ROH Pure Champion Wheeler Yuta def. Hagane Shinno in a Pure Rules Match
Shinno was a random name to have on this show considering I don't recall him ever having ties to Ring of Honor or Jay Briscoe, but there was a lot of that on this show because it came together on such short notice. Storyline significance hardly mattered, nor did the match quality given the circumstances. That said, this was a quality contest. I've been impressed by Shinno from what I've seen of him on the Dark shows and I thought he and Yuta put together a well-worked match for the ROH Pure Championship.
Adam Cole Paid Tribute to Jay Briscoe
Between this promo, his pre-taped promo and his match against Jay Briscoe that was shown from Final Battle 2014, Cole was all over this special, and rightfully so. He has a ton of history with Jay and obviously knew him quite well. This probably wouldn't have happened a month ago before Cole came back from his injury, so I'm sure he appreciated being able to take part in this. He had some really nice things to say here and his pre-taped sentiments were even better.
Marina Shafir def. Mighty Myra
Again, Shafir has no connection to Jay or ROH, but that was trivial (along with my own personal thoughts of her in-ring skills and whatnot). I wasn't familiar with Myra, but she served her jobber role well. There wasn't much to the match since it was only around two minutes, but it was smart to keep it on the shorter side and it was what it needed to be with Shafir dominating Myra and winning decisively.
Eddie Kingston def. QT Marshall
Both Kingston and Marshall worked with Jay during their respective runs in ROH. Marshall typically doesn't interest me at all, but he was a nice foil for the beloved Kingston. There was one great spot in particular where they traded shots at ringside and fans in the crowd held Marshall for Kingston to hit but not the other way around. You could tell Kingston was incredibly emotional afterward and it broke my heart seeing that.
ROH Women's World Champion Athena def. Madison Rayne in an ROH Women's World Championship Eliminator Match
These two had a match on Rampage back in November, which was before Athena became ROH Women's World Champion. Athena has been on a roll since turning heel and it would have been foolish for her to lose here, but I liked that Athena had a step up in competition for a change after primarily facing local athletes on the Dark shows. It was a competent contest with Athena beating an established name.
Juice Robinson def. Brandon Cutler
While I didn't feel Cutler's comedy was appropriate for this show, I can understand the argument that it was the comic relief it needed. It's not my cup of tea, but I'm sure some viewers enjoyed it. If nothing else, Robinson has history in ROH and thus it was logical to have him in action this show. It was your average outing, but at least Robinson was able to beat someone signed on the roster for a change.
Yuka Sakazaki def. Sanda Moone
Sakazaki is a super skilled competitor, in case you're not familiar with her. She's popped up on AEW TV a handful of times before and I'm surprised AEW hasn't done more with her, unless the idea is that she'll be earmarked for the ROH women's division. This was a fairly standard showcase for Sakazaki. The outcome was never in doubt, but Sakazaki is a treat to watch work and this was no exception.
ROH World Champion Claudio Castagnoli def. Christopher Daniels
If anyone was going to challenge for the ROH World Championship on such a special, Daniels was probably the perfect person given his status as an ROH OG. He doesn't wrestle many matches for AEW nowadays, so I'm glad we got this match and it was easily the best bout on the show. They received an ample amount of time, had an entertaining outing and closed out the night on a high note.
This was taped a day following Jay's passing, and as a result, Tony Khan wasn't able to have Jay's brother Mark Briscoe on the show, ROH announcer Bobby Cruise and various others on the special. However, he's already announced the first episode of ROH TV on HonorClub will be dedicated to Jay as well as Supercard of Honor over WrestleMania weekend. This went live on HonorClub for free a few hours after the January 25th Dynamite went off the air and it's also available on the ROH YouTube channel (I'd recommend the former because of the lack of ads). The matches were fine, but the tributes from the many, many people who knew and loved him were what made this so special, along with replays of some of his best bouts. This was a classy tribute for an amazing individual who will be dearly missed.
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