Homicide vs. Eddie Edwards was just a great competitive match involving two former ROH champions. They were working at main event level. Homicide got a monster pop coming out in his hometown. They really took it to each other in a hard hitting, back and forth physical bout. Early on, they were chopping the hell out of each other on the floor and it was stiff. This was just worth going out of you way to see. Obviously, they have plans for Homicide going forward if he just beat Edwards. Really good stuff. The new "Kill Steen Kill" shirts are the same color scheme as the "Rise Above Hate" WWE Cena shirts. That is hilarious. While the ropes are better, it turned out that a C-Clamp that holds them in place broke, which allowed everything to get loose. During intermission, they intend to repair them.
Adam Cole vs. Kyle O'Reilly . Oh my God, this was great. They just beat the hell out of each other. The early back and forth strikes and reversals sequences was just great. One thing that improves with Adam Cole every time I see him is his facial expressions. You can see when he's out there, he's really in the moment and believing in what's going on. In a lot of ways, this was like watching a worked MMA bout with the strikes and the submission attempts. Live, it took awhile to catch on but when it did, the place was chanting, "This is hybrid." O'Reilly is really strong and crisp in just about everything he does. When they hit the crazy strikes sequence, Cole's mouth got bloodied. When he made his comeback, blood was just misting off of him as he was breathing and the place went nuts, absolutely loving him for being such a beast. I really loved that in the end, despite all this MMA stuff, it came down to a figure four leglock and basic pro wrestling being the end game. Holy crap, go out of your way to see this. This was a war. Adam Cole just became the star everyone has been predicting.
Finlay vs. Michael Elgin - After the insanity that was the Hybrid War, it was genius to settle things down with a really good matwork based match. Finlay is just great at doing so many little things when it comes to ring positioning. This was a different type of match for Elgin since early on the vet in Finlay was keeping him off base and his power couldn't outmatch his opponent's finesse. Of course, once Elgin drilled him with a lariat, that all changed. From a technical standpoint, this was really good. Elgin going over makes sense as it gives him some additional "street cred" with a win over Finlay. Solid stuff. The Mike Bennett promo was your standard promo. Mike Mondo was great on the mic as the New York guy tearing down the Boston guy. It was going to get something good for the NYC crowd to react to him as a star since they don't get the TV here but Mondo's line about, beating Bennett and then f***ing Maria was awesome. The match was good for what it was. Mondo showed some fire and the finish was perfect. After that promo, Mondo had to go over clean. I guess we just saw the kickoff of a new feud. I expect Mondo to get a massive push. He's a long way from the Spirit Squad. OK overall. For some reason, there was a "F*** you Cena" chant. For some reason, these same fans will still pay to see him next time WWE comes to town. The TV title bout had a nice pace early on. Lots of good near falls. Strong's timing was great. Ciampa's beard is weird to get used to. At one point, they went into a pretty unique three way chopfest. Lethal locking the figure four on Strong and then the crossface on Ciampa at the same time was a great spot. Kudos to whoever came up with that. That spot will get stolen. Roderick Strong retaining the way he did was a bit of a surprise but a solid bout.
ANX vs. Haas & Benjamin - Wow. Big pop for the All Night Express. Talk about two guys that really worked their asses off to get where they are. Based on the reaction and the streamers thrown, this match captured the interest of the NYC crowd. King looked flashy early on in some sequences with Benjamin. Benjamin did a forward sitdown slam on King, but dropped him across Benjamin's knees. That looked BRUTAL. They told a really good story but it may have been a little too long with the heat being put on Rhett. I actually liked the tease of ending the bout due to the blood since that was almost the case with Adam Cole earlier. The end was a good surprise, with King being a little off on a dive to make a save and that brought the crowd down, which made the surprise pin even beter. Nice to see ANX have their moment. They worked and earned it. I didn't care for the post-match attack at all. It would have been better to let the new champs have that moment, but that's just me. For whatever this is worth to you, #BITW, #Bestintheworld and ROH are all trending worldwide.
Kevin Steen vs. Davey Richards - The pre-match promo with Steve Corino and Jim Cornette was the usual good stuff you'd expect. Kyle O'Reilly's promo was good at points and at times, a little too verbiose. The brawl outside of the ring was fun. Steen is a little insane for doing that splash to the floor but he's a little insane for lots of other things. This was just an insane weapons brawl. It's somewhat strange to see this sort of match happening while Jim Cornette, who is as old school as old school, at ringside knowing he helped book this. The ending twists with Cornette, Jacobs, Corino, the ref and everything else were nuts. It was almost too much. Steen's reign of terror lives on.