By Paul Fontaine, for WrestlingObserver.com
The Big Takeaway – Outstanding opener, unique main event with a bonus tag team match at the end. Angle advancement in the Cedric Alexander and Adam Cole storylines makes for a fun show with future repercussions.
Roderick Strong opened the show with a promo to order the on-demand version of Death before Dishonor and their outstanding 1 hour time limit draw. I think that knowing the match when 1 hour takes a little bit away from it but it was an awesome match. Strong called for a rematch the next time the title’s defended.
This show was taped at Terminal 5 in New York City, so it should be a hot crowd and they’ve got a heck of a tag match to kick it off.
War Machine (Hanson/Rowe) vs The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson)
The Bucks are out with their IWGP Junior Tag Team titles and get a great reaction with a YOUNG BUCKS chant during their ring entrance. No adherence to the Code of Honor as the Bucks would prefer that War Machine “Suck It”, which they don’t terribly appreciate.
War Machine have the early advantage and Rowe clears the ring by overhead pressing Nick onto his brother. They follow them outside the ring and we get Superkicks #1 and #2 as both Bucks connect on both members of War Machine but don’t even knock them down. They then hit simultaneous Asai moonsaults but get caught by War Machine. Superkick #3 is Nick on Hanson and that knocks him down. #4 is Matt on Rowe and he stays on his feet. Nick then nails Rowe with a Senton splash while Matt drapes him between the ring apron and the floor. That draws another YOUNG BUCKS chant.
Bucks double-teaming Hanson in the ring. Combination top rope splash and standing moonsault from the Bucks only get a one count on Hanson, who then takes them both out with a double clothesline. Superkicks #5 and #6 are both Bucks on Hanson and that knocks him out of the ring. Nick then takes out both members of War Machine with a crash and burn dive, which draws a TOO SWEET chant from the crowd. Nick landed badly, drawing medical attention as we go to break.
Back from break and Rowe pulls Matt away from the doctors and throws him into the ring. War Machine double-teaming Matt while Nick is getting his leg iced. AJ Styles comes out to check on things during this time. Crowd chanting for AJ. Beating goes on for several minutes and the crowd really turning on War Machine during this. Matt gets a brief hope spot that ends with a double body-slam and then Rowe press slamming Hanson onto Matt and then Hanson powerbombing Rowe onto Matt but Matt rolled out.
AJ decides to take over for Nick and gets a tag from Matt. AJ is a house of fire and the crowd is loving it. AJ then takes out the ref with a clothesline that was aimed at Rowe. Matt is then in for superkicks #7 on Rowe and #8 on Hanson. Powerbomb by Rowe on Matt but Nick comes in and hits superkicks #9 on Hanson and #10 on Rowe. AJ with the Sunday Bloddy Sunday DDT on Rowe and then a Styles clash. Ref counts the three.
WINNERS: THE BULLET CLUB (MATT JACKSON AND AJ STYLES) by pinfall
Nick seems just fine during the celebration. Adam Cole cuts a backstage promo on Kyle O’Reilly for tonight’s main event. Cole is really questioning where he stands in ROH as there’s dissension in the Kingdom. Cole insists there is no dissension and his friendship with O’Reilly has nothing to do with the Kingdom. They broke in together as a tag team, they’ve been there for the most important moments in each other’s lives and have respect and admiration for each other.
A Roddy Piper “I stand for the silent” commercial aired during this break. R.I.P Hot Rod.
Cedric Alexander w/Veda Scott vs Romantic Touch
Caprice Coleman joins the commentary table for this one. Coleman is there to talk about Alexander and “whether he’s changed”. Alexander attacks before the ring intros with three straight running dropkicks into the corner. Coleman says this is his new-found aggression and it’s what he was missing all along.
Coleman explains that Alexander changed out of need, out of fear and out of needing to keep his job. Coleman vows to show that he can do things the right way and be successful. This is basically an extended squash, as it should be. Touch gets brief offence in, tossing Alexander out of the ring and then hitting a dive to take him out but Scott distracts him to allow Alexander to get the advantage. He hits the Lumbar check for the pinfall shortly after.
WINNER: CEDRIC ALEXANDER by pinfall
Fans are chanting for Moose after the match. Scott cuts a promo in-ring. She basically says the same thing that Coleman did but in a slightly different way. She asks Touch to rip off the mask of Romantic Touch and expose Rhett Titus. Coleman comes in to break it up but Alexander shoves him off. This brings out Moose from the back and Alexander bails. Alexander is MUCH better in this role.
Jay Lethal and Truth Martini cut a backstage promo. Lethal is set to become the greatest champion in ROH history. He congratulated Roderick Strong for taking him to the limit but the bottom line is he couldn’t get the job done and he’s to the back of the line because he’s got a lineup of people to defend against. Kyle O’Reilly and Hanson are brought up as potential challengers but Truth insists that Lethal is the greatest champion in ROH history and the House of Truth is Ring of Honor.
Mandy Leon is here for Inside ROH and it’s a look at Kyle O’Reilly, leading up to his title challenge. They show footage of O’Reilly submitting Lethal during a tag match in March. That was followed up by a 30 minute draw for the TV title in April in Hopkins that I was there live for.
Main Event – Adam Cole vs Kyle O’Reilly
Both guys are out without their partners. Christopher Daniels joins the commentary table. Kelly refers to him as The Fallen Angel but Daniels corrects him and states that he’s now “The Almighty” Christopher Daniels. This was mentioned on the iPPV and I was wondering if I’d missed when it had started. They do adhere to the Code of Honor to start.
Daniels is here because ReDRagon is the top contenders to the tag titles held by Daniels and Kazarian and also because the Addiction framed The Kingdome with their KRD ruse earlier this year. Grappling exchange to start with neither guy getting an advantage and the fans show their appreciation.
Their bloodbath a couple years ago in NYC is brought up early as the match that put both guys on the map. Fans chant HEADLOCK CITY as they exchange headlocks for a minute or so. In fact O’Reilly has Cole in another headlock as we go to the first break.
Back from break and they’re still chanting HHEADLOCK CITY but Cole tries to get out of it with a suplex but O’Reilly holds onto the headlock. Cole hits the ropes for a break and then rolls out of the ring. O’Reilly follows him out and puts the headlock on again but Cole rushes him into the ring barrier.
Daniels stands up at commentary taunting O’Reilly but Cole takes out Daniels with a shove. Daniels takes off the headset and attacks Cole, drawing a DQ. O’Reilly comes in to defend, which brings out Kazarian.
MATCH ENDS IN A NO CONTEST
Fans are chanting FUTURE SHOCK (Cole and O’Reilly’s former tag team name) as they fight off Daniels and Kazarian. Cole takes a mic and challenges “these two old bastards” to face him and O’Reilly tonight. Even though Daniels is in a jeans and T-shirt, they appear to accept the challenge.
The Addiction (“The Almighty” Christopher Daniels/Kazarian) vs Future Shock (Adam Cole/Kyle O’Reilly)
Cole starts against Kazarian and gets the advantage. He quickly tags out to Daniels, who’s double-teamed by Cole and O’Reilly. They rip his shirt off and give him alternating chops and kicks to the chest. We go to break with O’Reilly in control of Daniels.
Kazarian hits a clothesline from the outside to turn things around for the champs and now they’re double-teaming O’Reilly. They trades tags while continuing to double-team O’Reilly. Daniels even knocks Cole off the apron to distract the ref in a great old school heel move. O’Reilly makes the hot tag after a couple of minutes of this and Cole does the “ADAM COLE BABY” spot in a face role for the first time. Doesn’t get quite the reaction I thought it would.
Cole hits a Shining Wizard on Daniels for a two and then puts on the Figure Four. Kazarian breaks that up with a legdrop, which brings in O’Reilly. The champs double-team him but Cole hits an O’Connor roll from behind on Daniels to get the win.
WINNERS: FUTURE SHOCK by pinfall
Before the announcement of a winner is made, Chris Sabin is out to make it a 3 on 2 attack but this brings out Bobby Fish and it’s all even and a wild brawl in and outside the ring. Eventually Cole, Fish and O’Reilly clear the ring. Michael Bennett, Matt Taven and Maria come out to observe at the top of the ramp and they don’t look pleased with their stablemate Cole. Fans are chanting NEW REDRAGON as the show closes.