Monday, May 26, 2014

ROH 12th Anniversary Show: Collector's Edition Review

Ring of Honor celebrates it's 12th Anniversary by returning home to Philadelphia!

Since this is The Collector's Edition, I'm going to review this a bit differently. I'll post my review for the actual show first, but I will go into full detail on the whole thing (like I usually do) after I go over the stuff from the Bonus Disk.

ROH 12th Anniversary Show
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 2/21/14


1.) Amasis vs. Caprice Coleman: **1/4

The Funky Pharaoh is of course a mainstay of CHIKARA where he is one half of The Osirian Portal with Ophidian. This was an ok match. Pretty basic stuff for a pre-show match. Coleman gets the win.

Main Show

1.) Silas Young vs. Matt Taven: **3/4

This was a pretty solid opener. I think it could have been a little better had it gone on a little bit longer. Truth Martini joined commentary at ringside mid-match. Taven gets the win with a frogsplash.

After the match, Taven goes to shake Silas Young's hand, but Young attacks Taven. Truth Martini gets in the ring and cheers Young on. He goes to shake hands with him, but Silas blows him off and just walks by Martini. Once Taven gets back up, he chases Martini to the back.

2.) The Decade (Jimmy Jacobs, Roderick Strong & BJ Whitmer) vs. Mark Briscoe, Cedric Alexander & Adam Page: ***1/2

I really enjoyed this match. Lots of solid action in here. The second half of it was especially good. Towards the end of the match, Alexander is able to hit the Lumbar Check on Strong, but then is quickly taken out by Whitmer & Jacobs, who then hit the All Seeing Eye on Adam Page for the win. 

As The Decade were heading to the back, BJ Whitmer & Steve Corino get into a shoving match, and have to be separated.

3.) ROH World TV Title - "Sicilian Psychopath" Tommaso Ciampa vs. Hanson: ***1/4

Hanson won the Top Prospect Tournament to earn this title opportunity. This was a nice hard hitting big man match. It's something we don't see a lot of in ROH, so it was a nice change of pace. It was also a relatively short match, so it was pretty easy to sit through. Ciampa retains his World TV Title, but Hanson looks impressive in defeat. 

Michael Elgin comes out and explains that Matt Hardy, his scheduled opponent, wasn't at the show due to flight trouble (weather delays). He talks about how ROH has been all about giving opportunities throughout the past twelve years, and calls out Raymond Rowe to face him. Rowe accepts the challenge and we have a match!

4.) "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin vs. Raymond Rowe: ***

This was a fine match, but the crowd didn't seem to be into it as much. I think part of the problem was that we just saw a similar style match right before this in Ciampa/Hanson. Still, it was fine for what it was, but not exactly the type of quality you would expect from a Michael Elgin match. 

After Elgin won the match, Adam Cole came out to try and attack Elgin, but Rowe stops him. As Cole is caught between the two, Michael Bennett comes out and gives both Elgin & Rowe low blows. Jay Briscoe then runs out and clears the ring. He demands that his match with Bennett start right now!!

5.) "Real" World Title - Jay Briscoe vs. Michael Bennett (with Maria Kanellis): ***1/4

Another solid match. Fine action between both guys. Bennett, at one point, took a sick Suplex/Brainbuster on the apron. Towards the end of the match, Bennett hits a low blow on Jay when Maria & Adam Cole have the referee distracted. Then while the referee was distracted again a short time later, Briscoe hit a low blow on Bennett to return the favor. He then hits the Jay Driller and retains his version of the World Title.

6.) ROH World Tag Team Titles - reDRagon vs. Adrenaline RUSH: ****1/4

ACH & TaDarius Thomas got this opportunity after winning a Proving Ground Match at State Of The Art. Personally, I really enjoyed this. Great action between both teams. At one point, ACH has the match won after hitting a huge top rope splash on Bobby Fish, but Fish gets his foot on the rope. It didn't come off that well live as the crowd died down a bit. The last part of the match completely made up for it. ACH hit a massive dive to the outside, then rolls O'Reilly back in and goes for the top rope splash again, but O'Reilly catches him in the Triangle Choke and forces him to submit. reDRagon retain the World Tag Team Titles.

7.) "The Phenomenal" AJ Styles vs. Jay Lethal: ****1/4

This was pretty great. Comparatively speaking, I'd say this was better than the Roderick Strong match. It's funny seeing this match on an ROH Show after they both spent years in TNA. Back to the match, very solid action throughout. Styles gets the win with The Styles Clash. 

After the match, Styles & Lethal shake hands, but Lethal looks to be disappointed as he heads up the entrance way.

Before the World Title Match, Outlaw Inc. (Eddie Kingston & Homicide) come out to cut a promo. This is there return after being suspended following what went down at Final Battle 2013. Kingston says Ring of Honor & SBG have been making them starve via the suspension, and that they're angry at pretty much everyone. He claims that they're looking to recruit a new member into Outlaw Inc.

8.) ROH World Title - Adam Cole vs. Chris Hero: ****1/4

Hero won this title shot after pinning Cole in the Three Way Tag Team Main Event of Wrestling's Finest. Another really great match. This was a lot better than the match they had at PWG All-Star Weekend X: Night 2, which suffered from overbooking (I know it's sounds weird to say that but it's true). Enjoyed the back & forth action between the two very much. Lots of good stuff, plus the crowd was very much into it. Towards the end, Referee Todd Sinclair gets accidentally taken out, and Hero applies the Stretch Plum on Cole. He taps out, but the referee is out. The match goes on for a few more minutes until Cole finally gets the win over Hero. Again, really enjoyed this match.

As Cole celebrates post match, Kevin Steen comes out. They tease a fight, but Cole flips Steen off and retreats. Steen then tells everyone at ringside to leave (expect for a referee) and says that's it's no longer an ROH Show, but a Kevin Steen Show! He calls out Cliff Compton for their Unsanctioned Philly Street Fight and it's on!

9.) Unsanctioned Philly Street Fight - Kevin Steen vs. Cliff Compton: ***1/2

Some people will like these kinds of matches, but others won't. Personally, I enjoyed this. It was fine for what it was. Lots of good hardcore spots with Multiple Tables, Ladders, Chairs, Singapore Canes, and Trash Cans all involved. Actually a fitting match to have in Philadelphia, a city of course well known for it's hardcore past. Kevin Steen eventually is able to put away Compton with a Package Piledriver onto a ladder.

After the match, Kevin Steen cuts a promo similar to the one he cut at State Of The Art, saying he wants to win the ROH World Title again, and have a reign he can be proud of. Outlaw Inc. interrupt Steen by coming out on the ramp, and have a little bit of a verbal back & forth before Steen continues his promo. He promises to win the ROH World Title

Overall: 8.5/10

Bonus Disk

ROH on SBG TV Tapings
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 2/22/14

1.) Jenny Rose vs. Seleziya Sparx (with Scarlett Bordeaux): *3/4

Maria Kanellis joins Kevin Kelly on commentary. This was decent for a women's match. Nothing really much, of note, to say. Scarlett distracts Rose, which leads to Seleziya getting the win.

2.) "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin vs. "The Phenomenal" AJ Styles: ***3/4

ROH World Champion Adam Cole is out to join Kevin Kelly & Steve Corino on commentary. As a match, this was very good, but based on a lot of people's expectations (including mine), I thought it was a little bit disappointing. There was a fair amount of good back & forth action, and the crowd was into it, but it became clear towards the end that they were wrestling to the time limit. The match ends in a 30 Minute Time Limit Draw. Adam Cole celebrates this result, but Elgin & Styles want to continue. Before they can get things going again, Cole steals the ring bell, and attacks both Elgin & Styles with the ROH World Title. Jay Briscoe & Kevin Steen come out and chase Cole off. All of Cole's Challengers stand tall in the ring as the champion escapes.


There is a lot of stuff included. We get footage from the whole event with a review hosted by Larry Mercer. The entire Arm Wrestling Tournament (which was won by Michael Elgin. No real surprise there) is included. They also have the two Q & A Panels as well as the announcement of the two Ring of Honor/New Japan SuperShows, Global Wars & War Of The Worlds, which would take place a few months later in May. The awesome trailer is included.

Overall: 8.75/10

The Collector's Edition of the 12th Anniversary Show is a pretty good bundle, despite the strange way it is physically packaged (if you get it, you'll see what I mean). As for the show itself, I thought it was pretty good on the whole. I found it very similar to Glory By Honor XII from last year in that the undercard was good but relatively average on the whole, but the bigger matches in the second half really helped elevate the show. I thought Styles/Lethal and the World Title/Tag Team Title Matches all delivered, plus I thought the Unsanctioned Philly Street Fight was good for what it was. The stuff on the HonorCon Bonus Disk is a good add on. The Arm Wrestling Tournament and Q & A Panels were all entertaining, plus having the official announcement of the ROH/New Japan SuperShows is pretty special as well. If you're looking at the bonus matches it's definitely worth it if you want the entire unedited version of Elgin vs. Styles. A pretty good package from Ring of Honor.

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