing Delirious was a nice surprise. I'd actually like it if ROH makes it a semi-regular thing, maybe every year or two. For a live event, it's perfect. Some notable items include Silas Young once again attacking Mark Briscoe after Briscoe eliminated him and Cheeseburger making an appearance. Mark Briscoe would get the win and will challenge for the World Title in the main event.

5.) Michael Bennett (with Maria Kanellis) vs. Eddie Edwards: ***1/2

These two had a mini-feud during the summer of 2012 which included a mixed tag team match with Maria Kanellis & Sara del Rey at Boiling Point 2012. This was a really solid match. I'd say it was one of their better ones these two have had with each other. Edwards is always great but this was definitely one of Bennett's best performances.

6.) Trial Series Match #2 - Jimmy Jacobs vs. Kevin Steen: ***1/4

This is the second match in the Jimmy Jacobs Trial Series. If he wins three out of the five matches, he gets a World Title Shot. They went balls to the walls in this one. Basically it was (I'm guessing here on the time) a 5 minute-ish match where they just hit their signature moves on each other. Big move after big move. It was actually real competitive, and I think it makes sense that Jacobs would try to beat Steen as quickly as possible. Really entertaining and a lot of fun, but also very short, hence the rating I give.

After the match, Maria Kanellis comes out and distracts Kevin Steen, which allows Michael Bennett to come out and hit his Piledriver on Kevin Steen.

7.) ROH World TV Title - Matt Taven vs. Davey Richards vs. Roderick Strong: ***3/4

Another match that I was looking forward to on this show. Taven has Scarlett Bordeaux & Seleziya Sparx with him, but no Truth Martini. It was a very solid World TV Title Match. Richards & Strong worked well together as usual, but having Taven in there added a completely new twist on it and it helped a lot. The Hoopla Hottie's interference at the end led to a bit of a lackluster ending, but that's my only complaint. The match, otherwise, was great.

8.) ROH World Title - Adam Cole vs. Mark Briscoe: ***3/4

Jay Briscoe would try to come out at the start of the match but was dragged away by security. This was actually a really good match. Some might see it as overrating it, but I really enjoyed the match. Cole was great as a heel in this match (can't stress that enough). Definitely a step up from their match in the World Title Tournament. Adam Cole retains the World Title.

After Cole won, Jay Briscoe came back out through the crowd to try and get to Cole, but then Michael Elgin came out and Cole scattered, leaving his World Title in the ring. Jay attacked refs and security before leaving. Elgin then takes the belt and cuts a cowboy boots (Yes, that actually happened) and said he's coming for the World Title.

Overall: 7.5/10

When looking at this show compared to the rest of ROH's shows in 2013, I'd say this show to WAR, Relentless, and Liv3 & Let Die. Their really isn't anything must-see on this show and it's not an event you need to go out of your way to see, but their is not a single bad match on here, and if you're looking for a good night of solid wrestling, this is a good choice. It's very consistent, which is something that's been a constant on ROH live events in 2013. I should note that Kevin Kelly doing commentary by himself was awful! Adam Cole being with him on commentary for several matches was a saving grace for sure. Overall, I'd say it was a pretty solid show. If you're looking for a show to get during a sale, definitely get this one.