Wednesday, March 30, 2016

ROH Supercard of Honor IX Review

Ring of Honor makes a rare visit to California, where Samoa Joe & Jushin "Thunder" Liger challenge for championship gold!

ROH Supercard of Honor IX
Redwood City, California 3/27/15

1.) ACH vs. Mark Briscoe: ***½

Recently, ACH has been going up against some of best the wrestling world has to offer, including Alberto El Patron, AJ Styles, & Samoa Joe. Unfortunately for ACH, he lost all three of those matches. Though he did recently pick up a win over Jimmy Jacobs, he’s still looking to get on more of a winning streak. He’s taking on Mark Briscoe here in the opener. I thought this was a really good match. It’s exactly the kind of match you want kicking off a show. There was some pretty entertaining action in this one, and honestly, it’s hard for a match involving these two to not be entertaining. The only issue I had with the match is that Mark Briscoe won. Did he really need to win this match? ACH definitely needed the win more, and it’s not like a loss here would’ve hurt Mark Briscoe that much.

2.) “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin vs. Frankie Kazarian: ***1/4

I know he had some pretty successful singles runs in TNA, but for some reason, seeing Frankie Kazarian in singles competition is just…..weird. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me. Here. he’s going up against Michael Elgin, and the match was pretty good. It wasn’t quite as good as the opener, but it was still very solid. Elgin would eventually get the win with an Elgin Bomb.

After the match, Christopher Daniels comes out to check on his partner. While his back was turned, Elgin got a chair and attacked Daniels with it! He then hit an Elgin Bomb on Daniels before attacking Kazarian with the chair.

3.) Six-Man Mayhem - Matt Sydal vs. Andrew Everett vs. Moose (with Stokely Hathaway & Veda Scott) vs. Caprice Coleman vs. Cedric Alexander vs. “Sicilian Psychopath” Tommaso Ciampa: ***3/4

So we have a few returns in this match. Both Tommaso Ciampa & Matt Sydal are coming off minor injuries (ribs & neck, respectively). Andrew Everett, however, is making his first appearance in ROH after spending several months on the shelf with a knee injury. Six-Man Mayhem are usually pretty crazy, and this was no exception! This match was pretty great! These guys held absolutely nothing back, and the action was crazy right from the opening bell. It was balls-to-the-walls, with bodies flying everywhere, and it was super entertaining. Matt Sydal would end up surviving all of the chaos to score the victory in this wild match!

There were two notable things that occurred after the match. Cedric Alexander, seemingly in an angry trance after the loss, shook hands with nobody and just walked out. Moose, on the other hand, wanted to shake hands, but Veda Scott prevented him from doing so.

4.) No DQ Match - BJ Whitmer (with Colby Corino) vs. Jimmy Jacobs: ***1/4

So the issues between BJ Whitmer & Jimmy Jacobs are finally coming to head, as they squaring off in a No DQ Match. This match also has a little extra juice, as this is the last match in ROH for Jimmy Jacobs, before he heads to WWE to take a job with their Creative Team (A job he deserves, by the way). Everyone know that these two have a storied history, but in particular, their history with regards to ‘Mania Weekend is also pretty noteworthy. 2006 saw the infamous Powerbomb, where a slip on the ropes send both men crashing from the top rope to the floor. A year later, Jacobs & Whitmer seemingly ended their feud with a BRUTAL Steel Cage Match at Supercard of Honor II in 2007. While this particular match wasn’t quite as good, or as memorable, as those matches, I still thought it was a fun little hardcore brawl. These two excel in matches like this, so it was hard for it not to be at least good. People’s enjoyment of this match may vary, but aside from one or two rough patches, I thought it was totally fine. Whitmer would pick up the win in this one.

After the match, Whitmer refused to shake hands with Jacobs, and has Colby Corino attack him. Jacobs gets beaten down until LACEY comes out and saves Jacobs!! Whitmer & Colby Corino back down and leave, while Jacobs & Lacey embrace in a really cool moment. The two then leave through the crowd with The Ballad of Lacey playing.

5.) “The Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels vs. Roderick Strong: ***3/4

These two have faced off a number of times in the past, and always produce really good matches. Not only was this match pretty great, but I thought it was one of the best on the show. Strong continues to be one of the most consistent performers in 2015, while Daniels, in turn, continues to prove that age is just a number. While Daniels wasn’t seemingly selling the earlier attack from Michael Elgin when he came out, he was selling it as the match progressed. He could have done a better job with that, but I’m just nitpicking. Just a very good professional wrestling match between these two. Strong would eventually get the win in this one.

6.) ROH World Tag Team Titles - reDRagon (with “Filthy” Tom Lawlor) vs. The Kingdom (Matt Taven & Michael Bennett with Maria Kanellis): ***1/2

We now have the first of three title matches on this show. “Filthy” Tom Lawlor makes his return to ROH, as he’s once again accompanying reDRagon for this match. It’s honestly nice to see him again. As for the match, I feel like a lot people enjoyed this more than I did. Don’t get me wrong, I thought the match was pretty good, but I’ve seen some call it “great”, and I just don’t agree. The action was very solid, but it went a little too long for my liking. At one point, Tom Lawlor picks up Maria and runs her to the back, taking her out of the match. A member of the KRD interferes and attacked Fish, but it didn’t stop reDRagon, as they were able to overcome the odds to retain their titles.

7.) ROH World TV Title - Jay Lethal vs. Jushin “Thunder” Liger: ***1/2

It’s always a treat to see Jushin “Thunder” Liger in ROH, and he’s come to Redwood City to challenge Jay Lethal for the ROH World TV Title! Lethal’s approaching nearly one year in his current title reign, and interestingly, The House of Truth isn’t with him at ringside. I thought this was a really good match, as you would expect. Lethal continues to be an excellent champion, while Liger continues to prove that he can still go at his age. Some
really solid action between these two. The closing stretch was especially good, with a particular highlight being Liger nailing Lethal with a brainbuster on the floor!! In the end, After some shenanigans, Lethal would hit Liger with the Lethal Injection to retain his title.

8.) ROH World Title - Jay Briscoe vs. Samoa Joe: ***¾

Samoa Joe has been undefeated since his return to ROH, scoring victories over Kyle O’Reilly, ACH, & Michael Elgin. He now gets his shot at the ROH World Title! These two have an interesting, and very violent, history. Samoe Joe successfully defended the ROH World Title against Jay Briscoe in a brutal Steel Cage Match during ‘Mania Weekend in 2004, which saw Briscoe bleed BUCKETS. This time, however, the roles are reversed, as Briscoe is the champion, and Joe is the challenger. I thought this was a really good Main Event. While it wasn’t great, these two still worked very hard. Samoa Joe deserves a lot of credit specifically, as he apparently tweaked his knee during the opening minutes. Some very good action from both guys in this one. In the end, Jay Briscoe would retain his title after hitting a nasty looking Jay Driller out of nowhere on Samoa Joe.

After the match, the two ROH Legends shook hands and embraced to close the show.

Overall: 8.0/10

I really value consistency when it comes to wrestling shows, and Supercard of Honor IX was a very consistent show. While there wasn’t a truly amazing match on here (no match, in my view at least, cracked ****), not a single match went below ***¼. Everything on the show was pretty enjoyable, to varying degrees, and that makes it a breeze to watch. Again, while there’s no match on here that you absolutely must see, I’d say this show is definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for a fun wrestling show that’s easy to sit through.

ROH Conquest Tour: Chicago Ridge Review

Samoa Joe goes to war with "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin!

ROH Conquest Tour: Chicago Ridge
Chicago Ridge, Illinois 3/14/15


1.) Stokely Hathaway vs. The Romantic Touch: *½

We do have a dark match on this show, as Stokely Hathaway takes a night off from his managerial duties to take on The Romantic Touch. Nothing really much to say here. A pretty basic pre-show match that sees The Romantic Touch scoring the win.

Main Show

Before our opening contest, we get a promo from Truth Martini, who basically accepts Cliff Compton’s challenge (on behalf of Jay Lethal) for a Chicago Street Fight later that night.

1.) J. Diesel (with Truth Martini) vs. Will Ferrara: **

This is actually a rematch from the 1st Round of the 2015 Top Prospect Tournament. That match saw Ferrara pick the win over Diesel. I didn’t have an issue with this match happening, but I feel like it was the wrong decision to have this open the show. I suppose it was done so Truth Martini could accept the challenge issued by Cliff Compton, but this isn’t the type of opener you want to have. The match was just kind of there. Nothing much else to add. Diesel would get the win here over Ferrara.

2.) ACH (with Matt Sydal) vs. Jimmy Jacobs (with BJ Whitmer): ***3/4

Both men are coming off losses the previous night in Milwaukee, so both are looking to rebound. Jacobs comes out with Whitmer, while Matt Sydal (who is injured) comes out to even the sides. I figured that this match would be pretty good, but it turned out a lot better that I expected! This was bordering on great. We saw a lot of back & forth action, and both guys worked very hard. There were some especially cool moments in this one. In the end, ACH would pick up the victory here over the “Zombie Princess”.

Afterwords, Jacobs shakes ACH’s hand. Whitmer gets angry at this, and confronts Jacobs, saying that The Decade doesn’t shake hands with those that don’t belong in ROH. Jacobs counters Whitmer by saying that after everything The Decade put him through, ACH belongs in ROH. While Jacobs & Whitmer do eventually leave together, all is not well when it comes to The Decade.

3.) Four-Corner Survival - Roderick Strong vs. Silas Young vs. Matt Taven vs. Mark Briscoe: ***½

So Jay Briscoe was originally scheduled to face Matt Sydal (I think in a Proving Ground Match, but I’m not sure), but since Sydal is injured, that match is off. Instead, this match was turned into a #1 Contender’s Match of sorts, as the winner gets an Instant Reward Proving Ground Match with Jay Briscoe later on in the show. This was a pretty fun match. The action was solid from start to finish, and all four guys got a chance to shine here. Silas Young would pick up the win with a rollup on Mark Briscoe, meaning that he’ll face Jay Briscoe later on.

4.) ROH World TV Title Instant Reward Chicago Street Fight - Jay Lethal (with Truth Martini) vs. Cliff Compton: **1/4

Well, Cliff Compton is back, because…..reasons, I guess? I’m not really sure. If he wins this Chicago Street Fight, then he’ll get an immediate ROH World TV Title Match. Lethal comes out in nice Street Clothes, only for him to eventually get stripped down to his underwear like Ric Flair. This was….ok. I usually enjoy these kinds of matches in ROH, but this one really didn’t do anything for me. The crowd brawling wasn’t that interesting, and aside from a few table spots, it wasn’t that entertaining. I will say that it was nice for a heel group actually taking advantage of their numbers in a Street Fight situation. This interference eventually leads to Lethal getting the win.

5.) The Beer City Bruiser vs. Cheeseburger: *1/4

We come back from intermission, and we have two guys who involve food & beverages. This was probably the worst match on the show. I didn’t necessarily have any issues with the match happening (similar to the opener), but I think it went a little long. The Beer City Bruiser gets the win here.

So, during the actual show, Tommaso Ciampa came out and (apparently) cut a long, rambling promo about ROH management and other things, but the DVD cuts to Silas Young cutting out and interrupting him. Ciampa has a stare down with Silas Young, as well as Jay Briscoe, before our next match.

6.) ROH World Title Instant Reward Match - Jay Briscoe vs. Silas Young: ***

If Silas Young can defeat Jay Briscoe here, he’ll get an immediate ROH World Title Match. This was a good match, but it was still slightly disappointing. I was expecting a bit more from this one, but the match was a bit slower than I thought it would be. Plus, the crowd seemed to be on the quiet side for this one. Again, it was fine, but it could have been better. In the end, Jay Briscoe would pick up the victory here.

7.) ROH World Tag Team Title Instant Reward Match - reDRagon vs. Roppongi Vice (Rocky Romero & Trent Beretta): ***¾

If Roppongi Vice is able to defeat reDRagon, then they will earn an immediate ROH World Tag Team Title Match. As it turns out, Roppongi Vice did win this match, and they did get an ROH World Tag Team Title Match immediately, but they would be defeated by reDRagon. I’m counting both “matches” as one whole match, in this case. I thought this was really good. Roppongi Vice looked even better than they did the night before, and they worked well here with reDRagon. It was also a nice preview of the clashes these two teams would later have New Japan. Really good stuff from both teams.

8.) Samoa Joe vs. “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin: ****

Our Main Event of the evening is, without question, a Dream Match. When Samoa Joe first returned, a lot of people (myself included) wanted one of his opponents to be Michael Elgin, so getting to see this match actually happen was really good. While I don’t think it was quite as good as the Samoa Joe vs. ACH match that happened the night before in Milwaukee, this was still pretty freaking awesome!! It was just two bulls going at it, and it was super entertaining. It started a little slow, but once it got going, it was great. These two just went back & forth, beating the crap out of each other, and it was so much fun to watch. Eventually, Samoa Joe would come out with the win after choking out Elgin.

After the match, Samoa Joe cuts a fiery promo to close the show.

Overall: 7.75/10

While this show didn’t have the same consistent as the show in Milwaukee from the night before, I thought this still a pretty solid show. The best match on the show was easily Samoa Joe vs. Michael Elgin, but reDRagon vs. Roppongi Vice and ACH vs. Jimmy Jacobs were right up there in terms of match quality. There was also an entertaining Four-Corner Survival, but the rest of the card dragged the show down a little, in my view. Jay Briscoe vs. Silas Young was fine, but disappointing, and Lethal vs. Compton really didn’t do anything for me. The other two matches aren’t really much and are pretty skippable. As a whole, I’d say the show is worth checking out for the great matches I mentioned above.

ROH Conquest Tour: Milwaukee Review

It's a Champions Challenge in the Main Event while Samoa Joe takes on ACH!

ROH Conquest Tour: Milwaukee
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 3/13/15

1.) Roderick Strong vs. Ariya Daivari: ***¼

Ariya Daivari, for those who don’t know, is the brother of Shawn Daivari (who is, of course, famous for his runs in WWE & TNA). Here, Ariya is the “Persian Playboy”, and he’s taking on Mr. ROH. I thought this was a pretty solid opener. Strong was his usual great self, and Ariya Daivari looked good here as well. Nothing outstanding, but again, this was exactly what you’d expect from an opening match. Strong would pick up the win here.

2.) Silas Young vs. Will Ferrara: **3/4

I believe this is Silas Young’s first match back in ROH since he was injured in the Fall of 2014. The fans in Milwaukee chant “we are average”, a reference to Young calling his hometown crowd “average” the last time ROH was in Milwaukee. Here, he’s taking on Will Ferrara. Aside for one or two rough patches, this was looking like a really solid match. Then the finish came, as Young kicked Will Ferrara below the belt in clear view of the referee. Young was disqualified, and Ferrara was awarded the victory. This was on it’s way to being on-par with the opener before the finish, which really doesn’t make sense. Why would you have Silas Young lose via DQ in his return match from injury? I don’t get it.

3.) Mark Briscoe vs. The Beer City Bruiser: **¼

The Beer City Bruiser made it to the Semi-Finals of the 2015 Top Prospect Tournament, where he lost to Will Ferrara. Here, he’s taking on Mark Briscoe. This was….ok. At this point, The Beer City Bruiser really hadn’t won me over that much. Mark Briscoe wins a pretty forgettable match.

Afterwords, Mark Briscoe & The Beer City Bruiser share a beer.

4.) The Decade (Jimmy Jacobs & BJ Whitmer) vs. Roppongi Vice (Rocky Romero & Trent Beretta): ***½

So this match is not only Trent Beretta’s debut in ROH (which by itself is really cool), but the debut for Roppongi Vice as a tag team in general. They’re making debut against The Decade’s Jimmy Jacobs & BJ Whitmer, who are arguably the most infamous duo in ROH history. I thought this was a really good match. Romero & Beretta looked very good here in their debut effort as a team, and they are immediately a breath of fresh air compared to The Forever Hooligans. There was some good back & forth action in this match, and the second half in particular was very good. In the end, Roppongi Vice would hit their tag team finisher, called The Strong Zero (basically Trent Beretta’s DudeBuster with a double-stomp assist from Rocky Romero) on Jimmy Jacobs for the win.

After the match, Jacobs wants to shake hands, and does so, with Roppongi Vice, but Whitmer vehemently protests.

Matt Taven comes out for a promo after intermission. The crowd starts chanting “SHOTS!”, which is referring a ROH show that happening in Milwaukee in 2014 where Taven promised the entire crowd shots if he won the ROH World Title from Adam Cole (which he didn’t). Taven brings this us, but says he’d buy the shots all for himself, and makes fun of people from Milwaukee. Cheeseburger then comes out, and we’ve got an extra match it seems...

5.) Matt Taven vs. Cheeseburger: **

There really wasn’t much to this match. The story was that Taven didn’t take Cheeseburger seriously, but Cheeseburger would come back and actually hit a few moves on Taven, before Taven eventually got the win. Again, this was entertaining for what it was, but there’s not much else to it.

6.) “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin vs. Josh Alexander: ****

So Matt Sydal was originally scheduled to face Michael Elgin, but he was forced off of this set of shows due to a minor injury. Josh Alexander was brought in to take Sydal’s place in this match. It’s an interesting matchup for sure, and Elgin & Alexander have a long history with each other. I thought this match was pretty great!! It was the best match on the show up to this point. These two know each other so well, and that made for an awesome match. The last few minutes especially were very hard-hitting. Michael Elgin would score the victory in this one, but Josh Alexander showed a lot in this match. While I hoped that we would see more of him in ROH, this would unfortunately be his final match with the promotion, as he was forced to retire from pro-wrestling a few months later.

7.) Samoa Joe vs. ACH: ****¼

I’m a little surprised this wasn’t the Main Event, but that’s just a minor complaint. This is Samoa Joe’s 2nd match back in ROH, and he’s taking on ACH. It’s pretty cool that ACH was picked to be one of his opponents. It was definitely a good choice, as this match was awesome!! I would go as far as to say that this may have been Samoa Joe’s best match during this stint with ROH. Great back & forth action throughout this match. I thought these two just meshed really well together, and it ended up producing the match of the night! Samoa Joe was great here, and ACH showed a lot here as well, once again having another awesome match against a major star. Despite ACH’s efforts, Samoa Joe would pick up the win with the Muscle Buster.

After the match, Samoa Joe & ACH shook hands and embraced.

8.) ROH World Champion Jay Briscoe & ROH World TV Champion Jay Lethal (with Truth Martini) vs. ROH World Tag Team Champions reDRagon: ***½

Our Main Event sees the ROH World Champion & ROH World TV Champion team up to take on the ROH World Tag Team Champions. The match was pretty good, but it wasn’t great. A lot of that had to do with the fact that Briscoe & Lethal weren’t able to get along right from the start. Towards the end of the match, the two finally came to blows, as Briscoe thwarted attempted interference by Truth Martini, only to get attacked by Jay Lethal! This leads to the end of the match, where Kyle O’Reilly is able to make Lethal tap out! Again, a good match, but not great. With that said, it did continue the Briscoe/Lethal feud, and Lethal tapping out to O’Reilly will come into play in due time.

After the match, Briscoe & Lethal have a shouting match with each other, before Lethal eventually backs down.

Overall: 8.0/10

I thought this was a pretty enjoyable show from ROH. Milwaukee is always a fun location for ROH, given how great the crowds usually are, and this was no exception. Samoa Joe vs. ACH was pretty awesome, and was easily the best match on the show. We also had a pretty incredible match with Michael Elgin vs. Josh Alexander. There was also the official debut of Roppongi Vice, some storyline advancement with the Main Event, and some solid matches on the undercard. Something else I liked about this show is that there really weren't any real segments or major promos. It was just a straight wrestling show, and those are always easy to enjoy. An entertaining show from start to finish.

ROH 13th Anniversary Show Review

Ring of Honor celebrates its 13th Anniversary in Sin City!

ROH 13th Anniversary Show
Las Vegas, Nevada 3/1/15
I should note that a few days prior (or at least, I believe it was a few days prior) to the PPV, it was announced that SAMOA JOE, who had just recently been released from TNA, would be making his return to ROH!!! It was then announced that Samoe Joe would be making his return at the 13th Anniversary Show!!


1.) The Decade (Jimmy Jacobs & Adam Page) vs. Reno SCUM (Adam Thornstowe & Luster The Legend): ***¼

The DVD comes with this pre-match, as The Decade, represented here by Jimmy Jacobs & Adam Page, taking on Adam Thornstowe & Luster The Legend, who are known as Reno SCUM. Now I’m familiar with Adam Thornstowe, through his involvement with Quintessential Pro-Wrestling, but I’ve never seen his tag team partner before. Honestly, for a pre-show match, I thought this was pretty solid. It was a competitive match, and it had some cool spots that really got the crowd into the action. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that this match was better than some of the matches that were on this PPV (and I’ll get into that during my review). Jacobs & Page get the win, but Reno SCUM had an impressive outing. I hope we get to see a little more of them in ROH.


1.) Cedric Alexander vs. Matt Sydal: ***3/4

The PPV kicks off with Cedric Alexander taking on Matt Sydal! The only real story going into this match is that Alexander has been on a losing streak as of late, and is looking to change his fortunes. I thought this was a really good opener, that was just shy of being great. These two worked hard, and we got some nice back & forth action throughout. I might have enjoyed this a bit more than most, but I liked this match a lot. Sydal would pick the win here, while Cedric fails to break his losing streak.
2.) Moose (with Veda Scott & Stokely Hathaway) vs. Mark Briscoe: **1/2
This could be Moose’s biggest test to date, as he takes on a Ring of Honor original in Mark Briscoe. I thought this was a pretty decent match. Coming in, I thought this would be a bit better, but it was relatively average. Honestly, I thought the match that Moose had with ACH in Atlanta a week or two prior to this PPV was significantly better than this match. Regardless, Moose would score the win here, earning by far the biggest victory in his ROH career thus far.

3.) Three-Way Tag Team Match - The Kingdom (Matt Taven & Michael Bennett) vs. The Addiction ("The Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian) vs. IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champion "Machine Gun" Karl Anderson: ***1/4
Karl Anderson comes out to the ring by himself. His tag team partner, Doc Gallows, was unable to make it to Las Vegas, as bad weather had grounded his flight, and left him stranded in Detroit. Anderson says that he drank a ton of beer the night before, and was ready for this match. He proclaimed that he is The Bullet Club, and that he’ll go into this match without a partner. That means we’re getting a 2-on-2-on-1 match, which may be a first. Despite the fact that they were down one man, this was still a pretty solid match. It definitely picked up down the stretch, and the crowd was into it by the end. The Kingdom would pick up the win after hitting a Spike Piledriver on Karl Anderson, which makes a ton of sense since Anderson was alone and without Doc Gallows. This also sets up The Kingdom for a future shot at the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Titles in the future.

4.) BJ Whitmer (with Adam Page & Jimmy Jacobs) vs. Roderick Strong: **3/4
This is a feud that’s been building for a few months, as tensions between Strong & Whitmer finally came to a boiling point, causing Strong to split off from The Decade. I thought this was a fine match, but it could have been better, especially considering the fact that it was billed as a “grudge match”. Strong was coming off a series of fantastic singles matches against Alberto El Patron & Kyle O’Reilly, but this was a huge step down for Strong. It honestly might be his most disappointing singles match he had in 2015. At the same time, however, he was facing BJ Whitmer here, who hasn’t exactly been a stellar singles competitor as of late. Strong would end up scoring the victory here over his former stablemate in The Decade.

5.) Maria Kanellis (with Michael Bennett) vs. ODB (with Mark Briscoe): **
Up next we have a rare women’s match in ROH. This is the first time we’ve seen a “Women of Honor” match during this new era of ROH PPV’s. Maria Kanellis still has possession of the Jay Briscoe’s custom World Title belt (since renamed the “Title of Love”), so The Briscoes brought in ODB, One Dirty Briscoe, to deal with Maria Kanellis. Before the match, Maria tried to get out of the match by saying she just found out she was pregnant, but this was a ruse, as Michael Bennett attacked Mark Briscoe, and Maria jumped ODB to start things off. As for the match itself… was ok. I mean, it was about as good as could have been. ODB won (as Bennett & Briscoe brawled on the outside throughout the match), and she took back possession of the “Title of Love”, and ripped off all the pink fuzz & stuff. The Briscoe World Title is back where it belongs!

6.) IWGP Heavyweight Champion "The Phenomenal" AJ Styles vs. ACH: ****
This is ACH’s biggest match to date, as he’s taking on one of the best wrestlers in the world in AJ Styles. While this may not have been as spectacular as some were predicting, I thought this was still a fantastic match! Both guys are just awesome, and I think they worked pretty well together here. Lots of really good action from start to finish. Even though ACH eventually lost to AJ Styles here, he still looked very strong in defeat. This was easily the best match on the show, up to this point.

Before this match, Rocky Romero joints Kevin Kelly & Steve Corino on commentary for the next match, and announces that he’s forming a new tag team with Trent Barretta called Roppongi Vice. The new team will be making their debut at the show in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on March 13th.

7.) ROH World Tag Team Titles - reDRagon (with Shayna Baszler) vs. IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Champions The Young Bucks: ****1/4

Shayna Baszler, a MMA Fighter who is part of Ronda Rousey’s “Four Horsewomen”, and an avid wrestling fan (she’s attended a number of PWG shows), is in reDRagon’s corner for this match, which is the fourth between these two teams. As you would expect, this ended up being an amazing match!! These two teams just work so well together, and whenever they’ve met in ROH, it’s been magic. Awesome stuff from both teams throughout this match, and the crowd was really into it. Now I don’t think this was the best in their series, it was still a fantastic match, and easily the best match on the show, up to this point (overtaking Styles vs. ACH). Towards the end of the match, Baszler pulled the referee on the ring when it looked like The Young Bucks had the match won, but the match returned the favor a minute or two later, which did make sense. In the end, reDRagon would score the victory to retain their ROH World Tag Team Titles.
8.) ROH World TV Title - Jay Lethal (with Truth Martini & Jay Diesel) vs. Alberto El Patron: ***½

These two have been having issues ever since El Patron made his debut in ROH. Lethal took offense when El Patron said he wanted to go after the ROH World Title, saying that his ROH World TV Title was the most important title in ROH. El Patron’s had some pretty great matches in his short ROH tenue, with the match he had in Roderick Strong in Dayton, Ohio being spectacular. As far as this match goes, I thought it was pretty good, though I won’t say it was a great match. This was definitely El Patron’s weakest outing in ROH so far, but again, that’s not saying the match was bad. Lethal continues to be awesome as a heel champion, and El Patron really took the fight to him. Unfortunately, The Book of Truth came into play (as it seemingly always does), and Lethal picked up the win to retain his ROH World TV Title.
I should also note that members of The Knights of the Rising Dawn, or The KRD, in their signature red masks, were watching this match from the crowd. More on them in just a little bit…

Before the Main Event begins, Samoa Joe comes out to a HUGE reaction, making his first ROH appearance since 2008. He says that it’s great to be home, and goes over a little bit of the history of ROH, mentioning the Murphey Rec Center in Philadelphia, which was the home of ROH in it’s very early years. Of course, we got a loud “F*CK TNA!!!” Chant from the crowd. He talks about the four men in the Main Event, and says that no matter who wins, their ass belongs to him. He vows that he will be the next ROH World Champion, and says that he is pro-wrestling. It was so cool seeing Samoa Joe back in ROH. A truly awesome moment.

9.) ROH World Title - High Stakes Four Corner Survival - Jay Briscoe vs. "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin vs. "Sicilian Psychopath" Tommaso Ciampa vs. Hanson: **3/4
Ciampa comes out wearing this awesome Dr. Doom-esque mask that looks really cool. This is a big match for Jay Briscoe, as he’s defending the title against three heavy hitters, and he doesn’t have to be pinned to lose his ROH World Title. Now, before this match went off the rails, I thought it was actually pretty good. It wasn’t on track to be the best match on the show, but everything was going along just fine initially. Then everything just goes completely bonkers. The referee gets (inadvertently) taken out, and The Knights of the Rising Dawn jump in the ring and attack Jay Briscoe & Hanson. They were using a lot of The Kingdom’s signature moves here, which continued the storyline speculation of these guys actually being The Kingdom. However, Ray Rowe makes his big return, and runs them off! Then, while the referee was still down, Elgin tried to attack Jay Briscoe with a chair, before being stopped by Nigel McGuinness, who ended up being saved by Ciampa when Elgin tried to attack him. The finish itself came when all four were hitting a flurry of moves, and Jay Briscoe got the win when he got taken out by Hanson (who was then pulled out by the ring by Elgin), and fell on top of Ciampa for the cover.

After the good parts in the beginning, everything just fell of the rails, and the match turned into an Attitude Era-style car crash. While I think the KRD idea might be an interesting idea on paper, the crowds really haven’t cared that much about them at all (and I don’t blame them). If there are any reactions, it’s collective groans. Then there was the whole spot with Ciampa & McGuinness. I feel like they thought that was going to get a big reaction when Ciampa saved McGuinness from Elgin (based on what they’ve done in the storylines), but that got CRICKETS. No reaction at all. I didn’t mind the return of Ray Rowe here, but I feel that it got lost in all of the interference. Plus, Four-Way Matches usually are No DQ, so why would the referee need to be knocked out anyway? Finally, there was the finish, which came off really flat, and if anything, may Jay Briscoe look like a weak champion. Again, the first part of this match was good, but then it turned into a big mess.

After the match, Samoa Joe comes out and has a stare down with Jay Briscoe to close the show.

Overall: 7.75/10

I thought this was the weakest PPV outing from ROH thus far in this new era. A lot of the discontent had to do with the ROH World Title Match, which was an absolute car crash, and possibly one of the most disappointing Main Events in recent memory, as far as major ROH shows are concerned. There was also some stuff on here that was relatively average (Moose vs. Mark Briscoe, Strong vs. Whitmer, Maria Kanellis vs. ODB), which did drag the show down a little bit, but not as much as the stuff that happened in the Main Event. Despite all of those complaints, there are still a number of matches that were either really good (Lethal vs. El Patron, Sydal vs. Alexander) or great (Styles vs. ACH, reDRagon vs. The Young Bucks). Plus, the return of Samoa Joe was a really special moment. On the whole, I think that’s the moment people will remember from this show. From a match-quality perspective, I feel that it was a really a mixed-bag, and that people will be more inclined to remember the negatives over the positives.

ROH Winter Warriors Tour: Atlanta Review

Ring of Honor comes to Atlanta, and puts on arguably their best show of 2015!!

ROH Winter Warriors Tour: Atlanta
Atlanta, Georgia 2/21/15


1.) The Washington Bullets (Jon & Trey Williams) vs. Punch Drunk Love (Brandon Espinosa & Jack Jameson): **1/4

The DVD comes with a pre-show match, featuring The Washington Bullets (who are starting to become a regular team on ROH Pre-Shows) taking on a team called Punch Drunk Love. I don’t know who is who, but one of them sort-of looks like Jimmy Havoc, while the other guy looks like one of The Bushwhackers, but a lot thicker. The gimmick of the latter is that he’s totally intoxicated. This was a fine little pre-show tag team match. The Washington Bullets looked good here, but Punch Drunk Love would end up getting the win.

Main Show

1.) Caprice Coleman vs. "P-Dog" Mike Posey: **1/4
The show officially kicks off with Caprice Coleman taking on Mike Posey. Now we’ve seen Mike Posey in ROH before, as part of Alabama Attitude with Corey Hollis, but since we’ve seen him last, Posey’s undergone a bit of a transformation. He’s now referring to himself as “P-Dog”, and has become a horrible white rapper. This was a decent match. Nothing really much to say here other than it was a win for Caprice Coleman. The good news is that this was the lowpoint of the show, as it’s only going to get better from here.

2.) Corey Hollis vs. Jonathan Gresham: N/A

I didn’t give a rating for this one because it only went about five minutes (maybe even less), and it was mainly just a setup for what would follow. The Decade’s BJ Whitmer & Adam Page come out right at the start of this match, scouting for their next potential “young boy”. The Decade then decide to jump both guys after Hollis refused to use a chair offered to him by Page, causing the match to be thrown out. Hollis would then take the mic and challenged The Decade to a tag team match, and that’s what we ended up getting!
3.) The Decade (BJ Whitmer & Adam Page) vs. Corey Hollis & Jonathan Gresham: ***1/2
Now I really wasn’t sure how this was going to go, since Hollis had only been a semi-regular in ROH for the last few years, and Gresham really hasn’t made any real apparences in ROH for quite some him (I believe he was in the first-ever Top Prospect Tournament back in 2010/11). This actually ended up being a really good match! It was pretty competitive with Hollis & Gresham really taking the fight to The Decade. What helped was that the crowd was super-hot throughout this match. It made it that much more enjoyable. Eventually, The Decade would pick up the win, but this match was definitely a positive surprise.

4.) Matt Sydal vs. Delirious: ***1/2
Up next we have a matchup with two guys who are very familiar with each other. Of course, everyone knows that Delirious & Matt Sydal are close friends. Their first match in ROH was against each other, and Sydal’s final opponent in ROH before signing with WWE in 2007 was Delirious. I thought this was pretty good. You got a little bit of everything in this match, from solid wrestling to comedy (mostly from Delirious), and on the whole it was just an enjoyable match to watch. The fact that these two know each other so well certainly helped the match quality as well. Matt Sydal would get the win in this one.

5.) ROH World Tag Team Champion Kyle O'Reilly vs. Roderick Strong: ****1/2
While I think it’s been a long time since these two have a singles match in ROH, these two are coming off of a feud in PWG, where Strong successfully captured the PWG World Title from O’Reilly. From start to finish, this was a fantastic match! It’s honestly not a surprise, considering who was involved. Strong is coming off an incredible performance against Alberto El Patron a few weeks before in Dayton, and O’Reilly was as awesome as always. The action was great, and both guys were incredible here. What really helped as well was that you really didn’t know who was going to win. A recent criticism of ROH has been that matches have been a bit too predictable, but here you have a match whether either guy could have won here. In the end, it would be Strong picked up the win here over O’Reilly. A truly awesome match!!

6.) Moose (with Stokely Hathaway & John Abraham) vs. ACH: ***1/2
This match was actually built up a little bit at a recent live event in Dayton, Ohio, when after the Main Event, Moose attacked The Briscoes & Matt Sydal, but backed down from ACH. Moose is accompanied not only by Stokely Hathaway, but also John Abraham, a former NFL Player who spent a number of years playing for the Atlanta Falcons, and was probably teammates with Moose at some point. While this wasn’t as good as the Strong/O’Reilly match that came before it, this was still a really good match! I’d say it was Moose’s best match in ROH up to this point. Once again, the crowd was really into the action, and these two worked the big guy vs. small guy dynamic very well. Very solid stuff from both guys in this one. Moose would score the victory here in another really entertaining match!

7.) Six-Man Mayhem - Will Ferrara vs. Cedric Alexander vs. Hanson vs. "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin vs. "Sicilian Psychopath" Tommaso Ciampa vs. ROH World TV Champion Jay Lethal (with J. Diesel): ****
Originally, this match was supposed to include Jimmy Jacobs, but he (as well as Truth Martini) had weather-related travel issues, and were forced to miss show. Will Ferrara would end up taking the open spot in this match. This would also be a bit of a preview of the 13th Anniversary Show, as Ciampa, Elgin, & Hanson are challenging Jay Briscoe for the ROH World Title in a Four-Corner Survival Match. I thought this match was great! You had a ton of heavy hitters in this match, and it was action-packed from start to finish! Everyone had a chance to shine, including Will Ferrara, and once again, the crowd being really into the match helped immensely. Another super-fun match. Hanson would emerge from the chaos as the winner.

8.) IWGP Heavyweight Champion "The Phenomenal" AJ Styles vs. ROH World Tag Team Champion Bobby Fish (with Kyle O'Reilly): ****1/4
Styles recently won back the IWGP Heavyweight Title from Hiroshi Tanahashi a few weeks prior at The New Beginning in Osaka, and this is practically a homecoming for Styles (who is from Georgia). Here he’s taking on Bobby Fish. Now Styles had an awesome match with Fish’s tag team partner, Kyle O’Reilly, back at Death Before Dishonor XII: Night 1, and while this match wasn’t quite as amazing as that match, this was still pretty fantastic. Styles has just transformed into an incredible talent since he left TNA (but we already knew that), and Fish, who is always great, was awesome in here as well. Great action from both guys in this match. Styles would eventually get the win with the Styles Clash, in another great match on this show!

9.) 2/3 Falls Tag Team Armageddon - The Kingdom (Matt Taven & Michael Bennett with Maria Kanellis) vs. The Briscoes: ****

This was being built as the final chapter of the rivalry between The Briscoes & The Kingdom. I know some haven’t been high on this particular rivalry, but honestly, I haven’t had any real issues with it. Their previously matches haven’t really stood out, but none of those matches have been that bad either.

Anyway, this is basically a Three Stages of Hell Match. The 1st Fall would be a regular tag team match, the 2nd would be a Tables Match, and the 3rd Fall, if necessary, would be a Falls Count Anywhere Match. The Briscoes won the 1st Fall, while The Kingdom would tie things up by winning the Tables Match. Finally, The Kingdom would end up scoring the win in the Falls Count Anywhere Match, putting The Briscoes away, and winning the rivalry. I thought this Main Event was great!! This was easily the best match in the rivalry, and that’s exactly what you want out of the climactic match of a heated rivalry. Now I know some people probably didn’t like this match as much as I did, but I’ve always enjoyed when ROH has done these multi-man hardcore brawls. All four guys stepped up in this one, and we saw some crazy spots, including The Kingdom giving Jay Briscoe a Spike Piledriver through a table, Mark Briscoe jumping off one of the large camera scaffolds, putting Taven through a table, and The Kingdom hitting an insane Doomsday Device variation. Once again, while some may not have liked it, I really enjoyed this one.

Overall: 9.5/10
Holy Crap!! This was AMAZING!! ROH really knocked it out of the park with this show!!! If not for the opener (which wasn't terrible, but pales in comparison to everything else on the card), I might have rated this show even higher. Not only was the wrestling pretty great, but the crowd REALLY helped to lift this show up even higher. When the crowd is into a show this match, it makes it that much more enjoyable. You have four matches that cracked the **** mark, and three really solid undercard matches (all at ***1/2) that were really entertaining. Don't sleep on this one, it lives up to the hype, and it'll definitely be a Show of the Year Contender for ROH in 2015!!