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ROH & Bellator feedback from last night

An easy thumbs up show.

Best match was the main event and I was sure the six man tag would get my vote when that was over.  If I go back to watch one crazy entertaining match it will be the six man but the main event was excellent in that meaningful spot.  Lethal is someone they can build around (although I'd say Briscoe was also) and this was the right time to go with him.

I'd say Castle vs Young was worst but I found all the matches at least somewhat entertaining.  I'm pleased to now have access to ROH TV as I really enjoy the pacing and the advancement of storyline a in a logical easy to keep up with way.  Also one hour of TV a week is just about perfect for me.

I was on the fence about this show and am really glad I bought it.

Dan Kuester
Manhattan, Kansas


Overall I enjoyed the Beallator fights, a solid (recognizable) card helped make it more interesting than usual.  Very heavy traditional "gimmicks" which I actually enjoyed in the context of MMA such as elaborate intros, promo time, heat, etc.  It felt very different than the last several UFCs in my opinion, in a good way.

I've never seen as my rear-naked choke attempts in one night, but several were successful.  While I expected the Chandler fight to be a little bit more even it was a great match to start the live show off with, being it a home town boy and all. 

Straus is an interesting fighter, will get his title sooner rather than later I think.

Wasn't surprised by the Lashley fight at all, had his game-plan and was dramatically quicker and stronger making it easy to enforce that plan.  He's such a specimen.  Tangent for sure but with the personality and comfort level in front of a crowd he's developing and TNA's rocky future I would love to see him come back to WWE for another run.  Lashley/Lesnar would be big $$$.

The final strike from Pitbull happened so quickly I actually missed it.  While Weichel was strong from the start I was concerned by his inability to get quick separation and scramble, it seemed like he was leaving his head exposed to much which turned out to be the case.  Credit to Pitbull for keeping his head in it after getting lit up so much to start the fight.  A rematch here would draw money I would think.

Shamrock/Kimbo has an amazing build but ultimately couldn't live up to it's own hype.  Both guys were sticking to their game plans, Shamrock just suffered from the same issues of missing a step with his scrambling.  Kimbo didn't do much but took advantage of Shamrock's slowness.  I could see the roots for a rematch here as well it's just always an added wrinkle of their age and I don't know what Kimbo would gain from it. 

Overall a fun show, St. Louis fans are always fun for events. 

Jordan Angle

** Precursor, I'm a casual ROH fan ( I don't watch programming every week, but I catch major shows). I'm more familiar w/ NJPW, and obviously WWE. I usually choose what too watch of ROH based on the buzz.  **

- The main event was paced perfectly. I think as good as these ROH shows are, there's such a frenetic pace to them. The audience lose steam, no matter how hardcore they are. They did a wise thing having the pace be very deliberate. Also there was a palpable tension in the air between these two.

I brought my sister and her fiance to this show. Both having never watched since 1999/2000, and seeing their anticipation to the match just based on the video package was excellent. There was certainly a big fight feel to this match, so that was a huge positive. The fans got incredibly engaged during the final portion of the match, I can only compare it to a sporting event where your home team is making an epic comeback. The near falls suspended disbelief like no other.

- Other than that, the Bullet Club/Kingdom match delivered. But I was really impressed by Kingdom. They all have really defined characters, and they definitely "belong" in the ring with the Bullet Club. I was actually more impressed by Kingdom than I was Bullet Club in this match. athough both teams did great. Adam Cole has really matured, and the highlight of the match for me was his offense on AJ/Bucks before being pinned (don't remember who got pinned actually)

- Final thing I want to note is Moose. People love him. The chants that Moose sucks is only a small amount of the audience. Obviously, he was carried in this match, but you have to think that even in his current form, he still could do great in the WWE with his look and athleticism. The fact that he re-signed just makes me excited for how he'll look in a couple of years. He lends himself to being a GREAT babyface, because he appears as if he's a bigger deal than ROH. Moose has an air of star power to him, which is great. 

Overall great show, a couple of matches too long to be honest. I wasn't very engaged for Addiciton/O'Reily + Fish. I love all 4 of these wrestlers, and O'Reily/Kushida is match of the year candidate, but I think it occured during somewhat of a lull in the audience engagement, but that's just me. Terminal 5 is A LOT nicer than the Manhattan center, which felt dingy last year. 

Anyway, that's pretty much want I wanted to get across about the event. 

Thanks for reading.
Adi Singh

I watched Best in the World last night and overall I felt it was a thumbs up show. The best match of the night was without a doubt the Lethal/Briscoe main event. Lethal is red hot and ROH pulled the trigger on his title run at the best possible time. Worst match of the night would have been C&C Wrestlefactory/War Machine. If they'd had more time it could've been a good show, but they were strapped and in turn I felt it disappointed. 

Assorted thoughts on the show: 
I felt that the crowd was rather dead several times. The biggest one I remember was War Machine's victory, but that could have been due to the poor finish. I also recall The Addiction getting a lack of reception during their entrance. Adam Cole, even taking the pinfall, looked like a star in his comeback and the amount of punishment he took by the end. Strong/Lethal is going to be incredible, Moose's entrance and theme were outstanding, I just don't care about Elgin, and I don't think the ROH crowd does either.

I also happened to catch Kimbo/Shamrock on Spike and that was weird. One part tells me that Kimbo saying he won't tap and surviving the rear naked choke as the announcers sold that he couldn't possibly escape makes me rather suspicious. That Shamrock takedown that led to the RNC was pretty horrible too. I really don't know, but both those guys are far past their prime, but that fight looked was baffling to me. 

Anyways, keep up the great work, happy to share some thoughts on last nights events.

Take care, 
Ryan from Michigan


I was at Best in the World last night, and it was an incredible show. The crowd was electric all night, with tons of energy and dueling chants. The top highlights were the Kingdom/Bullet Club match with a ton of incredible spots, seeing Roddy become the new #1 contender, and Lethal finally reaching the mountain top and becoming the World Champion in an amazing main event. I can't wait to watch it once I get home to hear the commentary. Hope this helps.

Todd Schorr

Thumbs Up

Best Match: Lethal-Briscoe
Worst Match: War Machine-Coleman/Alexander

Just a fantastic show live, capped off by an amazing main event. I was there in Philly when Aries beat Joe for the ROH title, and this was as close to anything I've seen live since as far as crowd reaction to a title change goes (including many other ROH title changes). The crowd was so legitimately happy for Lethal, and his post-show speech as he fought back tears was something special to be there for. Everything just feels so much more real in this promotion than anything else on North American wrestling television, bottom line.

John Carroll
Bronx, NY

Attended the live Bellator show tonight and I’ve got to say WOW.  I’ve been to three amateur shows but this is the first professional card I’ve been to, much less one of the big two, and it was a phenominal event.  Bellator, or maybe just Coker, knows how to put on a show.  It looked first class all the way from the video screens to the Bella-tron and even the arch.  Many people in St. Louis, myself included, get tired of the Arch being the only thing people recognize, but I thought it was a neat touch.  And unlike UFC, it gave a little local flavor.Place was 30-40% full for the prelims, which was stupid because they were incredible.  Again, I love seeing local guys get a shot at glory and I think it’s smart from a promotional standpoint because those are a couple dozen guaranteed tickets sold for every fighter.  Had I paid to see just the undercard, well, I would have thought it was overpriced but I would not have complained too hard.Tons of celebrities.  We almost literally ran into Liam McGeary in the concourse and even though he was in a hurry was nice enough to shake our hands and thank us for coming.  Nick Diaz walked down the stairs two feet away from me at one point, mostly blowing off people trying to get his attention.  Royce Gracie held court at ringside talking to everyone he saw.  Tito mostly sat and watched the fights.  I didn’t see Hershel Walker until the show was done but he was mobbed.  We saw King Mo, Tyron Woodley (who of course lives and owns an ATT gym here), Rickels, Mike Brown in at least two corners, and a lot of tall women with long legs and short skirts. The main reason we were there was to see the uncrowned champ Michael Chandler, and his fight was worth the admission. His pop after winning was enormous and didn’t come across on TV at all.  I met the guy about five years ago and he’s a class act, and I love to see his success and especially getting a nice spotlight.  There was almost a bit of a letdown after the fight, it’s too bad you couldn’t have put a Divas match after it.  All the same, the Straus match got over big after a slow start heat-wise.Everyone thought the Pitbull/Weichel fight was over after the first round and there was much confusion.  I don’t know if it made the air but Big John had to literally shove a production guy out of the ring to start the second round.  It looked like Weichel was very upset after not getting the finish.  Anoher highlight was the brief “USA” chant.Shamrock’s entrance – everyone popped huge (third biggest pop of the night) for Road Warrior Animal because his son James is the star of the St. Louis Rams football team.  Since John comes to all the games and is almost always shown, he’s become something between a mascot and local hero.  Speaking of football, we were a football field length away and we could tell the woman was doing a horrible job lip synching, or having spasms, or whatever she was doing.I could have cared less about the Kimbo/Shamrock fight and had there not been three “post-lim” fights I would have been willing to leave before it.  Glad I didn’t because it was pretty great.  50 years old or no, if Shamrock is on your back with an RNC and you get out of it, that’s impressive.  The crowd was pretty split in the beginning but no one seemed terribly upset at the result.   I was impressed with Kimbo, and I didn’t think I’d say that tonight.About 75% of the crowd left immediately after the fight and another 10% or so left after the interviews.  Folks, if you go to an MMA event, watch the fucking prelims (and post-lims).  I don’t understand spending money on a product and not enjoting the whole experience. Bellator gets a big thumbs up from me and Next time they come to St. Louis, hopefully for Mike to get his belt back, I’ll be there.  If you get the chance to go to a show, do it.  First class all the way.Mike DeGeorge


Thumbs up for Bellator. Actually, I was torn with whether or not I should watch the Ring of Honor card, or skip it an just go with the free option. I have ordered all of the previous ROH PPVs, but time is now very limited with a newborn and two-year-old toddler. I am glad I went with the free option. I really enjoy the presentation that the "tentpole" shows bring; they far surpass anything else really in combat sports post-Pride.

Plus, I still got my wrestling fill with Lashley and Shamrock's fights, King Mo in a Young Bucks shirt, and Road Warrior Animal, which was epic.

I don't really know why Coker was so befuddled with the announcement for the September show, and where was Phil Davis? Mo acted like he didn't want to be there; he probably wanted to be watching the ROH show. Despite that, it should be a stacked show with good action. Next week should be a good card, too.

Best Fight: Pitbull vs. Weichel
Worst Fight: Lashley vs. Charles

Matt Wright

Overall: HUGE thumbs up!
Best Match: Jay Briscoe vs. Jay Lethal: Title vs. Title
Worst Match: War Machine vs. C&C Wrestle Factory (wasn't bad per se, just a nothing match)

If you can get past that this isn't in a big arena, if you can get past the lack of pyro or that they didn't spend a million dollars building a stage, this is the best American wrestling show of the year so far. Better than the joint New Japan shows, better than anything TNA has done, and yes, even better than Wrestlemania. They built to matches that mattered, made you care, and rewarded you for paying. It was like watching an old Starrcade in that sense. It's not ROH's fault that WWE has devalued their PPV's to $10. This was worth every penny I spent ordering it in HD, and I will definitely be ordering ROH PPV's in the future. 

The first hour just banged out 4 matches so they could give the final 4 matches more time. 

Mark Briscoe vs. Donavan Dijak: Fun, short match. Good way to start off the show. Mark is a character among characters. Glad to see him win.

The Decade vs. Matt Sydal and ACH: They tricked me with a near fall and I really thought Sydal and ACH would get a win here. Really good match and Sydal did some awesome stuff. Sydal and ACH got potential to be an awesome team if that's the direction they go with.

Dalton Castle vs. Silas Young: The crowd wasn't as into this as I thought they would be but I thought this was great. Dalton Castle, for being a wacky character, is a really good wrestler. Silas Young was good as well.

War Machine vs. C&C Wrestle Factory: Was a nothing match. Did a good job in completing the Cedric turn which we could all see coming a mile away. Will be interesting to see what they do with him since he's been a loser for so long.

#1 Contender Match with Strong, Elgin, and Moose: AWESOME. I thought for sure this would be match of the night. You might as well just write Moose in as Most Improved for the Observer Awards because no one else stands a chance. The guy is just phenomenal. He such a huge guy that's so athletic. I can't believe the way he bumps around for these other guys. I was pulling for Roderick and was really happy that he won. He's been on a roll all year and I think him and Lethal should have a great program building to Death Before Dishonor. 

Bullet Club vs. The Kingdom: The Bullet Club got their win back and it seems that Mike Bennett may want out of the group, which I find really disappointing. The match wasn't quite as great as their previous battle, but it was still the same super fast paced action packed style match. I could watch these guys wrestle all day. 

The Addiction vs. reDRagon for the ROH Tag Titles: Good match in which these guys killed themselves taking bumps on ladders and guard rails. I was really pulling for reDRagon to win, but I'm disappointed they didn't think to bring their trainer, Filthy Tom Lawlor, when they knew from experience that Chris Sabin could be an outside threat. Between Sabin and Lawlor I'd have to think Tom would take him. 

Jay Lethal vs. Jay Briscoe Title vs. Title: I know Dave said he didn't think this deserved to be called the biggest ROH match of all time, but if you've been watching the ROH TV show regularly for months they definitely did everything to make it feel that way, and the crowd sure seemed to agree. Right off the bat the crowd was going ballistic. They responded to these guys in a way they didn't for AJ Styles, the Young Bucks, Adam Cole, or any other guy on the card. They truly seemed to have a 50/50 split which I didn't think was going to happen. I thought more people were going to be cheering for Lethal and a title change. I don't know what else to say about this match other than I thought it was a perfect 5 star match, and an edge better than both Cena-Owens matches. This is the best American match I've seen all year and gave me everything I love about pro-wrestling. I can't wait for Death Before Dishonor. 

-Matthew Burrill

Overall: Thumbs up show. Two stand out matches that were completely unique in pacing, delivery, and style. The six man tag and main event made the show. The #1 contenders match and the tag title match were disappointing. The rest of the show was acceptable.
Best Match: I will give the edge to the main event. Deliberate pacing, solid build, and climatic finish. This is what a title match should be in 2015.
Worst Match: C & C vs. War Machine did not do much for me. The tag title match was the most disappointing match on the show.

1.  Mark Briscoe Vs. Dijak. The slam over the top rope was brutal. Briscoes consistent selling was a highlight of the match. They did enough to get by, but not too much to take away from the rest of the show. Good opener  **3/4

2. ACH and Sydal Vs. Page and Whitmer.  Solid tag team match. The highspots were well placed and not overdone.  **1/2

3. Silas Young Vs. Dalton Castle. Good change of pace. A more character driven match that I enjoyed much more than I thought I would. This was the first time I have seen much from Castle. He was impressive. **1/2

4. C & C Wrestle Factory Vs. War Machine. A few cool moves, but that is about where it ends. They tried to tell a story of dissent between C and C, but I did not get behind it. From the sound of the live crowd, they did not seem too intrigued either. *1/2

5. Elgin Vs. Strong Vs. Moose. Ambitious match. They aimed high, but failed in execution. Mistimed spots, clunky exchanges, and some blatantly missed moves. Roddy is my favorite ROH talent, but even he was off in this match. On the positive side, Elgin has been able to channel legitimate heat into heel heat, Moose has an abundance of potential, and Strong is the #1 contender. **

6. The Bullet Club Vs. The Kingdom.  Nobody executes a spot fest like the Young Bucks. Finisher inflation? Yes. Blatant under selling? Hard to argue. Socially unacceptably women beating? Undeniable.  Did I enjoy it? Absolutely! For all of its shortcomings, it was fun and entertaining.  With that said, in 2015 it is hard to condone kicking a woman in the face. ****

7. Redragon vs. The Addiction. After everything the crowd witnessed in the prior match, this match was destined to be a comedown.  I feel bad because this had the more compelling angle going in. The crowd popped for a few highspots, but was dead for the rest. Disappointing match that I can't place all the blame on the wrestlers for.  I have seen much better from all four guys involved in this match. They had a bad night and produced a fairly mediocre match.  **

8. Battle of the Belts: Jay Lethal vs. Jay Briscoe: Fantastic match. Deliberate pace that built to an absolute climax. The match turned the corner after the table spot and ascended to greatness. This far exceeded my expectations. ****1/4

Derrick Hubbard
from Utah