ROH – July 8th, 2015
From Terminal 5 in New York City, New York, the best in professional wrestling shines in Ring of Honor!
A week has passed since Jay Lethal became double-champion of ROH, winning the World Title from Jay Briscoe at Best in the World. The world anxiously awaits to hear from the new champ. In action, the main event features a huge six-man tag match as the Kingdom squares off with former tag champs reDRagon and “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin. Also, Watanabe and the flamboyant one Dalton Castle.
- Watanabe vs Dalton Castle: airplane spin into front buster by Castle gets the pin. Castle cuts promo, calling himself the only real man in ROH which provokes Silas Young to come out and rabble.
- Jay Lethal in-ring interview: Lethal says, “I am the best in the world”…”ROH is the best because I am its champion”…”I have nothing to prove to you people”. Nigel asks which title he is going to vacate, Lethal refuses to vacate either and will defend both titles in the same night if necessary. Roderick Strong, number one contender, comes out to plug internet Pay-Per-View.
- Inside ROH: highlights from World Title match at Best in the World. Roderick Strong cuts a prerecorded, shouting promo in which he plugs internet Pay-Per-View again.
- Six-man Tag Team Match – The Kingdom (Adam Cole, Michael Bennett & Matt Taven with Maria Konellis) vs Michael Elgin & reDRagon (Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish): Dissension is teased in pre-match promo as Konellis calls herself the leader of the Kingdom. In the end, Cole falls victim to a double-team sidekick/brainbuster combo and is pinned by O’Reilly. Post-match, Cole shakes O’Reilly’s hand, defying the urges of his teammates, then leaves on his own.
- The opening match was a nice bit of work to put over Dalton Castle, who continues to crank out entertaining product. The New York crowd was firmly behind Castle. Unfortunately, the crowd was indifferent to Watanabe, despite his repeated attempts to pander which only resulted in dragging down the pace of the match.
- There were some nice exchanges between the two, including a sequence of small package reversals which had the pair rolling around the entire ring. Castle hit some impressive suplexes, getting over his technical prowess and strength. Probably the greatest moment came post-match, as Castle’s boys created a bench for their boss to lounge upon. Silas coming out indicates that their feud is far from over, but the spot was given barely any air-time before the cut to commercial.
- Jay Lethal was his usual, awesome self. Not opting for the gimmick of cowardly heel champion ducking the tough challenges, he instead came off as the fighting champ who will shy away from no challenges, but shouted off any attempts for the crowd to cheer for him. It is a rare thing to be a courageous, honourable champion and still be a total douchebag, but Lethal is going for it and pulling it off. Nigel and Lethal worked hard to put over the concept of Lethal defending both the TV Title and the World Title in two separate matches in the same night – if they don’t end up booking such a card, it will be a severe let-down. Roderick’s injection at the end was brief and lacked electricity. More build is necessary between the champ and the number one contender if people are to really care about the title match at Death Before Dishonour.
- There were two story-lines at work in the main event. The first was the new face push for Michael Elgin, which took everyone by surprise and evoked an awkward silence during his entrance. The announce team worked hard to get over the fact that Elgin has recently experienced a “change of heart”, even going so far as to say that he has “found his smile again” after “losing it”.
- This face-turn is something that would have much more effect if it was actually seen, instead of simply described. The match, like the announcers, worked hard to put over face Elgin as he carried the majority of the action, boasting some impressive shows of strength against the tag champs and Cole. Despite trying hard to get the crowd behind Elgin, the pin was scored by O’Reilly, which made little sense.
- The other story at play was dissension between Cole and the Kingdom, put over heavily pre-match and post-match, but played no part in the match itself. The Kingdom are a good team and talented wrestlers, but their offense is a bit flat. Any time Bennett and Taven control the match, it’s a safe time to get another beer from the fridge. reDRagon provided the match’s most exciting spots, brief as they were, but overall they seemed out of place, lacking any real motivation to be in the match.
- Overall, the match was action-packed, but felt a bit hollow. Elgin’s sudden face turn may have gotten over, but it was clunky. Cole’s dissension would have gotten over a lot more effectively if it had been worked into the match somehow, but it still managed to land, so mission accomplished.