clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Ring of Honor Death Before Dishonor XIII results, recap, reactions (July 24, 2015): Taking a Trip to Broadway

A solid top to bottom show culminating in an unfortunately disappointing main event.

ROH World Heavyweight Championship: Jay Lethal vs. Roderick Strong

This one I imagine is going to be divisive, as hour long time limit draws often are in professional wrestling. The crowd was definitely hot for the match, but I could not get into it at all. There were definitely highlights. They really kicked it into gear in the last 10 minutes or so, but there was just so much filling in the middle of the match.

If you cut this down to a 25 minute match, it could have been great, but instead I found it to be one of the most boring and disappointing title matches in Ring of Honor history. Booking Lethal’s first defense to go Broadway was less than ideal, especially in the conditions in the arena where both men were just absolutely pouring sweat pretty early into the match due to the heat that the announcers flagged up every few moments.

Roderick Strong being the outstanding wrestler he is did his best to make this great but they couldn’t get any kind of a rhythm going for so much of the match, so it was a ton of long sells from medium strength moves to keep padding the time rather than having a more coherent plan to sustain the pace in any meaningful way to not have the match totally drag for the entire middle portion such that I was dreading when it passed the around 40 minute mark and knew by wrestling law, that meant I should strap in for 20 more minutes.

Dalton Castle vs. Adam Cole:

Dalton Castle has absolutely taken Ring of Honor by storm since starting off in the top prospects tournament, but now it was time for him to deliver in an important spot by facing off against one of Ring of Honor’s biggest stars in Adam Cole in only his second singles match since returning from injury, and he really delivered here. His character work is consistently outstanding with the way he plays the outsized over the top peacock act, and adding the boys to the equation, Dalton Castle should be a strong contender for best gimmick at the Observer Awards at the end of the year. In addition to the great character work, he can really go and he brought it here.

It started off with some great comedy as Adam Cole tried to replicate the Peacock’s preening and gyrations to moderate success and then things started really picking up with the Peacock showing his surprising strength with a Deadlift German as well as a Deadlift Gutwrench. The Deadlift Gutwrench was perfect with him struggling to get the lift and following forward until The Boys started fanning him down and he was able to lift him up and take him over. The Boys continued to prove their usefulness as their fans managed to blow Adam Cole down into a Sunset Flip as he tried to hold on, the wind power from The Boys was just too much. In the end Adam Cole was able to pick up the win with the Vertical Suplex Neckbreaker, one of his many finishers. After the match, he shook hands and showed respect to Castle, continuing his brilliantly handled slow burn face turn.

ACH vs. Adam Page:

This was a really great effort by both guys here. Typically, I’ve been of the view that in 2015, hardcore matches are hard to do, because so much of the plunder related spots have been explored, so the key to having a great hardcore match is to really make it fit the story. To feel like there’s a point to men beating the ever living hell out of each other with chairs, slamming each other onto ladders and throwing each other through tables, and this feud has had that.

This had been building for months as an intense blood feud, and they started things off right with ACH immediately charging Page and laying into him with blows. Matches should reflect the story being told outside the ring, and when you have a blood feud, show that. That’s exactly what they did here.

There was no chain wrestling, no restholds, this was a brutal fight, and it lived up to the billing well with Colby Corino aiding Adam Page in defeating ACH with a Rite of Passage through a table and Corino rolling both men into the ring so Page could make the cover.

The Briscoes vs. Roppongi Vice:

The biggest thing for me about Jay Lethal winning the world championship might be that it means that the Briscoes can once again enter the tag team division. Jay is a great singles wrestler, and so is Mark, but they are special as a tag team. These two might be my favorite act in wrestling and they are absolutely sensational when they team up, delivering every time out and rarely not giving a team their best match of the year against them and this was no exception as this is the most I have ever liked Roppongi Vice thus far.

What makes the Briscoes special is the way they’re so able to switch on a dime in so many different ways. While at their core they’re a tough roughneck team of brawlers, both Mark and even Jay were able to adeptly work with Roppongi Vice’s more comedic elements to their game including one highlight when Mark managed to acquire Barretta’s headband and elevated his redneck kung-fu to max level.

Additionally, Mark showed he can still easily hang with the athletic junior tag teams throwing effortless standing moonsaults and other exciting spots in there as well as Jay nailing possibly the best non-Cuerno suicide dive this year as he fired himself like a missile to the outside. But most of all, as always, it’s about precision. All their offense looks crisp, tight, and deadly. The Briscoes managed to emerge victorious, hopefully reinserting themselves into tag team championship contention now that Jay is out of the title picture for a while.

ROH World Tag Team Championships: The Kingdom vs. The Addiction vs. reDRagon vs. War Machine:

This was one of ROH’s traditional multi-man spotfest matches which are almost always entertaining for what they are, and this was no different, with everybody getting their shit in in exciting fashion until The Addiction eventually retained their titles with Celebrity Rehab.

Adam Cole was on commentary for the match and continued to build toward his face turn when he openly announced that he wasn’t even invited to the strategy meeting for the Kingdom before their tag team championship match this evening so had no idea what their plan for the match was.

Cedric Alexander vs. Moose:

This match let me down quite a bit, as I like Cedric Alexander and really like Moose, but it was pretty sloppy, including Cedric botching a springboard and Moose being quick on his feet to save it, featured a lot of unnecessary move trading, and was overbooked at the end with Prince Nana who came in for commentary getting involved as well as the two managers. Veda and Stokely getting involved is fine, but Nana was really unnecessary here.

On the positive side, Moose continues to win over the ROH faithful with his babyface heat continuing to build in intensity and growing unanimity throughout the match, and he and performed well here once again, albeit not quite at the level of Best in the World which might have been his best performance in ROH.

Silas Young vs. Will Ferrara:

Not too much to say here. A solid enough opener with both guys playing their roles well with Young as the surly, grumpy heel and Ferrara as the plucky underdog. Silas got the win after hitting Misery. After the match The Boys once again came out to disrupt Young, signaling that the feud with Castle could continue for Silas.

Other thoughts:

  • "I’m on a rocket ship on the way to the moon, baby!" – Dalton Castle is the greatest.
  • The main was also probably not helped by Kevin Kelly immediately shouting the second it ended that it was the greatest match in the history of the universe, even though ROH has already had great hour long time limit draws in its past, not to mention great non-time limit draws.
  • Normally it’s rude for fans to cheer injuries, but given what a vile, reprehensible character BJ Whitmer is, it was absolutely perfect when he announced he was out with ACL surgery that his announcement received a massive pop from the crowd and they even threw streamers.
  • Also major plaudits to Steve Corino for "I hope he got hit by a car" before he announced his injury. BJ Whitmer is the absolute worst.
  • One of the strongest things about the show narratively was the continued build to Adam Cole’s face turn. After Best in the World, it’s become clear week by week that the Queen of the Kingdom has started to lose faith in the man that was once its face. First she drove the knife in about him being defeated as Best in the World a few weeks back, and followed last week by saying that she’s looking for a new member of the Kingdom to challenge for the Ring of Honor Championship, a belt that Adam once held high as a member of the Kingdom. And the build continued tonight with Adam Cole’s changing demeanor during the match against Castle and especially his discussion with Kevin Kelly and Steve Corino on commentary during the tag title match airing his growing frustration with his "family." Really great commitment to detail here from Delirious. They’re doing a great job showing the building reasons why he will finally break away from Maria’s grasp to really earn what will surely be a huge moment and an exciting babyface turn.
  • Hey Nana, you think you could shut the hell up about trying to insinuate that Veda Scott is a whore every 10 seconds? She’s most certainly a ruthless, bloodsucking ambulance-chasing attorney, though, so go after her about that.

Grade: B- (Briscoes/Vice, Castle/Cole, and Page/ACH are worth going out of your way to see, plus, this seems to be a key show for Adam Cole’s story, but the other matches were just ok and the main event was very disappointing, but your mileage definitely may vary on that one. If you love 60 minute draws as a format, you might like it more than I did.)

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats