8/17 ROH Manhattan Mayhem V live report: American Wolves vs. Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly for the ROH Tag Titles, Young Bucks vs. Forever Hooligans, three title tournament matches, two returns
ROH Manhattan Mayhem V
New York City at Hammerstein Ballroom
By Zack Zimmerman
The third balcony was blocked off, but otherwise the place was virtually sold out. Apparently tickets were no longer available online in the days before the show, but they were available at the door. Tickets for the next Hammerstein show, Final Battle on December 14, were being sold as well.
Prince Nana was on commentary with Kevin Kelley. It was announced that Nana is ROH's new official talent scout.
1. Silas Young beat Adam Page Silas won in about 8 minutes with his corner-headstand Arabian press. These two work well together and Young is seriously underrated as an act and a talent. He won the crowd over by the end of the match, but kept strong heel the whole time.
The code of honor was adhered to on the show, so every match began and ended with a handshake,
Steve Corino made his way to ringside and was subsequently escorted out of the building. The crowed was solidly behind Corino; chanting his name and strongly disapproving of his ejection
2. C&C Wrestle Factory over Adrenaline Rush. Cedric Alexander scored the win after the Overtime Finish. Tedarius Thomas and ACH looked particularly good and seemed to have won the crowd's favor by the end of the match. Cedric Alexander and Caprice Coleman looked sloppy at points.
3. ROH TV Champion Matt Taven (w/ The House of Truth) defeated Mike Mondo in a Proving Ground match. Taven won with his headlock driver after a decent match. The crowd was much more into Taven than Mondo, who just doesn't seem able to connect with a crowd.
4. Forever Hooligans beat The Young Bucks. The Hooligans got the win with a Burning Hammer/ springboard knee drop combination. This was my favorite match of the night (but in fairness, there wasn't a definitive match of the night.) Both teams worked their stuff and meshed well. The crowd was somewhat split, but leaned in favor of the Bucks for the most part.
Intermission. I spoke with a friend who traveled from Canada and got his opinion, which was largely similar to mine. He had the Bucks vs. Hooligans match as the potential match of the night already, but we agreed that with such a loaded lineup, there's no way to know just yet. He also predicted a tag team title change in the main event.
R.D. Evans and Q.T. Marshall came to the ring to open the second half of the show. Evans was apparently upset with ROH management and was prepared to stage a sit-in. He gets great heel heat with his schtick. Prince Nana stood up and announced that he had signed his first two wrestlers as Official Talent Scout (This was the August 17 warning).
The lights cut out and warping sound effects filled the Hammerstein. A guy in dress clothes and a clown mask slowly made his way down the aisle. Another masked clown in dress clothes entered through the crowd and jumped up on the apron behind Evans and Marshall. The jokers beat them up and eventually unmasked to reveal themselves as Homicide and Eddie Kingston.
5. Homicide and Eddie Kingston beat R.D. Evans and QT Marshall. Kingston scored the pinfall after an Ace Crusher and a sliding forearm to the back of Marshall's head. This was a pretty solid reintroduction for Kingston and Homicide. They fit into ROH's new focus on the tag division, they've had the reputation for getting lazy so they better bring their working boots. After the match, Homicide broke Evans' finger.
Bobby Cruise announced that the following three matches were the quarterfinals of the ROH Title Tournament.
6. Tomasso Ciampa beat Michael Bennett to advance in the ROH Title Tournament. Ciampa got the pin after hitting an air raid crash at ringside. These two worked hard and put on a good showing. It wasn't necessarily a memorable match, but it surely didn't disappoint. Tomasso Ciampa advances to face Adam Cole in the tournament semifinals.
7. Kevin Steen beat Roderick Strong to advance in the ROH Title Tournament.. Steen got the win after a package piledriver. This was a great match; both guys came out firing and it opened right into second or third gear. The crowd was super hot for Steen and Roddy is highly respected as well. Definitely a candidate for match of the night honors. Kevin Steen advances to face the winner of Elgin/Anderson in the semifinals.
8. Michael Elgin defeated Karl Anderson to advance in the ROH Title Tournament. Elgin got the win after two backfists, a bucklebomb, and the Revolution Bomb. Excellent, hard-hitting, back-and-forth, strong-style match. These two beat the heck out of each other and put on another strong contender for match of the night. Michael Elgin advances to face Kevin Steen in the tournament semifinals.
9. Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly defeated American Wolves to win the ROH Tag Titles. redDRagon became the new champions when Davey Richards submitted to Kyle O'Reilly's cross armbar after taking the roundkick/brainbuster combination. This was another stiff back-and-forth contest. These four know each other so well and they never let up on each other in their matches. Great stuff.
After the match, Homicide and Eddie Kingston hit the ring and attacked redDRagon. Homicide broke O'Reilly's fingers the same way he did R.D. Evans'. Kingston took a mic and said they're known as Outlaw Inc. He said that they're not under control of creative and they want to tear the company down. Homicide was still in his clown mask and threw the streamers from under the ring into the crowd to close the show.
Overall: This was an excellent in-ring show, but three and a half hours of great matches in rapid succession will tire out any crowd. They were able to muster enthusiasm down the stretch, but it was easy to sense the drained energy in the room at points. I question the concept of introducing another group who's mission is to 'bring down the machine' so quickly after the SCUM mess. Time will tell if they will have a similar, seemingly futile mission, or if they just settle into the tag division as contenders for redDRagon. All-in-all however, this was a great night of wrestling and all of the workers deserve praise.
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