ROH was sold out at the Hammerstein and there was just an incredible atmosphere.
(1) A.C.H. & Tadarius Thomas beat Q.T. Marshall and R.D. Evans. Very fun, fast-paced opener and the crowd loved every minute of it.
Shelton Benjamjn came out and didn't have an opponent due to the sudden "retirement" of Charlie Haas. So, he called ROH worker Cheeseburger into the ring. They were interrupted by the return of Mike Bennett. Cheeseburger insulted Maria, then Bennett knocked him out. Benjamin attacked Bennett and the match was underway.
(2) Mike Bennett (w/Maria and Brutal Bob) beat Shelton Benjamin. Very good match and Benjamin was over huge. Great spot where Maria thought she was rubbing Bennett, but it was Benjamin. Benjamin dodged a Bennett superkick and Maria ate it. Bennett got the win a short time later with a roll-up while Brutal Bob held on for leverage.
(3) Michael Elgin beat Jay Lethal to become number one contender to the ROH Title. Absolutely phenomenal match; stellar action, crowd on fire, and fantastic false finishes. One of my favorite matches I've ever experienced, and from the crowd response, I'd say I'm not alone.
Post match, S.C.U.M. beat down both men. Team ROH Babyface made the save, and the 10-man was underway.
(4) S.C.U.M. beat Mark Briscoe & Cedric Alexander & Caprice Coleman & Mike Mondo & B.J. Whitmer in a 10-man tag match. This wasn't much more than a big brawl around the ringside area, but it was pretty well done. Worst match thus far, but the crowd didn't care, as it was simply electric in the building. Rhyno got the win with the Gore on Coleman.
During the match, Steve Corino rammed announcer Caleb Seltzer into the guardrail, removing him from commentary for the evening (and optimally, for good). Nigel McGuinness replaced him at the announce table, much to the delight of the N.Y. crowd.
(5) Karl Anderson beat Roderick Strong with the Gun Stun. Good match, not great. The crowd wasn't as hot as I would've expected, certainly not for Anderson until the ovation after the match.
(6) ROH TV champion Matt Taven beat Matt Hardy and Adam Cole a three-way elimination match to retain the TV Title. The crowd was hot for Cole, anti-Hardy, and indifferent to Taven. Plenty of "F--- you Hardy!" chants, as usual in New York. Cole eliminated Hardy with a low-blow and small package (a la Hardy's win at Final Battle). Taven hit his front legsweep DDT to get the win.
(7) ROH tag champions ReDRagon beat The American Wolves to retain the ROH Tag Team Titles. Fantastic match. The crowd was pretty quiet through the first half, but these guys worked their asses off and brought the crowd to life in a big way. Incredible false finishes that had the crowd jumping with every nearfall. O'Reilly got the win with a handful of tights.
(8) Jay Briscoe beat ROH champion Kevin Steen to win the ROH World Title. Great match with the most breathtaking, unbelievable finish I've ever had the pleasure to experience live. S.C.U.M. tried to interfere, but team ROH fought them to the back. Matt Hardy snuck in the ring, but Kevin Steen turned face and cleared him from the ring. Jay hit a vicious lariat and a second J-Driller and scored the "impossible" pinfall victory. The crowd absolutely erupted in pure shock and adulation. It's sad that the iPPV audience missed the finish due to the feed cutting out because they missed the magic and memorability of this moment.
Post-match, Kevin Steen took the mic from Jay, but rather than disrespecting him, he dropped the mic and shook Jay's hand. Jay said that even though they have new music, he wants to hear some Lynyrd Skynyrd. Their original theme, "Gimme Back My Bullets," hit and the crowd erupted once again. Massive "ROH" and "You deserve it" chants in support of the new champ.
Overall, this was the most electric crowd I've ever been a part of. They were hot for everything, and that brought the already fantastic in-ring show to the next level. Tonight was something special.
Finally, ROH announced they are returning to the Hammerstein on Saturday, August 17.
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