Monday, May 16, 2016

ROH Conquest Tour: Hopkins Review

Kyle O'Reilly challenges Jay Lethal for the ROH World TV Title!

ROH Conquest Tour ‘15: Hopkins
Hopkins, Minnesota 4/25/15

1.) Bobby Fish vs. Ariya Daivari: **3/4

Ariya Daivari made his ROH debut in the opening match of a show in Milwaukee against Roderick Strong a little over a month and a half prior to this show. Again, if he sounds familiar, it’s because his brother is Shawn Daivari, who is known for his work in WWE, TNA, and even a brief run in ROH. The “Persian Playboy” is taking on Bobby Fish here. While this wasn’t quite as good a Daivari’s match with Strong, this was still a fine opener. Daivari was very solid, but in the end, Fish would pick up the victory after a nasty-looking Falcon Arrow.

2.) Four-Corner Survival - The Romantic Touch vs. Will Ferrara vs. Cheeseburger vs. The Beer City Bruiser: ***1/4

Now, when you look at the participants in this match, you might think that this match wasn’t any good. However, this was a lot better than it had any right to be. It got a decent amount of time, and all four guys in this match got a chance to shine. This was actually a really entertaining match. Will Ferrara would end up getting the win here, it what might have been his first major legitimate win (because he beat Silas Young by DQ in Milwaukee) in his ROH career.

3.) “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin vs. Caprice Coleman: ***1/4

Elgin was still a heel at this point. This was another match that ended up being a little better that I thought it would be. Again, that’s no slight on Elgin (or Coleman), but I wasn’t expecting much here, and it was better than I thought. Elgin, of course, showed off his strength, but Coleman got in some offense in here as well. A fine undercard match. Elgin would pick up the win, to nobody’s surprise.

4.) ACH vs. Adam Page: ***1/2

These two actually had a match at the TV Tapings earlier that month in San Antonio, Texas. Page won in an impromptu match that was more of a segment. Here, they’re having a proper match, and more importantly, BJ Whitmer is not in Page’s corner. I thought this was a very good match. I’d say it was the best match of the night, up to this point. ACH is always entertaining, and getting to see Adam Page engage in more singles feuds is a good thing to see. Solid action from both guys here. In the end, Page would get the win after hitting a low blow on ACH while the referee was distracted.

After the match, Page goes to shake ACH’s hand, but after just being beaten due to Page’s heel tactics, ACH had none of it, and goes after Page! Security comes down to break the two up, and ACH ends up hitting his Air Jordan dive onto the security! However, Page was able to get out of the way before that dive, and scurried away.

5.) Arik Cannon vs. Danny Duggan: **1/2

After years of being part of Dragon Gate USA & Evolve, it’s very weird to see Arik Cannon in ROH. Danny Duggan, meanwhile, is a very interesting fellow. He comes out wearing entrance gear that one might have seen in the 1990’s, and his actual wrestling gear really makes him resemble Mr. Perfect. As far as the match goes, this was decent. Cannon got the win here, and if he was going to be used by ROH more often, then this was a good start. However, I don’t think he’s appeared in ROH since, so in hindsight, it’s weird that this match even took place.

Up next we have ODB, who was originally scheduled to compete in a Women of Honor Match. Unfortunately, she was interrupted by Truth Martini, who verbally berates her, saying that she’s trash for associating herself with The Briscoes. He then puts over himself and ROH World TV Champion Jay Lethal as being superior, and actually challenges ODB to a match. Oh boy….

6.) ODB vs. Truth Martini: DUD

This went WAAAAY longer that it needed to go. To say that it overstayed its welcome would be an understatement. It should have been short, but it just dragged on and on. The wrestling wasn’t good by any means, and to top it all off, Jay Lethal interfered and attacked ODB while the referee was distracted, which allowed Truth Martini to get the win. This was just bad in every way possible. Nothing about this match was good.

The Briscoes come out after the match to save ODB and run off The House of Truth. Jay Briscoe wants to fight Jay Lethal now, but the ROH World TV Champion backs off.

7.) Roderick Strong vs. Silas Young: ***1/4

Young, of course, had just recently made his return to ROH after being out with a knee injury. Here, he’s taking on Roderick Strong, who’s been having a really good 2015, up to this point. I thought this was a very solid match. Strong was as good as he always is. It seems like he never fails to deliver a good match, at the very least. There was some good action in this match, and it could have been a little better, but Young trying to get himself DQ’ed by going after Strong with the ring bell. However, “The Messiah of the Backbreaker” was able to overcome Young, and hit attempt to use the ring bell, for the win.

8.) The Briscoes vs. War Machine: ***¾

These two teams had two matches back in 2014, right before Ray Rowe had his motorcycle accident. I thought this was a very good tag team match, and was just shy of being great. I feel like The Briscoes & War Machine just work so well together. They’re two teams of brawlers, and they definitely beat the crap out of each other in this match. There was some very good action throughout this match, especially towards the end. At one point, Hanson actually kicked out of the Jay Driller, which got a huge reaction from the crowd!! In the end, however, The Briscoes were able put away War Machine for the victory. All four men observe the Code of Honor after the match.

9.) ROH World TV Title - Jay Lethal (with Truth Martini) vs. Kyle O’Reilly: ****¼

So Kyle O’Reilly earned himself a shot at the ROH World TV Title after forcing Jay Lethal to tap out in a tag team match in Milwaukee (it was reDRagon against Lethal & Jay Briscoe). These two had an awesome match!! For me, it was easily the Match of the Night. While it did start out slow, things eventually picked up, to the point where the last third of this match was absolutely incredible. Some great back & forth action between these two, and the fans really went wild for that last part of the match. It just had this big-match feel (which is rare for a ROH Live Event) and there were points where O’Reilly came really close to winning the ROH World TV Title. However, the match would end in a 30-Minute Time Limit Draw. It’s really cool to see the time limit draw actually being used in an effective manner, and I think it worked here. This match would solidify the narrative (which would become apparent later on) that Lethal just couldn’t beat O’Reilly.

The fans chant in Hopkins chant “Five More Minutes” right after the Time Limit Draw was announced. O’Reilly wants it. A “Man Up” Chant breaks out, which causes Lethal to take the mic and proclaim that he was going to go into overtime, but because the fans chanted “Man Up”, he wasn’t going to do it (I thought that was great). As Lethal goes to exit, Jay Briscoe comes out. Despite having his shoulder taped up, Briscoe proclaims that he’s willing to give Kyle O’Reilly an ROH World Title Match right now instead! The match actually does start, but is immediately cut short when Jay Lethal attacks both men. Lethal & Truth Martini bring out a table, but Lethal gets run off by Mark Briscoe, Bobby Fish, & ODB. This leaves Truth Martini alone in the ring with all of the babyfaces. ODB tries to give Martini a splash through a table….but the table doesn’t break. Jay Briscoe then makes up for it by spearing Martini through the table to close the show.

Overall: 7.75/10

For the most part, I thought this was a pretty solid outing from ROH. The majority of the undercard was fine, but the ODB/Truth Martini “match” (if you can call it that) was definitely a low point, and did drag the show down a little bit for me. However the two Main Events (The Briscoes vs. War Machine & Lethal vs. O’Reilly for the ROH World TV Title) were very good and fantastic, respectively, and helped bring this show up, in my opinion. They also did a solid job with continuing the build toward the eventual showdown between Jay Briscoe & Jay Lethal. The Main Event also kept Kyle O’Reilly as a strong singles contender, keeping him in the title conversation in the ensuing months. I also want to make a brief comment about Hopkins, Minnesota. In just a few years, they’ve really become a strong spot on ROH’s schedule. They always draw good crowds here, and the fans are always into the show. That trend continued with this event. On the whole, a relatively solid show from ROH.

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