ROH Road To “Best In The World ‘15”: Night 3
Collinsville, Illinois 6/5/15
1.) Adam Page (with BJ Whitmer) vs. Mark Briscoe: ***1/4
Nothing much to say about this match, other than that it was a pretty solid opener. Mark Briscoe was entertaining, as he always is, and Page looked good here as well. In the end, Briscoe was able to overcome Page, and some interference from Whitmer, to win the match.
2.) Silas Young vs. Cheeseburger: **1/4
There really isn’t much to say about this match, either. Cheeseburger always gets a good reaction, and always plays a great underdog. Young is a very good heel, and both guys in general just played their roles really well. This was fine for what it was. Young would pick up the win here.
3.) IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champion Michael Bennett (with The Kingdom) vs. Dalton Castle: ***1/4
For some reason, Castle has a different set of “boys” (not his usual “boys”) with him at ringside. This was actually a really solid match. There was some very solid back & forth action from both of these guys. Castle looked good here against one half of the (then) IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Titles. Unfortunately, there was a ton of interference here from Matt Taven & Maria Kanellis, which took the match down a notch for me. I mean, Taven did have some fun banter with Kevin Kelly & Steve Corino on commentary, but other than that, the presence of The Kingdom at ringside only hurt this match. Still, this was a fine match, despite the interference. Bennett would score the victory over Castle.
4.) ROH World Tag Team Champions The Addiction vs. Delirious & Matt Sydal: ***1/2
We get an awesome pre-match promo from Daniels & Kazarian hyping themselves up, with the latter using a pretty funny Star Wars reference. “Hotter than Tatooine and Cooler than Hoth, Jedi in the Streets, but Sith between the Sheets”. That was a great line. Anyway, I think they did note beforehand that their ROH World Tag Team Titles aren’t on the line here. They’re taking on Delirious & Matt Sydal, who’ve had a long history with each in ROH. Honestly, this was a lot better than I would have thought. Delirious & Sydal were a really enjoyable team, and while the match was a little bit long, it was a pretty solid match. To my surprise, Delirious & Sydal actually got the win here. I get that Sydal is the “hometown guy” (being from nearby St. Louis), but it’s not like these team is getting a title shot any time soon, plus Delirious is far from being a regular roster member, so why have them win? It’s a little weird. Delirious & Sydal played it up like they won the titles, but Daniels reminded everyone that the titles weren’t on the line here. Despite the weirdness with the winner and the aftermath, this was still a very good match.
5.) BJ Whitmer (with Adam Page) vs. The Romantic Touch: **
I really wasn’t looking to this match. Nobody likes Whitmer (naturally), and singles matches on these live events involving The Romantic Touch tend to go a little longer than they really need to. Thankfully, it didn’t go that long (I think it was under eight minutes), but this was still a pretty pointless match. Whitmer wins, and I think it’s best that we move on….
6.) IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champion Matt Taven vs. Hanson: ***3/4
So there are a number of backstories going into this match. The Kingdom & War Machine have really been attached to one another throughout this entire tour, and this show continues that trend. There’s also the story of both guys being from the New England area, meaning that these two are very familiar with each other. In the end, these two would go on to have a really good match. There was some great back & forth action between these two, especially towards the end of the match. Even though Michael Bennett did try to interfere, he was quickly subdued by Ray Rowe, who came out to support his tag team partner. Hanson would eventually get the victory with the Spin Kick of Doom. This was the best match on the show, up to this point.
After the match, Hanson chases The Kingdom to the back. Rowe then calls out Jay Lethal for their match, and the ROH World TV Champion makes his way down to the ring…
7.) Non-Title Match – ROH World TV Champion Jay Lethal (with Truth Martini) vs. Ray Rowe: ***1/2
Lethal’s ROH World TV Title isn’t on the line in this match. I thought this was very solid, but I don’t think it was quite as good as the Hanson/Taven match that preceded it (Hanson vs. Taven). There were some good spots in this match, and the action was start to finish was pretty solid. However, this match definitely had the potential to be a little bit better, and I was expecting a little more here. Towards the end of the match, the referee got knocked down, and Rowe actually had Lethal pinned for several seconds. Lethal would end up using The Book of Truth to take out Rowe and score the win. Even with my minor gripes, this was still a very solid match.
8.) ROH World Champion Jay Briscoe & Roderick Strong vs. “Unbreakable” Michal Elgin & Moose (with Stokely Hathaway): ****
So the story behind this match is that in involves the ROH World Champion and the three men who be competing in a #1 Contender’s Triple Threat Match at Best In The World. Some very interesting teams here, as Jay Briscoe & Roderick Strong have a long history with each other, while Elgin & Moose is really just a team of two really big dudes. As a whole, I thought this match was actually pretty awesome. Definitely the best match on this show. Even though the match was rather long (it was closing in on thirty minutes), there was a lot of action in this one from start to finish. All four guys got a change to shine, and it was just really entertaining as a whole. It was so cool to see Jay Briscoe & Roderick Strong working together on the same team here (in a two-on-two environment), while on the other side, we saw Elgin & Moose trying to one-up each other. The latter stages of the match were particularly very good. This was just a fun Main Event all around. I didn’t anticipate Moose getting the win here, but him getting a pinfall victory over Strong is a big moment for him in his career. It definitely makes him more of a threat before the upcoming #1 Contender’s Match at Best In The World.
After the match, Moose celebrates and shake hands with the other competitors in the Main Event as the show came to a close.
I thought this was a pretty solid live event from ROH. The Main Event was definitely the Match of the Night, while Hanson vs. Taven was actually really good as well. The rest of the undercard was fine, for the most part. There were some matches that were good, and other matches that were just ok. It’s not a show that you need to go out of your way to see, but it was fine from start to finish.