9/20/15 – Andrew Berg – @WrestleRosters
Jay Lethal def. Kyle O’Reilly to Remain ROH World Champion
ROH does not do PPVs nearly as often as WWE or TNA at its peak, so it’s important for the company to make the most of its opportunities to show fans that it’s worth it for them to invest in the events. All-Star Extravaganza did many things that past ROH PPVs have not done- the weekly TV show built storylines for more feus than normal and the production value of the PPV was a big step in a positive direction. One of the factors that made the show appealing was the compelling story surrounding Champion Jay Lethal and his double defenses against both members of Redragon.
The main event saw Lethal against Kyle O’Reilly and the challenger repeatedly found submission counters to the champion’s offense. He put Lethal in a guillotine, which he countered into a Lethal Combination. When Lethal applied a Koji Clutch, O’Reilly answered with an ankle lock and a Kimura. He blocked a Lethal Injection, but nearly lost the match to a roll-up with his tights in Lethal’s hands. O’Reilly continued his momentum with a brain buster for a near fall and tried to get a ref stoppage with stomps to the face. Truth Martini hit the referee to try to get a disqualification, but Nigel McGuinness refused to take the bait, ejected Martini, and continued the match.
Lethal again tried to cause a DQ by pulling the referee in the path of an O’Reilly kick. With the referee down, Lethal hit the Lethal Injection. Bobby Fish came to the ring and stopped him from using the belt as a weapon. Donovan Dijak and Adam Cole each ran in subsequently. Cole and O’Reilly teased Future Shock until Cole hit his old partner with a superkick. Lethal followed with the Lethal injection to get the win. Despite the unclean finish, the story around Cole and O’Reilly is very intriguing. Lethal, meanwhile, managed to come out of a double title defense as a weasel-like like.
Jay Lethal def. Bobby Fish to Remain ROH TV Champion
While the main event will get more headlines, the show-opening match was the better Lethal match for the night. Like his partner, fish went to submissions early with an arm-breaker and a heel hook. Lethal struggled for several minutes until he hit a Lethal Injection out of nowhere. Fish was able to roll to the outside and recover on the floor to regain his momentum. He hit a beautiful springboard moonsault for the nearest of several near falls. Lethal fought back with a Lethal Combination and Hail to the King. Fish blocked the Lethal Injection with a standing switch into a heel hook. Lethal rolled through the hold and pinned Fish with a handful of tights.
The Kingdom def. The Addiction (c) and Young Bucks to Become ROH Tag Team Champions
This tag match had the potential to be truly great, but it ended up more like a typical Bucks spot fest. Perhaps the flaw in their style is that they are permanently turned up to 11 and have no higher gear for big shows. The controlled much of the match until someone in a KRD mask ran in and turned on The Addiction. The man was made to look like Chris Sabin, though the attack on his partners indicates that it was someone else- possibly Matt Hardy. The Bucks were able to hit the Indy Taker on Kazarian, but Matt Taven blindly tagged himself in and rolled up Matt Jackson to get the pin and the titles. The Kingdom were bound to win the Tag Titles eventually and the timing felt right.
Silas Young def. Dalton Castle in the Battle for the Boys
The most fun feud going in wrestling had a match that lived up to its build. Castle hit a nice overhead throw on Young early. Young responded with a sunset bomb and a swinging neckbreaker. Outside the ring, he pulled the Boys in the way of Castle’s suicide dive. Castle was briefly distracted, but recovered to hit his Bangarang finisher, only for Young to grab the bottom rope. While the referee made sure the Boys did not get involved, Young used a mule kick low blow to set up Misery to get the win.
AJ Styles def. Adam Cole, Michael Elgin, and Roderick Strong to Become #1 Contender
The semi-main event felt thrown together but exceeded my expectations by a large margin. Michael Elgin continued to excel on the fringes of the spotlight. He looked great in this match with a showcase of power moves, most notably with a double fallaway slam. Cole, a legitimate choice to win the match, hit a big destroyer to come extremely close to victory. At last, Styles hit the Styles Clash on Cole to get the win. Perhaps because it was one of a few matches on the card with a truly clean finish, this match felt gratifying. Styles looked great as always, and a challenge for the title is a great way to maximize his time on tour with ROH.
-I enjoyed ACH’s win over Matt Sydal to go up 2-1 in their best-of-five series. They defied high-flying expectations with a match that stayed mostly on the mat and built gradually to a brain buster and a 450 by ACH to win.
-The All Night Express- Kenny King and Rhett Titus- reunited to face the Briscoes. They got the win with a beautiful combination powerbomb/springboard neckbreaker on Mark Briscoe. This reunited team is the right move- neither was used to their full potential as Romantic Touch or in six-man tags with Jesse Godderz.
-Moose laid it on the line against Cedric Alexander and got the win. The finish was exciting- Stokely Hathaway stole Alexander’s wrench and avoided him so that he accidentally ran into Veda Scott. It led to a violent spear by Moose through a table and a pin. On the other hand, Moose’s size is so impressive that it might miss the point to have him jumping off the top rope to the floor.