Ring of Honor: A New Dawn
Hopkins, MN 09/28/13
A New Dawn saw the first title defense from new Champion Adam Cole against Mark Briscoe, a man who worked three times in one night. When I first read the results, I wasn’t sure what we were going to get and I wondered why ROH felt the need to have a talent go through three matches only to go into the first defense of a new Champion tired, obviously making the story that he lost to Cole because he was tired or any other excuse that goes along with the circumstances. I wasn’t looking forward to watching this but, as is generally the case, ROH talent exceeded some of my expectations. The show opened up with a good promo from a heel Adam Cole which we had rarely seen in ROH before, channeling some of the stuff he’s done in PWG and CZW in the past, recreating how the fans respond to him. The show occurred in short time after the finals of the World Title tournament took place and the results were fresh in fans minds how Cole beat on Elgin and Jay Briscoe after being presented with the Championship. On this night Jay Briscoe made his presence felt even though he wasn’t “cleared” by the doctor. Jay’s banter against Cole during this segment was great and got the crowd into the rest of the night. The opening tag match which set Tag Champions reDRagon against Monster Mafia (Ethan Page & Josh Alexander) was well placed as I would call it one of the top 3 matches of the night. If you haven’t seen Josh Alexander or Ethan Page, you should be watching them as hopefully they can start having more dates in ROH following some border issues as they both have to travel from Canada. This match certainly allowed them to impress and that credit goes fully to the talent of Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly. There were several points during this match that the Mafia had near falls and the win for reDRagon still made the Champions seem strong. A perfect way to open the night. Silas Young versus Mark Briscoe was a decent match that just prolonged the story between the two men. Mark got a win with a roll up while Young still beat him up after the match leaving neither man looking weak and adding some intrigue to their future match-ups. Next up was another match that exceeded my expectations though given the four talents in it, I shouldn’t have been surprised. Adrenaline Rush of ACH and TD Thomas against Michael Elgin and Jay Lethal was also a stand out match with tons of great stuff from all four men. While I can’t deny that it seemed like a step down for Lethal and Elgin from the World Title tournament, they made the best of this match and TD Thomas/ACH came away looking like they were competitive against top ROH talent. There were several fun spots between the two teams with ACH and TD getting a lot of good offense including Thomas many times getting the best of both Lethal and Elgin which was surprising. ACH’s athletic ability wasn’t in full display but what he did was fun enough and his counter work against Elgin showed he could be a future ROH TV Champion in 2014. Elgin and Lethal got the win but I do believe that fans should be keeping a closer eye on ACH and TD Thomas after this. The Honor Rumble where the winner would get the ROH Title shot in the main event was a nothing match and it was obvious the guys were just holding back for their matches later in the evening. Mark Briscoe won as noted earlier and I can’t say it did much for me. The next three matches were all great. Michael Bennett versus Eddie Edwards was good but I think it was more important to show that Bennett could go with a former ROH World champion and he got a win with the piledriver to further his case for the best in ROH in his feud against Kevin Steen. Speaking of Steen, he took on Jacobs in the next match and this just started out on fire as both men are familiar enough with each other that they didn’t need a feeling out process. It was short but intense including a spear from Jacobs to Steen from the apron to the top of a table (that didn’t break). Steen got the win but Jacobs showed his heart and definitely needed the love from the fans as he is trying to prove himself to ROH management following the SCUM feud. The TV title was on the line in the next match with Taven defending against Richards and Strong. My favorite match of the night from a technical aspect and definitely a stand out with the work all three men put into it. The ending was kind of a mess with so much interference allowing Taven to retain with a roll up while holding onto the tights. It did little to see Taven get a good amount of work against two top stars in ROH to only see him have to rely on shady tactics to win and not doing anything to help prove he deserves to be important in fans minds. The World Title match between Cole and Mark Briscoe was what you would expect, short but bursts of the regular good wrestling both men are known for. It’s not going to be a classic and honestly the ending being Cole pretending to be hurt to superkick Mark and follow that up with the Florida Keys straight jacket German suplex seemed out of nowhere though I understood that it was only to show Cole’s change in persona.
Stand out matches:
reDRagon vs Monster Mafia
Jay Lethal & Michael Elgin vs ACH & TD Thomas
Eddie Edwards vs Michael Bennett
Matt Taven vs Davey Richards vs Roderick Strong
At only $14.95 on VOD at ROHwrestling.com or near $25 for the DVD, I would recommend getting it on VOD.