The event wasn't exactly going to make or break the company, nor was a complete failure going to damage their future plans if they ever wanted to dip into the paid-television model again.
The event took place in front of an enthusiastic crowd at the Tennessee State Fairground Sports Arena in Nashville, Tennessee, complete with seven matches including some of the company's top stars like The Briscoes, Kevin Steen, Michael Elgin and the ROH World Champion, Adam Cole.
At first glance, the setting looked like your basic ROH display. The promotion wasn't going to do anything fancy, event if it was their first time being broadcast on major cable and satellite providers for the first time in 12 years.
And that's a good thing, too.
The ring didn't need to be changed; since it's patented black canvas was joined by the posts and ring ropes of the same color, along with a stage and ramp that didn't need any fine-tuning. ROH fans knew exactly what they were paying for, so there's no reason why the props should have been glamorized.
Plus, if you've ever been to an ROH show, you'll agree the chairs are all mismatched once you get there (sometimes there are numbers missing), you can't find anyone who works for the company in terms of security, and they basically set up shop with a ring, a merchandise table and one beer table.
The video montage that opened up the program was pretty awesome, which included the majority of the roster speaking about themselves being the best. It seemed like a throwback to how superstars used to say something short ahead of the Royal Rumble Match in WWE's annual January event, even though the ROH products said one word.
The matches were solid for the biggest ROH show yet, but there was something lacking. It's hard to pinpoint exactly what it was, although something felt like it was missing.
The opener saw ACH defeat Tommaso Ciampa, B.J. Whitmer, TaDarius Thomas, Caprice Coleman and Takaaki Watanabe in a Six-Man Mayhem Match for a future ROH Television Championship match. It was a perfect match to kick things off, with ACH winning because he's possibly the most over wrestler in that entire group. I'm not saying Ciampa doesn't have his devoted followers, yet it was the right move on the booking side of things. On that note, Ciampa should have moved onto greener pastures by now.
The ROH Television Championship match pitting Jay Lethal against Matt Taven was decent, and the crowd was invested in their match. It wasn't exactly the best offering, since the two athletes looked a little lackluster with each other at times, but it did the job serving as a good match in the first half.
Ultimately, Taven was distracted by Truth Martini's escape, courtesy of Seleziya, which enabled Lethal to get the win. The end result was a little frustrating, since Martini's supposed exclusion from the match didn't work out and match stipulations shouldn't be destroyed because of cheap interference.
Cedric Alexander submit Roderick Strong in their Submission Match, with Alexander using the Stronghold on Strong. It's interesting to note Strong didn't apply his own submission maneuver for the course of the match, but that probably sums up why he tapped to it in the end. This feud really gained some steam leading up to their bout, and it was treat to see Alexander dabble into submission moves he's never tried before.
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