Thursday, February 12, 2015

ROH Summer Heat Tour: Aftershock Review

Michael Elgin makes hist first defense of the ROH World Title against....Matt Hardy?

ROH Summer Heat Tour: Aftershock
Hopkins, Minnesota 7/12/14

The show kicks off with a promo from the NEW ROH World Champion, "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin. He's cutting a promo about his title win, but is soon interrupted by Adam Cole & the rest of The Kingdom. Cole says that, sooner, or later, he'll take back the ROH World Title. Elgin says that he can play the numbers game too, as War Machine come out. They want their Six-Man Tag to be right now, and the match is on!

1.) The Kingdom (Adam Cole, Matt Hardy & Michael Bennett with Maria Kanellis) vs. ROH World Champion "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin & War Machine: **3/4

The crowd in Hopkins was really into this match. I think this might be the most over War Machine has been up to this point (We got pretty audible "War Machine" chants). It was a relatively solid match. We got a lot of brawling, as you would expect. Jay Briscoe comes out and tries to prevent Matt Hardy from using his ICONIC Title on Elgin, but he gets dropkicked into Elgin by Cole. The match is thrown out and ends in a No Contest. It could have been a lot better if the match had an actual finish.

Michael Elgin took the mic afterwords and says he wants to defend the ROH World Title tonight, and he challenges Matt Hardy, who accepts. Looks like we have a new Main Event.

Up next is a live-edition of The Fish Tank! Bobby Fish & Kyle O'Reilly never disappoint when they're hosting The Fish Tank. Their guest is Cheeseburger, who was a guest on the first-ever Fish Tank. No much to say here, other than it pretty much just set up the next match.

2.) ROH World Tag Team Champion Bobby Fish vs. Cheeseburger: *3/4

This match was pretty much what you would expect. Cheeseburger got in some offense, but it was all Bobby Fish in this one, as he would end up getting the win.

reDRagon attacked Cheeseburger after the bell, which leads to Cedric Alexander comes out for the save, setting up the next match.

3.) ROH World Tag Team Champion Kyle O'Reilly vs. Cedric Alexander: ****

No surprise......This was a Great Match! It was definitely the Match of the Night. These two are two of the best on the roster, and they always put out great performances, and this match was no different. Lots of great action, and Cedric Alexander eventually gets the win with the Lumbar Check (which O'Reilly sold really well).

4.) The Decade (Roderick Strong & BJ Whitmer with TaDarius Thomas) vs. The Briscoes: ***1/4

The Decade lost to The Briscoes back at Road To "Best In The World": Night 1, but that was BJ Whitmer & Adam Page. This time they're facing BJ Whitmer & Roderick Strong. A pretty solid match, though it went a bit longer than it needed to. Could have shaved a few minutes off, but that's a minor complaint. A relatively solid tag team match on the whole.

After the match, BJ Whitmer blames TaDarius Thomas for loss. The Briscoes try to get through to Thomas but he & the rest of The Decade attack them.

5.) Proving Ground Match - ROH World TV Champion Jay Lethal (with Truth Martini) vs. Takaaki Watanabe: **1/2

It's the return of the Proving Ground Match, which means if Watanabe wins, he gets a future shot at the ROH World TV Title. This was ok. It was actually pretty disappointing to be honest. I was expecting a better match, but I don't think that Lethal & Watanabe meshed well together as opponents. Lethal would end up getting the win. 

6.) Kevin Steen vs. "Sicilian Psychopath" Tommaso Ciampa: ***3/4

This is the start of Kevin Steen's "Farewell Tour" of sorts, as Steen got to pick his three opponents, with the first one being Tommaso Ciampa. A pretty entertaining match here. Kinda expected this to be a bit better, but it didn't reach that level I thought it would. They started off with a lot of shenanigans in the beginning, but it was still a very good match. Lots of solid action throughout, and eventually, Steen would get the win over Ciampa. 

Afterwords, Steen cuts a promo, addressing people who criticized him finishing up his time in ROH at shows in places like Hopkins, Minnesota. He said Hopkins just showed what a real wrestling crowd is like. Steen said he was honored to have one of his last ROH matches here, and he gets "Thank You Kevin" Chants in response.

7.) #1 Contender's Four Corner Survival - TaDarius Thomas (with Jimmy Jacobs) vs. ACH vs. Silas Young vs. Matt Taven: ***1/4

The winner of this match will be getting an ROH World Title Match in Milwaukee during Death Before Dishonor XII Weekend. Jimmy Jacobs was originally going to be in the match, but he gives his spot to TaDarius Thomas as a reward for not listening to The Briscoes earlier. This was an entertaining Four-Corner Survival. Not great, but still pretty solid. Seeing Silas Young win with that Backbreaker/Clothesline Combo was strange, considering he's never really won matches with that before in ROH (to my knowledge at least). With the victory, Young will be getting a shot at the ROH World Title in his hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Meanwhile, Jacobs berates Thomas after the match, for blowing his opportunity.

8.) ROH World Title - "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin vs. Matt Hardy: ***

Before the match, Matt Hardy "bestows" The ICONIC Title onto Maria Kanellis, since he's going for the ROH World Title. For a House Show Main Event, this was perfectly acceptable, in my opinion. There were things that added to the match, like Matt Hardy busting out a moonsault, but things that also took away, like all the interference that occurred, as The Kingdom, The Briscoes & War Machine all getting involved. It was ok, but also a bit ridiculous at the same time. Not the best match for a first title defense for Michael Elgin, but it's Matt Hardy, so you really shouldn't expect a whole lot.

Overall: 7.25/10

Not counting the first Future Of Honor Show, this was probably the weakest ROH event in 2014, up to this point. Nothing was really bad, per say (though there was one match that disappointed in Lethal vs. Watanabe), but nothing outside of the Alexander/O'Reilly & Steen/Ciampa matches is really worth going out of your way to see. The rest of the card was fine, but nothing else really stood out. The crowd was, for the most part, really into the show, which made it a lot more enjoyable to watch.

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