Ring of Honor Review – Tanahashi and Elgin Take Aim at Young Bucks

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3/23/16 – Scott Strandberg – @wrestlerosters

Hiroshi Tanahashi and Michael Elgin def. The Young Bucks by pinfall

Nick dropkicked both Tanahashi and Elgin from the ring to start the match, following up with a plancha to both men. Tanahashi and Elgin responded with a tandem suplex to Matt, and Elgin followed up with a double suplex on both Bucks. Matt responded with a superkick to Elgin, as Nick dropkicked Tanahashi.

Nick tried for an apron moonsault, but Elgin caught him. Nick quickly transitioned the maneuver into a tornado DDT on the floor, in a very impressive spot. Nick earned a near-fall back in the ring with a Swanton bomb on Tanahashi, who fought back with a springboard crossbody.

Nick tried for a superkick on Elgin, but Elgin swung his leg into Matt instead. Elgin picked up both Bucks and hit a double fallaway slam, then took Matt up the turnbuckle for a top-rope deadlift falcon arrow. The Bucks fought back with a tag-team falcon arrow on Elgin, then double-superkicked Tanahashi.

The Bucks hit More Bang for Your Buck, but Tanahashi made the save just in time. The Bucks double-superkicked both Tanahashi and Elgin, but Elgin reversed the Meltzer Driver into a powerbomb on Nick. Tanahashi added a Sling Blade on Matt, and Elgin powerbombed him as well. Tanahashi hit High Fly Flow on Matt to earn the victory.

Scott’s Thoughts: A thoroughly enjoyable showcase of four of the best wrestlers ROH can book. Elgin and Tanahashi are a fun pairing, and I liked the storyline of them finally being able to use their power advantage to put the Bucks away. A thrilling — if not entirely important storyline-wise — main event.

Tomohiro Ishii def. Cedric Alexander (w/ Veda Scott) by pinfall to retain the World Television Championship

Scott and Alexander entered as a title match between BJ Whitmer and Ishii was about to begin, offering Whitmer a check for an undisclosed sum, in exchange for giving up his title shot to Cedric. Whitmer asked if they really thought he was the type of man who could be bought off, looked at the number on the check, and said that he absolutely is that type of guy. He thanked Scott for the money and left.

Scott distracted Ishii, allowing Cedric to land an early dropkick. Ishii responded with a brainbuster, but Cedric answered with a back bodydrop. Cedric followed up with a step-up enziguiri and a Michinoku Driver, earning a near-fall. Cedric reversed a sliding lariat into a pin attempt, but Ishii kicked out. Ishii hit another brainbuster to earn the pinfall.

Scott’s Thoughts: The pre-match angle was so entertaining that I actually enjoyed Whitmer’s presence for the first time in quite a while. The match itself was very fluid, with excellent pacing and plenty of back-and-forth offense. It’s always a treat to see Ishii, and this was certainly Cedric’s best match in recent memory.

Tension builds between The Addiction and MCMG

Frankie Kazarian berated Chris Sabin for turning on them after they picked him up off the trash heap and made him relevant again. Kazarian said that he was willing to forgive Sabin if he apologizes, but Daniels disagreed, saying he expects better treatment from his friends. Daniels promised to end the Machine Guns’ reunion before it starts, but he was interrupted by Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley.

Sabin told The Addiction that he had simply realized that Kazarian and Daniels are washed up, and his future would be brighter with Shelley. The Machine Guns hit the ring, but The Addiction retreated, saying that they would choose the time and place to fight.

Scott’s Thoughts: This was a simple, effective way to build the already-interesting feud between The Addiction and MCMG. I particularly enjoyed how The Addiction kept referring to MCMG as “children,” even though Sabin and Shelley are both in their 30’s.

The Briscoe Brothers def. Reno Scum by pinfall

The Briscoes took the fight to Reno Scum from the start, with Jay earning a near-fall with a spinning heel kick on Thornstowe. Mark added an enziguiri, but Thornstowe answered with a Death Valley Driver. Jay tagged in and hit a DVD of his own, followed by a neckbreaker.

Mark hit a uranage on Luster, and the Briscoes hit a double-team neckbreaker on Thornstowe for two. Reno Scum transitioned a German suplex into a double-stomp on Mark, but Jay made the save. Mark nailed a rolling senton, climbed up top, and hit Froggy Bow in Thornstowe for the pinfall victory.

Scott’s Thoughts: A surprisingly competitive tag-team match. The Briscoes made Reno Scum look like worthy opponents, and Luster/Thornstowe held their own to create an entertaining match from the filler spot on the card.