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San Antonio Shrine Auditorium – San Antonio, TX – Friday, September 18, 2015

At various points in the evening, Kevin Kelly, King Corino, BJ Whitmer, and Nigel McGuinness are on commentary.

~MATCH #1~
ROH World Television Champion Jay Lethal (w/ Truth Martini) defeats Bobby Fish at 14:09 to retain the title. Lethal has been the Champion since 4.4.14, and this is his thirty-fourth defense. This is an interesting situation because Lethal also has to defend the ROH World Title in the main event, so it may play into how he wrestles this match. Fish spends a majority of his time on offense working the leg, softening Lethal up for the Fish Hook Deluxe Edition. Lethal tries to end it early a couple of times, including a Lethal Injection in the first couple minutes (Fish wisely rolled to the floor), and even going for a countout win. In the end Fish has the Fish Hook Deluxe Edition locked in, but Lethal is able to counter into a rollup with a handful of tights to escape with the win. This was smartly worked given that Lethal has to defend another title in the main event, which is why the cheap finish works here. Plus it keeps Fish relatively strong for another shot down the line.
Rating: ***¼

~MATCH #2~
Silas Young defeats Dalton Castle (w/ Brandon & Brent) at 12:28. This is a “Battle for the Boys,” meaning if Young wins he gets Brandon and Brent in his employ, and if Castle wins he gets to add Young to The Boys. This has been a surprisingly well-done feud, as it makes total sense that these two well-defined characters would not like each other. The fight sees them battling both in and out of the ring, trading control back and forth. Both men have strong motivations here, but in the end it’s that motivating factor (The Boys) that influences the outcome. Young tries to use his heavy knee brace as a weapon, but the Boys intervene and prevent it. With the referee momentarily distracted, Young kicks Castle in the groin and then hits Misery to get the pin. Fun stuff here and a result that will no doubt lead to entertaining television, so it’s a win all around.
Rating: ***¼

~MATCH #3~
The All Night Express (Kenny King & Rhett Titus) defeat The Briscoes (Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe) at 8:30. BJ Whitmer joins the commentators, and Adam Page is by his side. First, The Romantic Touch comes out alone, and after Jay and Mark beat him down, the All Night Express’s music hits and the former ROH World Tag Team Champions are back! It starts off as a brawl but quickly settles into the usual Briscoes match. They all do their stuff, and the ANX picks up the win when the hit the One Night Stand on Mark (of course). This was a fine way to reintroduce the ANX to the tag team division, but a far cry from the heated battles these teams had in 2011.
Rating: **¾

After the match, Adam Page sneaks in the ring and kicks Jay in the nuts, and Mark in the face. King and Titus return to run Page off, and they shake hands with the Briscoes.

~MATCH #4~
Moose (w/ Stokely Hathaway) defeats Cedric Alexander (w/ Veda Scott) at 13:06 in a No Disqualification Match. This has been a fairly heated feud, and a good showcase for both men. Moose dominates the early going, but misses a dive to the floor and crashes through a ladder, and that’s all Alexander needs to take control. Veda has no qualms about interjecting herself, and since it’s no-DQ why should she? Momentum swings back and forth between the two rivals, until late in the match when Scott gives Alexander a large wrench. Hathaway will have none of it, and he sneaks into the ring to take it away, making Alexander look like a huge wimp in the process. Scott gets in the ring to try and help out but gets mistakenly hit with a dropkick from her own client! Moose then puts Alexander through a table with a vicious spear to get the pin and win the feud. This was a really fun brawl and made good use of weapons. Moose comes out of this looking pretty good, but Alexander not so much.
Rating: ***½

~MATCH #5~
ACH [2] defeats Matt Sydal [1] in the third match of a Best of Five Series at 16:29. Sydal won the first match at the Reloaded Tour in Dearborn, MI, and ACH tied it up with a win the match two at the Reloaded Tour stop in Chicago Ridge, IL. This one starts off slow, as their first two matches in the series were seven and six days ago, respectively, so they’re pretty familiar with each other. Sydal spends a great deal of time working ACH’s leg, which is always a good strategy against a high-flyer of that caliber. It doesn’t end up paying off though, as ACH is able to flatten Sydal with a Brainbuster and then hits the Midnight Star to get the pin and go up 2-1. I always get a little annoyed when someone gets their leg worked on for an entire match but then still does a high flying move to get the win. It would’ve actually made more sense for ACH to win on something like the Brainbuster. Still, for the most part this was a solid, entertaining match.
Rating: ***¼

~MATCH #6~
The Kingdom (Michael Bennett & Matt Taven, w/ Maria Kanellis) defeat ROH World Tag Team Champions The Addiction (Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian) and The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson) in a three-way match at 13:49 to win the titles. Daniels and Kazarian have been the Champions since 4.4.15, and this is their sixth defense. Chaos begins right away with all six men running and flying all over the ring and the ringside area. The champs slow things down and isolate Matt Jackson for a little while. Referee Paul Turner has a hard time controlling the action, which is to be expected with three teams out there. Late in the match Maria gets up on the apron and Daniels punches her square in the mouth. That angers Bennett, who takes out the referee while charging after Daniels. A man in a red mask comes out and takes out the Addiction with a Superkick and a Cradle Shock, respectively. The Young Bucks hit Daniels with the Meltzer Driver, but Taven sneaks up behind Matt Jackson and rolls him up for the pin. How very Ring of Honor is it to not pin the guy who got hit with a move like the Meltzer Driver, but instead to pin someone else with a rollup? This was good up to a point, but with six guys and a manager already out there, was it necessary for someone else to interfere? Plus the finish was weak. Overall it was enjoyable but it could’ve been more with less.
Rating: ***

~MATCH #7~
AJ Styles defeats Adam Cole, Michael Elgin, and Roderick Strong at 14:31 in a Four Corner Survival match to earn a shot at the ROH World Title. The crowd chants “this is awesome” before anyone even does anything. When the action does start it’s non-stop from the bell. All four men keep up a breakneck pace and unleash flurries of offensive assaults on anyone within reach. In the end Cole and Styles are left alone in the ring, and Styles is able to hit the Styles Clash to get the pin and secure himself an ROH World Title shot. That was a great showcase for four of ROH’s top contenders, and it definitely made sense for AJ to get the win here. The action never stopped and it was quite entertaining.
Rating: ***¾

~MATCH #8~
ROH World Champion Jay Lethal (w/ Truth Martini) defeats Kyle O’Reilly at 14:00 to retain the title. Lethal has been the Champion since 6.19.15, and this is his third defense. Each man issues a slap to the other’s face, and then the chain wrestling starts. O’Reilly peppers in strikes because that’s what he’s good at. Lethal tries the Lethal Injection frequently, and O’Reilly goes for ARMageddon, which he’s used to tap Lethal out twice before. I would work the leg if I were him, since that’s what Fish did in the opener. Martini interferes and gets kicked in the face, which he barely sells before distracting Sinclair even further. Nigel goes over and removes Martini from ringside. Seconds later referee Todd Sinclair gets bumped and Lethal hits the Lethal Injection. Lethal tries to use the belt as a weapon but Bobby Fish comes out to stop him. Donovan Dijak comes out to thwart Fish, so Adam Cole comes out to thwart Dijak. Cole appears to be helping Lethal but instead Superkicks him right in the face! Lethal then hits the Lethal Injection and Sinclair rolls over to make the count. That was going along all well and good, but then the entire world had to interfere just to get to the finish, and it kind of sucked the air out of the whole deal. Lethal and O’Reilly have great chemistry together and they didn’t need all the bells and whistles this match offered.
Rating: ***¼

A2Z Analysiz
Lethal escaped the show with both belts, which I certainly did not predict at the time. Both matches were good not great, and I think he would’ve benefitted tremendously from less interference in the main event. The rest of the card is pretty solid all in all, but nothing incredible or worth going out of your way to see. In fact, who remembers the last time ROH ran a show that you just HAD to see?

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