Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ring of Honor Thoughts - August 17, 2009

This is my first ROH review on Kick-Out!! Wrestling, but with the big shift to Monday nights before Raw, it makes it a lot easier for me to watch the show and get a review posted in a timely manner. Working on Tuesday afternoon is a lot easier than the weekend, especially when I'm already so busy with Smackdown reviews, new polls, The Five Count and monthly PPVs. But now that the show is in a great timeslot, expect weekly reviews for the best-kept secret in pro wrestling, Ring of Honor on HDNet!

Kevin Steen vs. Eddie Edwards kicks things off, and these two ignore the Code of Honor and go straight at each other! Their respective partners, El Generico & Davey Richards, have been banned from ringside as well. Good old-school brawl here, lots of hard-hitting shots, specifically Edwards repeatedly tossing Steen into the barricade and Steen's devastating Pumphandle Neckbreaker. Ow. Steen pulled out the victory after hitting the Swanton Bomb and I have to give this match a big thumbs up. One of my biggest complaints with ROH on HDNet is the fact that I rarely get the feeling that it's building up to anything. Since there are no more PPVs, all of the big stuff happens at ROH live events and then you have to wait for the DVD if you want to actually see it. But with the Generico & Steen/American Wolves feud, I don't really get that vibe since most of it has played out on television. Aside from Tyler Black's quest for the ROH World Title, this is probably the best built storyline on the show.

Up In Smoke vs. Sal Rinauro & Tony Kozina was an amusing comedy match. Kozina constantly getting hit was very funny and Cheech & Cloudy are always good for a laugh, even if Cloudy does look like a 12-year-old boy. The fun came to a screeching halt when The Dark City Fight Club came in and cleared house, causing what I assume was a no-contest. Rare to see on HDNet, but really, who's going to tell those two guys what to do? Chavis & Davis are probably the most underrated performers in ROH today - they have the look, they're incredibly intimidating, and watching them demolish people never gets old.

Sami Callahan vs. The Necro Butcher probably isn't going to make it on anyone's Match of the Month ballot, but it was a Necro Butcher match and the crowd was very into it. I've never really been sold on Callahan, I don't think you get to call yourself "The New Horror" when your name is Sami, but when you're willing to put Necro Butcher's foot in your mouth, I guess I can let it slide. The post-match stuff with Colt Cabana was great, I have no idea why WWE let him go, his mic work is nothing short of superb. While I haven't exactly gotten into this feud with The Embassy, I think the elimination-style 8-man tag will be enjoyable.

Seriously, how awesome is Austin Aries? Another fantastic promo from the ROH World Champion and with personality like this, I have to wonder if WWE's ever going to try to scoop him up.

Nigel McGuinness vs. Tyler Black close things out in the main event; unsurprisingly a good match considering the participants. Like most ROH main events, this one started off slow and gradually got more and more intense, but the crowd was into it the entire time. Glad to see Nigel back on HDNet, in my opinion he is the greatest all-around performer in Ring of Honor today. Tyler Black has continued to impress on an almost weekly basis, every time I see him, he seems to be better than the last. Combine that with huge victories like this and it's no wonder why he's on the fast track toward the World Title.


  1. I was kind of disappointed at the whole Cheech and Cloudy/other guys match going like it did. I understand you gotta make DCFC look strong, but it felt...WWE-esque (in fact, Big Show destroying Evan Bourne and Kofi to be exact) to have a match with one team that could build credibility and another team that was there to lose. Instead, both teams did nothing and no one was put over except DCFC, which anybody who watches the damn show already knows is a devastating team.

    Also, too damn much Sami Callahan on my TV. He's on every other week to lose, takes okay bumps but nothing like the best jobbers on the show (that would be Orange Cassidy and Leslie Butterscotch), and I assume was only in this match because he's from CZW and thus doesn't give a damn about having staples in his skull.

    That said, Aries was great. With Sweeney gone, Aries has actually benefited greatly from promowork, as unlike with Sweeney's work, it's easier to just point at Aries as a star, whereas if Sweeney and Aries are on the same show, Larry would be the talk of the show all the time. That might not make sense, but either way, Aries is the best promo of the show, a great athlete, and looks like a champion.

  2. I really hope somebody picks this up in Australia... It only took them 3 or 4 years with iMPACT :)