Ring of Honor “The Conquest Tour: Milwaukee”
March 23, 2015 (Taped on March 13, 2015)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Turner Hall Ballroom)
Commentators: Joe Dombrowski, King Corino
Recap & Review by: Jason Namako of Wrestleview.com
We see the usual ROH signature intro, then commentary welcomes us to the show and goes over the big matches. Ring announcer Scarlett Bordaeux introduces the combatants for our opening contest.
“The Persian Party Boy” Arya Daivari vs. “Mr. Ring of Honor” Roderick Strong
Arya is the younger brother of former WWE & TNA star Shawn Daivari. This is Arya’s ROH debut as he impressed ROH officials recently at a tryout camp. Very good reaction for Strong in Milwaukee as the crowd chants for him before the bell sounds.
Code of Honor adhered to, with Strong patting Arya on the cheek. Arya stalls, then taunts the crowd in the early going. Arya evades Strong with a cartwheel, does some more taunting, then goes to the outside to stall some more. Back in, Arya takes over with right hands, but does too much dancing as Strong scores with a dropkick. Strong mocks Arya’s taunting as Corino on commentary says, “He usually has to be 13 to 14 beers in before we see dancing Roddy.” Backbreaker gets Strong 2. Strong works over Arya with stomps and chops, but while the ref tries to pull back Strong, Arya with a poke to the eye, followed by a flying forearm.
Arya begins taking control on Strong, locking him in a Camel Clutch. Strong gets free, but runs into a big kick by Arya for 2. Strong fights back, but Arya counters a lift-up into a diving reverse DDT for 2. Arya trash talks Strong, but Strong avoids an avalanche in the corner. Sit-out clothesline, more chops and a big dropkick by Strong gets 2. Arya blocks a half-nelson backbreaker with elbows, but messes up on ducking under a leapfrog as he is sent outside. Strong with a head of steam and DRILLS Arya with a through-the-ropes dropkick. Back in, Strong catches a leaping Arya with another backbreaker for 2. Arya blocks Death by Roderick and hits a rolling forearm. Iranian Drop (Hercules Cutter) gets Arya a close 2. Crowd chants for Strong. Strong backdrops out of a hammerlock DDT, avoids a corner charge, hits a running forearm and a running knee in the corner. They head up top, Top Rope Superplex by Strong gets a close 2.
Arya with a jawbreaker and a superkick, then this time hits the hammerlock DDT. Arya grabs his magic carpet and goes up top for the Magic Carpet Ride, but Strong moves out of the way! Leaping knee, rolling forearm, Death by Roderick and finally the Sick Kick.
Strong Hold applied, Arya taps.
Winner: “Mr. Ring of Honor” Roderick Strong by submission (Strong Hold)
Strong throws Arya’s magic carpet to the outside afterwards and celebrates his win.
THOUGHTS: Decent opener, but Arya seemed a bit off in this. Maybe it was nerves because of his ROH debut, maybe it was an off night, who knows. Unfortunately, not a good first impression for Arya on this show against a ROH veteran in Strong, who seemed visibly upset at times during the match. Crowd was very much into Strong, so this did its job of getting the hot Milwaukee crowd right away into the show. Other than that, a good outing for Strong and a not-so-good outing for Arya.
Will Ferrara vs. “The Last Real Man” Silas Young
This is Silas’ ROH return after being out for several months with a torn ACL. Silas, who is sporting a big knee brace on his surgerically-repaired knee, gets a big reaction from the hometown Milwaukee crowd, as they chant “Welcome Back” at him.
Chain wrestling early. Oklahoma Roll gets Silas 2. Ferrara counters a suplex, roll-up gets 2. Crucifix gets Ferrara 2, then Silas rolls outside to re-group. Back in, Ferrara extends his hand again, but Silas slaps him, then goes to work on Ferrara. Snap suplex, then Silas trash talks to Ferrara. Ferrara fights back, hitting a dropkick as the crowd boos him in favor of the hometown favorite in Silas. Ferrara sent onto the apron, but pulls down the top rope, sending Silas outside. Ferrara leaps onto the barricade and goes for a Tornado DDT, but Silas holds onto the barricade, sending Ferrara crashing down onto the floor.
Back in, Silas continues to trash talk, hitting a facebuster across the knee. Back suplex gets Silas 2. Ferrara fights back, but Silas keeps control. Chinlock applied as Silas continues to talk trash. Ferrara slips out of another back suplex, avoids a corner charge, but Silas blocks a suplex. Silas goes for a suplex, but Ferrara counters and this time hits the suplex. Inside cradle gets Ferrara 2. “Boo, Yay” strike exchange, Silas gains advantage, but Ferrara with a clothesline. Silas avoids a corner charge, but Ferrara slips out of the Finlay Roll, springs to the middle rope and hits a Tornado DDT for a close 2.
Silas with a jawbreaker, but Ferrara avoids another charge and hits a big uppercut. Silas avoids another uppercut and this time hits the Finlay Roll. Silas sets for the Pee Gee Waja Plunge, but Ferrara surprises him with another roll-up for a very close 2. Sonic Boom (Code Red) by Ferrara gets another close 2. Silas with a big boot, Ferrara with a back elbow. Ferrara off the ropes, but Silas catches him with the Killer Combo for a close 2. Ferrara fights out of another Finlay Roll attempt with elbows, then slips out of yet another attempt.
Ferrara goes for a backslide, but Silas with a low mule kick, causing the ref to ring the bell.
Winner: Will Ferrara by DQ
Crowd loudly boos at the referee’s decision afterwards as Silas is upset at what he did, costing himself the match.
THOUGHTS: Solid match and an impressive outing for both Ferrara, adding another performance to what has been a near-breakout 2015 for him so far, and for Silas, who looked like he hadn’t lost a step coming back from the very serious ACL tear. Much like the crowd, was not a fan of the DQ as honestly, it didn’t do anything for either guy. Doesn’t help Silas losing cheap in his return, especially in his hometown and moreso, doesn’t help Ferrara getting the win as Ferrara would have lost nothing in a loss to Silas, who prior to the injury, was getting sent to the near top of the card. So, a good, solid match in front of an extremely hot Milwaukee crowd for their hometown guy, only to see a cheap finish kinda put a damper on things.
The Beer City Bruiser vs. Mark Briscoe
Decent reaction by the hometown Milwaukee crowd for the Bruiser, who comes out carrying a beer keg. HUGE reaction for Mark, though, by the Milwaukee crowd, as they loudly chant “MAN UP.”
Commentary brings up the Bruiser being trained by WWE Hall of Famer Harley Race. Feeling-out process early. Chop exchange, Mark with forearms. Mark with a forearm off the middle rope that rocks the Bruiser. No one goes down off a shoulder tackle. Mark works over the Bruiser, then sends him to the outside with a dropkick. Mark with a head of steam, but the Bruiser catches him with a big forearm. The Bruiser bites at Mark and begins to take control, yelling at the crowd. Corner clothesline, followed by a running butt smash and the Cannonball by the Bruiser gets 2. Mark fights back, but the Bruiser rakes the eyes and bites Mark again. Mark sent onto the apron, then heads up top and hits a tomahawk chop, but the Bruiser does not go down. Mark goes to the middle rope and finally takes down the Bruiser with a missile dropkick. Mark with some Redneck Kung Fu to the Bruiser as the Bruiser is becoming punch-drunk. Uncle Mule Kick sends the Bruiser into the corner and gets Mark 2. The Bruiser with another corner clothesline to Mark, but Mark comes back with a Urnangi Suplex for another 2. Mark with a dropkick to the knees, but the Bruiser catches him off the ropes with the Hare of the Dog (Lariat) for a close 2. They head up top, but Mark blocks a superplex and gives the Bruiser a taste of his own medicine by biting him. Mark then knocks the Bruiser off the ropes with a headbutt.
Froggy Bow gets Mark the win.
Winner: Mark Briscoe by pinfall (Froggy Bow)
Mark & The Bruiser adhere to the Code of Honor afterwards and share a beer.
THOUGHTS: Decent match, but was entertaining nonetheless. Bruiser works a slow, plodding style of match, but he got some good heat from the Milwaukee crowd, so I consider it effective. Mark was super over with the Milwaukee crowd, so they definitely enhanced this match and it turned into a decent affair towards the end.
The Decade (“The Zombie Princess” Jimmy Jacobs & “The Buzzsaw” BJ Whitmer) vs. Roppongi (RPG) Vice (“Azucar” Rocky Romero & Baretta)
This is Roppongi Vice’s debut as a tag-team and Baretta’s ROH debut as Baretta, upon his release from WWE in 2013, has been working for EVOLVE & FIP under the WWN banner up until this month where the Roppongi Vice team was formed and began working for ROH & New Japan. Decade does some stalling before the match, refusing to adhere to the Code of Honor.
Jacobs & Romero start. Corino on commentary talks about his son, Colby, recently joining the Decade as their new “young boy.” Jacobs with a shoulder tackle early. Series of evasions, then Romero with the Spidey taunt in the ropes. Jacobs charges, but Romero avoids him, sending Jacobs outside. Leaping knee off the apron wipes out Jacobs. Back in, Jacobs backs off and tags in Whitmer. Crowd chants for Baretta, Romero tags him in. Whitmer piefaces Baretta in the corner and talks trash. Chop exchange, Baretta gains advantage, but Whitmer responds. Baretta then knocks down Whitmer with a double chop. Romero in, double gut shot, leaping knee by Romero, sit-out clothesline by Baretta gets Romero 2. Whitmer knocks Romero with chops, but Romero gets up after every one and tells Whitmer to bring it. Romero then with an eye poke and a basement dropkick. Baretta in, teases a slingshot , but instead just comes in and rakes Whitmer’s face with his boot. Baretta sent onto the apron, but nails Whitmer with a leg drop as Whitmer tried for a shoulder to the ribs. Whitmer avoids a charging Baretta and then sweeps his leg, sending Baretta crashing down onto the apron.
Jacobs in, Decade stomp away at Baretta. Jacobs begins working over the kidneys of Baretta, hitting a running shoulder to them. Roll-up gets Jacobs 2. Whitmer in, Decade drive Baretta multiple times into the corner, then beat him down. Baretta fights back, but Whitmer catches him off the ropes with a spinebuster, Romero breaks up the pin. Jacobs in, multiple double stomps to the ribs of Baretta, using the ropes as a slingshot. Jacobs talks trash to Baretta, but runs into a boot. Baretta tries to make a tag, then sends a charging Whitmer to the outside. Baretta is about to make the tag, but Whitmer pulls Romero off the apron. Whitmer in as the Decade continue the onslaught on Baretta. Stiff jab by Whitmer, then sends Baretta into Jacobs’ out-stretched boots. Jacobs in, sends Baretta outside, gets a head of steam and wipes him out with a tope suicida. Back in, Jacobs SPIKES Baretta with a draping DDT for a close 2. Series of back elbows by Jacobs in the corner, then he spits at Baretta. Jacobs charges, but Baretta catches him with the Scott Lost Stomp. Jacobs tries to stop Baretta from making a tag, but Baretta leaps and this time tags in Romero.
Whitmer in as well as Romero with a springboard crossbody to him, followed by a running rana, as well as one to Jacobs. Forever Clotheslines in the corner to Jacobs, Romero fires up. Romero with the Forever Clotheslines to Whitmer, followed by a back heel kick for 2. Jacobs grabs at Romero’s leg, but Romero shoos him off, sending Jacobs into the barricade. However, it allows Whitmer to hit the snap slam on Romero for 2. Jacobs in, knocks Baretta off the apron. Decade go for the All Seeing Eye on Romero, but Romero slips out and hits a DDT/Flatliner combo on the Decade.
Baretta in, RPG Vice go for a double suplex on Jacobs, but Jacobs blocks it and hits a double eye rake. Baretta stops Jacobs off the ropes and gourdbusters him across the ropes. Romero with a springboard dropkick to the draped over Jacobs, followed by Baretta hitting a running basement Gobstopper (Flying Knee Strike) on Jacobs for a very close 2. Baretta goes for another Gobstopper, but Jacobs avoids it. Whitmer with a running high knee to Baretta in the corner, followed by Jacobs hitting the Spear for another close 2. Romero pulls Whitmer outside and sends him into the barricade. Jacobs avoids Romero coming in and hits the Inward Ace Crusher, followed by a Tornado DDT to Baretta. Whitmer then with a big clothesline to Baretta, followed by Romero taking down Whitmer with a dropkick to the knees, everyone is down.
Strike exchange between Romero & Whitmer, Romero gains advantage with rapid-fire slaps and a running knee to the ribs, sending Whitmer outside. Romero with a head of steam and wipes out Whitmer with a tope suicida! Jacobs heads up top and goes for the back senton bomb, but Baretta gets the knees up! Baretta this time hits Jacobs with the Gobstopper. Romero hits Whitmer with a PK from the apron as Baretta lifts up Jacobs.
Spike Crunchy (Springboard Double Stomp/Sunset Driver Combo) by RPG Vice on Jacobs gets them the win.
Winners: Roppongi (RPG) Vice by pinfall (Spike Crunchy)
RPG Vice celebrates their win afterwards, then Jacobs calls them back in as Whitmer is telling them to leave. Jacobs extends his hand for the Code of Honor and RPG Vice accept it. Whitmer shoves RPG Vice and has words with Jacobs. Jacobs then walks past Whitmer and again adheres to the Code of Honor with RPG Vice, then leaves as Whitmer follows behind him, obviously upset at Jacobs for adhering to the Code of Honor.
THOUGHTS: Damn good tag team match. Had some questions about how RPG Vice would look in their first go-around as a team, but those questions were answered immediately as they had very good chemistry with one another from jump. It helped them being in there with a veteran ROH team in Jacobs & Whitmer, who definitely set the pace of this match and made RPG Vice look like a million bucks, especially in the home stretch. Baretta did very well on the face-in-peril and Romero continues to be great off the hot tag. Liked the post-match angle of Jacobs wanting to adhere finally to the Code of Honor, much to Whitmer’s dismay as we are now teasing dissension within the Decade leading obviously to the impending departure of Jacobs from ROH to go to greener pastures. Great stuff from all 4 guys, best thing on the show so far.
Matt Taven vs. Cheeseburger
Before the match, Taven has fun with ring announcer Scarlett Bordaeux, doing the Motorboat to her. Taven gets on the mic as the crowd chants “Shots” due to the last time Taven being in Milwaukee, he promised shots to the entire crowd if he beat Adam Cole to win the ROH World Title, which Taven was unsuccessful. Taven rips on the crowd, saying he reneged on the offer because he saw no attractive women in the crowd, then makes fun of some guy who exposed his man boobs. Taven finally talks his match with Cheeseburger up next as the crowd loudly chants for him upon Cheeseburger’s entrance.
Taven sticks his hand in his tights for the Code of Honor, then slaps Cheeseburger with said hand. Taven messes with Cheeseburger early, but Cheeseburger takes the fight to him. Taven then DRILLS Cheeseburger with a superkick for 2, after pulling him up. Taven works over Cheeseburger and does push-ups to taunt the crowd. Big boot by Taven as he taunts the crowd. Taven with a Moonlight Drive, then kips up twice as the crowd continues to chant “Shots.” Springboard corkscrew moonsault gets Taven 2. Cheeseburger avoids a springboard roundhouse and hits a crossbody. Tornado Hot-Shot, then Cheeseburger heads up top and hits Air Cheese for a 1 count. Taven avoids the Shoten and heads outside, but catches Cheeseburger off a slingshot plancha and drives him into the ringpost. Taven heads up top for Air Taven, but Cheeseburger avoids it and hits the Shoten for a close 2. Cobra Clutch applied, but Taven gets free.
Taven catches Cheeseburger off a springboard, Climax gets the win.
Winner: Matt Taven by pinfall (The Climax)
Taven celebrates his win afterward.
THOUGHTS: Fun showcase for Taven, while giving enough hope spots to Cheeseburger to make this more than a simple squash. Quite enjoyed this.
“The Walking Weapon” Josh Alexander vs. “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin
Chop exchange early. No one goes down off a shoulder tackle. Exchange of headlock takeover and headscissors, then Elgin shoves down Alexander, who quickly kips up. Test of Strength, Elgin gets the advantage, but Alexander powers back. Chops and jabs by Alexander, then catches Elgin off a slingshot with a stiff jab. Elgin is seated on the apron and Alexander with a head of steam and hits a submarine crossbody to Elgin, wiping him out. Back in, Alexander with a corner clothesline, followed by a sliding clothesline for 2. Commentary brings up Alexander’s wearing of the amateur headgear due to a severely cauliflowered ear. Chop exchange on the apron, Alexander gains advantage, but then Elgin with an URNANGI ON THE APRON!!! Back in, Elgin gets 2. Elgin begins taking control on Alexander. Elgin catches a charging Alexander with the Scott Lost Stomp, then taunts the crowd. Alexander fights back, but Elgin with a big boot. Alexander is draped across the apron as Elgin goes out there and hits him with a leg drop, then blows a kiss to the crowd. Back in, Elgin gets another 2. Alexander fights back again, but Elgin with a roll-through, then goes for a Buckle Bomb, but Alexander drives him into the corner. Elgin with an enziguri, but Alexander with a Northern Lights. Elgin tries to front facelock Alexander as he lifts up Elgin, but Alexander breaks free and hits another Northern Lights for 2. Elgin slips out of a slam, then Alexander slips out of a slam by Elgin and goes onto the apron, but Elgin hits him with a front kick. Alexander is draped across the ropes as Elgin heads up top and hits a somersault leg drop! Elgin heads back up top, Top Rope Splash gets a close 2. Alexander fights off Elgin’s shoulders, then they hit each other with clotheslines multiple times, with no one going down. They go nose-to-nose and then exchange slaps, followed by more strikes. Alexander gains advantage, but Elgin with clothesline shots against the ropes. Elgin off the ropes, but Alexander blocks a clothesline and hits the rip-chord rolling elbow. Elgin responds with a spinning backfist, but then Alexander hits him with a release German, both men down! “This is awesome” chants by the crowd. Alexander removes his elbow pad and charges, but Elgin TURNS HIM INSIDE OUT WITH A LARIAT!!! 1-2…..ALEXANDER KICKS OUT!!! ELGIN CAN’T BELIEVE IT!! Elgin lifts up Alexander and hits the Buckle Bomb, but Alexander counters the Elgin Bomb and hits a Buckle Whiplash Slam. Alexander lifts up Elgin and goes up to the middle rope, SUPER DEATH VALLEY DRIVER!!! 1-2…..NOW ITS ELGIN WHO KICKS OUT!!!! Alexander can’t believe it! Alexander is bleeding from the mouth as the crowd chants “Let’s go Blue Guy.” Alexander heads up top and goes for a moonsault, but Elgin moves out of the way! Alexander catches a pump kick by Elgin, but Elgin hits a roll-through into a double stomp to the back of Alexander’s head! Running boot by Elgin in the corner, followed by another spinning backfist, but Alexander avoids a big clothesline.
Elgin then with another spinning backfist, followed by another Lariat for the win.
Winner: “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin by pinfall (Lariat)
Afterwards, the crowd chants “Blue Guy” again for Alexander, but Elgin yells that he is Josh Alexander and they adhere to the Code of Honor as the crowd then chants “Josh.”
THOUGHTS: Right in my wheelhouse of HOSS Division and this delivered. Great outing for Alexander against someone he he as fought in many other promotions in Elgin. More truncated version of their past battles, but this was still a joy to watch. Alexander is on the cusp of being the next big thing on the indies, having a damn good 2015 so far, hopefully we see more of him in ROH going forward. Elgin put Alexander over great in this and Alexander held up his end to a great degree. Good stuff here.
“The Last Hero” ACH vs. “The Samoan Submission Machine” Samoa Joe
BIG reaction for Joe in Milwaukee, as the crowd chants “Joe’s Gonna Kill You” before the match. Matt Sydal joins commentary for this match, as he is out for the next couple of shows with a neck injury.
Feeling-out process early. ACH has fun with the crowd as they then chant for him. Joe, in response, hits a series of leg kicks that send ACH outside to re-group. Back in, they do some chain wrestling, with Joe easily getting the advantage, taking ACH down. ACH yells out “you think this is a game?”, yelling at Joe to bring it. Series of leg kicks by ACH, but a big leg kick by Joe knocks ACH down. Series of jabs by Joe in the corner. Running back elbow/enziguri combo by Joe in the corner. ACH fights back with chops, but they have no effect on Joe. More peppering jabs by Joe back ACH into the corner. ACH fights back with jabs of his own, but Joe just slaps him down. Headbutt by Joe, but ACH avoids a leg sweep with multiple backflips, followed by a dropkick for 1. Basement dropkick by ACH, followed by forearms. Joe fights back, then hits a series of Muay Thai knees to the ribs. ACH takes Joe down and begins working on his leg. Double stomp to the leg by ACH only gets a count of 1. More chops by ACH, but they still have no effect on Joe. Joe runs into a boot, but when ACH leaps off the top, Joe just EASILY sidesteps him, causing ACH to crash down to the mat. More forearms by ACH, but Joe runs him over with a back elbow. Back chop to the back of ACH’s neck, FK and a running leaping knee drop by Joe sends ACH to the outside. Joe goes out after him and charges, but ACH hits him with a dropkick to the knee. Running chop by ACH to a seated Joe against the barricade, followed by more jabs and a big right hand. ACH goes to mock Joe’s OLE Kick against the barricade, but Joe catches him with a big chop. Front kick seats ACH against the barricade, then Joe charges and connects with the OLE Kick! Crowd chants “One More Time” as Joe charges and hits a 2nd OLE Kick against the barricade.
ACH fights back, then springs off the barricade, but Joe catches him and drives ACH into another part of the barricade! Back in, Joe with forearms and uppercuts in the corner, but ACH rakes the eyes. ACH with 4 running forearms in the corner, followed by a running discus clothesline! ACH covers Joe, but only gets 2. Joe runs into a boot by ACH, then ACH headscissors Joe head-first off the top turnbuckle. ACH goes onto the apron and Joe runs into an enziguri, followed by ACH hitting a Spring-In Swinging Flatliner for 2. Joe goes onto the apron, but ACH with a spinning back kick. ACH charges, but Joe pulls down the top rope, sending ACH outside. ACH avoids Joe’s head of steam, then Joe sidesteps ACH’s head of steam, but ACH follows Joe around ringside and DRILLS him with a running PK from the apron! ACH clutches his foot as he hurt himself kicking Joe so hard. Back in, ACH heads up top and hits a Top Rope Double Stomp for a close 2. Joe slips off ACH’s shoulders and locks in the Kokina Clutch, but ACH counters out with a jawbreaker. Joe then catches ACH off the ropes with an inverted atomic drop, followed by a running boot and a running back senton for 2. Snap slam gets Joe another 2. Powerbomb by Joe gets another 2, then he quickly locks ACH in a STF. Joe then switches into a Crossface, followed by switching to a Fujiwara Armbar, but ACH is somehow able to reach the ropes. Joe calls for the Muscle Buster and goes for it, but ACH fights it. Joe with a big chop and goes for the Muscle Buster again, but ACH slips out and hits 2 superkicks. ACH lifts up Joe, Death Valley Driver! ACH heads up top as the crowd chants for him. ACH goes for the Midnight Star, but rolls through it as Joe moves out of the way. Joe misses a clothesline, but DRILLS ACH with a knee strike. Kokina Clutch re-applied, but ACH walks the ropes and counters it into a pinning predicament for a close 2. ACH charges in, but Joe hits him with the ST-Joe in the corner.
Joe places ACH up top, MUSCLE BUSTER!!! 1-2-3! WHAT A MATCH!!!
Winner: “The Samoan Submission Machine” Samoa Joe by pinfall (Muscle Buster)
Joe celebrates his win afterwards as the crowd chants “Thank you Joe”. Crowd then chants for ACH as he gets to his feet. They adhere to the Code of Honor and embrace in a sign of mutual respect.
THOUGHTS: Helluva match and another star-making performance for ACH against a top-flight performer in Joe. Joe looked in much better shape, seemed like he has lost around 10-15 pounds since his TNA departure. Go out of your way to see this match to see Joe in near tip-top form back in the place he became a star in ROH and a guy you will continue to hear about over the coming months and years in ACH. Best thing on the show.
Main Event in the Champions’ Challenge Tag Team Match: Ring of Honor Tag Team Champions reDRagon (“The Round-Eyed Samurai” Bobby Fish & “The Ambassador of Kick-assador” Kyle O’Reilly) vs. Ring of Honor World Champion Jay Briscoe & Ring of Honor Television Champion “The First Generation Wrestler” Jay Lethal w/Truth Martini & J. Diesel
Big reaction for Briscoe in Milwaukee, with the crowd chanting “MAN UP.” Lethal & Briscoe argue before the bell about who is gonna start. Lethal finally heads outside and lets Briscoe start with Fish.
Chain wrestling early, Briscoe with a shoulder tackle. Briscoe avoids a head kick, hits a big boot. Lethal then tags himself in and he & Briscoe exchange more words as O’Reilly tags in as well. Briscoe heads onto the apron as Lethal shoves him. Briscoe responds with a pie-face, allowing O’Reilly to roll up Lethal for 2. Lethal walks all the way up the rampway, upset at Briscoe as Martini tries to calm Lethal down. Referee begins his 20 count on Lethal as Martini tries to talk him off the ledge. Lethal finally heads back in, then holds up the TV Title belt in Briscoe’s face, saying he’s the most important singles champion in ROH. O’Reilly with a shoulder tackle, then blocks a Sunset Flip and locks in ARMageddon. Martini hops up on the apron, causing O’Reilly to break the hold as Lethal tapped out when the ref was distracted. Lethal takes advantage, nailing O’Reilly with a right hand. Martini grabs at O’Reilly’s leg, but O’Reilly stomps on Martini’s hand. However, the distraction allows Lethal to O’Reilly with a clothesline.
Lethal tags Briscoe in as he stomps away at O’Reilly. Series of uppercuts by Briscoe, followed by a dropkick for 2. Briscoe forcifully tags Lethal in, who hits O’Reilly with a series of uppercuts. Lethal off the ropes, but Fish with a knee to the back, allowing O’Reilly to hit his series of strikes, ending with the leg sweep. Fish in, snap suplex gets 2. Muay Thai knees by Fish, followed by a slingshot senton bomb for another 2. O’Reilly in, kitchen sink gets another 2. Fish in, misses a clothesline, then Briscoe tags himself in. Series of uppercuts to Fish, followed by a big boot. O’Reilly knocked off the apron, Briscoe with an avalanche to Fish. O’Reilly sent outside, Hangman’s Neckbreaker to Fish. Briscoe stares down Lethal and tags him in. Lethal then does his own Hangman’s Neckbreaker, in a ‘can you top this?’ to Briscoe. Lethal with a slam, then tells Briscoe to do better. Briscoe tags in, hits Fish with a headbutt, followed by his own slam. Briscoe & Lethal continue to have words, then Fish drives Briscoe into his corner.
O’Reilly in, knocks Lethal off the apron, running forearm to Briscoe. Fish with a running knee to the ribs, then O’Reilly with a running chest kick, followed by reDRagon with the Tilt-a-Whirl Backbreaker/2nd Rope Knee Drop combo to Briscoe, but Lethal breaks up the pin. Fish in, back elbow to Briscoe for 2. O’Reilly in, sliding knee drops to the kidneys of Briscoe. Lethal knocked off the apron, Fish tags in. Fish heads up top, but Briscoe rolls out of harm’s way. Fish goes to another corner to head up top, but Briscoe again rolls out of harm’s way. O’Reilly with a slam, then goes up on another corner. reDRagon leaps off for stereo diving headbutts, but Briscoe moves out of the way! Briscoe peppers reDRagon with jabs, then Lethal tags himself in. Lethal heads up top and leaps over reDRagon. Fish with an avalanche to Briscoe in the corner as O’Reilly with a knee to the ribs of Lethal. reDRagon goes for Chasing the Dragon on Lethal, but Briscoe breaks it up. Briscoe goes for the Jay Driller on O’Reilly, but Fish breaks it up. Lethal with a pump kick to Fish, then calls for the Lethal Injection, but O’Reilly breaks it up with a kick to Lethal’s back off the back handspring. Briscoe with a big boot to O’Reilly, who falls backward into the ropes, then comes back and hits the Nigel on Lethal as Briscoe ducks. Briscoe with a rolling elbow to O’Reilly, Fish with a Backdrop Driver to Briscoe, everyone is down!
Strike exchange between Lethal & Fish, then Lethal hits him with the Lethal Combination, but O’Reilly breaks up the pin. Briscoe sends O’Reilly outside, then he & Lethal have more words. Jay lifts up Fish for Lethal to do the Doomsday Device, but O’Reilly crotches Lethal on the ropes. Briscoe sent outside, O’Reilly sent onto the apron, but he grabs Lethal and hooks him in a cross armbreaker in the ropes, then Fish with a slingshot somersault senton over the post wipes out Briscoe on the outside! O’Reilly heads up top, double stomp to the arm of Lethal. Springboard moonsault by Fish gets 2. Cross armbreaker applied by Fish on Lethal. Briscoe tries to break it up, but O’Reilly hooks him in a front guillotine choke. Lethal gets to the ropes. O’Reilly in, reDRagon goes for Chasing the Dragon on Briscoe, but Lethal breaks it up with a superkick to Fish! Lethal Combination to O’Reilly, then Lethal heads up top. Lethal goes for Hail to the King, but Briscoe lifts up O’Reilly and he & Lethal this time hit the Doomsday Device!! 1-2…..FISH BREAKS UP THE PIN!!! Briscoe sends Fish outside and they brawl. Lethal with an enziguri to O’Reilly, then Martini hops back on the apron to hand Lethal the Book of Truth to use. Jay sees this, gets on the apron and smacks the book down to the mat, not wanting to get DQ’d. Briscoe shoves down Martini, then Lethal enziguris Briscoe to the outside! Lethal with a head of steam, TOPE SUICIDA WIPES OUT FISH & BRISCOE!! Lethal goes for the Lethal Injection, but Briscoe NAILS LETHAL WITH THE BOOK OF TRUTH WHEN LETHAL BACK HANDSPRINGS!!
Seated Fujiwara Armbar by O’Reilly, LETHAL TAPS!!!
Winners: Ring of Honor Tag Team Champions reDRagon by submission (Seated Fujiwara Armbar)
Lethal & Briscoe yell at each other in the ring as reDRagon celebrates their win and leaves. Both stick fingers in the other’s face as Briscoe tries to explain that Martini would have gotten them DQ’d. Lethal yells some more at Briscoe, holding up the TV Title belt, yelling “I’M THE ONLY CHAMPION!!” Briscoe holds up both the ROH World Title and his personalized title belt. Lethal & Briscoe begin getting into a shoving match as Martini tries to calm Lethal down. Lethal & Martini finally leave as it appears he & Briscoe are on a collision course to determine who is the one true champion in ROH as the show closes.
THOUGHTS: Good main event, but it was more about the story than the match itself. After months of bubbling to the surface, this was the first chapter in setting the stage for what appears to be the Best in the World PPV main event on June 19 with World Champion Jay Briscoe vs. TV Champion Jay Lethal, to determine who is the one true champion in Ring of Honor. Love this story they are telling as both Briscoe & Lethal have been dominant champions in Ring of Honor over the last couple of years. Lethal, with the longest TV Title reign in ROH history, the most days as TV Champion and most title defenses, up against Jay Briscoe, a man who hasn’t been pinned or submitted in ROH in over 2 1/2 years and has the most combined days as a titleholder in ROH history. ROH has been setting this up in a very Hogan vs. Warrior Wrestlemania 6-style way and I for one am a big proponent of this direction if this is what its leading towards. Match itself was good action from all 4, but the big story is the exposition told in the Jay Briscoe vs. Jay Lethal rivalry that will look to cumlinate in New York City at Best in the World, live on PPV on June 19. Good stuff from a storyline standpoint here.
Overall, the Milwaukee stop on “The Conquest Tour” had 2 very good matches, a real good story-driven match and a mixture of decent to solid matches spattered throughout the rest of the card. Go get this on VOD for $14.99 at http://www.rohwrestling.com/ippv/.
Coming tomorrow, a recap & review of the Chicago Ridge stop of “The Conquest Tour”, featuring Samoa Joe vs. Michael Elgin!
Jason Namako recaps the weekly ROH on Sinclair TV, as well as all ROH PPVs and VOD releases for Wrestleview.com