Shore's ROH 11th Anniversary Hitlist: SCUM expands and starts their takeover, Tag Title switch was good, but TV Title switch might get lost in the shuffle, Odd match finishes, and more
By Chris Shore
ROH 11th Anniversary Hits
SCUM expands and becomes major faction: I am going to give the new SCUM faction a tentative Hit and will reevaluate more after I see TV this coming week. As I said in my report, the group is not without its problems. I don't understand the motivation of most of the guys involved. That's their biggest problem but it also is easily explained with a good promo on TV. I don't know if they have good logic behind this, so much of my opinion on the group is waiting to be formed by what comes next.
Here is what I do know. The closing shots of the 11th Anniversary were great. Steve Corino appears to be headed for more mic time. Kevin Steen's lack of involvement is certainly intriguing. And perhaps most importantly, I am very much looking forward to what happens next. The final moments of the show singlehandedly convinced viewers to tune in to the TV next weekend. What more do you need for a Hit than that?
Kevin Steen vs. Jay Lethal: I did not have high hopes for this match. Lethal isn't over with the crowd, and he and Steen work wildly different styles. They came together well and put on a very good match. Chicago wasn't near as hot as I thought they would be, but they liked Steen a lot and gave Lethal a better reception than I thought. Of course nobody will remember the match after the post-match antics, but you should check it out if you get the chance. There's a short spell in the middle where is drags, but they recover nicely.
Red Dragon vs. The Briscoes: I was not looking forward to this match all that much. They didn't sell me on TV with the story and I didn't think the two teams matched up that well. I was wrong. This was a very good match, and the surprise of Red Dragon winning the titles put the match over the top. I also like the title change as the Briscoes weren't doing anything with them and there is a readymade feud with the American Wolves sitting out there.
Six Man Mayhem: This was match of the night for me, and it's rare that I will give that to the opening match of non-consequence. This was just fun. Everybody worked hard. Everybody looked good. And ACH gets a big win and impresses the fans. They set a high bar that the other matches could still reach. I'm not calling it the best opening match in history, but I challenge you to find anything wrong with this match. All six guys deserve an atta-boy for this match.
ROH 11th Anniversary Misses
Matt Taven wins the TV Championship: I am not hating on Taven, nor saying he shouldn't be champion. I like the bold and unexpected move. What I don't like is how it's going to get lost in the shuffle. First there's the whole Matt Hardy/Adam Cole dynamic to deal with. Add Matt's involvement in SCUM, and too much attention is taken away from Taven when he most needs it. This may ultimately end up as the way to get the title on Hardy so that Cole can chase him, in which case none of this will matter. But if the idea was to be shocking and take a chance on a young guy, this was not the show to do it on with everything else that happened.
Roderick Strong vs. Michael Elgin: Once again this feud failed to produce a compelling match. Elgin's fast first fall made the other two hard to buy into, and this was one of many matches that while technically sound had issues at the end. Basically they ran out of gas. The crowd had died, at least on my setup, and there athletic prowess was no longer enough to hold attention. This was a readymade feud for Strong and Elgin. I'm not sure where it went off the tracks, but I am left disappointed by what I hope was the blow off match.
Match finishes: Far too many matches has gimmicky finishes that didn't need them. American Wolves vs. Forever Hooligans had too many over the top false finishes, BJ Whitmer vs. Charlie Haas had a ref stoppage that was too sudden for the crowd, and Steve Corino pulling out a chain to end their match when neither he nor Jacobs where in any peril all brought blue-ball finishes to otherwise very good matches. The Corino thing might be the most frustrating as it made him look more old and tired of working the match than it did give him heel heat. The fact that these three matches were back to back to back makes it easy to understand why the crowd wasn't as hot in the second half as they should have been
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