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Csonka’s ROH 13th Anniversary: Winner Takes All PPV Review

March 1, 2015 | Posted by Larry Csonka
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Csonka’s ROH 13th Anniversary: Winner Takes All PPV Review  

As a reminder, this will not be another traditional recap, but instead it will be a mash up of the Rs, Instant Analysis and my usual Twitter ramblings I would do during the shows; completely uncensored and as the ideas flow unfiltered to the old keyboard. Remember, this is a review; and I am here to review the show. As always, I encourage discussion and even disagreement, just do so in a respectful manner. I will be doing the review for Raw and most PPVs and iPPVs going forward.

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ROH Winner Takes All PPV Review 3.01.15

~ Matt Sydal defeated Cedric Alexander @ 9:45 via pin [***]
~ Moose defeated Mark Briscoe @ 5:10 via pin [**]
~ The Kingdom defeated Karl Anderson and Daniels and Kazarian @ 12:30 via pin [***]
~ Grudge Match: Roderick Strong defeated BJ Whitmer @ 11:25 via pin [**½]
~ ODB defeated Maria @ 5:17 via pin []
~ AJ Styles defeated ACH @ 16:00 via pin [***½]
~ ROH Tag Team Title Match: Champions reDRagon defeated The Young Bucks @ 16:45 via pin [****]
~ ROH TV Title Match: Champion Jay Lethal defeated Alberto El Patron @ 13:00 via pin [**¾]
~ ROH Title Match: Champion Jay Briscoe defeated Ciampa, Hanson and Elgin @ 16:20 via pin [**]

* A little pre-show reunion…

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* We’re live from the Orleans Hotel & Casino.

* ROH has a Spanish announce team tonight.

* ROH reportedly sold 1,00 tickets for a sell out tonight, 1,000 seats and 500 standing room only tickets.

Matt Sydal vs. Cedric Alexander: This is a nice choice for the opener. Both guys can put on exciting matches, Sydal has produced some good stuff post WWE and over the last year I have seen more of Alexander, and he generally impresses. The crowd was lively early, which is always a good sign. Sydal worked the knee initially, but Alexander showed a more aggressive streak as he took control for a bit. They worked a really fun, and athletic match with good counters and near falls, which the crowd was into. They had a great near fall off of the lumbar check back breaker, and Alexander showed amazement that it wasn’t three. Alexander would crash and burn on a corner dropkick, allowing Sydal to connect with the shooting star press for the win. This was good opener and they worked together very well, but the fact that they abandoned the work on Alexander’s knee, making it mean nothing in the overall context of the match, was disappointing. They either needed to skip that or make it mean something, and this would have come across even better. I liked it overall.

* We get a video package for Moose vs. Mark Briscoe.

Mark Briscoe vs. Moose w/Hathaway and Scott: Mark ran wild early, but then as Mark sat on the top rope, Moose connected with a standing dropkick to send him to the floor. The man has an amazing vertical. Mark later played homage to Mick Foley with a Cactus elbow off of the apron to the floor, which was cool. Moose won clean with the spear, in a perfectly acceptable match. Moose is a hell of an athlete, but he’s still a project as he doesn’t quite put matches together as well as he needs to as of yet. But I feel there is a lot of potential there. I felt Mark did his job as well as possible, he sold well for him and made his offense look good. Post match Veda refused to let Moose shake hands with Briscoe. The crowd loves Moose, and if he can evolve, there is some real babyface potential there.

The Addiction (Daniels and Kazarian) vs. The Kingdom (Bennett and Taven) vs. Bullet Club (Anderson and Gallows): Gallows is stranded in Detroit, due to bad weather. Word is that Anderson will go it alone tonight but we’ll see. Anderson got on the mic and discussed drinking over 40 beers last night, and said that he doesn’t need a partner because he’s the Machine Gun. Anderson and the Addiction cleared the ring of the Kingdom, and the match then got underway. As a team, Daniels and Kazarian can make things appear so effortless, especially Daniels who seems to be the glue to every multi-man match he’s in. The middle was a bit soft, but they got the crowd into it really well and then broke down into the mass hysteria session where everyone hits a bunch of shit, but the crowd loved it. Bennett and Taven got the win following a spike piledriver on Anderson. I liked the finish because Anderson was alone, so it makes sense for him to lose. Also, post match, Bennett and Taven held Anderson’s IWGP title over him. With the rumors of them getting a push in NJPW, this was also a way to build to that. Some have complained that Gallows wasn’t replaced, but allowing Anderson to go alone worked well and again, gave the team that NJPW reportedly wants to push a victory. It also allows a NJPW champion to lose clean, on ROH PPV, without being devalued. They really brought things together down the stretch and despite missing a man; we ended up with another good match.

* We get a video for Strong vs. Whitmer.

Grudge Match: BJ Whitmer w/Jacobs and Page vs. Roderick Strong: With this being a grudge match, the started to brawl right away, which I appreciated. I’ve never been a big Whitmer fan, but I feel Strong has been one of the most consistent performers on the Indy scene for the last few years and tends to deliver on big shows. Jacobs was on commentary, and was selling that these guys know each other well and tied it into how they were able to counter each other. This was billed as a grudge match, but outside of the opening flurry, it simply felt like a slightly more intense version of a match that they would have on any show. Strong won with a series of strikes and the lumbar check back breaker. Overall this was solid, but felt far from a “grudge match”.

* We get a video package for Maria vs. ODB.

ODB w/Mark Briscoe vs. Maria Kanellis: Maria came out alone, got on the mic and tried to get out of the match by claiming that she was pregnant. Bennett then appeared ad superkicked Briscoe. Maria hit a belt shot on ODB, the bell rang and she got a near fall. Briscoe and Bennett brawled on the floor, and ODB hit a sack of shit slam into the barricade. Poor form as Moose did the same spot earlier in the night. Bennett later got involved, accidentally superkicked Maria, and ODB got a near fall off of that as Briscoe and Bennett brawled more. Bennett later speared Maria, leading to ODB and Mark doing a doomsday device to Bennett on the floor. This was all smoke and mirrors to minimize the actual advertised match. Not a fan, if they had to do this match is some form they simply should have made it a mixed tag match because that’s what we got. As a blow off to the feud it was fine, it had its fun moments but I certainly could have lived without it. Credit to Maria, she takes that superkick like a champ. Post match Mark and ODB ripped off the bullshit on the “Title of love” to bring it back to form it had when Jay brought it in to ROH.

AJ Styles vs. ACH: This is ACH’s biggest singles match (importance and on PPV) to date. The knock on Styles is that his matches have no drama when he’s IWGP champion, because no one believes that he’ll lose. The job of these guys is to make us believe, if they can do that tonight, we could be in for a show. They did a great series of pinning combinations early, including a tremendous tease for the clash, which the crowd ate up. I enjoyed ACH pulling some things from the Styles playbook, it’s always fun when done well and comes off as something fun. After a lot of fun counters and good near falls, AJ won clean with Bloody Sunday and the Clash. I felt that AJ gave ACH a lot, making this come off way more competitive than I had thought it may. Overall I felt this was the best thing on the show so far, not a MOTY candidate by any means, but a damn fine wrestling match and they made me buy some of the ACH near falls. Mission accomplished.

* We get a video package for the tag title match.

* Rocky Romero is out for commentary. He announced that his new tag team partner will be Trent Barretta. They will be called Roppungi Vice.

ROH Tag Title Match: Champions reDRagon (Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly) vs. The Young Bucks (Nick and Matt Jackson): UFC’s Shayna Baszler is out with reDRagon. The KRD (dudes in red masks) appeared during the match. The Bucks were over huge as faces here, which is really no surprise. There were a few hiccups early, but thin things picked up and got pretty insane. Superkicks, wild double teams and some fun near falls. There was a great near submission when Nick went for a springboard frog splash, but was countered into a triangle choke by O’Reilly. The Bucks him O’Reilly with the IndyTaker on the floor, leaving Fish alone. They then got a near fall with reDRagon’s own finish, chasing the dragon. The Bucks connected with more bang for your buck, but Shayna Baszler pulled out the ref to stop the pin. The Bucks tried to go after her, but O’Reilly returned to stop that. The champions hit chasing the dragon, but Matt pulled out the ref to make the save. The champions hit chasing the dragon again and retained the titles, much to the dismay of the lie crowd. While I didn’t feel that this was up to some of their efforts from 2014 (due to the extra curriculars) I felt that they delivered in one of the PPVs top three matches, which they were expected to do. The crowd was wild for this, they all worked hard and were able to add in some new things overall to a match we’ve seen a lot over the last year in various forms. I appreciate that.

* The show is really picking up as we head to the co-main and main event matches.

* We get a video package for the TV Title match.

ROH TV Title Match: Champion Jay Lethal w/Truth Martini and Jay Diesel vs. Alberto El Patron: Lethal has really come into his own since leaving TNA and has had a very enjoyable run in his latest ROH tenure. El Patron has been the hottest free agent since his WWE departure, working AAA, Lucha Underground, ROH and some of other places. Jay Diesel looked to attack El Patron following the handshake with Lethal, but El Patron superkicked him to the floor and then hit a dive onto Lethal. El Patron used the hanging arm bar in the ropes, which again poor form as O’Reilly did it in the match prior. This is where agents/producers can be highly beneficial. The KRD (dudes in red masks) appeared during this match as well. Commentary made sure to mention that they seem to always appear during title matches. Lethal countered El Patron’s arm bar attempt into one of his own, but to little reaction. Lethal then hit the triple suicide dives, sending El Patron into the crowd. Truth got involved late, and El Patron got the arm bar in him. Lethal then went for the elbow drop, but got caught out of the air with the arm bar. Lethal then used the Book of Truth to escape and get a near fall. Truth then used the book on El Patron later, and Lethal scored with the injection to score the win and retain the title. While I felt that these two guys worked well together, I felt that this match suffered for a few reasons. The first being placement, this should been before the tag title match, because once that happened they were spent and expected more than they got here. Secondly, the “Book of Truth” bullshit is tired and played out, and always leaves me disappointed. Finally, with El Patron only having one date left, I felt he wasn’t going to win the title and that AAA likely would want him protected. While the Styles vs. ACH match was able to overcome the “lack of drama,” I never felt as if El Patron was going to win here. Finally, the match felt long, which is never a good thing. Again, they worked well together, but couldn’t overcome the obstacles in front of them.

* Samoa Joe arrived and headed to the ring. Joe gave a ROH history lesson, the crowd chanted FUCK TNA and he then added that he was here to watch the ROH Title match. He put over the competitors big time, and then added that whoever walks out with the belt that their ass belongs to him. He then vowed to win the ROH Title again. The crowd loved this.

* Tommaso Ciampa is… DR DOOM!

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Four Corners Survival ROH Title Match: Champion Jay Briscoe vs. Michael Elgin vs. Tommaso Ciampa vs. Hanson: I think that there is a lot of talent here, but I am not exactly excited about this main event. Hopefully they change my mind. This was pretty much chaos from the bell, with all four brawling and then getting chances to get some run and take control. Ciampa was really aggressive, and came off well while Elgin impressed with his power moves, which the crowd loved. As the ref was getting back into the ring, we got a ref bump at the 10-minute mark. Hanson got the visual pin on Briscoe, but the KRD rushed the ring and attacked Hanson and Briscoe. They all started hitting trademark moves of the Kingdom, leading to War Machine returning to clear the ring and he chased them away. Elgin then hit a Jay driller from the apron through a table on the floor on Briscoe. Ref still down at the 13-minute mark, Nigel sits there like an idiot saying that they should get another ref out here. Nigel then finally entered the ring to stop Elgin from doing the one-man conchairto on Briscoe. Elgin tried to attack, but Ciampa then saved Nigel. Ciampa hit Elgin with a chair shot to get a visual pin, but still no ref. We finally got a new ref at the 15-minute mark, we got near falls and Briscoe then got spin kicked by Hanson and fell onto Ciampa to win the match as Elgin was pulling Hanson to the floor. That was a flat finish to an overbooked and way too chaotic match. They never felt as if they got into a solid flow, and the overbooking really killed it for me personally. As a main event presentation, it disappointed.

* Post match Elgin threw a fit and Joe came to the ring. They had a brief stare down, and then Joe entered the ring. He grabbed the title, handed it to Briscoe and shook his hand before they had a stare down.

* End scene.

* Thanks for reading.

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“We are assembled here today to pay final respects to our honored dead. And yet it should be noted, in the midst of our sorrow, this death takes place in the shadow of new life, the sunrise of a new world; a world that our beloved comrade gave his life to protect and nourish. He did not feel this sacrifice a vain or empty one, and we will not debate his profound wisdom at these proceedings. Of my friend, I can only say this: Of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most…. human”

The final score: review Average
The 411
When all is said and done, the ROH 13th anniversary event was a fine show, but nothing near a homerun that I felt that they needed to deliver. The Bucks vs. reDRagon was easily the match of the night, with Styles vs. ACH, Sydal vs. Alexander and the multi-team tag match all being enjoyable. While still a project, I felt that Moose did well for himself on PPV and has potential. Strong and Whitmer was good, but lacked the feeling if a true grudge match, while ODB vs. Maria was all smoke and mirrors, but the live crowd seemed to like it. The return of Joe was very well received, and I am curious to see how he does “back home”. The co-main event and main event under delivered. A lot of that was the overbooking of the matches, and not the work of the men involved. The main event especially was frustrating, as it felt like one of those “Planet Jarrett” TNA main event from back in the day. Add in the $35 price tag, which I felt was a huge mistake for them to make in the WWE Network/New Japan World age, and I’d have to call this an average show overall.