1. The Kings of Wrestling vs. Adam Cole & Kyle O'Reilly - G: 7 A: 5
G: This shit was popping more than collars at a frat party. Cole and O'Reilly continue to put on a great show, this time with the KoW. I thought about what I was going to write for this match after watching it, and honestly, I find myself wanting to be frank. This match had "great" written all over it from the very beginning. If this was a steak, it would be burnt to a crisp - that's how well done it was. The team of youngsters brought this fire to the match more so than they have any other match. Every piece of offense was executed top notch not only by Cole and O'Reilly, but The Kings were on like the pilot light in a New York city restaurant on Saturday night. Good God. So fucking good. You've got the damn near perfect team of Hero and Claudio hitting offense on the kids who were selling their asses off, and the sprint near the end sealed the deal in this sumbitch. Just watch it and clean up your mess.
A: I have to confess, I didn’t like this as much as Geo but I give it a bonus point for the aforementioned sprint near the end. Cole and O’Reilly really had some good selling but I feel their match against the Briscoes the previous night was better. O’Reilly hit a wild running dropkick from the apron and Claudio hit a fucking STIFF clothesline. That ending sprint was so awesome. Claudio was caught in a submission by O’Reilly and Hero just hit move after move on him to no avail. At one point Cole hit Hero with a superkick that would make Shawn Michaels and Lance Storm blush. Ending felt a bit flat after that but still a fun opener.
2. Colt Cabana vs. Dave Taylor - G: 4 A: 3
G: I have to say that my expectations were high for this going in. I mean, one of the best grapplers still alive today, Taylor, taking on a guy who prides himself on mat-based wrestling. The match was fine by all means and was a little underwhelming, but about what I'd expect to see out of Taylor now that he appears to be at an advanced age. Cabana made Taylor's offense look a lot better than it may have been (not saying it was bad) by rolling out of the ring and looking around at the crowd as if to say, "How the fuck did he manage to pull that off?!" Short and filled the spot, it worked decently.
A: Nice to see ol’ thick, barrel-chested Squire Dave back in the ring again. However, he looked old and his offense was rather limited and primarily consisted of forearm smashes and uppercuts. Colt worked around Taylor’s limited offense and made him look pretty good. This didn’t last too long and was rather unoffensive.
3. Homicide vs. Tommaso Ciampa - G: 4 A: 5
G: So I wasn't sure what to expect going in here. I'm barely familiar with Ciampa's work, but his Burning Hammer is pretty good. Homicide really drew a halfway decent performance out Ciampa, who ate 'Cide's offense like Brian and I attacking a sushi buffet. Homicide pulled out some special offense, hitting a tope after running on top of the guardrail and flipping onto Ciampa's greasy body. Homicide went all out, but I found myself a bit put off by Ciampa's inability to show any emotion while in the ring. Not bad, not that good, just there. Skippable.
A: Really dug the opening brawl at the beginning with Homicide just punshing Ciampa like a red-headed stepchild. As unimpressed as I was with Ciampa in the four-way match the previous night, this was the complete opposite. His selling was pretty good as was his offense. I especially dug the ill lariat that he drilled Homicide with. The running dive off the stage by Homicide was pretty wild and he hit it perfectly. I’d say a rather shocking upset here with Ciampa hitting a picture-perfect Northern lights suplex for the pin.
4. Christopher Daniels vs. Michael Elgin - G: 5 A: 5
G: The human troll Elgin has his break through performance. Daniels was bumping his ass off for this kid and eating some nasty power moves courtesy of the real-life version of Hoggle from The Labyrinth. Daniels busted out his offense he's so well known for, which was particularly cool to watch because Elgin is so big. The ebbs and flows of the match also worked quite well in that the moves fed into one another like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. By far Elgin's best showing for the company, and by far Daniels' best work in making another guy look good that I've seen in quite a while.
A: I saw these two live at the last ROH show in Dayton and the match was so dull that I almost fell asleep, so my expectations were pretty low going into this. Elgin showed some fire here and really stepped up his game. He had some help in that department from Daniels, who much like Generico the night before, worked hard to make Elgin look good. Kevin Kelly comparing Elgin to Dr. Death on commentary was a ridiculous statement. The regular offensive onslaught from Daniels was on display here. The most memorable thing for me was seeing Elgin attempt a huge top-rope move and crashing to the mat with all the pleasant-ness of a car smashing into a brick wall.
5. SHIMMER Tag Team Title Match: Daizee Haze & Tomoka Nakagawa vs. Hiroyo Matsumoto & Ayumi Kurihara - G: 5 A: 4
G: I saw this line up ahead of time and generally had my thoughts racing about how great this match could be and all of the potential that it had. While it was indeed a good match, it didn't live up to my expectations. Compared with Del Rey/Deeb vs. The Joshi team, this was clearer the weaker of the two matches. I found myself genuinely liking the in-ring, but I wanted more of it. The match didn't even go 8 minutes, which was not enough time for the great Joshi climax to occur that had occurred in last night's match... then again, I could watch this shit for hours on end. Still, what we got in the allotted time was good, and I enjoyed it. Kurihara didn't bust out some of those sweet transitions between moves like she usually does, which kind of made me die a little inside. I still liked it, but damn it had potential.
A: Can’t say that I liked this as much as the ladies tag the night before. During Daizee’s in-ring, I was more concerned about who was more anorexic and sickly looking, her or Angelina Love. The back drop driver near the end of the match from Matsumoto was sick. I don’t buy Daizee’s offense at all. The heart punch attempt looked rather weak. Kurihara was once again the shining star as she broke out the armbar submission from the night before but unfortunately didn’t really get the chance to go all out with her offense like she did the previous night.
6. Grudge Tag Team Match: The All Night Express vs. Jay & Mark Briscoe- G: 7 A: 7
G: Pay fucking attention. This was the shit. You've got two young guys, Titus and King, who are making strides at becoming two of the top guys in the company, and you're pitting them against the Briscoes in a hell of a match. From the moment the Briscoes charged in, I knew what we were about to see unfold would be an epic encounter. We got that great slow burn effect as the in-ring started out great with some great wrestling occurring between the ropes, but the best part is, the "wrestling" per se was not at all the best part of the match. The best part, my friends, was the fucking HATE felt between the two teams. My God, this is how you brawl, seriously. Bruiser Brody, the best brawler of all time in mine and many others' opinions, would be applauding the hell out of this. Rhett Titus got busted open and was gushing all over the place, and soon after, Jay was right there with him, squirting red plasma across the black and red mat along with spitting his own blood in the air that looked like Muta's mist. All four guys laid in some sick offense that was just awesome to see unfold. I'll say it again: THIS IS HOW YOU DO A BRAWL. Great, great match that I'm going to remember for a long time to come.
A: Man, all four of these guys just completely beat the shit out of each other from the opening brawl where the Briscoes ran in from the crowd. Let’s talk about all the crazy ass shit that went on here. Titus took a punishing headfirst shot into the post on the outside that ripped him open from eyebrow to eyebrow, Jay Briscoe took an X-Factor off the apron face first through a table, and Mark Briscoe was the recipient of one of the damndest things I’ve ever seen, getting dropped face first on to the TOP OF THE RINGPOST and falling straight to the floor. Holy fuck that was sick! As far as the actual wrestling aspect of the match itself, there wasn’t much you couldn’t love. Kenny King was on top of his game, probably as good as I’ve ever seen him look. Never been a big Titus fan but damn, I think that my opinion of him has definitely gone up as he had some great selling and did a fantastic face in peril. Jay covered in his own blood at the end was a nightmarish sight, especially as he and Rhett traded strikes and Kevin Kelly compared it to a Tarantino movie. Really sick Jay Driller finished this off. Definitely the best match of either night.
7. SoCal Showdown II Rematch: Roderick Strong vs. El Generico - G: 5 A: 4
G: Roddy has really dropped the weight, if I haven't mentioned that already. Really hope he doesn't go for the Erik Stevens AKA Human Skeleton treatment. Generico is really over with the crowd, which added an extra excitement to the match. This match up sounds awesome on paper, and it was good, but not quite the level that you'd expect to see out of these two. Generico's selling had the crowd sympathizing with every move, and every time he hit the Yakuza, the crowd would pop their nuts. Truth had a lot of interference in the match, but his comedic bumping and all-out insane hair made his presence acceptable. We got a weak fin that I didn't believe at all seeing Generico hit the brainbuster out of nowhere. It wasn't a bad fin per se, but it should've been stronger.
A: These two seemed to just be coasting through the first half of the match. Thought Generico’s bumping and selling were grand as always. Really dug the knee that Roddy used to catch Generico on the outside. Generico really turned it up during the second half but Roddy still looked like he was in sleep mode. What was with Truth jumping in the ring and wanting to do a dive and then falling over the rope to the floor? I though that spot was unneccesary. Interference from Elgin and a wild brainbuster capped this match off. Not really what you would expect when you see these two matched up against each other.
8. Non Title Dream Tag Team Match: Wrestling's Greatest Tag Team (Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas) vs. The American Wolves (Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards)- G: 6 A: 6
G: This 32-minute battle was pretty damn good. Haas and Benjamin still wrestle a more reserved style, but their mat game is great. Davey and Eddie both showed off their skills on the mat as well by hanging with the ex-WWE superstars and twisting them up in all sorts of gnarly positions. My absolute favorite part of this match was the picking apart of Edwards' leg. Eddie got knee-DT'd twice by Benjamin, which started a series of unfortunate events that rivaled those of Lemony Snicket. Edwards' selling here was off the chain, as he remembered throughout the entire match to sell his leg, clearly showing his superiority to his tag team partner Richards. Davey's energy was great and his strikes were even better. We got a cool German suplex spot near the end of the match where I believe a total of 12 to 15 German suplexes were traded between all four men, which garnered a raucous applause from the fans. A damn fine spectacle.
A: The mat work here was very solid, about as good as you’re going to find. Liked the Wolves working over Charlie’s shoulder. The double team suicide dive from the Wolves was very nice as well. Shortly after though, we get the turning point of the the match were Edwards hurts his knee and WGTT just takes over with a methodical dissection of said body part. Edwards was just phenomenal is his selling, yelling and screaming every time his knee got landed on and the facial selling from him was similar to someone who just lost their favorite dog. The German suplexes that Geo mentioned were really cool and the fact that that entire spot was done in stereo was great as well. Davey took a hellacious superkick from Shelton and actually sold it by laying motionless on the mat, that is until it was time for his next spot. Really great nearfall off a super lungblower from the top rope. A good match to close out the show and the ROH Atlanta weekend shows.