Ring of Honor 17th Anniversary Report | Aired 3/15/19

Ring of Honor presents

17TH ANNIVERSARY

Aired 3/15/19
Sam’s Town Live, Las Vegas NV

VIDEO PACKAGE: 17 Years

We get a video package looking back at the past 17 years, with a special focus on Jay Lethal’s record-setting and -breaking ROH World Title reign(s). However, the video works it so Taven “interrupts” the package, talking about how he’s the REAL world champion, and he’s going to be crowned tonight, because HEEEEEEE’S MATT TAVEN. He now gives everyone permission to start the show. Nice, one of my favorite video packages from ROH in a while.

Ian Riccobani, Caprice Coleman and Nick Aldis on commentary.

KENNY KING vs MARTY SCURLL

Kenny is out with someone vaguely dressed like The Villain. Marty’s umbrella is amazing. Nice pop for Marty. Bell rings and we’re off to a fast start, Euro by Marty sends King outside and Marty hits the apron superkick, and thenhits another one on the rando dude dressed like him. Crowd is behind Marty. King fires back and they trade. Marty cuts King down with an elbow, but King comes back with a spinning enziguri and a springboard blockbuster, covers but Marty out at 2. King looks for the end early but Marty fights out before eating a Blue Thunder Bomb by King for 2. Taunts by King as he stays on Marty.

King grounds Marty and slows things down. Backbreaker by King puts Marty down and he rolls him over into a variation of a grounded chickenwing. Marty looks to fight back but King has him seated up top and looks for a superplex, Marty fights out but King flips to safety and hits a great enziguri that drops Marty to ringside. Tornillo by King misses and Marty comes back with a tornado DDT off the apron onto the floor. Marty rolls King back in and they go at it off the ropes with Marty hitting a clothesline. Lots of move counters until Marty gets the half nelson release suplex, a kick and a folding powerbomb for 2.

Shots traded, Marty gets a 619 (WHAT?) and a rollup for 2. The crowd chants for a broken finger. Just Kidding is blocked and King gets a nice kick combo for 2. Sunset flip by King is rolled through and King plants Marty with a spinebuster and covers but only gets 2. King just slaps Marty and stands tall, Marty comes back with one of his own, nice mat work for a series of 2 counts. Just Kidding by Marty and he stomps King’s hands and looks to the fingers, King reverses and hits Eddie Gordo, they head outside and King hits a great dive off the apron to wipe out Marty.

King climbs but Marty intercepts and hits a big top rope superplex and looks to roll it through into Graduation but King is able to hoist Marty and hit the Royal Flush, but Marty rolls to the ropes before King can cover. King grabs a chair and brings it in the ring, ref Paul Turner takes it away and Marty is able to hit King with the umbrella while the ref’s back is turned! Cover by Marty, and thats the 3 count and the WIN!

Marty Scurll defeats Kenny King by pinfall after an umbrella shot
JAY’S RATING: 3.25 out of 5

This was a nice start to the event by two of ROH’s immediate-future-main-eventers and two just utterly reliable talents. Both of them were super dropped in, the crowd was with them (and specifically with Marty), and Marty picks up momentum heading into his title shot (after winning Survival of the Fittest) while King still came off strong. The finish deflated it a little for me but not too much because it made storyline sense, given King’s cheating to beat Marty the last couple times they have met. Nice work.

VIDEO PACKAGE: TV Title Match

We get a hype package for Shane Taylor/Jeff Cobb for the TV title, with footage of Taylor laying Cobb out, which no one has really been able to do here yet. I’m super excited for the potential of this one and REALLY hope they deliver. Let’s see!

Ring of Honor Television Championship
SHANE TAYLOR vs JEFF COBB (c)

Cobb extends the hand and Taylor bats it away, we get the bell and Cobb goes at Taylor hard and fast. Taylor comes back with a backdrop driver but Cobb is right back up and they face off. Shots traded and Cobb is able to hit a HUGE Exploder on Taylor, and Taylor is feeling it but back up. They throw shoulders at each other, Taylor starts to get the advantage, they run the ropes and Cobb gets a leapfrog and a dropkick but Taylor fires right back with a Pounce that tosses Cobb! Hard whip to the corner by Taylor, and hard chops to follow.

Cobb fires back with shots, and big chops and headbutts. Cobb gets a boot to Taylor in the ropes that sends Taylor outside, Cobb follows but Taylor sweeps the leg and drops Cobb hard on the apron, then hits a cannonball off the apron to wipe Cobb out. Back inside and Taylor misses a corner cannonball attempt, chops and shots traded and Cobb gets a pumphandle, hoists Taylor, HOLDS HIM UP WITH EASE, and then dumps him with a perfect suplex and covers for 2. JEFF COBB. Taylor comes back and hits the running knee strike, covers but only gets 2!

Taylor gets a waistlock, Cobb reverses, they trade shots and counters, HUGE superkick by Cobb, HARD KO shot from Taylor and Cobb hits a gigantic lariat but the momentum carries HIMSELF all the way to ringside as ref Todd Sinclair counts. They catch each others eye as Cobb gets back inside, they go face to face and trade. Taylor looks for Greetings but Cobb gets out and hits the jumping Euro in the corner, Taylor comes back but eats a dropkick from Cobb while seated up top in the corner, Cobb climbs and looks for a superplex, Taylor holds on and fights out, but Cobb is able to just THROW Taylor off instead, covers for 2 and hits a standing moonsault for another 2.

Taylor hits a big lifting spinebuster and covers for 2, stays right on Cobb but Cobb escapes, Taylor hits a headbutt though and a hit uranage, then climbs the corner and hits a diving splash! Cover by Taylor but only 2. Taylor slaps Cobb but Cobb slaps Taylor out of a ripcord and hits a delayed German suplex for 2! Boot by Cobb, Taylor strikes back and hits a left arm lariat to turn Cobb over, and HITS A CLEVELAND DESTROYER OFF THE ROPES! Cover, but only 2! SHANE TAYLOR! HOLY SHIT. “Both these guys” chants. Taylor exposes the knee but Cobb is able to get Tour of the Islands and puts Taylor down. Taylor keeps fighting up though! Cobb hits another Tour of the Islands and covers and gets the 3 count and the WIN!

Jeff Cobb defeats Shane Taylor by pinfall after 2 Tour of the Islands to retain the ROH TV Title
JAY’S RATING: 4.25 out of 5

I LOVED this match. LOVED. IT. This was an impeccably paced out, beautifully built, HARD HITTING match where while Cobb retained, I have to call Taylor the star. And thats no dig to Cobb, who was OUTSTANDING here (and what else is new?), defending his title fiercely and proving to be the unstoppable force we all know he is. I’ve been very hot on Taylor lately, but this was the match that was going to show if he can really rise to the occasion in bigger deal matches. To say he proved it would be a MASSIVE understatement. The dude is incredible since finding his voice as a performer, particularly the investment in his strike game. One of the things it has done is helped make the big man feel FAST, feel sharp, and then when he pulls out a FUCKING DESTROYER its both amazing but also makes sense given the quickness we’ve now felt from him. Its pretty brilliant, and the fact that he can also execute a FUCKING DESTROYER as well as he did is a testament to the hunger and passion I feel from Taylor. And while I totally understand Cobb retaining here, I want to see Taylor wearing more gold soon. He deserves it.

VIDEO PACKAGE: WOH Title Match

We get another hype video, this one for Iwatani and Klein’s rematch for the WOH Title. We get words from Klein and footage of her losing the title, and snatching it away from Mayu on TV, as well as Mayu taking out Camp Klein. This was a fine package, but Klein needs some major promo coaching ASAP.

Women of Honor World Championship
KELLY KLEIN w/ Camp Klein vs MAYU IWATANI (c) w/ Sumie Sakai

Iwatani also wearing the Goddess of Stardom belt along with the WOH belt, and her energy is pretty infectious. Klein extends the hands, Mayu shakes it, and we have the bell as Klein jumps RIGHT on Iwatani, driving her down and laying in boots. Mayu heads to ringside, Klein looks to follow so Mayu comes in and Klein is right there, with hard whips to the corner. Mayu looks to reverse but Klein gets another one, showing the strength advantage she has over Mayu. Cravate knees by Klein. NICE ring confidence from Klein here. Mayu fires back, looks for strikes but Klein runs her over, mounts Mayu and lays in elbows, taking a ground-and-pound MMA approach.

Mayu comes back and hits a couple of Sling Blades, Sumie looks to help fire the crowd up, Mayu with stiff kicks and a leg-hook Northern Lights Suplex for 2. Middle rope double stomp from Mayu connects followed by a low single leg dropkick, cover but only 2. Kneeling superkick by Mayu, big slap follows and Klein answers back. Shots traded and Klein drops Mayu. Klein fires up, Mayu fires back, they whiff a spot but Klein eventually tosses Mayu outside. Mayu back inside and gets her great German but cant hold her folding bridge, Klein is out and up and hits a SICK German suplex on Mayu dumping her on the back of her neck UGLY! But MAYU IS STILL ALIVE!

Mayu and Klein grapple on the mat with Klein using her size advantage but Mayu gets a nice headkick, sets Klein up and hits a moonsault off the middle rope, then climbs up top and looks for another one but Klein… gets the knees up? (it was more like a kick off?)… and is able to hoist Mayu up and hit K-Power, covers but Mayu is up at 2! Mayu looks for a rollup but eats a big lariat from Klein, Mayu is able to snatch a small package though and rolls Klein up for the 3 count and the WIN to retain as Klein is stunned.

Mayu Iwatani defeats Kelly Klein by pinfall after a small package to retain the WOH World Championship
JAY’S RATING: 2.8 out of 5

This was a finely solid match for the title, though I really wish they would build out their women’s division some more. Iwatani is amazing and is capable of pulling out much more exciting matches than this. And its not that Klein doesnt have ability, she ABSOLUTELY does. But there are some core issues that I still feel at play in a Klein match that need to be resolved before she can really carry the momentum build of a match, and its those issues that for me prevented this from being able to reach the next level. But a solid showing nonetheless by both. I wonder whats next for Klein…

VIDEO PACKAGE: Lifeblood

We get essentially the same hype video we’ve already seen in a couple ways, many many times over the past several weeks. This now includes footage of Lethal destroying the REAL ROH World Title belt. Nothing new to see here, move along…

IN-RING SEGMENT: Taven is here… and early

We get The Kingdom’s music but Matt Taven emerges even though we are set for a tag match with Lifeblood, and hits the ring and grabs a mic. Taven says he cant sit back there another minute. He says the video package shows how the REAL World Champ was disrespected. He says HE’S the REAL World Champ, and he calls out Jay NOW for their title match! Jay Lethal’s music hits, and out comes Jay belt in hand, the shirt comes off and Jay is ready to go. Jay accepts the offer to go now and we get the intros from Bobby Cruise, and this is happening NOW! Executed simply but very well, curious about the choice to put this match here, but hell its definitely an intriguing choice!

Ring of Honor World Championship
MATT TAVEN vs JAY LETHAL (c)

Jay and Taven are in each others face and talking shit to each other to begin, and they start brawling as the bell rings. They trade offense corner to corner, and both are showing major aggression with how personal this has become. Chop by Jay drops Taven and he goes for the cover for a quick 2 count. Suplex by Jay is reversed into one by Taven, cover but only 1 on Jay. Jay gets a rollup for 2 and follows with a lariat taking Taven down, another cover but only 2. Okada-style snapmare and running single leg dropkick for 2. Knee drops and another cover by Jay for 2, Taven comes back with a slam and elbow, covers for 2. Like how even with the aggression, both are actively trying to WIN.

Taven with punches in the corner but Jay is able to come back and hit the cartwheel dropkick, covers Taven for 2. Shots traded, suplex by Jay and a cover but still 2. Big clothesline from Taven cuts Jay down, cover but only 2. Taven slows down Jay again. Jay fires back with a dragon screw on the left leg, which Taven had a major injury with back in 2016. Shots by Jay, looks for an early Lethal Injection, Taven counters, Jay looks for a Figure Four but Taven gets a cradle for 2 and looks for a Figure Four, Jay out and Taven looks for Just The Tip, Jay reverses and looks for Lethal Injection, Taven reverses and looks for Climax but Jay escapes into another Injection attempt but Taven floors Jay with a big kick! Nice sequence.

Taven talks shit at Jay as we hear that Jeff Cobb has challenged NEVER Openweight Champion Will Ospreay to a Title for Title match at Madison Square Garden. That should be AMAZING. Taven keeps working over Jay and covers him for a 2 count. Jumping calf kick from Taven connects and stuns Jay so that he folds up and rolls outside. Jay fights back and hits a nice dropkick to take Taven down, but Jay cant follow up. Backbreaker by Jay, another cover and another 2. Jay works over the back of Taven, focusing the attack and grounding Taven who is able to make it to the ropes.

Dropkick from Taven connects and staggers Jay again, and Taven tells Jay that he’s the champ and he should just admit it. Taven takes time to engage with the crowd who eat it up. Jay hits a nice powerslam, but still cant fully follow up, finally getting the cover for 2. They fight on the mat with Jay getting a unique grapevine submission, but Taven tries to turn it into a near cover but Jay’s shoulder was up and they release. Jay keeps on Taven, Taven shows some left knee issues before Jay dumps Taven over the top to the outside as Taven continues to nurse the knee.

Jay lines Taven up and hits the first suicide dive, then moves Taven to another audience bank and hits the second dive, and finally moves him to the 3rd bank and hits another dive to wipe out Taven. Taven turns his back and Jay hits another dive. Ref Todd Sinclair starts the count on Taven as Jay is back inside. However, Jay rolls out and throws Taven back in and looks for the cover, only getting 2. Jay ties Taven’s leg up in the ropes and works over the left knee. Taven is able to use the ref to take advantage of Jay and drives his shoulder (which he’s been favoring since landing hard on that kick off the Injection sequence) into the post and continuing to work it over.

Taven looks to wrench the arm, Jay turns it into a pin attempt for 2 but Taven kicks him in the shoulder and hits a forward Russian legsweep before looking for a Crossface (which also torques the shoulder). Jay tries to roll but Taven holds on, until Jay finally gets the ropes. Taven talks shit but Jay fires back until Taven goes for the shoulder again and lands a sitout gourdbuster. Frog Splash from Taven is countered as Jay moves and catches Taven in a Lethal Combination. Jay blocks some Taven strikes and powers back, takes Taven down with a nice series and calls for the elbow drop while taking a lot of time and lining Taven up.

Taven rises as Jay climbs and looks for a move out of the corner, Jay blocks the superplex and drops Taven and looks for Hail to the King as we get red balloons and The Kingdom hits the ring. TK distracts the ref as Vinny takes out Jay with the baseball bat. Jonathan Gresham runs down to take out TK but gets outnumbered, getting beaten down by The Kingdom and getting his leg crushed with a chair shot. TK and Vinny say they are going to put him away for good, pulling a table from ringside as Tracy Williams and Mark Haskins hit ringside as well with weapons and runn off the Kingdom. The ref is distracted as Taven hits a low blow and follows with Climax, Taven covers Jay but only gets 2! Taven cant believe that Jay kicked out.

Another Climax attempt is blocked but Taven gets a great rolling neckbreaker instead, then climbs and lands a GREAT frog splash, covers but Jay STILL kicks out at 2. Taven lines him up again, but Jay gets the knees up this time and rolls Taven up for 2, then drops Taven with a cutter. Cover but only 2. The crowd is now split in their chants as Jay and Taven trade and fire each other up. Jay gets the torture rack, then rolls it through pancaking Taven and covers but only 2! Running shot in the corner connects from Jay followed by a running DVD, Jay climbs and looks for Hail to the King but gets caught in a crucifix pin for 2, and Jay fires right back by locking in the Figure Four!

They talk trash as Jay wrenches back on the hold, Taven fights through the pain and tries to turn Jay over and does, reversing the pressure onto Jay who then turns it back over and reapplies the hold. Taven’s shoulders are down but only for 2, he struggles for the ropes and finally gets them for the break. Jay keeps on the knee as Taven is on the apron, using the ropes to continue to punish the leg. Suplex from the apron inside by Jay is countered, Taven tries to get one on Jay to the oustide and is able to hoist Jay over and turn him so Jay goes through the table at ringside! “Holy shit” chants. Taven finally is able to roll Jay back inside and covers but still only gets 2.

Taven sits Jay on the top in the corner and hits multiple gamengiri’s to stun him, then hits a backpack stunner out of the corner and covers Jay but only gets 2. Both are moving slow as Taven gets a Red White & Blue Thunder Bomb for 2, then picks Jay up for another one, but Jay is able to counter into a Climax of his own, covers but only 2. Jay hits a low superkick and his own Just The Tip, and follows with the Lethal Injection. Cover by Jay but Taven kicks out at 2, and that just woke up the crowd. Chants for both Taven and Lethal. Taven is on the apron so Jay follows and hits a cutter onto the apron, and the ref starts to count both of them as Jay hits another cutter on the floor. Jay now rolls back in at 11, and Taven is finally able to roll in as well.

Jay now heads under the ring and pulls out a table of his own and sets it up at ringside. Taven is brought up and set on the table, then Jay looks to climb the corner, Taven up fast though and drives Jay shoulder first onto the apron. Taven now heads under again and pulls out a ladder, and sets it up bridged on the apron and the just set up table. Jay counters a piledriver or powerbomb attempt, Jay rolls back in and hits a triangle dropkick, hits another one that lays Taven on the ladder, Jay looks to climb again flies with Hail to the King but Taven moves and Jay crashes through the ladder!

Jay is down and out after the crash and burn. Taven is coming to and looks to get back inside as ROH staff tries to carry Jay away as he says “no”… until Taven suddenly hits a HUGE dive over the top rope wiping out everybody, throws Jay back inside and hits a cutter and Just The Tip, covers Jay but STILL only gets 2! A second Just The Tip connects, and a third, and a fourth. Taven slaps the hell out of Jay and spits in his face, Taven hits Just The Tip again and covers and Jay STILL KICKS OUT AT 2! Chants for both again, Taven climbs and flies for a Frog Splash but Jay catches him in mid-air in a cutter! Cover by Jay, but Taven is out at 2! “This is Awesome” chants.

Both are down and the ref begins to count. A slapfest begins on their knees. Enziguri from Jay is followed by several superkicks, Lethal Injection connects, cover but Taven STILL KICKS OUT AT 2 as Jay utterly loses it at the ref. Suddenly, the bell rings, and the ref goes to chat with Bobby Cruise who hands the ROH belt to the ref and we hear that we have reached the 60-minute time limit without a winner… and so the match is a DRAW!

Jay Lethal and Matt Taven goes to a 60-minute time limit Draw – as such, Jay Lethal is still the ROH World Champion
JAY’S RATING: 4 out of 5

This was a VERY good match between two great competitors with a lot of personal animosity and story behind them driving the motor of the match. If I’m being honest, I do feel like there were some pacing issues. Specifically, I LOVE Matt Taven, but I’m just not sure that he is at his best in a 60-minute format. His slower work is nowhere near as engaging as his faster paced stuff. So while he absolutely delivered here with Jay (and their chemistry is always on point), I just feel like this actually might have even surpassed 4 out of 5 with a different approach that didnt need to fill so much time. However, I also see how, if youre going to end in a draw and have a history of the “conspiracy” story with Taven and such, it is a dramaturgically smart choice to make, so I cant complain that much. Jay is one of the best of all time and Taven is ready to sit in the throne. And that made for a great outing.

After the match we get “5 more minutes” and “let them fight” chants, but it looks like that isnt going to happen. Suddenly Marty Scurll makes his way to the ring, enters, Jay and Taven are still down so Marty picks up the title belt, puts it over his shoulder and walks away! Marty Scurll has taken the ROH title belt! WHAT A VILLAIN! Jay and Taven face off after, and Taven waves off Jay direspectfully. This isnt over.

SEGMENT: Mega Ran

Ian is on the entranceway and introduces Mega Ran with another artist, who seem super cool and nerdy. They work the crowd for a minute and toss out some t-shirts. They get the crowd clapping and the beat drops and they get in the ring and start to perform. Like his lyricism. Suddenly BULLY RAY appears on the stage and makes his way down. Bully throws a chair into the ring and the music grinds to a halt as Bully hits the ring. Bully says he hates rap music, and Caprice references some West Texas Rednecks from the WCW days. Bully threatens the musicians, and makes fun of their name.

Bully makes fun of video games, so Mega Ran asks the important question: what’s wrong with video games? Bully asks if they played wrestling games and played as him. Mega Ran says he played as D-Von and throws in a “Testify!”, so Bully pushes them over and clears them from the ring. Bully runs down their song as they get escorted away and Bully runs down Cary Silkin as usual. He does his usual bullying shtick, even taking on some kids up front. He says there is no one worth him facing at Madison Square Garden. We get chants for Flip Gordon. Bully tells the camera to focus on him and Bully delivers an open challenge for MSG, for a NYC Street Fight. Bully now references one person in particular, but doesnt name them… but does end with the word… “Punk”… LOL I dont know, thats a LOADED and manipulative way to end that I HIGHLY doubt is going to go ANYWHERE (though the way commentary underplayed it was interesting). Also, I think this took a LOT of time to accomplish something fairly straightforward. But hey, Bully is great on the mic, so whatever. And I like the idea of Bully’s opponent being a mystery in general. Lets see where this goes.

VIDEO PACKAGE: Rush/Bandido

We get a hype package for Rush vs Bandido. Straightforward, to the point, a bit generic but also well put together.

Dalton Castle is now on commentary, sided by The Boys.

RUSH vs BANDIDO

Rush is out first. Nice crowd support for him, and I LOVE the full LIJ gear. I still think he needs a new video package though – especiaally because I goddamn LOVE Bandido’s package by comparison. Both of these wrestlers are undefeated so far in ROH. Bandido offers the hand but Rush kicks it away and we have the bell. Lock ups work fast and they trade mat work and holds and counters. Rush pushes Bandido as tempers flare and the match is off to an even start. They look to pick up again but Rush grabs the hair to drop Bandido, nice handspring backflip and another great quick sequence between these two.

Bandido gets a headscissors to send Rush outside and looks for a rana off the apron, but Rush holds on and POWERBOMBS BANDIDO THROUGH THE TIMEKEEPERS TABLE. Well. THAT escalated quickly. I mean that really got out of hand fast. Rush has Bandido back up and puts him down at ringside with a chop, Rush grabs a chair but ref Paul Turner convinces him to drop it. Bandido chants as Rush keeps control, whipping Bandido hard into the barricade. Back inside and Rush crushes Bandido in the corner, hits a dropkick to the back and strikes the Tranquilo pose to a pop. Rush goes after the mask and uses the mask and hair to just toss Bandido. “Toro Blanco” chants for Rush.

Bandido starts firing back but Rush is able to take down Bandido and takes a bow. Rush beats down Bandido seated in the corner, looks for the finish early but Bandido moves, gets elevated to the top rope and hits a great tornillo off the top, a dropkick that sends Rush outside and a GREAT suicide dive! Fosbury Flop follows from Bandido and he lands on his feet. Rush tossed back in and Bandido hits a huge springboard crossbody and covers for 2. Powerslam by Bandido connects for another 2. Rush hits a snap German suplex and covers Bandido for 2. Bandido is sat down in the corner again and Rush teases the corner spike dropkick and instead slaps Bandido hard and hits Tranquilo again. Rush chants.

Bandido strikes back with a knee, Rush follows with a knee as well, they trade shots, then Rush hits a HUGE running Destroyer but Bandido pops up and hits a HUGE I-dont-even-know-what-that-was-kind-of-a-tilt-a-whirl-plant-DDT-thing! Both are down! The ref counts and the crowd chants along in Spanish. Love it. Both are up, Rush sent to the apron but he strikes back and looks to climb, Bandido cuts him off and looks to climb, Rush hits a headbutt and gets a deadlift superplex on Bandido! Cover, but only 2. Bandido counters a suplex attempt into a deadlift vertical of his own, covers but Rush is out at 2.

Rush on the apron again and Bandido ties him up and hits a springboard 450 to a draped Rush, covers twice but only gets 2 on both. Bandido looks to climb again, springs but is caught in mid-flight with a dropkick and heads to ringside, Rush follows with a great no-touch tope con giro to wipe out Bandido. “This is Awesome” chants. Both on the apron, Rush looks for a Butterfly Piledriver on the apron but Bandido counters and gets a rana off the apron onto the floor! Back inside and the 21-Plex is countered, Bandido catches Rush in the West Knee but Rush catches him running in a suplex into the turnbuckles. Signature corner stomps from Rush, he connects with the Bull Horns (that spike corner seated dropkick), covers Bandido and picks up the 3 count and the WIN.

Rush defeats Bandido by pinfall after the Bull Horns
JAY’S RATING: 3.8 out of 5

This was a very good match by 2 of Lucha Libre’s coolest stars, who both delivered to a hungry audience who ate all of it up. I dont know that I agree with Rush going over Bandido, as I think Bandido has sort of been chosen by the ROH fanbase. Also, I feel like the finish felt a little abrupt and deflated for me, like the match peaked just a beat or two too soon.

After the match, Dalton Castle hits the ring with Rush and grabs a mic. Dalton says “just look at you” and calls Rush a “mountain of meat.” LOVE IT. Rush poses in the corner. Dalton says he sees a challenge, he sees someone he wants to smash heads with. He makes the challenge for a match to Rush, and not only that, makes the challenge for Madison Square Garden. Rush grabs the mic and says “who are you?” Rush gets right in Dalton’s face in both English and Spanish. Rush grabs a chair as he leaves and The Boys hit the ring to support Dalton. I actually am not sure if the challenge was accepted or not, Rush could have used a little more help there, but Rush’s energy on the mic is GREAT, and this match could be pretty dang entertaining stylistically.

We hear from Ian and Caprice that two matches are getting delayed off of this show tonight: Silas Young/Jonathan Gresham as Gresham was injured during the Lethal/Taven match, and also Lifeblood/Kingdom as the Kingdom left after that same match…. Hmmmmmm ok but thats a PRETTY BIG change, two matches gone, announced DURING the card… I dont know about that, it feels like more a letdown than story advancement, or at least one outweighs the other too much for me.

Silas Young joins commentary for the main event, and he runs down Jonathan Gresham.

VIDEO PACKAGE: ROH Tag Title Match

We get a package hyping VE’s debut and winning Tag Wars, and the carnage we’ve already seen from and between both of these teams. The Briscoes run down VE.

No Disqualification
Ring of Honor World Tag Team Championship
VILLAIN ENTERPRISES (PCO & Brody King)
vs
THE BRISCOES (c)

The Briscoes are out and either I havent noticed that drum beat as prominently under it before or thats something new, but it definitely helps. Nice support for both teams from the crowd. The bell rings and we get a standoff and staredown. The Briscoes suddenly bail and go for chairs, and VE follows suit, and everyone throws chairs into the ring! Now everyone has a chair and there are others littering the ring and they start sword-fighting with chairs, Brody goes down and PCO gets teamed up on. Brody rolls outside but Mark wipes him out with a Whisper in the Wind off the top to the floor. Back inside PCO eats a booted chair to the face.

Briscoes are firmly in control of VE. They go through Brody’s injuries and Caprice channels Kurt Angle for a moment. Mark bites Brody in the corner, Jay whips him to teh corner but Brody climbs the ropes and hits a big spring crossbody! PCO is on the apron and trades shots with Mark, theres a table set up at ringside from Jay/Taven still and PCO gets a Michinoku Driver off the apron and through the table, and WE’VE ONLY JUST BEGUN! Brody works over Jay in the corner and calls PCO back in who asks for chops from Brody which fires PCO up to crush Jay in the corner, followed by a Brody cannonball. Then Brody puts a chair between a seats Jay’s legs and then hits it with another chair!

Brody picks up Jay and PCO runs the ropes but Mark interrupts with a kendo stick shot, but PCO is unphased, he runs at Mark at ringside but hot shots PCO on the barricade, and Jay is able to take advantage of Brody applying aa choke as Mark comes in for a chair shot. Double team boot on Brody takes him down. Mark sets up a table in the corner as Jay wedges a chair in the adjacent corner. Brody reverses Jay and sends him headfirst into the chair and then hoists Mark up and drives him through the table with a running DVD! The action spills to ringside as VE works over the Briscoes with shots and chairs. Jay is busted open.

PCO has a piece of broken table and cracks it over a bloody Jay’s head. We get a “crimson mask” from Caprice (LOVE YOU CAPRICE!) as VE messes with the ramp as the Briscoes fire back with kendo sticks, Brody gets held but moves and Jay whacks Mark in the head with the stick. Brody grabs the stick and lays in shots as well. Brody calls for PCO but the Briscoes backdrop him into the apron! WHAT?! The Briscoes are back in control and double team PCO, he yells “MOTHERFUCKERS” and then gets backdropped onto the metal entrance ramp. We have total chaos. Double team on Brody now.

Jay and Brody back in the ring now as Jay lays in shots and headbutts. Two tables now set up at ringside, Jay looks to suplex Brody from the apron through the tables but Brody fights out, firemans Jay up but Jay fights out and MARK COMES OUT OF THE CORNER WITH A BLOCKBUSTER TO BRODY THROUGH BOTH TABLES! Holy shit. Jay puts Brody back inside and cuts him down with a lariat, covers but only gets 1! He follows with the Jay Driller and covers, but only gets 2! Both Briscoes are now in the ring, each with a kendo stick, and they just pick apart Brody with shots. But Brody says to bring on more. The Briscoes oblige.

PCO back in now and they hit him with shots, BUT THEY ONLY FIRE HIM UP MORE! HE’S NOT HUMAN! Mark goes for a shot, but PCO catches the cane and breaks it over his knee, then breaks Jay’s too, The Briscoes hit the ropes but PCO cuts them down with a double lariat. VE fires up but the Briscoes drive the pieces of broken cane into Brody, and Mark does the same driving it into PCO’s throat! Mark goes under again and pulls out ANOTHER table as VE are dumped outside. Jay puts PCO on the table but Brody comes in to cut him off and chokeslams Jay on the ring apron, Mark looks to climb but Brody intervenes, PCO gets off the table and Brody chucks Mark OVER the table, onto a pile of chairs!

Brody is on the apron with Jay and looks for something bad through the table, Jay gets a low blow to cut it off, sets up Brody for a Jay Driller through the table but Brody fights it off and gets an almost-piledriver onto the table, which just collapses semi-anti-climactically. Jay brought back in and Brody lays in a chair shot to the back, PCO climbs as Brody puts the chair on top of Jay, PCO hits that INSANE moonsault and covers, and we have a 3 count, a WIN and NEW CHAMPIONS!!!

Villain Enterprises defeats The Briscoes by pinfall after a chair-assisted moonsault to WIN the ROH World Tag Team Titles
JAY’S RATING: 4 out of 5

That was a great main event that was almost exceptional save for a little bit of pacing issue and a slightly deflated final sequence, but nonetheless this was a GREAT No DQ match that made good use of the stipulation. The Briscoes will go down as one of the greatest teams of all time, no question, and VE keeps building some great momentum with some strong gold around their waists heading into Madison Square Garden. And can we just take yet another moment to recognize that PCO and his career resurgence is SO FREAKING COOL and he just keeps upping the ante in the most exciting and engaging ways. And now with Marty stealing the ROH World Title belt? We’ve got some interesting stuff to watch here. Great work.

JAY’S THOUGHTS:

This was a very strong showing for the 17th Anniversary show, though I dont know if I’d call it overall a “great” show, which is a little sad for a card such as this but also nothing to be ashamed of. My main critiques would be that while it made story sense, I’m not sure moving the world title match to mid-card and giving it an hour draw was the best use of everyone’s talents here, a little bit of sloppiness and whiffing here and there, and a couple other nitpicky things that just chipped away at it a bit (such as, where does Kenny King go from here in terms of his climb up the ranks?). However, the G1 at Madison Square Garden is taking on some real shape with some interesting matchups emerging, the action was solid throughout, Shane Taylor is an unsung hero in this company in a great showing with Jeff Cobb who is one of the futures of this company, VE and the Briscoes was a great note to end the night on, and Taven and Lethal continues which, even with my gripes, I am TOTALLY down for more there. We’ve got a good landscape moving forward from here – lets see where it leads.

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