Wrestling Review: ROH 15th Anniversary Show (2017)

For the third consecutive year, Ring of Honor wrestling heads to Las Vegas to celebrate a decade and a half of the best wrestling on the planet. Over the last 15 years, Ring of Honor has been the starting point, or highlight, of the careers of such names as CM Punk, Samoa Joe and Bryan Danielson, and tonight, at ROH 15th Anniversary Show, everyone is looking to add their name to that list. At the top of the card is a moment 24 years in the making, as “The Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels seeks his first ever ROH World Championship as he takes on the slimiest, most arrogant member of the Bullet Club, Adam Cole (bay bay!). Also on the card is a triple threat Las Vegas street fight between reigning ROH Tag Team Champions the Hardy Boys as they face both the teams of Roppongi Vice (Trent Beretta and Rocky Romero) and worldwide superstars The Young Bucks. The match is sure to be crazy, and definitely not one to be missed. There are two more ROH titles on the line, and a huge number of stars from all over the world, inclkuding Marty Scurll, The Briscoes and Jay Lethal at Ring of Honor’s 15th Anniversary Show. Commentary, as always, comes from Kevin Kelly, Ian Riccaboni and Colt Cabana.

+ The Hardy Boys (Matt & Jeff Hardy) (c) vs The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) vs Roppongi Vice (Triple Threat Tag Team Las Vegas Stret Fight) (ROH Tag Team Championships): holy shit. This was insane, in all of the hardcore, crazy ways you would expect from these teams, including tables, ladder and chairs (oh my), not to mention my personal NOPE object: thumb tacks. Everyone in this match was amazing, but special note has to go to Trent Baretta for being the absolute whipping boy of the other teams
+ Marty Scurll (c) vs Lio Rush (ROH TV Championship): Scurll has such an amazing talent to make every attack on the limbs of his opponent to look like they were legitimately destroyed. These two went all out from the beginning, with Rush flying and Scurll smacking, and the two had a finger snap moment you won’t soon forget. This was a fantastic match, with some really good story moments between the villainous champ and the almost desperate challenger
+ Bobby Fish vs Jay Lethal: Lethal is just so, so good, even when he is taking a ridiculously hard kick to the chest from Fish. Both of these guys are arguably not great characters, but in ring they are unmatched. From start to finish this was simply fantastic
+ Adam Cole (c) vs Christopher Daniels (ROH World Championship): a slow but deliberate start between the still young Champion and the wily veteran was great for the story,and really got the crowd fired up. I’ve always thought Cole was somewhat bland, especially in terms of his look, but he was talking trash the whole match and that certainly made me hate him. The callbacks to the entirety of Ring of Honor’s 15 years was phenomenal (pun intended), although a somewhat cliched ending did put a damper on what was until that point a fantastic performance
+ Hangman Page vs Frankie Kazarian vs Chris Sabin vs Punishment Martinez vs Cheeseburger vs Silas Young (Six Man Mayhem): with a shot at the ROH TV Championship on the line for the winner, this was a fast paced affair from start to finish. The various styles meshed well, with high-flying and stiff strikes on display. I did think this was an elimination match, though, but apparently not, as this ended after the first pinfall. Either way, this was a very fun match which left everyone looking good
+ The Briscoes & Bully Ray vs War Machine & Davey Smith Jr.: I’ve never really been a fan of #DemBoys, the Briscoes, but it is always good to see big boys like Bubba (sorry, Bully) and War Machine, not to mention Davey Boy’s new blonde look. But I have to admit, this was very enjoyable. Bully Ray and the Briscoes are a good team, and the story connotations between Smith Jr and War Machine made for some very interesting moments and an overall very solid match
+ Kenny King (w/ Caprice Coleman) vs Jay White: the opening match, this was a battle between experience versus youthful exuberance. White is talented for sure, but incredibly plain, but he never looked to be any better than his well traveled opponent. This was a solid opener, but had it occurred anywhere else on the card you’d have to call it a let down

– The Kingdom (Matt Taven, TK O’Ryan and Vinny Marseglia) (s) vs Dalton Castle and The Boys (ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Championship): this was… rough. One of The Boys took a really bad head-firt landing onto the wooden floor outside the ring. Later, TK O’Ryan (in real life) broke his leg on the barricade. I don’t know, overall this felt sloppy, and a few dangerous, if obviously accidental, spots only left a bad taste in my mouth

> I remember thinking how great Daniels was all the way back in 2005 or so, including the incredible Triple Threat with Samoa Joe and AJ Styles. It is a service to him that he is still so fantastic

Should you watch this event: Three incredible matches (Hardys/Bucks/Vice, Fish/Lethal and Scurll/Rush) are absolute must sees, and the remaining matches (bar the six man title match) are all solid performances. With only one match listed as a negative above, this is a show you should watch, even if just for the three listed above.

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