This week was the go-home show for Ring of Honor’s 14th Anniversary PPV on Friday, February 26, and ROH’s last chance to hook fans into buying the show.
The 14th Anniversary Show looks very good on paper. I am very curious in particular to see how the Kazuchika Okada and Moose match plays out.
ROH’s new stage and lighting production display was used, and what a difference maker that was to the presentation of the show. It’s phenomenal, and I really can’t say enough good things about it.
Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness are on commentary this week.
ROH World TV Championship Match (Roddy vs. The World)
Roderick Strong vs. Jonathan Gresham
Before in-ring introductions can begin, Veda Scott interrupts, and reminds us that ROH was forced to award Cedric Alexander a ridiculous amount of money for pain and suffering. She offers to give Jonathan Gresham a check with more zeros on it than he’s ever seen in his life, as long as he surrenders his TV title opportunity to Cedric Alexander, and leaves ROH forever. Gresham refuses and points for her to leave the ring.
Kevin Kelly points out early in the match that Strong told him he’s very confident about facing Bobby Fish at the 14th Anniversary Show because he’s already beaten him at Final Battle.
It was a back and forth match, and Gresham even had a near fall. In the end, Strong won in about nine minutes via pinfall, with a jumping knee (and he seemed to pause forever before casually pinning him). Winner: Roderick Strong via pinfall
Analysis: It was very random how Veda Scott interfered, especially when you understand now that Alexander won’t be facing Strong for the TV Title. If you’ve been living under a wrestling rock, Tomohiro Ishi defeated Roderick Strong for the ROH World TV Championship at New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Honor Rising show, in a kneejerk, puzzling move. ROH spent far too much time promoting a rematch between Strong and Fish to hotshot the title. Bobby Fish wasn’t on this show in any capacity, and ROH TV wasn’t able to introduce Ishi into the match or title picture on ROH TV before the PPV, which hurt the continuity.
‘Brutal’ Bob Evans & Tim Hughes vs. War Machine (Hanson & Rowe)
This was a very quick match designed to give War Machine momentum, and set-up a final confrontation with the number one contenders for their Tag Team Championships, the All Night Express.
Hughes and Evans got in very little offense, and lost in about three minutes, after War Machine hit Hughes with the Fallout.
After the match, ANX come out. They say time is counting down until they get their ROH World Tag team Championships back. Kenny King says War Machine has a lot of athletes in the back fooled, but he says when he looks at War Machine all he sees are a bunch of bearded bitches. Winner: War Machine via pinfall
Analysis: Not much to add here. If you blinked, you missed it.
Kevin Kelly Interviews the Young Bucks
Kevin Kelly starts out by asking The Young Bucks, who are standing at ringside, what they can tell him about their partner in the six man tag team match at the ROH 14th Anniversary Show, “The Cleaner” Kenny Omega.
Nick Jackson says that professional wrestling is a very, very dirty business. He says “We happen to know someone that has…” – at this point it was painfully evident that Nick forgot his line, and had frozen worse than the iceberg that formed, and subsequently struck the Titanic. The camera man was clearly confused as well, and panned the camera towards Matt Jackson, hoping he would improvise. Unfortunately Matt looked at Nick and loudly whispered “The very best cleaning skills,” which was caught very clearly by the microphone that Kevin Kelly was holding. Nick then repeated the line that Matt gave him.
This entire segment was incredibly awkward and is a strong candidate to make Botchamania. Matt, who appeared more confident speaking in front of the camera and audience than Nick, finished the interview by saying the Bulletclub Elite are going to throw a superkick party.
Analysis: As I’ve noted before, The Young Bucks do some things very well, and some things not so well. This would fall into the “not so well” category. Cutting promos and being able to improvise on the fly are important skills, and it may be worth their time to work on that.
BJ Whitmer vs. Chase Brown
As BJ Whitmer walks towards the ring, Kevin Kelly announces that he will face Adam Page at the ROH 14th anniversary Show.
If you blinked, you probably missed this entire match, which lasted about one minute. Whitmer won in a squash with the Exploder.
After the match, Steve Corino came out. Whitmer says he’s tired of keeping Corino relevant so he doesn’t get to talk. Whitmer tells Adam Page that he knows he’s in the back and to get his ass out here.
Suddenly Page appears from behind, and attacks Whitmer. The two men brawl, and Page grabs the upper hand before being separated by ROH officials. Winner: BJ Whitmer via pinfall
Analysis: This match served its purpose, I suppose. It would’ve been nice to hear more of a backstory on why Page turned his back on Whitmer, and how Whitmer felt about the betrayal by his friend.
Storytime with Adam Cole
Adam Cole tells us you’re going to see the best wrestling in the world baybay, and also watch Lethal and O’Reilly try to catch up. Cole says Lethal is scared because he’s never had to defend his championship against him.
Jay Lethal interrupts, along with House of Truth members Truth Martini and Taeler Hendrix. Lethal says he’s going to show him that the house always wins, but offers to finish this now.
Kyle O’Reilly interrupts, and looks like he’s going to say something, but kicks Lethal in the chest instead. The three men begin brawling, and O’Reilly is left standing tall, and poses with the ROH World Championship.
Analysis: This segment should’ve been the main event of the show.
Alex Shelley and ACH vs. The Briscoe Brothers
This was an underwhelming main event, especially for a go-home show that should have featured something heavily focused around a marquee match at the PPV.
Christopher Daniels, who was on commentary for the match, interfered as ACH was on the top rope. Alex Shelley knocked him off the apron and followed him outside. This led to a double team by the Briscoe’s and a Doomsday Device, while Daniels held Shelley’s leg on the outside so he couldn’t break up the three count.
After the match, Daniels and Frankie Kazarian attacked ACH and Shelley, while Sabin looked on. Daniels and Kazarian held Shelley down and invited Sabin to take a shot at him. Sabin hesitated, and that gave ACH time to pull Shelley out of the ring. Daniels and Kazarian question why Sabin didn’t hit Shelley when he had the chance. Winners: The Briscoes
Analysis: That match itself was alright, just nothing special.
Final Thoughts: This was a let down from previous shows, and was really a weak go-home show heading into the 14th Anniversary PPV. I felt like the show needed more focus around the PPV, and was missing key talent (eg: Moose, Dalton Castle, Bobby Fish…etc.). Overall, I think the 14th Anniversary Show will be very good. A show with that level of talent on it certainly can’t be bad. Announced for next week’s ROH TV is Silas Young and The Beer City Bruiser versus The Boys, which should be a fun match.