ROH Elite Review
War Memorial Auditorium
Ft. Lauderdale, FLA
Silas Young & Beer City Bruiser vs. Coast 2 Coast (Leon St. Giovanni & Shaheem Ali)
The show immediately began with Young and Bruiser making their way to ringside as Ian Riccaboni and Colt Cabana welcome everyone to the show and went over the night’s lineup. Coast to Coast offered their hands to adhere to the code of honor, only to have Young and Bruiser predictably sucker punch them. LSG recovered quickly and took both Young and BCB out with a pair of dropkicks before he and Ali tagged in and out quickly. Once Bruiser made his way into the match he drove LSG to the mat with a spinebuster that slows him and Young to jump into the driver’s seat. As LSG was kept in the opposing corner, commentary continued to highlight that Coast to Coast haven’t gotten that big win yet- it seems we are getting very close to some split or change in direction with this team. Ali finally did tsg in and scored a near fall, but oddly chose to tag LSG back in very quickly, which both Riccaboni and Cabana were quick to point out. After a brief trip outside that proved costly for Young and Bruiser, as LSG floored everyone with a senton from the top, Young and LSG were the legal men. LSG went for hit patented hip up clothesline but instead found himself caught in mid air by Young who hit Misery for the pinfall victory. Young and Bruiser continue to work very well as a team here and Coast to Coast’s problems have been a recurring theme, but with no post match interaction between the two it’s been a slow developing issue that needs more than commentary to further things along.
Winners: Silas Young & The Beer City Bruiser
Josh Woods vs. Simon Grimm vs. Jonathan Gresham
Code of honor adhered to here, albeit with some menacing from Woods. Grimm and Woods locked up first with Gresham crouching in the corner waiting for his moment- a very logical practice that makes sense in a match like this, face or heel. Once Gresham did join, the three did their best to consistently stay involved and didn’t do the normal rotating one on one showdowns that triple threat matches often fall into. Gresham managed to send Grimm outside and hit a beautiful sucio de dice that prompted Cabana to call him a squirrel. Riccaboni corrected him and reminded him that Gresham is in fact an Octopus, which Gresham proved by wrapping Woods up and wiggling into a bridging jackknife roll up that allowed him to pick up the pinfall victory. An interesting point here was seeing Gresham and Woods, both submission wrestlers depart from that style here because of the third man. Grimm looked fine here, but the triple threat match did not allow for much here and was not the best way to showcase him. Gresham’s style and the way in which he won is really effective- his movements and the maneuvers he goes for are all plausible for a smaller man taking in bigger opponents.
Winner: Jonathan Gresham
Punishment Martinez vs. Shane Taylor
The two largest men in ROH stood toe to toe early on, which frustrated Martinez who mockingly clapped for Taylor before catching him with an elbow to the jaw that staggered the former Rebellion member. Taylor face Martinez a free shot, but showed his boxing prowess by ducking and catching Martinez with a right hand of his own before clotheslining his opponent over the top rope.After a brief brawl outside the two found themselves back inside, with Taylor in control and deciding to scale the ropes to squash Martinez. Punishment jumped up and sent Taylor outside with a kick to the head and then leapt over the turnbuckle to the outside, flooring Taylor. He kept the attack going inside, following with a super spin wheel kick before hitting the South of Heaven choke slam to pick up the pinfall victory. The match felt a bit short, some more time would have spaced the ending out a bit, as the final sequence felt a bit anti-climatic. Still, a good match between these two and it feels as if this won’t be the last time they clash.
Winner: Punishment Martinez
The Briscoes came out and Mark insulted Floridians, saying no matter what color they are, they all smell like cat piss. Jay then got on the mic and called Bully Ray out, commenting that he and Jay have taken out both Bully and Tommy Dreamer. When no one came out they grabbed ringside security and hit the 3D on him before leaving.
Best Friends (Trent & Chuckie T) vs. The Addiction (Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian vs. Bullet Club (Marty Scurll & Hangman Page)
Daniels and Trent started off trading wristlocks before Trent stopped to explain how strong he is because he is a super heavyweight. Daniels called Kazarian in and they went for a double clothesline but it simply wasn’t enough, as the massive Barrert broke the the clothesline and floored them with clotheslines of his own. After pig pong Daniels in the corner, a Taylor tagged in and Scurll quickly joined him. After a brief exchange Page and Kazarian cycled in, testing into each other, a reminder of their bitter revíselo earlier this year. They took each other out, allowing Trent to hit the most dangerous move ever, a slight hit face wash before both he and Taylor hit the slow handspring sentons from the apron. Scurll and Page ran the clothesline/ Scurll gets the booth spot with Teentbin the corner before Page went for the Rite of Passage. Scurll took his time climbing the ropes, allowing Trent to wiggle out and attempt to bring Page down with a sunset flip. Scurll went to assist Page, but an errant kick caught Page in the jewels and he chased Scurll to the back. The match was two on two for a brief time until Page and Scurll came back out and eventually worked together. Things broke down a bit and in the end Trent hit a Dudebuster on Kazarian, allowing Taylor to secure the pinfall with a jackknife pin.
Winners: The Best Friends
The Dawgs vs. Warburger (Cheeseburger & Hanson)
This started off as Cheeseburger against Jozy, a local talent. As Cheeseburger seemed to be seconds away from victory, The Dawgs, Rhett Titus and Will Ferrara came down to ringside and interrupted the match. As they were beating Cheeseburger down, Hanson came out to stop them and it started an impromptu tag match between the four. WarBurgers were in control early, but this ended up being a rather lengthy match and both teams had a chance to show off their offense, with the crowd going particularly wild when Hanson hit the Dawgs with a handspring double elbow shot. Hanson then set up for his forever clotheslines, but with the added heft of Cheeseburger on his back. Cheeseburger was able to slam Hanson onto Ferrara, albeit with a bit of an assist on Hanson’s behalf, yet Ferrara still kicked out. In a nice bit of storytelling here, Cheeseburger sold not being able to lift Ferrara for a combined finisher with Hanson. As Cheeseburger struggled, Titus was able to recover and shove Hanson off the top rope, leaving Burger alone and prone for Who Let the Dawgs out, an assisted front suplex combo from Titus and Ferrara. Post match the Dawgs tried to punish Cheeseburger some more, but Hanson interceded and allowed Cheeseburger to hit Shotei on Ferrara. This was a really fun match that the crowd was very invested in and the right team won here, perhaps signaling that as much comedy as the Dawgs do, they will be moving up the tag team ranks.
Winners: The Dawgs
ROH World Tag Team Championship Match
Motor City Machine Guns vs. The Kingdom (Vinny Marseglia & TK O’Ryan)
Marseglia and O’Ryan attacked the champs before the bell and got off to a hot start, beating Sabin and Shelley about ringside. Back inside, Shelley fought off aerial attack from both members of the Kingdom, allowing him and Sabin to work some tag team magic for a stretch, even locking on dueling figure fours. O’Ryan sold tweaking his knee and played possum, using the opportunity to gain the advantage on Sabin. With both members of MCMG out of the ring, Marseglia and O’Ryan grabbed the belts and posed with them, as Riccaboni and Cabana both expertly commented that perhaps the two should capitalize on the champs and actually win the belts. When they couldn’t put MCMG away with a neckbreaker/Redrum combo, O’Ryan and Marseglia weaponed up. As Todd Sinclair wrested the very dangerous looking ax away from Marseglia, O’Ryan went to hit Sabin with a baseball bat. O’Ryan missed Sabin on numerous occasion and caught his own partner in the face, allowing MCMG to then hit a double driver on for the pinfall victory. Post match, Taven ran down and helped his buddies and pose over them. The Kingdom’s chemistry grows each match and against the champions, they looked particularly strong, essentially losing because they went for weapons instead of the win. Shelley and Sabin continue to be fun to watch together, they way they string moves together is superb.
Winners: Motor City Machine Guns
Flip Gordon vs. Matt Taven
As Gordon came down to even the odds against the Kingdom, he and Taven began brawling before Gordon hit a tornillio off the top rope to everyone on the outside. MCMG and the Kingdom brawled to the back and this one officially got underway. As Taven went to try and grab a hold of Gordon, Gordon continued to flip back and nip up, taunting Taven a bit. Taven ended up catching Gordon flipping and dumped him onto the arena floor, throat first across the rope. Taven continued the attack outside, ramming Gordon into the ring posts before he got into it with a fan dressed as Hulk Hogan, before he made his way back into the ring. Taven stayed in control and in a brilliant moment of crowd interaction, he hit a big boot and a leg drop on Gordon to a chorus of boos. As Gordon began to muster some offense, Marseglia and O’Ryan came out to distract and disrupt and that they did, allowing Taven to a hit a low blow on Gordon to pick up the win. Taven really felt the pulse of the crowd during this one and brought them into it. Gordon’s selling was excellent here and he definitely worked a different match than he has in ROH. The interference was not how I wanted to see this end, but having Gordon lose this way protects him and is in line with Taven’s approach to winning, by any means necessary.
Winner: Matt Taven
ROH World Championship Match.
Cody(c) vs. Rocky Romero
Caprice Coleman joined commentary before this got underway. Cody stalled as he has been during his matches and demanded that Romero kiss the ring, which predictably did not go well. Romero beat Cody’s arm down and took the ring off, but as he offered it to the crowd, Cody recovered and attacked him from behind. Cody handed the ring off to be sent to the back and was met with a knee to the face when he faced the ring. Romero pulled a table out that was left outside untouched as a tease as Cody rolled into the ring and took control. The two battled back and forth until the found themselves on the apron and the table came into play as Cody suplex Romero through the table to the arena floor. The went back inside and Cody couldn’t put Romero away with a figure four or a disaster kick, so he went under the ring a grabbed a bag of tacks, the same bag that Cabana would tell us his food came in. Cody went for a superplex, but they jostled around and landed on the mat, prompting him to try to bulldog Romero onto the tacks. A reversal sent Cody into the tacks instead, but he managed to reverse a sliced bread #2 attempt into a CrossRhodes to pick up the pinfall victory. This match had some good stretches and would have gone over better in front of a different crowd. It seems odd that these two went for it with those spots here on a house show, but although it energized the crowd a bit, it was still flat overall.
Dalton Castle, Jay Lethal & Kenny King vs. The Elite (Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks)
Matt and King started off, both repelling each other’s offense and tagging out as they hit a stalemate. Lethal and Nick came in next, but an equally even exchange led Nick to tag Omega in. Just as Lethal and Omega went to square off, Castle bellowed that he was hungry for Omega and then he tagged in. The two exchanged body slam attempts before taking a breather and the other four men entered, which shortly led to a six man brawl. In the closing sequence, the Elite just couldn’t keep Castle down, no matter what they did, and it allowed for his partners to try and make the save. Lethal took Omega out with a Lethal Injection and he was promptly laid out. Matt and Nick went for a Meltzer Driver, but King took Nick out with the Royal Flush, allowing Castle to hit Bang-A-Rang on Matt and pick up the pinfall victory. This match had a little bit of everything here, with brawls on the stage, leaps over the announce table and signature spots. It was a bit odd to hear Castle booed, same for King, the companies babyface challenger and babyface champion respectively, but that’s just how over the Elite are with the crowd.
Winners: Dalton Castle, Kenny King & Jay Lethal
Final Thoughts: C
As with many of the recent VODs, especially with the Elite in the main events, this was a fun house show, however the crowd here took away from the experience, as there were some matches on the card that deserved more attention/reaction here. There were some matches here that teased future possible feuds, like Martinez/Taylor and Taven against Gordon, but weren’t given as much time as they should have here. Granted, not every ROH would be seeing this show, but pitting Castle against Bullet Club this close to Final Battle was a bit perplexing, as he should go into the title match against another Bullet Club members as clear a babyface as you can get, yet was set up to get booed when facing Omega.