By Haydn Gleed, Prowrestling.net Staffer (@haydngleed)
Join Jason Powell for live coverage of tonight’s Ring of Honor 16th Anniversary pay-per-view beginning with the pre-show matches at 7:30CT/8:30ET. Dot Net Members will hear his audio review of this event after the show. You can also listen to a free audio interview with Flip Gordon at PWAudio.net.
Ring of Honor presents its 16th Anniversary show tonight and first of all, boy do I feel old. I was a young fresh university student when I first heard about ROH. It seems as if I am looking forward to this show a lot more than others. I agree to some degree that this show doesn’t really matter and is not a super show, but I would argue that ROH TV has done a good job with the storylines heading into the show for the majority of the card. Ultimately, the Supercard of Honor event that will be held during WrestleMania weekend is the big show of the first half of the year for the company, but for a comparison I’m looking forward to this show a lot more than the equivalent WWE B-Show on Sunday.
Dalton Castle vs. Jay Lethal for the ROH Championship: This match is purely based around the premise of “I want your title” and with both wrestlers on the babyface side of things I have no issue with that simple story. It makes the title feel important and if Castle retains against a top guy in Jay Lethal without any gimmicks or screwy finishes it makes him feel like a stronger champion. For me, this is Castle’s opportunity to win over any ROH fans who are still undecided by him as a top guy in the company. I’ve heard from people who like Dalton yet don’t view him as championship material and I can understand that to some degree. However, if he has the type of match that he can potentially have with Lethal then I feel that the uncertainty might be a step closer to being erased.
Dalton Castle retains the ROH Title.
“The Motor City Machine Guns” Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin vs. Jay Briscoe and Mark Briscoe for the ROH Tag Team Championships: I can’t overstate how disappointed I am with the build for this match. At the tail end of 2017, The Briscoes were a hot heel act after the stellar build to their Final Battle match against Bully Ray and Tommy Dreamer. This was the opportunity to use the heat that they had built up and to build a storyline where we would finally get to know MCMG and bring out their personalities. Instead, we had one sort of injury angle with Chris Sabin, a couple of weeks of the same promo with Jay and Mark, and then the week before the show the babyfaces got their revenge. I’m not sure I completely understand the logic of what ROH are doing here, but I’m going to go with The Briscoes to win the titles and allow the Guns to go into chase mode.
The Briscoes win the ROH Tag Titles.
Cody vs. Matt Taven: What could otherwise be known as the battle for the ring, we saw a version of this match on ROH TV and it was thoroughly entertaining and I expect this to be the same. The storyline with Cody and the Bullet Club has kind of muddied the waters here in terms of this being essentially a heel vs heel match, but I suspect Cody will play the babyface role in this match to finish up this feud. It’s not ideal booking by ROH, but ultimately for this match in a vacuum I’m willing to look past it. I can possibly see this being a spot for Bully to continue his enforcer gimmick by stopping The Kingdom getting involved, thus continuing their belief of a conspiracy against them. Thus, Cody will come out on top and reclaim his ring and allow strangers to kiss it (did I just type that?!).
Punishment Martinez vs. Marty Scurll: I view this as the comedy relief match. I don’t mean that in terms of a match that will just be ha ha, but in terms of Scurll’s antics in overcoming the monster. Marty is so over with the crowd at the moment for his personality as much as his wrestling ability, which is great to see. He is combining the behavior of his villain character with some good to very good matches and I don’t see this being any different. Martinez for a big man is no slouch but he is prone to the odd clunky moment in his matches. I can see this being a bit of comedy ha ha at the start with Marty trying to get the advantage on the big man, followed by an extended beatdown by Martinez before The Villain pulls out a trick or two to come out on top. They have implied on television that Marty would face the winner of the Castle vs. Lethal match so that’s where I expect him to head after this with the match happening on the Supercard of Honor event.
Marty Scurll wins.
“The Hung Bucks” Adam Page, Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson vs. “SoCal Uncensored” Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky in a Vegas Street Fight for the ROH Six-Man Tag Titles: A mid-card match with main event talent and a good storyline behind it, what could go wrong? It goes without saying how good the men in this match are and they have been battling back and for in different combinations on ROH TV over the last couple of weeks. The Bullet Club members appear to be heading into this match as favorites but they have thrown in the wildcard of Shane Taylor being introduced into the SoCal faction, albeit as a hired hitman. I could see this match going either way as SoCal Uncensored seem to be on the path to a big angle with the authority figures of ROH. So what better way than to have them mock the fact that the people they hate are ROH champions? With the Hung Bucks caught up in The Bullet Club storyline, I don’t think they need any titles and those belts could just get lost in the mix, so the heels to win here.
SolCal Uncensored win the ROH Six-Man Tag Titles.
Flip Gordon vs. Hiromu Takahashi: This will be the classic ROH exhibition, no storyline needed style match (though they did trade pins on the Honor Rising events in Japan recently). Both men are incredibly athletic and talented and with this being the only match of its type on the card, there will be no need to hold back on what they do. If it was up to me, I would give the career boosting win to the ROH guy but we all know that’s soooooooo not going to happen against somebody from NJPW.
Hiromu Takahashi wins.
Kenny King vs. Silas Young for the ROH TV Title: A late addition to the card, which should be the end of a roughly six month feud between the two over the belt. Kenny King impressed me with the way he managed to get the crowd at fever pitch when he won the title on television recently, and I don’t see any reason why he should lose here. Silas won’t be hurt by this and will remain to be a heel with credibility despite the loss. How many of them can you say exist in a major promotion these days?
Kenny King retains the ROH TV Title.
Agree or disagree? Let me know via twitter @haydngleed or email email@example.com
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