ROH 16th Anniversary Report – Dalton Castle vs. Jay Lethal, surprise appearances by Kenny Omega and Austin Aries

John Pollock runs through Ring of Honor's 16th Anniversary card from Friday in Las Vegas, featuring an ROH title match between Dalton Castle and Jay Lethal, Motor City Machine Guns vs. The Briscoes, a Las Vegas Street Fight between The Hung Bucks and SoCal Uncensored, and several surprise appearances.

The show began with a retrospective look at classic Ring of Honor moments. They went through Samoa Joe vs. Kenta Kobashi, Bryan Danielson vs. Nigel McGuinness, Jerry Lynn winning the ROH title, Christopher Daniels winning the ROH title at last year’s anniversary card and ended with Dalton Castle listing his own title win at Final Battle.

Bully Ray started the show inside the ring and led an “ROH” chant. Bully essentially channeled a Paul Heyman backstage ECW speech to get the audience going.

Ian Riccaboni and Colt Cabana are calling the show. Riccaboni stated it was the promotion’s fastest sellout in Las Vegas.

HIROMU TAKAHASHI VS FLIP GORDON

They did a sequence at the beginning where Gordon did multiple kip ups and Takahashi started dancing.

Takahashi hit a running missile dropkick off the apron to the floor.

Takahashi brought Daryl into the ring and hit Gordon with it, Daryl was taken away by Todd Sinclair and the audience booed Sinclair.

Gordon landed on his feet with a 450 attempt, Takahashi then connected with a Canadian Destroyer and Gordon landed a superkick as both were on the mat.

Gordon landed a Star Spangled Stunner off the middle rope and Takahashi kicked out. Gordon immediately went to the top, landed on the knees with a 450 and kicked out of a Takahashi inside cradle.

Takahashi called for the Time Bomb, hit an inside-out clothesline and then hit the Time Bomb for the win.

WINNER: HIROMU TAKAHASHI AT 12:22

The audience was very loud for Takahashi and he performed very well. This wasn’t at the level of the Honor Rising three-way with KUSHIDA, but a good opener and pushed forward this rivalry with the two exchanging victories at Honor Rising and this show.

MARTY SCURLL VS PUNISHMENT MARTINEZ

Scurll came out wearing an elaborate purple Villain Club robe.

Martinez landed a springboard somersault dive off the middle rope to the floor at the beginning.

Scurll has his right eye busted open early in the match.

Scurll got Martinez off his feet with a brainbuster and got a two-count. He went for the chicken wing and it was blocked by Martinez.

Martinez dove over the corner turnbuckle to take our Scurll and the surrounding security on the floor. Martinez then pulled out a table and Ian Riccaboni was the first announcer to try and justify the need for a table underneath the ring and stated it was “for the crew”.

Scurll was placed on the table on the floor, Martinez went for another springboard somersault and missed and went through the table. Scurll brought him into the ring and Martinez kicked out of a piledriver.

Martinez prevented Scurll from snapping his fingers. Scurll repeatedly stomped the back of Martinez’s head and then Martinez jumped up to his feet and fired back.

The referee’s back was turned, Scurll brought out a bag and teased throwing powder but there was nothing in the bag, he faked out Martinez and kicked him low, and rolled up Martinez for the win.

WINNER: MARTY SCURLL AT 10:32

This was a very well put together match and showcased the strengths of both. I’m really high on Martinez as a big star and he had a great showing in this match. The win sets up Scurll challenging the winner of the main event for the ROH title.

KENNY KING VS SILAS YOUNG FOR THE ROH TELEVISION TITLE

King went the floor and hugged his daughter in the audience.

Riccaboni attempted to make a race car analogy, Cabana said he didn’t understand the analogy and only race car driver he knows is Bob Holly.

Young shook the top rope to knock King off balance during a springboard attempt. Young then tossed King onto a cameraman on the floor.

During a vertical suplex attempt by King inside the ring, both tumbled over the top and to the floor. They each got in at the count of 19, although there was zero reaction from the crowd that bought into the tease of a countout.

King took out Young with a spinning pescado and then yelled, “It’s selfie time” and looked for a phone and was attacked by Young.

Young hit the plunge with the handstand into split-legged moonsault. Moments later, Young hit Misery but Todd Sinclair wasn’t there for the count and King kicked out when he made the count. Young rolled up King and he was in the rope, Young argued with Sinclair and it followed with Young leaping onto King’s shoulders from the apron and he hit the Royal Flush and won.

WINNER: KENNY KING AT 14:35 TO RETAIN THE ROH TELEVISION TITLE

After the match, Austin Aries walked out carrying all of his titles, including the Impact title. He congratulated Kenny King on his win. He said there is one title he hasn’t won in Ring of Honor and that’s the Television title and he wants what King has. They didn’t announce a date for the match.

THE HUNG BUCKS VS SOCAL UNCENSORED IN A “LAS VEGAS STREET FIGHT” FOR THE ROH SIX-MAN TAG TITLES

The arena was going crazy for the start of the match.

Sky was sent off the apron with a garbage can shot, landed on the shoulders of Page and powerbombed onto the apron.

Page introduced the strap with nails and tacks but was stopped from using it on Daniels in the ring.

Kazarian was draped from the apron and Page hit a shooting star onto him. Kazarian came up and was bleeding from the forehead. They placed Kazarian on a table on the floor, Matt Jackson climbed to the top and was shoved off by Daniels and went through the table on the floor.

SoCal Uncensored took over with Nick Jackson inside the ring. Kazarian came off the ropes with a leg drop to a kendo stick that shot up and hit Nick low. The three mocked Nick with “suck it” gestures.

Kazarian blasted Nick with a garbage can shot on the edge of the apron and Sky leaped from the floor and hit a hurcanrana to Nick off the apron. Page came to the rescue and attacked SoCal Uncensored with garbage lid shots, which led to a dueling lid shot battle between Page and Kazarian to the head. Page whipped Kazarian with the strap full of nails.

Sky threw a chair right into Nick’s face.

SoCal built a structure on the floor out of the barricades. Nick saved Matt and the each applies sharpshooters to Sky and Daniels, which were broken up by Kazarian.

Daniels landed the BME onto Page, went for the Angel’s Wings and Page countered by back body dropping Daniels onto the barricade structure on the floor.

Kazarian was placed on a table on the floor, Matt climbed a ladder and hit an elbow drop off it.

Nick hit a 450 splash onto Sky with a garbage can on top, had the match win but Shane Taylor appeared and pulled the referee to the floor.

Matt threw out his bad back attempting to slam Taylor.

Page hit Taylor with a kendo stick, lifted him up for the Rites of Passage as Nick came off the top for the assist. Daniels and Kazarian tied Page’s hands around the post with zip ties.

Sky choked Matt with the kendo stick with a camel clutch with a simultaneous Boston crab applied by Kazarian and due to the back injury, Matt had to submit and SoCal Uncensored became the new six-man champions.

WINNERS: SOCAL UNCENSORED AT 18:43 TO WIN THE ROH SIX-MAN TAG TITLES

Excellent match, the audience was the hottest they had been all night and there were so many spectacular elements to the match. It was fast-paced and maybe too fast for some, but I felt they structured the key elements very well and told multiple stories within the match, concluding with Matt’s bad injury leading to the submission finish.

Vinny Marseglia and TK O’Ryan stormed the ring and attacked The Hung Bucks. This led to Bully Ray storming the ring.

Riccaboni said tonight was also an anniversary for Cabana and himself as a commentary team and gave Cabana a Ryne Sandberg rookie card.

MATT TAVEN VS CODY

Taven has stolen Cody’s ring and wore it out to the match and was without The Kingdom.

Cody came out with Brandi and Barry the Drug Free Bear.

Cody applied the American Deathlock onto Taven with the announcers bringing up Taven’s knee injury from a few years back. Taven took control and yelled, “C’mon, Stardust”.

Taven tried to hit on Brandi on the floor and Cody ran to stop him.

Taven was in control, went for a quebrada and landed on the knees of Cody.

Brandi brought a chair out from under the ring and Barry took it and signaled to Cody and sent him the chair. The referee took the chair away Taven hit Cody with the cane and a Cross Rhodes for a two-count on Cody.

Cody kicked out of the Climax and then went for another off the turnbuckle and was stopped. Cody dove off the turnbuckle and took out referee Paul Turner. The audience chanted for Barry with everyone down. Vinny Marseglia and TK O’Ryan ran in, lifted Cody and Taven kicked him low, but Cody revealed he had a cup on.

Bully Ray chased Marseglia and O’Ryan away.

Cody hit Cross Rhodes and won the match.

WINNER: CODY AT 14:08

Brandi and Barry got into the ring to celebrate with Cody. Cody reclaimed his ring and he posed for the audience. Barry shoved Cody down and was revealed to be Kenny Omega to a monstrous pop. Brandi slapped Omega and then grabbed Omega and made out with him and called him a “fraud”.

This was a great angle and huge surprise for the live audience to push Supercard of Honor.

MOTOR CITY MACHINE GUNS VS THE BRISCOE BROTHERS FOR THE ROH TAG TITLES

The match began on the floor.

Shelley came up from behind Mark and ran him into the post on the floor. Sabin hit a spinning neck breaker to Jay as he was draped on the apron and sent him to the floor. Mark was bleeding after the post shot.

The Machine Guns worked over Mark while Jay was on the floor.

Sabin took out both Briscoes with a dive off the turnbuckle to both on the floor.

Sabin teased a Jay Driller onto Mark and it was blocked. Sabin hit the cradle shock, but Jay made the save.

Shelley was placed in the tree of woe, Sabin placed Mark in the corner and missed a baseball slide and instead hit his partner.

Jay hit the Jay Driller to Sabin for a near fall and I was stunned at the lack of reaction to Sabin kicking out of such a protected finish. The Briscoes followed with the Doomsday Device and Jay pinned Sabin, while Mark trapped Shelley.

WINNERS: THE BRISCOE BROTHERS AT 13:38 TO WIN THE ROH TAG TITLES

The actual match was good, but the audience didn’t seem into it most of the way. That could have been how it came across on television as opposed to the live reaction. The Briscoes winning the titles felt like the right call and they are fresh as a heel unit. They announced the team as nine-time champions after this win.

DALTON CASTLE VS JAY LETHAL FOR THE ROH TITLE

Castle went for the Bang-a-rang two-minutes into the match and Lethal avoided it and reset.

Castle swung from the apron and hit a huracanrana to Lethal on the floor.

Lethal hit two suicide dives and was going for a third when Castle used a waist lock to pull Lethal to the floor and hit a German suplex onto the floor.

Lethal sent Castle into the timekeeper’s table and Castle responded by driving Lethal’s head into the table.

Lethal hit a springboard dropkick to send one of the Boys into the arms of Bobby Cruise, Lethal went for a suicide dive and took out Cruise and he went into the barricade. Colt Cabana left the announcer’s desk to check on Cruise and was very concerned.

Lethal countered the Bang-a-rang and hit the Lethal Combination for a two-count. Lethal applied the torture rack into an inverted rolling fireman’s carry.

Lethal landed a cutter and then set up for the Lethal Injection but it was stopped by Castle. Lethal countered the Bang-a-rang with a roll up and into the figure-four until Castle got to the bottom rope.

Lethal ducked a clothesline and hit the Lethal Injection for a big near fall spot and a big reaction.

They fought on the edge of the apron and Lethal kicked out the injured knee of Castle. Castle blocks a cutter from the apron and suplexed Lethal off the apron to the floor with Lethal rotating over to his front.

Lethal came back with a big series of strikes in the ring, Lethal Injection was countered, Castle rolled through and finally hit the Bang-a-rang to win the match.

WINNER: DALTON CASTLE AT 25:58 TO RETAIN THE ROH TITLE

They shook hands after the match.

Marty Scurll entered the ring, he pointed to the title to set up the next title match, which will take place at Supercard of Honor on Saturday, April 7th in New Orleans, Louisiana.

This main event was excellent. For me, this was the best of the match ahead of the Street Fight and both worked incredibly hard.

This was one of Castle’s best matches to date and put him into the role of feeling like the top guy. Lethal was excellent and the audience reacted big down the stretch to the key spots. I would highly recommend the main event and the street fight from this card.

We will have a rundown on Sunday night’s show with Wai Ting and I also reviewing WWE Fastlane.

About John Pollock 584 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.