It’s time to review that Ring of Honor 16th Anniversary show. Let’s get started with the show introduction.
The 16th anniversary started with video package recapping some of ROH’s fondest memories in the companies history. It did a good job tying old stuff to the stuff we will see tonight, although the music used in the video made no sense. It sounded very comical. We go to the ring where Bully Ray shouts into a mic which is way too loud on the microphone. By the way, on the pre-show, we could hear Bully explaining to the crowd when to start cheering.
Anyways, Bully is hyping up the show in the ring. He finishes his hyping, then that’s it haha. He was good at getting the crowd loud, but this segment meant nothing in the long run. They should have at least tied it into something. Let’s get to our first match.
Hiromu Takahashi vs. Flip Gordon
Hiromu Takahashi, who has been a huge name for a year now, faces Flip Gordon. An audience member gave Hiromu a daryl stuffed animal, which he carried around the ring. I’ll be completely honest, this is the first that I have seen of Gordon. I liked the somewhat egotistical way he carried himself around the ring. Something about the way he acts when walking around that is so unique and cool. When he sets up for dives and such, he’s never running super fast, just the speed he needs. Early in the match, Hiromu hit Shaka Boots outside the ring. I liked that move. Just another example of how Hiromu throws caution to the wind.
He used the Daryl doll as a weapon during the match. Should have been a DQ if we are talking technicalities, but Todd Sinclair cut him some slack. What was adorable about this was that Todd referred to Daryl as a person, telling Takahashi that “he (Daryl) stays there (outside the ring”.
Flip was impressive when he hit a Standing (he had a running start) Shooting Star. Hiromu hit a Canadian Destroyer, and Flip Gordon hit him with a Superkick right after. Listen, I love me a Superkick, and I sure love a Canadian Destroyer, but Gordon completely no sold the move. I hate almost any no sell as big as this, because it feels like it almost invalidates the move.
Gordon hit a Star Spangled Stunner (which looked great), for a two count. He went right to the top rope after and did a 450 Splash, but Hiromu countered it by putting up his knees. A roll-up was kicked out of by Gordon. Takahashi did a Death Valley Driver into the corner. Gordon tried for another Stunner, but Hiromu countered it with a German Suplex, bridged into a pin. Gordon kicked out. Hiromu hit a Superkick then a great Lariat for a two count. Hiromu hit the Timebomb for the win.
I thought this match was an amazing start to the show. As I already mentioned, this was my first time watching Flip Gordon. From this match, I consider him a great wrestler. I can not wait to see him again soon. And as always, Takahashi put on a show.
Punishment Martinez vs. Marty Scurll
Our second match on the card is a grudge match. Marty Scurll and Punishment Martinez. The camera didn’t catch it, but the fight started before the bell rang. The crowd seemed just as or maybe even more loud for this match. Outside the ring, Marty Scurll was surrounded by security after making a ref flinch. Martinez did a dive over a ringpost, onto the crowd. It was a pretty good dive.
Punishment Martinez did a great Curbstomp, on the apron of the ring. Martinez took out a table and set it up. Martinez did a Swanton Bomb outside over the ropes onto the table, but Scurll got out of the way. At some point in the match, Scurll started bleeding in the right eye. Minimal blood, but it looked nasty. Scurll unleashed his more Strong Style of fighting, doing multiple curbstomps to an already downed Martinez. Scurll pretended to throw a bag of powder, but it was nothing. The ref looked away when this happened, giving him a chance to kick Martinez in the groin. This gave him the win.
It was a cheap victory, but to be honest, that’s a clever one. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen someone win via making the ref flinch and look away. Not as good as the first match, but still a good match.
Silas Young vs. Kenny King (ROH World TV Championship Match)
Our first match for gold tonight is Silas Young versus Kenny King. The crowd definitely calmed down for this match, but still showed a lot of energy. They did a spot late in the match where Todd Sinclair was down, delaying a pin for Silas. Silas would have won the match, but King kicked out at 2. King hit the Royal Flush for the win. After the match, a big name shows up. Austin Aries comes to the ramp with a microphone. Aries says that he is collecting belts. He implies that he wants Kenny King’s belt. This match was good but not great. I didn’t dislike it. The Aries segment felt somewhat awkward because it ended with no real satisfying ending.
Bullet Club (Young Bucks and Adam Page) vs. So Cal Uncensored (ROH 6-Man Tag Team Title Match) (Street Fight)
The Young Bucks and Adam Page, the the self proclaimed Hung Bucks, are defending their ROH 6-Man belts in a street fight. They face So Cal Uncensored. A brawl erupts before the fight officially starts. Streamers from the crowd are all over the ring. The start of this match was absolute mayhem. Everyone was doing crazy spots left and right. Page did a great Shooting Star off the apron onto someone who was being held up. The Bucks get out a table next. We see that Kazarian is completely covered in blood on the forehead.
Nick Jackson went for a move onto the table outside the ring, but Jackson gets pushed and goes through the table by his lonesome. Nick gets isolated by himself in the ring and picked up by So-Cal Uncensored. Page and Kazarian traded head blows with the top of a trash can. Looked brutal. Page whipped Kazarian with a belt that has nails on it. Oh my goodness, that was the most painful thing I have seen all week. Wow.
So-Cal Uncensored set up a table that was made out of the metal guard rails. They try to put a Buck through it, but he gets saved. The Young Bucks hit the Double Cease, but Kazarian broke it up. Page hit an amazing Hotshot Lariat. Daniels gets put through the Guardrail structure. Kazarian gets put on a table. Nick Jackson takes out a ladder in attempt at going through the table. Scorpio stops it from happening. Matt Jackson takes out Scorpion, then goes up the ladder himself.
He did an Elbow Drop off the top of the ladder. Nick Jackson put a trash can on top of Scorpio Sky then did a 450. He went for the pin, but Shane Taylor came out and distracted Nick. Taylor attacked the Bullet Club. The Bucks did a Piledriver of some sort onto Taylor. Because of this distraction, So-Cal is all healed up and fighting again. Page gets zip-tied to a post. The Bucks start going crazy with Superkicks. Scorpio hit a Cutter into a Dragon Sleeper onto Nick Jackson. Nick taps, giving us new champions.
Honestly, I expected the crowd to give So-Cal Uncensored heat, but the crowd fell silent. The match was good, but the Young Bucks losing completely killed the crowd. I feel like a big issue is that The Young Bucks are loved so much, that people aren’t satisfied if they don’t win. I can’t preach a solution to this because I don’t know what to do.
A team of some sort attacks people after the match, but this wasn’t emphasized at all. When we came back from an ad, the commentators reacted like nothing ever happened. I didn’t even catch their names.
Matt Taven vs. Cody
For this grudge match, Cody has Brandi Rhodes and Bury The Bear at ringside. Taven hit a Cross Rhodes for a two count late in the match. The crowd was absolutely dead for this match. I think the match before completely deflated the crowd. As the ref is down, those same two people who attacked The Bucks are back. They kick Cody in the groin, but afterwards we see that Cody was actually wearing a cup. Cody hit a Cross Rhodes for the win.
Earlier in the match was rough, but the end was very clever. Even more so when the match ended, the crowd was absolutely dead. I hope that they can pull it together before the main event. After the match, the bear attacks Cody. The bear takes off the mask, and you see that it is Kenny Omega. He hits a V-Trigger on Cody afterwards. This brought the crowd to life. The plot thickens. Brandi is mad at Kenny, but kisses him on the lips. I can only assume this was to further the Ibushi story, even though that’s not a ROH thing. What a crazy way to end this segment. I enjoyed it.
The Briscoe Brothers vs. Motor City Machine Guns (Ring of Honor Tag Title Match)
Our next match is The Briscoe Brothers and the Motor City Machine Guns. The crowd was near silent for this match. I wasn’t really digging this match either. To be completely fair, these guys had such a disadvantage. They crowd was silent no matter what they did. The Briscoes won, new champs. Not that exciting of a win.
Jay Lethal vs. Dalton Castle (ROH World Championship Match)
Yes yes, it’s main event time. Jay Lethal challenges Dalton Castle for the ROH World Championship. When Lethal did a dive to the outside, Bobby Cruise took one. Like 15 minutes into this match, this is the only big highlight that I have. This match was slow, boring and bad. The crowd was absolutely dead, and they were working a slow pace, way different than every other match tonight. Late in the match, Lethal tried for a Lethal Injection but Dalton got out.
This match for sure picked up near the end. Castle hit a Bangarang for the win, to retain his championship. The final combo of moves at the end of the match was well done. The end of the match was good, but in general I did not enjoy this match. It was very slow, and the crowd slept on it.
That wraps up the 16th anniversary show for Ring of Honor. Come to the site later this week for a ROH TV review.