ROH Supercard of Honor XI
April 1, 2017
The Lakeland Center – Jenkins Arena
Lakeland, Florida


ROH World TV Title
“The Villain” Marty Scurll def. Adam Cole

I was honestly a little surprised that this kicked off the show, but in hindsight, it was a pretty good decision, as both guys were incredibly over in front of this massive crowd. These two had an awesome opener! There were some incredible exchanges throughout (particular in the second half), and it resulted in some fantastic near falls. While the action was certainly great, there were also cool character moment. This included both guys trying to use weapons on each other early on, which was a pretty hilarious heel vs. heel spot, and another point later in the match when Scurll interrupted the “Adam Cole Bay Bay” taunt to do his finger snap spot.

The only negative point about this one occurred towards the end, when Cole botched two tombstone piledriver attempts. Cole essentially fell down both times, hitting what I can only describe as a reverse Styles Clash (if that makes sense). They didn’t look terrible by any means, and commentary did a solid job covering for the botch, but still, it took away from the match slightly. The finish was actually pretty clever, as Scurll outsmarted Cole and got the victory with his signature Crossface Chicken Wing. This was a fantastic opening contest with a great crowd. Cole had a very good performance, while Scurll had another strong title defense, continuing his awesome reign as ROH World TV Champion. ****

Silas Young & The Beer City Bruiser def. The Kingdom (Matt Taven & Vinny Marseglia with TK O’Ryan)

Before this match actually began, we got promos from both teams. Matt Taven placed the blame for The Kingdom losing the ROH Six-Man Tag Team Titles on Silas Young (who subbed for the injured TK O’Ryan in the match where The Briscoes & Bully Ray won the titles), while TK O’Ryan pulled a Seth Rollins as he ridiculed the fans for sending him well wishes. Young retorted by calling The Kingdom a bunch of whiners who made excuses, adding that TK O’Ryan “snapped under the pressure” (his words, not mine).

As for the match itself, this one actually surprised me. It was a pretty entertaining affair, which was an impressive feat, since this was a battle between two heel units. Neither of these teams are outstanding by any means, but they usually put on solid performances on the undercard, and this was no different. Bodies were flying around right from the start, both inside and outside of the ring, to the point where I wondered whether this was actually a tornado tag team match. The finish of this tag team contest was one of the wackiest I’ve ever seen. Vinny Marseglia got a cigar (from….somewhere), got a lighter, and actually started smoking the cigar at ringside. He then seemingly tried to burn out the eye of Silas Young with the cigar, but Young fought out of it, hit Misery, and then pinned Marseglia while smoking that same cigar. That’s not an April Fool’s joke. That’s actually how this match ended. It was weird, but it was definitely an enjoyable undercard match. ***1/4

ROH Six-Man Tag Team Titles
The Briscoes & Bully Ray def. The Bullet Club (“The Hangman” Adam Page & The Guerrillas of Destiny)

It was a late change, but the ROH Six-Man Tag Team Titles were on the line in this match. Not sure why that wasn’t the case from the beginning, but whatever. What I found pretty interesting here is that Bully Ray got a tepid reaction from the crowd when he came out. He some bigger reactions during the match, but it was clear that the crowd wasn’t into the newest addition to the ROH roster. This wasn’t the most appealing match on paper, but it delivered slightly past my expectations, and ended up being a pretty good match.

The Briscoes & The Guerrillas of Destiny seemed to work well together, and the second half of the match was pretty enjoyable, with a number of chaotic spots. Adam Page had his moments, while Bully Ray was fine, and relatively inoffensive. There was a moment where he seemed to cut a promo (without a mic) in the middle of the match when he was about to fight with The Guerrillas of Destiny (as they were once his students at the Team 3D Wrestling Academy), but other than that, I thought he was solid. I mentioned this in my preview, but if ROH is going to use Bully Ray, these kinds of matches are the best way to use him. There was one particular spot in this match where Mark Briscoe seemed to do some insane twisting dive to the outside that looked crazy. I’m still not exactly sure what he was trying to do there. Anyway, The Briscoes & Bully Ray pulled out the victory to retain their titles after hitting the Super 3D. Another good outing for this new trio. ***1/2

Texas Bullrope Match
Jay Lethal def. Cody

For those of you who have been watching wrestling for a long time, you’ll be happy to know that both of these guys were dressed for the occasion. Lethal came out in jeans (with knee pads over the jeans, of course) and cowboy boots.

Meanwhile, Cody wore similar attire, but I believe the cowboy boots he wore belonged to his father, which was actually pretty cool. Additionally he wore a shirt that read “Lethal Sucks Eggs”, which is a take on a shirt that Terry Funk had when he feuded with Dusty Rhodes. Cody came out on a motorcycle, though the camera really didn’t get a good shot of it.

I really wasn’t sure what to expect from this one. It was pretty much a guarantee that both guys were going to work hard (Lethal always delivers on big shows like this while Cody was certainly looking to live up to his father’s legacy), but I honestly didn’t know how good this was going to be. When the dust settled, this ended up being a really good match.

It was definitely slow to get going, and I was a little bored initially, but once they started brawling on the outside (which led to Cody getting busted open), the match got a lot more interesting. Similar to some of the other contests on this show, the second half really lifted this match up. You could really tell that Cody & Jay Lethal were working their asses off to present the best Texas Bullrope Match possible. They utilized both the bullrope and the cowbell pretty well, and incorporated them well with big spots involving chairs and a table. There were some cool exchanges in the closing stretch of this one, but ultimately, Lethal finally managed to get revenge, as he hit a low blow followed by a Lethal Injection for the win. Both men put on an incredible performance here, and for Cody, it was easily one of his best matches since his WWE release. I’m not sure where my rating stacks up amongst others, since I’m guessing older fans (especially those who grew up when Dusty Rhodes was making this match famous) might’ve enjoy this a little bit more than I did. ***3/4

After the match, Cody handed the bullrope, and the cowbell, to Jay Lethal in a sign of respect.

Triple Threat Tag Team Match
The Motor City Machine Guns def. Cheeseburger & Will Ferrara, and The Rebellion (Shane Taylor & Rhett Titus)

ROH did something fascinating here, as this match (as well as the next match) were both taped before the iPPV went on the air, and were then shown here while the live show went into intermission. It was actually a unique idea from ROH, as for the live iPPV viewers, it did a great job to cover the actual intermission that took place during the show. As for this match, it was a little annoying that The Motor City Machine Guns weren’t inserted into The Kingdom vs. Silas Young & The Beer City Bruiser, but it was still nice to see them on the card. The match itself was relatively solid. All three teams got a moment to shine, and there were good moments throughout. It was weird seeing Shane Taylor without Keith Lee by his side, but I do like the fact that The Rebellion added a fourth member, as it makes tag team situations like this a little more unpredictable (since you have a number of potential pairings). Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley would end up getting the win here, which presumably moves them closer to a future shot at the ROH World Tag Team Titles. ***1/4

After the match, Shane Taylor & Rhett Titus brawled with The Motor City Machine Guns to the back. Meanwhile, it seemed as though Will Ferrara was about to turn heel on Cheeseburger, but they were soon interrupted by Punishment Martinez. Ferrara bailed, leaving his partner alone in the ring to face the wrath of Martinez, who took out Cheeseburger with a spin kick. Martinez then seemed to signal for his opponent, Frankie Kazarian, to come out for their match. In a funny moment, the fans in the building started chanting “Nakamura” at Punishment Martinez, who looked a lot like “The King of Strong Style” with his red pants.

Punishment Martinez def. Frankie Kazarian

Out of all the matches on the card, this was the one that I was least looking forward to. I wasn’t interesting in seeing it at all. While it ended up being a little bit better than I was expecting, it was still the worst match on the show. There was some decent action in this contest, and both guys (particularly Martinez) seemed to work hard, but I just wasn’t invested. The only thing of note was that Adam Page came down and cost Kazarian the match. It was the right result, and the finish made sense, since Page had essentially been used by Kazarian during his brief stint with The Bullet Club to get a shot at the ROH World TV Title (Page was in the Six-Man Mayhem that Kazarian won to earn that title match). Again, it was perfectly decent, but it wasn’t that engaging. **3/4

The second half of the iPPV kicked off in a surprising manner, as Bobby Fish came out to the ring. A few weeks ago, Fish had announced on Twitter that his ROH contract had expired on March 27th, and that he was free to take independent bookings. Fish said in his promo that he isn’t done with ROH quite yet, and noted that there are still some guys who he has issues with. He specifically mentioned Jay Lethal, bringing up the match they had at the 15th Anniversary Show (which was fantastic, by the way). Fish said that loss was a tough pill to swallow for him, but he was then interrupted by Silas Young. He scolded Fish for complaining, adding that he was sick and tired of hearing about Jay Lethal. Fish didn’t care what Young had to say, and challenged him to a match, which we ended up getting….sort of.

Bobby Fish vs. Silas Young (No Contest)

This only went about two or three minutes or so before the match was thrown out after both Paul Turner and Todd Sinclair got taken out. The two continued to brawl after the match. During that melee, Fish hit a crazy looking spear on Young through the ropes and to the floor, while Young responded with a spinebuster onto some chairs. The two needed to be separated by referees and security. I believe that Bobby Fish mentioned in a recent interview that he wasn’t done with ROH yet, and I guess this is what he meant. I suppose he’ll be sticking around for the next month or two (at least until the next PPV in May?), but at this point, I don’t think he’s sticking around for the long haul, especially since the commentary team were also openly speculating about his future. With that being said, I’m fine with Bobby Fish working a program with Silas Young, which would presumably see Young emerge victorious in the end. Was this the best way to kick off that feud? No, but at least Bobby Fish is back in ROH for the time being.

Will Ospreay & Volador Jr. def. Dragon Lee & Jay White

Over the last few months, it seems like Will Ospreay & Dragon just can’t stay away from each other when it comes to big ROH events. They already clashed in both a triple threat match and a singles match, but on this night, they were on the opposite sides of an international tag team encounter. This was an awesome match which, considering the competitors involved, shouldn’t have been a shock to anything.

There was incredible action from start to finish, and everyone involved had their own moments of wild brilliance here. Of course, Will Ospreay & Dragon Lee worked very well together, and it was truly a joy to see Volador Jr. in ROH. Jay White looked good here also, and in one particular spot, actually caught Ospreay in the middle of his Space Flying Tiger Drop, which was an insane reversal. The one criticism that could be made about this one is that there were some noticeable rough spots. There were a few points where certain guys (particular Jay White & Volador Jr.) seemed a little out of sync. This was something that seemed very notable at the finish, when Volador Jr. almost lost his balance, and a super hurricanrana on Jay White almost turned really badly for both involved. Fortunately, everything seemed to be okay, and Volador Jr. picked up the win for his team after that aforementioned super hurricanrana. This was a fantastic match, and it was exactly what it needed to be. This match had some rough points, but still, all four guys worked their asses off and gave us an incredible contest. ****

ROH World Title
Christopher Daniels (c) def. Dalton Castle

If there was any immediate downside to Christopher Daniels winning the ROH World Title, it was that it meant Dalton Castle had absolutely no chance in this title bout, which for Daniels, was his first defense of his newly won ROH World Title on a proper ROH event (he already defended the title twice in WCPW). These two delivered a very good title match, but unfortunately, this wasn’t a great match. It’s not like this failed to meet my expectations, but I feel as though it fell just short. There was good action throughout this one, but it just seemed like they went up a few gears, but failed to reach that final gear (if that makes any sense). From start to finish, this was technically sound (and I can never fault a match like that), and both guys did a solid job, but something about this just didn’t seem to click. The fact that the result was a foregone conclusion contributed to that somewhat, but at the same time, it just felt like something was missing. It was a perfectly good match, and I enjoyed bits and pieces, but for an ROH World Title bout, it was certainly underwhelming. The finish definitely hurt this one, as Daniels won on a weird rollup that came out of nowhere. Again, this was by no means a bad match. It was actually pretty good, but let’s just say that the fact that it wasn’t the main event was a saving grace. ***1/2

Daniels & Castle shook hands after the match, but the big story here was that Cody came out and attacked both men. He gave Castle a low blow before hitting the Cross Rhodes on Christopher Daniels. Cody posed with the ROH World Title, but then was chased off by Kazarian. It would seem like the next title program involves Christopher Daniels & Cody, but I can’t fathom that being a one-on-one program, since Lethal pinned Cody earlier in the night in a very decisive manner. My best guess is that we might get some sort of Triple Threat for the title down the road with Daniels, Lethal, and Cody.

ROH World Tag Team Titles – Ladder Match
The Young Bucks def. The Hardys (c) 

When I previewed this show on the massive WrestleMania Weekend Preview Podcast, I mentioned that this match had the potential to be the craziest of the entire weekend. Even though this technically wasn’t a Ladder War, it certainly lived up to that legacy. I knew this was going to be really, but I didn’t expect this to be as awesome as it ended up being. I absolutely loved this match!

It was everything you would’ve wanted out of a Ladder Match between these two teams in 2017, and more. There were plenty of crazy bumps and spectacular stunts from start to finish. The crowd was on fire right from the opening bell, and they were into it until the very end when The Young Bucks recaptured the ROH World Tag Team Titles. What I found so incredible about this match was that we thought we’d seen everything when it came to Ladder Matches, yet these these guys managed to incorporate a few new and unique things that had never been seen in a Ladder Match before (at least, to my recollection). That’s just a testament to the creativity of these two teams.

As you would’ve expected, The Young Bucks took plenty of crazy bumps in this match. Meanwhile, The Hardys proved that, even at their age, they can still produce insane Ladder Matches like this. What’s even crazier is that they’re taking all of these ridiculous bumps right before their (presumed) return to the WWE. Say what you will about The Hardys, but they worked their asses off in this one. It has to be one of their best performances as a team in a very long time. With regards to the match itself, I would still put Ladder War VI from All-Star Extravaganza VIII last September above this match, but just barely. These guys knocked it out of the park. ****3/4

After the match was over, Matt Hardy took the mic, and really put over The Young Bucks, saying that out of all the tag teams they fought over their careers, they were the best they had ever faced. Matt said that he doesn’t know how much longer he and Jeff could keep going, but The Young Bucks proved tonight that tag team wrestling was truly alive and well. The two teams shook hands and celebrated together to close the show.

Final Thoughts:

While it probably won’t go down as the absolute best show of the weekend, ROH’s Supercard of Honor XI was definitely in the conversation. Not only did this show have the largest crowd in company history, but it produced some really great wrestling. The Ladder Match between The Hardys & The Young Bucks could very well go down as the craziest (and maybe even the best) match of the entire weekend. You also two fantastic matches on the undercard in the form of Marty Scurll vs. Adam Cole for the ROH World TV Title and Will Ospreay/Volador Jr. vs. Dragon Lee/Jay White, which are both worth checking out. Even the Texas Bullrope Match between Cody & Jay Lethal proved to be entertaining. Their was a lull in the middle of the card, but the matches I just mentioned more than made up for that low point. This iPPV continued the strong run of big shows that ROH has put on over the last several months. The action up and down the card was (for the most part) was great, the commentary team (which was Ian Riccaboni, Kevin Kelly, & Colt Cabana) delivered once again, and as a whole, this was a show that’s definitely worth checking out.