Adam Page def. ACH
I have written often that ROH’s biggest challenge in 2015 is to establish main event stars to augment and ultimately succeed the current generation. I have largely focused on wrestlers like Jay Lethal, Kyle O’Reilly, Cedric Alexander, and Donovan Dijak. This week ROH gave two other wrong wrestlers a chance to prove their main event qualifications with a lengthy singles match in which they certainly delivered and might have altered their career trajectories.
Page came to the ring without BJ Whitmer, but showed enough heelishness on his own to draw lots of heat. ACH hit an early hurricanrana around the ring post. Page trapped him in the ring apron and gained control of the match for a long stretch. ACH finally started to fight back after a double cross-body with a series of quick kicks. Page hit a jumping DDT and a huge lariat, each for a two count. They spilled over to the floor once again with a vertical suplex. Page hit a running shooting star off of the apron and a backbreaker in the ring for a very close two count.
When Page went for a superplex, ACH fought out and responded with a double-foot stomp for a two count. He went back to the top rope to set up for the 450 splash, only for Page to roll out of the way. ACH then tried to set up a German suplex. Page grabbed the referee, and mule kicked ACH in the groin for a blind low blow. He covered ACH and got the cheap pin to a chorus of boos.
When Page went for a cocky handshake after the win, ACH took him down and a brawl ensued. Page escaped while security tried to separate them, but the tension between the wrestlers sets up for a meaningful rivalry to continue. While I’m not sure I see true main event potential in the immediate future for either wrestler, this match was so entertaining and intense that it forced me to consider that they could eventually reach that level.
Briscoes def. War Machine
Although the ACH-Page match felt like the most important element of the show, this match actually held down the main event slot on the card. The power of War Machine was too much for Mark Briscoe at the start of the match and it looked like Ray Rowe might have knocked him out cold with a knee to the head. When Mark tagged Jay into the match, the swung the momentum in their favor and used quick tags to hold it.
Hanson eventually turned things in his favor and clubbed Jay while he was hung up in the ropes. The brawl continued until all four men were in the ring, slugging it out while standing toe to toe. Rowe delivered a back body drop to Mark that sent him far into the air as he careened to the floor. The teams traded failed attempts at their tandem finishers until War Machine hit a chokeslam on Jay to get very close to the first pin on Jay in two years. Jay fought out of Fallout a second time and the Briscoes hit the Doomsday Device on Rowe, who fell to the floor.
Only Jay and Hanson remained the ring. Jay wriggled out of a powerslam and hit a Jay Driller and Hanson surprisingly kicked out. Jay became even more motivated and hit a second Jay Driller to finally get the pin. Without a doubt, War Machine looked tough and threatening in defeat. Just like ACH and Page elevated themselves in the first match, War Machine took a step toward the top of the tag team division in defeat here.