Masters 2017

Hopkins Eisenhower Community Center – Hopkins, MN – April 29, 2017

Vinny Marseglia (w/ Matt Taven) defeats Shaheem Ali at 6:18. You can watch this match for yourself on YouTube. Ian Riccaboni is on commentary. Both of these men are primarily tag team wrestlers in ROH, so this is a rare singles outing for both of them. Ali controls the early going, until Taven interferes by giving Marseglia his hockey mask to use as a weapon. Marseglia works Ali over for a while until the big comeback. Ali misses a Coast 2 Coast (that’s the name of his team!), and Marseglia follows with a Swanton Bomb to get the pin. Decent little showing for both men here.
Rating: **¼

Ian Riccaboni and Colt Cabana are on commentary.

~MATCH #1~
Jay Lethal defeats Beer City Bruiser at 7:49. Lethal uses his quickness and smarts to take the early advantage. Bruiser uses his size and power to get some licks in, but Lethal has counters for just about everything, and simply outclasses his larger opponent. Once Lethal is able to hit the Lethal Injection it’s all over. Fun opener here and a solid, clean win for Lethal.
Rating: **½

~MATCH #2~
IWGP Tag Team Champions War Machine (Hanson & Ray Rowe) defeat The Rebellion (Rhett Titus & Shane Taylor) at 11:17. This is a non-title match. Hanson and Titus start the match, and it doesn’t take long for the Champs to dominate, even when Taylor tags in. The Rebellion use some shady tactics to take the advantage on Rowe, isolating him in their half of the ring. That doesn’t last too long before Hanson comes in and cleans house. Eventually, the referee loses control and it’s a donnybrook. Hanson and Rowe trap Titus all by himself and hit the Fallout to get the win. Good tag team match here that mostly stuck to the formula. War Machine looked great without making their opponents look like jobbers, which is always appreciated.
Rating: ***

~MATCH #3~
Matt Taven defeats Adam Cole at 12:48. Both men are aggressive in the early going, taking it to the floor in short order. These two have fought off and on over the years, dating back to when Taven ended Cole’s ROH TV Title reign in 2013. They were also teammates in the original Kingdom, led by Cole. Taven focuses on Cole’s arm, and Cole responds by going after Taven’s leg, where both men have suffered injuries before. They definitely know each other well judging by the number of counters and momentum switches. In fact, the finish comes after a series of small package reversals that ends with Taven scoring a huge win over the only three-time ROH World Champion. That makes sense since Taven has a World Title match coming up. Taven looked good here and generated solid heel heat. They worked a nice back and forth match with a nice clean finish.
Rating: ***¼

~MATCH #4~
ROH World Television Champion Marty Scurll defeats Ken Anderson to retain the title at 14:22. Scurll has been the Champion since 11.20.16, and this is his ninth defense. Scurll imitates Anderson’s ring introduction and then smacks him with the microphone. The brawl is on and Anderson is wrestling the match in a t-shirt, so I assume he’s out of shape. I mean, I am too, so I’m not judging, just saying. Anderson seems energized by appearing in ROH for the first time, but Scurll survives his onslaught and starts attacking the arm to set up for the Crossface Chicken Wing. Late in the match referee Paul Turner gets bumped and doesn’t see when Anderson hits the Mic Check and gets a visual pin. When Anderson goes to wake Turner up, Scurll grabs a chair and tries to pull an Eddie Guerrero, and Anderson responds in kind. Turner doesn’t know what to do. Scurll tries to use the umbrella, and when Turner removes it, Scurll kicks Anderson low and small packages him to get the pin. They did some goofy stuff there in the last part of the match but the crowd was into it, so this was not the disaster I was expecting going in. I’m not a fan of two inside cradles in a row for finishes, but this was probably the best we could expect out of Anderson at this point.
Rating: **½

~MATCH #5~
Cheeseburger & Will Ferrara defeat The Carnies (Kerry Awful & Nick Iggy) at 7:55. Early dissension rears its ugly head between the vaunted tandem of Ferrara and Cheeseburger. That allows the Carnies to take the advantage and they show impressive teamwork. Ferrara and Cheeseburger are able to overcome their differences and Ferrara hits Iggy with the D Double L to get the win. Acceptable post-intermission stuff here.
Rating: **¼

~MATCH #6~
Jay White defeats Punishment Martinez at 10:30. Both men cut a fast pace from the get-go, with White using his speed and agility, with Martinez fending him off with his size and power. White even shows some impressive power, which makes up for his ridiculous hair. Then Martinez shows off his own agility, so both men prove they can play each other’s game. Neither man controls the match for very long, with plenty of counters and momentum shifts. When Martinez goes for the big Chokeslam, White counters into a cradle to get the flash pin. That match felt like it had more juice in it, which makes me excited to see them wrestle again. After the match, Martinez lays White out with a Chokeslam and a curb stomp, basically guaranteeing that they’ll fight again. Really good, fast-paced match here.
Rating: ***½

~MATCH #7~
The Briscoes (Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe) defeat The Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin) at 15:43. These two teams have wrestled twice in the past, including one of the best tag team matches in ROH history in 2007 at Good Times, Great Memories, and again at Return Engagement in 2008. Each team won once, so this is the rubber match. Jay and Mark are currently the ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Champions, along with Bully Ray. Both teams show off expert teamwork in the early going, and the crowd is juicing for everyone. They fight in and out of the ring, and a rare miscue from the Guns leads to the match spilling back to the floor and both teams fight throughout the arena. The action is hard to keep up with here, as both teams move at 100mph. In the end, Jay levels Sabin with the Jay Driller and Mark follows with the Froggy ‘Bow to get the pin. Great tag team match here, non-stop action from all four men, and they made it feel like winning the series that originated in 2007 and 2008 was of utmost importance. Cabana was especially hard on Shelley on commentary, not sure what that was about.
Rating: ****

~MATCH #8~
Bully Ray defeats Silas Young at 9:51 in a No Disqualification Match. This was scheduled as a regular match, but when Young insults Bully on the mic, Bully decides to make this a No Disqualification Match. Apparently, Bully has hiring and firing power. Bully is one-third of the ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Champions, but he doesn’t come out with his belt. That always annoys me. They brawl in and out of the ring, using whatever they can find as weapons. Bully does his usual shtick and gets referee Paul Turner to act as a substitute D-Von, sort of. When Bully goes outside to get a table, he gets attacked by Young’s tag team partner, the Beer City Bruiser. Jay Lethal makes his way out to run Bruiser off. The distraction allows Bully to hit Young with the Bully Bomb for the pin. This started off okay but got silly with the referee stuff. At least the finish advanced the Lethal/Young issue, so it served a purpose.
Rating: **

~MATCH #9~
Dalton Castle (w/ The Boys) & The Addiction (Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian) defeat BULLET CLUB (Hangman Page, Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson) at 19:15 in a Six-Man Tag Team Match. The Young Bucks are the current ROH World Tag Team Champions, and Daniels is the ROH World Champion. The most heated issue here is between Kazarian and Page, and the other four men seem content to engage in shenanigans early on. After the early brouhaha, the match takes on a more serious tone and the advantage swings to the BULLET CLUB. The pace is breakneck here and the crowd is reacting to everything. It’s hard to keep up with the action, which is coming from all over the place. In the end, the Addiction gets Page isolated and wreck him with the Best Meltzer Ever to get the pin. Really fun match and a lot of action going on here, but nothing super memorable.
Rating: ***¾

JZ Says
Looking at the lineup on paper, I had very low expectations for this show. I ended up really enjoying it. It comes in at less than three hours, and four of the 10 matches are over three stars, and one gets to four. Not much was advanced, but Matt Taven looked good going into his upcoming title shot, and Jay White and Punishment Martinez laid groundwork for more matches together. Honor Club members can check out this show Right Here.