ROH Winter Warriors Tour ’16: Collinsville
Collinsville, Illinois 1/16/16
1.) Keith Lee & Shane Taylor vs. Alpha Class (Danny Adams & Paco Gonzalez): *3/4
Danny Adams & Paco Gonzalez made a number of appearances on ROH pre-shows in 2015. Here, they have a huge task ahead of them, as they take on the team of Keith Lee & Shane Taylor, who also made some appearances in ROH in 2015 (specifically on the shows in Amarillo, Texas & Oklahoma City, Oklahoma), and are now wearing new gear. I thought this was a very….interesting match. I felt like this was going to be a squash, and it definitely was, but Alpha Class got a little more offense in than I was expected. Still Keith Lee & Shane Taylor eventually KILLED these guys, and won the match. I was actually kind of surprised how over Lee & Taylor were with the fans in Collinsville by the end. They were really popular.
1.) Non-Title Match – ROH World Tag Team Champions War Machine vs. Frankie Kazarian & Chris Sabin: ***1/4
Kazarian cuts a promo before the match making fun of St. Louis, specifically bringing up The Rams leaving St. Louis to move back to Los Angeles. I thought this was a pretty solid opening match. They did do some comedy in the beginning of the match, where Kazarian (who was seemingly afraid of War Machine) wouldn’t tag into the match when Sabin was being beaten up, and wanted to tag out. The action was relatively solid from start to finish. Hanson & Ray Rowe would eventually score the victory.
As Adam Page is making his way out to the ring for the 2nd match of the night, BJ Whitmer attacks him from behind! He beats up Page on the outside, and hits a back suplex to Page on the barricade. Whitmer says that after everything he’s done for Page over the last two years, he’s decided to stab him in the back. Whitmer looks to further damage, but Michael Elgin, (Page’s opponent for tonight) makes the save, causing Whitmer to back off. Elgin takes the mic, and talks about how this is his adopted hometown, since he lives in the St. Louis area. He calls Whitmer out for being a coward, and challenges him to a fight right now! Whitmer teases getting in the ring, but backs off, and leaves. Adam Page then takes the mic and says if Whitmer isn’t going to fight either of them, then he can get the hell out of here. Fans sing the “Na Na Na Na, Hey Hey Hey, Goodbye” song at Whitmer as he leaves. Page then says he came for a fight tonight, and he isn’t leaving without getting one, which I guess means his match with Elgin is still on.
2.) “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin vs. Adam Page: ****
These two had clashed on a few occasions on the undercards of ROH live events. Their most recent encounter, at Reloaded Tour ’15: Atlanta, ended in controversial fashion, as Adam Page (still a heel, at that point) got himself counted out. This particular match was WAY better than I was expecting. In fact, I would go as far as to say that this was the best match of the night! I thought this was awesome. I don’t know what it was, but these two just worked really well together, and were able to put on an awesome match! Elgin was great, as he always is, and Page seemed motivated. There was some really good back & forth action, and the crowd seemed to be into it, especially towards the end. Elgin picking up the win here wasn’t really a surprise, but the match was still incredible. It was definitely one of Adam Page’s best matches in ROH.
Michael Elgin shakes hands with Adam Page after the match.
The “Roddy vs. The World” Challenge continues tonight, but on this particular show, Strong’s opponent was unknown going into the show. Cheeseburger would end up answering the call. After the introductions, Strong takes the mic and asks the referee if this is a joke, adding that he’s never felt more disrespected in his entire career. He said that last night, he declared that he’d beat Curry Man in five minutes, but it didn’t go according to plan. Strong says Cheeseburger doesn’t stand a chance, and that he’ll be lucky if he lasts five minutes with him. He tells Todd Sinclair to ring the bell, and gets hit immediately with a palm strike!
3.) ROH World TV Title – Roderick Strong vs. Cheeseburger: **3/4
In a fun fact, these two actually challenged for the ROH World Tag Team Titles back at A Night of Hoopla (remember that awesome show?). Plus, I guess Strong has issues with wrestlers with food-based gimmicks, as he faced Curry Man the night before, and now he’s facing Cheeseburger on this show. Honestly, I have mixed feelings about this match. There were some solid spots here, and the crowd was very much into this match. However, this match didn’t need to go eight or nine minutes. I’m sure you could have done the same thing in a match under five-minutes, but the fact that this match went as long as it did wasn’t a good idea. Strong should have beaten Cheeseburger in under five minutes. Nothing against Cheeseburger (I think he’s just awesome), but he shouldn’t be going this long and getting this much offense in against Roderick Strong. The fact that Strong was backpedaling on a number of occasions was pretty bad as well. This RODERICK STRONG we’re talking about. Anyway, Strong would get the win in the end, retaining his ROH World TV Title.
4.) The Briscoes vs. Silas Young & The Beer City Bruiser: ***3/4
I was actually a little excited for this match. Two “Real Men” vs. “Dem Boys”. You knew this was going to be a fight, and that’s exactly what we got. This was another match that was actually a lot better than I was expecting. I thought this was a really good match! The Briscoes were great, as they always are, but Silas Young & The Beer City Bruiser were good here as well. I’d say this was definitely their best outing as a team thus far. Some really solid back & forth action throughout this match, and the crowd was actually pretty into it. The Briscoes (2/3rd’s of New Japan’s NEVER Openweight Six-Man Tag Team Champions at the time) would get the win in this tag team encounter. Don’t skip out on this one, it’s actually really good.
After the match, Silas Young & The Beer City Bruiser refuse to shake the hands of The Briscoes.
5.) Will Ferrara vs. Kevin Lee Davidson: *3/4
Keith Lee Davidson (apparently a student of Michael Elgin) is huge…..like, really huge. He’s taking on Will Ferrara, who is significantly smaller than Keith Lee Davidson. This was another strange match (similar to the pre-show match). Despite being the smaller guy, Ferrara won this match in relatively quick fashion. Davidson got some offense in, so it wasn’t a total squash. Nice to see Ferrara get a win here.
6.) Dalton Castle vs. Delirious: ***
It seems like you can always expect Delirious to appear when ROH is running a show in Collinsville. As you might expect, this was pretty much a comedy match, and there were a number of funny moments in this one. Delirious would chase The Boys around the ring on a number of occasions. At one point, Delirious chased one of them under the ring, and the one Boy emerged with a Delirious mask on, and started to act deranged! Thankfully, he would soon be reverted back to his normal state. The match ended up going twelve minutes, and eventually, Castle would get the win over Delirious with the Bang-A-Rang. This wasn’t spectacular by any means, but it was a fine comedy match, and definitely provided something different on the card.
Dalton Castle & Delirious would shake hands after the match.
7.) The All-Night Express vs. reDRagon: ***3/4
This is actually a first-time ever tag team match, as Kenny King left ROH in 2012 several months before Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly formed their tag team. This was actually a really good tag team match. I would say this was one of ANX’s best matches since there return, and it should come as no surprise that it came against reDRagon. There was some really good back & forth tag team action throughout this match, and it seemed like the crowd was into it by the end. The second half of the match was especially good. At one point, Rhett Titus actually tapped out to Fish, but Kenny King (who was being choked by O’Reilly) had the referee distracted, so he didn’t see Titus tap. This didn’t change the end result, however, as reDRagon would end up getting the victory.
8.) Adam Cole vs. Moose (with Stokely Hathaway): ***3/4
Here we have another first-time matchup, and like the match that preceded it, this one was also very good. The action was pretty fun from start to finish. Cole was his usual great self, and Moose did well here also. I think, slowly but surely, we’re seeing the improvement in Moose. He’s certainly MILES better than he was when he first started. I’m not saying he’s fantastic or anything, but you can definitely see in matches like this that he’s made progress. The finish came when Cole used the referee to block a spear attempt from Moose, who was able to stop in time, but the distraction, allowed Cole to roll up Moose (with a handful of tights) for the win. It kind of sucks that the match, which was going really well, ended like that, but it makes sense, given that Cole is a heel. Aside from the finish (which I’m sure some won’t like), this was a really good match that was just shy of being great.
9.) ACH & Alex Shelley vs. IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Champions The Young Bucks: ***3/4
Back at Road To “Final Battle ‘15”: Ft. Lauderdale, ACH & Alex Shelley wrestled their first match as a tag team, in an unsuccessful effort against reDRagon. Once again, this unique duo is taking another world-class tag team in the form of The Young Bucks. For the most part, I thought this was a really good match, which much like the two matches that came before it, was just shy of being a great. I think the fact that there was a lot of comedy early played a part in that. I’m fine with the comedy stuff we get from The Young Bucks (and, to be fair, ACH & Alex Shelley got in on the comedy as well), I think it works really well, but I think we got a little too much of that early on. It caused the match to get off to a bit of a slow start. However, things definitely got better as the match progressed. The second-half was especially good. Plus, the crowd was definitely into it, so if they were happy, I can’t really complain too much. Eventually, The Young Bucks would get the win with The Meltzer Driver to close the show.
I thought this was a really good show from ROH. There were a few low points, such as Roderick Strong vs. Cheeseburger (not really the match itself, but mainly how it was booked), and the Will Ferrara squash match. However, the rest of the show was incredibly consistent. You had one awesome match in the form of Michal Elgin vs. Adam Page, and four matches (The Briscoes vs. Silas Young & The Beer City Bruiser, ANX vs. reDRagon, Adam Cole vs. Moose, & ACH/Alex Shelley vs. The Young Bucks) that were all really good matches, but were just shy of being great matches. I really enjoy watching shows like this that are incredibly consistent. Comparatively speaking, this was a lot of better than the show from Indianapolis the night before. If you have to pick one or the other, go with this one!! For the most part, a great show from ROH.