ROH Road to Best in the World
Chicago Ridge, IL
Frontier Field House
Ian Riccaboni, Colt Cabana and Alex Shelley were on commentary to start the show.
Caprice Coleman vs. Jay Lethal
Coleman called for his music to turn off and asked to the fans to start clapping as he started an old school hip hop song and broke out into the Jive Turkey Shuffle. The crowd eventually turned on him as he called everyone suckas-but the Jive Turkey Shuffle was absolutely priceless. A short video aired as Lethal made his way out, during which he said he plans on taking Coleman down a peg or two and plans to do the same to Silas Young at Best in the World. Coleman offered Lethal a chance to join the Rebellion before the match, which Lethal did not answer at first, more concerned with starting the match. Coleman grabbed the mic again and said that Lethal is a small dog and that the big dog Coleman is going to put him in his place. The pre match stuff was fun, but the match itself could have worked without the engagement used here. Commentary sold Coleman being in the best shape of his life despite being a twenty year veteran and it actually showed during the match. Coleman lost in the end after being on the receiving end of a Lethal Injection. Great opener between these two and it’s nice to see Coleman showcased in a way that allowed him to show off his considerable talents.
Matt Taven vs. Bully Ray
Bully Ray came down to the ring with a chair in hand and as has become customary, he challenged Taven to a street fight as opposed to a wrestling match. Taven immediately attacked Ray before he finish chatting it up and used his cane to choke Ray.As Taven beat Ray on the outside Taven said “who’s funner than me” and Cabana immediately pointed out that funner is not a word. Excellent grammatical catch by Cabana that warmed my heart. Ray set Taven up for the Wassup headbutt spot, having referee Paul Turner hold Taven’s legs. Marseglia climbed the ropes to interfere, only to be used as a weapon by Ray on Taven. When Ray went to go for the table spot, Marseglia stopped him and slid the table into the ring. Taven went to the trouble of setting the table up, only for it to not stand on the first try, which the fans mercilessly booed. Ray was able to use the time to recover, toss Taven into Marseglia on the apron and hit a chokeslam to the table. This was a real head scratcher, as Taven recently challenged for the ROH World title. Making him look weak against a non-title contender seemed illogical here, especially with Marseglia at ringside and a no DQ stipulation.
Winner: Bully Ray
Vinny Marseglia vs. Colt Cabana
After Taven recovered from his loss he went to say something, but ultimately grew frustrated and handed the mic to Marseglia before leaving the ring. Marseglia reminded everyone that the Kingdom will always be the first 6-man tag team champions. He went on to trash Chicago and its inhabitants, calling them all pieces of Chi-garbage. Cabana, a Chicago native, could not take the insults any longer. He went to the back to get someone to defend Chicago’s good name and when he returned he was in his ring gear, in what was one of the quickest wardrobe changes ever. This was a short, slowly paced match that was good for what it was: the hometown hero went over and was able to celebrate in front of his hometown crowd. I would have preferred a longer match, as Marseglia so rarely wrestles singles, this would have been a good opportunity to allow him to show off his skill set.
Winner: Colt Cabana
The Rebellion(Rhett Titus, Kenny King & Shane Taylor) vs. Dalton Castle and the Boys
Pretty standard fare match until Jay Briscoe attacked Castle and they brawled to the back, leaving one of the boys alone in the ring. He fell victim to a powerbomb/blockbuster combo, followed by Taylor splash for the pinfall victory. As they went to continue the damage, Gresham, Sabin and Shelley stormed the ring to prevent the onslaught. Coleman briefly tipped the scales in the Rebellion’s favor, soon followed by Jay White to even the odds. The teams brawled on the outside until the show cut away to the next match. This was a bit confusing, as it made little sense that the referee failed to see the brawl to the back or that Castle was suddenly not there. The match generally felt a bit overbooked, although I appreciate trying to make everything mean something heading into the PPV.
Winners: The Rebellion
ROH World Tag Team Championship Match
The Young Bucks vs. Will Ferrara and Cheeseburger
Ferrara got on the mic and stated that he and his partner want to be champions, so he and Burger accepted the open challenge for a title match on the spot. The match was largely an underdog story for Cheeseburger and Ferrara not having a chance to win this one, save for some near falls. Cheeseburger accidentally hit a Shoeti on Ferrara, enabling the Bucks to hit a 5 Star Meltzer driver on Burger, winning the match via pinfall. After the match the four adhered to the code of honor, but Ferrara attacked Cheeseburger after feigning to be okay with his partner. Ferrara yelled about how Burger always drops the ball before spitting in Burger’s face and knocking him out before leaving the ring. The turn has been building for some time, it just seemed odd for Ferrara’s frustrations to bubble over during a lopsided title shot, but the execution was solid and has me interested as to where this is going.
Winners: The Young Bucks
The Addiction defeated Cody and Hangman Page
Cody faked starting with Daniels but quickly tagged out until Page gained control and he scampered back in. Cabana called Page the problem solver and Riccaboni followed with “Check out the hook while my DJ revolves it”-amazing use of Ice Ice Baby here. Page and Kaz got into a spitting match that led to fisticuffs while Daniels and Cody brawled on the outside.
A slingshot cutter to Page, but the second one to Cody was reversed into a Cross Rhodes attempt. Daniels broke it up and hit Angels wings before he and Kazarian combined for a Best Meltzer Ever and won via pinfall. Kazarian got on the mic and talked about how the wrestling fans in Chicago are some of the best in the country, put ROH over and passed the mic to Daniels who cut a short promo about how he is going to defeat the American Nightmare at Best in the World and keep living his dream.
Final Reaction: C/C+
This was not an announced VOD as the other events normally are. The show was for those in attendance consisted of two television tapings and this show. This VOD was priced lower than others, as it also is shorter than most, clocking in at just about two hours long. This show very much felt like un announced VOD and aside from really enjoying the first match with Lethal and Coleman, the rest of the night was generally uneventful. Ferrara and Cheeseburger splitting has some legs to it, but looking forward, it’s uncertain where that will leave those two in terms of roster spots moving forward. All in all, this wasn’t my favorite VOD offering this year and if you’ve been following the television product, there is little to see here. Another example of a fun event to attend that did not translate to a home viewing in the same manner.