ROH Winter Warriors Tour ’16: Indianapolis
Indianapolis, Indiana 1/15/16
1.) Dalton Castle vs. Will Ferrara: ***1/4
After what transpired at Final Battle 2015, The Boys have returned to Dalton Castle’s side, and they’re with him tonight as he takes on Will Ferrara. I thought this was a pretty entertaining opener. Castle was as entertaining as always, but Ferrara looked good here as well. It looked like he busted out some new moves here, while also playing more of a heel role against the “Party Peacock”. In the end, Castle would score the victory in this one.
2.) Triple Threat Match – ACH vs. Silas Young vs. Moose (with Stokely Hathaway): ***
Evidently, Silas Young had some travel issues the day of the show (apparently with his rent-a-car), and he had expressed his frustrations on Twitter. This resulted in a fan bringing a “Real Men Don’t Use Hertz” sign, which ACH brought into the ring before the match. I thought this was a fine, but pretty pedestrian, Triple Threat Match. Considering who was involved, you’d think this match would be a little better. Again, it’s not like this match was bad. It was pretty solid, and all three guys did get the chance to shine, but the match was relatively short, only going about seven minutes or so. ACH picked up the win here after hitting the Midnight Star on Silas Young.
3.) “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin vs. Tim Hughes: *
Ian Riccaboni, who is on commentary with Mr. Wrestling III tonight, refers to Elgin as a “Two-Time ROH World Champion?” That’s just simply not true. Get your facts straight! Anyway, Elgin is coming off his unsuccessful title challenge at Wrestle Kingdom 10 in The Tokyo Dome against ROH World Champion Jay Lethal. Here, he’s taking on Tim Hughes. Now I expected this to be a quick squash for Elgin, but that’s not what we got. Instead, we got a long, drawn-out comedy squash, with lasted nearly eight or nine minutes. This was totally unnecessary, and honestly, a waste of Michael Elgin on this card. I don’t get this fascination the powers-at-be in ROH have with Tim Hughes, but he’s just not good. Sure, some parts of this were funny, but as a whole, it was just unnecessary. Elgin would get the win, but it went a lot differently than I expected.
4.) reDRagon vs. Frankie Kazarian & Chris Sabin: ***1/2
So on a recent episode of ROH TV, Christopher Daniels got suspended by ROH Matchmaker Nigel McGuinness after punching a referee. Because of this, Kazarian is teaming with Chris Sabin, The Addiction’s “associate”, to take on Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly. This was a pretty fun tag team match. It looked like reDRagon were having a lot of fun out there, and seeing this different combination of Kazarian & Sabin was actually refreshing. The Addiction are fine as a team, but their heel act has slowly started to wear on me a little bit, and it was nice to see something different. Kazarian & Sabin actually worked pretty well together as a team, but in the end, reDRagon were emerged victorious.
5.) Kelly Klein vs. Solo Darling: **1/4
This was a Women of Honor match taped for YouTube right after intermission. Kelly Klein (with BJ Whitmer, who was on commentary for this match), who is undefeated in ROH at this point, is taking on Solo Darling, who’s gimmick is that she’s a sugar junkie, and possibly part squirrel (she is wearing a tail, and is known as "The Sugar Creature"). Anyway, this was a decent match. Klein is ok, but I think I still need to see her against better opponents before I’m sold on her. Personally, I really enjoyed Solo Darling’s gimmick. It’s a very CHIKARA-esque character, and I’m not sure if it’ll work in ROH, but we’ll see if she appears again in ROH in the future. She came out with a red drink of some kind, and when she drank some of it mid-match to get fired up, we actually got a “juice” chant (at the tone of the “Moose” chant”). This energy boost would ultimately not help Solo Darling in the end, as Kelly Klein would get the win.
6.) Adam Page vs. Ken Phoenix: **1/4
Phoenix has been a perennial pre-show regular in ROH for much of 2015. Here, he’s getting a chance on the Main Show against Adam Page, who recently turned babyface on ROH TV after turning on his mentor in (what’s left of) The Decade in BJ Whitmer (who was on commentary). This was a decent match. Phoenix got some offense in, but eventually, Adam Page would score the victory.
After the match, BJ Whitmer gets in the ring with a mic. He tells Adam Page that he didn’t come here to fight him tonight. He tries to talk, but keeps getting interrupted again and again by the fans in Indianapolis. Page plays along with the crowd a little bit, and doesn’t listen to what Whitmer’s demands him to do. Whitmer says that he & Adam Page butted heads last week in Charlotte at the TV Tapings. He knows that Steve Corino has been dumping ideas of Page’s head, but he’s willing to forget what happened, and put it behind him. Whitmer wants Page to shake hands with him. Page said that if Whitmer’s taught him one thing, it’s that The Decade doesn’t shake hands. He then slaps Whitmer hard across the face! The two start brawling, and need to be separated by referees and security. Steve Corino (who played a role in Page turning on Whitmer in the first place) then comes out. He seemingly wants to fight, but Whitmer backs down. After Whitmer leaves, Steve Corino shakes hands with Adam Page.
7.) ROH World TV Title – Roderick Strong vs. Curry Man: ***1/2
Curry Man did show up once or twice in ROH back in 2005, if I recall correctly. Before the match, Strong cuts a promo telling Bobby Fish (who was on commentary) to pay close attention to this match, and claims that he’ll beat Curry Man in under five minutes. Of course, that doesn’t happen, and the crowd gets on Strong’s case because of it. Despite the fact that this match went a lot longer than it needed to (I believe it was around seventeen minutes), this was still pretty good. Seeing Curry Man does make this show feel a little different, as we rarely see him anymore. Strong did good here, as he always does, but right now I’m not sure about this heel character he’s got going. Strong would get the win in the end, retaining his ROH World TV Title.
8.) Adam Cole vs. Alex Shelley: ***3/4
Chris Sabin joins Ian Riccaboni & Mr. Wrestling III on commentary for this next match, which is a first-time ever singles encounter. Honestly, I thought this was a really good match. These two seemed to work together very well, and the action was very solid from start to finish. It was easily the best match on the show, up to this point. Unfortunately, the match was tainted a little bit, as Frankie Kazarian came out and distracted the referee, which led to Adam Cole winning the match.
After the match, Kazarian wants Chris Sabin to attack Alex Shelley, but Sabin seems to hesitate, and does nothing. ACH then comes out, which causes Kazarian to bail.
9.) Eight-Man Tag – The All-Night Express & IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Champions The Young Bucks vs. The Briscoes & ROH World Tag Team Champions War Machine: ****
This is a very interesting match, when you look at what teams are paired together. ANX & The Young Bucks have a long history with each other in ROH, while The Briscoes & War Machine have been involved in a friendly rivalry, where Hanson & Ray Rowe have yet to pick up a victory over “Dem Boys”. ROH has done these types of matches in the past (Eight-Man Tags involving four tag teams), and they always seem to turn out well. This was no exception, as this was a great match that was easily the Match of the Night. It was just an entertaining match from start to finish. Bodies were flying all over the place, and the crowd was really into the action. It was very interesting to see the interactions between these two sides, since there are issues that exist amongst the teams themselves (as I mentioned earlier). The Briscoes would eventually pick up the win for their side after hitting The Doomsday Device. The Briscoes & War Machine celebrate to close the show.
For the most part, I would say that this was a pretty solid outing from ROH. It’s not a show that you need to go out of your way to see, as it does have some low points (mainly Michael Elgin vs. Tim Hughes, and the BJ Whitmer segment). However, there are a few things that are worth checking out. The Eight-Man Tag Team Match was awesome, and Adam Cole vs. Alex Shelley was really good (despite the interference that led to the finish). The undercard had some solid stuff spread throughout, with reDRagon vs. Frankie Kazarian & Chris Sabin being the highlight. Again, this was a fine show from ROH, but the only matches that really need to be seen are the top two matches.