Saturday, April 11, 2015
ROH TV - Supercard of Honor IX Showcase Review (Liger-Lethal ; Briscoe-Joe)
1) Jay Lethal (c) vs. Jushin "Thunder" Liger - ROH World Television Title Match
I was extremely excited for this one. In fact, headed into this episode, I was looking more forward to it than the main event. After his series of matches with ACH, I truly realized how phenomenal of a performer Jay Lethal is. I know that sounds weird considering he's been wrestling way longer than ACH, but I think this heel gimmick has really brought out the best in him as a character since his return to ROH. His run as TV Champion is currently one of my favorite things in wrestlings and seeing him go against a legend like Liger was just really cool to see. This match actually surprised me in that it had more action than I expected. I'm not saying that I doubted these men would deliver in that aspect, I just expected a more conservative bout and while it could fall under that category, they also delivered some great exchanges and counters. Some of these include Lethal going for the Lethal Injection only for Liger to nail him with a palm strike in mid-move and also Liger catching Lethal mid-dive and nailing him with a brainbuster on the floor. Both of these showcased the veteran insticts of Liger and also proved fans with a mark out moment. These were also two of my favorite parts of the match. The only thing I kinda disliked here was the cheap ending. They provided us with such a good match and I felt like that wasn't needed. However it didn't completely ruin it and it made storyline sense so all in all, this was the good stuff you'd expect from these two here.
Match rating - ***1/2
2) Jay Briscoe (c) vs. Samoa Joe - ROH World Championship Match
I had no real expectations going into this match for whatever reason however once the video package aired with the promos from both men, I got EXTREMELY hyped. It honestly gave me chills considering the epic history between Joe & Jay. Just last fall, I watched their classic steel cage match for the first time and hearing them talk about tearing each other apart for the first time in over 10 years was totally nostalgic. The dynamic of the roles being reversed was also intriguing here as Jay is the dominant champ like Joe was when Jay challenged him back in 2004. This match obviously didn't replicate that classic because it wasn't bloody, but it certainly came off as a fight between two complete badasses. They traded shots and big moves doing everything they could to put the other away. My favorite exchange was a striking battle in the center of the ring that ended with both men falling to the mat which in turn made the crowd explode. The ending was STRONG as Jay somehow managed to lift up Joe for the Jay Driller after teasing it several times early on - awesome visual. Pretty great match here. It's not a must-see although it's definitely worth a viewing.
Match rating - ***3/4
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