A2Z Analysiz: ROH Field of Honor (Michael Elgin, AJ Styles)


For the full archive of my many Ring of Honor DVD reviews, please visit RetROH Reviews.

MCU Park – Brooklyn, NY – Saturday, August 15, 2014

Joe Dombrowski, Steve Corino, and Prince Nana are on commentary.

~MATCH #1~
ROH World Television Champion Jay Lethal (w/ Seleziya Sparx & Truth Martini) defeats Matt Taven in a Steel Cage Match at 14:48 to retain the title. Lethal has been the Champion since 4.4.14, and this is his tenth defense. If Taven wins, he gets five minutes in the cage with Truth Martini. They spend quite a bit of time brawling outside the cage and around ringside before making it into the steel structure. The wrestlers do their thing, and Truth draws attention to himself on the floor. He’s getting to Julius Smokes level heat-stealing out there. Taven is able to trap Lethal between the ropes and the cage, and he delivers about 10 superkicks in a row. Seleziya and J. Diesel both interfere but Taven is able to thwart them and hit his own Lethal Combination. Taven goes to the top of the cage and hits the Superfly Splash, but Truth breaks up the pin. Truth passes Lethal the title belt and Lethal cracks Taven with it to get the pin. I think Jay Lethal is great, but this match was garbage. Why put it in a cage if you’re just going to do the exact same thing you do in every other House of Truth match? I’m beyond sick of Truth Martini.
Rating: *

~MATCH #2~
Mark Briscoe defeats Takaaki Watanabe at 6:20. This is a pretty standard back and forth contest, with Mark showing off his usual silly shtick. Watanabe gets in a token amount of offense but never appears to be much of a threat. Mark lands a uranage and then finishes Watanabe with the Froggy ‘Bow. This was a fine little TV-style match, and I look forward to seeing what they do with Watanabe going forward.
Rating: **¼

~MATCH #3~
Moose & R.D. Evans (w/ Ramon & Veda Scott) defeat Brutal Burgers (Brutal Bob & CHEESEBURGER) at 7:16. I’m really not into Brutal Burgers or R.D. Evans, but I think Moose could turn into a valuable addition to the roster in time. So this just drags on and on. Moose selling anything for brutal Bob makes my head hurt. The match breaks down into a brawl and Moose hits both of his opponents with Spears, and Evans steals the pin on CHEESEBURGER. Nana is annoyed that Moose didn’t get the pin, but he wasn’t legal! The match was what you would expect – nothing special.
Rating: *½

~MATCH #4~
Michael Bennett (w/ Maria Kanellis) defeats Rocky Romero at 10:48. This seems like it’s going to be a bit of a styles clash. Romero tries to keep the pace faster, and Bennett of course tries to slow it down. They have a fine little back and forth contest, and Maria distracts Romero long enough for Bennett to hit a Spear and the TKO to get the pin. That was solid and all, but it wasn’t particularly exciting, and the finish is beyond played.
Rating: **½

~MATCH #5~
The Decade (Jimmy Jacobs, BJ Whitmer & Roderick Strong) defeat Johnny Knockout, Ken Phoenix & Will Ferrara at 5:27. Jacobs cuts a promo about how they were supposed to face War Machine, but a motorcycle accident sidelined Ray Rowe, so they’re going to give an opportunity to three kids in the locker room instead. This is a pretty typical jobber match, with Ferrara getting the most offense of any of the jobbers. In the end the Decade just overwhelms their opponents and hit Ferrara with the All-Seeing Eye to get the pin. Good win for the Decade there, and the jobbers got just about the right amount of offense in. I would have liked to see Decade v War Machine actually.
Rating: *¾

~MATCH #6~
Silas Young defeats Tommaso Ciampa at 10:55. This is a cool match because both men have title shots scheduled for next weekend against Michael Elgin. Both men fight tooth and nail, wanting to show that they are going to leave next weekend with the top prize in ROH. They trade strikes and counters, and everything is ultra-aggressive here. The referee shows incredible leniency when chairs get involved. When ref Turner finally decides to get the chairs out of the way, Young finds the ring bell and clocks Ciampa with it to get the pin. Just once I’d like to see Silas Young score a clean win, though in this case I can see why Ciampa had to be kept strong too. I actually would have preferred to see that match after they both lost to Elgin, so they’d both be super pissed off. This was still good stuff though.
Rating: ***

Ciampa is furious after the bell and slaps Turner. Other officials come out and make the save to keep Turner from taking Project Ciampa.

~MATCH #7~
Cedric Alexander defeats ACH at 8:56. This is a pretty even matchup, though Alexander would have the slight edge in experience and size. These two go back and forth trying to set the tone and get out in front of their opponent. Unfortunately, though understandably, things get cut off just as they’re getting going, when Alexander drops ACH hard on his head and neck and gets a quick pin. ACH needs help leaving the ring. I don’t think he was seriously hurt here, but that bump looked nasty and I’m glad everyone had the good sense to end it there.
Rating: **¼

~MATCH #8~
ROH World Tag Team Champions reDRagon (Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly) defeat Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian at 12:31 to retain the titles. Fish and O’Reilly have been the Champions since 5.17.14, and this is their fourth defense. Much like their previous contest at Best in the World 2014, both teams waste no time in going after their opponents and trying to cut the ring in half. When the challengers get things a little too much in their favor, Jimmy Jacobs runs out to distract Daniels. BJ Whitmer and Roderick Strong make their way out too, and that’s enough for reDRagon to connect with Chasing the Dragon to get the win. This is the third match of the night to end after outside interference, for those keeping score at home. The match leading up to the finish was good as you’d expect, but since the Decade v Addiction never really went anywhere, this all felt a little pointless.
Rating: ***¼

~MATCH #9~
ROH World Champion Michael Elgin defeats Adam Cole, AJ Styles, and Jay Briscoe in a Four Way Match at 16:25 to retain the title. Elgin has been the Champion since 6.22.14, and this is his fifth defense. Styles is the current IWGP Heavyweight Champion, but of course that title is not on the line here. The action in this one is fast and hard-hitting right from the bell. All four men bust out everything they’ve got in their arsenals and keep the action moving a mile a minute. After a flurry of action, Elgin and Cole are left alone in the ring together. Elgin avoids the Panama Sunrise and delivers a vicious back fist, the Buckle Bomb, and the Elgin Bomb to get the pin. Well there’s no faulting the effort in this one, as all four men busted butt to keep the action moving and keep the crowd into it. It just didn’t feel like any of the challengers really stood a chance, and that’s what keeps a match like this from going into “classic” territory.
Rating: ***½

A2Z Analysiz
No real blow=away matches here, but from top to bottom it’s a pretty solid card. It’s a short show with a totally different vibe due to being at a baseball park. Those intangible factors make this a show I recommend, though not exactly enthusiastically.

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