Sunday, July 3, 2016

ROH Reloaded Tour '15: Lockport Review

ROH returns to the great Buffalo area for the first time since 2010!

ROH Reloaded Tour ’15: Lockport
Lockport, New York 9/26/15

1.) Veda Scott vs. Sumie Sakai: **3/4

We start the show off with a Women of Honor Match. This is actually available on YouTube as well. From what I can remember, Cherry Bomb was scheduled to be in this spot against Veda Scott, but wasn’t able to compete due to injury. I wasn’t expecting much going into this, but I was pleasantly surprised with how it turned out. A pretty solid match between these two. It’s definitely one of the better Women of Honor matches I’ve seen. Veda Scott got the win here (which wasn’t a surprise). If you intrigued to see this revitalized Women of Honor division, then this match is definitely worth checking out.

2.) The All-Night Express vs. The House of Truth (Donovan Dijak & J. Diesel with Truth Martini): **3/4

Both teams are coming off of losses from the night before (Kenny King & Rhett Titus lost a Proving Ground Match to The Kingdom, while Dijak & Diesel were on the losing end of a Six-Man Tag with fellow House of Truth member Jay Lethal). A fine tag team match here. I wasn’t expecting it to be amazing, since this House of Truth team isn’t the most exciting team in the world, but still, this was a solid little tag team match. ANX get the win in this one. The only real complaint I have is that Diesel should have eaten the pin instead of Dijak.

3.) Caprice Coleman vs. Pepper Parks: ***

Pepper Parks is, of course, the husband of Cherry Bomb. Coleman cuts a pre-match promo talking about the opportunity Parks has tonight, and how his own job with ROH is on the line. He then makes fun of Parks, which leads to Park attacking him right before the opening bell. I thought this was a solid match. I’m personally not that into Caprice Coleman as a singles guy, but he handles his role well, and always seems to perform well enough in these undercard matches on live events. Parks looked good here as well. I would have been all for him and his wife Cherry Bomb becoming semi-regulars in ROH (with Cherry Bomb doing stuff with Women of Honor), but they’re both in TNA now, so there’s no chance of that happening. Towards the end of the match, the referee got distracted by a loose turnbuckle pad. Parks pulled a chain out of his trunks (it took him FOREVER to get it out, as it probably slid down his tights), but when he finally got it out, Coleman took the chain and used it himself to pick up the victory.

4.) Roderick Strong vs. Takaaki Watanabe: ***1/2

Watanabe had a KILLER singles match with Michael Elgin in Chicago Ridge earlier that month, so I was excited to see that he was facing a guy who could bring a similar caliber of match out of him in Roderick Strong. Now while this wasn’t nearly as good as the Elgin/Watanabe match, this was still very good. It was easily the best match on this show up to this point. There was some really solid back & forth action between these two, and the crowd was very much into it by the end. Roderick Strong would score the victory here, but after a handshake with Strong, Watanabe got a standing ovation from the crowd. For Watanabe, this would actually end up being his last match in ROH, as he returned to New Japan a few weeks later, rechristened as EVIL, the newest member of Tetsuya Naito’s Los Ingobernables de Japon.

It’s Story Time With Adam Cole Bay Bay!! Cole actually keeps his promo relatively short. He’s upset about getting superkicked multiple times by Matt Jackson the night before, and calls him out. The Young Bucks music hits, but Matt Jackson sneaks up from behind (after coming through the crowd) and hits Cole with a superkick! Matt Taven then came out and attacked Matt Jackson, leading to our next match….

5.) ROH World Tag Team Champion Matt Taven (with Adam Cole) vs. Matt Jackson: ***1/4

To be completely honest, I enjoyed this a little bit more than the match Matt Jackson had with Adam Cole the night before. I’m not sure what it was, but I just liked this one more. Some fun action between both guys here. Cole stayed at ringside for the match and, as you would expect, got a few more superkicks from Matt Jackson. In the end, the superkicks would be too much, as Matt Jackson got the victory over Matt Taven, which theoretically, means that The Young Bucks could be in line for a future title shot, since Taven is one-half of the ROH World Tag Team Champions.

After the match, Cole & Taven double team Matt Jackson, but Jackson ends up getting the better of them with more superkicks.

6.) “Brutal” Bob Evans & Tim Hughes vs. Will Ferrara & Cheeseburger: **

This was supposed to be a singles match between “Brutal” Bob Evans & Will Ferrara, but when Ferrara saw that Evans had is protégé Tim Hughes with him, he called for the match to be changed to a tag team match, and brought out Cheeseburger (who is feuding with Evans) as his tag team partner. If they’re going to but Evans on cards, at least continue the feud with Cheeseburger. Don’t put him in standalone singles match with prelim guys on the main show, like they did the night before in California, PA. This was by no means spectacular (probably the worst match on the show from a quality perspective), but it was ok for what it was. Cheeseburger & Will Ferrara would get the win.

Up next we get an in-ring promo from The Addiction. They once again complain about how there’s a conspiracy against them and that they never lost the ROH World Tag Team Titles, since they weren’t pinned in the three-way match at All-Star Extravaganza VII. Daniels then claims that Kazarian is injured, and is unable to wrestle (even though Kazarian is clearly ok), while also saying that they’ve beaten every team in ROH. This brings out War Machine. Ray Rowe says they’ve never beaten them, and Hanson calls out Daniels for a singles match right now, which leads to….

7.) Christopher Daniels (with Frankie Kazarian) vs. Hanson (with Ray Rowe): **1/4

There isn’t a lot to say about this one. The action was decent for the time they were given, but then Daniels hits Hanson with a blatant low blow, which leads to an immediate DQ. The two teams then brawl for several minutes, and a number of chairs become involved. The Addiction seemed to have the upper hand, but War Machine fought back, eventually hitting one of them with a double chokeslam through a setup of chairs! Given that they brawled for several minutes after the initial DQ, I’m not quite sure why this wasn’t just a regular tag team match.

8.) Proving Ground Match – ROH World Champion & ROH World TV Champion Jay Lethal (with Truth Martini & Taeler Hendrix) vs. Stevie Richards): ***1/2

This match came about after a confrontation between Jay Lethal & Stevie Richards that took place at a live event in Atlanta, Georgia about a month prior. If Stevie Richards is able to win, then he’ll receive a future shot at the ROH World Title. This was a good match. I’d say it was around the same quality as Strong/Watanabe, though I preferred Strong/Watanabe over this match. Richards looks very good for a guy of his age (I guess that DDP Yoga really does wonders), and I think he worked well with Lethal here. The only criticisms I have is that the match was a little too long, and that it felt like the match just ended out of nowhere, with some quick interference from The House of Truth followed by the Lethal Injection.

Jay Lethal shakes hands with Stevie Richards after the match.

9.) Fatal Four-Way Match – Adam Cole vs. Moose (with Stokely Hathaway) vs. ACH vs. “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin: ****

So this was originally advertised as a Four-Corner Survival Match (where tags are necessary), but I guess it was changed to a regular Fatal Four-Way Match at the last minute. I thought this was a great Main Event, and it was easily the best match on the show. Some might find it weird that this match was in this spot, but when considering the show as a whole, this was the only realistic choice for the Main Event. We saw some great action throughout, and all four guys got a chance to shine here. The crowd was really into it, and it was just super fun to watch from start to finish. Eventually, ACH would pick up the victory over Moose to close the show. ACH winning in the Main Event of a ROH show. I never thought I’d see the day!

Overall: 7.5/10

For the most part, I thought this was a pretty solid live event from ROH. There were portions of the show that dragged, which hurt the show, in my opinion (Bob Evans/Tim Hughes vs. Cheeseburger/Will Ferrara, and the stuff between The Addiction & War Machine). Those parts weren’t necessarily bad, but they did hurt the overall flow of the show. The majority of the undercard was actually relatively consistent, with Roderick Strong vs. Takaaki Watanabe & Jay Lethal vs. Stevie Richards being the standouts. The Main Event, as I said before, was easily the best match on the show, and is definitely worth checking out. This was a show with a fine undercard, capped off by a great Fatal Four-Way Match in the Main Event.

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