Sunday, December 21, 2014

ROH Road To "Best In The World": Night 1 Review

Six Men fight for a World Title opportunity!

ROH Road To "Best In The World" Night 1
Carbondale, Illinois 6/6/14

1.) "Sicilian Psychopath" Tommaso Ciampa vs. Ethan Gabriel Owens: ***1/4

Ethan Gabriel Owens is E.G.O., for short. Very solid opener. It's great seeing Owens get an opportunity in ROH, as he really deserves it. He had a really nice opener here against Tommaso Ciampa. It looked like the finish was slightly messed up, but that's my only complaint. It was perfectly fine for what it was. Ciampa gets the win, as well as momentum heading into his ROH World Title Match the next night, and E.G.O. had a good outing.

2.) #1 Contender's Six Man Mayhem Match - ACH vs. Silas Young vs. Caprice Coleman vs. Cedric Alexander vs. ROH World Tag Team Champion Kyle O'Reilly vs. Matt Taven: ***1/2

The winner of this match will challenge Adam Cole for the ROH World Title in the Main Event. While this was not as crazy as I expected, it was still a very good match. Everyone got to opportunity to shine, and it was pretty fun to watch. It eventually came down to ACH & Cedric Alexander, but BJ Whitmer comes out to cause a distraction, which allows TaDarius Thomas to sneak in and take out Alexander. This leads to ACH hitting the 450 Splash and getting the win. He moves on to face Adam Cole for the ROH World Title in the Main Event.

3.) ROH World Tag Team Champion Bobby Fish vs. The Romantic Touch: **3/4

This is an interesting match. The Romantic Touch looks to have been really hitting the gym as of late, as he's in fantastic shape. Pretty solid match here. It was probably the best match that The Romantic Touch has had in ROH to this point, though I don't think it should be a surprise that it came against Bobby Fish, who is eventually able to put away The Romantic Touch via submission.

4.) The Briscoes vs. The Decade (BJ Whitmer & TaDarius Thomas): ***

It didn't take long to realize that The Briscoes were really over with the crowd in Carbondale. This was a good, but relatively standard tag team match. Much like the opener, it was perfectly fine for what it was. The Briscoe are able to get the win, and build some momentum heading into their World Tag Team Title Match the next night.

Up next, we have ROH World TV Champion Jay Lethal & Truth Martini. They have issued an Open Challenge tonight. Initially, #Sparx answers the call! She kisses Lethal, but then lays down for him. Lethal pins her, and the trio celebrate their supposed ruse. This leads to Cheeseburger coming out. He insults The House of Truth, and challenges Lethal to a World TV Title Match, which Lethal accepts!

5.) ROH World TV Title - Jay Lethal (with Truth Martini) vs. Cheeseburger: **1/4

This went pretty much how you would expect it to go. Cheeseburger was able to get some offense in, but in the end, Lethal was able win the match and retain his World TV Title. It wasn't a bad match by any means, but it was perfectly fine for what it was.

6.) Michael Bennett (with Maria Kanellis) vs. Delirious: ***

Delirious wrestled this match as a tribute to his dad, who recently passed away (He had "Dad" written on his wrist tape). This was pretty entertaining match (or at least I thought it was). Delirious is just so fun to watch, and Bennett was a great opponent for him. Lots of shenanigans on the outside with Maria Kanellis, and a lot of shenanigans in general. The match went a little long for my taste, but that's my only real complaint. Bennett is eventually able to pick up the win, and the crowd gives Delirious a pretty big ovation afterwords.

7.) Jimmy Jacobs (with TaDarius Thomas) vs. "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin: ***3/4

Whenever you get someone like Michael Elgin facing a smaller wrestler, like Jimmy Jacobs, it's going to be good, and this was no different. Having an opponent that Elgin can just toss around really makes him look good. I enjoyed this a lot. Jacobs got killed a few times by Elgin but also got his share of offense in. People always seem to forget how good Jacobs is. He always seems to be underrated. The match ends when Elgin hits a running powerbomb, followed by an Elgin Bomb on the floor! He rolls Jacobs back into the ring to score the win in convincing fashion.

8.) ROH World Title - Adam Cole vs. ACH: ***3/4

This isn't the first time these two have squared off, as Cole defeated ACH in a Proving Ground Match on Pursuit: Night 2 back in November of 2013. This was a pretty good Main Event. I'd put this slightly above that aforementioned Proving Ground Match from several months earlier. Cole always plays a great heel, and ACH looked really good in this one also. Lots of great back & forth action between the two, with the last few minutes being pretty exciting. Eventually, Cole is able to put ACH away and retains the ROH World Title.

Overall: 7.5/10

While this was probably one of the weaker shows ROH had put on in 2014 up to this point, it was still a pretty solid wrestling show. Despite being a relatively small crowd (by ROH standards), the fans in Carbondale were loud for pretty much the whole show, which definitely helped. The top two match (Cole/ACH & Elgin/Jacobs) were both really good. The Six Man Scramble was also good as well. The rest of the undercard was decent, but nothing was really bad. The only thing on this show that was pretty back was Kevin Kelly. He was on his own tonight, and he was terrible. Further proof that Joey Styles is the only one who can pull that off effectively. Despite that, this ended up being a fine show.

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