Wednesday, April 8, 2015

ROH All-Star Extravaganza VI Review

Ring of Honor returns to Toronto and puts on one of their best shows of 2014!!

ROH All-Star Extravaganza VI
Toronto, Ontario, Canada 9/6/14


1.) Cheeseburger vs. The Romantic Touch: *1/2

On the pre-show, we have match between Ring of Honor's resident jobbers (no offense to either guy, of course, but that's what they are). They were having an ok little match, but then Maria Kanellis comes out, with a ton of makeup and a red trench coat. She walks around ringside, distracting The Romantic Touch, which allows Cheeseburger to get the win.

Maria coming out was merely a setup for Michael Bennett to attack both Cheeseburger & The Romantic Touch. They cut a promo and say they're going to rebuild The Kingdom. Maria asks if the fans want to here a big announcement from her, but it's a swerve, and they said they're saying it now. If the fans want to here their announcement, and want to see what's under the trench coat, they've have to order the iPPV.

iPPV/Main Show

The show, oddly enough, kicks off with a promo from The House of Truth (ROH World TV Champion Jay Lethal, Truth Martini & Seleziya Sparx). They announce that ACH won't be at the show tonight (apparently he missed a flight), which is really unfortunate. During this, Truth Martini says that ACH stood for "A Crack Head", and they go on about how they have no opponent for tonight. This comment brings out Cedric Alexander, who notes that he doesn't have an opponent either, and reminded everyone that he beat Jay Lethal during an ROH World Title #1 Contender's Gauntlet back at a TV Taping in Dearborn in July. Essentially what happened was that some of the undercard had gotten shuffled around a lot. I think we were originally supposed to get Cedric Alexander vs. Silas Young, but Young got taken off after it was revealed that he had a knee injury that would keep out of action for a number of months. Then, I believe they announced Alexander vs. Michael Bennett, but I guess that got changed when ACH missed the show. Anyway, Alexander makes fun of Lethal's balls, which leads to Lethal accepting. A brawl between Lethal & Alexander breaks out, and in the melee, Alexander ducks a superkick from Lethal, who accidentally hits Seleziya Sparx! She's out cold. That was an odd way to start the show, but at least we still have an ROH World Title Match.

1.) Mark Briscoe vs. Hanson: ***1/4

The true opening of the iPPV sees Hanson continue his foray into singles competition as he takes on Mark Briscoe. This was a really fun opening match! The action started off right from the opening bell and it didn't let up until the finish. Both guys got a good deal of offense in and the crowd was into it. We saw a number of cool spots, but in the end, Mark Briscoe would score the win, but Hanson looked good in the loss.

After this first match, Tommaso Ciampa (who was suspended after what he did to Kevin Kelly & Bobby Cruise a few weeks earlier at Death Before Dishonor XII: Night 2 in Chicago). He tried to apologize to Cruise, but was confronted by Match Maker Nigel McGuinness. Ciampa aired his grievances, and Nigel was eventually able to talk him down and got him to leave the ring.

2.) Tag Team Four Corner Survival - The Monster Mafia vs. The Decade (BJ Whitmer & Adam Page) vs. Caprice Coleman & Takaaki Watanabe vs. RD Evans & Moose (with Veda Scott & Ramon): ***1/4

This is a match that essentially involves all of the lower card tag teams in ROH. Sometimes these types of match can be giant clusters, but this one worked really well. Honestly, this was another really fun match! Every team got the chance to shine, and it was just filled with exciting craziness. We of course get the parade of dives, which included Caprice Coleman hitting a moonsault onto everyone, RD Evans balancing on Moose's shoulder and hitting a dive, and even Moose himself flying over the ropes onto everyone!! We also got the usual cool looking offense of The Monster Mafia. Through all the chaos, RD Evans & Moose are able to get away with the win! The New Streak Continues! This was just a fun, exciting spring of a match. Really enjoyed it!

3.) The Decade (Jimmy Jacobs & Roderick Strong) vs. The Addiction (Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian): ***1/2

Here we have a match that's been building for a bit, as The Decade continues their crusade against guys coming back (or debuting) in ROH and getting opportunities right off the bat. In this instance, Daniels & Kazarian are taking on the combination of Jimmy Jacobs & Roderick Strong. I thought this was a really good match. I probably enjoyed this a little bit than most, but I thought it was pretty solid. You really can't go wrong with these four, who are all great wrestlers. Lots of solid action between both teams. In the end, The Addiction would get the win with a new finisher that' interesting one.

After the match, Roderick Strong shakes the hand of Christopher Daniels! This pisses off BJ Whitmer & Adam Page (who were at ringside, if I recall correctly), which leads to a shoving match between Strong, Whitmer & Page. Jimmy Jacobs gets in between them and cooler heads prevailed, as Strong & Whitmer shake hands.

4.) Adam Cole vs. IWGP Heavyweight Champion "The Phenomenal" AJ Styles: ****1/2

Before the match, we get a really awesome Adam Cole promo package, building up the match. This match was actually set up back at War of the Worlds when Cole attacked AJ Styles following the Main Event. They were then both in a Four-Way for the ROH World Title at Field of Honor a few weeks prior. I thought this was a fantastic match!! AJ Styles continues to prove why he is one of the best wrestlers in the world, and he had an awesome match with Adam Cole here! There were a few rough spots early on, but I didn't think it hurt the match. Sometimes when you have a big match, things get rough a little (like in CM Punk vs. John Cena). Great action throughout this one, but in the end AJ Styles puts away Adam Cole with a freaking Bloody Sunday from the top rope!! Holy Crap that was an incredible finish!

Afterwords, Styles offers Cole a handshake (in following the Code of Honor), but Cole just spits in his hand and leaves.

Coming back from intermission, and we have Michael Bennett & Maria Kanellis coming out. Earlier on the pre-show, they had mentioned earlier how they have a big announcement to make. Maria Kanellis says that The Kingdom will get stronger, nothing that "Matt" will be coming back soon. They then reveal what's under Maria's trench coat: The ICONIC Title (formerly Jay Briscoe's custom World Title), decked out in pink fur & fuzz, with a picture of Maria & Michael Bennett on it. They call it "The Title of Love". Bennett says that nobody in Toronto is invited to his wedding, and it looks like they were going to consummating the title right there & then, but Mark Briscoe comes out and chases them off.

5.) ROH World TV Title - Jay Lethal (with Truth Martini) vs. Cedric Alexander: ***1/2

Up next we have the World TV Title Match. Seleziya Sparx is not out with Lethal & Martini, presumably still feeling the effects of that kick she took earlier. This was a pretty good match, especially given the circumstances. You can always count on Cedric Alexander delivering a solid performance, and Lethal continues to get better & better with his new heel persona. Seleziya Sparx even came back out, and this time, ate a kick from Cedric Alexander! It seemed like the story they were trying to tell in the match (and on commentary) was that Cedric would take the advantage at several point, but wouldn't capitalize. This would come back to haunt him, as Jay Lethal would get the win and retains his World TV Title. Again, given that it was a last minute replacement, it was a very solid match.

6.) ROH World Title - "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin vs. Jay Briscoe: ****

Something is going to give in this match, as Elgin has made it clear that he wants to break all the records with the ROH World Title, while Jay Briscoe has still not been pinned in almost two years. As you would expect, this was a brawl right from the start. They fought each other in the ring, and on the floor. We even got a spot where Jay Briscoe hit Michael Elgin with a Jay Driller through a table! Simply brutal! Lots of back & forth between these two. Eventually, Jay is able to hit the Jay Driller on Elgin, and to the shock of everyone, scores the pin and captures the ROH World Title!!! That was a really good match with a shocking outcome. Nobody thought that Elgin was losing the title this soon (although we would all find out the reasons for that later). They told a good story and it was a lot of fun to watch. Jay Briscoe is now only the 2nd person to have held the ROH World Title on more than two occasions.

After the match, Elgin begrudgingly shakes Briscoe's hand as the latter celebrates.

7.) ROH World Tag Team Titles - reDRagon vs. The Young Bucks: ****1/2

These two teams are coming off of two incredible matches earlier in the year at Raising The Bar: Night 2 in Chicago where The Young Bucks won the World Tag Team Titles, and at War of the Worlds, where reDRagon won the titles back in a bonafide Match of the Year. They're split 1-1, so now we're getting a 2/3 Falls Match to break the tie. As you would expect, this was an awesome match, and after the previous two performances, would you expect anything less? The 1st Fall went to reDRagon after some assistance from a hockey stick. The Young Bucks won the 2nd Fall after a Package Piledriver and a number of superkicks. Finally, reDRagon was able to win the 3rd Fall (which saw The Young Bucks use The Meltzer Driver for the 1st time in ROH), to retain the World Tag Team Titles! This was just an incredible match that is a fitting end to their series (for the moment). While it wasn't as good as their match in War of the Worlds, it was right on par with their first encounter. These two teams continue to prove why they're two of the best teams in the world.

Afterwords, as The Young Bucks were recovering, Tommaso Ciampa comes out of nowhere and attacks The Young Bucks. The show goes off the air with Ciampa tearing apart the ring, as Nigel McGuinness calls for security.

I think (at the end of the iPPV) we also got a promo hyping up Matt Sydal's return to ROH!

Overall: 9.5/10

Honestly, I loved this show! I think that outside War of the Worlds (which I attended live), this was the best ROH show of 2014. Every single match was at the very least good (I don't think I had a match below ***1/4), and we saw two legitimate Match of the Year Contenders in Cole vs. Styles & reDRagon vs. The Young Bucks. We also saw a shocking World Title change as Jay Briscoe reclaimed his spot at the top of the ROH. What also helped (for me, at least), is that the undercard was made up of matches that were really fun & enjoyable to watch. ROH had certainly been having a great 2014 up to this point, and this show will certainly be a high point. Go out of you way to see this show! It is awesome!!

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