(06/22) Matt Hardy & Michael Bennett vs. Mark & Jay Briscoe

Ring of Honor
Tennessee State Fairgrounds Arena (Nashville, Tennessee)
No Disqualification 

Ring of Honor chose to build their first live cable Pay-Per-View event around feuds and storylines that had been building for months, rather than going the special attraction aprroach.  Jay Briscoe and Matt Hardy have an issue that goes back to just after last year’s Best in the World event.  Several incidents both in 2013 and in the first half of this year occurred where Hardy was more or less responsible for Jay Briscoe not being ROH World Champion.  Meanwhile, Mark crossed paths with Mike Bennett who – along with Adam Cole and Hardy – have formed somewhat of a heel super group.  The announced tag team had all of the markings of a feud-ending blow off.

They work a relatively normal grudge tag format the first few minutes.  The Briscoes come out hot and Matt refuses to tag in unless he has the advantage – typical stuff.  Unable to get the Briscoes under control or the momentum on their side, Bennett decides to take the easy way out by intentionally getting his team disqualified with a blatant belt shot to one of the Briscoes.  This got a surprisingly good reaction.  They waited long enough into the match and did enough prior to the DQ, that some of the fans actually seemed to buy it as the ending.

Of course, Jay Briscoe got on the microphone and requested that matchmaker (which is really catching on as the new authority figure role in wrestler) Nigel McGuiness to right this wrong.  Nigel strolled out doing just that by restarting the match as a no disqualification bout.

The rest of the match was structured like your usual ladder/table/chairs brawl which was a good decision given that the announced card lack any sort of match like that.  Variety is good and three of these four guys are very adept at the style, so it was a wise move.

The layout had Hardy’s fingerprints all of it.  The bigger spots were well-timed and executed, without ever reaching the point of too dangerous.  Old Hardy Boys hardcore matches (ladder matches and table matches) hold up really well as they had a knack for laying them in a clever and well-paced manner – two qualities that this match also possessed.  I much more prefer this type of TLC match (a feud ender that relies on several key spots rather than pure violence) to the alternative.  So while not a great match or anything it more than served its purpose.

Matt Hardy is another guy whose promotional loyalties are currently a bit of a mystery.  He is scheduled to work the upcoming TNA television tapings in New York City, but whether that is a one off deal or something more permanent is unknown at the time of this match.  Hardy took a big table bump and ate the pin (delivered by nemesis Jay) in this match which certainly could be construed as the feud ender.  Maria even re-stole Jay’s vanity belt at the end which might signal a transition from Jay/Hardy to Jay/Bennett.  Regardless, this was a good ending to the feud (or possibly just to a chapter in a feud).  It is a feud that Hardy has been very good in and if he is done with ROH for the time being, his presence as a veteran heel with legit heat will be missed.

Tag Team Brawl | Worthwhile | Quality

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