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William J. Myers Pavilion – Baltimore, MD – Friday, July 24, 2015
At various points in the evening, Kevin Kelly, King Corino, Prince Nana, BJ Whitmer, Adam Cole, and Nigel McGuinness are on commentary.
Silas Young defeats Will Ferrara at 6:23. Ferrara holds two recent victories over Young, via disqualification and pinfall, so Young has something to prove here. Ferrara shows fire early but Young cuts him off and begins the beatdown. The youngster Ferrara gets in quite a bit of offense and looks good here, but after a series of reversals Young is able to hit Misery to get the pin. Decent little opener here and a good showing for Ferrara. After the match Dalton Castle’s boys distract Young and embarrass him.
Cedric Alexander (w/ Veda Scott) defeats Moose (w/ Stokely Hathaway) in a Grudge Match at 12:01. Prince Nana joins Kelly and Corino on commentary here. Veda looks hotter than ever tonight. This is a grudge match because Alexander cheated to end Moose’s undefeated streak. Seems reasonable to me. Alexander tries to avoid Moose in the early going and frustrate the big man. Eventually he has to stay in the ring and fight, which Alexander is more than capable of doing. Moose uses his power and Alexander responds with his speed and agility. Things get out of hand on the floor, as Alexander attacks Nana, and Hathaway comes to the rescue but gets sent into the barricade. Moose catches Alexander with a powerbomb on the apron, and the referee gets distracted with Scott and Hathaway on the floor, and he doesn’t see Alexander deck Moose with a wrench. That’s enough to get the pin. These two work well together, and I think the overbooking works in this case to help cover up Moose’s inexperience. Still, for the amount of experience he has, Moose is doing great.
The Briscoes (Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe) defeat Roppongi Vice (Beretta & Rocky Romero) at 15:12. These two teams seem to have a great deal of respect for each other, but that doesn’t mean they hold anything back in the opening minutes. Romero and Beretta are more than willing to take a few shortcuts here. They work a pretty typical formula match-up but things get pretty heated in the latter stages. Mark acts like a goof and gets no reaction for it. Good for you Baltimore. Just guess how this one ends? Jay hits the Jay Driller and Mark follows with the Froggy ‘Bow to give the Briscoes the win. There wasn’t really a bunch wrong with this match, it’s just that I’m so far over the Briscoes as a tag team or singles that I just can’t get invested into anything they do at this point. Should I be excited that they might become nine-time ROH Tag Team Champions? I’m not.
Adam Cole defeats Dalton Castle (w/ Brandon & Brent) at 13:55. Both men spend some time trying to psyche each other out in the early going. Castle certainly has a unique approach, but Cole is pretty unflappable. Both men get quite a bit of offense in, and Castle is more than holding his own with the former ROH World and Television Champion. Unfortunately for Castle he falls victim to a trio of superkicks and a vertical suplex into a neckbreaker across the knee for the pin. Good solid match here and a great showing for Castle. Obviously Castle isn’t in a position to beat Cole yet, so this went exactly as it should.
Adam Page (w/ Colby Corino) defeats ACH at 17:56 in a No Disqualification Match. Before the match, BJ Whitmer comes out to announce that he is injured and unable to compete, but he will be joining the commentary team. ACH attacks right away and the fight is on. They quickly spill to the floor and brawl all over the place. Weapons get involved, with both men using them to their advantage, including a chair, a ladder, and more. When it looks like ACH is about to put Page away, Whitmer and Colby both interfere, allowing Page to hit ACH with Whitmer’s crutch. Page then hits the Rite of Passage off the apron and through a table on the floor! Colby helps get both men back in the ring so Page can get the pin. That was a really good brawl, with escalating spots and a good reason for them to be fighting in such a match. Both guys came out of this looking pretty good, even if Page needed a little help at the end.
ROH World Tag Team Champions The Addiction (Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian) defeat The Kingdom (Matt Taven & Michael Bennett, w/ Maria Kanellis), reDRagon (Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly) and War Machine (Hanson & Ray Rowe) in a Four Corner Survival Match at 16:10 to retain the titles. Daniels and Kazarian have been the Champions since 4.4.15, and this is their third defense. Adam Cole joins the commentary team and talks about the dissension in the Kingdom. With eight guys ready for action the pace is plenty quick here. War Machine supplies the power, while the other three teams are a solid mix of high flying and technical wrestling. After more than 15 minutes of chaos, the Addiction are able to connect with Celebrity Rehab on Fish to get the pin and retain the titles. At least that was never boring, but it was just all stuff with no real connecting thread to it.
ROH World Champion Jay Lethal (w/ Truth Martini, Donovan Dijak & J. Diesel) wrestled Roderick Strong to a 60:00 Time Limit Draw. Lethal has been the Champion since 6.19.15, and this is his first defense. He’s also the current ROH World Television Champion, but that title is not on the line here. Nigel McGuinness joins the announce booth for this important title match. Lethal and Strong have fought many times before so they’re not in any kind of hurry in the opening minutes. The undisputed Champ controls quite a bit for the first 15-20 minutes or so, with lots of counters for Strong’s attacks. Lethal also gets a lot of help from his fellow House of Truth members. They spend tons of time just going back and forth, sometimes fighting on the floor just to vary it up a bit. Neither man really even tries a finisher until about 50 minutes in. Strong appears to be building momentum down the stretch but the time expires before he can put Lethal away. Bummer for him. The crowd chants “match of the year” while Kelly and Corino gush about it on commentary, but it’s not even match of the night. This was one of those matches where it was obvious they were going to go 60 minutes just based on how they were wrestling. When Bryan Danielson was doing 60-minute Broadways, he was already known for having long matches; Jay Lethal was not. That’s not to say this was a bad match, because it wasn’t. The 60 minutes went by relatively fast, and there was a lot of good action in it. But it was just a solid match, not even close to the all-time great Kelly and Corino want you to believe it was.
A solid but unremarkable effort here. This show really needed an outstanding main event to put it over the top but this one just didn’t deliver. I get what they were going for, but a solid win for Lethal would have been a better way to kick off his title reign, in my view. ACH and Adam Page easily take match of the night here, but even that match isn’t must-see.
Tags: Adam Cole, Death Before Dishonor, Jay Lethal, Roderick Strong, ROH