Hot Takes on ROH: The 3/12 Conquest Tour Philly Show

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Welcome to a new #ROHNation series here at PTBN entitled “Hot Takes on ROH.” See it rhymes. Kevin Kelly called the 3/12 Conquest Tour stop in Philadelphia the “best live event I have seen in my six years in ROH.” While I had already intended on purchasing the VOD (seriously 25% off the $14.99 for ringside members makes this an easy choice), the stakes were raised with our friend KK’s bravado.

With that said, here are my thoughts on a must-see ROH card. Some of these may sound familiar from my ROH TV reviews. I’m consistent at least. Also, here is a link to Chad’s excellent piece summing up the event (and ROH really) as well.

  • Dalton Castle makes the fans (temporarily) forget about Kenny Omega by cutting an awesome pre-match promo. He’s incredibly over and a guy who can take a loss without losing any heat. Just fantastic banter with the ANX.
  • Credit to Kenny King – I liked his work on the mic here, essentially laying out why they hate the fans (a payoff to Final Battle, also in Philly). ANX are legit heels in a company where a lot of the bad guys are still popular with the crowd.
  • The Adam Page / BJ Whitmer feud still comes off flat to me (to be fair, I have not seen their 14th anniversary show match). It did with their pull-aparts on TV before the PPV, and did again here. This still feels like it should have been so much more given their previous positions in the Decade. More to come here as I’ll guess the blow-off is at Best in the World.
  • The team of War Machine and Moose has to be the hoss-iest of all hoss trios in the history of wrestling.
  • The six-man tag with Briscoe Burgers facing the big guys was my match of the night. It worked fun spots into a hard-hitting contest well. I thought Hansen and Jay had good chemistry as singles previously and again here and think we’ll eventually get a potential torch-passing match with War Machine and the Briscoes.
  • Matt Taven comes out on commentary, noting that this is the very arena where he tore his knee and he puts over the Kingdom’s history with both tag teams. He promises to rebuild the Kingdom is his image, and notes that Adam Cole was never really part of the group and more focused on putting himself over. Taven is another guy that is locked in as a heel, he fits the role so well. His actual match commentary is a legit highlight of the entire show. He handles the banter between KK and Mr. Wrestling III very well, not missing a beat.
  • Cheeseburger remains the man. I loved how everyone sold the danger of his palm strike. He’s also possibly the first wrestler to ever get thrown out of the ring and caught by his opponents, and then launched back into the ring and caught by his teammate.
  • I think Moose is the guy to eventually dethrone Lethal and am interested in the result of his match with Roddy on Supercard of Honor Night 1.
  • Kushida was my performer of the night. While I thought something seemed off for beginning portions of his match with ACH, his psychology around the arm really brought you in, and he paid it off too, which validates the emotional investment. Great story.
  • We get a bit of a Back to the Future thing here with Taeler mentioning the Truth Martini stuff that will air on future TV episodes. And then Donovan Dijak makes an appearance to attack Joey Daddiego as he goes to war against the House of Truth.
  • I still maintain that Dijak should have nothing to do with Prince Nana’s new crew. If you’re going to break the guy away from a stable, have him go the lone wolf route, not join a lesser stable than the one he was just kicked out of.
  • Cole is essentially a full blown babyface to the Philly crowd here. I didn’t quite like the tag as much as the 6-man and IWGP Jr. Heavy match, but it still was very good.
  • Definitely an interesting finish to the Cole/Strong vs. reDRagon match. I figured Cole would take the fall here (as he has been prone to do of late), but his makeshift team pulls it out.
  • ROH is loaded on the heel side right now with a top three of Lethal, Cole and Strong. Who gets the big win from the face side? Eventually Bobby Fish has to get one over on Strong right? And O’Reilly puts away Cole for good? We should find out at Supercard of Honor per KK’s rundown of the events.
  • The triple threat tag is must see for the finish alone. And Broom Omega doing a crossbody on Kazarian with the Bucks counting the pin attempt was great. Wrestling is fun.
  • While ROH is seemingly capped out on old veterans who are curmudgeonly, Daniels at least can still go. I honestly like the whole General thing (although he was The Almighty before, but Mr. Wrestling III went with General for this entire match). Here’s a guy that could manage a heel stable and still be a part of the payoff. Maybe something for a year or two down the line. The Addiction seem entrenched in the tag ranks, even though both guys are sporting individual gimmicks now.
  • I don’t know if this is a piping hot take, but Alex Shelley was the best guy in that match. I haven’t disliked anything I’ve seen him in since his return.
  • With Sydal pinning Cole on TV recently, I was invested here in his title match. Sure, it was extremely improbable there would be a switch, but the match was earned. I think Sydal is a great plucky babyface to feud with Lethal for a couple months, but this is probably something played out from their previous TV feud, plus Sydal has his NJPW stuff.
  • Taeler Hendrix sans Truth Martini was perfectly fine in her role for the evening. More active in the earlier match, but had her moments here.
  • Really good stuff from Lethal in the main. A more vicious dive than usual to the outside too in his signature spot. Kind of wished the crowd was more into this one but it was a long night to that point.