9/16/15 – Andrew Berg – @WrestleRosters
War Machine def. The Kingdom
Although Matt Taven and Mike Bennett are featured in the Tag Team Title match near the top of the ASE card, they had a challenge on TV that was far more than a tune-up. War Machine came out on fire and dominated the early part of the match. Hanson got boos from the fans when he threatened Maria. He won them back over when he and Raymond Rowe caught a pair of planchas from The Kingdom and slammed them together. Rowe put together a gut buster and a powerbomb to set up a top rope move from Hanson, but Maria grabbed his leg to save her team.
The Young Bucks appeared at ringside to neutralize Maria’s interference. Their appearance allowed War Machine to hit a choke slam and Fallout on Taven to get the pin. The Bucks entered the ring and hit a pair of superkicks on their co-challengers. The Addiction ran in and hit the Bucks with their title belts to stand tall as champions heading into their most difficult defense to date.
While it might seem odd that the challengers would lose headed into their title shot, there was a method to the madness. War Machine has steadily ascended the card and makes sense as a long term challenger if one of the heel teams ultimately wins the titles. In the meantime, the Bucks might have a short title run, but they are likely to spend more time in Japan after the next few weeks. Regardless of the outcome, the tag team match should be one of the highlights of ASE.
Cedric Alexander def. Dalton Castle
Everything Castle does is fun and this match was no exception. Silas Young sat in on commentary and explained that he wanted to beat Castle because, “these Boys sit down to pee,” and he wants to teach them otherwise. When Alexander started to gain control of the match outside the ring, the Boys fanned Castle and helped him recover.
The match had plenty of entertaining wrestling, too. Alexander blocked a second-rope German suplex. Castle caught Alexander’s ensuing springboard attempt and hit him with an overhead throw. Castle delivered a deadlift German suplex and it earned him a near fall. Young left commentary and pulled the Boys off of the apron. The distraction gave Alexander the time for a schoolboy rollup to get the pin. Alexander’s celebration was cut short, though, by a spear from Moose. The finish to the match was very sensible because it develops the rivalry between Young and Castle and draws attention to the Boys as the hilarious centerpiece of the feud.
Redragon def. The House of Truth
Throughout the show, ROH focused on fewer wrestlers and effectively promoted the stories featured at ASE. The Redragon match was an excellent example. Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly in the ring with Jay Lethal’s cohort gave Lethal a chance to foreshadow his TV and World title defenses against the two of them. Despite some attempts to use illegal double teams by J Diesel and Donovan Dijak, Redragon chopped down Dijak with a series of kicks to his knees. Fish then locked Diesel in an ankle lock while O’Reilly put Dijak in a cross-armbreaker. Both heels tapped and Redragon gained momentum before their singles title shots.