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ROH The Road To Greatness: Night One 9/6/2013

ROH 334 – The Road To Greatness: Night One – 6th September 2013

This is the final weekend of live events before Death Before Dishonor and the finals of the ROH World Championship tournament (hence the show names). The four semi-finalists are here tonight looking to lay down a marker ahead of Philadelphia in a massive tag team main event – with Kevin Steen and Michael Elgin taking on Adam Cole and Tommaso Ciampa. The rest of the card is a strange one. On the one hand you have some juicy undercard matches like Richards/Taven, Fish/Coleman and O’Reilly/Alexander. But on the other there are a mass of non-contracted talent on the show tonight – and if you’re honest, not one of them are guys ROH fans have really been clamouring to see. Alabama Attitude get another opportunity, stepping into the ring with the popular Adrenaline RUSH. Raymond Rowe returns for what should be a real hard-hitting battle with Roderick Strong. And Luke Hawx is back in ROH for the first time absolutely years (he was in Scramble Cage Melee), to face Jay Lethal. Nobody can possibly know what to expect from those matches in terms of quality. Kevin Kelly and Prince Nana will call the action from (what I believe is) ROH’s debut in Chattanooga, TN (although I can’t spot them at ringside so they may not actually be there themselves).

Roderick Strong vs Raymond Rowe
This will be Rowe’s second appearance in Ring Of Honor. He impressed a lot of people with his look, demeanour and physically imposing in-ring style last time – although the fact that he really seemed to rough up his opponent (Bobby Fish) that night probably didn’t do a lot for him. Nonetheless, he has another chance to prove himself here, and it’s a huge opportunity for him as he gets to step into the ring with the self-proclaimed ‘Mr ROH’ – Roderick Strong. Roddy is preparing for the Ringmaster’s Challenge against Adam Cole tomorrow evening, and won’t want to go into it on the back of a defeat.

Roderick is the superior wrestler, so wisely tries to make it a grounded match and well out of the Rowe’s skillset…only for Raymond to effortlessly overpower him and leave the former World Champ on his ass. Strong tries to quicken the pace next, but again ends up on the deck as Rowe steamrolls into him with a shoulder block. DEVASTATING elbow strikes rain down on Strong, who finally makes an impression on the contest with a jumping heel kick. Chops next, but he doesn’t stand a chance of getting the big man up for the Orange Crush Backbreaker…and Rowe hurls him completely across the ring with a belly to belly suplex. Strong starts taking run ups before leathering Ray with strikes – caving in his face with a running boot then climbing into him in the corner with a knee smash. But STILL he can’t get him up for a backbreaker, allowing Rowe to counter again into a massive exploder suplex. Perhaps over-confidence gets the better of him though, as he lumbers slowly up to the top rope and is inevitably caught with a Strong boot. MASSIVE superplex by Roddy gets 2. He tries a jumping knee, but is CAUGHT and powerbombed! DEATH BY RODERICK! Sick Kick wins it at 08:02

Rating – *** – I really like Rowe. Perhaps I’m in a minority, but he I think he looks like a real bad ass. He’s got a lot of size compared to the majority of the ROH roster – and looks completely different to anyone else currently booked. He does look really rough to be in the ring with, but regardless these guys worked a really fun match to open the show here. Rowe seemed to have an answer to everything Strong threw at him – until finally Roddy managed to land his finishing sequence out of nowhere and steal the win. Of all the unknowns to debut in ROH during the SBG era I certainly think Ray Rowe is amongst the better talents. If there’s a spot and the right story line for him I’m certainly willing to see more from the dude.

Adrenaline RUSH vs Alabama Attitude
Hollis and Posey certainly aren’t strangers to ROH competition. In fact, you can see Mike Posey every week on ROH television – getting thrown into the guardrails during the opening credits. But they are yet to deliver a significant break-out match, or a career defining performance in this promotion – and thus far have mostly served up rather generic, American light heavyweight performances which just aren’t going to secure you a permanent deal. Tonight they have something different to content with – in the form of the unique Tadarius Thomas and the spectacular ACH. Adrenaline RUSH are petitioning for more opportunities in the Ring Of Honor tag division, so a win here is a must.

Corey Hollis starts with TD, trading reversals on the canvas to warm applause from the surprisingly supportive crowd. Thomas strikes first, dumping him down with a judo-style takedown. Posey tags in, and likewise is pretty easily dispatched by Tadarius. ACH tags, back flips around a bit, then wanders into a jumping heel kick from Mike. Kevin Kelly is on commentary inexplicably rambling on about ACH loving his parents and respecting his elders. Is this an after-school special? TD comes to his partner’s rescue throwing kicks at Posey…until Hollis sneaks in and chop blocks both his legs from under him. Another Kevin Kelly gem: ‘Posey reminds a lot of Mike Sydal’…like that’s a good thing? Attitude try to isolate TD but it’s not long before he’s cartwheeling around and loosening Posey’s jaw with a capoeira kick. ACH lands the diving lariat through the ropes, then springboards THROUGH the ropes into a flatliner for 2! Slingshot cutter gets another nearfall on Posey. Hollis saves his partner with a bruising lariat right across ACH’s throat. Big Bang Attack blocked by Hollis, but as Posey tries to deck ACH with a crossbody he counters it with a GUTBUSTER/TURNBUCKLE EXPLODER COMBO! GHANA-REA from Hollis gets 2! AIR JORDAN PLANCHA BY ACH! In the ring Hollis and Thomas are KILLING it with a wild strike exchange, ending when TD hits a HALF NELSON SUPLEX! Thomas wins it for the team at 10:10

Rating – ** – The first half of this was really a chore to sit through. Posey was the worst talent in this match by some distance, yet he seemed to be the guy in the ring at all times. In the end this broke into a fairly standard Alabama Attitude/ROH match – Hollis looked much better than Posey, and their opponents looked miles better than them. Tadarius and ACH were both brilliant in the closing stages though, and really saved the match in the process. Thomas in particular seems to have stepped up his game. He understands when to throw his whacky kicks and interacts really smoothly with his partner, which is surprising given their limited experience as a duo. I’d suggest Hollis ditches Posey if he wants a career in ROH.

QT Marshall arrives in the arena, flanked by Veda Scott (who is now also working for RD Evans – having been hired to help out whilst he recovers from the Outlaw Inc. assault). Veda cuts an entertaining little promo…but this is just a stupid excuse for a skit involving a local radio DJ. Finally Cheeseburger comes out to interrupt, and we have an impromptu match

QT Marshall vs Cheeseburger
God’s Gift hasn’t been getting bookings recently, much to his annoyance. His team with RD Evans wasn’t particularly successful, his won/loss record is poor and the ROH fans hate him…so it’s really not surprising that his phone isn’t ringing. However, he’s made his own way to Chattanooga this evening, flanked by his legal aide Veda Scott, and gets his wish for some in-ring action. Cheeseburger is hard to take seriously when looking at him, but lets not forget he produced a hell of a performance for a skinny rookie during his match at Night Of Hoopla.

Marshall has new long tights, which have a surprisingly slimming effect on his usually muffin-topping beer gut. Cheeseburger doesn’t start well, getting knee’d so hard he rockets way up into the air. He bumps on his neck for a huge biel too, but keeps kicking out no matter what QT throws at him. Burger throws in some desperate pinning combinations…then dropkicks the knees from under Marshall. Sliding DDT gets 2 for the rookie! He then hits a flying crossbody. Veda Scott has seen enough and tries to interject herself in the match – but falls down appearing to injure her ankle. The distraction gives QT time to recover, poke Cheeseburger in the eyes and hit God’s Gift for the win at 05:33

Rating – DUD – The live crowd had fun with it, but I found this a complete waste of my time. Veda, like RD Evans, is clearly a charismatic presence – and is wasted hanging round a dud talent like Marshall. This really wasn’t funny and went on for SO long that any joke there was quickly evaporated. I didn’t like Cheeseburger in this one either. The core brilliance of his performance in his match against reDRagon at Night Of Hoopla was that he wrestled in a way entirely appropriate for a worker of his miniscule size. Fish and O’Reilly didn’t have to take ridiculous, fake looking bumps. In this one he was hitting crossbody blocks, crucifix pins and whatnot that just shouldn’t work against someone of Marshall’s size. It looked utterly ridiculous

And this irritating segment still isn’t done, as Marshall grabs the microphone for more interactions with the random radio dude. Radio guy in weird outfit (‘if Sgt. Slaughter and Goldust had a child’ – Kevin Kelly) bows down to QT’s greatness, and receives an autographed picture as a prize. It’s all a trick though, with Cheeseburger shoving Marshall over radio guy. Skip over this whole segment…

Matt Taven vs Davey Richards
The TV Title isn’t on the line, and it’s not a Proving Ground Match either – but as ever in Ring Of Honor, Davey will know that if he wins here he’ll certainly be in line for a Television Title opportunity if that’s something he chooses to pursue. As is, this is a chance for Taven to prove himself against one of ROH’s truly elite performers. He’s been saying for months that people aren’t giving him enough respect as an athlete. He feels like people aren’t valuing his lengthy run as Television Champion highly enough and thinks he can get high profile wins regardless of whether Truth Martini and the House Of Truth are backing him. A win here would be a colossal reinforcement of those statements. It would also be a measure of revenge after Davey spanked all the Hoopla Hotties then won the ‘Pants Off Dance Off’ at Truth’s Night Of Hoopla!

Scarlett is back! It’s lovely to see her at ringside again, and her radiant smile is quickly in evidence as she applauds Taven for hiding in the ropes to keep Davey at bay. Matt SLAPS Richards…and of course quickly runs away to the outside before the American Wolf can extract some vengeance. He returns, and actually holds his own in a chain-wrestling exchange with Richards…until Davey delivers a devastating slap which sends him back to the outside. A massage from Scarlett is needed to recover from that it seems. A spinning heel kick from the former World and Tag Champion drops Taven again and it’s clear that Taven is in a real fight this evening. Davey is having fun now, gyrating in the direction of the Hoopla Hotties before dropping into the MutaLock on the hapless TV Champion. Taven flops outside again, and has to be pulled to safety by Seleziya as Richards looks to deliver the running soccer punt. Truth Martini tries to hit Davey’s soccer kick himself…and when it’s blocked Taven pounces with a rolling bicycle kick to the back of the head. Lionsault attempted, and when Richards moves Matt lands on his feet, knocks him down then hits a springboard corkscrew senton instead. Jumping enzi nailed for 2. In response Davey hammers him with rapid fire slaps and an enzi strike of his own. Alarm Clock nailed…and when Taven tries to leave the ring again this time Richards gives chase with a tope suicida. HANGING ANKLELOCK IN THE ROPES! Of course it’s not legal, but Richards has a plan – and releases it to sprint into a dropkick to the exposed leg as it hangs in the ropes. Double stomp misses…Angel’s Wings blocked! Heel kick from Taven, into Angel’s Wings for 2! Climax is countered into the Anklelock! Taven kicks his way free though! He finds his knee ensnared in the top rope and is in serious trouble…until the Hoopla Hotties make their presence known again. Scarlett distracts the ref, Seleziya drags Davey off the ropes, and Martini slides the Book Of Truth in. It causes Davey to look down…FIVE STAR FROG SPLASH ACROSS THE BACK! Still Taven can’t hit the Climax though. He limps up the ropes, still selling the leg…and is caught with a ROPE RUN GERMAN SUPERPLEX! DOUBLE STOMP TO THE LEG! Taven kicks out! LEG GRAPEVINE ANKLELOCK! Taven taps at 17:18

Rating – *** – It took a while to get going, and probably wasn’t quite as good as officials were hoping. However, the red hot crowd really carried this match along, building to a riotous last few minutes. As usual we had a little too much outside interference for my liking, but the way Taven stood up to the full force of Davey’s offensive onslaught and continually kicked or countered out for the majority of the contest certainly makes him look great. He also did a really solid job selling the leg, which is why the finish was quite as hot as it was. If I’m honest, I expected more (this started incredibly slowly) but things really heated up in the final third of the match. I’d like to see rematch before Davey leaves so Matt can get a win back.

Jay Lethal vs Luke Hawx
Luke’s return to ROH was way out of left field. He’d not been doing anything of any real repute elsewhere on the independent circuit, and since the demise of MTV’s Wrestling Society X (which was an awesome concept – although Hawx contributed very little himself) I’ve only really seen his name crop up on the various post-ECW promotions out there like Extreme Rising or the XPW reunion shows. He made an appearance in ROH in 2004 as part of Scramble Cage Melee, but nobody really expected him back. This may be his last shot at a (relatively major) promotion so he’ll be desperate to deliver. His opponent tonight is Jay Lethal, who is another guy bouncing around the midcard without much focus at present.

Kevin Kelly calling this a ‘long-awaited match’ is perhaps the biggest overstatement in ROH history. Nana all but admits Matt Hardy will be coming back in the future too, as the ‘WTF???’ commentary continues. It’s more interesting than watching Lethal and Hawx rather aimlessly chaining though. Jay takes the advantage with the cartwheel dropkick (I guess Luke didn’t watch any tapes of his opponent despite claiming this is a huge match for him…) then dumps his opponent off the apron by hitting a springboard dropkick. It’s a complete squash of the Altar Boy for several minutes as Jay lays the punishment on thick with very little offence coming back at him. Even the ref looks bored. In the end Jay makes a mistake and tries a hiptoss dropkick for a second time…which allows Hawx to hook him up for a belly to belly suplex into the turnbuckles. Chinlock applied, then converted to a powerslam as Lethal tries to escape. Hawx tries a Lionsault from the OUTSIDE of the ring back in, which is pretty cool, but gets him nowhere as Jay gets the knees up. Lethal Injection blocked, so it’s a Lethal Combination instead. Macho Elbow misses though – with Luke popping up to swipe him down to the canvas with a heel kick. He catches Jay going for another Lethal Injection and hooks him up for a half nelson suplex for 2. ‘This is wrestling’ – Chattanooga. Apparently they are a lot more easily satisfied than I am. Finally Lethal nails the Lethal Injection to win at a LONG 10:22

Rating – * – I didn’t like Hawx in Wrestling Society X, and based on this he’s not got any more interesting. He’s a perfectly solid wrestler, but other than being well built there is nothing exciting about him all. He looks like a bland, generic wrestler – and he works like one. I hate matches which make the business look fake, and when you have a guy (Hawx) who cut a promo building up to the show saying what a huge deal this booking was to him sitting there like a goon for the spot Lethal hits in EVERY MATCH, it just looks crap. The whole thing crawled along at a snails pace. Jay had no desire to break out of house show mode and make this interesting, whilst Hawx was so limited on offence he was reduced to a basic chinlock rest hold within about three moves. I know guys like Jim Ross are currently saying things like the ‘ROH roster needs to slow down’…but wrestling isn’t like that anymore guys. Times change and work like this just doesn’t cut it anymore. If they’d slowed down much more I’d have been in a coma before this one ended.

A little kid in a ‘Lethal Injection’ gets a high five from his hero. Brilliant.

Bobby Fish vs Caprice Coleman
C&C WrestleFactory’s chase for ROH Tag Championship gold steps up a gear tonight as they get back to back singles matches with the champions. First the veterans of their respective teams go one-on-one. Bobby Fish has been so hard to beat since he returned to Ring Of Honor in late-2012, so Caprice has got his work cut out for him.

Fish isn’t taking this seriously at all. He skulks around the ring hurling abuse at various people in the crowd, then whips Coleman to the deck for ‘the ol’ paintbrush’ as the disrespect continues. Caprice can’t live with the mat skills of his opponent and really struggles in the opening minutes. Worryingly for him, Bobby also edges him out when they quicken the pace – leaping into the air to land a crisp dropkick. Coleman springs into a jumping leg lariat as he strings together some offence for the first time. He springboards off the middle rope, but dives into a heel kick driven deep into his stomach as the immense skills of Fish come into play once again. The Tag Champion seems to focus his attack on Coleman’s midsection. Caprice’s response is a volley of punches, a spinning axe kick then a HIGH version of the Slingblade for 2. Springboard moonsault from the inside of the ring to the floor nailed! Despite another knee to the stomach Coleman hits a running super rana for 2. He goes for an Asai Moonsault, and inevitably propels himself into more knees to the stomach. Turnbuckle exploder from Fish gets 2! Saito suplex no sold…so Fish kicks his face in and wins at 10:54

Rating – ** – This was missing something. I can’t put my finger on what it was exactly, but it seemed to lack any real spark to allow the live crowd to connect to it, or really make it pop off the screen whilst watching on DVD. Coleman, who is a charismatic guy, really didn’t look too good here. His selling was poor, and he just didn’t do anything to elicit any real sympathy. Fish was made to look silky, immensely skilful and dangerous, but in return there was nobody really cheering for a Coleman comeback. Despite one or two entertaining moments this was a bit of a disappointment – much like the rest of the show so far.

Hostilities continue as Fish arrogantly enforces the post-match Code Of Honor with Caprice and O’Reilly gets in Alexander’s face trying to get a rise out of him.

Kyle O’Reilly vs Cedric Alexander
This is the second half of the reDRagon/C&C singles series. After Caprice just fell to a pretty convincing defeat to Fish, Cedric knows the pressure is on him to deliver a momentous victory that will keep his team at the front of the line for a championship opportunity.

O’Reilly tries to attack Cedric from behind as he remonstrates with Fish on the apron, but he is one step ahead of him and converts the attack into a series of armdrags and armbars. Kyle can’t keep up with Alexander and is completely overwhelmed. In the end it’s some inexperience from Alexander that brings Kyle into the match – as he engages him in a strike exchange and winds up eating a big jumping knee to the jaw. He tries Danielson-style over-the-shoulder arm wrenches then delivers a hammerlock legsweep for 2. O’Reilly works the arm hard, innovating some terrific offensive moves along the way – like a CRADLE hammerlock snap suplex. Grounded hammerlock applied, coupled with a headscissors to make it especially difficult for Alexander to make the ropes. O’Reilly is so awesome with this arm attack that he very precisely targets each of his kicks on the point of the shoulder, and instead of choking his opponent in the corner with his boot, he presses the sole of his shoe down across that arm. Alexander takes a huge risk, and NAILS the somersault plancha (whilst selling the arm!). Split-legged moonsault nailed, hooking the legs with his good arm and getting 2. Cedric goes for another high-flying move from the ropes, only for Kyle to snap his arm over the ropes. Springboard…countered to an armbar…COUNTERED to a running heel kick in the corner by Alexander! FLYING DIVORCE COURT BY O’REILLY! FUJIWARA ARMBAR! COUNTERED TO A PUMPHANDLE EXPLODER FOR 2! But Cedric has nothing left in his arm, struggling with it and stumbling into a vicious knee strike. DEAD-LIFT REGALPLEX by O’Reilly! Alexander absorbs some short-range kicks across the chest and shoulder and incredible manages to throw some strikes back in Kyle’s direction. CORKSCREW ENZI! DETONATION KICK GETS 2! FIVE STAR FROG SPLASH – COUNTERED WITH A TRIANGLE CHOKE! ALEXANDER POWERS OUT! KICKS TO THE HEAD! BRAINBUSTER BY O’REILLY! FOR 2! CROSS ARMBREAKER! Cedric taps at 17:50

Rating – **** – That was a showstealer, and thus far match of the night by a million miles. A real high quality performance from both athletes. Kyle has been a strong worker for a long time here, but he was reaching Bryan Danielson levels of detail with the assault on the arm in this one. He was so thorough, so precise and so pointedly aggressive in everything he did – a truly remarkable showing from him. And on the flip side of that, Alexander was excellent as well. His selling of the arm was fantastic, he modified his signature spots to put over the injury – and he generally made himself a sympathetic babyface character the people wanted to get behind (unlike Caprice in the previous match). After what has, thus far, been a pretty dour show for Ring Of Honor this was a bit of an unexpected treat. I know both of these men are focused on their respective tag teams for now but I think they have big futures as singles workers beyond that…if ROH keeps them signed up.

Adam Cole/Tommaso Ciampa vs Kevin Steen/Michael Elgin
Obviously this main event puts the four semi-finalists in the World Title tournament together, just weeks ahead of their big showdown for the championship in Philadelphia – with each remaining entrant paired with their Death Before Dishonor opponent this evening. At the time many were disappointed that we didn’t get the ‘Unbreakable Psychopaths’ tandem of Elgin and Ciampa, and whilst I agree that would have been fun, I’m actually quite happy seeing them on opposing sides as it means we’ll see a renewal of the incredible hostilities they displayed against each other when they met at Best In The World 2013. Ciampa is widely considered an outsider for the title, but there really isn’t much to choose between the other three. Steen is the most popular act in the company, Elgin is the existing #1 contender, whilst Cole has been building momentum through the tournament and is many people’s pick to win the whole thing. This one represents a huge opportunity to lay down a marker before Philly.

BOOM! F-5 from Steen to Cole in the first few seconds of the match! Cole is clearly wounded and leaves the ring, with his partner alone to stumble into the Black Hole Slam from Elgin. Everyone spills to the floor, where Ciampa SPEARS ELGIN INTO THE RAILS! On the other side of the ring Cole grabs the ropes to save himself from Steen’s Apron Bomb…then sprints across the ring into a tope suicida on the helpless Elgin. He tries his flying crossbody, only for Unbreakable to catch him and do his best to take young Adam’s head off with a bicycle kick for 2. Steen and Elgin look to isolate Cole, which is sensible as he is the smallest man in the contest. Michael hits a 40-second suplex, then tags in his partner so Mr Wrestling can have a go. Cole blocks Steen’s attempt, so together he and Elgin hit a DOUBLE stalling vertical suplex. Tommaso is (rightly) furious as the ref is completely ignoring the 5-second rule to let them hit that move, although it does become quite funny when Steen stops for a break, lets Elgin take Cole’s full weight, then joins in again at the end to finish the spot. Ciampa gets a tag and tears into Unbreakable – flipping him through the air with a charging lariat. He dishes out a stalling of his own for good measure and, for the first time, it’s the Cole/Ciampa duo who are in the ascendency as we approach 10 minutes. I like their strategy – as they seem to be targeting both the knee and neck/head region. Eventually Tommaso takes a brutal jumping enzi in the corner, causing him to topple to the apron and into perfect position for the DEAD-LIFT SUPERPLEX! Tags all round, with Steen’s size seemingly too much for Cole to overcome. Steen spikes Adam with a hanging DDT, then grabs Tommaso for a sickening LUNGBLOWER/SENTON COMBO which looks like it crushed poor Cole like a pancake. Ciampa saves Cole from the Package Piledriver…but walks into the ST-Joe by Elgin immediately afterwards. The Sicilian Psychopath is bleeding…but somehow rolls aside to evade Steen’s cannonball senton. Bare Knee/Shining Wizard combo from Cole and Ciampa…into an awesome SUPERKICK/AIR RAID CRASH COMBO for 2! Elgin rattles Ciampa with a Death Blow, then the Back Fist. SLEEPER SUPLEX from Steen to Cole! And it’s followed by the Steen-ton Bomb! CORKSCREW SENTON NAILED by Elgin for 2. Tommaso somersaults out of the Spiral Bomb, straight into the Sharpshooter! CROSSFACE BY ELGIN AT THE SAME TIME! Cole tries to superkick his partner free, only for Steen to no sell it and Sharpshooter him instead. Tommaso levels Steen with a knee strike…then eats a lariat from Cole. CRADLEBREAKER from Cole to Elgin, and now Steen is back up to decimate Adam with a powerbomb. Elgin Germans Cole into his own partner, before Steen tags himself in for the PACKAGE PILEDRIVER! He pins Cole at 20:55

Rating – **** – A really fun main event, and was it’s best when we saw four guys who aren’t regular teams pair off to hit innovative combo sequences you wouldn’t normally see on an ROH show. Considering how dry and tedious most of this show has been to sit through this one was a surprisingly thrilling finale that felt rather out of place with the sedate nature of everything that had gone before. Steen gets the popular victory going into Death Before Dishonor, but the kicker is that he blind tagged himself in to do it – when seemingly Elgin had the match won. You can bet Elgin will remember that when they meet at Death Before Dishonor.

Since he lost Cole doesn’t want to shake hands – and is roundly boo’d for refusing to do so as the show comes to an end.

Tape Rating – ** – I can usually tell how much I liked a show by how many ‘sittings’ it took to watch and review it. A great show I’ll normally get through in one or two sittings – usually in the same day. A decent show will probably take between two and three sittings across a couple of days. This one took me approximately six sittings across the span of about three weeks. The undercard was absolutely insipid. It wasn’t bad, but it was just so boring, uninspired and completely forgettable I really struggled to motivate myself to watch it. Why the hell is Luke Hawx getting bookings? And for that matter why are Alabama Attitude (mainly Posey, I don’t actually mind Hollis) still hanging around like a bad smell too? And who the hell booked Marshall/Cheeseburger to go that long, with an irritating local DJ and not even be remotely funny? There are some great talents in ROH, but when workers like Eddie Edwards aren’t available, reliable workers like Jay Lethal are stuck with dead weight like Hawx and the majority of your established top level guys are in the main event the rest of the show becomes a real slog to sit through. Rowe/Strong was actually a decent start to the show. Richards/Taven was ok in the middle (albeit very disappointing considering how much time they got and how skilled those two are). And at the top of the card O’Reilly/Alexander and the semi-finalists tag really saved the show. If you’re bored and have literally seen everything else on VOD then this is worth a watch for those matches, but there really isn’t any major reason to stop here and you can skip it perfectly comfortably. Personally I found it so dull it’s left me MILES behind in my reviewing…or maybe that’s just my general state of disappointment and lack of interest in Delirious’ booking and Sinclair’s penny-pinching ownership talking.

Top 3 Matches
3) Davey Richards vs Matt Taven (***)
2) Kevin Steen/Michael Elgin vs Adam Cole/Tommaso Ciampa (****)
1) Kyle O’Reilly vs Cedric Alexander (****)

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