Monday, May 8, 2017

ROH Supercard of Honor X: Night 1 Review

The Young Bucks face The Motor City Machine Guns, Lio Rush challenges Jay Lethal for the ROH World Title, and Colt Cabana returns home!!!

ROH Supercard of Honor X: Night 1
Dallas, Texas 4/1/16

1.) Christopher Daniels vs. Bobby Fish: ***3/4

A match between two veteran performers, who almost never disappoint, was a perfect choice to start off the show. I thought this was a very strong opener. There was a great deal of storytelling and psychology in this one, as Fish initially went after one of Daniels’ legs, but later (once the tide turned), Daniels targeted one of Fish’s arms. Most of the match seemed to be a battle of which person’s limb would give out first, though the action picked up a ton in the closing stages of the match. Ultimately, Fish would score the submission victory. Again, this was a really good match, and both guys did a superb job here.

After his victory, Bobby Fish remained at ringside so he could join the commentary team for the next match.

2.) Moose (with Stokely Hathaway) vs. Roderick Strong: ****

During his entrance, Moose tossed a streamer at Strong, seemingly in a joking manner. Strong didn’t take too kindly to this, and he jumped Moose before the bell rang. From there, what we got was actually a pretty great match! There was plenty of exciting action in this one from start to finish, and it seemed like both guys worked very well together. While the opener was more of a technical battle, this match went in the complete opposite direction, as it was more of a slugfest that saw Moose & Strong throwing bombs at each other. I actually think it’s pretty cool that the show opened up with two different kinds of matches. The closing stretch of this one was particularly cool. Towards the end, Moose went to kick Strong on the outside, but he moved, and accidentally took out Fish! He would recover, but he was not happy. Eventually, Strong would pick up the win over Moose after a series of jumping knee strikes.

As soon as the match ended, Bobby Fish got in the ring and went right after Roderick Strong, who quickly retreated through the crowd. Fish would shake hands with Moose before leaving.

3.) Six-Man Mayhem – Adam Page vs. Dalton Castle vs. Cheeseburger vs. Donovan Dijak vs. Frankie Kazarian vs. BJ Whitmer Joey “Diesel” Daddiego (with Taeler Hendrix): ***1/2

So BJ Whitmer was supposed to be in this match, but before it began, he cut a promo (that dragged FOREVER because the fans wouldn’t let Whitmer speak) explaining that he took a payoff from The House of Truth so Joey Daddiego could be in this match. They did this so that Daddiego could get his hands on Donovan Dijak, who took out Truth Martini on a recent episode of ROH TV. I thought this was pretty entertaining match. These Six-Man Mayhems are always fun to watch, and this one was no exception. While the match was a little slow initially, there were a number cool spots throughout, and everyone had a chance to shine. The person who shined brightest was probably Donovan Dijak, who at one point, hit an insane dive to the outside onto everyone else! In the end, Castle would score the victory after hitting Cheeseburger with the Bang-A-Rang.

After the match ended, Donovan Djiak & Joey Daddiego brawled on the outside. Daddiego would eventually get the advantage, as he used a steel chair to attack the ribs of Dijak, while Prince Nana & Taeler Hendrix yelled at each other.

4.) Kyle O’Reilly vs. IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Champion Matt Sydal: ****

It’s hard to believe that this was (at the time) a first-time ever matchup, yet that was indeed the case. I’m sure a lot of people were expecting these two to put on a wrestling clinic, and for the most part, I think they fulfilled those hopes. This was a pretty great match. There was a lot of really cool back & forth technical action in this one, and it went just about the right length. What I noticed here was that this match was actually very similar to the match Sydal had with Jay Lethal a few weeks earlier in Philadelphia. There was a lot of very solid wrestling right out of the gate, but the match never really picked up until the final few minutes. Fortunately, the closing stretch here was a little better than that aforementioned ROH World Title bout in Philadelphia. The finish was actually pretty cool, as O’Reilly countered a Shooting Star Press attempt by Sydal into an armbreaker/armbar, and picked up the submission victory.

5.) “The Bullet Babe” Amber Gallows & Deonna Purrazzo vs. Mandy Leon & Solo Darling: **1/4

This match was included on the bonus section of the DVD, but in real time, it took place right after intermission. I thought this was an ok tag team bout that featured some decent wrestling throughout. There’s really not much else to say, other than that. Mandy Leon & Solo Darling would end up getting the win here. Again, this was fine for what it was.

6.) ACH vs. Adam Cole: ****

These two have had a number of singles encounters against each other in ROH, all of which have been won by Adam Cole. I think it’s a little odd that ACH has never been able to best Cole. You would’ve figured that he would’ve gotten at least one victory over the former ROH World Champion, but that wasn’t the case. Fortunately, the one thing that the various matches between these two have in common is that they’re always very good to great. In this particular case, I thought this was their best singles encounter. Their was plenty of exciting action throughout this one, particularly in the second half (the crowd was really into the match as well, which helped out a lot). I don’t know what it is, but these two have amazing chemistry in the ring. Both guys played their roles well, and in particular, ACH busted out some (relatively) new moves from his arsenal, which made the match even more entertaining. The only negative thing I have to say about this match has to do with the finish, as Cole distracted the referee long enough to hit ACH with a low blow, and that led to him picking up the victory.

7.) Eight-Man Tag – The Briscoes & ROH World Tag Team Champions War Machine vs. The All-Night Express, Silas Young, & The Beer City Bruiser: ***3/4

I felt like this had the potential to be pretty good, but it ended up exceeding my exceptions. This was an incredibly entertaining Eight-Man Tag! I think what really helped make it so much fun was the fact that it was a relatively short match, going around eight or nine minutes. The two sides brawled right at the opening bell, and the action from start to finish was fast and furious. It was essentially a mutli-man brawl/sprint (which was a perfect contrast at this point of the show, since we saw at least four matches already that all roughly clocked in around the fifteen minute range), and it created a ton of fun moments. Additionally, everyone involved got a moment to shine, which helped the match a fair deal as well. In the end, Mark Briscoe would get the win for his team after hitting The Beer City Bruiser with a Froggy Bow.

After the match, The Briscoes and War Machine had an intense stare down, which once again teased that these two teams would go to war with each other at some point in the near future.

8.) ROH World Title – Jay Lethal (with Taeler Hendrix) vs. Lio Rush: ****1/2

Normally, the winner of the Top Prospect Tournament gets awarded a shot at the ROH World TV Title. However, since (then) champion Tomohiro Ishii was busy with New Japan commitments on this particular weekend, Nigel McGuinness granted Lio Rush (the 2016 Top Prospect Tournament Winner) a shot at the ROH World Title against Jay Lethal. Obviously, I don’t think Lio Rush had a realistic chance of winning, but I was still intrigued to see how this match would turn out. What we got would end up being the Match of the Night, and one of the best matches of the entire weekend in Dallas. I thought this was an awesome match!! Of course, there was a ton of great wrestling from start to finish, but what really lifted this match up (in my eyes) was the story told. Lethal came into this match not taking Lio Rush seriously at all. After showing some early fight, Lethal got a little more serious, but still showed disrespect towards Rush, who played an incredible underdog throughout. The latter stages of the match were particularly fantastic, as Rush took the fight to Lethal, and nearly beat him at a few points. Despite his best efforts, Lethal did enough to retain his title, but there’s no question that this was a star-making performance from Lio Rush.

While that match was nothing short of incredible, the biggest thing to come out of this show took place after the match. Lethal showed Rush respect by shaking his hand. He then took the mic and claimed that there was nobody left to challenge him. This brought out….of all people….COLT CABANA!! This was certainly a shock at the time. Cabana hadn’t been in the company since 2011, and it seemed like he would never return, but as everyone knows, you never say never in wrestling. Colt Cabana then cut a passionate, serious promo that was probably one of the highlights of his career (I’m not kidding. It was seriously THAT GOOD of a promo). I won’t go over it word-for-word, because my recap won’t do it justice. You need to see it, in full, for yourself to truly appreciate it. To provide a brief summary, Cabana essentially said that he was willing to step up to the plate to take on Lethal and attempt to capture the title that had alluded him for his entire career.

I should note that watching this promo a year after a fact really put on a spotlight on a MASSIVE opportunity that ROH missed about a month or so after this show, but more on that in a later review.

9.) The Motor City Machine Guns vs. The Young Bucks: ****1/4

Even though Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin aren’t as amazing as they were during their time in TNA (that’s mainly due to multiple injuries that both have suffered over the last several years), I would still consider this to be a dream match. When the dust settled, it definitely met my expectations. While it wasn’t the best match on the show, I still thought it was pretty fantastic!! The Young Bucks were incredible (as they always are), while The Motor City Machine Guns proved that, even though they might be a slight step slower, they can still produce in big matches like this. This match featured some awesome back & forth tag team action from start to finish, and the fans were very much into it. Ultimately, The Young Bucks would score the victory after hitting The Meltzer Driver on Chris Sabin.

After the match, The Young Bucks were celebrating their win when The Addiction ran out and attacked them. The heels had the upper hand for a bit, but The Briscoes came out to make the save. Kazarian got taken out, and Daniels tried to retreat, but he was forced back into the ring. Daniels then ate a four person superkick from the The Motor City Machine Guns & The Young Bucks, followed by a six person superkick from the same two teams plus The Briscoes. The babyfaces celebrated as the show came to a close. I thought this was a nice way to build to the Four-Way #1 Contender’s Match that would take place on Night 2.

Overall: 9.5/10

In my view, this was easily the best ROH event of 2016, and if it wasn’t, it’s certainly in the Top 5 without question. You know a card is fantastic when the worst match is only ***1/2 (that’s discounting the Women of Honor Match, of course, which technically wasn’t presented as part of the main card). Jay Lethal vs. Lio Rush for the ROH World Title stole the show, and it certainly elevated Rush in a huge way. There was fantastic wrestling up and down the card, with four matches cracking (or surpassing) the **** mark, and a few matches falling just below that mark. Shows of this quality from ROH seem to be few and far between in this current era of the company, but when they occur, they’re definitely memorable, and that was the case with this show. Not only was Supercard of Honor X: Night 1 one of the best (if not the best) ROH shows of 2016, but it’s also one of the best ROH events in the last five years. I wouldn’t call anything on this card a Match of the Year Contender, but quality of the show itself was just so fantastic. If you haven’t seen this show already, you need to.

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