ROH ALL-STAR EXTRAVAGANZA VII Live from San Antonio, TX 09/18/2015
Welcome to the Shrine Auditorium in San Antonio, Texas for ROH All-Star Extravaganza VII! Kevin Kelly and Steve Corino introduce the Spanish announce team who hold up signs that say “Don’t break our table”. That was pretty funny. The announce team then runs down the card quickly before we get to the opening contest.
ROH Television Title Match: Bobby Fish V Jay Lethal ©
Kevin Kelly mentions Lethal has successfully defended the TV title 25 times. He has beaten an impressive list of wrestlers and has been a fine champion. I have enjoyed his reign tremendously but tonight just might be the night that it ends.
Bobby Cruise makes the big introductions and we get a long handshake between the two competitors. We get some quality chain wrestling to start us off that ends in a crossface from Fish. Lethal is near the ropes and hits the floor after referee Todd Sinclair breaks the submission. Lethal regroups and heads back to the ring. They tease a tie up but Jay lethal hits a knee and a side headlock. Jay lethal goes for the backslide but Fish reverses into a knee bar. Lethal gets the ropes and hits the floor again, this time to regroup with Truth. Lethal clotheslines Fish from behind and take advantage, stomping Fish in the corner and taunting. Fish gets to his feet and they trade punches ending with a kick from fish to the chest of Jay lethal. Fish picks up Lethal and knees him in the midsection. Fish hits a snapmare and floats out of the ring and back in for the splash in one fluid motion. Lethal chops Fish and Fish hits an Irish whip into an arm bar. Lethal reverses into a pin and Fish reverses into a knee bar. Lethal gets the ropes to force a break and Truth Martini grabs the leg of Fish and allows Lethal to recover. Lethal hits a Lethal Injection out of nowhere but Fish rolls to the floor. Lethal hits the floor and takes Fish down the ramp in a strategy to get Fish counted out. Fish makes it back in the nick of time and Lethal goes to the ground and pound. Lethal then stomps Fish and hits a scoop slam. Lethal hits an elbow drop and a 2 count. Jay Lethal then goes for a headlock to wear Fish down. Fish gets to his feet but Lethal throws him down violently by his hair.
Lethal then hits a crisp vertical suplex for another 2 count. Jay lethal transitions to a chin lock and Fish fights back up again. Fish finally hits a big move and charges Lethal in one corner and hits an exploder suplex into the opposite corner. Fish covers for a 2 count and then an inverted atomic drop followed by a dragon screw leg whip. Lethal forces Fish to the outside and nails a suicide dive and then runs back in to hit one more. Fish catches Lethal in the ring for a backbreaker and a moonsault for a 2 count. Both men get to their feet and trade blows in the middle of the ring. Fish comes out on top of this and continues to work the legs of Lethal before locking in the knee bar again. Lethal fights to the ropes but Fish goes right back to the leg before delivering a big side kick to the head. This only gets Fish a 2 count. Fish tries for another kick to the head but Lethal catches him with a Lethal Combination. Fish is down and Lethal comes off the top with an elbow drop for a 2 count. Lethal hits a super kick but misses a Lethal injection which is countered into a knee bar by Bobby Fish. Lethal is crawling to the ropes but Fish pulls him back. Lethal uses Fish’s momentum to roll him up and wins by pulling the tights for a 3 count.
Winner (and still champion): Jay Lethal
My take: Lethal really knows how to work heel. I love how he took a worn down Bobby Fish down the ramp to make it harder for him to beat the count. A count out victory is something a heel champion should take advantage of whenever they can and this was a unique way to do that. Lethal caught Fish a little off guard and cheated to win but he did sustain some damage to his knee. It will be interesting to see if that factors in to the main event.
The Match for the Boys: Dalton Castle w/ the Boys V Silas Young
Castle extends his hand but Young pushes him away. We hear dueling chants but Castle is getting the bigger reaction. Silas ducks out of the ring and goes for the boys but Castle gets between them. Young uses his experience to take an early advantage. Castle retreats to his corner to be fanned by the boys while Young looks disgusted. The ease into a knuckle lock tie up but Castle gets a smooth double leg take down on Young. The Boys then go to fan Young and this allows Castle to get a quick roll up. Castle then delivers a series of head butts to Young as he retreats to the floor. Silas is again distracted by the boys but he winds up delivering a big back breaker to Castle on the floor. Castle is thrown in the ring and Silas begins to take him apart. Young nails a really nasty clothesline but only gets a 2 counts. Young talks a little trash and Castle makes a comeback resulting into a release suplex and a 2 count. Castle fires up and goes for the deadlift German suplex but Young flips out of it and nails a back elbow. Castle hits a high impact clothesline for another 2 count.
The two brawl on the apron and Young reverses a Superplex. Young can’t capitalize and gets hit with a running knee while he sits on the turnbuckle. Castle goes for another Superplex but Young turns it into a sunset bomb into a twisting suplex. Young goes for the pin and gets a near fall. Young talks a little more trash but Castle is able to come back. Castle pounds on Young in the corner with a flurry of offense and Young retreats to the floor. Young misses a clothesline and castle hits that unique hurricanrana to the floor. Castle hits a big missile drop kick but only gets a 2 count. Silas reverses an Alabama slam and slides to the floor. Castle dives through the ropes but Young pulls the boys in his way. Young takes control again and gets another near fall. Young removes his knee brace in desperation but the referee grabs it. Castle recovers and hits a spinning slam but Young gets the ropes. The referee is distracted by the boys and Young hits a low blow and his Misery finisher for the win.
Winner of the match and the boys: Silas Young via pinfall
My take: I really wanted to see Castle win this one. I’m not crazy about two tainted match outcomes in a row, but this one was really fun as I expected. Castle shows such range this match he shows off his amateur credentials, raw power, and in ring savvy as he uses his Boys to their fullest extent. Young wrestles like a hot head and was clearly outmatched by Castle, needing to resort to a low blow to get the win. I don’t know where ROH is going with this angle but perhaps we can expect to see the Boys competing in the ring soon? Only time will tell.
Tag team match: The Briscoes V The mystery team
Who will the mystery team be? The Decade, with BJ Whitmer on crutches and Adam Page in a sling, make their way out. BJ says they’re coming to do commentary and he tells Corino to lay out tonight. The Romantic touch makes his way out, does his entrance but is then thrown to the floor by Mark Briscoe. WHO WILL THE MYSTERY TEAM BE? Much to my surprise, the All Night Express, Kenny King and Rhett Titus make their way to the ring. What a surprise! There is so much history between these two teams and so I’m glad to see Rhett Titus shake the abysmal Romantic Touch gimmick. Kenny King is the latest TNA escapee which is yet another sign that TNA is in absolute shambles.
This match starts off as an all-out brawl but finally Jay Briscoe and Kenny King start things off Jay hits a head butt and quickly tags in Mark. King tags Rhett and the All Night Express takes control with quick tags and combination offense. Kenny King hits a fluid vertical suplex into a ground and pound before making another quick tag. Jay gets the tag and clotheslines the hell out of Rhett Titus.
The Briscoes take control and Jay lands a big drop kick to get a near fall on Rhett Titus. Corino and Whitmer bicker on commentary which detracts from the match somewhat. Mark kicks up the offense a notch and then tags in Jay who locks in a head lock on Titus. Jay violently throws Titus into the Briscoe corner and Mark gets the tag. Rhett uses his speed to escape and get the tag to Kenny King who takes down both Briscoes with his awesome kicks and tags in Rhett. Mark hits a clothesline into a combination razor’s edge neckbreaker with Jay but this big move only gets a 2 count.
Jay hits a suicide dive onto King onto the floor. Rhett takes advantage and hits a flip over the top rope to take down Jay Briscoe but Mark takes down Rhett with a dive of his own. Back in the ring, Mark hits a big kick on Rhett and works him to the top turnbuckle. Rhett reverses and Mark lands face first on the turnbuckle. Kenny and Rhett take advantage and hit a combo powerbomb blockbuster for the win.
Winners: The All-Night Express via pinfall
Post-match: Page takes down Jay Briscoe from behind but the ANX return to run him off. Todd Sinclair runs out to get Page to the back while the ANX and the Briscoes shake hands in the middle of the ring.
My take: If the ROH tag team scene wasn’t already stacked the return of the ANX just put the division over the top. I’ve never seen an “express” tag team I didn’t like and the combination of Rhett Titus and Kenny King are no exception. The match was very fast paced and felt like it really could’ve gone either way, but tonight was the night of the ANX. Welcome back, boys!
No DQ Match: Moose w/ Stokely Hathaway V Cedric Alexander w/ Veda Scott
Moose is wearing a football helmet during his entrance. I’m not sure how I feel about it. He immediately dives in and takes down Cedric. Both men brawl on the outside and Moose puts on the helmet and charges Cedric with a helmet shot. Okay, that was pretty cool. Moose then hits a fallaway slam into the guard rail on the floor. It looked nasty and Moose picks him up and does it again! Moose then pulls a ladder out from under the ring. He lays it against the ring apron and throws Cedric on top. Moose then flips over the top rope and crushes the ladder when Cedric rolls to safety. Cedric then takes down Stokely before returning his attention to Moose. Cedric grabs a chair and works over Moose before returning to the ring for a pin attempt. Moose kicks out and Cedric grabs the chair again. Moose tries a big dropkick but misses and gets a chair shot for his troubles. Cedric heads to the top turnbuckle with the chair but Moose hits his signature dropkick to send Cedric to the floor. That spot never gets old. Moose then flies from the top rope down onto Cedric.
Moose sets up the chair in the corner and lifts Cedric for a powerbomb but Cedric reverses into a hurricanrana head first into the chair. Veda sets the chair up over Moose’s face and Cedric flies across the ring with a springboard Van Terminator that looked amazing but only got a 2 count. Veda Scott then gets a table which she and Cedric set up in the corner. Moose gets to his feet and exchanges blows with Cedric ending in a clothesline from Moose that turns Cedric inside out. Moose pulls that mangled ladder into the ring and sets it up in one corner before propping Cedric up on it. Moose sets up a spear but Veda distracts him, allowing Cedric to hit a tornado DDT. Moose catches him off guard and hits a back body drop into the ladder.
Moose then begins piling chairs in the ring while Veda encourages Cedric. Moose goes for a fireman’s carry but Cedric counters into a Michinoku driver onto the chair pile. Cedric then begins to rain down dropkicks on Moose in the corner one after the other right to the face. Cedric then grabs a wrench but Stokely Hathaway recovers to nail Alexander and grab the wrench. Veda gets involved and is accidentally nailed by Alexander. Moose capitalizes and spears Cedric Alexander through the table for the win!
Winner: Moose w/ Stokely Hathaway via pinfall
My take: the athleticism of Moose continues to amaze me. He really put his body on the line a few times here which shows he is serious about this whole wrestling thing and not just looking to collect a check. Cedric does a great job of creating movement and both men manage to find the Goldilocks zone of weapons usage in this match. I think Moose would be a great choice to take the TV title from Jay Lethal and winning this feud has to put him near to top of the list of contenders.
Best of 5 series; Match 3: ACH V Reborn Matt Sydal
The match starts off surprisingly slowly as Sydal raises his hand for a test of strength. As ACH reaches for is Sydal pulls his hand away a couple of times before ACH catches the arm. Sydal is able to escape and both men regroup. We see a tie up as Sydal backs ACH into a corner before it is broken up. They tie up again and trade arm drags before reaching a stalemate. Sydal goes for the test of strength again but ACH won’t be fooled again and goes for the leg and gets a side headlock. Both men trade holds and appear to be trying to work the arm. We get another stalemate and tie up. Sydal goes back to the arm but ACH reverses with a shoulder tackle. ACH tries a hip toss but Sydal reverses, flips, misses a standing moonsault, but hits the hurricanrana. ACH then shows his agility and dropkicks Sydal to the floor and follows that up with that running shooting star press over the ropes. ACH then hits a leg drop on the head of Sydal while he is tied up in the ropes and dives off the top for a 2 count. ACH continues to work Sydal but Sydal reverses and takes control with a kick to the face. Sydal hits a Russian legsweep into a vicious single leg crab variation that would’ve ended it had ACH not gotten to the ropes. ACH heavily sells the leg and Sydal takes advantage, taking him down and hitting a standing moonsault for a 2 count. Sydal tries an Irish whip but ACH hits a sunset flip. Sydal takes back control and ties up ACH with a submission I’ve never seen before.
ACH takes control and strikes Sydal, but Sydal is able to reverse and gets a near fall. Sydal rests while ACH tries to climb to his feet. Sydal chops him down with kicks, chops and knees but ACH uses his agility to hit a big ensiguri and a clothesline. ACH hits a German suplex and holds on with a deep bridge but Sydal kicks out. Sydal takes a chop and a shoulder to the ribs in the corner as ACH takes control. ACH hits a double foot stomp onto the back of Sydal for a 2 count. Sydal reveres a brainbuster but ACH reverses that into a pinning combination for a near fall. ACH tries the brainbuster again but Sydal flips through it and turns it into a hurricanrana that sends ACH to the floor. Sydal flies over the top rope with a beautiful dive to take down ACH. The action returns to the ring and Sydal takes down ACH with a knee to the face and tries a shooting star press but ACH gets out of the way and hits a 450 splash from the second rope that only gets him a 2 count. Both men recover and trade kicks but ACH kicks it into high gear and hits a brain buster and then a Midnight Star for the victory!
Winner with a 2-1 series lead: ACH
My take: These two have really gelled and can put on a different match every time they meet up. Just when you expect them to fly around everywhere they show that they are not slouches in regard to the mat game. Of course all of the high spots were there but the match never felt like they were just checking them off their mental list. Best match of the night so far.
ROH World Tag Team Title Match: The Young Bucks V The Kingdom V The Addiction ©
This match pops off immediately and erupts into a brawl. We get our first superkick about 30 seconds in to it as the Young Bucks take control and throw their opponents to the floor. Bennett flies over the top rope on the Addiction and Nick Jackson dives over the legs of Matt Jackson to the floor as the Young Bucks stand tall in the ring.
The addiction takes control and Matt Jackson takes a beating as some order is restored. Kazarian works over Matt Jackson and tags in Daniels who takes down Matt Jackson with right hands but Matt Jackson catches him with a jawbreaker. Taven gets the opportunistic tag and the beating continues for Matt Jackson, except now the Kingdom is handing it out. Taven goes for a Swanton bomb but Matt gets out of the way and slowly crawls to his corner, but Daniels reaches over for the blind tag to get back in the match. Daniels goes for the BME but Matt reverses. Bennett takes on Matt Jackson but is not the legal man and Nick Jackson superkicks him off the apron. Matt Jackson gets the tag to his brother and Nick Jackson charges in hits a back elbow Daniels and then a superkick. Nick hits a Swanton bomb onto Daniels but only gets a 2 count. “SUPERKICK PARTY” yells Matt Jackson as Maria hops up on the apron to provide a distraction. Nick Jackson takes down the Kingdom and nearly pins Daniels with a splash. Kazarian gets the tag as the Addiction double team Nick Jackson. Nick overcomes the double team as Matt recovers and the two hit clothesline after clothesline on Kazarian in the corner. Daniels hits the angels’ wings on Bennett and Kazarian hits a cutter on Nick Jackson before Matt Jackson drops him with a superkick leaving every man in the match on their backs. Matt Jackson and Kazarian trade blows and Matt tells everyone to “SUCK IT” one at a time with full vocal support from the crowd. The Addiction hits celebrity rehab on Taven but Nick Jackson hits a super kick. Maria gets back on the apron and Nick teases a superkick but Daniels takes him down, only to punch Maria right in the face which fires up her husband Michael Bennett. A man wearing a KRD mask shows up and takes down both members of the Addiction. They announcers speculate that is is Chris Sabin as the assailant uses Sabin’s’ finisher. The Bucks take control and deliver superkicks and hit a Meltzer driver on Kazarian but Taven, the legal man, rolls up Matt Jackson for a surprise victory.
Winners and new ROH World Tag Team champions: The Kingdom’s Matt Taven and Michael Bennett
My take: This match was breathtaking and hard to keep up with in regards to the play-by-play which could be said of nearly every match involving the Young Bucks. I can’t stress how over the Bucks were with the San Antonio crowd it was the loudest pop and sustained reaction of the night. The difference between tag teams in ROH and the WWE is the level of cooperation between the tag team partners. ROH tag teams just don’t have a double team finisher; they have a double team offense that you just won’t see in singles matches. The style is high impact and a joy to watch. This is the outcome I predicted but I am intrigued by the identity of the mystery man who basically gave the belts to the Kingdom. I’ll share more thoughts on that later.
#1 Contender’s match for the ROH World Title: AJ Styles V Roderick Strong V Adam Cole V Michael Elgin
Elgin goes for the first early cover and uses his power to dominate Strong while Cole and Styles battle on the floor. They trade off and Styles takes down Cole. Strong and AJ square off and have a great exchange that is broken up by Elgin. Elgin no sells punches from Cole and hits him with a scoop slam and a springboard splash from the apron. Elgin then goes for a delayed vertical suplex, no sells a few shots from Strong and Styles before dropping Cole and throwing back punches. Strong and Cole take the ring and Cole hits a nice jumping ensiguri and a shining wizard for a near fall. Styles jumps up on the apron and misses a springboard splash and catches a big knee from Adam Cole. Elgin uses his power to hit a big German suplex on Cole and charges Strong only to catch a big drop kick. Styles gets back in the match but is taken down by Strong who covers Styles until Elgin picks him up. Cole gets involved and is picked up by Elgin at the same time for an impressive show of strength. Elgin got the weakest response during the entrances by far but now they are chanting his name. He tries to Superplex AJ Styles but Styles fights out only to be nailed with a Superkick from Adam Cole. Everyone is down and slowly crawling to their feet as they trade strikes with increasing speed.
Strong hits a Superplex on Styles and Elgin hits a super falcon arrow on Cole. Strong tires to overpower Elgin but fails and catches a shot to the mouth. Cole gets caught in a Styles clash but Strong hits a jumping knee on Cole and a gut buster on Elgin and a backbreaker on Cole for a 2 count. Strong and Elgin brawl again until Elgin hits a vicious clothesline and a buckle bomb that is broken up by AJ Styles. Elgin catches Styles and suplexes him into the turnbuckle. AJ then hits a hurricanrana and Adam Cole hits a destroyer on Elgin and covers. AJ breaks up the pin attempt and squares off with Cole. They trade blows and AJ misses a Pele kick but hits a second Pele. AJ Styles then hits a bloody Sunday and a Styles Clash on Adam Cole for the 3 count!
Winner and #1 contender for the ROH World Title: AJ Styles via pinfall
My take: I didn’t think AJ would win this one and I was ecstatic to see him pull it off. The match between him and Lethal will really be something to see. It’s funny how no one likes Elgin until he actually gets in the ring and shows of the best power move set going today. Every single competitor in this match is an absolute stud in the ring and everyone got time to show off their stuff and deliver a fun, high energy match for a great crowd.
ROH World Title Match: Kyle O’Reilly V Jay Lethal ©
This is what we’ve all been waiting for! Bobby Cruise makes the introductions as usual and Todd Sinclair is your official. Both men shake hands and ease into a tie up. Lethal backs Kyle O’Reilly into the corner and slaps Kyle O’Reilly before breaking. They tie up again and this time Kyle O’Reilly backs Jay lethal into the corner and delivers a slap of his own. The two men exchange shoves and Jay lethal drives Kyle O’Reilly down with a knuckle lock into a pin. Kyle bridges out and the two trade monkey flips, never letting go until Kyle O’Reilly hits a double wrist lock out of nowhere but Lethal gets the ropes. Kyle continues to tie up Lethal with submissions before allowing Lethal to get to the corner. Kyle O’Reilly chops and strikes Lethal in the corner while Truth Martini shouts instructions. Jay lethal reverses an Irish whip and crotches O’Reilly on the ropes.
Lethal springboards into a drop kick to send Kyle to the floor and Lethal hits a suicide dive to the floor as he sells the lower back. Lethal knocks down Kyle with a short arm clothesline and rolls into the ring, leaving Kyle O’Reilly to beat the count. Kyle O’Reilly gets in and Lethal locks in a hold. The crowd rallies Kyle O’Reilly and he reverses with a flip into an abdominal stretch which Lethal rolls through and delivers a dropkick to the face of Kyle O’Reilly. The two work to their feet and trade blows in the middle of the ring. Lethal hits an ensiguri that doesn’t take down Kyle who jumps on Lethal’s back with a sleeper. Lethal turns it into a belly to back suplex and both men slowly get up. Lethal chops Kyle O’Reilly in the corner and sends him to the opposite side of the ring only to get hit with a big boot. Lethal goes for a suplex but Kyle rolls through and proceeds to deliver high impact kick after kick to Lethal. Kyle maintains control with a knee to the face and a series of butterfly slams. Lethal regains control and tries the lethal injection but Kyle reverses it beautifully into a guillotine choke. Lethal reverses into a lethal combination into a Koji clutch. Kyle works out of it into an ankle lock transition before Lethal sends him across the ring and hits a pop up neckbreaker for a 2 count.
Lethal goes for another Lethal injection but Kyle kicks him in the face while he’s upside down. Kyle goes back to the double wrist lock but Lethal hits a nasty release German suplex. Lethal tries another Lethal injection but Kyle catches him in midair into an arm bar. He doesn’t get it locked in all the way and Jay lethal turns it into a near fall. Kyle catches another arm bar but Lethal is able to get to the ropes. Kyle sets him up to work the arm but Lethal reveres with a big chop and the two trade blows in the center of the ring. Lethal appears to win this but Kyle uses the rebound clothesline and a brainbuster to get a 2 count. Kyle is on fire now and nails Martini on the apron before locking in a triangle choke on Lethal. Truth pulls Sinclair out of the ring and Nigel McGuinness appears to forcibly eject Truth. Kyle O’Reilly charges Lethal in the corner but Todd Sinclair gets in the way and takes a hard shot. Jay lethal lands a lethal injection but there is no referee. Lethal grabs the World title and sets up to nail Kyle O’Reilly but Fish comes out to even the odds. Now Dijak hits the ring but Fish chops him down to size. Dijak nails him with the title out of nowhere and Adam Cole runs out to contend with Dijak and send him to the floor. Cole sets up Lethal and it appears that Kyle has this wrapped up, but Cole superkicks Kyle O’Reilly out of nowhere. Lethal hits a Lethal Injection just as Todd Sinclair recovers to count for the victory.
Winner and still ROH World Champion: Jay Lethal
Post-Match: Your new ROH tag champs hit the ring and the entire Kingdom give Kyle O’Reilly a beat down.
My take: What an unexpected heel turn from Adam Cole! The match itself was a fantastic clash between two technically savvy veterans in a big time match up. Lethal sold the first match somewhat by working at a slower pace than he normally would but I thought he could’ve sold the leg that Fish targeted earlier a little better I won’t cry about the ref bump and outside interference like I normally would because it helped set up the shocking heel turn. This match right here is why we love Ring of Honor and the art of pro wrestling, folks.
Honorable mention: Jay Lethal made this PPV and after a little internal debate he is the only one I can give the award to. He used heel tactics to dispatch the dangerous Bobby Fish relatively quicly even though Lethal appeared to have him out matched for much of the contest. Lethal did go for the title belt for the unfair advantage in the main event, but he also had the match won with a Lethal injection after the ref bump. Lethal is thriving under the pressure of being a dual champion and ROH has a chance to make a star out of whoever dethrones him for either title.
My Final Take
What an amazing event! I predicted the results with 62.5% accuracy while my co-previewer Kurt Zamora came through with an impressive 75% prediction rate. When I watch a PPV I want to see great wrestling and entertaining story development and this show definitely delivered. I was amazed, I was surprised, and above all, I can’t wait to see what happens next. Congratulations to everyone involved for putting on a world class wrestling event and for showing how great wrestling can be outside of the confines of the WWE. Please let me know what you thought of the event and my review in the comments section below and thanks for reading!