– Marty Scurll v Kenny King – This was an alright match, but if you want King to be a serious title contender in ROH — I mean, just a few months ago he was the “Bullet Club Killer” — I wouldn’t have had him face Scurll, who’s facing the champ at G1 Supercard. And Ring of Honor was thinking that too, since they had The Villain defeat KK with his trusty umbrella. – 2.75/5
– ROH TV Championship: Jeff Cobb v Shane Taylor – Surprise great match of the night! Kudos to Taylor for having his best showing to date. When ROH re-signed him, I figured it was only because they needed bodies. But after Taylor’s performance (the big man hit a Canadian Destroyer and took two Tour of the Islands dammit!), now I can see why they had interest. Of course, the match’s greatness would not be possible without the efforts of Cobb. As mentioned in my last PWG review, the TV champ’s really coming into his own. Cobb’s been far more comfortable in the ring than ever before, his workrate is up, and he’s shown flashes of a big time wrestling persona. The newly announced title-for-title match with Will Ospreay at Supercard has made an already exciting weekend even more so! – 3.75-4/5
– Women of Honor Championship: Mayu Iwatani v Kelly Klein – Despite how great Iwatani has been in Stardom, this was just another half-assed, sloppy WOH match. The division has been hurting for a longtime now, and I don’t see any changes in the near future minus a miracle signing of the entire Stardom roster. – 2.5/5
– ROH World Championsip: Jay Lethal v Matt Taven – The best part about this 60-minute broadway is the fact ROH called an audible and dumped two matches more suitable for TV tapings (Gresham v Young; Williams/Haskins v The Kingdom). That said, I have mixed feelings. I like both Lethal and Taven, but they should never have gone sixty. Unless your name is Okada or Omega, Flair or Steamboat, it’s recommended not to, especially in this look-at-your-cell-phone-during-everything world (even a much-lauded broadway between Trevor Lee and ACH just a couple months back in AAW had its lulls). While the epic match length did offer great excitement towards the end, the first 30-minutes SUCKED. The opening had long restholds, adequate wrestling, a tepid crowd, and silly ref stuff. Then we see The Kingdom, their weapons and the like, followed on the trails by Jonathan Gresham, Mark Haskins and Tracy Williams. Even ROH lead announcer Ian Ricobanni hilariously referred to all of this overbooked crap as “garbage!” Once The Kingdom were chased to the back, Taven and Lethal decided to have a great match, kicked off by an amazing near-fall following Taven’s lowblow and Spike Climax; Lethal even missed a mean flying elbow onto a ladder to the outside. This was a 3.75+ match for the next 30-minutes, seeing each wrestler steal finishers and wake the crowd with great false finishes; Sam Town’s was lit and supported the hard work. Time expired following repeated soccer kicks, cutter exchanges, superkicks, and a Lethal Injection. It’s a damn shame they didn’t just wrestle the back-half of this broadway. – 2.25/5 (First 30 = 0.75/5; Second 30 = 3.75/5)
– Rush v Bandido – Following a pathetic Megaran/Bully Ray segment (the nerdcore rap shit is cool, but not here. And Bully bullying two nerd rappers was even worse), luchadors Rush and Bandido were off and running. This one went 15 and the incredible pacing made it feel like 8. Just a few minutes in, we’d see a Rush powerbomb to an outside table and a share of apron counters and dives from Bandido, including one crowd-erupting Fosbury Flop. After several minutes of heated action, Bandido would fight off punishment from a deadlift German and hit a suplex of his own, setting up a 450 splash onto a rope-tangled Rush. Yet despite the hot momentum and a well-timed GTS, Bandido would see his undefeated streak end via Rush’s La Lanza (corner double foot dropkick). Excellent match, as expected. – 3.75/5
– ROH Tag Title Las Vegas Street Fight: PCO & Brody King v The Briscoes – Match of the Night. Nice to see tag team wrestling in the main event too, even with the Young Bucks no longer on the roster. ROH called two great audibles here, making this one a No DQ/Street Fight and giving PCO & King the victory. Everyone worked their fuckin’ ass off. Hell, this match would’ve made Sabu and Sandman jealous: Jay hitting chair dropkicks, Mark hitting chair shots, Mark landing on a pile of chairs, a King corner DVD onto table, a PCO driver onto table, a Mark blockbuster onto table, a King botched piledriver onto table, Briscoe kendo stick shots, PCO no-selling kendo stick shots, PCO breaking kendo sticks, PCO getting stabbed by broken kendo sticks, and… PCO hitting a moonsault onto a King chair onto Jay Briscoe for the win. Welcome to MSG, Villain Enterprises. – 4/5
Overall = 3.25/5 Bibles
This was a fairly good show with a couple OK matches, one really long one (some will love it; many will hate it), and a few great matches that give ROH great momentum into MSG– minus Rush vs. Dalton Castle, cause nobody asked for that. Nobody. In the end, Ring of Honor’s 17th Anniversary had less consistency than last year’s Anniversary show, but had just as many highs despite having 3 less matches and… no Elite. As for their next show at MSG, Ospreay v Cobb and G.O.D. v Villain Enterprises will no doubt be insane title v title matches. See you in 3 weeks!