Review: ROH World Championship Tournament – First Round Matches

Mike Killam

(4) Silas Young vs. Tommaso Ciampa

Ciampa takes the pretty obvious pass into the second round here, but not without one hell of a fight from Silas Young. He's another one of those guys I don't know a ton about, but like Karl Anderson I like a lot of what I see. He's got a good look about him, and drew some heat as the heel in this match. He and Ciampa work well together and had a great pace about them, taking their time through spots and not rushing to the finish. I don't actually have much else to say; sometimes you have to let quality wrestling speak for itself. 

Winner: Tommaso Ciampa

Rating: ***1/2

(5) Michael Bennett vs. BJ Whitmer

This was the match that is now infamous for Bennett piledriving Whitmer on the ring apron. Which is sad, because the ten minutes leading up to that moment were really great, and I think it could have stolen the first round with an actual finish. Obviously I'm not chastising them for failing to finish a match in which one guy got taken to the hospital, I'm just stating that there was a quality wrestling match that many people aren't going to remember because it was plagued with one bad moment. I've already given my thoughts on that in the past, so we're just going to focus on the wrestling – Bennett and Whitmer had the most personal feel to their match of the five contest offered thus far. Whitmer wanted to rip his opponent apart, and Bennett's new look is, as always, completed by the presence of Maria. She always adds another angle to the story, something missing from a lot of good, high-stakes indie matches. I have a feeling Bennett was moving on regardless, but I guess we'll never know… 

Winner: Michael Bennett

Rating: ***

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