(3) Roderick Strong vs. Kevin Steen
I knew this match was going to be special around the 30 second mark, when they traded finishers and the crowd was on their feet. There's nobody in indie wrestling – absolutely nobody – that can work a crowd like Kevin Steen. When he looked into the camera after a big win and said "that's my title because I'm Kevin F'n Steen" I believed him. It still feels like Steen is the ROH World Champion; that somehow, he's always been ROH World Champion. Of course, that's not true, but I love his work because he's got this presence about him that wrestling fans eat up. Now, if he could learn to control his temper and not go off on random douchebag fans at ringside, thereby paying more attention to his opponent, he'd be golden.
Great match from Steen and Strong. You may have gotten the impression that Roddy wasn't over with the fans. They sort of…ignored him, in favor of his opponent. In any other match, ROH fans love Roderick Strong. It's just Kevin Steen – even as a heel, nobody else could command a ring he was in. "This is my ring, that's my title." Next world champ? Maybe.
(4) Karl Anderson vs. Michael Elgin
You don't really get the Goliath vs. Goliath match too often in ROH. Then again, there's not a whole lot of men like Karl Anderson or Michael Elgin in Ring of Honor. As expected, their match was very physical, relying on harsh blows and power moves, but they didn't overdo it either. Too often there's a tendency in this kind of match to undersell a move and get right back up, so you don't appear weaker than the other guy who's roughly the same size and shape as you. Instead, they worked at a great pace, taking things slow and steady but really laying in their attacks. Anderson's offense is extremely high impact, but Elgin's powerbombs and suplexes hurt to watch; I can't image taking that dead lift off the top rope!
Michael Elgin advances to face Kevin Steen on Friday at Death Before Dishonor. With how much the ring moved around during this match, I'm genuinely worried that if Elgin tries that superplex on Steen, it will collapse.
Remember to come back to Wrestlezone.com Friday night at 8:30PM ET for our live and exclusive coverage of ROH Death Before Dishonor XI, for the semi-finals and final round of the ROH World Heavyweight Championship tournament.
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