Sunday, July 3, 2016

ROH Glory By Honor XIV: Champions vs. All-Stars Review

The annual Champions vs. All-Stars match comes to Dayton, Ohio!

I should note, before I begin my review, that there’s actually a pretty funny bonus feature. At some point during the show, a steamer got caught in one of the sealing fans, causing the streamer to spin around and around with the fan. Apparently, it got enough attention that Bobby Cruise actually provided it with it’s own ring introduction, which made the fans really happy. Matt Taven then came out to try and pull the streamer down, but he only succeed in pulling half of it. The fans cheered at this, and jeered at Taven for his failure. Bobby Cruise then announced it as the streamer’s little brother, “Tiny Streamer”. The fans chanted this, which was pretty funny, as “Tiny Streamer” is actually pretty close to “Tommy Dreamer”.

The opening of the show itself also includes a segment between Silas Young, The Beer City Bruiser, & The Boys, who are now in Young’s possession. Apparently they were riding in the trunk of Young’s car. The Boys were forced to carry Young’s bags, as well as The Beer City Bruiser’s keg.

ROH Glory By Honor XIV: Champions vs. All-Stars
Dayton, Ohio 10/24/15

1.) Kelly Klein (with BJ Whitmer) vs. Ray Lynn: DUD

We open up the show with the Women of Honor. Both women are making their ROH debuts here. Klein comes out with BJ Whitmer in her corner. There isn’t much to say about this one. It was a squash match that went about a minute. BJ Whitmer cuts a promo after the match hyping up Kelly Klein. It’s pretty clear that the intent is to make Klein the “monster” of the division.

2.) Adam Cole vs. Will Ferrara: ***

Our first true match of the show sees Adam Cole taking on Will Ferrara. I thought this was a good match. It was relatively entertaining from start to finish. Ferrara did get some offense in, and showed fighting spirit, but in the end, Cole would pick up the victory.

3.) The All-Night Express vs. Silas Young & The Beer City Bruiser: ***

The Beer City Bruiser is wearing these GOD-AWFUL purple tights that actually make it look like he’s wrestling in his underwear. Gross. Before the match begins, Silas Young cuts a promo saying that he wants to give The Boys an “opportunity”. That “opportunity” is for them to wrestle in their place against ANX! The Boys wrestle Kenny King & Rhett Titus for a good minute or so, before Young kicks them out, and resumes the match with The Beer City Bruiser. Aside from all of the shenanigans with The Boys, this was actually a pretty decent tag team match. I don’t like The Beer City Bruiser, but if he’s going to be in ROH, being Silas Young’s tag team partner is the best roll for him. Eventually, ANX would pick up the victory in this tag team affair.

4.) Caprice Coleman vs. Samson Walker: **

Before the match begins, Coleman (who’s wearing new blue & white tights tonight) cuts a promo similar to the one he’s been cutting on other house shows. He talks about Samson Walker having a big opportunity to impress, but adds that he is also trying to impress so he could keep his job. This was ok, but it had no business going nearly TEN minutes. Walker’s been fine in the sporadic appearances he’s made in ROH in 2015, but I just can’t see him becoming a regular. Towards the end of the match, chairs become involved, and Coleman uses the old Eddie Guerrero trick of pretending to get hit with a chair before the referee turns around. Walker arguing with the referee proves to be enough of a distraction for Coleman to roll up Walker (with a handful of tights) for the win.
Before the next match begins, Bobby Cruise introduces Steve Corino as the guest ring announcer (Corino had been indefinitely suspended on a recent episode of ROH TV for attacking BJ Whitmer). Cruise mentioned that Corino helped him get a job with ROH back in 2003, and as we all know, Cruise has been the ring announcer for ROH ever since.

5.) “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin vs. Donovan Dijak (with The House of Truth): ***3/4

I believe this is a first-time ever match (definitely in ROH, but I’m not sure if they’ve met somewhere outside of ROH before this). Here we have a rare instance of Michael Elgin facing off with an opponent who’s actually bigger that him. I thought this was a really good match, bordering on being great. It was a little long (going just over nineteen minutes), but it was entertaining, and packed with action from start to finish. These two just worked really well together, and I honestly enjoyed this a lot. Plus, even though both Truth Martini & Taeler Hendrix were at ringside, we saw pretty much no interference at any point, which was very refreshing. Michael Elgin would eventually get the victory here.

After the match, Elgin & Dijak shook hands.

6.) Joey “Diesel” Daddiego (with The House of Truth) vs. Shaheem Ali: *1/2

Ian Riccaboni, who joins Kevin Kelly on commentary for this match, actually calls J. Diesel “the most improved wrestler in ROH in 2015”. I’m sorry, but what a bunch of bullshit. Diesel STINKS. Anyway, Diesel is apparently now going by his real name, Joey Daddiego. This led to Truth Martini cutting a pre-match promo where he kept saying “Who’s Your Daddy?!” over and over again. There’s not much top say about this one. It went about six minutes or so before Daddiego eventually got the win. The only real purpose this served was to introduce the name change.

There ended up being a lot of changes to this card, and I’m going to talk about that now, since it had an impact on the next match. So the Champions vs. All-Stars Match was originally scheduled to be Jay Lethal (who was still both ROH World Champion & ROH World TV Champion) & The Kingdom vs. ACH, AJ Styles, & Roderick Strong. Now, as we know, Strong won the ROH World TV Title from Lethal the night before at the TV Tapings in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Strong moved over to the champion’s side. I think the title change and this match going from three-on-three to four-on-four was always the plan. However, the All-Stars team fell apart fast. It was announced a few days prior that Styles would be unable to compete due to (I believe) nagging back issues. Then, the night before in Kalamazoo, ACH suffered a concussion in a match with Cedric Alexander, forcing him to be pulled off the show. The All-Stars team was then made up by The Addiction, Dalton Castle, & Moose. The upcoming Four-Corner Survival Match was going to feature Castle, but that changed when Castle got moved into the Main Event.

7.) Four-Corner Survival – Cliff Compton vs. Adam Page (with The Decade) vs. Cedric Alexander (with Veda Scott) vs. “Brutal” Bob Evans (with Tim Hughes): *3/4

ROH has been trying to get Cliff Compton on a show since late August, but a seizure forced Compton to cancel two scheduled in-ring appearances. Before this match begins, Bob Evans cuts a promo about Cheeseburger. Evans and his protégé, Tim Hughes, had broken one of Cheeseburger’s hands the night before in Kalamazoo. Cliff Compton then takes the mic, saying that nobody wants to hear Evans talk. He then talks about the seizure he suffered at the end of August, and thanks the fans for supporting him. He then calls BJ Whitmer a drug addict & Veda Scott a “$2 hooker”. Well, that was Cliff Compton being….Cliff Compton, I guess.

Four-Corner Survivals are usually pretty good. They’ve become a staple of ROH cards over the years, and most of the time, they deliver. Unfortunately, this match didn’t deliver. It SUCKED. This match just didn’t work. Firstly, the dynamic was all wrong, as you had three heels going up against a babyface Cliff Compton, who received almost no reaction from the crowd when he came through the curtain. Then the match itself just wasn’t that good. Aside from a pair of tandem dives by Alexander & Page (which popped the crowd), all of the people at ringside getting thrown out, and Cheeseburger coming out to attack Evans, leading to Compton winning via ROLLUP, this was just a bad match, plain & simple.

After the match, Cheeseburger cuts a promo saying that he’s going to settle his score with “Brutal” Bob Evans at Final Battle.

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

These two teams have had a number of encounters, most recently in April at a Conquest Tour live event in Hopkins, Minnesota. Hanson & Ray Rowe have yet to score a victory over “Dem Boys”. I thought this match was awesome!! It was easily the best match on the show. The crowd was rocking as soon as The Briscoes came out, and they were into the entire match from start to finish. The action was hard-hitting right from the opening bell, as these two teams beat the crap out of each other. It was to be said that there’s excellent chemistry between The Briscoes & War Machine. They’ve had two matches together in 2015, and this was ever better than their match from April in Hopkins (and that match was really good). The Briscoes would eventually get the win here, as they continue their winning streak against War Machine.

Before the Main Event, we get an AJ Styles promo. He thanks the crowd for being awesome, and says that he’s not wrestling tonight because he doesn’t want to give the fans an AJ Styles that isn’t 100%. He then says he’ll be joining Kevin Kelly on commentary for the Main Event.

9.) Champions vs. All-Stars Elimination Match – ROH World Champion Jay Lethal (with The House of Truth), ROH World TV Champion Roderick Strong, & ROH World Tag Team Champions The Kingdom (Matt Taven & Michael Bennett with Adam Cole & Maria Kanellis) vs. The Addiction, Dalton Castle, & Moose (with Stokely Hathaway): ***3/4

Just to quickly run through the eliminations, Kazarian is eliminated first after a low blow from one of the members of The Kingdom, followed by the Hail Mary. Bennett is eliminated next after a rollup from Daniels. Taven is then also eliminated by Daniels. Strong would then eliminate Daniels. Castle is later eliminated by Lethal after some shenanigans from The House of Truth, and finally, Strong then eliminates Moose to win the match for the ROH Champions.

I thought this was a very good match. It wasn’t quite as great as some of the previous Champions vs. All-Stars matches, but this was still, for the most part, a really entertaining match. The only gripe I have is the fact that Daniels scored the only eliminations for the All-Stars team. I think it would have benefitted Dalton Castle & Moose more if they had scored those eliminations. The Addiction was coming off a title loss to The Kingdom the night before in Kalamazoo, and they wouldn’t get another shot at the titles until long after The Kingdom lost the titles, so him getting to pin both Bennett & Taven here made no sense at all. Other than that, like I said, this was a very good match.

After the match, Lethal & Strong have a faceoff in the ring. Of course, there’s no love lost between these two, after their two ROH World Title matches, and their third match the night before where Strong captured the ROH World TV Title. AJ Styles then jumps in the ring and faces off with both Lethal & Strong (the former more so than the latter) to close the show.

Overall: 7.0/10

There’s one thing I need to address before I talk about this. It definitely didn’t live up to the Glory By Honor name, but to be perfectly clear, Glory By Honor really isn’t an important show on the ROH calendar anymore, at least in the SBG era. The only time it’s really been important over the last several years was in 2012. It’s clear that Glory By Honor has fallen down the pecking order, and this show was easily one of the worst editions of the event. Now, judging it from the standpoint of a regular ROH live event, it was actually a fine show. There were a number of matches that had no business being on this show, but then again, I can’t totally trash a show that has two *** matches, two ***3/4 matches, and a **** match. This was a show where you really have to pick & choose, because there is good, even great, stuff mixed in with the really bad stuff. Definitely check out The Briscoes vs. War Machine. Elgin vs. Dijak & Champions vs. All-Stars were both really good as well. Other than that, everything else is pretty much stuff that you can skip.

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