Ring of Honor did exactly what they intended to do last night, show face paced action, build up new storylines for the rest of 2012 and look to the future with its current breed of new wrestlers.
The show kicked off with a decent match between The All Night Express and Wrestling's Greatest Tag Team. The match had some nice spots and Titus' injured knee was used well throughout, but after Kenny King and Charlie Haas messed up a simple leap frog sequence, the match seemed to go downhill fast. From that moment onward, no one really seemed to know what to do. This goes especially to Kenny King who tagged in the injured Titus even though he tagged in King just two minutes beforehand.
When Titus came it seemed to be the case where he didn't know whether to go on full offence again or continue to sell his injury, while WGTT seemed a bit disorientated about the whole situation. It wasn't pretty in the final minutes of the match, but sometimes these things just happen.
The match was then followed by a fairly boring contest between Mike Bennett and former ROH World Champion Homicide. This is a match I just couldn't get into, and by the looks of things, a match neither man could get into either. Bennett seemed to do a dozen Irish Whips into all corners of the ring without really following it up with anything special. It seemed like he either did it expecting Homicide to counter or just for the sake of it.
Maybe I was so disinterested in the match because I don't like either wrestler, but at the same time you can't argue that this was actually a good match.
The show only started to get good for me when Kevin Steen confronted the Chikara World Champion Eddie Kingston. Both men brought the goods in this heated exchange, and also had a nice little brawl to top it all off.
I got excited when Davey's music first hit, and then got even more excited when it was cut off by Steen's theme song. Am I the biggest Kingston fan? No. Am I the biggest Chikara fan? Again, no. However, that promo alone has gotten me pretty hooked in this Chikara merge. It's a storyline that I'm really interested in, and really can't wait to see how it all unfolds.
The tag team bout between TJ Perkins and Amazing red vs. The House of Truth was really fun to watch. I had high hopes going into this match and I wasn't disappointed in the slightest. The match featured some brilliantly executed moves from all four men, everyone seemed to be up for it in this match. I hope this isn't the last time we see Amazing Red again, because he just proved how entertaining he is to watch.
The TV Title match between Jay Lethal and Tommaso Ciampa was probably the biggest appointment of the show. Before the match, Ciampa looked psyched up and focused on what he had to do, but once the bell ring he just slowed down completely. Going at a slow pace isn't bad of course, but when there's a 15 minute time limit on the match, approaching the match in such a way just doesn't work.
The match only really picked up in the last 4 minutes or so, but by then, what was the point? Why did Ciampa only then decide to deliver the big moves (such as the very nice Celtic Cross on the apron) and desperately try to put Lethal away? The match just failed on every level for me, which is a shame because I really do try and like Tommaso Ciampa, he just makes it very hard for me to do so.
I mentioned in the 10th Anniversary Preview that The Briscoes vs. The Young Bucks could well be match of the night, but unfortunately it wasn't that. That's taking nothing away from the match however. I thought it was a pretty entertaining match, that had a decent brawl in the early goings and some nice trademark spots throughout the rest of the match. I felt the match could have gone on a big longer, but the match was filled with everything that was needed. No complaints.
Next up was the No DQ match between Jimmy Jacobs and Kevin Steen. Jacobs looked full of energy throughout this match, while Steen was his usual self, a joy to watch. The really liked the involvement of Steve Corino in this match. For someone who literally did nothing, he really added something to the whole bout. The match had good storytelling, nice psychology and some choice moments. I found Jacobs showing remorse and dropping his signature spike with Steen finding the opening to give him a nasty F5 on the two chairs was a very good way to end the match.
Finally, it was the main event of the evening, Davey Richards and Kyle O'Reilly vs. Eddie Edwards and Adam Cole. The match was far from perfect. It featured too many forearm/kick/chop exchanges, some sloppy maneuvers and probably went on 5 or 10 minutes more than it should have, but in saying all that, I have to give all four men kudos for their hard work. They went out there to put on a good match, and succeeded amidst the cons listed above.
I was surprised to see Adam Cole get the victory, and over Davey Richards as well. I'm not the biggest fan of Cole, but I thought it was a good ending and will surely be a sign of things to come for the young man.
Seeing Kevin Steen speak on the balcony was a fine way to cap off the show. He was funny, intimidating and got his message across perfectly.
Overall I found it to be a pretty enjoyable show. It took a while to get going and had some speed bumps along the way, but it also had some very good action. Enough to get a thumbs up and a recommendation from me.
- I'm really liking the tag team of Roderick Strong and Michael Elgin. Both men work well together and would really like to see them get a Tag Team Title shot somewhere down the line. Also, keeping Roddy out from the main event scene (for a little while at least) is always a plus.
- As much as I like Nigel McGuinness, how many times does he have to say "And that's whats so great about Ring of Honor..."?
- "YES! YES! YES! YES! YES!"
- Kyle O'Reilly refusing to shake Edwards' and Adams' hands was interesting. I look forward to seeing how all of this plays out.
- Steen was right when he said that the show should have been called "Steen Steals The Show". He was absolutely fantastic.
- "Oh and by the way, Jiu Jitsu jack off...trending worldwide!"