The Kingdom def. The Briscoes and ODB
Although Maria Kanellis expressed apprehension about facing ODB in a promo, the Kingdom were very confident when they came to the ring. Early on, ODB had no problem mixing it up with the men and even kicked Matt Taven in the groin with the referee looking elsewhere.
With his arm still in a sling, Adam Cole came to ringside and sat down with Kevin Kelly on commentary. Just like in his previous promo, Cole remained steely and silent. Meanwhile, Maria tagged in opportunistically and kicked Mark Briscoe when he was down. Mark eventually turned the tide against Mike Bennett and tagged in Jay.
The Briscoes gained control of the match and ODB hit Doomsday Devices on both Taven and Bennett simultaneously. Cole jumped on the apron to distract the referee before she could do the same to Maria and the men delivered low blows to both Briscoes. ODB briefly fought Taven and Bennett off, but when she tried to powerbomb Maria, she received double superkicks from them. Maria covered ODB to get the pin.
This match was a great way to keep the Kingdom-Briscoes program hot in a fresh way. It was a creative use of ODB in a brief moment of non-misogyny in wrestling. It was an entertaining match on its own and helps move the story forward for everyone involved.
Roderick Strong def. QT Marshall
No longer affiliated with The Decade, Strong came out focused and with great support from the ROH fans. Marshall tried to provoke him early in the match with a slap. Strong answered with a high knee, a forearm strike, and a running Sick Kick for a very quick pin.
After the win, BJ Whitmer and Adam Page came to the ring to berate him. Strong challenged him to a fight, but Whitmer retreated. The brief interaction made it clear that Strong is not quite finished with The Decade just yet.
Donovan Dijak def. Ashley Sixx
The semifinals of the Top Prospect Tournament winnowed the field down to a more competitive bunch. Dijak is big, athletic, and skilled. He looks like the type of guy who could headline any wrestling company in the world. Sixx is an undersized cancer survivor who was slated to join SCUM until his health got in the way. Sixx looked like a heavy underdog, but his willingness to sacrifice his own body kept him in the match.
Sixx took some big bumps from Dijak and put himself at risk when he got the advantage. He executed a stage dive from the top turnbuckle to Dijak on the floor outside the ring. He hit a version of a Swanton in the ring, but only got a two count. Dijak recovered and hit his Feast Your Eyes finisher (a fireman’s carry slam that ends with a knee strike to the opponent’s head). Dijak looked impressive in the win once again. It’s no surprise that someone as accomplished as Mick Foley raved about him on Twitter.
Will Ferrara def. The Beer City Bruiser
Ferrara works best in the underdog role, and it was easy to see him as the underdog against the morbidly obese Bruiser. The Bruiser lived up to his Goliath image with a series up vertical suplexes early and fell on Ferrara when he tried a bodyslam. Ferrara attempted a bulldog and the Bruiser hurled him to the floor (which Steve Corino insisted should have caused a DQ). Ferrara dodged the Bruiser’s senton and delivered a suicide dive DDT. Ferrara lifted the Bruiser for a fireman’s carry slam and hit his falling knee strike finisher to reach the finals against Dijak.
Redragon Hosts the Fish Tank
Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish made triumphant return to ROH amidst their fantastic run in NJPW. They brought the Young Bucks to the ring and ran them down for their casual dress style. As Fish continued to insult the Bucks’ families, they started a superkick party and chased the champs out of the ring. While they’re a bit quirky, I find O’Reilly and Fish very funny and I’m looking forward to this match at the 13th Anniversary Show.