ROH Manhattan Mayhem V Review
After what was a great All Star Extravaganza in the same month, Manhattan Mayhem V had a lot to live up to and it did in many ways. We had three awesome quarterfinal round matches in the ROH World Title Tournament that are all ROH cannon as far as I’m concerned and many great storyline progressions. Let’s get the opening stuff out of the way. Silas Young vs. Adam Page was a fine opener and Young’s finisher, the Pee Gee Waja Plunge, got more of a reaction than I thought it would. ACH and Tadarius Thomas vs. Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander was also fun and fast paced but was nothing special and at this point I’m hoping that both teams can start facing newer tandems in the future cause I’m kind of getting tired of seeing them face only each other. Mike Mondo made a ROH return as he faced Matt Taven with the stipulation being that if he won, he’d get a future TV title match. Luckily for me, he lost. I have nothing against Mondo other than I don’t see any momentum for him in ROH and Taven should be facing wrestlers higher up the ROH chain if he’s to mean anything. That TV title could also use a few more important moments. Okay, with that out of the way we get into the steak. The Young Bucks returned to face off against the Forever Hooligans and damn was this match fun. The super kick party was in full effect. If you’ve never seen the Young Bucks outside of TNA, then you’re in for a treat, if you’ve seen them before then you know what’s coming but that didn’t take away anything from this match and the final spots brought me back into this show. The Hooligans got a good win over an established American tag team while the Young Bucks showed they are back in full force in ROH, and apparently around the world as they just won the IWGP Jr Tag Team Titles in New Japan as of this writing. Great match. We then saw the return of two men to Ring of Honor but as a tandem. Outlaw Inc. of former ROH Champion Homicide and (technically still Grand Champion) Eddie Kingston made their way to the ring and beat up RD Evans and QT Marshall. Marshall getting some offense in felt kind of strange but I guess they didn’t want this totally to be a squash. What’s important is that we have a fresh tandem in the tag team division and things are heating up. Then we get into a stretch of great quarterfinal matches in the ROH World Title Tournament. Bennett vs. Ciampa wasn’t special but it was good and showed again that if booked correctly that both men will be the future of ROH. The significance of the World Title Tournament also added a little something to this match. Kevin Steen vs. Roderick Strong was just a little under fifteen minutes of pure action. Everything you’d want out of a ROH match and no frills. Both men just went into this match running. It didn’t overshadow the two matches that came after but certainly did not disappoint. Strong continues to lose the important matches in ROH but he’s always on the cusp of the Title picture so Steen got a great win here. Michael Elgin vs. Karl Anderson was next and I’m pretty sure I don’t have to say a lot about what these two men did in the ring. If you’re watching ROH TV then you know this match was probably one of the better ROH matches on TV this year. From a quality standpoint it was the best quarterfinal match on the card and I would say third or fourth favorite match of the night for me. Karl Anderson has always been something special in Japan and he helped show in this match why Elgin is probably a future ROH Champion. In the main event we saw recently crowed Tag Team Champions; the American Wolves take on their rivals in reDRagon. Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly are probably one of the best tag teams on the indie scene today and yet they only seem to team up in ROH which makes it extra special when we get to see them take on other top teams. We’ve seen these four men wrestle before and from that stand point it wasn’t any different but the pacing and final segments of storytelling made it better for me. The titles changing hands again at the end of the night was the correct move as it just showed how the tag team division in ROH right now deserves to be in the main events when necessary. It’s a notch above the Young Bucks/Forever Hooligans match just because of the title change, but both matches are different enough from a content stand point that they end up complimenting each other and show that ROH is still the top indie promotion going today when they do things right. Overall another recommendation from me for this show with an awesome tag match, great matches in the World Title Tournament, another significant title change and the debut of Outlaw Inc put this over the top for me.