Wednesday, April 8, 2015

ROH Death Before Dishonor XII: Night 1 Review

Michael Elgin defends the ROH World Title against Milwaukee's own Silas Young!

ROH Death Before Dishonor XII: Night 1
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 8/22/14

I should note that we get a better-than-usual opening on the DVD, which is nice to see.

1.) The Kingdom (Adam Cole & Michael Bennett with Maria Kanellis) vs. The Addiction: ***1/2

The show kicks off with a match that was originally scheduled to take place in Cincinnati a month earlier, but got changed due to Michael Bennett suffering from food poisoning. This was pretty good opener. Daniels & Kazarian (now being called The Addiction) looking really solid in this one, as did The Kingdom. Lots of good action, and the crowd in Milwaukee was into it (as they seem to be with every ROH show, which is fantastic). The Addiction would end up getting the win in a pretty good opener.

2.) TaDarius Thomas vs. Adam Pearce: **1/4

So basically the story here is that Roderick Strong invited "Scrap Iron" Adam Pearce to come in and teach their young boys (Adam Page & TaDarius Thomas) in singles matches, which BJ Whitmer really wasn't happy with, which I find pretty cool, as it sort of plays into the history between Pearce & Whitmer (The Hangmen 3)Tonight, it's Pearce vs. TaDarius Thomas. Jimmy Jacobs cuts a promo before the match saying how they've taken on these young boys, but they're not listening. He says that Adam Pearce will teach them lessons this weekend, starting tonight with Tadarius Thomas.

As far as the match goes, I thought it was fine for what it was. It was mostly Pearce in control, but TaDarius got some offense in as well. Thomas tried to ask his mentors in The Decade for advice on what to do next, but this allows Adam Peace to take advantage, hitting a low blow, and hitting a piledriver for the win.

Afterwords, Thomas gets berated by the rest of The Decade, and they all head to the back except for Jimmy Jacobs, who cuts a promo about all that's he's learned in Ring of Honor, and that he perfected crazy, calling Tommaso Ciampa out for their match.

3.) Jimmy Jacobs vs. "Sicilian Psychopath" Tommaso Ciampa: ***

This started off really quickly as Jacobs dove onto Ciampa as he was making his entrance. A pretty fun match between these two. They went out each other right from the start and the action didn't let up until the finish, when Ciampa scored the submission victory. He now looks toward the next night in Chicago Ridge, where he's challenging for the ROH World Title.

4.) IWGP Heavyweight Champion "The Phenomenal" AJ Styles vs. ROH World Tag Team Champion Kyle O'Reilly (with Bobby Fish): ****1/2

Now this is a match that I'm sure EVERYONE was looking forward to. We know how awesome AJ Styles is, and we know how awesome Kyle O'Reilly is. So was it a surprise that this match was incredibly awesome? Absolutely not!! This was such an awesome match!! Lots of great back & forth action between these two, and the crowd was really into it. This was a Dream Match that definitely delivered on almost every level. AJ Styles eventually gets the win with the Hollow Point, followed by The Styles Clash. Just incredible. Go out of your way to see this match!

Before the next match, Adam Cole comes out. He complains about his loss earlier, and says he got screwed by having his rematch for the ROH World Title be a Four-Way at Field of Honor, where he got pinned, and was locked out of title contention for the time being. He's says that Ring of Honor is terrified of his talent and the potential he possesses, before superkicking referee Brian Gorey.

5.) Six-Man Mayhem - Adam Page vs. BJ Whitmer vs. Cedric Alexander vs. Bobby Fish vs. ACH vs. ROH World TV Champion Jay Lethal (with Truth Martini): ***1/4

So when you look at the guys in this match, it comes off as an above average Six-Man Mayhem on paper. It turned out to be a pretty good match. The crowd was into it, and everyone got a chance to shine. ACH would end up scoring the win over Jay Lethal, with a bridging German Suplex of all things (I guess it's a new signature move of his). Since ACH recently took Jay Lethal to a Time Limit Draw in a ROH World TV Title Match in Philadelphia, this essentially sets up a rematch between the two in the immediate future.

6.) Roderick Strong vs. Hanson: ***

With Raymond Rowe on the shelf, this means that Hanson will be spending the next several months as a singles competitor. He's got a tough first challenge ahead of him as he's taking on "Mr. ROH" Roderick Strong! While this was a fine match, it wasn't quite as good as you would think. This mainly has to do with interference from the rest of The Decade. At one point, Adam Page went to hand Strong a chair, but he refuses his help, throwing the chair back at Page. This leads to Hanson connecting with The Spin Kick of Doom and scoring the win over Roderick Strong! Again, the match would have been better, and the win would have met more for Hanson, had there not been all of that interference.

After the match, BJ Whitmer comes to the defense of Adam Page when Roderick Strong was arguing with him, teasing dissension in The Decade.

7.) The Young Bucks vs. The Briscoes: ****

These two teams have met a number of times in the past. I really enjoyed this match. It was a lot of fun, as you would expect. All four of these guys are not only great wrestlers, but are also entertaining personalities, so it would be hard to not enjoy this match. Lots of great tag team action in this one. I'd even go as far as to say that this was the best match these two teams have had against one another. The Briscoes would end up scoring the win in a really entertaining match.

8.) ROH World Title - "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin vs. Silas Young: ***3/4

These two have a lot of history in the Mid-West, particularly in AAW, where they've battled in various forms, including wrestling to a one hour time-limit draw. Before the match, Silas Young, who's in his hometown of Milwaukee, cuts a promo essentially burying Elgin and his own hometown. Hm....that was an odd move. I think Elgin cut a brief promo as well, but I can't remember what he said. The action in this match was really solid (as you would expect from two guys who know each other so well), but it just didn't get to the level I thought it would. I think a lot of that had to do with the promo Young cut before the match. Sometimes it's better to just have the crowd react the way they're going to react. If the crowd was going the cheer Young, and boo Elgin, it should have just been allowed to happen. It's only for one night. What they ended up doing left the crowd a little bit quieter for this match, since they really didn't know who to cheer for after Young's promo. Back to the match, it was a pretty good main event, but not the best match on the show. We got some solid action, including Young going through a table, and eventually, Elgin scored the win to retain his title to close the show.

Overall: 8.5/10

I thought this was a very strong showing from Ring of Honor. Milwaukee Shows never disappoint, as the crowd was pretty loud throughout this one. Aside for some questionable booking here and there (Hanson/Strong, Elgin/Young), there were a lot of good to great matches on this shows. The Briscoes vs. The Young Bucks was an action packed tag team match, while AJ Styles vs. Kyle O'Reilly had an awesome match that was one of the best in Ring of Honor in 2014. Couple that with a relatively solid undercard, and you have a really enjoyable show.

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