ROH STATE OF THE ART (FSM 107; June 2014)
Information – DVD Region: Region Free • Distributor: Ring of Honor • Price: $19.99 • Runtime: 166 minutes • Release: Out now • Weblink: www.ROHWrestling.com
“Real World champion” Jay Briscoe couldn’t wait to take it to ROH World champion Adam Cole, so their match for Briscoe’s version of the title, scheduled to be the main event, instead opens February 8’s State Of The Art. This actually proves a wise move, as the intensity and hatred quickly builds the fans in San Antonio up into a frenzy, creating an amazing atmosphere to match the action.
Caprice Coleman and The Romantic Touch have a good contest that also does well to calm the fans after the hot opener, before the show moves on to a segment built around The Decade. First, BJ Whitmer takes on local favourite Raymond Rowe in an even and heavy-hitting if somewhat unremarkable match, which is then followed by Jimmy Jacobs’ bout with Cedric Alexander. This tells a good story of how The Decade feel that Alexander has not yet earned the respect of the locker-room, advancing Alexander’s feud with Roderick Strong. After a match between local talents Weezy Woo and Alex Reigns, Strong then faces the ultra-popular R.D Evans – the latter in the midst of his “new streak”. Alexander remains at ringside for this contest, proving a nuisance to Strong throughout.
Mark Briscoe’s match with Michael Bennett gets more chaotic as it goes on, and eventually reveals a key alliance formed between Bennett, Maria Kanellis, and Adam Cole in a bid to take out The Briscoes once and for all, leading to a big brawl at the end of the match. Adrenaline RUSH enter the Proving Ground against reDRagon in a bid to earn a future ROH Tag Team title shot, and they produce a benchmark for all tag team encounters in 2014, as Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly bait the fans by cutting off Tadarius Thomas to build towards a hot tag to ACH, who runs wild and pulls off several breathtaking dives that have the fans going crazy.
In the main event, a four-way battle between Michael Elgin, Kevin Steen, Jay Lethal and TV champion Tommaso Ciampa determines a future challenger for the ROH World title. Given the show is in San Antonio, Texas Tornado rules are in effect, meaning that all four are in the ring at the same time, leading to all manner of big moves, feats of strength and insane dives.
State Of The Art is a worthy purchase for a number of reasons, most notably Cole versus Briscoe and the final three encounters.