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Mattamy Athletic Centre – Toronto, ON – Saturday, September 6, 2014

Kevin Kelly, Steve Corino, and Nigel McGuinness are on commentary.

~PRESHOW MATCH~
Cheeseburger defeats Romantic Touch at 5:50. This is pretty much a comedy match in the early going, with Touch doing his shtick and Cheeseburger doing his. They work in some actual wrestling, and it strikes me that these two are the best that the ROH School has to offer. When Touch hits his vaunted dropkick, Maria Kanellis comes out for some reason to distract him. That allows Cheeseburger to hit a springboard hurricanrana to score the upset pin. If they want to keep these two on the preshow that’s fine with me.
Rating: *½

Michael Bennett comes out in his weird red pants and spears both Cheeseburger and Romantic Touch. Maria and Bennett get on the mic and say they have a big announcement to make in regards to The Kingdom, but we’ll have to buy the pay-per-view to find out what it is.

The House of Truth opens the show, as ROH World Television Champion Jay Lethal, Truth Martini, and Seleziya Sparx make their way to the ring. Martini announces that Lethal’s scheduled challenger ACH was not able to make it tonight, so Lethal will have the night off. Cedric Alexander makes his way out, and he was scheduled to face Silas Young but Young is injured so Alexander has no opponent either. Alexander reminds everyone that he has pinned lethal recently in a gauntlet match, so he wants a TV Title shot tonight. He impugns Lethal’s manhood, which leads Lethal to accept the challenge. Lethal and Alexander get right up in each other’s faces, and Lethal goes for a superkick but Alexander moves and Seleziya gets nailed instead!

~MATCH #1~
Mark Briscoe defeats Hanson at 8:45. These two actually have very similar styles, and they engage in a fast-paced brawl right from the get-go. Hanson definitely has the size advantage, and Mark is a bit more of a high-flyer, but neither are slouches in either department. Hanson seems to get Mark right where he wants him to finish him off, but he misses a big moonsault from the top rope. That allows Mark to hit the Froggy ‘Bow to get the pin. That was a surprisingly fun opener, with a fast pace that kept the crowd engaged.
Rating: ***

The suspended Tommaso Ciampa comes out from the crowd and tries to apologize to Bobby Cruise for assaulting him at the last show. ROH Matchmaker Nigel McGuinness has Ciampa’s mic cut and escorts him from the building.

~MATCH #2~
R.D. Evans & Moose (w/ Ramon, Veda Scott, and a winning streak of 149-0) defeat The Decade (BJ Whitmer & Adam Page), Monster Mafia (Ethan Gabriel Owens & Josh Alexander), and Caprice Coleman & Takaaki Watanabe in a Four Corner Survival Tag Team Match at 9:31. This is quite the collection of dudes out there. Of course the action is fast and furious, with plenty of things happening both inside and outside the ring. The most important thing in this match is the effort to get Moose over, and they do a pretty good job of that. All four teams get a chance to shine though, particularly Owens and Alexander. When they appear to have Page put away after a devastating double-team move, Evans sneaks in and cradles Owens to get the surprise pin! There was more than enough going on there to never get bored, and they managed to make all four teams look good in their own way.
Rating: ***

~MATCH #3~
The Addiction (Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian) defeat The Decade (Jimmy Jacobs & Roderick Strong) (w/ Adam Page & BJ Whitmer) at 10:59. Kazarian and Daniels attack right away, furious at the Decade for costing them their shot at the Tag Team Titles back in June. Jacobs and Strong, with six ROH Tag Team Title reigns amongst them, show great poise as a team and control Kazarian for a good long while. Eventually Daniels gets the hot tag and all hell breaks loose. Referee Paul Turner pretty much loses control of what’s going on, and The Addiction capitalizes, getting rid of Jacobs and hitting Strong with Celebrity Rehab to get the pin. That was good old fashioned tag team formula stuff by four guys who are awesome at it. Decade looked good until the finish, and Addiction is being well built towards another title shot.
Rating: ***½

After the match, Strong tries to shake Daniels’ and Kazarian’s hands, which enrages Adam Page, which brings BJ Whitmer in between them. Some serious dissension is going on in The Decade, and Jimmy Jacobs has to step in and play peacemaker.

~MATCH #4~
AJ Styles defeats Adam Cole at 23:18. Styles is the IWGP Champion but that title is not on the line here. These two are commonly regarded as among the best in the world right now, so no pressure here or anything. They engage in some back and forth chain wrestling to start, feeling each other out. Cole takes the first sustained advantage and wears AJ down. AJ Stages a brief comeback, but when he goes to the second rope Cole nails him in the leg with a superkick, and he goes right after the injured body part. Cole spends quite a bit of time working over AJ’s leg, even using the ring-post Figure Four and the traditional Figure-Four Leglock. When AJ fights back he goes up top and hits a 450 Splash, but he landed hard on his knee and is not able to follow up. Cole tries the Panama Destroyer but AJ counters into the Styles Clash! AJ lands hard on his knee again, but he crawls over to make the cover and Cole barely gets his foot on the bottom rope. Once again AJ goes up top and Cole knocks him down. Cole hits a German Superplex and then the Florida Key but somehow AJ kicks out! They continue to battle back and forth, and find their way up to the top rope. AJ is able to connect on a super butterfly brainbuster to score the hard-fought win. What a phenomenal battle by two incredible wrestlers. Both men were pulling out all the stops, and I like how Cole’s desperation to win the match is what ultimately cost him. AJ Styles and Adam Cole are just competing on another level right now.
Rating: ****¼

Right after intermission, Michael Bennett and Maria Kanellis come out to announce that “Matt” is coming back. Then they reveal that they have re-designed Jay Briscoe’s homemade ROH Title belt with some pink fur and renamed it “The Title of Love.” The engaged couple is about to get frisky on the belt until Mark Briscoe comes out to run them off.

~MATCH #5~
ROH World Television Champion Jay Lethal (w/ Truth Martini) defeats Cedric Alexander at 15:39 to retain the title. Lethal has been the Champion since 4.4.14, and this is his sixteenth defense. Alexander starts the match off hot, taking it to the TV Champion. Lethal survives the onslaught and takes control thanks to more than a little help from Truth. This is a fast-paced back and forth encounter, with Lethal acting quite cocky for someone facing a surprise challenger. Alexander has to fight off both Lethal and Truth, but he’s able to do so and almost gets the win on a number of occasions. Seleziya Sparx runs out and ends up getting hit with an Alexander IED. Alexander hits Lethal with the Lumbar Check but Lethal gets his foot on the bottom rope! Moments later Lethal is able to connect with Matt Taven’s Climax signature move, and then the Lethal Injection to score the pin. That was mostly good, as long as it was focused on Lethal and Alexander. But of course Truth and Seleziya had to get really involved, and that just drug the match down.
Rating: ***

~MATCH #6~
Jay Briscoe defeats ROH World Champion Michael Elgin at 24:01 to win the title. Elgin has been the Champion since 6.22.14, and this is his eighth defense. Both men are aggressive right from the start. They exchange hard strikes and suplexes and such, as both men have a similarly physical style. The battle spills to the floor and the referee allows a lot of leeway out there, as it should be for an ROH World Title match. Elgin focuses on Jay’s back, which is going to make it a lot harder for Jay to hit the Jay Driller. He even uses the Sharpshooter, which I don’t think I’ve ever seen him do before. Jay fights out of that and they take it to the apron, where Jay is able to hit a Jay Driller down through a table! He is able to roll Elgin back in the ring and he covers but only gets two. Elgin fights up and hits a back fist and the Buckle Bomb. He tries the Elgin Bomb but Jay reverses it to the Jay Driller to get the pin and regain the ROH World Title. I didn’t expect Jay to win this match until I realized that a hometown Champion was defending the title in the semi-main event for no good reason. So that slight telegraph aside, this was still a good hard-hitting brawl that really picked up the intensity in the final stretch. Not a classic title change match by any means, but still quite good.
Rating: ***¾

~MATCH #7~
ROH World Tag Team Champions reDRagon (Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly) defeat The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson) at 18:20 in a Best Two out Of Three Falls Match to retain the titles. Fish and O’Reilly have been the Champions since 5.17.14, and this is their fifth defense. These two teams have wrestled each other so many times so they know each other very well. That keeps the pace fast and furious right from the get-go. Momentum swings back and forth, as both teams appear to be saving very little for the later falls. Nick appears to have things well in hand, but O’Reilly is able to reposition the referee and hits Nick with a hockey stick. The Champs hit Chasing the Dragon to win the first fall at 6:37. Fish and O’Reilly try to put Nick away early in the second fall, but Nick is able to fight them off and make the hot tag to his brother. The Bucks pretty much stop selling, and they hit Fish with a Spiked Piledriver on the floor. O’Reilly tries a leap off the apron but he gets drilled with a double superkick. Back in the ring Matt grabs Fish for a Package Piledriver and Nick adds a kick to the head. That’s more than enough to give the Bucks the second fall at 13:35. The third fall continues the chaos, and the Bucks almost win the titles with a Meltzer Driver on O’Reilly but Fish pulls the ref to the floor. The referee gets bumped and now things are really out of hand. The challengers try More Bang for Your Buck but Fish breaks it up by driving Matt through a table, and O’Reilly catches Nick in a Cross Armbreaker to get the tapout win. While the selling was a bit spotty at times, this was still a pretty thrilling tag team battle, with two teams operating at an extremely high level. After the shocking title win in the semi-main, I can see why they did this match the way they did.
Rating: ****

After the match, Tommaso Ciampa runs out and destroys the Young Bucks, and then starts tearing up the ring as we fade out.

A2Z Analysiz
This show is littered with good to great matches, and a historic World Title change to boot. It’s a little on the long side with a little bit more emphasis on angle advancement, but it all worked in this case so good on them. I heartily recommend this show.

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