Wednesday, April 8, 2015

ROH Death Before Dishonor XII: Night 2 Review

Four of Ring of Honor's best tag teams go at it in the Main Event!

ROH Death Before Dishonor XII: Night 2
Chicago Ridge, Illinois 8/23/14


1.) Six-Man Tag - Cheeseburger, Will Ferrara & Louis Lyndon vs. "Psycho" Mike Rollins, Matt Sells & Stokely Hathaway: **1/4

Before the show, we can an interesting Six-Man Tag, featured some of Ring of Honor's lower card talents as well as some standouts on the independent scene like Louis Lyndon (a regular in AAW & AIW) and Mike Rollins (a guy that's been bouncing around various indies for a few years). This was actually a pretty decent match for the pre-show. Everyone got to shine, and it was entertaining for what it was. The team of Cheeseburger, Will Ferrara, and Louis Lyndon would eventually get the win.

Main Show

1.) The Monster Mafia (Ethan Gabriel Owens & Josh Alexander) vs. The Decade (Roderick Strong & Jimmy Jacobs with Adam Page & TaDarius Thomas): ***1/4

The show officially kicks off with tag team action! It's great to see The Monster Mafia book, as they're awesome talents, both as a team and individually. Here they're taking on The Decade. This was a pretty solid opener. I really enjoy watching The Monster Mafia, and I'm very intrigued by this particular pairing of The Decade with Roderick Strong & Jimmy Jacobs. Good back & forth action throughout this one, but in the end, The Decade would score the win.

2.) ROH World TV Title - Jay Lethal (with Truth Martini) vs. Caprice Coleman: ***

I'm not exactly sure what Caprice Coleman did recently to earn a title shot against Lethal, but these two had a really good match in Nashville back in January, so that sort of balances things out, in my eyes. While not quite as good as their previous match, it was still relatively solid. There was some attempted interference towards the end of the match by Truth Martini, who slid in The Book of Truth for Lethal to use, but was intercepted by Coleman. This distraction allowed Lethal to pick up the win and retain his World TV Title. Again, aside from the finish, this was a fine match.

3.) Four-Corner Survival - Silas Young vs. BJ Whitmer vs. ACH vs. Michael Bennett (with Maria Kanellis): **3/4

This is sort of a weird match because we have three heels and one babyface. It wasn't a bad match by any means, but the odd heel/face dynamic definitely hurt the match. The match was essentially all of the heels beating up on ACH under the latter made his comeback, and eventually, ACH is able to sneak out a win with a Bridging German Suplex on BJ Whitmer, following botched interference from TaDarius Thomas. This is ACH's second win of the weekend, which builds nicely to his future match with Jay Lethal for the World TV Title.

After the match, BJ Whitmer takes the mic and berates TaDarius Thomas for screwing up again. He then announces that Thomas will not be his tag team partner at All-Star Extravaganza VI, but instead, Adam Page will be his partner. Thomas acted pretty upset (angry) towards this decision.

4.) Hanson vs. Adam Cole: ***1/4

In another big test for Hanson, he's taking on a former ROH World Champion in Adam Cole. I actually thought this was pretty good. Cole looked great as he always does, and Hanson was able to hold this own in this one. A good match, but not a great one. Cole is able to steal the victory with a small package on Hanson.

After the match, Hanson offered Cole a handshake (following through with the Code of Honor), but Cole flipped him off, and attempted to superkick him. Hanson caught him, but this leads to Michael Bennett coming out, and he & Cole beat up on Hanson. This leads to "Story Time with Adam Cole Bay Bay!" where Cole says that nobody cares about War Machine, and how he, because he was locked out of the World Title picture, was being forced to face "nobodies" like Hanson. Eventually, Michael Elgin runs out and chases off The Kingdom. He goes to speak, but Tommaso Ciampa comes out, and he wants his ROH World Title Match to be right now, and it looks like that's what we're getting!

5.) ROH World Title - "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin vs. "Sicilian Psychopath" Tommaso Ciampa: ***1/2

This is a very interesting match, since these two would go on to face each other again a week later in PWG's Battle of Los Angeles (which I will of course be talking about in upcoming PWG reviews). It was essentially a strong style type of match (that's the best way I can describe it), where both guys would hit each other with a bunch of hard hitting moves, and not really sell it. Some people like this kind of style (the crowd in Chicago seemed to like it), but I've seen others who didn't feel the same way. I thought the match was pretty good, but I wouldn't call it great. I think when you see me talk about their match the following week in PWG, you'll see that different atmospheres work better for certain types of matches (but I'll save that for later). Anyway, Elgin would score the win to retain his ROH World Title in a match that was very solid, but not the best on the show.

Afterwords, Ciampa completely looses it. He took out some of the ring crew, and then went after Kevin Kelly, but thankfully Steve Corino & security pulled him away before he could do any major damage. Unfortunately, this left Ciampa alone in the ring with ring announcer Bobby Cruise. Ciampa attacks Cruise, and gives him several of his signature running knees! That just looked brutal.

6.) Adam Page vs. Adam Pearce: **3/4

Up next we have the second match of the weekend featuring Adam Pearce. Last night he taught TaDarius Thomas a lesson, but tonight he's taking on another Adam.....Adam Page! This was a pretty solid match, where they essentially told the same story as the night before, where Pearce would bully Page. However, this time there was a different outcome, as Page won with a quick jackknife pin! All the members of The Decade were shocked, and reacted in a number of different ways (Whitmer was really happy, Jacobs was shocked but impressed, while Strong was upset). Pearce offered Page a handshake, but beat him up instead, saying that he hadn't earned a handshake, despite his victory.

7.) IWGP Heavyweight Champion "The Phenomenal" AJ Styles vs. Cedric Alexander: ****

These two had a really great match in early 2014 for PWX (and is included in the DVD put out by Highspots & PWX highlighting the best of Cedric Alexander, which I've already reviewed on my blog: They were both equally as great, but if I had to pick, I'd give the edge to this match, since it didn't have any interference. Lots of really solid action in this one, as you would expect. AJ Styles continues to be awesome, and Cedric Alexander always seems to deliver in these big time situations, whether it be in a singles match or a tag team match. There was a really scary botch that occurred which I think hurt it a little (it's something that has to be seen. I'm really surprised that Styles wasn't seriously hurt), but they were able to gather it back up and still put on a great match. Styles would pick up the submission win with the Calf Killer.

8.) 8 Man Team Elimination Match - The Addiction & The Briscoes vs. ROH World Tag Team Champions reDRagon & The Young Bucks: ****1/4

So this is an Elimination Match....but with a twist! When a member of one team gets pinned, then there whole team is eliminated from the match. This means that, at some point, we'll go from a 4-on-4 Match to a 4-on-2 Match. A little strange, but I'm willing to look past it, especially considering who was involved. As you would expect, this match was pretty freaking awesome. Lots of great tag team action throughout this one, featuring four of the best tag teams in wrestling today. Although it was a little odd seeing reDRagon & The Young Bucks on the same side, it provided for a really interesting dynamic. Surprisingly, the current ROH World Tag Team Champions reDRagon were eliminated first by The Addiction, after they got into an argument with The Young Bucks. The advantage didn't last long, as The Young Bucks eliminated The Addiction shortly thereafter. This brought us to what was essentially a rematch from the night before between The Briscoes & The Young Bucks. After a great exchange, the Superkick Party prevailed, and The Young Bucks got the win to close the show!

Overall: 8.25/10

I thought this was another really solid show from Ring of Honor, while it wasn't quite as good as the show in Milwaukee from the night before, it still had some really good wrestling on it. The undercard was relatively solid, but really didn't stand out that match, with the biggest highlight being Elgin vs. Ciampa for the ROH World Title. It's definitely a match that you're either going to like or dislike. Even though the undercard was, for the most part, average, you have two great Main Events that really delivered, making this another very enjoyable show from ROH.

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