It has been a good long while since I attended a Ring of Honor show. The Seventh Anniversary is about as good as any to make my triumphant return. The anniversary shows, historically, are at or near the peak of the RoH year, with only Final Battle being perhaps more consistent. So, how did my triumphant return to the RoH stands go? Read on and find out.
Opening Contest: Rhett Titus and Kenny King vs. Roderick Strong and Erick Stevens
King and Titus have their gimmicks down as well as anyone on the roster. They know how to play to the crowd and get the ideal reactions. Strong and Stevens are both ships without rudders at the moment, but they still bring it in the ring. This match was certainly fun and a great choice to kick off the seventh anniversary. The good guys won and Stevens and Strongâ€™s intense offense was just the right thing to start the show off.
Winner: Erick Stevens and Roderick Strong via pinfall
Claudio Castagnoli vs. Brent Albright
Claudio is looking absolutely shredded as of late, Albright: not so much. Still, these two have some history together and the feud seems to just be rolling. The match itself got off to a really slow start, but when it got going it was pretty hot. The match seemed to end in a time limit draw, but in a rare moment the heel asked for 5 mor minute. About 30 seconds into the extra frame, Claudio hit a blatant low blow to earn the DQ. The finish was a little silly, but it was a great bit of mind games. He lures Albright in and rather than giving him a clean win he intentionally DQs himself. After the match he stomps on a chair on Albrightâ€™s head and hits a Ricola bomb. The match had a slow start but ended up being fun.
Winner: Brent Albright via DQ
Sweet and Sour Challenge: Bobby Dempsey vs. Adam Pearce
Bobby hit a running avalanche and a Death Valley Driver for the win. This was fun, short and popped the crowd. Also, no one can accuse Adam Pearce of putting himself over.
Winner: Bobby Dempsey via pinfall
â€Lightningâ€ Mike Quackenbush vs. Jerry Lynn
Quack got a heroâ€™s welcome upon his entrance. Jerry Lynn got a luke warm response from the New York Crowd. You have to give Quack a ton of credit for making a wrestler like Jerry Lynn look slow and clumsy. Quack is awesome, and RoH needs to put every single one of their belts on him. They need to invent belts for Quack to win. Oh, yeahâ€¦Jerry Lynn won the match with the cradle piledriver. Either way this match deserves eleventy billion stars.
Winner: Jerry Lynn via pinfall
Revolution Rules Match: Austin Aries, Jimmy Jacobs, and Brodie Lee vs. Tyler Black, Necro Butcher and Delirious
This match was all sort of confusing and inconsistent. It had fun moments especially when Brodie Lee and Necro Butcher were beating the crap out of each other. Arie and Jacobsâ€™ interactions were fun as well. Delirious was the first guy to go down. Then the match got out of hand with brawling and dives and craziness. Necro and Brodie Lee brawled into the crowd and out of the arena to both be eliminated meaning that the next fall could not be decided by leaving the building. The match kind of went down hill from this point. Aries and Jacobs could not agree enough to put Tyler away and he was able to defeat both men and win the match. This really was just a clustermess. The good did not outweigh the bad here.
Winner: Tyler Black via pinfall
Mystery Partner Tag Match: Bison Smith and ??? with Prince Nana and â€œDirtyâ€ Ernie Osiris vs. â€œAmerican Dragonâ€ Bryan Danielson and ???
Prince Nana et al make their way to the ring and runs down the fans proving he is one of the most entertaining talkers in wrestling period. He eventually get to his mystery partner: the CROWN JEWEL of the EMBAHSSY!!! JIMMY RAVE!!! The crowd goes nuts for the returning Rave and both he and Nana are surprised. Someone in the crowd saw it coming and had a roll of TP for Jimmy. Dragon then came out and went right after the Bison. The music of one Grizzly Redwood hit, but he was not Dragonâ€™s partner. Dragonâ€™ partner hails from Maxwell Street in Chicago, Illinois: Colt â€œBoom Boomâ€ Cabana. The place went absolutely beserk for the returning Second City Saint. The match itself was nothing stellar, but it was a ton of fun to see Colt Cabana back where he belongs. He even got the win after a roll-up on Rave.
Winners: Colt Cabana and Bryan Danielson via pinfall
Dlo Brown vs. Jay Briscoe
This match was slow, boring and full of punches and kicks. Dlo wins via underhanded tactics and says he is here to stayâ€¦shame.
Winner: Dlo Brown via pinfall
No Disqualification Match for the RoH Tag Team Titles: The American Wolves of Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards vs. Kevin Steen and El GenericoÂ©
This match was a ton of fun despite some crazy unbelievable kickouts. The crowd was electric throughout and both teams work really well together. There were crazy spots with ladders and chairs and guardrails and dives and kicks and punches and head drops. Despite all of the craziness it was Steen who pulled out the win with the Sharpshooter. After the match Richard and Edwards showed their sportsmanship and put Generico through a table and beat up Steen while he was taped to the ropes. Why couldnâ€™t they have done that during the match to get the win. Oh well, there will be a next time. This was probably my favorite match of the night.
Winners: Kevin Steen and El Generico via submission
Main Event for the RoH World Championship: KENTA vs. Nigel McGuinnessÂ©
Nigel was heavily bandaged from the previous night. He was not his usual self. His offense went from lariats to headbutts. Still he put on a hell of a match against KENTA. The GHC Junior Heavyweight Champion put on a hell of a show. A few times he seemed like he was going to win the title, but Nigel proved to be too much for him. The finishing sequence in this match was one of the best thing I have seen live in quite a while. Nigel even hit KENTA with his own Go to Sleep, but it was not enough to put him away. Nigel was able to retain his belt after a arching London Dungeon. Even though the match took a long time to get going, but the finish was amazing.
Winner: Nigel McGuinness via submission
Big Andy Macâ€™s Big Andy Final Thoughts: To describe the show in a word, I would say â€œgood.â€ It was far from the best show I have ever seen, but it was also far from the worst. My only complaint is that it did not feel like an an Anniversary show. Ring of Honorâ€™s anniversary is one of their three biggest shows of the year, and this show just didnâ€™t have that pomp and circumstance. Still it was a fun show, and will be worth the purchase price on DVD. I guess thatâ€™s it for this one, and Iâ€™ll see you next timeâ€¦
Tags: Davey Richards, Eddie Edwards, El Generico, KENTA, Kevin Steen, Nigel McGuinness, ROH