White and Rush are two tremendous young athletes, and you could absolutely make a strong case for this being a chance to showcase both men in a big market. They didn’t need to win, but you could position them for future success as rising stars. The reaction for the challengers seems rather muted because why would anyone actually believe they have a chance?
White and Rush start off aggressively. The crowd reacts to the “Suck it” but not to the challengers’ offense. What has this company done? Lio Rush was in a match of the year contender at Wrestlemania weekend last year, and now he gets jobber reactions. I’m glad they wrestled this more like a spring, but the Bucks increasingly feel like parodies of themselves and less like one of the best teams in the world. Rush gets a hot tag (despite the fact the crowd is nearly 100% behind the Bucks). Rush finally gets a reaction for turning the facebuster into a dropkick. Superkick party starts, but there’s a weird botch as we go to a wide shot. Rush and White have their own superkick party and get booed. This is such a weird match. I have no idea who the faces or heels are. Lio Rush is far and away the MVP, but he succumbs to the Indytaker and the Meltzer driver. This was an okay sprint, but I didn’t buy the challengers at all because of ROH’s booking, and neither team could decide who was the heel or face
Winner (s)/Rating: STILL ROH Tag Team Champions- The Young Bucks/**1/2
The Bucks briefly celebrate, but the lights go out like it’s 1997 in the ECW Arena and the Hardy Boyz are in the ring. These two teams have wrestled elsewhere, but obviously ROH is the biggest stage. The Bucks of Youth stupidly accept the challenge of Matt and Jeff despite having just retained because…reasons.
ROH World Tag Team Championship: The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson)(champions) vs. The Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff Hardy)
NOW the NYC crowd is electric. It’s a battle of catchphrases to begin. Remember when Jeff Hardy got booed out of the Rexplex? When Matt was getting mixed reactions at best in 2005? THAT WAS 12 AND 14 YEARS AGO! The crowd chanting “DELETE” as Matt Hardy is on offense has me convinced pro wrestling has passed me by. This is more of a traditional tag team match, but the crowd is standing the entire time. I’m glad they enjoyed it. On VOD, this was…okay. Having a lively crowd certainly added to the atmosphere because this wasn’t ever going to be a classic. Matt hits the Twist of Fate so Nick can hit the swanton. Jeff breaks the count. Jeff pushes Nick through a table. Twist of Fate by Matt leads to the swanton by Jeff and new world tag team champions. Certainly can’t argue how over this was.
A crowd that literally chanted “Fuck TNA” afterward basically cheered as a pure TNA act beat a team that is synonymous with indie wrestling. Funny enough, I don’t think these fans would even understand the irony.
Winner (s)/Rating: NEW ROH Tag Team Champions- The Hardy Boyz/**
Sidenote: Ian Riccaboni and Silas Young were very good on commentary. I’d listen to these guys over Kevin Kelly and Steve Corino any day.