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ROH 16th Anniversary Show 3/9/2018

ROH Six-Man Tag Team Champions Adam Page & The Young Bucks defend against SoCal Uncensored in a street fight. Hiromu Takahashi competes against Flip Gordon. Cody looks to settle his feud with Matt Taven. Will the Briscoe Brothers win the ROH Tag Team Championships from the Motor City Machine Guns? Who will be the number one contender between Punishment Martinez and Marty Scurll? ROH World Champion Dalton Castle defends against Jay Lethal in the main event.

Ring of Honor presents 16th Anniversary Show
Date: 3/9/2018
From: Las Vegas, NV

ROH Enforcer Bully Ray is in the ring to kickoff the show and does his usual deal with putting over the ROH product. He was obviously waiting for the cue to start getting the crowd pumped for the show. That stuff annoys me. Why wait for the camera to be on for the crowd to be excited?

Opening Contest: Flip Gordon vs. Hiromu Takahashi: Gordon does several kip ups to get out of a wrist lock and Takahashi did a little dance before kicking Gordon in the midsection. Gordon does a handstand and head scissors Takahashi to the corner. Gordon hits a standing moonsault for a two count after a kick to the chest. Hiromu rolls to the floor where Flip takes him out with a suicide dive. Takahashi dropkicks Gordon off the apron and comes off the apron with a dropkick to send Gordon back first into the railing. Takahashi continues to work over Gordon in the corner with a running clothesline and a dropkick to a seated Gordon for a two count. Takahashi goes to the floor and grabs Daryl. Hiromu decks Gordon with Daryl, which doesn’t get a disqualification. Gordon sells being hit by a stuffed animal. Hiromu keeps Gordon on the mat with a head scissors. Gordon clotheslines Takahashi and follows up with a springboard twisting elbow strike. Gordon has Takahashi on his shoulders to hit a Samoan Drop and a running shooting star press for a near fall. Takahashi stops Gordon on the top rope but Gordon is able to counter with a springboard kick. Gordon hits a superkick and a Falcon Arrow but only manages a two count on the cover. Gordon heads to the top rope but Takahashi moves to hit a Canadian Destroyer. Gordon nails Hiromu with a superkick during a mid-sell on the Canadian Destroyer. They begin to trade strikes from their knees. They get to their feet and continue to trade strikes. Gordon superkicks Takahashi followed by a springboard spinning stunner but only manages a two count. Gordon heads to the top rope looking for a 450 splash, but Takahashi gets his knees up and nearly wins the match with an inside cradle. Takahashi drives Gordon into the corner with a running Death Valley Driver. Gordon kicks Hiromu on the side of his head. Hiromu nearly wins with a bridging German suplex. Takahashi turns Gordon inside out with a clothesline for a two count. Hiromu hits the Time Bomb for the win. (***. While the match doesn’t have a storyline behind it or anything, it was a fine match and mildly entertaining. I don’t think they ever really got going past their first gear and it lacked any real drama or emotion. The match seemed more like a way to get an NJPW guy on the show and have him get a victory over someone who isn’t involved in anything major for ROH.)

Second Contest: Marty Scurll vs. Punishment Martinez in a number one contenders match: Scurll goes right after Martinez delivering a kick from the apron before getting back into the ring. Martinez just tosses Scurll across the ring with a Falcon Arrow and then takes Scurll out with a springboard somersault dive to the floor.

Scurll tries to work over the leg of Martinez and is able to get a few moves in before a clotheslines stops him. Martinez hits the Psycho Driver and a Curb Stomp for a two count on Scurll. Martinez misses a chokeslam attempt but kicks Scurll into the corner. Martinez slams Scurll and hits a springboard somersault senton for a two count. It looked like Punishment landed on Scurll’s face. The referee bails to the floor to avoid Martinez. Martinez drops Scurll with a right hand. Scurll kicks Martinez on his knee and is bleeding from his eye. Martinez hits a splash in the corner and Scurll comes back with a tornado DDT out of the corner. Scurll uppercuts Martinez followed by a slap. Martinez goes for a powerbomb but Scurll breaks free only to run into a boot. Scurll tries a clothesline and settles for a brainbuster for a two count. Scurll goes for the chickenwing but Martinez counters and drops Scurll face first to the mat. Scurll counters a springboard attempt by kicking Martinez’s legs. Marty delivers a running double knee to the left knee of Martinez. Punishment kicks Scurll to the floor and regroups in the corner. Scurll goes under the ring and appears to try an get a bag of powder. Security prevents Scurll from attacking the referee and it sets up the obvious dive from Martinez to the floor.

Martinez is destroying the security guys on the floor. Martinez has Scurll on the apron but is met with a kick. Martinez plants Scurll with a Curb Stomp on the apron. Martinez goes under the ring to grab a table. Martinez sets the table up on the floor and decks Scurll with a right hand. Martinez puts Scurll onto the table and Martinez attempts another springboard dive but misses Scurll and crashes through the table instead!

Scurll rolls Martinez back into the ring and spikes Martinez with a piledriver for a two count. Marty grabs Martinez’s fingers and tries to snap them but Punishment counters looking for a chokeslam but Scurll nearly wins with a rollup. Scurll kicks Martinez a few times and stomps away on his neck several times. Martinez pops up like nothing is wrong and kicks Scurll. Scurll low blows Martinez after a fake powder throw and wins with a rollup. (***1/4. I enjoyed the action, but the finish is something that I really hate. They do all that stuff and then use a low blow/roll-up finish. Obviously the finish has to be used to protect Martinez, but it just drives me nuts. Scurll is the number one contender and I can get behind that.)

Third Contest: ROH Television Champion Kenny King vs. Silas Young: Early on, neither man is able to get a clear advantage. King takes Young down with a drop toe hold and tries for a Last Chancery but Young gets to the ropes and rolls to the floor to regroup. King slams Young followed by a dropkick for a two count. King works over Young in the corner but a knee lift stops his offense. Young forearms King and pummels him with right hands on the mat. Young boots King to the floor and gets a two count back in the ring. King attempts a springboard into the ring but Young stops him and gets a near fall. Young sends King through the middle rope and Kenny takes out a camera. King blocks a suplex attempt and Young hammers away on Kenny with strikes. King and Young go over the top to the floor with a vertical suplex from King. They return to the ring before the count of twenty and begin to trade strikes from their knees. King delivers a spinning kick to send Young to the floor. King takes Young out with a slingshot twisting dive to the floor. King wants to take a selfie but Young stops him. King hits an overhead belly to belly suplex on the floor. King does the selfie with Silas and returns to the ring.

King hits a top rope crossbody but can’t keep Young down on the cover attempt. Young ducks a kick but runs into a spinebuster and King nearly wins the match. Young dumps King to the apron and hits a springboard clothesline to drop King. Young knee lifts King and hits an elevated twisting neckbreaker for a two count. Young hits a rolling fireman’s carry and hits a moonsault out of the corner for a near fall. They begin to trade forearms and chops in the middle of the ring. Young catches King out of the corner but the referee goes down as Young hit the TKO. Young has the cover but the referee is late on the cover and only counts to two. King nearly wins with a rollup from behind. Young tries to use the ropes for leverage but the referee won’t count the pin. Young argues with the referee and ends up getting driven down to the mat with the Royal Flush. King covers and wins the match. (**1/2. I’m really hopeful that this feud is over with and they get the title off of King. The title reign is just because King was on a popular reality show. The action was fine, but I wasn’t interested.)

Impact Wrestling Heavyweight Champion Austin Aries appears with his many championships on the entrance way. Aries gives props to Kenny King for his hard fought victory. Aries reminds everyone that he’s been going around the globe collecting belts. He hasn’t held one title in ROH and that’s the ROH Television Championship. Aries announces that King has something that he wants and he’s never done collecting belts.

Fourth Contest: ROH Six Man Tag Team Champions Adam Page & Young Bucks vs. SoCal Uncensored (Christopher Daniels, Kazarian & Scorpio Sky) in a Las Vegas Street Fight: The champs take the challengers out with dives to the floor. Daniels is dropkicked off the railing by Nick Jackson after being lifted into the air by Matt. Kazarian has Page in the ring but Page hits a powerbomb in the corner and the Bucks deliver stereo kicks to the head. Nick takes Sky out with a crossbody off the top. Bucks dropkick Sky out of a chair in the middle of the ring. Page kicks Daniels and tosses Kazarian onto the chair. Page also hit a standing moonsault on Sky. Page powerbombs Sky off the apron onto the ramp after a trash can shot on the apron. Daniels is taken out by Nick with a dive over the top to the floor. Page has a belt and wants to use it on Kazarian, but Sky comes in and hits Page with a kendo stick. Bucks dropkick Sky and Kazarian to the floor. Page uses a kendo stick on Daniels and Matt hits a neckbreaker on Daniels across Nick’s knee. Matt is holding Daniels on the floor to allow Page to hit a shooting star press off the apron to the floor.

Bucks setup a table on the floor and continue to beat on the challengers. Kazarian is busted wide open at this point. Daniels tosses Matt off the top and Matt crashes through the table on the floor. Sky double stomps Nick and the challengers hit a combo. Kazarian takes Page out with a slingshot hurricanrana on the outside. Kazarian works over Nick with a steel chair over the back. Daniels works over Page on the floor. Kaz springboard legdrops a kendo stick into Nick’s groin in a clearly planned spot that took me out of the moment. Daniels and his buddies work over Nick with strikes and taunt Nick with “Suck It” taunts. Sky accidentally nails Daniels with the kendo stick. Sky is dumped to the floor and Nick is met with a trash can shot. Sky takes Nick off the apron with a hurricanrana. Kaz plants Matt with a slingshot cutter and Sky does the same to Nick. Kaz and Sky have dragon sleepers on the Bucks.

Page comes in with a trash can lid to make the save. Kaz and Page trade trash can lid shots several times. Kaz drops Page with another trash can lid shot. Page uses a whip with nails in it on Kaz. Kazarian piledrives Page onto the whip and Nick fights back with strikes on the challengers. Sky nails Nick with a chair shot to the face. Matt enters and hammers away on Sky and Daniels with right hands. Daniels hits a backbreaker on Matt across a steel chair. Daniels sets up a few guard railings on the floor. Bucks get Sharpshooters on Sky and Daniels until Kaz enters with a kendo stick. Page hits his slingshot clothesline into the ring on Sky. Daniels slams Page before hitting the BME. Page backdrops Daniels over the top onto the guard railings.

Nick has Kazarian on a table outside the ring. Nick has grabbed a ladder from under the ring. Nick climbs the ladder but Sky comes over and drops Nick over the top rope and hits a cutter on the apron. Matt DDTs Sky on the apron. Matt puts Kazarian on the table and climbs the ladder. Matt jumps off the ladder and puts Kazarian through the table with an elbow drop!

Matt comes off the top hitting a 450 splash onto Sky who had a trash can over his body. Shane Taylor pulls the referee out and powerbombs Nick across the apron. Taylor shoves Page away before delivering a knee strike. Matt gets in the ring and superkicks Taylor a few times. Matt tries to slam Taylor but isn’t able to do so. Page uses a kendo stick on Taylor and has Taylor over his back to hit a modified Meltzer Driver. Taylor rolls to the floor as Daniels sends Page into the post shoulder first. Daniels zip ties Page’s arms around the post. Kaz runs into a double superkick and the same goes for Daniels. Sky is laid out as well. Bucks attempt the Meltzer Driver, but Daniels pulls Nick off and Sky has Matt hitting a cutter. Sky has the dragon sleeper on Matt. Kazarian puts a Boston Crab on Matt while Sky chokes out Matt with a kendo stick. That leads to Matt submitting and we have new champions. (***1/2. I didn’t like Shane Taylor getting involved because it makes it feel like the heels are much less qualified to be champions than Page and the Bucks. It just felt like cheap booking and used because the stipulation allowed them to do so. It’s a fun match with the freedom to do whatever they wanted so it’s an easy watch. The finish felt a little flat and out of place, too.) After the match, the Kingdom of TK and Vinny attack the Bucks with Page still trapped round the post. Bully Ray comes out and scares them away.

Fifth Contest: Matt Taven vs. Cody: Taven goes to the floor to stall for a bit and gives Bobby Cruise the ROH ring for protection. Cody has control of Taven until Taven goes to the ropes to break the go-behind. Taven avoids the Crossroads and bails to the floor. Cody takes Taven out with a suicide dive to the floor. Cody embraces Barry The Bear with an eskimo kiss. Cody wants his ring back and that allows Taven to get control of the match. Cody kicks Taven followed by a Flatliner back into the ring for a two count. Cody gets the American deathlock on Taven but isn’t able to get a submission. Taven does the Stardust taunt to Cody before dropping Cody over the top rope and pummels Cody with right hands. Taven chokes Cody on the mat. Cody spikes Taven with a DDT for a two count. Cody and Taven trade chops against the ropes until Taven goes to the floor and goes towards Brandi on the floor. Cody jumps to the floor but Taven gets back in the ring and takes Cody out with a suicide dive. Taven sends Cody into the post shoulder first. Taven drives Cody down with a backbreaker and a double under hook backbreaker. Taven focuses his attack on Cody’s lower back. Cody tries for an arm drag but Taven counters with a modified backstabber for a two count. Cody decks Taven with a right hand and they struggle to their feet. Taven blocks a Disaster Kick and puts the Boston Crab on right in the middle of the ring. Cody kicks Taven away but is met with a knee strike to the jaw. Taven attempts a springboard moonsault but Cody gets his knees up. They begin to trade right hands in the middle of the ring. Taven knee lifts Cody and a running forearm. Cody snap powerslams Taven for a two count.

Cody goes for a double leg slam and drives Taven down to the mat for another near fall. Cody goes to the top and takes Taven out with a missile dropkick. Barry slides a chair into Cody but the referee takes that away. Taven whacks Cody with his cane and hits the Crossroads for a two count. They both go for a springboard kick, but Taven is able to hit the move first. Taven heads to the top rope but misses a frog splash. Cody nails Taven with the Disaster Kick. Taven comes back with the Climax for a two count. Cody misses a crossbody and takes out the referee instead. Cody and Taven both go down on big boot attempts. Vinny and TK slide into the ring to help out Taven. Taven low blows Cody. Cody goes into his tights and takes out a cup. Bully Ray takes out the Kingdom and chases them into the crowd. Taven sees the cup and begs off. Cody plants Taven with the Crossroads to win the match. (**3/4. I’m not really sure why Cody is being presented as a super human guy who can kick out of everyone’s big moves in ROH. I’ve been enjoying Cody and the match was better than I was expecting it to be. This loss hurts Taven a bi and I don’t expect him to be a major force in the coming months after this.)

Cody gets his ring back and kisses it as he plays to the crowd with Brandi and Barry. Barry shoves Cody down and reveals to be Kenny Omega! Omega nails Cody with a running knee strike! Omega taunts Cody as the fans are going nuts for this. Brandi confronts Omega and slaps him a few times. Brandi slaps Omega and taunts him. Brandi plants a kiss on Omega and tells Kenny that, “He liked it.” She just sexually assaulted Omega. That was a bizarre angle direction.

Sixth Contest: ROH Tag Team Champions Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin) vs. Briscoe Brothers: Briscoe Brothers have the early advantage on the floor working over the champs until Jay and Sabin legally start the match in the ring. Mark drives Sabin down with a vertical suplex. Jay tags back in and continues to work over Sabin in the corner before tagging Mark back into the match. Jay and Mark shoulder block Sabin to keep control of the match. Sabin fights back with kicks on Mark and Jay and tags in Shelley. Shelley clears house with strikes and hits a Flatliner/DDT combo. Sabin dropkicks Jay off the apron and kick the Briscoe’s on the floor. Sabin takes the challengers out with a suicide dive to the floor. Shelley and Sabin hit a Flatliner/dropkick combo for a two count on Mark. Mark comes off the apron hits a somersault dive onto Shelley. Sabin sends Jay into the post. Mark is sent into the post by Shelley from behind. Guns hit a double stomp/neckbreaker combo on the floor. Mark has been busted wide open.

Shelley has his hand cover in blood that belongs to Mark and wipes his hand on the referees shirt. Mark crotches Sabin on the top and kicks Shelley. Sabin stops Jay and allows Shelley to hit a tree of woe dropkick as does Sabin for a two count. Jay splashes Shelley in the corner and decks Sabin off the apron. Jay dropkicks Shelley to avoid a dive to the floor. Mark accidentally hits Jay on the floor and Sabin takes them both out with a crossbody to the outside. Sabin comes off the top with a missile dropkick on Mark and dives onto Jay. Mark is double teamed by the champs as Shelley hits an assisted Slice Bread followed by a knee from Sabin. Sabin nearly wins with the Cradle Shock on Mark. Jay works over the Guns with strikes but is met with the Dream Sequence. Sabin kicks Mark into the corner and accidentally dropkicks Shelley, who was stuck in a tree of woe. Jay nails Sabin with a discus clothesline. Jay backdrops Sabin and Mark hits an elbow drop after a neckbreaker by Jay for a two count on Sabin. Sabin avoids the Doomsday Device and nearly gets a win with rollup. Jay grabs Sabin to spike him with the Jay Driller but Sabin kicks out at two. Briscoe’s hit the Doomsday Device on Sabin for the win. (**. The match was fine, but it dragged on forever for me. I feel the tag division is incredibly stale at this point and the Briscoe Brothers being champions just feels like the same stuff over and over again. The live crowd didn’t seem to care about anything for this match. I tend to agree with them.)

Main Event: ROH World Champion Dalton Castle vs. Jay Lethal: Castle has a red mark on his lower back, which may be an injury or a bad reaction to something, who knows. They trade some mat wrestling at the start, as expected. Castle shoulder blocks Lethal and soon goes for a spinning double leg slam, but Lethal is able to break free and bails to the floor to regroup. Castle taunts Lethal after avoiding a right hand in the corner. Lethal kicks Castle’s left leg and gets control with right hands in the corner. Castle tosses Lethal to the mat gut first and continues with a right hand. Lethal dropkicks a seated Castle to maintain control of the match. Lethal continues to work over Castle with chops in the corner. Lethal heel kicks Castle for a two count. Castle tosses Lethal overhead with a suplex. Castle decks Lethal with a right hand. Lethal pulls Castle to the floor and Castle hits a head scissors after swinging his hips on the apron. Lethal sends Dalton into the guard railing and his Boys check on the champion. They get back in the ring and Castle delivers a clothesline in the corner. Castle puts Lethal over the top turnbuckle. Lethal tries for a springboard dropkick but Castle avoids it. Lethal kicks Dalton off the apron. Lethal hits a suicide dive to take the champion out on the floor. Lethal takes Castle out with a second suicide dive. Castle grabs Lethal before he could try a third one and Castle hits a German suplex on the floor.

Castle and Lethal trade strikes on the floor with Lethal pummeling Castle but is driven into the apron ribs first. Castle misses a chop and hits the post. Lethal uppercuts Castle dropping the champion on the floor. Lethal continues to chop on Castle with strikes. Lethal rams Castle face first onto the timekeepers table. Castle drives Lethal onto the table a couple of times. Lethal springboar dropkicks one of the Boys into the arms of Bobby Cruise. Lethal misses a suicide dive and takes out Cruise!

Colt Cabana has left to check on Cruise. Lethal kicks Castle away in the corner but is caught with an overhead suplex and Castle gets a two count. Dalton works over Lethal’s ribs to keep control of the match. Castle goes for his spinning double leg slam but Lethal hits the Lethal Combination for a two count. Lethal goes for the Lethal Injection but Castle counters with a back suplex attempt, but Lethal lands on his feet. Lethal puts the Torture Rack on Castle! Lethal does a somersault and Castle lands on his midsection for a two count. Lethal works over Castle with chops but Castle comes back with strikes. Castle avoids a kick and hits a dead lift German for a two count. Castle continues to hammer away on Lethal with strikes. Lethal fights back with right hands. Lethal plants Castle with a cutter. Castle avoids the Lethal Injection and delivers a clothesline. Lethal counters the spinning double leg slam and locks in the figure four!

Castle is able to reach the bottom rope to break the hold. Lethal kicks Castle’s leg a few times and Dalton crawls to the corner trying to pull himself up. They trade strikes a few times until Lethal goes for another figure four. Castle almost wins with a figure four. Lethal plants Castle with the Lethal Injection for a near fall. They are trading shots on the apron until Lethal kicks the champ on his injured leg. Lethal baseball slides Castle into the guard railing. Lethal drops Castle onto the apron knee first. Castle counters a cutter on the apron and tosses Lethal off with a German suplex.

They slowly return to the ring to continue the match. They begin to slap each other. Castle knee lifts Lethal but Lethal comes back with kicks. Lethal superkicks Castle and comes off the ropes looking for Lethal Injection. Castle counters through and on the second attempt, Castle hits the Bang-A-Rang for the win. (***1/4. Not every match needs to go a half-hour in order for it to be good, ROH. There were some good moments here, but it felt like it went a little too long and the angle didn’t necessarily call for a long match. It’s a good, clean win for Castle and adds importance to his reign.) After the match, Lethal shakes hands with Castle.

Marty Scurll makes his way out and enters the ring to have a stare down with Castle. Scurll makes it known that the championship is going to be his as the show comes to an end.

Final Thoughts:
I wouldn’t say there’s anything on the show that is a standout match, but there was plenty of quality action throughout and it didn’t feel like a complete waste of time. Castle vs. Scurll is going to be the title feud heading into Supercard of Honor and I’m not sure how excited I am for that. It would be interesting to see Scurll as ROH World Champion.

Thanks for reading.

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