SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
The opening video package aired with various ROH personalities talking about big moments from ROH’s past. This was a really well-done package.
Commentators: Ian Riccaboni & Colt Cabana
The show began with 2018 WWE HOF entrant Bully Ray telling the crowd ROH wasn’t about sports entertainment to get them hyped for the show.
(1) Flip Gordon vs. Hiromu Takahashi. Takahashi traded his small Daryl for a bigger Daryl at ringside. He brought him back into the ring and nailed Gordon with the cat. The ref ordered Daryl out of the ring. They built up to a big spot where Gordon missed a 450, but landed on his feet. Takahashi hit a destroyer, but Gordon hit a superkick right away and both men were down. Gordon hit the springboard stunner, but Takahashi kicked out a 2. Gordon went up top for a 450, but Takahashi got his knees up. Gordon avoided the time bomb, but Takahashi connected with it a short time later for the win.
Winner: Hirumu Takahashi
Star rating: (***1/2) – This was a really good opener. Gordon looked good going at it with Takahashi and was given the ball to kick off the show with a bang and he delivered.
(2) Punishment Martinez vs. Marty Scurll – Winner Earns a Future ROH World Title match. This was really good. Scurll came down to the ring with an awesome purple ring jacket. They brawled right away and Martinez hit a dive to the floor during the early going. Scurll’s eye ended up bleeding at one point during the match. The ref tried to stop Scurll from bringing powder into the ring. Security stepped between them and suddenly Martinez came out of nowhere with journey into darkness to wipe out Scurll and the security. They went back and forth down the stretch. The ref ducked to avoid a kick from Martinez late that would have been accidental. Scurll teased throwing powder, but then hit a kick to the groin for the win.
Winner: Marty Scurll to earn a future ROH World Title shot
Star rating: (***1/2) – This was a good match. I wasn’t a fan of the finish because it seems like on every ROH PPV there are multiple matches that feature some kind of shenanigans with the ref.
(3) ROH World TV Champion Kenny King vs. Silas Young. Young sent The BCB to the back before making his way to the ring. King gave his daughter a hug at ringside before the match began.They went back and forth during the early part of the match. Young eventually sidestepped King charging at him and he flew through the ropes and into a cameraman on the floor. King fired back and suplexed himself and Young over the top to the floor and both men were down. King looked like an idiot playing to the crowd constantly only for it to backfire on him. At one point he said it’s selfie time and it nearly backfired, but King managed to fire back on Young on the floor. He then took a selfie with a fan and a dazed Young. Young hit misery, but he had accidentally swung King’s legs into the red. The ref recovered and made the count for a near fall. Young went for a springboard, but King caught him and hit the royal flush for the win.
Winner: Kenny King to retain the ROH World TV Title
Star rating: (***) – This started slow, but got good late. The later stages of the match once again involved the ref getting bumped or distracted.
After the match, Austin Aries came out holding a bunch of titles to a big pop. Aries said he had been traveling the globe collecting belts. He said one title he hadn’t won was the ROH World TV Title. He said they had history, but King had something on his shoulder that he wants. Aries said the belt collector is never done collecting belts. King put his belt down, so Aries returned the favor by putting down his four titles. Cabana said he doesn’t know if Aries is allowed to be in ROH, but he’s here.
(4) ROH World Sox Man Tag Team Champions The Hung Bucks (Hangman Page & Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson) vs So Cal Uncensored (Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian & Scorpio Sky) in a Las Vegas Street Fight. The Hung Bucks ran into the ring and surprised So Cal Uncensored with a Triple suicide dive to the floor to kick the match off. The Young Bucks set up Sky in a chair and did a back handspring before nailing him with a double dropkick. They then did their signature head scissors apron spot except Page caught Sky off the apron and powerbombed him onto the entrance ramp. There was all sorts of plunder involved. Kazarian came up bleeding from the head after blading. Matt was about to hit a move off the top to the floor on Kazarian through a table, but Daniels cut him off and sent him off the top through the table with a shove. Nick was set up over a hair with a kendo stick under Jon and Kazarian hit a springboard legdrop on the kendo stock to send it into Nick’s crotch. They built to Kazarian and Page swinging at each other back and forth with trashcan lids. Kazarian finally got the better of Page, but Page got his belt with the nails on it and nailed Kazarian with it. Page has Kazarian set up for the rite of passage, but Daniels broke it up. Sky tossed a chair right into Nick’s head to save Daniels a short time later.
Sky and Daniels set up a bunch of guardrails on the outside. Matt and Nick got a double cease on Sky and Daniels, but Kazarian made the save with a kendo stick. Daniels went for the angels wings on Page, but he ended up backdropping him over the top through the guardrail structure. Nick set up a ladder on the floor with Kaz below him on s table, but Sky shoves him onto the apron and hit a cutter. Matt superkicked Kazarian onto the table. He went up top and dropped an elbow on Sky through the table and the fans went nuts. Nick hit a 450 onto a trashcan on top of Sky, but Shane Taylor pulled the ref to the floor. Nick went for a hurricanrana, but Taylor caught him and hit an apron bomb. He wiped out Page. Matt hit him with a pair of superkicks. He went for a slam, but his back went out. Page finally saved Matt with a kendo stick. He then hit a stuffed rite of passage off the top with Nick. Daniels and Sky taped Page’s arm around the ringpost. The Young Bucks threw a superkick party. They went for the Meltzer driver, but Matt’s back gave out. Sky got a dragon sleeper on Nick using a kendo stick for leverage. Kazarian applied a Boston crab at the same time. Matt had no choice but to tap.
Winners: Frankie Kazarian & Christopher Daniels & Scorpio Sky to become the new ROH World Six Man Tag Team Championship
Star rating: (****1/4) – Great brawl. The announcers said that So Cal Uncensored could only win under the stipulations given for the match. Daniels is now the first grand slam champion in a ROH.
After the match, Marseglia and O’Ryan jumped The Hung Bucks until Bully Ray made the save.
An ad for Honor Club Aired.
Ian Riccaboni gave Cabana a Ryan Sandburg rookie card for his anniversary gift, so Colt returned the favor and gave him a pen.
(5) Cody (w/Brandi & Bury The Drug Free Bear) vs. Matt Taven. Bury distracted Taven on the outside after he gave Cody’s ring to Bobby Cruise. Cody then wiped him out with a dive. Later in the match, Brandi went under the ring and got a chair. She gave it to Bury. Bury slid the chair into the ring, but the ref got rid of it. Taven hit Cody with his walking stick across the back and hit Cross-Rhodes for a 2 count. Taven hit the climax later in the match for a near fall. Cody went for a splash off the ropes, but Taven got out of the way and he hit the ref. This is referee shenanigan number 3 if your’re counting at home. O’Ryan and Marseglia ran down to the ring with the ref down. They held up Cody for another triple team running low blow, but Cody pulled a cup out of his pants while The Kingdom was celebrating. Bully Ray came down and chased O’Ryan and Marseglia away. Cody then hit the Cross-Rhodes for the win.
Winner: Cody Rhodes
Star rating: (***) – The action was fine. there was a lot of smoke and mirrors here to get through the match.
After the match, Cody posed with his ring. Bury ended up shoving Cody down. He slowly took off hit mask and it was Kenny Omega. Omega hit the B-Trigger on Cody. Brandi confronted Omega and asked if he was going to hit here. She then grabbed him and planted a big kiss on him. Omega didn’t look thrilled with the kiss. Cody had previously kissed Ibushi during Honor Rising weekend in NJPW last month. Brandi said something about Ibushi to Omega after the match. She intimated that he was faking being bisexual. Omega played to the crowd after.
(6) ROH World Tag Team Champions The MCMG (Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin) vs. The Briscoes (Mark & Jay Briscoe). This match was very flat for some reason. The crowd just wasn’t into it after the big Omega reveal. Mark bled after Shelly tossed him into the ringpost. This is the second blade job on the show if you’re keeping track at home. Jay hit the Jay-driller on Sabin late in the match, but he kicked out. The Briscoes then hit the doomsday device on Sabin for the win.
Winners: Mark & Jay Briscoe to become the new ROH World Tag Team Champions (9th title reign)
Star rating: (*3/4) – MCMG just don’t deliver in the ring anymore. Shelley looks good still, but Sabin looks like he’s checked out mentally. He hasn’t maintained his look and just has no connection with the fans.
(7) ROH World Champion Dalton Castle (w/The Boys) vs. Jay Lethal. Castle began selling his leg after an initial feeling out period. Castle grabbed Lethal from the outside at one point right into a deadlift German on the floor. At Castle went for a chop on the outside at one point, but Lethal ducked and he chopped the post. Lethal went for springboard dropkick, but Castle sucked and he connected with one of The Boys on the apron. Bobby Cruise, the ring announcer, caught him. Lethal went to hit a suicide dive on the Boy and he moved and Cruise ended up taking the dive. They showed a replay and Cruise went right into the guardrail. Cabana left the commentary booth to check on Cruise. Lethal blocked the bang-a-rang and hit the Lethal combination for a 2 count. Lethal got the torture rack. He cranked on it and hit a Finlay roll on Castle for a near fall.
Castle hit a bridging dead lift German for a near fall, but he could only bridge on one leg. Lethal suddenly hit a cutter to stop Castle’s momentum. Castle blocked a Lethal injection attempt and hit a big clothesline. He went for the bang-a-rang, but Lethal countered and got a figure 4. Castle managed to get out of it, but Lethal connected with a Lethal injection for a near fall and the fans fired up. Lethal wanted a cutter on the apron, but Castle kept blocking it, so he hit him with a dropkick through the ropes. He then dumped Castle knee-first onto the apron. Castle suddenly grabbed Lethal and hit a German off the apron to the floor. Cabana managed to get a dangerous in, which Gabe Sapolsky used to scream on commentary when dangerous moves took place during the early days of ROH. They traded blows back and forth. Castle favored his leg and Lethal hit a combination of kicks. He set up for the Lethal injection, but Castle got out of the way. Castle went for the bang-a-rang, but Lethal slipped out. Lethal tried to roll through, but Castle caught him and went right into the bang-a-rang for the win.
Winner: Dalton Castle to retain the ROH World Title
Star rating: (****1/2) – This was an excellent match. Castle fought from behind from the beginning and Lethal seemed to have the upper hand the entire match. It started slow, but felt like a real fight as it went on with Castle coming from behind. Castle finally hit the bang-a-rang to gut out a very tough win over a game challenger in Lethal.
After the match, Lethal looked at the title in Castle’s hands. He then shook his hand and the fans applauded.
Marty Scurll came down to the ring and the fans fired up. He’s next in line for Castle’s belt. Castle held up the title and looked at Marty to close the show.
Overall thoughts: (8.5) – This was a fantastic show. It had two huge surprises with Aries showing up to challenge Kenny King and Omega revealing himself to be Bury The Bear. ROH is doing a better job of building up challengers for their major titles, as King vs. Aries and Castle vs. Scurll is now lined up. It’s nice to see the matches matter and feuds being built.