I'm not really what you would consider a "die-hard" fan of Ring of Honor, to the extent that I have to watch everything they do and buy all the DVDs, etc., but I was interested in this PPV enough to watch it. So what brings me to this PPV in the post-Gabe era of ROH? Two factors, really. First off: the stars of ROH are colliding (and working with) the stars of New Japan and I love me some New Japan. Also, I can sum up my second reason in two words: Colt Cabana.
Match One: Roderick Strong vs. Adam Page vs. ACH vs. Dalton Castle (Winner becomes # 1 Contender to ROH TV Title)
This was an interesting match to open the show and it was expected that Dalton Castle would win since he's on the up-and-up since winning his feud with Silas Young. Roderick Strong always seems to be around the TV Title picture and he still has claim after this match to wanting a shot at the title because of the ending. ACH and Adam Page are both solid as well and I'm sure it's only a matter of time before they get their title shots but right now... Yeah, it's the Year of the Peacock. Also, shout out to ACH for coming out dressed like Loofy from "One Piece". I got the reference.
Match Two: The Addiction vs. Cheeseburger & Jushin "Thunder" Liger
For a fun match and a feel good moment I'm still not sure why The Addiction had to attack the winners after the match. It doesn't really make them any more of heels, it just looks cheap by ROH and there is a huge difference. That being said, let's look at what a character Cheeseburger has become since joining ROH. I will admit that when I first saw Cheeseburger I thought it was a really bad joke and I was never really a fan. But now, for whatever reason, he's beginning to grow on me. I want Wrestling Super Store to bring out the Colin Delaney body mold from Jakks and give us an ROH Cheeseburger figure. Maybe it was because of those t-shirt commercials that said Cheeseburger was big in Japan. I don't know, but I liked this match and am beginning to enjoy the character of Cheeseburger, which I find odd.
Match Three: War Machine* vs. The Briscoes (ROH Tag Team Titles Match)
So the story here is that War Machine have faced The Briscoes four times but never beat them so War Machine feels like defeating The Briscoes will add some sort of validation to their title reign. Unfortunately for War Machine- and despite their winning- this match still didn't make me like them any more than I already do. After the match you could hear Kevin Kelly practically crying for fans to have to respect War Machine now but all I can think of them as is Powers of Pain 2.0, which isn't a bad thing but not that good of a thing either.
Match Four: Kyle O'Reilly vs. Tetsuya Naito
Well, Bobby Fish was getting his title shot tonight, so why not give his reDragon partner a match against the IWGP Champion? Of course Kyle O'Reilly lost and Naito continues to be one of the most fascinating characters in all of wrestling.
Match Five: Moose & Kazuchika Okada vs. Michael Elgin & Hiroshi Tanahashi
I liked this match but only because I could watch Okada and Tanahashi fight forever. Moose & Okada won though and it looks like this is going to become the Moose mega-push we've all been waiting for... he said sarcastically.
Match Six: Tomohiro Ishii* vs. Bobby Fish (ROH TV Title Match)
This match was all right, but you kind of knew that Bobby Fish was going to win it and capture the Television Title (Which he did) simply because then the title comes back to ROH instead of floating back and forth with a New Japan star. It will be interesting to see Fish vs. Roderick Strong now though, since Fish never beat Roddy. Plus, will Adam Cole return and face Fish for the title as well? You have to appreciate- if nothing else- how ROH has their many contenders seemingly always lined up.
Match Seven: Matt Sydal / KUSHIDA / Motor City Machine Guns vs. The Bullet Club
How do we have a PPV with The Bullet Club on it but not Kenny Omega? The Bullet Club won this match and yet the Young Bucks delivered not one superkick. Take that, Steve Corino's little counter graphic thing. I liked the idea of KUSHIDA being with Alex Shelley again and it possibly causing tension between them and Chris Sabin, but Matt Sydal felt out of place as it was stated he is a IWGP Tag Team Champion with Ricochet. So wouldn't this match have made more sense with Ricochet in it and not KUSHIDA? And don't give me the logistics of contracts, I'm just saying... Still, this was only an all right match at best.
Match Eight: Jay Lethal* vs. Colt Cabana (ROH World Title Match)
This should have been a great match, an instant classic and a Match of the Year candidate. Instead, ROH used it as their chance to debut Adam Cole as being part of The Bullet Club. Some people might say that The Bullet Club rained all over ROH's parade, but I see it more like Ring of Honor taking a huge dump on all of their fans. I would have rather seen Truth Martini hit Colt Cabana with the Book of Truth than this utter bullshit of an ending. The Young Bucks are terrible and adding Adam Cole with them doesn't make them any better. I haven't felt this ripped off since I watched WCW's Souled Out and someone should really tell ROH that there are better ways to create new stars than ripping off the nWo, which was never really that good to begin with. Just pathetic. If I gave ratings in terms of stars, this PPV would get a big fat thumbs down with fart sound. Such a waste.