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RADICAN'S ROH "Winter Warriors Tour-Dearborn, MI" review 1/30 - final build to "13th Ann. PPV, ACH-Patron, Strong-Lethal main event

May 27, 2015 - 11:05:34 AM

By Sean Radican, Torch columnist


JAN. 30, 2015

Kevin Kelly was doing commentary solo to kick off the show. He ran down the big matches on the show.

ROH World Champion Jay Briscoe came out to kick things off. Kelly acted surprised that he was coming down to the ring and mentioned he was defending against Michael Bennett in the main event and if he won, he would head into the 13th Anniversary show as champion. Jay got on the mic and said he was ready to fight right now and called out Michael Bennett.

Kelly said he couldn’t imagine Maria letting this fly. Bennett’s music played and he came down to the ring. Bobby Cruise was called into the commentary booth by Kelly. Kelly wondered if they were going to have their main event right then and there and Bennett ran into the ring and charged at Briscoe and the match began.

(1) ROH World Champion Jay Briscoe vs. Michael Bennett. The action quickly spilled to the outside and Briscoe got the upper hand and tossed Bennett into the barricade several times. Bennett fired back and tossed Briscoe into the guardrail. He broke the ref’s count before going back to the outside and tossing Briscoe into the barricade again. Bennett nailed Briscoe with a kick as Maria came in on commentary and said her man was outwrestling the champ. Briscoe fired back and whipped Bennett into the barricade before mounting him and hitting several punches. Briscoe tossed Bennett back into the ring and went up top. He took forever to set up and Bennett nailed him with a dropkick as he came off the top. Cruise admitted to having a crush on ODB on commentary, which was pretty funny. Bennett continued to work over Briscoe and nailed him with a running basement dropkick before applying a chin lock on the mat. Maria raked Jay’s eyes with the ref distracted and the fans booed. Briscoe mounted a comeback and hit some jabs on Bennett, but ended up eating a spinebuster as he came off the ropes for a 2 count. Bennett signaled for the twist of phate and danced around like Matt Hardy, but Briscoe countered it and grabbed a sleeper. Bennett countered it into a side slam and applied the anaconda vice. Briscoe fought out of the hold and began exchanging forearms with Bennett. Briscoe ended up hitting several jabs and then a big backdrop on Bennett as he came off the ropes. Jay caught Bennett with a neck breaker a short time later that was good for a 2 count. Maria sold concern on the floor as Jay went back on the attack.

Jay caught Bennett with discus forearm that was good for another 2 count. Kelly promised more guest commentators as the show went on. Jay went to the second turnbuckle, but Bennett caught him with a superkick when he came off the top. Bennett sang Edge’s theme music and set up for a spear, but Jay blocked it and went for a Jay-driller. Bennett countered and hit a spear for a 2 count. Bennett set up for a piledriver and the ref told him it was still banned. Bennett set up for the Jay-driller, but Briscoe countered it into a falcon arrow. Maria got up on the apron and Jay went after her. Bennett tried to hit him with a superkick, but Jay got out of the way and Maria ended up taking it. Jay then hit the Jay-driller for the win.

Jay picked up the Title of Love and tried to take the pink lining off of it, but Taven nailed him with a superkick from behind and grabbed the title. Mark then ran into the ring and chased off Taven and Bennett. Mark got on the mic and said this has to end. Jay got on the mic and said McGuinness needs to make a Briscoes-Kingdom match happen one last time. Bennett lifted Maria onto his shoulders and walked to the back with Taven.

Winner: Jay Briscoe to retain the ROH World Title

Star rating: (**3/4) – This was a solid match, but it didn’t get enough time to fully develop into a really good encounter between Bennett and Briscoe. The finish with Maria getting up on the apron and taking an accidental superkick from Bennett felt contrived and was a bit of a flat ending after the action had picked up nicely down the stretch.

(2) B.J. Whitmer vs. Hanson. Stokely Hathaway was in on commentary. Whitmer came out and a fan was shown holding a sign that read, “I do not like B.J. Whitmer.” Hathaway put over Whitmer on commentary for making Adam Page and pushing Strong to the limit at “Final Battle 2014.” Whitmer poked Hanson in the eye and smiled, but turned right around into an eye poke from Hanson during the early going. Hathaway made a dated Bobby Brown reference on commentary that popped me, but also made me realize how old I am. Hanson went up top and hit a flying elbow and the fans fired up. Hanson set up for a dive, but Whitmer nailed him with a forearm as he came through the ropes. Whitmer worked over Hanson on the outside before continuing to dominate the action inside the ring. Hanson tried to mount a comeback, but Whitmer slammed him down to the mat by his hair and the fans booed. Hanson finally mounted a comeback and hit a big backdrop. Hanson went for a bronco buster a short time later, but missed. Whitmer came off the ropes, but Hanson caught him with an inverted power slam for a 2 count. They went back and forth and Hanson hit a sit out spinebuster for a 2 count. Whitmer fired back and hit a Saito suplex for a 2 count. Whitmer caught Hanson with a big forearm against the ropes and followed up with an exploder, but Hanson managed to kick out. Hanson countered a clothesline and hit his cartwheel clothesline for the win.

Winner: Hanson

Star rating: (**) – The match was solid, but unspectacular.

Tyson Dux made his entrance and Hathaway sounded disgusted on commentary. He said Dux didn’t say hello to him backstage. Tommaso Ciampa came out next to face him.

(3) Tyson Dux vs. Tommaso Ciampa. Kelly mentioned that Dux was Michael Elgin’s trainer. Dux backed Ciampa into the corner and offered a clean break. Both men started doing horrible dance moves back and forth before going to a fast exchange off the ropes. They continued to go back and forth until Ciampa blocked a chop and they came to a stalemate. Ciampa teased offering a clean break against the ropes a short time later, but ended up nailing Dux with a big forearm. Ciampa continued to put a beating on Dux before catapulting his head into the bottom rope. They went back and forth a short time later until Ciampa hung Dux up in the ropes and slammed him down to the mat. Ciampa didn’t have the upper hand long, as Dux eventually fired back and hit a big DDT. Kelly and Hathaway talked about Ciampa being in the Four-Way ROH World Title match at the upcoming ROH PPV and how if Dux had a good showing against Ciampa and he became ROH World Champion, Dux might get more ROH bookings. Dux worked over Ciampa. They exchanged some big forearms, but Dux floored Ciampa with a kick to the chest. Both men tried to go for a suplex until Ciampa finally hit a snap suplex. Ciampa followed up with a rebound German off the ropes and then a big running knee to the head.

Dux rolled to the floor and Ciampa nailed him with a running senton off the apron. Ciampa tossed Dux backed to the ring and hit a big face buster for a 2 count. They went back and forth and Ciampa hit a slingshot DDT for a 2 count. Ciampa came off the second turnbuckle a short time later, but Dux nailed him with an uppercut and then a suplex for a 2 count. They battled up top a short time later and Dux hit a sunset bomb and a big clothesline for a near fall. Dux hit another huge clothesline, but Ciampa managed to kick out again. They went back and forth until Ciampa hit a big running knee to Dux’s head. He set up for project Ciampa, but Dux countered it into a DVD for a 2 count. Dux went up top, but Ciampa crotched him by hitting the ropes. Ciampa hit a superplex, but Dux rolled him up for a near fall. Ciampa got right up and hit a huge lariat for the win.

Winner: Tommaso Ciampa

Star rating: (**) – This match had some good moments late, but really dragged during the early portions. Ciampa getting a win heading into his ROH World Title shot at the “13th Anniversary” PPV made sense here.

(4) Jimmy Jacobs vs. Tadarius Thomas. Kelly mentioned this is Thomas’s last match in ROH before he returns to MMA. The announcers highlighted the history between Jacobs and Thomas dating back to Jacobs training Thomas and their time together in The Decade. Thomas caught Jacobs with a kick during the early going on the apron and the action spilled to the floor. Thomas ended up nailing a running kick on Jacobs against the guardrail that sent both men over the top into the front row. Thomas tossed Jacobs back into the ring and began working him over. Jacobs sent Thomas to the floor with a punch off the apron and sent him down to the floor with a head scissors through the ropes. Thomas ended up sending Jacobs back to the floor and he nailed him with a big tope con hilo. Jacobs ended up catching Thomas with a DDT as he entered the ring a short time later. Jacobs hit a tornado suplex out of the corner, but only got a 2 count. They went back and forth on the mat and Thomas worked for a cross-arm variation, but Jacobs got to the ropes and then nailed Thomas with a big knee strike on the ground. Thomas lit up Jacobs with a flurry of kicks that dropped Jacobs to the mat and both men were down. Thomas got the upper hand when the action resumed and fired up on Jacobs with a flurry of offense. He began nailing Jacobs with Kawada kicks and then nailed him with a running dropkick in the corner and a Samoan drop variation for a 2 count. Thomas went for a charge in the corner, but Jacobs surprised him with a spear.

Jacobs told Thomas he cared about him and said he was supposed to be the next Jacobs. Jacobs then slapped Thomas in the face and hit the contra code, but Thomas kicked out at the last second. Jacobs kissed Thomas and hit a second contra code, but Thomas kicked out once again and the fans gasped. Jacobs waited for Thomas to get up and immediately locked in the end time. Thomas held on and then the ref checked his arm. Thomas fired up the third time the ref checked his arm and got a cross-arm breaker, but Jacobs immediately got his feet on the ropes. Jacobs went up top, but Thomas cut him off. Thomas eventually hit a swinging neck breaker off the top, but Jacobs kicked out at the last second and the fans applauded. Thomas caught Jacobs with a half-nelson suplex, but Jacobs got up and hit a spear for another near fall. Jacobs went for another contra code, but Thomas blocked it. They battled up top and Jacobs hit a super contra code for the win. Wow!

After the match, the fans applauded for both men. The ref asked for the code of honor to be followed. The fans chanted “Thank you T.D.” for Thomas. Jacobs teased a handshake, but ended up grabbing the mic. Jacobs said he only shakes hands with people that belong in ROH. He told Thomas he belongs in the world of MMA. Jacobs said it hurts to talk. He then said he’s not going to shake his hand, but he will say thank you. Jacobs left the ring and the fans gave Thomas one last ovation.

Winner: Jimmy Jacobs

Star rating: (***1/4) – The first half of the match dragged a bit and there were a ton of near falls here, but this got really good given the prior history between Jacobs and Thomas. Thomas refused to be pinned. He took several spears, contra code’s, and even escaped the end time, but in the end Jacobs managed to finally put him away with a super contra code.

(5) Matt Taven vs. Matt Sydal. Taven bailed to the floor during the early going and tossed streamers on himself. Sydal took control and nailed Taven with a sliding kick in the corner. Taven tried to fire back and charged at Sydal, but got caught with a spinning kick to the head. Sydal went for a splash off the top and Taven rolled through and held on to him, but Sydal countered and hit his signature standing leg drop. Sydal went for a standing moonsault, but Taven got his knees up. Taven ended up tossing Sydal to the floor and Adam Cole came in on commentary. Kelly tried to give him a headset, but Cole put his feet up on the announce table and ignored him. Taven put a beating on Sydal on the floor. They went back and forth in the ring. Taven ended up sending Sydal to the floor and he nailed him with a sick splash over the top rope. Cole refused to say anything to Kelly, who kept asking him if he had anything to say. Sydal tried to fire back and set up for a slingshot splash to the floor, but Taven tripped him and then tossed him into the guardrail. Taven had worked over Sydal’s shoulder earlier in the match and he continued to work it over inside the ring. Kelly tried to ask Cole about his recovery from his arm injury, but Cole wouldn’t answer him. Taven went for a springboard moonsault, but Sydal got his knees up.

Sydal nailed Taven with a series of kicks and decked him with a running kick. Sydal hit a crucifix bomb a short time later, but Taven managed to kick out at 2. Sydal ducked a kick from Taven and hit a standing moonsault for a 2 count. Taven fired back and hit a blue thunder powerbomb variation for a 2 count and went back after Sydal’s arm. Taven went for a super hurricanrana, but Sydal pushed him off and hit a double knee strike off the top for a 2 count. Sydal applied a last chancery, but Cole got up on the apron. Taven hit a kick on Sydal and both men ended up going back and forth until Taven caught Sydal with a superkick. Sydal fired back when Taven went up top and caught him with a leaping hurricanrana. Sydal then came off the top with a SSP for the win.
Sydal offered Taven a handshake after the match and Taven shook his hand and then gave him the FU gesture before leaving the ring.

Winner: Matt Sydal

Star rating: (**1/2) – The action was solid, but the focus of the match was on Adam Cole once he came out on commentary and refused to answer any of Kelly’s questions. Cole went for a distraction late in the match, but Sydal was able to overcome the distraction and get the win.

(6) Dru Onyx vs. The Romantic Touch. They followed the code of honor and Onyx didn’t like the kiss he got on top of it from Romantic Touch. They went back and forth on the mat and Romantic Touch slithered on top of Onyx and blew him a kiss. Kelly was on commentary by himself for this match. Romantic Touch got the upper hand and hit a diving cross body for a 2 count. He ended up on top of the ref in the mounted position when Onyx kicked out and the ref wasn’t thrilled with that. Romantic Touch sent Onyx to the floor and nailed him with a big flip dive. He tossed Onyx back into the ring and he offered Romantic Touch a handshake. Onyx tried to punch Romantic Touch, but he duked it and hit several punches before blowing a kiss at him. Onyx fired back and went to work on Romantic Touch. He hit a neck breaker and made a cocky cover for a 1 count. Kelly mentioned that Onyx had trained several wrestlers in Montreal. Romantic Touch went for a dive, but Onyx hit a power slam and a Vader bomb variation off the top for a 2 count. Onyx then locked in the million dollar dream. Romantic Touch eventually mounted a comeback, but couldn’t take Onyx down with a series of clotheslines. He finally took him down with a diving clothesline off the ropes. Onyx blocked a tornado DDT and hit a Samoan Drop. He then hit a big cannonball in the corner. He made the cover and told the fans to count with the ref, but he only got a 2 count. Romantic Touch ended up countering an F5 and caught him with a big dropkick. He then finished off Onyx with a leaping leg drop for the win.

Winner: Romantic Touch – Nothing very exciting about this match. The crowd got into Onyx’s big man offense, but this was flat for the most part.

(7) Michael Elgin vs. Mark Briscoe. Truth Martini was in on commentary with Kevin Kelly. They highlighted the fact that Elgin was in the upcoming Four Corner ROH World Championship match at the “13th Anniversary” PPV. Elgin went right after Mark and nailed him with a series of punches. Mark pulled the ropes on Elgin and nailed him with a dropkick a short time later to send him off the apron to the floor. Mark then hit a huge flip dive over the ringpost to the floor and the fans fired up. Mark set up for the Cactus elbow, but Elgin rolled into the ring. Mark hit a chop off the top a short time later and went to work on Elgin inside the ring. Elgin fired back and hit his flipping leg drop off the second turnbuckle for a 2 count. Elgin eventually went for a moonsault, but Mark got out of the way. Elgin blocked a tornado DDT and draped Mark over the top rope before dropping him down with a twisting neck breaker for a 2 count. The crowd fell flat with Elgin in control of the action. Mark fired back and hit a series of chops to Elgin’s neck. Elgin fired back with a big forearm. They went to a double clothesline spot a short time later and both men were down. Mark countered a spinning backfist and hit an exploder for a 2 count. Elgin went for a clothesline a short time later, but Mark countered it into a DVD. Mark then went up top, but Elgin got to his feet. Elgin caught Mark with a double stomp charging at him in the corner. He then went up top and hit a big splash for a 2 count.

Mark fired up after kicking out and Elgin told him to bring it. They began trading punches, but Elgin blocked a punch and hit several clotheslines while holding onto Mark. Mark fired back and hit a shotgun dropkick that sent Elgin into the turnbuckles. He then went up top, but Elgin caught him and hit a buckle bomb. The fans booed as Elgin set up for the Jay-driller and hit it for the win.

Elgin got a metal object after the match and used it to fishhook Mark on both sides of his mouth. Jay finally came down to make the save as the fans booed. Jay went to check on Mark, which allowed Elgin to get back into the ring and nail Jay with the ROH World Title. Ciampa then ran into the ring and wiped out Elgin with a clothesline. Ciampa held the title up over his head, but Hanson ran into the ring and nailed him with a running boot to the face. Hanson then grabbed the ROH World Title and raised it over his head. Briscoe ran into the ring and brawled with Hanson to the floor. Jay was bleeding and Elgin tried to enter the fray. Ciampa wiped out Jay and Hanson with a dive off the top, but Elgin avoided getting hit. Elgin ended up grabbing the title and he walked to the entranceway with it and lifted it over his head.

Winner: Michael Elgin

Star rating: (**1/4) – The fans weren’t into Elgin dominating most of the match. It would have been nice to see Mark get a little more offense here, as it never seemed like he had a chance to win the match with Elgin cutting him off every time he began to mount a comeback. The post-match angle was well-done to set up the upcoming ROH World Title match on PPV.

ACH came out first for the semi-main event to a good reaction. Patron then came out to a big pop from the fans. The fans then stood and applauded as Patron banged the guardrail with the ROH faithful. Patron got into the ring and the fans threw streamers. ACH simply kneeled in the corner and looked on. Patron continued to get a superstar reaction as the fans chanted his name once his music stopped playing. Kelly and Martini talked about Patron’s feud with Jay Lethal.

(8) ACH vs. Alberto El Patron. Patron hit a shoulder tackle during the early going and ACH bailed to the floor. Patron then started a “This is wrestling” chant. Alberto hit 10 punches in the corner followed by a basement dropkick for a 2 count. Martini continued to talk up Lethal on commentary saying Alberto is good, but Lethal is special. ACH fired back and hit a dropkick and did Eddie Guerrero’s dance. Kelly mentioned that ACH’s next match would be against A.J. Styles at the “13th Anniversary” show. They went back and forth in the ring and ACH backdropped Patron to the floor. ACH went for a slingshot to the floor, but Alberto pulled the ring apron back and nailed him with an enzuguri, which popped the crowd big. Patron whipped ACH into the guardrail and he ended up hung upside down. Patron then nailed ACH with a superkick and the fans fired up again. They ended up back inside the ring and Patron continued to work over ACH. They battled up top and Patron caught ACH in an arm bar over the ropes, so he had to let it go. Patron measured ACH and nailed him with a huge clothesline. Patron went up top a short time later, but ACH nailed him with a dropkick and both men were down on the mat. ACH fired up and went to work on Patron with a series of clotheslines. He then sent Patron to the floor with a head scissors. ACH nailed Patron with a big running kick on the apron a short time later and a small portion of fans chanted for him.

ACH tossed Patron back into the ring and hit a big splash off the top for a 2 count. The fans chanted for ACH with more fans joining in. He went up top and jumped over Patron, but ended up taking a back breaker from Patron followed by a double stomp to the back for a 2 count. ACH got to his knees and Patron went for a superkick, but ACH got out of the way and hit a satellite DDT for a 2 count. ACH slowly went up top after hitting a slam and Patron cut him off. Patron then hit an inverted superplex for a 2 count and the fans gasped. Patron set up for his signature arm bar, but ACH countered it. Patron went for a charge in the corner, but ACH got out of the way and he went shoulder-first into the ringpost. ACH went up top and hit a double stomp to the back of Patron’s head for a 2 count. ACH said, “Welcome to ROH, Alberto.” Patron hit his signature arm breaker and then ACH with a superkick for a near fall. The fans fired up and chanted “This is wrestling” again with ACH down on the mat. ACH snapped Patron’s throat over the top rope. He then sent Patron to the floor and hit an insane dive over the top to the floor. ACH then went up top for a 450, but Patron got out of the way. ACH countered Alberto’s arm bar a short time later and hit a German with a bridge for a 2 count. ACH went up top again, but Patron got his knees up and immediately applied a cross-arm breaker for the win!

After the match, the fans chanted for ACH. Patron shook ACH’s hand and bowed to him. ACH then joined Patron on his knees and they shook hands again.

Winner: Alberto El Patron

Star rating: (***1/2) – This was a really good match. It started a bit slowly, but the second half of the match was very good with ACH getting in a lot of offense. The crowd was fully behind Patron for most of the match, but ACH won them over with some insane high-flying and fantastic comebacks. This was a lot of fun to watch and Patron clearly seemed to be enjoying himself in this environment. It was a ton of fun to watch the crowd give Patron a huge reaction throughout this match.

A commercial for ROH’s “13th Anniversary” PPV aired.

Roderick Strong was out first for the main event to challenge Jay Lethal for the ROH World TV Title. Jimmy Jacobs was in on commentary and said he wanted to get an up close look at his former friend in action. Kelly asked if the Lethal-Patron match on the “13th Anniversary” PPV would be for the ROH World TV Title after tonight.

(9) ROH World TV Champion Jay Lethal (w/Truth Martini & Jay Diesel) vs. Roderick Strong. Jacobs called Strong the most selfish professional wrestler he’s ever met and if he wins the TV title, it won’t matter because he’ll want to be more than the best wrestler on TV. Jacobs said he knew Strong wouldn’t work in The Decade from the start. Lethal hit a cartwheel into a dropkick during the early stages of the match and posed for the fans. Kelly mentioned that the only man that owns more cumulative days as a champion than Lethal in ROH is Jay Briscoe. Jacobs put over Strong hard on commentary as being a machine in the ring. Martini distracted Strong and Lethal pitched him to the floor. Lethal hit a series of three topes and then posed on the top turnbuckle. Lethal eventually went to the floor and tossed Strong back inside the ring before continuing to work him over. Strong fired back and nailed Lethal with some big chops, but Lethal countered him and hit a DDT. Lethal grounded Strong with a chin lock, body scissors combination. Strong fought out of it with a chin breaker. Strong fired up on Lethal with a series of chops and took him down with a big clothesline off the ropes. They continued to go back and forth and Strong hit a big dropkick for a 2 count. Strong went on the attack and hit a knee in the corner and then wiped out Diesel with a dropkick through the ropes. They went back and forth and Lethal hit the Lethal combination and applied the Koji clutch in the middle of the ring. Strong struggled, but managed to get his foot on the bottom rope to break the hold.

Strong fired back, but Martini got up on the apron with Lethal in trouble and distracted the ref. Whitmer nailed Strong with an exploder in the ring and then another on the floor. The ref finally noticed Whitmer and ejected him from ringside. The ref then called for the bell. Kelly mentioned on commentary that Strong vs. Whitmer would take place at the “13th Anniversary.” Strong got on the mic and asked Todd not to throw the match out. Strong yelled for Lethal to come back to the ring. He told Lethal to prove he’s the best. He told Lethal the only thing he sees is a coward. Lethal gave Martini his belt and ran down to the ring and put the boots to Strong.

The match restarted and Strong fired back. Lethal set up for the Lethal injection, but Strong countered it into a back breaker for a 2 count. Lethal fired back with an ace crusher, but Strong managed to kick out. Lethal went up top, but Strong crotched him on the top turnbuckle. Strong hit a big superplex on Lethal and both men were down. Strong crawled over to Lethal and made the cover, but he kicked out at 2. Strong tried to take Lethal up top on his shoulders, but he blocked it. Strong went for the double knee gut buster, but Lethal tried to counter it into a hurricanrana. Strong held on and applied the Stronghold, but Lethal managed to get the ropes. Lethal went up top a short time later, but Strong nailed him with an enzuguri. Strong went for the Gibson driver off the top, but Lethal blocked it. Lethal eventually sent Strong down to the mat and hit hail to the king, which was good for a 2 count. Lethal set up for the Lethal injection, but Strong popped up and ran around him and hit the sick kick for a near fall. That was insane! Lethal blocked a back breaker attempt and hit a pair of superkicks and the Lethal injection for the win.

Strong went right to the back and went after Whitmer after the match. He was shown brawling with Whitmer and several officials and wrestlers broke them apart. Lethal was in the ring and Paton ran out to confront him. Patron fired up on Lethal, but he ended up bailing from the ring as the fans booed. The fans then cheered Patron as he stood tall in the ring. Patron invited Lethal to get back into the ring for a little fiesta in front of all his fans in Michigan. The fans chanted “Fiesta” as Patron begged Lethal to come back into the ring, but he ended up bailing to the back.

Patron got on the mic and thanked the fans. He said his name is Alberto El Patron and this is wrestling. Patron then went to ringside and shook hands with the fans as his music played.

Winner: Jay Lethal to retain the ROH World TV Title

Star rating: (***1/4) – The match started slowly and was designed to build up the match between Strong and Whitmer at the “13th Anniversary” PPV. The match started slowly before Whitmer interfered, but after the match re-started, it turned it to quite a good match. I particularly enjoyed Jacobs on commentary. He did a wonderful job of putting over just how dangerous Strong is in the ring throughout the match and it enhanced the main event greatly.

Overall thoughts: (6.0) – This release features the go-home build to the “13th Anniversary” PPV earlier this year with most of the important matches and segments airing on ROH TV. The matches were mostly designed to get over the participants in the main event with of the upcoming PPV, as ROH World Champion Jay Briscoe, Hanson, Tommaso Ciampa, and Michael Elgin all won their matches.

The challengers to Jay Briscoe’s ROH World Title didn’t seem all that hot coming out of their matches on this show initially, but the brawl between all four men after the Elgin-Mark Briscoe match did a nice job of heating things up before the “13th Anniversary” PPV.

The thing I liked about this show was that everything was focused on either building the upcoming PPV matches or ongoing feuds in ROH at the time. The TV has become focused in recent months and ROH booker Delirious deserves credit for really improving on how ROH delivers their TV episodes and not only delivers good wrestling, but also solid storylines that aren’t going to insult your intelligence.

The fans clearly love Alberto El Patron and he got the biggest reaction on the show. He had the best match on the card against ACH, although it’s worth noting that ACH continues to come up short in every high-profile match he has worked in. This could turn into a compelling storyline for ACH down the line, but he can’t continue losing against high-profile opponents much longer.

The main event of the show did a good job of building up the Strong-Whitmer and Patron-Lethal matches at the “13th Anniversary” PPV. The match between Strong and Lethal was a bit slow to get started, but picked up nicely after the re-start when Whitmer interfered and Strong had to goad Lethal to get back into the ring to finish what they had started. The action down the stretch was really good and the TV style angle after the match with Patron coming out to confront Lethal only for him to bail from the ring was a solid way to end the build to the “13th Anniversary” PPV.

This show gets a mild recommendation. It’s definitely worth a watch if you haven’t seen the “13 Anniversary” PPV yet. It’s worth watching this show first and then the “13th Anniversary” PPV on DVD or VOD, as they make a good companion set.

You can purchase ROH’s “Winter Warriors Tour-Dearborn on DVD by clicking HERE or by visiting The show is also available on VOD at as well. For more information about upcoming ROH dates and lineups, visit


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and Specialists and Artists.


PWTorch offers a VIP membership for $10 a month (or less with an annual sub). It includes nearly 25 years worth of archives from our coverage of pro wrestling dating back to PWTorch Newsletters from the late-'80s filled with insider secrets from every era that are available to VIPers in digital PDF format and Keller's radio show from the early 1990s.

Also, new exclusive top-shelf content every day including a new VIP-exclusive weekly 16 page digital magazine-style (PC and iPad compatible) PDF newsletter packed with exclusive articles and news.

The following features come with a VIP membership which tens of thousands of fans worldwide have enjoyed for many years...

-New Digital PWTorch Newsletter every week
-3 New Digital PDF Back Issues from 5, 10, 20 years ago
-Over 60 new VIP Audio Shows each week
-Ad-free access to all free articles
-VIP Forum access with daily interaction with PWTorch staff and well-informed fellow wrestling fans
-Tons of archived audio and text articles
-Decades of Torch Talk insider interviews in transcript and audio formats with big name stars.


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