SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
This is part 1 of my annual Black Friday/Holiday buying guide. ROH held their Black Friday sale last weekend. I don’t know if they will hold another sale before Christmas, but be on the lookout for one and I will bump up this column as they run sales. Be sure to check the main page for more installments of this series over the next couple of days.
-ROH “Supercard of Honor X: Night 1,” April 1, 2016 (9.0)
This was one of the best ROH cards of 2016. There were no bad matches on the card. The pacing just felt right. The undercard was highlighted by Fish and Strong both getting victories in a great two match segment that built perfectly towards the blow-off to their feud at “Supercard of Honor X: Night 2.” Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly also both got strong wins to build their No DQ match on the next night as well. Cole vs. ACH was a blazer, as was O’Reilly vs. Sydal.
Lethal defending the ROH World Title against Lio Rush was amazing. They told a really good story with Lethal being overly cocky against Rush and nearly paying for it. Colt Cabana came out to interrupt Lethal’s post-match promo as Lethal was discussing how there was nobody left for him to take out in ROH. This was the best Colt Cabana promo I can recall. He nailed it and got a great reaction. The show ended with an incredible match between The Young Bucks and The MCMG. These two teams tore it up, although the crowd took a long time to get into the action. Down the stretch they had some insane exchanges leading into the finish.
-ROH “Death Before Dishonor XIV,” Aug. 19, 2016 (8.5)
This was one of ROH’s best cable PPV offerings I can recall off the top of my head. Every match connected from top to bottom outside of the Bullet Club vs. Chaos six man tag match. Adam Page vs. Jay Briscoe and ROH World Champion Jay Lethal vs. Adam Cole are both must-see matches.
The best match on the show was the excellent main event, which saw Adam Cole defeat Jay Lethal kick off his second ROH World Championship reign. The intensity was lacking a little during the early going as Lethal was trying to not let his emotions get the better of him, but then both men really turned things up and set the crowd on fire with some fantastic back and forth action late in the match. Kyle O’Reilly attacking Cole after the match was a key piece in the setup to Final Battle as well. This was one hell of a war that was fitting of the feud between these two men. Jay Briscoe rarely loses singles matches, so this was a huge win for Page. The result of this match was one of the biggest surprises of the year to date in ROH.
-ROH “All Star Extravaganza VIII,” Sept. 30, 2016 (9.5)
This was ROH’s best show of 2016. It was a notch above “Supercard of Honor X: Night 1. The undercard was really good. In fact, the first three matches, especially Dragon Lee vs. Kamaitachi, burned out the crowd for a couple of matches before they came back around later in the show. I really liked the presentation of Donovan Dijak, as he challenged Bobby Fish for the ROH TV Championship. His MMA style entrance was fantastic and both men set the stage for the rest of the card. Lee vs. Kamaitachi was simply insane.
Jay Lethal beat Naito later in the show in a match that started slow, but got great late. The match everyone will be talking about for a long time is Ladder War 6, which saw The Addiction defend their ROH World Tag Team Championship against The MCMG and The Young Bucks. This match saw The Young Bucks and The Addiction take some crazy risks. They put on one of the best ladder matches I’ve ever seen and this was definitely one of the best matches of 2016. This release is a must on DVD when it becomes available or on VOD now.
Other ROH events recommendations for holiday shopping: “Conquest Tour: Philadelphia,” March 12, 2016 (IWGP Jr. Hvt. Champion KUSHIDA vs. ACH, The Addiction vs. The MCMG, The Young Bucks), “Supercard of Honor: Night 2,” April 2, 2016 (Adam Cole vs. Kyle O’Reilly in a No Holds Barred match, Bobby Fish vs. Roderick Strong in 2 out of 3 Falls match, The Addiction vs. The Briscoes vs. The MCMG vs. The Young Bucks in a Tag Team Championship #1 Contender match.
-The Phenomenal A.J. Styles: There’s No Place Like Home (2016)
Any time you get the chance to own an A.J. Styles compilation, you should jump at the chance. This compilation features most of Styles ROH matches from when he was a semi-regular in the company in 2014. ROH did throw in several really good matches from 2006 including the excellent Styles vs. Matt Sydal match from “Hell Freezes Over,” which has been severely overlooked as time has passed in my opinion.
The second disc in this set is really strong. It includes a really good IWGP Hvt. Champion A.J. Styles vs. Michael Elgin vs. Kazuchika Okada match from “War of the Worlds.” Elsewhere on the set is one of the best ROH matches of 2014, which saw Styles face Kyle O’Reilly at “Death Before Dishonor XII: Night 1” in an instant classic. The set rounds out nicely with Styles vs. Cedric Alexander from “Death Before Dishonor XII: Night 2” and the Styles vs. Hanson match from the Oct. 24, 2014 ROH TV tapings that really helped build Hanson at the time as a singles wrestler.
–The Best of the Briscoes: Man Up (2016)
Although Jay and Mark Briscoe have been primarily singles wrestlers the last couple of years, ROH has released a new set of their tag matches covering the end of 2011 through the early part of 2015. This two disc set does a good job including major matches and some matches that might have otherwise flown under the radar. The first disc features some of the Briscoes vs. SCUM matches as part of the selection of matches, but the match that stuck out to me most was the Briscoes defending the ROH World Tag Team titles against Jigsaw & Hallowicked from “Unity” in a really fun match.
The second disc doesn’t have a theme that ties it together, but there are some matches worth adding to your collection. The Briscoes vs. The Kingdom (Matt Hardy & Michael Bennett) is a really good No DQ match from “Best in the World 2014.” Another highlight of disc 2 is The Briscoes vs. The Young Bucks from “Death Before Dishonor XII: Night 1.” This was one of my favorite Briscoes vs. Young Bucks matches to date
You can purchase these releases at ROHWrestling.com.
You can contact Sean at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow him on Twitter at Twitter.com/SeanRadican. Click “like” at Facebook.com/SeanRadicanRWC to join his fan page on Facebook.