Sunday, May 22, 2016

ROH Road To "Best In The World 2015": Night 1 Review

ROH makes it's debut in Amarillo, Texas!

ROH Road To “Best In The World ‘15": Night 1
Amarillo, Texas 5/29/15

1.) BJ Whitmer vs. Americos: **

Americos is a Luchador who wears red, white, & blue aka the colors of America (hence his name). This was an ok opener. Americos got some offense in, but Whitmer dominated most of the match, and eventually got the win with his Exploder Suplex. There is nothing much else to say here about this match.

In an interesting note, based on the crowd reactions in just this first match, it sounded like there were a lot of kids at this show.

2.) Four-Corner Survival – Will Ferrara vs. Silas Young vs. Mark Briscoe vs. ROH World TV Champion Jay Lethal (with Truth Martini): **3/4

Of course, Lethal’s ROH World TV Title is not on the line in this match. Interestingly enough, Truth Martini doesn’t have The Book of Truth with him. I thought this was a fine Four-Corner Survival. Things started off really slow, but picked up in the second half, which actually was pretty solid. Ferrara actually got busted open a little bit early on, and I think this may have been one of Ferrara’s better performances. He was very good in this match. Mark Briscoe would eventually get the win here after hitting a fisherman buster on Ferrara.

Jay Lethal does have a bit of a verbal confrontation with Mark Briscoe after the match.

3.) Dalton Castle vs. The Romantic Touch: **

I don’t have a lot to say about this one. The comedic interactions between these two were entertaining, but the match itself was just ok. That mainly had to do with the fact that this match just went WAY too long. This match didn’t need to go nearly thirteen minutes. That’s ridiculous! Anyway, Castle gets the win here.

4.) Non-Title Match – ROH World Champion Jay Briscoe vs. Caprice Coleman: ***1/4

This is probably one of the bigger matches Coleman has had in quite some time, even though the ROH World Title isn’t on the line. This was a pretty solid match, in my opinion. There was some good back & forth action, particularly in the second half. Jay Briscoe would eventually get the win with what looked more like a Tiger Bomb than a Jay Driller (seemed like he botched it a little bit).

5.) Keith Lee & Shane Taylor vs. The Dirty Outlaws (Andy Dalton & Ken Phoenix): *1/4

Andy Dalton (a well known local wrestler in the Texas area) & Ken Phoenix were on a recent episode of ROH TV. On this episode, they were beaten by War Machine so badly and so quickly, that Phoenix never even tagged into the match. Phoenix cuts a promo say that while they got off to a rough start, their fortunes are going to change tonight. He calls out another team for a challenge, and out came Keith Lee & Shane Taylor, who were announced as being a combined 820 pounds! They would go on to have a match, which was totally what you would expect for this local showcase. The Dirty Outlaws got some offense in, but Keith Lee & Shane Taylor dominated most of this match, and would end up getting the win.

6.) ACH vs. “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin: ****

These two had an incredible singles match back in 2013 at Dragon’s Reign. Now while this match wasn’t quite as amazing as that match, this was still pretty fantastic! I don’t know what it is, but ACH & Elgin just have great chemistry with one another. Every time they’re in a singles match, they always produce something great, and this was no different. There was some awesome action from both guys during this match. Additionally, they did do a bit of storyline advancement here, as Elgin teased using the ring bell, but decided against it. Eventually, Elgin would get the win after a Super Elgin Bomb.

After the match, Elgin shook hands with ACH.

7.) IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions The Kingdom (Matt Taven & Michael Bennett with Maria Kanellis) vs. War Machine: **1/4

For some reason, The Kingdom come out with a golden bowling pin. There really isn’t a lot to say about this one, as the match only went about six minutes or so before The Kingdom used that golden bowling pin as a weapon for the DQ. Strange that this would happen in the Semi-Main Event, but it would make sense in a little bit.

8.) Adam Cole vs. Roderick Strong: **3/4

These two had a really long rivalry that spanned several matches in 2012 & 2013. The action we did get in here was pretty solid, but when you saw that they were going at a relatively quick pace, you knew something was up. After about six or seven minutes, The Kingdom ran out, followed shortly thereafter by War Machine, which led to a No Contest. Strong took the mic and called for a Six-Man Tag (which the crowd had been chanting for), and eventually goads The Kingdom into accepting.

9.) Six-Man Tag – The Kingdom (Adam IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions The Kingdom (Matt Taven & Michael Bennett with Maria Kanellis) vs. Roderick Strong & War Machine: ***1/2

Despite the fact that it took a DQ and a No Contest in the last two matches to get us here, this was a very good Six-Man Tag. There was a ton of brawling early, as Strong & War Machine beat up The Kingdom all around ringside. The action in the ring was pretty good as well. In the end, The Kingdom would score the (relatively) clean win as the show came to a close. This, and the two matches that preceded it, felt very much like something you’d see on a WWE House Show, and that’s not a compliment.

Overall: 6.25/10

Every year you have one or two ROH Live Events that just aren’t that good. This was one of those. Now this show wasn’t totally devoid of stuff that’s worth checking out, as the ACH vs. Michael Elgin was pretty great. Other than that, this show just didn’t deliver. Some of the matches on the undercard felt very average, others matches went too long, and while The Main Event was actually was relatively good, it took a DQ and a No Contest for us to get there. For the most part, this show is one you can definitely skip.

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