14th Anniversary Show
Kevin Kelly and Mr. Wrestling III (decked out in a Elvis jumpsuit) welcome us to the show. We’re starting off big with the TV title match.
ROH TV Championship: Tomohiro Ishii (c) vs. Roderick Strong vs. Bobby Fish
Ishii retained the title with a brainbuster on Strong. This was fine, but nothing revolutionary. A lot of three way spots and tropes you’d see in every triple threat match. Ishii did do a great superplex off the top rope at one point. It wasn’t like his usual matches where he stiffs the hell out of people, but he was still perfectly fine here. Seemed a little too short for a title match, but it was solid stuff.
Adam Page vs. BJ Whitmer
Pretty solid brawling type of match. Crowd was dead for a lot of it but the last few minutes picked up and it turned into a solid match. A lot of brawling on the outside to start. Whitmer tripped Page on the apron and threw him back first onto the guardrail. “Please retire” chants for Whitmer, as I guess he’s the Big Show of ROH. Whitmer teased a piledriver on the apron but Page fought him off, sent him to the floor and hit a shooting star press off the apron. It was actually more like a shooting star headbutt as it was kinda awkward in execution but still looked fine. Whitmer got a chair but the ref took it, Page was distracted. Whitmer gave Page a low blow and pinned him with a cradle.
Page attacked Whitmer after the match but he bailed as security came to break it up. Page laid out everyone and gave one of the security guys a Omori Driver.
Hirooki Goto vs. Dalton Castle
Finish kind of fell apart, but other than that this was a pretty good back and forth match. Castle is a good worker and shone in spots here. Kevin Kelly on commentary did a good job of putting over the storyline in New Japan where Goto has failed so many times at winning the IWGP title it’s now getting to him mentally. Very much a back and forth match for the most part, though Castle did do a few of his spots with The Boys. Dalton did a great capture belly to belly suplex on Goto as he was going off the top rope. After some more back and forth Goto rallied back and went for the shouten kai, but botched it. He then hit another one that didn’t look all that great but still got the win.
Christopher Daniels vs. Alex Shelley
Brian Kendrick was a guest on commentary. Kazarian, who seconded Daniels, didn’t like this and was convinced there was some sort of conspiracy going on. Sabin wasn’t anywhere to be seen. Kazarian kept interfering which allowed Daniels to get the heat by crotching Shelley on the middle rope. Daniels missed the BME. Shelley was going for the Sliced Bread but Kazarian interfered AGAIN. Sabin then showed up and in a surprise, turned on Daniels and laid him out, allowing Shelley to get the win with a modified cradle. It was solid for what it was, but it’s very clear the storyline was the main focus of the match, not the action.
Sabin pointed to his palm, doing the old Motor City Machine Gun posed. He went to shake Shelley’s hand, but Shelley hugged him, so the Motor City Machine Guns are officially back.
Hiroshi Tanahashi and Michael Elgin vs. The Briscoes
Great match, easily the best of the night so far. They wrestled this like they were in New Japan as they did a bunch of spots that get over there, including Elgin’s delayed suplex (Tanahashi joined him and they did a double suplex). Mark Briscoe looked really good here as well. Elgin laid both of them out with German suplexes then laid out Mark with a spinning side slam for a nearfall. Briscowa mounted a comeback and Mark hit the froggy bow but Tanahashi kicked out. Elgin laid out both Briscoes and he and Tanahashi hit their Alabama Slam tandem move for a nearfall. Tanahashi hit the slingblade on Mark, Elgin powerbombed him and Tanahashi hit the high fly flow for the win.
They plugged the New Japan on AXS show, which returns a week from today (Friday) with Jim Ross on commentary.
Moose vs. Kazuchika Okada
Solid match. Moose teased the Okada dropkick to the floor spot early. Okada came back and did the same. Okada did a big dive over the barricade to the floor on the outside. Crowd was into this match big time as Moose is over and Okada is very much over as the big star from Japan. Moose did a lot of power spots. A lot of it was Okada absorbing Moose’s offense but also come back with some of his own. Moose is still green in spots but is very athletic and has some cool moves in his repotire. Okada missed the rainmaker, Moose went to counter with something but Okada dodged and hit a dropkick, followed by another, more successful rainmaker for the win.
NEVER Openweight Six Man Titles: Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks (c) vs. ACH, Kushida and Matt Sydal
Really fun, exciting match. This was what you would expect from these six as they had an all out match with a bunch of crazy spots. All these guys are super talented and it showed here. Omega and the Young Bucks have excellent chemistry together. ACH did an amazing springboard swanton bomb that wiped everyone out on the outside. The Superkick Party started as the Bucks did a triple superkick on Kushida and wiped out ACH and Sydal with superkicks as well. Another triple superkick to Sydal but he kicked out. Sydal came back and gave Nick a rana off the top rope and laid out Matt with a spanish fly. Kushida went for a crossbody off the floor but Omega grabbed him and tombstoned him. They isolated Sydal, hit the Meltzer Driver and Omega hit the One Winged Angel for the win.
ROH Tag Team Championship: War Machine (c) vs. All Night Express
This was a solid match, but the crowd hurt it a lot. They just weren’t into the match at all as it was put on a bad place on the card. War Machine wasted to time and it ended up being a brawl early. Rowe gave Titus an exploder to the floor. Hanson gave King a back body drop onto a table. ANX found a trashcan, put it on Hanson, then King hit a spinning side kick on him for a nearfall. Titus gave Rowe a famouser on the chair. War Machine hit the Fallout on King but he kicked out. Announcers put it over as the first time someone kicked out of it. Titus distracted Hanson long enough for King to shove him off the top rope, putting him through a table. ANX hit the One Night Stand but Rowe kicked out. ANX introduced a ladder into the match, but Rowe laid out King with a uranage through the ladder, then he and Hanson hit Titus with Fallout for the win.
ROH World Championship: Jay Lethal (c) vs. Kyle O’Reilly vs. Adam Cole
Good match. It felt like a bit rushed at times as they started the match with about twenty minutes left of air time, but overall was a good match with lots of cool spots and false finishes. O’Reilly made a good comeback at one point, laying out Lethal then hitting a regalplex on Cole for a nearfall. Cole focused on superkicking O’Reilly’s legs, doing it twice. O’Reilly went for a flying knee off the apron but Lethal rocked him with a superkick and two suicide dives. Lethal went for the Lethal Injection but pushed O’Reilly into position and he was laid out. Instead of pinning O’Reilly he focused on Lethal. I guess maybe he wanted to beat the champion, I dunno. That was odd. O’Reilly came back quickly, hit a brainbuster and went into a triangle. Cole came in but was put in the ankle lock. Lethal was getting his hand raised three times for the pass out submission but Cole held onto Lethal’s hand at three. O’Reilly had the rear naked choke on Cole, and they were about to go down when Lethal came back with a double Lethal Injection and pinned Cole for the clean win.