The show started with a highlight package setting the stage for Adam Cole defending the ROH World Championship against Chris Hero.
(1) Matt Taven vs. Silas Young. Truth Martini came down to ringside during the early stages of the match. Corino asked Martini if they were still together. Martini said Taven had fired him and Hoopla was done. Taven took a sick bump after Young crotched him before hitting a springboard clothesline that sent Taven crashing off the ropes and into the guardrail. Young worked over Taven, who eventually mounted a spirited comeback. Taven nicely countered out of Young’s back breaker clothesline combination, but Young eventually nailed him with a big clothesline. Young missed a headstand into a moonsault and Taven took him down with a big kick to the head. Taven then finished off Young with a big frog splash for the win.
Taven wanted a handshake after the match. Young shook his hand, but then pulled him back into a clothesline. Martini then jumped into the ring and urged Young on. Martini offered Young a handshake, but Young walked right past him. Taven then chased after Martini.
Winner: Matt Taven
Star rating: (**) – This was a short, but good high-energy opener. They had a really nice exchange down the stretch and Taven’s counter of Young’s back breaker/clothesline combination was nicely done.
(2) The Decade (B.J. Whitmer & Jimmy Jacobs & Roderick Strong) vs. Adam Page & Cedrick Alexander & Mark Briscoe. Caprice Coleman joined Kelly and Corino on commentary. Coleman took exception to what the Decade had been doing to Alexander and Corino called them bullies and not mentors. Mark is currently mentoring Page and Alexander even though the decade wanted Mark to join their faction. Jacobs slapped Page in the face and Mark tagged himself in and began working over Jacobs. Strong quickly tagged in, but Mark wiped him out with a spinning kick. Strong cut Mark off with an Angle slam and the Decade began working him over. Mark made a sweet hot tag, as he leapt off the top over Jacobs and tagged in Alexander, who ran wild. Alexander was quickly cut off with Whitmer nailing him with a kick and Jacobs immediately following up with an ace crusher. The Decade tagged in and out to work over Alexander. Alexander eventually hit a spinning kick on Whitmer and he tagged in Mark, who ran wild with redneck Kung-Fu on The Decade. Mark hit a sick dropkick on Jacobs that launched him into the turnbuckles.
The action broke down and Page and Alexander went after Strong. Alexander eventually sent Strong to the outside. Mark, Page, and Alexander then hit a sick series of dives to wipe out all three members of the decade capped by a crazy flip dive by Alexander to take out Strong. Whitmer took a series of moves capped by a standing SSP from Page, but Strong broke up the pin. The action continued at a rapid pace and the fans fired up. Strong and Alexander ended up exchanged chops in the middle of the ring. Strong hit a huge forearm and went for a back breaker, but Alexander countered and nailed him with a back breaker of his own. Whitmer took out Alexander and Whitmer & Jacobs hit the all seeing eye on Page for the win.
The Decade taunted Coleman after the match. Whitmer then grabbed Kelly and shook him. Corino took exception and got up to confront Whitmer as Kelly tried to hold him back.
Winner: The Decade (B.J. Whitmer & Roderick Strong & Jimmy Jacobs)
Star rating: (***3/4) – This was a fantastic match with just about everything in the match playing into the storyline between both times. The action down the stretch was red hot, especially the triple dive sequence. I like how Mark Briscoe is being used as a mentor in this storyline to help elevate Page and Alexander.
(3) ROH TV Champion Tomasso Ciampa vs. Hanson. Ciampa back dropped Hanson to the floor and went for a dive over the top rope. He nearly killed himself as his feet got caught up on the top rope, but he managed to connect with the dive. Ciampa nailed a series of running kicks on Hanson against the guardrail and the fans fired up. Hanson caught Ciampa with a backwards rotation power slam and began working him over inside the ring. They went to a big exchange off the ropes and Ciampa caught Hanson going for a leap frog and connected with kryptonite crunch for a 2 count. They went to a huge exchange of strikes. Ciampa finally hit a dropkick, but Hanson bounced off the ropes, did a cartwheel, and nailed Ciampa with a clothesline for a 2 count. Holy crap! Ciampa quickly fired back and caught Hanson with a running knee to the head for a 2 count. Hanson fired back and hit a moonsault off the top for a nearfall, but Ciampa kicked out and applied the Sicilian stretch. Hanson fought up to his feet, shoved Ciampa off, and nailed him with the kick of doom, but Ciampa rolled to the apron. They ended up going at it up top, but Ciampa managed to fight his way off of Hanson’s shoulders. He then slid under Hanson and delivered project Ciampa for the win.
Winner: Tomasso Ciampa to retain the ROH TV Title
Both men shook hands after the match.
Star rating: (***) – This was a heck of a war. The match was short and there was a ton of no-selling, but this was a blast to watch if you like this style of match. The big strike exchange in the middle of the match was nuts with Hanson no-selling a dropkick, doing a cartwheel, and then wiping out Ciampa with a big clothesline.
Michael Elgin was scheduled to face Matt Hardy, but Hardy couldn’t make his flight to Philly, so Raymond Rowe will now face Elgin. Corino said he’s glad Hardy isn’t here because he hates Philadelphia, the fans, and he doesn’t want to get his hands dirty.
Elgin got on the mic and said he had been looking forward to becoming the ROH World Champion and sending Matt Hardy out of Philly on a stretcher or in a body bag. Elgin said he got here and found out Matt Hardy’s flight got cancelled. Elgin said tonight he finally realized how smart Hardy really is because he decided to stay in NC. Elgin said they were hear tonight to celebrate 12 years of the best wrestling on the planet. Elgin said ROH gives wrestlers a chance and make virtual unknowns stars. Elgin said without opportunities he wouldn’t be standing in the ring. Elgin called out Raymond Rowe. Elgin said tonight Rowe got to prove whether or not he belongs.
(4) Michael Elgin vs. Raymond Rowe. They started out hot with both men hitting big moves. Elgin went for a vertical suplex, but Rowe fought out of it. Rowe went for a vertical suplex of his own, but Elgin countered and lifted him up in a delayed vertical suplex once again. Rowe tried to fight out, but Elgin hung on. The fans counted and fired up before Elgin dropped Rowe down to the mat for a 2 count. Rowe fired back and hit a gut-wrench suplex for a 2 count. Elgin fired back a short time later and hit a dead-lift superplex off the apron, but Rowe kicked out at the last second. Elgin won a big exchange of strikes and hit a series of clotheslines to the front and back of Rowe, but he wouldn’t go down. Elgin hit a pair of running clotheslines in the corner and eventually got the crossface, but Rowe got his foot on the bottom rope. Elgin hit a deadlift German off the apron, but Rowe’s shoulder wasn’t down and he only got a 2 count. Elgin hit another deadlift German with a bridge, but once again he only got a 2 count. Rowe caught Elgin coming off the ropes a short time later and hit a big spinebuster for a 2 count.
Rowe went for his death Rowe finish, but Elgin blocked it. Rowe and Elgin exchanged counters before Elgin nailed Rowe with a running kick to the face. A short time later, Elgin went for another running kick, but Rowe caught his leg and slammed Elgin down to the mat for a 2 count. They exchanged counters again out of the waist lock position until Elgin nailed Rowe with an enzuguri. They went to a big exchange off the ropes and both men traded suplexes. Both men then exchanged clotheslines. Rowe ducked a clothesline, but Elgin hit a clothesline with the other arm. Rowe kicked out at one, so Elgin nailed Rowe with a huge diving clothesline for a nearfall. Rowe blocked a powerbomb attempt and hit a belly-to-belly suplex that sent Elgin to the floor. Rowe went for a dive through the ropes, but Elgin got out of the way. I’m glad they had padding down. Elgin lifted up Rowe on the floor and nailed him with a running powerbomb into the guardrail. Elgin then tossed Rowe back into the ring and hit the Elgin bomb for the win.
Winner: Michael Elgin
Star rating: (**1/2) – The crowd didn’t react much to the match until the action got hot down the stretch. Rowe looks to have some potential, but he just didn’t capture the interest of the crowd on this night.
Elgin and Rowe followed the Code of Honor after the match. Adam Cole then ran down to the ring and tried to hit Elgin with his belt, but Rowe stopped him. Elgin went for the Elgin bomb, but Michael Bennett ran down and hit a pair of low blows on Elgin and Rowe. Jay Briscoe then ran down to the ring and went at it with Bennett. Jay sent Bennett to the floor with a clothesline over the top rope. Jay got on the mic and asked if Philadelphia was ready to see Bennett get his a—whooped. Jay then said the fans were ready to see the ROH World Title defended. Nigel then agreed to let the match start.
(5) Real ROH World Champion Jay Briscoe vs. Mike Bennett. Corino said he had been trying to find out what the deal was between Cole and Bennett. Corino said it seemed like they had a partnership as Jay put a beating on Bennett on the floor. Maria came out to the entrance ramp and distracted Jay, which allowed Bennett to wipe him out from behind. Jay managed to counter Bennett on the outside a short time later and he hit a suplex on the entrance ramp. Corino’s audio got really low on commentary. Maria came in on commentary and said she was late because she wasn’t expecting the match to start when it did. She said she had nothing to do with Bennett running down to the ring to help Cole. It was hard to hear Maria on commentary over the ring mic and the fans. Bennett fired back and began working over Jay inside the ring. Jay ducked a charge in the corner and Bennett crotched himself on the middle turnbuckle. Jay went back on the attack and began working over Bennett. Bennett ended up catching Jay off the ropes a short time later and he hit him with a spinebuster for a 2 count.
They went to a big exchange and Jay hit a big running forearm followed by a neck breaker for a nearfall. Jay told the fans he’s the real champ before he went up top. Bennett cut him off up top, but Jay sent him to the mat with series of headbutts. Jay then hit a huge frog splash ¾ of the way across the ring for a nearfall. Bennett fired back and caught Jay with a side effect for a 2 count as Maria sold frustration at ringside. Bennett went for an arm trap clothesline, but Jay ducked it and hit a falcon arrow for a 2 count. Jay glared at Maria and went for the Jay-driller, but Cole ran down to the ring and distracted Jay. Bennett hit a low blow, but Jay kicked out at the last second. Maria and Cole screamed at the ref on the apron. Jay hit a low blow and then the Jay-driller for the win.
Jay glared at Cole, who was standing at ringside, after he won the match.
Winner: Jay Briscoe to retain the ROH Real World Championship Title.
Star rating: (***) – This was a good match that went back and forth from start to finish. They started with a brawling segment on the outside before both men went back and forth inside the ring. The fans were definitely into Jay and against Bennett. Jay overcame outside interference from Cole and Maria throughout the match to pick up a strong win. I don’t understand why ROH tells the fans they can’t swear, but I’ve heard the wrestlers swear several times on this show.
(6) ROH World Champions ReDRagon (Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly) vs. Adrenaline Rush (ACH & Tadarius Thomas). The announcers mentioned Adrenaline Rush had won a Proving Ground match against Fish & O’Reilly in San Antonio prior to the opening bell. Kelly mentioned they had wrestled a perfect match in San Antonio to beat Fish & O’Reilly. ACH yelled at Fish after he took a kick from Thomas and bailed to the apron. Fish turned to ACH and said, “This is why Kevin Steen hates you.” O’Reilly teased a running kick, but ended up slapping ACH right across the face. ACH returned the favor a short time later in a funny spot, as he slapped Fish on the apron and then O’Reilly on the floor. Nigel McGuinness was in on commentary for this match. ReDRagon mounted a comeback and began working over Thomas after Fish made a blind tag and he and O’Reilly nailed Thomas with a combination of moves before knocking ACH off the apron. O’Reilly got a flash arm bar on Thomas after blocking a sunset flip, but Thomas bridged on top of him and forced him to break the hold. O’Reilly lit up Thomas with a combination of kicks capped by a leg sweep before tagging in Fish. It was odd to see ReDRagon get screwed out of a pin attempt because ACH was arguing with the ref, as it’s usually it’s the other way around with the heel vs. face dynamic.
Thomas finally cut off O’Reilly and made the hot tag to ACH, who ran wild on Fish and then O’Reilly. ACH ended up stacking O’Reilly and Fish in the corner before he nailed them with a diving clothesline. ACH continued to dominate both members of ReDRagon and the fans chanted his name. Fish ended up catching ACH coming off the ropes and he spun him into a nice modified Samoan drop. ACH managed to fight off Fish and O’Reilly before tagging in Thomas, who hit a nice German with a bridge on O’Reilly for a 2 count. Fish yanked ACH off the apron on the outside and ReDRagon nailed Thomas with a combination of strikes in the corner capped by a back breaker/knee drop combination. Thomas managed to block an arm bar attempt from O’Reilly, but Fish hit him a diving headbutt off the top and O’Reilly got the arm bar. It looked like Thomas was going to tap, but ACH broke up the submission. The fans started chanting Yes when Fish and O’Reilly took turns hitting kicks on Thomas, so O’Reilly turned to them and said, “No, stupid.” ACH got the hot tag from Thomas a short time later and wiped out Fish before taking out O’Reilly with a slingshot splash to the floor. ACH hit a big frog splash on Fish as Thomas wiped out O’Reilly with a dive. The ref counted to three, but Fish had his foot on the bottom rope. O’Reilly ran in and took out ACH before exchanging strikes with Thomas as the match continued. Thomas won a battle of running kicks, but Fish recovered and nailed him with a backdrop driver.
ACH came out of nowhere and nailed Fish with a running dropkick in the corner. O’Reilly nailed ACH with an ax kick and a straight punch a short time later to cap a big sequence and everyone was down. The fans went nuts and Fish ended up driving Thomas into the guardrail before O’Reilly followed up with a big running knee off the apron. ACH hit Air Jordan to the outside on O’Reilly. He went for another frog splash on O’Reilly inside the ring, but O’Reilly caught him with an arm bar as he came down to the mat and ACH quickly tapped out.
Fish and O’Reilly taunted ACH after the match ended. ACH told Fish he had him pinned, but Fish left the ring and jawed with the fans. Fish went over to Kevin Kelly and told him champions get the job done. He said ACH came so close, but didn’t get the job done.
Kelly asked Nigel if Adrenaline Rush deserved another title shot and he said absolutely.
Winner: ReDRagon (Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish) to retain the ROH World Tag Team Titles
Star rating: (***3/4) – This was a really good match. The action dragged at times and Kelly and Nigel didn’t do a great job of injecting excitement into the match with their commentary down the stretch. The second half of the match was very good with O’Reilly trying to get an arm bar submission on ACH or Thomas, only for it to be broken up. They did a good job of playing with the emotions of the fans in attendance after ACH hit a big frog splash on Fish and the ref counted to three only to notice Fish had his foot on the bottom rope. They had a red hot sequence at the end with O’Reilly catching ACH as he came off the top with an arm bar for the submission win.
They got some nice shots of the crowd chanting for Jay Lethal as he made his entrance before facing A.J. Styles. Styles and Lethal both got big pops for their entrances. Styles got a ton of streamers thrown at him once he got into the ring. A huge “A.J. Styles” chant then rang out from the Philadelphia fans. The fans chanted “F--- TNA” and “Fire Russo” before the opening bell.
(7) A.J. Styles vs. Jay Lethal. The fans were split and chanted for both men during the early stages of the match. Styles surprised Lethal as he set up for a dive and nailed him with a clothesline. Lethal ended up dodging a moonsault and he connected with a dive through the ropes and the fans chanted “ROH, ROH, ROH.” Lethal began working over Styles and eventually countered a hip toss and landed a dropkick for a 2 count. Lethal lifted up Styles with his feet and stretched out his arms using his legs. He transitioned into a leg submission, but Styles got the ropes to break the hold. They battled on the apron and Styles brought Lethal over the ropes and then suplexed him on the apron. The fans fired up and chanted for Styles. Styles took control inside of the ring and suplexed Lethal into the turnbuckles for a 2 count. Styles got the Muta lock on Lethal, but he managed to break free. They went to a big exchange of chops and punches. Both men glared at each other before resuming the strike battle. Lethal ducked a clothesline and got the Lethal combination.
The fans fired up as Lethal went on the attack and hit a popup neck breaker for a 2 count. Kelly finally mentioned that both men wanted the ROH World Title. They ended up battling up top, but Styles slipped under Lethal and tripped him down to the mat. Style set up for the Styles clash, but Lethal escaped and nailed him with a kick. They went to another exchange and Lethal caught Styles with a superkick. Styles got up and nailed Lethal with a combination of strikes capped by a big clothesline. Styles went for the Styles clash again, but Lethal fought out and hit a clothesline off the turnbuckles that left both men down on the mat. Both men countered waist locks until Styles broke free from Lethal and hit a Pele kick. They began exchanging strikes again until Lethal hit a belly to back suplex. Lethal then hit hail to the king, but Styles kicked out at the last second. Lethal took his time and set up for the Lethal injection. Styles managed to counter him and he hit a powerbomb followed by the Styles clash for the win.
The crowd applauded for both men after the match. They shook hands and the fans applauded. The announcers mentioned that Lethal had taken a couple of steps back in his quest to capture the ROH World Title with the loss. Lethal sold dejection at ringside after the match as Styles celebrated.
Winner: A.J. Styles
Star rating: (***1/4) – This was a good match, but it was very methodical at times. The pacing of the match went back and forth between very slow with brief spurts of strike exchanges. I’d like to see these two go at it again, as the crowd seemed ready to come unglued if they had just picked up the pace a bit and added more drama into the match.
Outlaws Inc. came down to the ring. Homicide grabbed Scarlett, who was substituting for Bobby Cruise as the ring announcer, by the hair before she fled the ring. Eddie Kingston got on the mic and ran down Sinclair for making them starve. Kingston then ran down the fans and told them that they make him sick. Kingston said no matter what they were here to stay and they would add a new member sooner or later.
Nigel McGuinness got in the ring to introduce the ROH World Champion Adam Cole vs. Chris Hero match. He said he wanted a clear winner and a clear loser. He said Jay Briscoe, Mike Bennett, and Maria had left the building. He told the fans they would get the best wrestling in the world.
Chris Hero came out to a good ovation from the crowd. Kelly called Hero one of the greatest of all time in ROH. Kelly mentioned Hero had earned the title shot by pining Cole in a tag match. Hero entered the ring and the fans threw streamers at him. It was hard to hear Hero’s theme over the announcers and the crowd.
ROH World Champion Adam Cole came out next to boos from the fans. A few fans threw streamers at Cole. It was also hard to hear Cole’s music until the announcers stopped talking. Scarlett then did the formal ring introductions. Hero got a good ovation when he was introduced. Cole was introduced to a mixed response, but it was mostly boos.
The fans chanted “Chris is awesome” before the opening bell. Both men followed the Code of Honor.
(8) ROH World Champion Adam Cole vs. Chris Hero. Early in the match, Hero caught Cole with a boot to the chest as he went for a leap frog and began him over, but Cole quickly fired back and put the boots to Hero. Cole arrogantly played to the crowd, which gave Hero the chance to nail Cole with a big chop. Cole bailed to the outside and the fans booed. Hero ended up going to the outside on the opposite side of the ring. Hero faked out Cole and caught him by surprise with a big running kick on the floor. They ended up back in the ring a short time later and Cole tried to bail again, but Hero nailed him with a running kick on the apron. Hero set up for a dive, but ended up flipping over the ropes. Cole then swept Hero’s legs out from under him and nailed him with an enzuguri from the floor to the apron. He tossed Hero back into the ring and began working him over. Cole teased a big move off the ropes, but ended up clamping on a headlock, which caused the crowd to boo. Cole got upset while he was working Hero over and glared out at the crowd before giving them the international gesture for f--- you. Hero fired up suddenly and no-sold several strikes from Cole. They began exchanging strikes and Hero had the upper hand. Cole kicked Hero right in the knee, but Hero ended up counting a vertical suplex in mid-air that sent Cole right into the mat.
The pace picked up with Hero hitting a clothesline and a neck breaker. Hero sent Cole to the floor and the fans fired up. Hero nailed Cole with a dropkick through the ropes that sent Cole flying into the barricade and the fans went nuts and chanted for Hero. Hero hit a big rolling elbow back inside the ring, but Cole kicked out at the last second. Hero hit a cravat buster and covered Cole, but only got a two count. Hero set up Cole on the top rope. Cole fought him off, but Hero nailed Cole up top with a running kick to the head. Cole ended up shoving Hero off again and eventually connected with a piledriver through the ropes, but Hero kicked out at the last second and the fans booed. Cole glared at the fans as they booed him. The fans continued to yell and cackle at Cole as he taunted Hero. Cole shoved Hero and told him to stay down. Hero fired up and nailed Cole with a straight right for a nearfall. Hero got Cole up on his shoulders and dropped him down to the mat into a rolling elbow to the back of the head after saying, “Adam Cole is dead.” Cole rolled to the floor and Hero picked him up and tossed him into the ring, but Cole rolled right back out of the ring. Hero nailed Cole with a running boot to the head and went to toss him into the ring, but Cole nailed him with a German on the floor. He hit a suplex into a neck breaker back inside the ring, but Hero kicked out at the last second and the fans fired up.
The fans cackled at Cole as he taunted them. Cole went for the Florida Keys, but when Hero tried to elbow out of it, he hit the ref in the head. Hero locked in the stretch plumb and Cole was tapping out, but there was no ref in the ring. Hero let go of the hold and yelled at McGuinness and the referees at ringside. Cole blocked a running boot attempt and hit the Florida Keys, but Hero kicked out. Cole hit two more Florida Keys German suplexes for the win.
The fans chanted you tapped out at Cole after the match. Kevin Steen’s music played while Cole was still in the ring and Steen got a big ovation from the crowd. Steen and Cole went to face and Steen pointed at Cole’s belt. Steen told Cole he wanted to wrestle him right now. Cole flipped him off and left the ring.
Winner: Adam Cole to retain the ROH World Title.
Star rating: (***3/4) – This was a really good match. Cole is really good in his role as heel champion and plays the cowardly heel very well. The crowd was really into Hero during the match, especially when he had a long stretch of offense during the second half of the match. I wasn’t a fan of the ref bump that lead to Hero getting a visual submission win. The ref shouldn’t have been in that position to take Hero’s elbow when he was trying to fight out of the Florida Keys. That complaint aside, this was a fantastic match and I’m looking forward to the rematch.
Steen got on the mic and told Cole he would see him soon. Steen told the ROH staffers at ringside to leave. Steen said this was no longer an ROH show because it was now a Kevin Steen show. Steen said his guest tonight wasn’t going to get interviewed, but instead he was going to get his a—kicked. He called Cliff Compton down to the ring. Compton came out through the crowd and Steen went right after him and they began brawling.
(9) Kevin Steen vs. Cliff Compton in a Unsanctioned Street Fight. The announcers also left ringside and there was only a ref left to ring the bell. Steen dominated the action on the outside and slammed Compton into the barricade several times. Steen entered the ring with two kendo sticks and tossed one to Compton. They began trading shots with the kendo sticks before Steen hit a Russian leg sweep using one of the kendo sticks. Steen put a trashcan over Compton’s head in the corner and nailed him with a cannonball in the corner and the fans fired up. Steen went under the ring and got a pair of chairs, but Compton slid through the ropes and dropkicked the chair Steen was holding right into his face. Compton set up a chair inside the ring and used it to hit a dive to the outside onto Steen. The fans chanted for Sabu after that spot. They brawled back outside and Steen eventually lifted Compton and drove him crotch first into the ringpost. Compton ended up hung upside down on the ringpost, so Steen grabbed one of the kendo sticks and nailed him with it several times.
Steen went under the ring again and set up a big table between the ringpost and the guardrail. Steen said he needed more wood, so he went under the ring and grabbed another table. The fans chanted double tables as Steen stacked a second table on top of the first one. Steen and Compton battled up top over the table structure. Steen shoved Compton off and went for a swanton, but Compton got his knees up and both men were down. They ended up back on the outside and Steen grabbed another large table and the fans fired up again. Steen set the table up between the apron and the guardrail. The fans moved the guardrail back to help Steen out, which was very nice of them. Steen teased a package piledriver off the apron, but Compton swept his legs out from under him and flipped the crowd the double bird. Compton put Steen on the table and went up top very slowly. Steen popped up and went to the apron. He then tossed Compton through the table and the fans went nuts. He rolled Compton into the ring and covered Compton, but only got a 2 count. Steen went back under the ring and brought several chairs into the ring. The fans chanted use the streamers, but Steen ignored them and set up a chair structure in the middle of the ring. Steen set up Compton for the package piledriver on the chairs, but Compton hit a low blow and hit a sit out piledriver through the chair structure. The fans popped big, but Compton only got a 2 count.
Compton went to the outside and taunted the fans, who booed him. Compton flipped off the fans before grabbing a ladder from under the ring. Compton tossed the ladder in the ring and he got into the ring with several streamers stuck to his foot. The fans chanted for the streamers as Compton taunted them. Compton and Steen battled near the ladder and one fan yelled out ECW is dead. Steen ended up powerbombing Compton onto the ladder, but Compton kicked out. Steen went for another powerbomb on the ladder and connected. Compton crawled over to the corner and Steen taunted him before hitting a series of punches in the corner. Steen got the upper hand and set up a ladder on top of Compton. Steen went for a moonsault, but Compton popped up and shoved Steen through the two tables set up behind the ringpost and the fans went nuts. Compton rolled Steen back into the ring and covered him, but only got a 2 count. The fans booed as Compton taunted them. Compton put the ladder over his head and did the Terry Funk spot, but Steen ducked and connected with a package piledriver on the ladder for the win.
Steen got on the mic after the match and said he didn’t know what Compton’s problem was, but he was the craziest SOB he’s ever seen. Steen said that wasn’t a compliment, it was a fact. The fans chanted that was awesome. Steen said this better be over with between him and Compton. He said he wanted the ROH Title. Kingston and Homicide came out to the entrance ramp and clapped. Steen finally saw Homicide and Kingston clapping and chanting for him. The fans booed. Steen said when he was ROH Champion for 11 months, he beat Homicide and Kingston. Steen told Homicide to go back and watch the tapes when he said Steen never beat him for the title because Homicide couldn’t use DVD players. Steen said he hadn’t lived up to the legacy of the belt the first time, but he wouldn’t disappoint the second time. Steen said the company had been going 12 years and it would keep going strong and he would win the title and keep his promise.
Winner: Kevin Steen
Star rating: (***1/4) – These guys took a ton of big bumps and all of the two counts after big moves into weapons down the stretch for nearfalls and two counts was a bit much for my liking. The crowd was into the match, but also seemed to be entertaining themselves. This was much better than the empty arena match these two had last year and it’s a nice bonus to those that order the VOD, as it won’t air on television.
Overall thoughts: (7.5) – There weren’t any must-see matches on this card, but the show overall was good with a nice collection of matches, especially The Decade vs. Page & Alexander & Mark Briscoe, ReDRagon-Adrenaline Rush, and the Hero-Cole ROH World Title match. It was a letdown that they didn’t do more to make this anniversary show seem more special, as ROH used to do when they aired a nice retrospective during just about every anniversary show looking back at the company. For the most part, this felt like just another ROH show in that they didn’t make a huge deal out of it.
A lot of this show aired on television over the last couple of weeks and the announcers referred to the matches being the television main event during the early stages of the show, which was a bit strange to hear on a standalone show, but it’s understandable since most of ROH’s content goes on Sinclair TV now.
The Decade-Page & Alexander & Mark Briscoe and ReDRagon-Adrenaline Rush matches are worth going out of your way to check out if you’re looking for a reason to purchase this VOD and see content that won’t air on ROH TV. I like the storyline they have going with The Decade trying to bully younger wrestlers and recruit veteran ROH talent into their stable. In this match, Mark Briscoe was serving as a mentor to Alexander and Page, which set up a good storyline and got the crowd invested in the match.
ReDRagon vs. Adrenaline Rush with ReDragon defending the ROH World Tag Team Titles was another very good match on the card. The crowd was behind ACH & Alexander throughout the match. ACH & Alexander earned a title shot after beating ReDRagon in a Proving Ground match and they delivered a great effort hear against Fish & O’Reilly. In addition to Cole, Fish & O’Reilly are really good heel acts on the ROH roster and they deliver in the ring. The crowd was mad after it looked like ACH had pinned Fish after a hot sequence where Thomas hit a dive to the outside to wipe out O’Reilly and ACH hit a big frog splash off the top. The ref then counted to three and then noticed Fish had his foot on the ropes.
The Cole-Hero match was really good and Cole is growing into his role as heel champion nicely. Cole does the little things right when it comes to getting under the skin of the fans, as he got a lot of heat in this match just by glaring at the crowd and stalling. They picked the pace up nicely down the stretch as Hero looked primed to win the match. I wasn’t a fan of the ref bump, but overall this was a really good match.
Other thoughts: The ROH World Title picture seems a little too busy. There are so many people involved in the title picture now that it’s hard to keep track of all of it. I’m all for the company building up rivalries for Cole, but right now he has four people gunning for him at once and it doesn’t seem like he has a central challenger right now, although Steen ended the show pledging to win the ROH World Title for a second time… Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness seemed disengaged while they were together on commentary. They were one of my favorite announce teams to listen to a couple of years ago, but there was a noticeable drop in energy on commentary once Steve Corino left the booth and was replaced by McGuinness… I enjoyed the Jay Briscoe-Michael Bennett match for the Real ROH World Title. Bennett is a good heel, but the company needs to give him a bigger push at some point. He needs to move beyond having matches where Maria interferes to give him the upper hand at this stage of his ROH career… Ciampa-Hanson was a lot of fun to watch for a short match. I thought like I was watching someone play WWE2K14 with the settings on easy at times, as neither guy sold anything as they went back and forth hitting big moves. I enjoy this style of match from time to time, but they were stretching the limits of realism with their selling in this match…
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