I have been watching Ring of Honor wrestling for a year and a half and have been to two live events. I believe that ROH is the best true wrestling company on TV right now and the best alternative to WWE. Lucha Underground is great but ROH has better wrestling. It is, in my opinion, the biggest Indy promotion in the world. If you are a true wrestling fan and haven’t watched ROH, do it. You won’t regret it. Or just check out my reviews to see how awesome it is. Let’s get started.
We are taped from Charlotte, NC. We start off, of course, with Mr. Wrestling 3 (who is of course not Steve Corino *wink wink) and Kevin Kelly at the announcing booth. They announce the main event which is “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin vs Jay Briscoe. It’s booked as a rematch from All Star Extravaganza 6 where Briscoe defeated Elgin for the ROH World Title. It’s booked as a rematch but these two have faced each other quite a bit since then and announcers fail to mention where the rematch has from, leaving first time viewers and newer fans confused as they have no idea where the rematch is from. Bad start ROH.
Top Prospect Tournament Round 1: Brian Fury vs Shaheem Ali
Fury comes out first. Has some kind of punk rock gimmick (which everybody does on the indies). The announcers put over him training Sasha Banks from WWE and last years winner Donovan Dijack. I hate that this guy is here. First, this tournament is for younger stars to get over and signed and aligned with a faction. Why have a man in his 30’s? Just sign him and not have him in this tournament. Also, so he trained last years winner but he wasn’t in the Top Prospect before? That makes him seem like a loser.
Ali comes out next. Announcers put him over as the first graduate of the Monster Factory which Is a good wrestling school. They mention him wrestling for ROH before but that it’s his time to shine. They then mention Fury having the most experience. No shit Sherlock. Tale of the tape with Ali starting wrestling in 2012 while Fury started 1999. He’s been in the business 7 years now and he’s just getting to ROH? To a true wrestling fan, you see this guy as a fucking loser and a joke.
Code of Honor is upheld. They lock up. Fury breaks away. Ali gets knocked down but a kick up to show his athleticism. They do some back and forth then Ali gets an arm drag and a arm lock. Fury backs him into corner and gets a cheap shot. Heel is now established. Ali does some athletic knees that knocks fury down then a drop kick to Fury. Near fall. They mention Ali as the favorite. Mention the winner gets a contract and TV title shot. While they are talking, Fury takes over and rolls Ali hard into bottom turn buckle. Time for the FIP (Face in Peril) when Fury takes over. Ali fights back with clothes lines then a nice leg lariat. He does a underhook power bomb. Announcers talk about Ali’s inexperience. Ali does some elbows then fury does a neckbreaker for a near fall. They go to the outside and Ali hits a exploder suplex on the outside. Crowd is finally coming alive. In the ring, Ali goes to top rope but Fury distracts Ali by grabbing the refs foot. He then hits Ali with a headbutt and a pop up sit down power bomb for the win. Fans hate it like I do and Fury shakes Ali’s hand mockingly while Ali is down.
Overall thoughts: **1/2. Okay to bad match. Fury looked weak and pathetic most of the time. Ali actually shined and had some nice strike offense which is rare and nice to seen it he wasn’t the FIP for long and fury didn’t convince us that he had enough offense to put Ali away. I mean it was ok but for one, Fury has a terrible finisher. He is a small wrestler and pop up power bombs are meant for bigger wrestlers. And second, the wrong man won. This prospect is for new young talent. Fury isn’t young. He’s a veteran. It’s stupid to have him advance. And if he wins I will fucking hate it but I assume he won’t. Go to commercial.
Cedric Alexander and Veda Scott come to the ring. I like Cedric’s ring attire. Looks douchey. Veda looks hot as always. Like she’s annoying but I love to see her on TV. They get some heat from the crowd. Veda, who is Alexander’s lawyer, talks how the ROH has made Cedric a victim. She says that this turmoil has been tough, she says it was, pauses, when Kevin Kelly says profitable. Nice line Kelly. Cedric points out Kelly and says shut your mouth. Nice line to you to Cedric. Veda goes on and says it’s been emotional. She then says she can buy everyone in the room and locker room. Not Steve Corino says maybe not the young bucks, they make a nice coin (reference to the Bucks being the highest paid talent on the roster). And she says she is giving a nobody, like Jonathan Gresham who upset Cesric last week, a chance at the best in the world. She mentions that he deserves Jay Lethal and Adam Cole and anybody. Good heel promo by Veda. She comes across as a sleezy heel and Cedric as a douche.
Then Cheeseburgers music hits and the crowd pops loudly. Cheeseburger is a tiny man that is way over with fans because he is so small and the best underdog. Cheeseburger chants
Cheeseburger vs Cedric Alexander w/ Veda Scott
Cedric refuses code of honor and kicks the hand away and tries a clothesline where Cheeseburger dunks and does a roll up for two. Cedric takes over until burger goes for a sunset flip and Cedric pulls him up but Cheeseburger reverses into a pin and a near fall. Cedric goes to take over but Cheeseburger reversed again with a hurricarana into near fall. Cedric nails cheeseburger with a nasty forearm shot. Cheeseburger reverses a clothesline into the corner and nails Cedric with the flying knee from the top rope. Cheeseburger motions for his finisher the palm strike. Cedric reverses into his finisher, the back drop into knees in the back. Cedric wins and post match beats down cheeseburger some more. Gresham comes in for the save. Veda asks Gresham if he wants to face Cedric again. Cedric vs Gresham announced before commercial.
Overall thoughts: ***. Pretty good match. Cedric did great with his selling and playing a heel while Cheeseburger is so over and a great underdog that with Cedric beating him, Cedric gets true heat. Post match beat down was good to give him more heat. As soon as we have a baby face champion, I see Cedric challenging for the world title. I’m excited for the Gresham match. He is a good young new talent.
Cedric Alexander vs Jonathan Gresham
We are back from commercial and back and forth ring holds and Fresham gets the upper hand and Cedric rolls to the outside in frustration. Veda comes over for some strategy. Cedric gets in a cheap shot and mouths the crowd. Gresham has him in a reverse arm hold in the back. Announcers play up Gresham and his in ring technical work. Good job announcers, we fans like that. Cedric tries to reverse and can’t. Cedric rolls to the outsold again in frustration. Comes back in and Gresham gets him into an abdominal stretch with a cobra twist. Veda Scott comes in and hits Gresham wins by DQ. Veda slaps him and Cedric hits him with a boot and Veda holds him in the corner while while Cedric does drop kicks in the corner. And then hits him with his finisher and a kick to the face. Some more punches and refs break it up. Announcers send us to commercial with saying that when we come back we get an announcement about Lethals title and a match at the 14th Anniversary show.
Overall thoughts: DUD. I say that because it was so short that we didn’t see to much. The few holds we saw were good but it was meant to further the storyline and give Cedric more heat. Cedric, to me, is the number one heel in this promotion right now. Other people get cheers. He gets none. Gresham is now 2-0 vs Alexander but it’s far from over.
In-Ring segment: 14th Anniversary Title Match
ROH World Champion Jay Lethal comes out with his manager and leader of House of Truth, the stable, Truth Martini and some hot chick that has no purpose that I can never remember her name. She looks like the red queen from Game of Thrones but younger. So hot but no purpose. Nigel Mcguiness, on screen commissioner, is already in the ring. Lethal says that he came out out here what he has to say since anytime he comes out it better be about him. Lethal playing up him being a dick. Nigel says he’s right, it’s about the 14th anniversary show. Nigel admits Lethal has been on a role and mentions his wins vs styles at last PPV and Elgin in Japan. Mentions the belt proving Lethal is the best in the world. Mentions Kyle O’ Reilly who has had two good matches with Lethal and says without Adam Coles interference, O’Reilly could have won. Lethal says he is not afraid. Nigel says that he didn’t let him finish but Cole beat Reilly at Final Battle so he’s the contender. Cole comes out. Cole comes out and announces story time with Adam Cole babbbyyy! Mentions beating Reilly and ending the feud. Fat chance. Cole mentions Lethal never facing Cole for the title. And he says he will win and the new champion crowned will be ADAM COLE BABY! Love that phrase. Nigel says he was interrupted again and that Reilly is a suitable contender and told Nigel he ants to get his hands on Cole. I always picture when wrestlers say that they came up to someone in the back and said something about a storyline. Always makes me laugh because it looks pretty stupid. So Nigel announces it will be Adam Cole vs Jay Lethal and that he is doubling down and adding Kyle O’Reilly for a triple threat match for the ROH World Title. O’Reilly comes out. O’Reilly says he keeps getting screwed and he ants Cole and the title and he wants it tonight. Nigel announces next week, it’ll be redragon (Reilly and Bobby Fish) vs Cole and Lethal. Announcers hype up the main event, which they say it actually from Survival of the Fittest. Oh yeah forgot they wrestle each other a lot.
Overall thoughts: good in ring segment. Lethal didn’t talk much so he didn’t look as bad as usual on the mic. Nigel was good. O’Reilly was good and loved by the fans. And even though Cole is a heel, he was cheered a lot. Fans love Reilly but they love Cole more. I’m excited for both matched as the tag is good tv and the PPV match is good to. I predict Lethal retains.
Back from commercial, they show Dalton Castle getting the Boys back at Final Battle from Silas Young. Young cuts a promo saying the boys need to come back and if they don’t they’ll be sorry. Good promo but this feud is about done. I like Silas as a heel and Castle is the most over thing on the promotion. Move Castle to bigger, better things. Time for the main event.
“Unbreakable” Michael Elgin vs Jay Briscoe
Elgin comes out to chants of Big Mike. Jay comes out with his brother Mark. He is cheered then a chant of Man Up is chanted. Mark goes on commentary. That’s a gift because he is hilarious and awesome. Before the match starts, Moose’s music plays. He comes out with his manager Stokely Hathaway. Stokely says it’s a new year and it’s a year for a bunch of new shit. He says he was moved by the triple threat announcement earlier so he asked Nigel if the main event could be a triple threat match and he agreed. Mentions moose loosing to Elgin but they want a rematch. And they know Briscoe is always ready for a fight. So it’s now a triple threat match with moose added in, Fine from Stokely since he never talks except when it’s important for his client, but nice if it would have been advertised so they didn’t waste my fucking time with all the rematch bullshit. we go to break before we go to the real main event of…
“Unbreakable” Michael Elgin vs Jay Briscoe vs Moose
Back from commercial. Match starts. Moose kick to Jay. Moose and Elgin reversing back positions when Jay clothes lines him and moose to the outside. Elgin hits a plancha to both on the outside. I hate when he fucking does that. He’s to big and it’s so slow. He rolls Jay in the ring. Hits him with some forearm strikes. Jay reverses with headbutt. Whips Elgin into corner. Misses a corner splash. Mark is being brilliant on commentary. Elgin goes for a vertical suplex and holds it, even when Moose kicks him twice. Moose takes Jay onto a power slam position when Elgin DDTs moose, dropping both him and Jay. Nice spot there. Elgin goes for a pin on Jay for a two count. Goes to pin moose. Only one. Moose backs Elgin into the corner. Elgin goes to kick Moose, catches it and hits Elgin with a bicycle kick which doesn’t take him down. Elgin goes for a clothes line but Elgin hits him with an elbow, tries to go to the top but Moose drop kicks him to the outside. Jay goes to fly in but misses. Moose does punches mixed with his popular moose taunt. Goes to hit him with a clothesline but Jay boots him in the head not once, not twice, but three times and Moose only goes on one knee. Jay whips him into the corner and hits him with a splash and snake mare into a boot to the face. Goes for the pin but only a two. A commercial mid match. I hate that especially in a one hour show in the home stretch.
Back from commercial. Elgin in control of Moose. Moose goes for a suplex to Jay from the outside. Moose breaks it up. Jay is on the top turnbuckle. Moose goes for a superplex to Jay but Elgin does a sunset flip power bomb to Moose while Moose superplexes Jay. Always love that spot. Elgin does a few flying elbows to moose. Hits a body slam then a splash from the outside apron. Moose puts Elgin on his shoulders when he reverses it into a deadweight power bomb. Goes for pin. Jay breaks it up. Jay goes for neckbreaker but Elgin reverses it but Jay pushes him to the corner. Jay goes to run for a splash when Elgin goes to kick him but Jay catches it and Elgin hits him with an enziguri. Elgin goes to top turnbuckle bit Jay stops him and puts him on his shoulders to perform a Death Valley driver. Pins for a two count. Jay goes for a neckbreaker again only to have Elgin push him into a spear from Moose. Elgin does another standing enziguri to moose. Power of strength between moose and Elgin with clothesline and when Elgin goes for another one, moose hits him with a pop up clothesline for a near fall. Moose sets up for a spear. Elgin jumps up, driving moose into the middle turnbuckle but Elgin turns around to a super kick from Jay. Elgin comes back with a lariat. Elgin hits both with forearm strikes. Goes for a spinning one when Jay catches him with a backslide for the win. Jay Briscoe wins. Jay is pumped. Moose and Elgin are pissed that they lost. Elgin grabs a Mix. Fuck me he’s terrible on the mic. Elgin mentions how they are tied, says never backs down from a fight and that it took both him and Moose to beat him. Mark is in the ring and says that Mark helps him in life emotionally and mentally. Challenges both of them to a tag match at the anniversary show vs him and Japanese star Tanahashi. Tanahashi, if you live under a rock, is one of the biggest stars of NJPW, ROH’s sister company. They shake on it and the match is set. Show over as Briscoes music plays.
Overall thoughts:***1/2. Good ten minute match. I am a huge fan of Moose and the Briscoes but hate Michael Elgin. He is shit on the mic and has good strikes but has terrible high flying moves and terrible selling and botches a lot of moves. But this match was good. Perfect length. It did have an anti climatic finish but that’s ok since it set up an awesome match for the PPV. only problem is, what does Moose do now? His feud with Elgin is over. He has no one to face. I hope they set up a match for him at the PPV. Talking about the PPV, I’m excited. A good triple threat match was set up and a nice tag with one of the best tag teams in ROH, a Japanese star, and someone I can overlook in the match.
This show was okay, not one of their worse, not one of their best. It was a set up for the PPV.