9/23/15 – Andrew Berg – @WrestleRosters
Goto and Briscoe Brothers def. Kazuchika Okada and Roppongi Vice
With an episode of TV airing as soon as a day after a Friday night PPV, ROH always has at least a week of difficulty in its storylines. Following All-Star Extravaganza, ROH used the visiting wrestlers in its New Japan talent exchange to book matches outside of the show’s central narrative. It was a good way to avoid the storyline awkwardness that normally results when wrestlers are promoting matches that have already happened.
This match used a few ROH mainstays, seasoned with NJPW’s top two titleholders. Goto is a veteran and a former tag team specialist who has emerged as a singles wrestler to become the IWGP Intercontinental Champion. Okada is the opposite- a Randy Orton-like prodigy who has rocketed to the top of the singles division at a young age.
Goto shined early in the match until Trent Baretta and Rocky Romero used coordinated double teams to set up an Okada elbow. The Briscoes worked together to perform a double-team neckbreaker. That led to a flurry of offense, highlighted by a beautiful roll-through neckbreaker by Okada. The Briscoes then teamed up for a Doomsday Device to the floor. Mark used the Froggy-bow on Baretta for a two count. The match got a little sloppy until Okada strung together a tombstone, a dropkick, and set up for a Rainmaker Lariat. Goto blocked the Rainmaker with a headbutt to stay alive. That allowed Jay to hit the Jay Driller on Baretta to get a fun win. It was a match that stood on its own without respect to a larger storyline and it worked well.
Michael Elgin def. Silas Young
Unlike the show’s main event, Elgin and Young had to work a match that could air after ASE without tipping off the live crowd. Since their spots on the card are not closely related, they had the freedom to do that. More importantly, they wrestled a very good match that left both wrestlers looking good, even though one lost cleanly.
Elgin used his power early until Young hit a DDT on the apron. Both wrestlers showed some heelish characteristics, though fans seem to prefer Elgin when he behaves like more of a jerk. Elgin caught young’s cross-body and turned it into a side slam. Young answered with a running senton and a springboard moonsault for a near fall.
Elgin continued to muscle Young with a deadlift superplex, but Young countered an attempted Elgin Bomb into a jackknife pin attempt. Young was able to hit his Misery finisher, only for Elgin to roll to the floor. Elgin powerbombed Young into the barricade and brought him back into the ring for an Elgin Bomb to get the win. The fact that Young hit his finisher and held his own so well against a former champion made the result fine for him. Elgin, meanwhile, continues to rebuild his reputation with fans after his schism with fans a year ago.
ACH def. Caprice Coleman
While Coleman is not the marquee opponent who ACH has been trying to beat lately, he still offered a nice performance. Coleman put together three Northern Lights Suplexes early. He hit a one-inch punch, which took almost a minute to effect ACH. When he fell down, Coleman was able to hit the Sky Splitter, though it only got him a two count. ACH nailed a superkick, a brain buster, and a 450 splash to get the clean win. After the match, Coleman said that he received a note from Prince Nana, and the loss has made him realize that what Nana said was right. I can’t say that I’m enthralled regarding the Coleman storyline, but maybe some storyline investment will make him more engaging.