ROH Road To “Best In The World ‘15”: Night 4
Nashville, Tennessee 6/6/15
The show kicks off with an in-ring promo from ROH World Champion Jay Lethal & Truth Martini. Very weird to see ROH start off a live event with a promo in the ring. Anyway, Martini introduces Lethal as the ROH World TV Champion, but says that’ll change at Best In The World, when Lethal will win the ROH World Title from Jay Briscoe. Lethal teases talking, but Martini says that the fans don’t deserve to hear the champ speak. Martini then says that he’s given three men the opportunity to fight for the right to face Jay Lethal in a “warm-up match” later that night, and introduces those men for our opening contest.
1.) #1 Contender’s Triple Threat Match – “P-Dog” Mike Posey vs. Corey Hollis vs. Samson Walker: *1/2
The story here is that Truth Martini basically sent out an open invitation for anyone to sign, and it turns out, these are the three guys who signed for the match. Jay Lethal & Truth Martini are doing commentary by themselves for this match. Lethal feels confident about taking on either Hollis or Posey, but it seems like he actually expresses concern about potentially facing Samson Walker. It was pretty odd that Lethal & Martini acted like they didn’t know these guys, when Hollis & Posey have appeared in ROH many times before in the recent past, and Walker actually faced Lethal in a tag team match a few months prior. Anyway, the match itself was……ok, I guess? The action was fine, but I just didn’t care about this match. Maybe it’s the fact that the recent live event in Oklahoma City was built as having the final title defenses of Jay Lethal & Jay Briscoe, but Lethal defending the title against a (relative) unknown is so odd. Walker gets the win here, and will challenge Lethal later in the night.
I have a feeling this was the pre-show match, as we then got the DVD opening and shots of the crowd slamming the barricades and being fired up. Weird that it wasn’t listed as such on the DVD, as it usually is.
2.) IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions The Kingdom (Matt Taven & Michael Bennett with Maria Kanellis) vs. Danny Adams & Paco Gonzalez: DUD
I guess we properly kick things off with The Kingdom in tag team action. This was pretty much a squash. Adams & Gonzalez got a few shots in, but The Kingdom was in control for the majority of this match, and would go on the score the easy victory.
After the match, Taven takes the mic, and says that The Kingdom want to continue their global domination. He says that The Kingdom will prove at Best In The World why they are the best faction in all of wrestling. Bennett then takes the mic and demands that The Kingdom be added to the Main Event (which would turn it into a Four-Way Tag Team Match), and calls for Nigel McGuinness to make it happen.
3.) Adam Page (with BJ Whitmer) vs. Will Ferrara: ***1/4
Page is coming into this match with a groin injury, and has his right thigh taped. I thought this was a pretty solid match here. Ferrara looked good, as did Page. There’s not much else to say about this one. It was a fine match for its spot on the card. Page would get the win here.
After the match, Whitmer beats up Ferrara a little bit. He then argues with Cornio a little bit, but stays in the ring, as his match is next…
4.) Four-Corner Survival – BJ Whitmer (with Adam Page) vs. Silas Young vs. Cheeseburger vs. Moose (with Stokely Hathaway): ***1/4
Believe it or not, there is actually a story behind this match. About two months prior, Whitmer stole a victory from Moose in a Four-Corner Survival Match in San Antonio, and Moose has been having a “mini-feud” with Whitmer since. As far as the match goes, it ended up being better than I thought it would be. It was slow to get going, but it was pretty entertaining by the end. Whitmer & Young played their heel roles well, Cheeseburger was entertaining when he was in the match, and Moose got to show off his power. In the end, Moose would actually steal the victory from Whitmer, which was a nice little conclusion to that storyline.
5.) Dalton Castle vs. Roderick Strong: ****
Castle’s regular “boys” are back with him tonight, as he’s taking on “Mr. ROH”. I thought this match was awesome!! This was easily the best match of the night so far, and it was definitely Dalton Castle’s best match in ROH up to this point. There was some great action throughout this match. Strong looked as good as he always does, but Castle look particularly great, as he got to show off some of his unique offense. Really cool stuff in this match from start to finish. The latter half this match was particularly awesome. Even though Strong got the win here, Dalton Castle looked very good in defeat.
After the match, Strong & Castle shook hands.
6.) ROH World TV Title – Jay Lethal (with Truth Martini) vs. Samson Walker: **1/4
As I mentioned earlier, Samson Walker earned this opportunity when he defeated Corey Hollis & Mike Posey in a Triple Threat Match earlier in the night. This was decent for what it was, but of course Walker had less than a zero percent chance of winning. Honestly, I would have preferred if Lethal just came out, issued an open challenge, and then Corey Hollis came out and gave Lethal a run for his money before losing. I think Corey Hollis would have been better in this spot over Samson Walker, but whatever. Walker actually got to kick out of Lethal’s Hail To The King Elbow Drop at 1, which I didn’t like that much. I don’t think this is the proper situation for doing that. Lethal gets the win with the Lethal Injection to retain his title.
ODB comes out next, and says that it’s her birthday today. She says that, after having a lot of beers earlier, she’s decided to issue an Open Challenge, and it’s answered by, of all people, The Romantic Touch….
7.) ODB vs. The Romantic Touch: DUD
Ugh….why was this match on here?! This just felt so out of place on a ROH live event. We got the comedy that you would expect, but this was just bad, plain & simple. After about seven or eight minutes, Jay Lethal runs out and superkicks ODB, causing the match to end in a DQ (similar to what happened with ODB vs. Truth Martini at the show in Hopkins, Minnesota a little over a month prior, expect Truth Martin actually pinned ODB in that match). This brings out Jay Briscoe, who has a stand off with Lethal, who eventually backs down. If they wanted Lethal to come out and attack ODB, they should have just done it. We didn’t need a nearly eight minute match between ODB & The Romantic Touch. This was totally unnecessary.
8.) “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin vs. Matt Sydal: ****
Elgin comes into this match with a noticeable black eye, courtesy of Roderick Strong from their tag team match the night before in Collinsville. This particular match was actually scheduled to take place a few months prior in Milwaukee, but Sydal suffered an injury, which changed those plans. I thought this match was pretty great!! Sydal continues to have an incredible post-WWE run. He’s just so good right now. Whenever I see a singles match of his, I get excited. He meshed pretty well with Elgin here. The power vs. speed matches are always a ton of fun in ROH, and this is no exception. Interesting enough, commentary did bring up the fact the Sydal was familiar with wrestling competitors much bigger than him, specifically mentioning The Big Show & Mark Henry (never thought those two names would pop up in a ROH review). Anyway, the closing minutes of this match were pretty awesome, with some great back & forth action. Eventually, Elgin would pick up the win, and would continue his face-turn by shaking hands with Sydal after the match.
9.) Four-Way Tag Team Match – ROH World Tag Team Champions The Addiction vs. The Briscoes vs. IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions The Kingdom (Matt Taven & Michael Bennett with Maria Kanellis) vs. War Machine: ****
Neither the ROH World Tag Team Titles nor the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Titles are on the line here. As you would expect, this match was pretty crazy, and a lot of fun. Bodies were flying all over the place, and the action was very solid from start to finish. We even got a sequence towards the end of the match where it seemed like everyone was hitting some kind of dive to the outside. The crowd in Nashville seemed to enjoy the match, and I’d have to agree with their sentiments. This was a great Main Event, in my opinion. It was kind of weird to see The Addiction get the win here, especially in a Four-Way Non-Title Match where they didn’t really need to win, but that’s my only real complaint about this match.
After the match, The Addiction & The Kingdom have a stare down in the ring, but they would soon be interrupted by The Briscoes & War Machine. As the teams are brawling, Jay Lethal & Truth Martini hit the ring and jump Jay Briscoe! Eventually, Jay Lethal & Jay Briscoe are left in the ring alone, while everyone else was brawling on the outside. They tease hitting their finishers, but every attempt is countered. Lethal then bails with the rest of the heels, leaving The Briscoes & War Machine standing tall in the ring. Jay Briscoe takes the mic, and promises to take Lethal’s ROH World TV Title at Best In The World as the show comes to a close
This show is really a tale of two different parts. One the one hand, you had three great matches which, for me, all cracked the **** mark and are definitely worth seeing (out of those, I liked Castle vs. Strong the most, followed by Elgin/Sydal, then the Main Event). You also had two relatively solid undercard matches in Page vs. Ferrara and the Four-Corner Survival. However, this card suffers from some of the pointless stuff on the undercard. Did we really need a five-minute Kingdom squash? They could have easily just been part of the Main Event from the beginning. The whole situation surrounding Jay Lethal’s match could have been handled much better than it actually was. Then, there was the ODB/Romantic Touch match, which didn’t need to be on this show AT ALL! Those things really took the show down for me, personally, but I would still say you should at least check out those three matches I have at ****.