Ring of Honor heads to Sin City for their 15th Anniversary show at Sam’s Town Live. Christopher Daniels has gone through a tournament to get to the opportunity to challenge Adam Cole for the ROH Championship. Will he overcome the Bullet Club, the turning of his friend Frankie Kazarian, and more to win ROH’s top title? The Broken Hardys make their pay per view debut for ROH, defending the tag titles against the Young Bucks and Roppongi Vice. Will they hold on? The full card breaks down as follows:
- Adam Cole (c) vs. Christopher Daniels, Ring of Honor Championship
- Broken Matt Hardy and Brother Nero (Jeff Hardy) (c) vs. The Young Bucks vs. Roppongi Vice; Ring of Honor Tag Team Championship under Triple Threat Street Fight Rules
- Marty Scurll (c) vs. Lio Rush; Ring of Honor Television Championship
- The Kingdom (c) vs. Dalton Castle and The Boys; Ring of Honor Six-Man Tag Team Championship
- Jay Lethal vs. Bobby Fish
- Bully Ray and The Briscoe Brothers vs. War Machine and Davey Boy Smith, Jr.
Ring of Honor “15th Anniversary” Pay Per View, Live from Sam’s Town Live in Las Vegas, NV;
They opened with an anniversary package that focused on the early years of ROH and a young Christopher Daniels starting out in 1993. Daniels talked, then Adam Cole talked about how he learned to color in 1993. He said he was 12 when Daniels headlined his first pay per view. He called himself the greatest ROH Champion and said Daniels has never faced the adversity he has. Daniels said he would fulfill his destiny in what might be his final opportunity, and Cole reiterated that he would kill Daniels’ career.
Ian Riccaboni, Kevin Kelly, and Colt Cabana checked in for the call. They talked about the event then ran down the card.
Match #1 – Jay White def. Kenny King (w/Caprice Coleman). King took early control after a missed drop kick by White. White rallied with a headbutt and a slam, which Riccaboni noted was a tribute to Tomoaki Honma, who suffered a spinal injury. Late, King hit a spinebuster, and White came back with a high cross body block. King rolled through and picked him up for a move, but White rolled him up for the win.
This was a good opener. White is a talented guy and has a lot of upside it seems, but he’s not been handled as well as I’d like to see him be, even though he’s only on loan from NJPW. I would like to see King break away from the Rebellion too. He is better than the creative that is around the Rebellion.
Bill Says: Riccaboni is the play by play guy, and he and Cabana had good banter going on. Kevin Kelly, who isn’t working for ROH any longer at least on a full time basis, would chime in from time to time. Logical to give the call to the full time Riccaboni. He is doing a nice job so far, despite not having a consistent color commentary guy alongside.
The commentary team hyped a six-man mayhem match.
They ran a video package focusing on Frankie Kazarian turning on Daniels recently on ROH Television. The Young Bucks, Hangman Page, and Kaz talked about the turn backstage. Matt Jackson told Kaz that he thought he was more talented than Daniels. Matt welcomed him to “the dark side” and they all did the too sweet gesture.
Match #2 – Frankie Kazarian def. Hangman Page, Chris Sabin, Silas Young, Cheeseburger, and Damien Martinez in a six man mayhem match. He earned a shot at the ROH Television Championship. The fans were into Cheeseburger and chanted for him. Sabin hit an early suicide dive, and Page hit a shooting star press off the main stage. Cheeseburger leaped onto the group of wrestlers who caught him, then Martinez followed with a springboard flip onto the group on the floor. Lots of early high spots and holy shit chants.
Late, Young hit Misery on Sabin and covered, but Cheeseburger broke things up. Cheeseburger hit a springboard knee a bit later to Young, then Kaz caught him with Ace of Spades and pinned him. Kelly yelled at Kaz from commentary, asking how he sleeps at night.
The crowd woke up for this and was much more vocal. Cheeseburger was way over, and the fans were into the big spots in the match. Martinez stood out in a big way and I keep coming back to how big of a star he can be with his look and athleticism. Page seemed kind of random in this match, but yet these are the kinds of matches all companies put out there to get a lot of talent on the card easily.
We got promos from Jay Lethal and Bobby Fish which were pre-taped. Fish said Lethal would never measure up to him.
Match #3 – Jay Lethal def. Bobby Fish. Cabana called both men egomaniacs who think they’re the best. They shook hands to start. Lethal hit a superkick that sent Fish to the floor around the eight minute mark. He followed with a suicide dive, then when they got back in the ring they traded forearm shots. Fish got the better of it, then hit a suplex.
Late, Lethal came back after a heel hook by hitting a top rope elbow. He hit a combination of kicks then a cutter from the ropes. Fish pushed off a Lethal Injection attempt and locked in a heel hook. Lethal rolled over onto Fish for two, then Lethal hit Lethal Injection for the win. Afterward the two men shook hands while Lethal sold the kicks.
These two put on a good match that I really enjoyed. They worked hard with believable back and forth action and worked in good near falls along the way. I pictured Fish winning, so the result is a bit of a surprise. Word is that Fish is on a short term deal with ROH right now. I hope if he sticks around we get more of these two working together.
They hyped the six-man tag championship match with promos from both of the teams.
Match #4 – The Kingdom (Matt Taven, TK O’Ryan, and Vinny Marseglia) (c) def. Dalton Castle and The Boys to retain the ROH Six-Man Tag Team Championship. Early, Marseglia slammed one of the boys from into the ropes from the floor. He landed on the side of his head, but seemed fine. The Boys played twin magic.
Castle got in about five minutes into the match and got offense on the Kingdom. Castle hit a bridging German suplex for two on Taven. A bit later, O’Ryan hit a nice Asai moonsault onto one of the boys, slamming his own legs into the guardrail in the process. Ouch. The Kingdom hit the Rockstar Supernova powerbomb to get the clean win.
O’Ryan didn’t help with the powerbomb and Marseglia and security helped him to the back afterward. That landing on the guardrail had to hurt. A fine match for what it was.
They set up the ROH Television Championship with a video package.
Match #5 – Marty Scurll (c) def. Lio Rush to retain the ROH Television Championship. The crowd popped big for Scurll even though he was the heel here. Rush got some boos during his introduction. Scurll got cheered, and he blew off the Code of Honor. Rush hit an early huracanrana on the floor, then tried a baseball slide but Scurll used the ring skirting to catch him.
A bit later, Scurll turned Rush inside out with a clothesline then blasted him with a shot that sent him to the floor. Scurll followed with two kicks from the apron. The fans wanted another, so Scurll obliged. Rush no-sold it then they traded punches in the ring. Rush got the better of it then hit a handstand into the ropes but Scurll caught him and locked in a submission. Rush rolled it over for a pin for two, then hit a DDT. He tried a frog splash but Scurll got the knees up then followed with a piledriver.
Late, Rush set some chairs on the floor and put Scurll on the top rope. Scurll avoided the spot and hit a Tower of London. Scurll did his finger breaking bit then pulled the tape off of Rush’s shoulder. He hit a couple elbows then locked in the chicken wing to finish him off.
This was fun. I assumed Scurll was going to get the win because there is word that Rush is taking dates outside of ROH now. The near falls were very believable and the action was hot. Scurll needs to work harder to turn the fans, or get the booking to position him as a babyface working with an edge to his character. He has been a great TV Champion so far.
The commentary team showed off a copy of USA Today that had an article on ROH on it. They recapped Bully Ray showing up at Manhattan Mayhem last week.
Match #6 – Bully Ray and The Briscoes def. War Machine and Davey Boy Smith Jr. Kelly noted that Smith and Archer were supposed to face the Briscoes, but Archer got hurt. He noted that ROH put him in this match with War Machine, not realizing they don’t like each other. Bully asked if they knew who they were and introduced himself, then the Briscoes then said “we’re gonna kick your ass.” The match was on.
Jay held Smith’s legs apart for Bully to do the “whassup” spot, then Mark followed with an elbow drop to the nuts. Bully did the “get the tables” spot too but War Machine broke it up. War Machine and Smith isolated Mark Briscoe. Jay got the tag and worked on Rowe, but took a pop up powerslam for two.
Bully tagged in around the ten minute mark and clotheslined Hanson and Smith, then hit Rowe with a uranage. Smith hit a big boot, then The Briscoes and War Machine fought even though they weren’t legal. They set up a dive by Bully on War Machine and Smith. Jay hit the Jay Driller, and Mark hit Froggy Bow. Rowe kicked Smith by accident, then the Briscoes popped Rowe up for Ray to hit the 3D. War Machine and Smith bickered, and War Machine blamed him for losing. Smith threw security guards aside and went at Rowe, but he stopped and jawed.
This was cool, and the action was fine, but I would like to see Bully move on to a real program. For this show, it was fine to see him hit his spots and stuff like that, but he needs to be positioned as a player going forward. War Machine needs to get back on track after their random title loss to The Addiction. The commentary team at least tried to set up the issues between Smith and War Machine.
The commentary team set up the tag title match.
Match #7 – Broken Matt Hardy and Brother Nero (Jeff Hardy) (c) def. The Young Bucks and Roppongi Vice to retain the ROH Tag Team Championship in a Las Vegas Street Fight. The Young Bucks came out first, then RPG Vice. The lights went out, then when they came back up, the Hardys were in the ring. Fans chanted delete. The Bucks and Hardy stared down each other, then Barretta grabbed a trash can lid and struck both teams to get things started.
The Hardys and Bucks ended up in the ring again, and Romero broke it up. He got dumped. Barretta got involved but he got powerbombed on the ramp by Matt Jackson. It went back to the Bucks and Hardys. The Bucks hit superkicks.
Later in the mach Nick Jackson put a ladder across the middle ropes in a corner. Barretta went top rope but he got his legs swept and he crashed onto the ladder, bending it. The bent ladder was set up mid-ring and Nick started to climb. Barretta tried to push it over but Jackson hit a big dive from the ladder to everyone that was on the floor. The Bucks focused on Barretta in the ring, putting a trash can on him and Nick hitting the 450 splash. Matt Hardy returned to the ring to break it up.
Late, the Bucks hit superkicks, the Matt Jackson put a handful of tacks in Barretta’s mouth before Nick hit him with a superkick. The Bucks hit the Meltzer Driver on Romero in thumbtacks that were spread out, but Matt broke the count. The fans were into it and chanted “this is awesome.” The Bucks and Hardys went at it with punches, then the Hardys hit Twists of Fate onto the tacks for near falls.
The Hardys set up a table and ladder, and the Bucks interrupted that. The Hardys cleared the Bucks, then put Barretta on the table. Jeff hit a Swanton on him to get the win.
This was a really good hardcore spotfest and I will pretty much say it stole the show to this point. Roppongi Vice was going to take the loss here since the focus is on The Bucks vs. The Hardys on April 1 at Supercard of Honor. The way they got there, though, was a lot of fun to watch unfold. If you’re into the hardcore, ECW type matches, this was for you. Entertaining for sure.
The commentary team talked at ringside, and Cabana noted that the footage at the beginning showed Daniels facing Danny Dominion, his trainer, in Chicago. The ring crew scrambled to clean up the mess from the previous match.
They ran a Daniels promo. He got emotional as he talked about how long it has taken for this moment to come, and his destiny is here. He said he’s at the crossroads of immortality and oblivion. He said Adam Cole might be the man, but he’s just a man. Daniels called himself 24 years of pain and sacrifice. Cabana laughed and said there’s no crying in professional wrestling.
Match #8 – Christopher Daniels def. Adam Cole (c) to win the ROH Championship. Cole smirked as he offered a handshake. Daniels accepted, and Kelly noted that Daniels was the first man to blow off the Code of Honor. Early, Daniels hit a moonsault to ringside, and Cole came back with a superkick that sent Daniels into the ring post. Daniels came up bloody.
In the ring, Cole wiped some of the blood from Daniels on his chest, and Cabana played stat boy and said the last time Daniels bled like this they lost the tag titles. Cabana also noted he is 0-8-1 in title matches. Cole went on a run of offense and got cocky and played to the crowd.
Daniels locked in a submission and was intense with it, but Cole broke it in the ropes. He regained control of the match. A bit later, the two exchanged punches, with Daniels getting the better of it. He worked over Cole then played to the crowd, then tried for the Best Moonsault Ever. Cole avoided it, but Daniels landed on his feet. Cole blasted him with a superkick.
Cole hit an enzugiri and a shining wizard a bit later, then hit the Last Shot for a good near fall. Daniels came back a short time later to catch Cole on the ropes and hit a huracanrana. Daniels set up for Angel’s Wings, but Cole countered into a huracanrana in a neat spot. They hit simultaneous clotheslines.
Down the stretch, Daniels hit the Styles Clash to a big pop and a solid near fall. The two got up and Cole drove Daniels into the official. Cole tried a suplex, but Daniels moved. Cole hit a superkick on the official for the referee bump. Cole used a low blow and tried a roll up for a visual pin, but no official was there to count.
Frankie Kazarian ran down, wearing a Bullet Club t-shirt. Kaz picked up Daniels and threw him in the ring. Kaz held Daniels for Cole when he tried to use the belt as a weapon. Daniels ducked, and Cole stopped short of hitting Kaz. Kaz asked for the belt to hit Daniels. He ended up throwing the belt to ringside and ripping off the Bullet Club t-shirt.
Kaz had a “Destiny” shirt under it. Kaz flipped off Cole, and Daniels made a gun sign at Cole. Cole swung at him, but Daniels ducked and hit a uranage. He followed with three Best Moonsaults Ever and covered. The official came to and counted the victory for Daniels.
The fans threw streamers and Daniels sold surprise at the win. Several of the babyface talents came to ringside and watched on while Daniels and Kaz hugged in the ring. Cary Silkin came to the ring and shook Daniels’ hand, and they panned to the stage to show an upset Adam Cole. Silkin presented Daniels with the original ROH Championship belt and Daniels posed with both title belts as the fans cheered. The babyfaces that came to ringside joined the in ring celebration and hugged Daniels.
The in-ring work of this match was good, but what excelled was the storytelling. ROH did a tremendous job of building up Daniels as the long time vet who was in wrestling for 24 years and 15 years in the company and finally got the chance to not only compete for but win the top title in the company. Kaz swerving Bullet Club by “joining” them but really being a double agent was done well too. And, it was good to see them stay with the celebration. All in all a well done main event.
This was a good show. As noted, the main event capped its story very well, the Hardys and Bucks and RPG Vice put on a crazy spot fest, and the TV Championship and Fish vs. Lethal were very good matches. The other matches on the card did not offend and knew their places and I thought were also well worked. If you missed the show live, I’d definitely cue up a replay if anything for the 4 matches that I thought were extremely well done. Thanks for hanging out with me tonight for this pay per view – see you Monday for WWE Raw.