Monday, December 30, 2013

ROH Death Before Dishonor XI Review

A New Champion Is Crowned!!

ROH Death Before Dishonor XI
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 9/20/13

Before we get the opening match, former World Champion Jay Briscoe comes out. He's hit rock bottom since being stripped of the World Title. Jay is upset about being stripped, but says that if whoever wins the title does it honorably, he'll hand the title over. He also says that once he's cleared, he's coming back for his World Title.

1.) Jay Lethal vs. Silas Young: ***

I was actually really looking forward to this match going into it. It was pretty fine match. Nothing flashy, but a solid opener to the show. Lethal gets the win.

2.) ROH World Title Tournament - Semi-Finals - Adam Cole vs. "Sicilian Psychopath" Tommaso Ciampa: ****1/2

This was absolutely CRAZY!!! They started off fast and never let off the gas. I loved this match. They did so much awesome stuff, and it was only the second match of the night. Cole has to knock out Ciampa while having him in the figure four to win the match and move on to the finals. Definitely one of the best ROH matches of 2013 for sure.

3.) ROH World Title Tournament - Semi-Finals - Kevin Steen vs. "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin: ***3/4

Obviously there was no way they could top their World Title Match from Glory By Honor XI, but if we're going to compare, one thing I noticed is that this match seemed to go at a much slower pace. Plus I think the crowd might have been burnt out a little bit from the Ciampa/Cole match. I loved the storytelling and the selling here, specifically how Steen couldn't hit the Package Piledriver because Elgin had been working on his arm most of the match, resulting in Steen having to resort to multiple sleeper suplexes. This damage to Elgin's neck would come into play later. Don't let the fact that the match was a bit slower ruin it for you. It was still a really good match. Elgin advances to the finals.

4.) IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Titles - Forever Hooligans vs. American Wolves: ***3/4

This is the third time in several months that these two teams have faced each other in ROH, but this time, the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Titles were on the line. It wasn't their best match, but I'd put it on-par with their first match at the 11th Anniversary Show. I've seen people say they've gotten tired of seeing these Wolves/Hooligans matches, and I can understand that to an extent. Personally, I enjoyed it. Romero & Kozlov finally get that elusive win over the Wolves and retain their titles.

The second half kicks off with a promo from RD Evans & Veda Scott, basically complaining about all the injustices that have been occurred against them, specially RD Evans getting his fingers broken by Outlaw Inc. This brings out Adam Page, who challenges Evans to a match since both are in their gear, and we get just that.

5.) RD Evans (with Veda Scott) vs. Adam Page: DUD

Really short. More of a segment than a match that I'm not sure needed to be on here.
More of a segment than a match. I think this would have come off better on the TV Show.

6.) Ricky Marvin vs. Roderick Strong: ***1/4

I've heard about Ricky Marvin for awhile, but this is the first time I've seen him wrestle. The first thing I thought was "Ricky Marvin looks out of shape" but boy did he prove me wrong. He was so agile & fluid in the ring, it was nuts. Nothing really outstanding, but a solid match, as one would expect given that Roderick Strong was involved.

Up next we had a segment with BJ Whitmer and Nigel McGuinness, where BJ Whitmer thanks everyone before announcing his retirement due to the injury he suffered at All-Star Extravaganza V in Toronto. He then asks Jimmy Jacobs to come out and thanks him for bringing out the best in him. His last request to Nigel McGuinness is that Jimmy Jacobs a second chance, which after giving it some thought, Nigel agrees to. Whitmer is then greeted by some of his fellow roster members as he exits.

7.) ROH World Tag Team Champions reDRagon, ROH World TV Champion Matt Taven & Michael Bennett (with Maria Kanellis, Truth Martini, Scarlett Bordeaux, Seleziya Sparx & Kasey Rae) vs. C & C Wrestle Factory and Adrenaline Rush: **3/4

Ok, first of all....Maria Kanellis & Three Hoopla Hotties?!?!?! Oh my god. Kind of a crazy match. Their was nothing wrong with it, but it was kind of a mess, mainly because Maria & Bobby Fish kept popping in and out on commentary, which was really distracting. Still, the match had it's moments and was solid.

After the match, Outlaw Inc. came out and made it very clear that they're coming for reDRagon and the World Tag Team Titles.

8.) ROH World Title Tournament - Finals - Adam Cole vs. "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin: ****1/4

A really great way to conclude the tournament. Cole & Elgin have always have great matches with each other. Nice job by Elgin on selling his neck injuries from his earlier match with Kevin Steen. It was cool to see Cole finally use the Panama Sunrise (Canadian Destroyer) in ROH. A great match on the whole with a lot of awesome moments, though I feel that the Cole/Ciampa match was just slightly better.

After the match, Adam Cole celebrates until Jay Briscoe comes out with the World Title Belt. It looks he might not give it up, but eventually presents the title to Cole, who says thank you. As soon as Jay turns around, Cole superkicks him in the back of the head, and then hits Elgin with the title belt, thus solidifying his long awaited heel turn. The shows goes off the air with Cole celebrating as the new champion.

Overall: 9.0/10

This was an awesome show! I'd put it right on par with events like 11th Anniversary Show and Manhattan Mayhem V for ROH Show of the Year. The final three matches in the World Title Tournament really put this show over the top, and the undercard was relatively solid as well. We also saw an emotional segment with BJ Whitmer & Jimmy Jacobs, and a concluding segment that was definitely one of the highlights of 2013 and might be one of the most memorable endings to an ROH show of all time.

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