Ring of Honor All Star Extravaganza VI DVD Review
When the dust clears, it will be All Star Extravaganza 6 that is remembered for more than just what happened inside the ring. ASE has a long history of having superb World Championship matches, dating back to Samoa Joe versus CM Punk while also having wild tag team matches in the coveted main event slot such as when team ROH went up against team Dragon Gate or last year when the American Wolves and Forever Hooligans gave us a Tag Title match that is still one of my favorite matches in ROH history. This year we saw the crowning of another two-time ROH World Champion in the controversial Jay Briscoe who defeated Michael Elgin in what was not only a great match, but a move that through happenstance probably started us down one of the strangest rabbit holes in indie wrestling.
The ROH Tag Team Titles once again headlined an All Star Extravaganza event and when you’re given the Young Bucks and reDRagon, you know to expect something special. These two teams battled over the Titles over the past few months leading up to this event on huge cards that included NJPW talent and whether or not the Young Bucks were a part of the Bullet Club, it was almost guaranteed that they would be a special attraction for the ROH fans.
Overall I would almost recommend this show based on the two main Title matches alone but it would be hard to ignore the near classic that Adam Cole and AJ Styles put on or the ROH TV Title match where Cedric Alexander gave a lot of fans a glimpse of what a few of us have seen in him already. Jay Lethal may have retained the TV strap but he should be more proud of having the talent to also show us what Alexander can do in the squared circle. Lethal is hitting his stride as a heel champion and given that this match originally was supposed to have ACH in place of Alexander, it almost goes without saying that this exceeded expectations for a last minute change. (For those wondering, ACH did not make his flight the day of the show and thus Lethal/Alexander was made on the spot. I’m glad that Alexander not only stepped up for the challenge but probably converted a few fans as well)
Did I mention that AJ Styles versus Adam Cole was a near classic? These two put on a great match that focused on wrestling. Imagine that? While it may have started out with a few wonky moments, Cole and Styles athletic abilities really shined here and I would have to agree with some of my peers who called this the best match Sytles has had in ROH since returning. The two folded several stories into the match including the work put on Styles leg which he sold the entire time and the final battle (no pun intended) when they reached that top rope for a great finish. I doubt I’d have to really argue to anyone that this match is worth watching, but it certainly was a driving force behind my purchase of this show not only on iPPV but on DVD as well.
The rest of the card was fun albeit without any huge ramifications. Mark Briscoe defeated Hanson in a match style that I think anyone could imagine without much effort. There was a four way tag match where the streak was on the line as Moose & RD Evans faced Monster Mafia, the Decade (Whitmer and Page), and Caprice Coleman/Watanabe. It was a fun affair and Corino was able to get some humor in on commentary such as calling Watanabe & Coleman Rush Hour 4. Whitmer and Page continued to work together which has led to it being one of the better Decade storylines. This match also made me question why the Monster Mafia isn’t used more often. Hopefully that gets rectified soon as ROH is currently having a depth issue in my opinion.
Then there was The Decade of Strong and Jacobs going up against The Addiction of Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian. The storyline context is clear as the Addiction are literally everything the Decade despises; ROH alumni who come back after leaving for “greener” pastures. The match was good and it felt like something I could actually sink my teeth into for the Decade. Hopefully more will come from this in the future.
Overall it is the last two matches for the ROH World and ROH Tag Titles that makes this a must buy DVD/VOD. Elgin and Briscoe are two of the bigger guys on the roster who just want to slug it out and see who the better man is. It may not have been Steamboat/Flair or Aries/Danielson but let’s be honest, Elgin is a helluva worker who probably busts his ass harder than most to get his opponent’s over and it’s not like he has to do much for a guy like Briscoe. Politics aside, Briscoe is one of the most over guys on the roster and this match only further proves that it was probably a good idea to switch titles, especially with what happened afterwards (if any of you are unaware of the Elgin/ROH/visa issues, I don’t know where you’ve been).
The two out of three falls match between reDRagon and the Young Bucks is probably one of the best matches of the year for ROH if not in their history. While there are some things I didn’t agree with such as the use of a hockey stick (yeah it was in Canada..I get it) or the ref bump which didn’t make a whole lot of sense given the matches these two teams had in New York and Chicago, it was still an awesome way to end the night and the entire event. With Fish and O’Reilly recently winning the NJPW Jr Tag Titles, this only further proves the talent that everyone sees in reDRagon.
I give ROH ASE 6 a huge thumbs up when it comes to a purchase.