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Turner Hall Ballroom – Milwaukee, WI – Friday, August 22, 2014
Kevin Kelly, Steve Corino, and Caprice Coleman are on commentary.
In the opening match, Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian defeat The Kingdom (Adam Cole & Michael Bennett) (w/ Maria Kanellis) at 11:17. The crowd is heavily invested in this match from the get-go, reacting to everything The Addiction does. Daniels and Kazarian dominate the opening minutes so much that Maria has to interfere to turn it around. Cole and Bennett focus on Daniels, and after a few minutes Daniels is able to make a hot tag. The match breaks down and the crowd chants “this is awesome,” proving how overused that phrase is. I mean this is a good tag match and all, but do you want “this is awesome” to mean something or not people?? The finish comes when Celebrity Rehab on Bennett and that’s enough to get the pin. Good choice for an opener here, with a clearly hot crowd and well-worked tag team formula stuff.
Adam Pearce defeats TaDarius Thomas at 6:30. Thomas has the entire Decade in his corner – Jimmy Jacobs, Roderick Strong, BJ Whitmer, and fellow young boy Adam Page. Pearce was brought in at the behest of the Decade to teach their young boy a lesson in respect. He pretty much dominates the majority of the match, but Thomas makes the token comeback. Thomas gets distracted by the Decade on the floor, and Pearce capitalizes with a low blow behind the referee’s back. Pearce then hits the Piledriver to get the pin. This was more of a TV match, but I do like that it served a purpose for the Decade and was a nice logical opportunity to see Pearce again.
Tommaso Ciampa defeats Jimmy Jacobs at 6:46. They segue nicely into the next match, and as Ciampa makes his entrance Jacobs wipes him out with a dive. They fight on the floor for quite a while and Ciampa destroys Jacobs while the crowd whips out their second “this is awesome” chant. They get back to the ring finally but I still never hear a bell ring. Jacobs fights back and tries to choke Ciampa out with the End Time, which Ciampa counters with a super Air Raid Crash. That’s quite an elaborate counter. Jacobs fights back and tries to use the microphone as a weapon but Ciampa hits him with a clothesline. When Jacobs tries a last-ditch Spear, Ciampa knees him right in the face. Ciampa gets on the mic and taunts Jacobs while delivering elbow strikes to the face. He then puts on the Sicilian Stretch and Jacobs taps out. Jacobs sure made Ciampa look like a million ROH bucks with this performance, which is exactly what Ciampa needed going into a match with ROH World Champion Michael Elgin the next night.
AJ Styles defeats ROH World Tag Team Champion Kyle O’Reilly (w/ Bobby Fish) at 17:29. Styles is the current IWGP Champion, but the title is not on the line here. Both O’Reilly and Styles show off just how good they are in the early going, with Styles appearing to be a step ahead. Fish has to interfere multiple times to give O’Reilly control of the match. O’Reilly focuses on the arm and picks it apart expertly. Styles makes multiple attempts to hit the Styles Clash but to no avail. Those two strategies come to a head when O’Reilly has Styles locked in a Cross Armbreaker and Styles powers him into a Styles Clash! That was sweet. Moments later after more hard hitting action, Styles tries another Styles Clash and O’Reilly tries to block it, so Styles hits the Hollow Point and then the Styles Clash to get the pin. What a battle. This was an amazing match, with two absurdly talented men each working a logical strategy with a high degree of intensity. They hit hard and executed awesome counters on each other throughout the match. O’Reilly looked like an absolute star here, and they need to continue bringing him along and allowing him to perform at this level. He’s a future ROH World Champion for sure.
In a Six Man Mayhem Match, ACH defeats ROH World Television Champion Jay Lethal (w/ Truth Martini), Adam Page, BJ Whitmer, ROH World Tag Team Champion Bobby Fish, and Cedric Alexander at 9:21. The action comes from all six men, as they all try to establish dominance in the early going. They continue the torrid pace with lots of flying around and this crowd continues to be awesome, popping for everything. ACH and Lethal are left alone, and ACH is able to block a Lethal Injection and land a snap German Suplex to score the upset pin and likely earn himself a TV Title shot. This was a really fun scramble match, with some different styles and a fun dynamic between Decade members Whitmer and Page. I didn’t expect much from this but look at them go.
Hanson defeats Roderick Strong (w/ BJ Whitmer) at 11:09. This one starts off fast as well, with Hanson showing off his tremendous power. But this is hardly Strong’s first rodeo, and he’s able to fight back and slow Hanson down. BJ Whitmer and Adam Page make their way out to watch the match from ringside. Page tries to interfere but it backfires on both Strong and himself. Strong hits Death by Roderick but that’s not enough to get the win. Hanson looks to have Strong pinned after a cartwheel into a lariat but Page pulls the referee to the floor. With the referee out of it, Whitmer hits Hanson with an Exploder on the floor. Strong puts Hanson back in the ring and obliterates him with a Sick Kick but only gets two! Page hands Strong a chair, and Strong refuses to use it. That allows Hanson to hit the Spin Kick of Doom for the pin. I liked the exchanges between Hanson and Strong, and I get where they were going with the Decade stuff, but it really overwhelmed an otherwise entertaining and hard-hitting match.
The Briscoes (Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe) defeat The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson) at 12:46. The Superkick Party begins about a minute into the match and the crowd loves it. Things settle back down a bit into the traditional tag match, but with these two high-octane teams the pace stays pretty quick as they trade momentum back and forth. Of course it doesn’t take long for the referee to lose all control and the action gets crazy and the crowd goes banana. Jay hits Matt with a Jay Driller and Matt actually kicks out! The Briscoes follow with the Doomsday Device and that’s enough to get the pin. It’s a pretty simple formula here – take two great teams and let them go nuts for 13 minutes, and then get a good review from the A2Z Analysiz. This was just non-stop crazy action with a hot crowd to match.
ROH World Champion Michael Elgin defeats Silas Young at 21:24 to retain the title. Elgin has been the Champion since 6.22.14, and this is his sixth defense. Young has to insult his hometown crowd in an effort to get them to boo him for this match. This is a hard-hitting battle right from the get-go, with both men trying to show that they are the Alpha Male. The Champ shows off his impressive power every chance he gets. Young, being a smart competitor, goes to work on Elgin’s back in an attempt to neutralize that power. These two beat each other unmerciful in a very stiff contest. Young gets frustrated after not being able to pin the Champion with a Pee Gee Waja Plunge, so he sets up a table on the floor. He goes for a piledriver off the apron but Elgin blocks it. Elgin is able to hit a belly-to-belly suplex that sends Young over the top rope and crashing through his own table. Back in the ring Elgin pretty much brushes off going through a table, which is annoying. Elgin seems annoyed with this as well, so he hits a back fist, Buckle Bomb, and the Elgin Bomb to get the pin. I was really digging on this power matchup, even though Young obviously never had a shot of winning the title, but then they did a table bump as a transition instead of a big spot and they lost me a little bit. It was still a good battle, and these two have always had good chemistry together so it was still enjoyable, they just really should have made the table spot a bigger deal.
This is a really good show, with two four star matches and three more at three stars or higher. The ones that didn’t hit that mark were not terrible or served a purpose, so this is up and down a very solid show with a few obvious standouts. Go out of your way to see AJ Styles v Kyle O’Reilly for sure, and the rest of the show should keep you entertained as well.
Tags: AJ Styles, Death Before Dishonor, Michael Elgin, Ring of Honor, silas young