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ROH 16th Anniversary (March 9) Results & Review

ROH 16th Anniversary (March 9) Results & Review

ROH 16th Anniversary Show
March 9, 2018
Sam’s Town Casino
Las Vegas, Nevada

Meet our reviewers:

Sean Sedor: Once again, Sean is here to go over another ROH PPV. While this wasn’t the strongest card on paper, he was still looking forward to seeing what would happen (even though the streaming issues with Honor Club threw a big wrench into his weekend plans). You can follow Sean on Twitter @SASedor2994, and you can check out his wrestling reviews blog at http://dxvsnwo1994.blogspot.com.

Suit Williams: Parachuting into a ROH show review, Suit Williams is looking forward to the last big ROH show before he attends Supercard of Honor. He will also probably watch this week’s ROH TV after this show is over. You can find him on here doing reviews and previews. You can also find him reviewing Progress Wrestling over at PWPonderings. He’s on Twitter @SuitWilliams.

Women Of Honor Title Tournament – First-Round – Sumie Sakai def. Hana Kimura (with Kagetsu)

Sean Sedor: This was the first of two matches that were streamed live on Facebook prior to the start of the PPV. It was also the final first round match in the Women Of Honor Title Tournament. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this bout, since I had never seen Hana Kimura before. While there was some decent action in this one, the constant interference from Kagetsu (Hana Kimura’s Oedo Tai stablemate) did hurt this one a bit. Kimura dominated the first portion of the bout, but Sakai managed to mount a comeback, which included a big crossbody to the outside onto both Kimura and Kagetsu. The exchanges in the final two minutes or so were actually pretty solid, and in the end, Sakai ultimately emerged victorious. She didn’t get the chance to celebrate, however, as Oedo Tai attack her afterwards. This was a perfectly fine match. **1/4

Women Of Honor Title Tournament – Quarterfinals – Tenille Dashwood def. Brandi Rhodes

Sean Sedor: This was the first match of the quarterfinals. I was very curious to see how this one would turn out, since Tenille is a significantly better wrestler than Brandi. This ended up being a little better than I was expecting. Brandi wasn’t completely terrible which, considering her skill level, I guess is a positive. She was involved in a really good nearfall towards the end of the bout, where she hit Tenille with the Cross Rhodes are faking an injury. Tenille managed to survive this, however, and got the win after hitting Brandi with a running kick she calls the “Spotlight”. It was blatantly clear that Tenille was the superior worker, and it was great to see her move on in the tournament (In my mind, I thought Brandi getting the win was a possibility). This was another fine match, and at this point, Tenille is my pick to win the entire tournament. **1/4

Hiromu Takahashi def. Flip Gordon

Sean Sedor: Well, after Bully Ray insisted on giving an opening speech about how great ROH is, we finally got some wrestling. As I mentioned in my preview, these two exchanged victories on the recent Honor Rising events, so there was a bit of a backstory coming into this opening contest. While it was a pretty good match as a whole, it was a little disappointed at the same time. I anticipated this being a potential show stealer, but it just never got to that level (it doesn’t even compare to Flip Gordon’s match with Will Ospreay last year’s Global Wars event in Chicago). Still, there was some very solid action throughout. Hiromu was great as always, and unlike his outing in the Triple Threat Match from Honor Rising, Gordon’s performance here was clean and free of any botches. Hiromu did use Daryl at one point as a weapon (not his Daryl, but a Daryl from a fan in the front row), but I can let that spot slide here, since this was only the opener. As pretty much everyone expected, Hiromu got the win after hitting Gordon with the Time Bomb. I enjoyed this, but as I already mentioned, I was expecting more. ***1/2

Suit Williams: I wonder if Flip suggested that Hiromu sunset-flip powerbomb him off of the edge of the flat Earth. That would certainly be a memorable spot. I’ve noticed that the announcers have started calling the wrestlers “Superstars”, an interesting sign of WWE’s reach. Hiromu came out with Daryl and…a smaller Daryl, I can’t keep up with them at this point. This was a fun little opener. Flip was a lot cleaner here than he was at Honor Rising. He can be a bit hit or miss, but he was on his game here. Flip hit his Star-Spangled Stunner, but Hiromu just kicked out at 2. Flip went for another, but Hiromu caught him in a German, hit a lariat, and hit the Time Bomb to get the win. ***

“The Villain” Marty Scurll def. Punishment Martinez

Sean Sedor: While this wasn’t an outright #1 Contender’s Match, it was made very clear that the winner of this one would be receiving a future shot at the ROH World Title. I had a feeling this was going to be really good, but it ended up being great! These two had an incredibly entertaining eleven minute sprint that featured nonstop action from start to finish. Every time it looked like one had the advantage, the other would turn the tables. When Martinez was busting out some of his crazy offense, Scurll would cut him off by going after his leg. Likewise, when appeared that Scurll was gaining the edge, Martinez would just keep coming at him like a movie monster that refuses to die. At one point, Scurll actually got a cut right above his right eye, but he was able to power through it. The finish might come off as a little anticlimactic (based on the action we had seen in the match up to that point), but I thought it was brilliant. In recent months, Scurll had using powder in some of his matches (both in ROH and New Japan), but this time, it was a fake out. With the referee out of position, Martinez flinched when Scurll appeared to throw the powder, but there was nothing in the bag. Scurll then kicked Martinez low, and rolled him up for the pin. The only real critique I have about this one was the table spot towards the end. It would be one thing if someone got put through the timekeepers table (since it’s already at ringside), but to go through the trouble of getting out another table in a match that isn’t even No DQ seemed a tad egregious. Aside from that minor gripe, this was pretty great overall. ****

Suit Williams: Holy crap, this was fantastic! From the jump, these two went 100 miles an hour. Scurll was great going after the knee and chopping down Martinez. Punishment was really good being a Jason-type monster and popping up whenever Scurll thought he had him down. There was a little sloppiness here, as Punishment hit a springboard senton to Scurll’s face and busted him open. But their insane energy more than made up for it, and I loved this match as a result. Scurll faked out Martinez with an empty powder bag and kicked him low to get the flash pin and the win. ****

ROH World TV Title – Kenny King (c) def. Silas Young

Sean Sedor: Silas Young won the ROH World TV Title at Final Battle, but his reign was cut short when Kenny King recaptured the title on a recent episode of ROH TV. This was Young’s rematch, and to be completed honest, I don’t have a ton of things to say. While the wrestling here was technically sound, they never really got into that next gear. Plus, this didn’t need to be nearly fifteen minutes (you could have easily shaved off four minutes or so). It was a perfectly acceptable bout, but the match from ROH TV which featured King winning the title back was much better. King eventually retained after hitting Young with The Royal Flush, but that’s what people were talking about. Afterwards, former ROH World Champion and current IMPACT Wrestling Champion Austin Aries came out on the stage (with the IMPACT Wrestling Title and all of the other championships he’s currently holding). He issued a challenge to Kenny King for the ROH World TV Title, saying it’s the one title he hasn’t held yet. Seeing Aries on this show was certainly a surprise, and it pretty much sets up a future Austin Aries/Kenny King singles match for the title. The return of “the greatest man that ever lived” definitely overshadowed anything that happened in this bout. ***1/4

Suit Williams: This was fine. It was very basic action here, as it was hard for them to follow the batshit craziness of the match before it. Young hit Misery, but the ref got put down beforehand and was slow to the count. Young then tried to roll up King, but King was in the ropes so the ref didn’t count. Silas was complaining, and after a quick reversal, King hit the Royal Flush for the win. Post match, Impact World Champion and Ultimo Dragon cosplayer Austin Aries came out with no music. He challenged King for the TV Title, as it’s the one ROH title he’s yet to win. Pretty big cross-promotional stuff here. **¾

ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Titles – Las Vegas Street Fight – SoCal Uncensored (The Addiction & Scorpio Sky) def. The Bullet Club (The Young Bucks & “The Hangman” Adam Page) (c)

Sean Sedor: Well, I went into this expecting a wild and crazy car crash, and that’s pretty much what we got. There was a ton of action in this one from start to finish, with a variety of different weapons involved, including chairs, trash cans, trash can lids, tables, a kendo stick, a ladder, the barricades, and even a belt covered in thumbtacks. What was really interesting about this particular Street Fight is that The Bullet Club dominated the first several minutes. SoCal Uncensored (who were appropriately dressed in street clothes) eventually fought back and did some damage, but even then, The Young Bucks & Adam Page appeared to be unbeatable. Towards the end of the bout, Shane Taylor (SoCal Uncensored’s hired hitman) came out and attacked The Bullet Club, and even though the trio known as “The Hung Bucks” were able to subdue him, this gave SoCal Uncensored the opportunity they were waiting for. They tied Page to one of the ring posts, and then forced Matt Jackson (who continues to sell his bad back) to tap out to a kendo stick assisted double submission. This was an incredibly fun match filled with plenty of insane and memorable spots. It was far from the greatest ROH hardcore brawl/stunt show I’ve even seen (the Las Vegas Street Fight from last year’s anniversary show, also involving The Young Bucks, was significantly better), but it was certainly entertaining to watch. All six guys busted their respective asses, and even though Shane Taylor’s involvement did hurt this one a bit, I can’t ignore the effort that these two teams put forth. SoCal Uncensored capturing the titles here was ultimately the right decision (since it does add juice to their current storyline), and it’ll be interesting to see how their title reign pans out. This result also means that Christopher Daniels is now the first-ever ROH Grand Slam Champion, which is an incredible accomplishment for one of the promotion’s founding fathers. ***3/4

Suit Williams: This was a fun mayhem match, which you could expect from these six men. The Bucks and Page had control for most of this, with So Cal Uncensored only taking control when they had the weapons. Speaking of weapons, we got a bunch of them. Trash cans, tables, ladders, barricades, and a belt with tacks and nails in it. Shane Taylor got involved, as SCU has him in their back pocket, but he got taken out quick. That allowed SCU to ziptie Page to the ringpost and single out Matt Jackson. They worked over Matt’s bad back, and made him tap to a Boston Crab/Camel Clutch combo. After this match, the Kingdom goofs beat up the Bucks before ROH enforcer Bully Ray ran them off. Really fun match there. ***3/4

Cody def. Matt Taven

Sean Sedor: The rest of The Kingdom was supposed to be at ringside with Matt Taven, but they got chased off by Bully Ray after attacking The Young Bucks following the Las Vegas Street Fight. Meanwhile, Brandi Rhodes and Bury The Drug Free Bear came out with Cody (more on that later). I didn’t have high hopes for this particular bout, and when the dust settled, I wasn’t impressed. This was the textbook definition of an average match. The actual wrestling was relatively decent, but for the most part, the crowd in Las Vegas did not give a single fuck about this one. It could’ve been a little better if we didn’t get the ref bump and interference from The Kingdom (who ended up getting chased off by Bully Ray again). These two had a match on ROH TV a few weeks ago that was definitely better than this second encounter. In the end, Cody managed to win after hitting the Cross Rhodes, and regained his “Ring Of Honor” in the process. This was a very “meh” singles bout that was completely forgotten about/overshadowed by the angle that following. During the celebration, Bury The Drug Free Bear shoved Cody down, and revealed himself to be Kenny Omega! That reveal got a massive reaction from the crowd, and Omega immediately took out Cody with a V-Trigger. Then, in a very strange moment, Brandi Rhodes forcibly kissed Omega in a move that mirrored Cody forcibly kissing Kota Ibushi during the Honor Rising events. That angle was better than anything we saw in this match. **1/2

Suit Williams: I cannot take the Kingdom seriously at all. These three look and act like a bunch of weird looking dopes. They’re like the comedy fodder in a movie, but you can’t stand them. The Kingdom are like Luiz Guzman. Cody works at his best when he is playing up his character work. When he’s just Cody R the wrestler, his work gets much less compelling. Pair that with the naturally uncompelling Matt Taven, and we get an absolutely tedious match. There was a ref bump, and the Kingdom showed up, but Bully Ray showed up to run them off…again. Taven kicked Cody low, but Cody had a cup on. Cross Rhodes, Cody wins and gets his ring back. This would’ve been a boring TV main event, but it’s a little worse because there seems to be a Kingdom/Bully Ray feud brewing. You truly couldn’t pay me to care. After the match, Bury the Bear shoved Cody down. He took his head off and revealed himself to be… KENNY OMEGA! He hit Cody with a V-Trigger before Brandi got in his face. She slapped him before she laid a big ol’ kiss on him! I guess we’re getting Brandi Rhodes vs. Kota Ibushi at Supercard of Honor? Ibushi would find a way to make that the match of the weekend. Anyway, skip to the finish and watch the post match. *3/4

ROH World Tag Team Titles – The Briscoes def. The Motor City Machine Guns (c)

Sean Sedor: These two teams have had great matches with each other every time they’ve faced off in the past, and I was expecting this particular encounter to be no different. It’s The Briscoes. It’s The Motor City Machine Guns. There’s no way that this wasn’t going to deliver! Unfortunately, this turned out to be a very disappointing match. It got off to a solid start, but it took an odd turn after Mark Briscoe got busted open over his right eye (just like Marty Scurll earlier in the night). Then, for some reason, Alex Shelley started acting like an uber heel which, in the context of the story coming in, made absolutely zero sense. The Briscoes have been pushed very hard as heels ever since they turned on Bully Ray, and they’ve been presented as the heels in this feud with The Motor City Machine Guns. That just seemed like Shelley have no idea what the fuck the story was supposed to be. It would’ve made sense if The Briscoes had bloodied up Sabin & Shelley here, but not the other way around. The action throughout was fine, but similar to the ROH World TV Title bout earlier, it never really got into that next gear. On top of all that, the Las Vegas crowd was pretty much dead for the majority of this match. It looked like The Briscoes had the titles won when Jay Briscoe hit Chris Sabin with the Jay Driller, but for some unknown reason, Sabin kicked out. It’s the second ROH PPV in a row that’s seen Sabin no-sell a piledriver, but it’s also the second straight PPV that The Motor City Machine Guns have had a disappointing bout. The Briscoes eventually did pin Sabin after a Doomsday Device to win the ROH World Tag Team Titles for the 9th time, but while there was some solid wrestling in this one, it fell way short of my expectations. ***

Suit Williams: The crowd was into the Briscoes here, but they weren’t making much noise for either team here. There was nothing here. Mark Briscoe got bloody out of nowhere. The Machine Guns had control early and cut the ring off like heels, which was odd because the Briscoes have been the biggest heels in the company. There was no real structure, there was no story. Just 4 guys doing spots to a largely apathetic crowd. The spot that really summed up this match was Chris Sabin kicking out of the Jay Driller to abject silence. The doomsday device got the Briscoes their ninth tag team title reign in a surprisingly disappointing match. *1/2

ROH World Title – Dalton Castle (c) def. Jay Lethal

Sean Sedor: After seeing an undercard that was all over the map, in terms of quality, I was hoping that these two would deliver a great main event, and boy did they ever. To put it simply, this was fantastic. It was an awesome match to watch from start to finish, and it really felt like a big time World Title bout. While this did get off to a slow start, the intensity slowly started to build as the match progressed. Castle would use his amateur wrestling ability to take the fight to Lethal, but the former ROH World Champion wrestled a very smart match, as he went right after one of Castle’s knees when it became clear that Castle was having problems with it. There were some great exchanges in this one, particularly in the closing minutes. The highlight of the match saw Castle hit an insane German Suplex on Lethal from the apron to the floor, with Lethal landing hard on his head and neck. After several unsuccessful attempts to hit the Bang-A-Rang earlier in the bout, Castle finally managed to nail it, and pinned Lethal to retain his title. Again, this was simply incredible. Once again, Jay Lethal proved that, when it comes to these big matches, he always knocks it out of the park. As for Dalton Castle, a common criticism of him and his recent push is that, even though he’s a great wrestler, he had yet to have that one truly amazing match. Well, I don’t think that can be said anymore, as this might’ve been the best match of his career. Marty Scurll came out afterwards and confronted Castle to set up his next big title defense. As for this main event, however, it was easily one of the best ROH World Title matches in recent memory. ****1/2

Suit Williams: This was not a heavyweight title match, this was a heavyweight title fight. Lethal and Castle came out here and gave one of the best ROH main events in recent memory, as these two got down and dirty to win the World Title. The beginning of this was a bit of fluff, as they brawled around ringside. Lethal did a dive that took out ring announcer Bobby Cruise. After that, this match went up several notches. Lethal got his mean streak back, as he went after Castle’s knee and slapped him around. While Castle fought back, it was clear he was on the back foot and Lethal had control. After Castle kicked out of the Lethal Injection, Lethal became obsessed with trying to hit a cutter off of the apron to the floor. Castle fought him off and hit an insane German suplex to the floor, landing Lethal right on his neck. Lethal was able to stave off the Bangarang and got one last flurry, but Castle was able to roll through a roll up and hit the Bangarang for the win. A stellar match, and a great finish to the show. Post match, Marty Scurll came out and stared down Castle, no doubt signalling his future title shot. ****1/2


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