Friday, June 24, 2016

ROH All-Star Extravaganza VII Review

Jay Lethal defends the ROH World Title & ROH World TV Title against both members of reDRagon!

ROH All-Star Extravaganza VII
San Antonio, Texas 9/18/15

1.) ROH World TV Title - Jay Lethal (with Truth Martini) vs. IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Champion Bobby Fish: ***3/4

The big story on this show is that ROH Undisputed Champion Jay Lethal is defending both of the ROH World Title & ROH World TV Title against both members of reDRagon, Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish, in separate matches. In the PPV’s opening match, Lethal is defending the ROH World TV Title against Fish. I thought this was a very good match! Fish really took it to Lethal on a number of occasions, constantly going after one of his legs. It got to the point where Kevin Kelly & Steve Corino began speculating on commentary about if Lethal should tap out now to save himself for his match with Kyle O’Reilly later on. That added another layer to this match. As a whole, it was just a very good match between these two, with some solid back & forth action. The match came to an end when Lethal countered Fish’s kneebar into a rollup (while pulling Fish’s tights for the victory) for the win. I actually really liked that finish. It came off in a very spontaneous manner, and showed that Lethal was willing to do anything he could to escape with the ROH World TV Title. He now has to prepare to face Kyle O’Reilly in the Main Event later in the night for the ROH World Title.

2.) Battle For The Boys - Dalton Castle vs. Silas Young: **3/4

So this match has one of the most….unique....stipulations in the history of ROH. If Silas Young wins, then he gets possession of Dalton Castle’s Boys, and had promised to turn them into “real men”. However, if Dalton Castle wins, then Silas Young becomes one of Castle’s Boys. This was a fine match, but it wasn’t quite as good as some of their previous matches. However, they were really putting over the stipulation, so that made up for it, in a sense. Towards the end of the match, Castle went for a dive to the floor, but Young pulls The Boys into the path of Castle! Young then takes off his knee brace, and tries to use it, but doesn’t get the chance to use it. The knee brace would come into play again, however. One of The Boys tried to grab the knee brace, with distracts the referee long enough for Young to kick Castle below the belt. Young then hit Misery to pick up the victory, meaning he has possession of The Boys!

After the match, Silas Young grabs The Boys and drags them to the back. Dalton Castle, meanwhile, is distraught by the loss.

Up next, The Briscoes come out. They’ve issued an Open Challenge for this show. The Decade of BJ Whitmer (on crutches) & Adam Page (with one of his arms in a sling) come out. Whitmer says that they won’t be their opponents tonight, since they’re injured, but Whitmer says he’s out here to do color commentary for this match. Of course, this really upsets Steve Corino, who’s been feuding with Whitmer for some time. The Romantic Touch then comes out, and is quickly beaten up by The Briscoes. The lights then go out, and the opponents are revealed to be The All-Night Express of Kenny King & Rhett Titus!! On their way to the ring, Titus boots The Romantic Touch in the face (seemingly putting that character to rest once and for all) and the match gets underway!

3.) The Briscoes vs. The All-Night Express: ***1/4

There’s a lot to unpack with this one. Back in 2011, these two teams engaged in a violent feud that included bloody brawls, Street Fights, and eventually, Ladder War III. Then, in 2012, just weeks after The All-Night Express finally captured the ROH World Tag Team Titles, Kenny King left the promotion to join TNA. He spend three years in TNA, before leaving a month or two prior to this show. King is now back with Rhett Titus, and they’re renewing their rivalry with The Briscoe. While this was far from the best match these two teams have had together, this was still a pretty solid tag team affair. We saw some decent back & forth action between these teams. It was a fine match for its spot on the card. ANX were looking to make an impression, and they certainly made a huge one, by beating The Briscoes in their first match back!! That was definitely the right move to make. It’s helps to establish ANX as a threat, and their return adds another team to ROH’s stacked tag team division.

After the match, Adam Page gets in the ring and hits a low blows on Jay Briscoe. He beats him up for a bit, before ANX makes save. After the match, the two teams shake hands, which is actually a big moment, when you consider their history.

4.) No DQ Match - Cedric Alexander (with Veda Scott) vs. Moose (with Stokely Hathaway): ****1/4

A few months prior, Moose had been undefeated, and had his eyes set on the ROH World Title. Then, he suffered two defeats at the hands of Cedric Alexander (three if you count their part of the Gauntlet Match at Field of Honor 2015). All of those defeats came after Alexander used a wrench. Veda Scott turned on Moose, and joined up with Alexander at Best In The World 2015, and their feud is now culminating in a No DQ Match. I have to say that this match was A LOT better than what I was expecting. I thought this was an awesome match, and it ended up being my Match of the Night!! These two guys just turned it up and were able to put together a really entertaining hardcore brawl. We saw a variety of weapons get involved, including tables, ladders, and chairs, but we also witnessed some really cool spots between the two. At one point, Alexander even busted out a steel chair-assisted Coast-To-Coast dropkick!! Towards the end of the match, Veda Scott got involved, attacking Stokely Hathaway, but Hathaway pulled her into the path of a dropkick from Alexander! Hathaway then hit Alexander with the infamous wrench, and Moose then speared Alexander through a table to score the win!! An awesome No DQ Match, and my Match of the Night!! Alexander did a great job here, and I’d say this was Moose’s best singles match in ROH by far, up to this point.

5.) Best-of-Five Series: Match #3 - ACH vs. Matt Sydal: ***3/4

This is the third match in the Best-of-Five Series between these two. Sydal won the first match in Dearborn, but then ACH came right back by winning the second match the following night in Chicago Ridge, meaning that things sat at a 1-1 tie. I thought this was a really good match, but it didn’t quite touch their first two matches in this series. That’s honestly not a surprise, as their matches had slightly decreased, in terms of star ratings, just a tad for me. Still, I very much enjoyed this mach. With these two guys, you can never really go wrong. There was some very good back & forth action between these two. In the end, ACH would score the victory in his home state of Texas to take a 2-1 lead in the series!

6.) ROH World Tag Team Titles - Triple Threat Match - The Addiction vs. The Young Bucks vs. The Kingdom (Matt Taven & Michael Bennett with Maria Kanellis): ***1/2

These three teams actually had a match together at War Of The Worlds 2015: Night 1 a few months prior. This time, however, titles were actually on the line, as The Addiction are defending the ROH World Tag Team Titles here. I thought the first 90% of this match was really good. It was on its way to being right on par with, and might have surpassed their previous encounter. The action was fast & furious, and bodies were flying all over the place. However, things seemed to fall apart towards the end of the match. Daniels punches Maria Kanellis in the face, and in the ensuing melee, the referee gets taken out. Then a guy dressed as a KRD Member (complete with a black hoodie and the red mask) comes out, and attacks The Addiction! He hits one of them with Cradle Shock, which is Chris Sabin’s finishing move. This immediately leads commentary to speculate whether Sabin may have turned on Daniels & Kazarian. The Young Bucks then hit The Meltzer Driver on, I think, Kazarian (I’m not sure), but before they were able to hit the move, Matt Taven had tagged himself him. He quicked rolled up one of The Young Bucks after The Meltzer Driver to score the win, bringing the ROH World Tag Team Titles to The Kingdom. Again, most of the match was good, but the finish? Eh….not so much.

7.) #1 Contender's Fatal Four-Way Match - Roderick Strong vs. "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin vs. Adam Cole vs. "The Phenomenal" AJ Styles: ****

So instead of getting a traditional Four-Corner Survival, we’re getting an actual Fatal Four-Way match here. The winner of this match will receive a future shot at the ROH World Title. Considering the four guys involved in this match, you would expect it to a great match, and that’s exactly what this was!! This was an awesome Fatal Four-Way Match! This match had non-stop action from start to finish, and all four guys had a chance to shine. This was a lot of fun to watch. Eventually, AJ Styles would score the win after hitting the Styles Clash on Adam Cole. He’s now the #1 Contender for the ROH World Title.

8.) ROH World Title - Jay Lethal (with Truth Martini) vs. IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Champion Kyle O'Reilly: ***3/4

Lethal comes out with a slight limp, seemingly still feeling the effects from his earlier title defense against Bobby Fish. Kyle O’Reilly has challenged for the ROH World Title before, but this is his first high-profile title shot. For the most part, I really enjoyed this match. I’d say it was right on par with Lethal’s match earlier in the night against Bobby Fish. O’Reilly was on far for the first part of this match. He’s such a great wrestler. Lethal was very good here as well, as he always is (especially when it came to selling his injured leg). Much like the ROH World Tag Team Title Match earlier in the night, the first 90% or so of this match was really good. Then the shenanigans started….

First, Truth Martini tried to interfere, but got thrown out. The referee gets taken out, which leads Lethal to grab the ROH World Title in an attempt to use it on O’Reilly. Bobby Fish comes out to stop him, and it looks like reDRagon was going to hit Chasing The Dragon on Lethal, but Donovan Dijak runs out. He hits Fish with the ROH World Title. Adam Cole then comes out, and tosses out Dijak. It looks like Cole is about to assist O’Reilly, but he turns around and superkicks him! Cole goes the outside and smirks as Lethal hits the Lethal Injection to retain the ROH World Title. Again, the match, for the most part, was really good, but the finish definitely hurt it. I don’t like seeing these kinds of finishes on ROH PPV Main Events.

After the match, as Jay Lethal exits, The Kingdom comes out. They beat up O’Reilly, eventually taken out O’Reilly with a triple superkick in one of the corners. The Kingdom stands tall as the PPV comes to a close.

Overall: 8.25/10

For the most part, I thought the show was really good. There wasn't a bad match on the show, and everything ranged from good to great. I honestly thought Cedric Alexander vs. Moose was the best match on the show, followed closely (for me, at least), but the #1 Contender’s Fatal Four-Way Match and the two Jay Lethal vs. reDRagon title matches. The show, however, wasn't perfect. Two of the three title matches saw screwy finishes. If they wanted to do Adam Cole turning on Kyle O'Reilly, there were better ways to do it than how they did it. Despite the convoluted finish with the Cole heel turn, Lethal/O'Reilly was still a really good Main Event. The ROH World Tag Team Title Match had some good action, despite the finish in that match. ANX's return was great, and their victory over The Briscoes was a pleasant surprise. The in-ring quality was very good, but some of the questionable booking knocked the show down a peg for me.

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