The Cabarrus Arena brings us ROH’s first big event of the year. Now free of The Elite, how does ROH start to rebuild their brand?
North Carolina used to be a hot bed for wrestling, so with ROH trying to rebuild their title pictures, will the heart of some of the beloved 80s wrestling help to breathe life into Ring of Honor?
We all know I’m not the biggest fan of ROH, but I’m always willing to be impressed and swayed into a different head space.
Let’s see if this show does that.
- Shinobi Shadow Squad vs Corey Hollis, Josey Quinn & John Skyler – Shinobi Shadow Squad wins via Oyasuminasai – * 1/2
- Beer City Bruiser vs Mark Haskins – Haskins wins via Double Footstomp – **
- Best Friends vs FinJuice – Finlay wins via Trust Panda – ** 3/4
- Tracy Williams vs Flip Gordon – Williams wins via referee calling the match due to Flip injury – N/A
- Proving Grounds Match: Hurricane Helms, Luchasaurus & Delirious vs The Kingdom – Kingdom wins via House of 1000 Horses – * 1/2
- Bandido vs PJ Black – Bandido wins via Revolution Fly – *
- 4 Corners Survival Instant Rewards Proving Ground Match: Rhett Titus vs Shane Taylor vs Jonathan Gresham vs Jeff Cobb – Cobb wins via Tour of the Islands – *** 1/4
- Women of Honor Championship Street Fight: Jenny Rose vs Kelly Klein (c) – Klein retains via K Power on a pile of chairs – * 1/2
- Marty Scurll, Brody King & PCO vs Silas Young & The Briscoes – PCO wins via PCO Moonsault – *** 3/4
- ROH World Championship Match: Jay Lethal (c) vs Dalton Castle – Lethal retains via Lethal Injection – ***
- Soo…Skyler, Hollis and Quinn kick things off with an open challenge to anyone since they’re the best trio in ROH apparently. Cheeseburger brings out his newer trio of the Shinobi Shadow Squad….and I guess we’re supposed to care. Some sporadic moves, Skyler and that team try to control the match but, after Cheeseburger, Eli Isom and Ryan Nova tag in and out a little more fluidly. They hit their triple move called Oyasuminasai (Goodnight in Japanese), and that’s that.
- Mark Haskins is still a new name to ROH and Bruiser seems to play the Gatekeeper role with a few of the newer guys. Bruiser tells Haskins this is America, we fight, not that fancy British shit. And we see a little more of a slugfest than Haskins is most likely accustomed to. Every time Bruiser went to the top rope, it cost him the momentum he had. So a big missed Vader Bomb and Frog Splash gave Haskins enough time and opportunity to hit his Double Footstomp.
- Best Friends still have a few tentative moments with Chuckie’s instability as of late, and FinJuice is on the rise. Juice recently put together a new stable called Lifeblood with Bandido, Tracy Williams, Haskins, Finlay and Tenille Dashwood. So all of the Lifeblood members are prolly in for a good night. The match was fun, solid and Chuckie kept it together even though Finlay got the win on Chuck. Decent match.
- What can I say, he threw a drop kick, came up gimpy and the announcers brought up something about him nursing the knee for a while. So I guess we’ll see where this goes, but that’s another win for Lifeblood, technically.
- Every time the Kingdom is on, I feel an overwhelming urge to take a nap or walk away for 15 minutes. Vinny even holds back Luchasaurus and Hurricane with the Jurassic World “keeping the raptors back” kind of motion. Lots of dumb gimmicks, not a lot of wrestling or fluidity to the match. It’s stuff like this that is mostly why I have an issue tolerating Ring of Honor.
- Uuughh….spotty at first which I expected, but also very botchy and sloppy. This match could’ve been great, but just didn’t work. Another win for Lifeblood though. But this was awful. Also didn’t help that they finally pulled back on the camera to show the floor seems full but the rest of the building is pretty empty.
- Shane Taylor says the 4 Way match is an insult so he walks out, and the match becomes a Triple Threat. Gresham and Titus take turns trying to take out Cobb, eventually Cobb gets knocked out of the ring and Titus dominates Gresham. Rhett is in the best shape he’s been probably ever. But Cobb breaks up the pin attempt and finishes Titus. Silas Young distracts Cobb after the match and Shane returns to jump Cobb and hold up the belt as the age old symbol of “I got next”.
- Kelly comes out with her “Camp Klein”, and they play a small role in the match, but it’s kinda awkward. Kelly is great, don’t get me wrong here. But Rose really isn’t and that makes the whole match awkward. The table didn’t break so Kelly calls an audible and Rose was visibly nervous and Kelly had to communicate too many times too obviously. Hopefully Kelly’s matches get better.
- Okay now this was the first match to really catch my attention. Mark Briscoe tried out his Redneck Kung Fu on PCO, and that was a fun battle. A lot of car crash style moments, and Young tried to Canadian Destroyer PCO on the apron and that didn’t work correctly, but no one got hurt, so it was just a hold your breath moment. Villain Enterprises established themselves nicely and PCO pinning Jay Briscoe most likely lines up a tag team title shot in the future. So between Brody King pulling off an Arabian Moonsault Arm Wringer Toss…thing…it was quite cool since Brody is like 6’5″. Damn good match though.
- Nick Aldis and Camille show up to cut a promo. Typical Aldis 10 Pounds of Gold…integrity, tradition…stuff. Also made mention of the Crockett Cup and that it will be in this same place April 27.
- Dalton tried to start off quickly with some tosses and suplexes, but he still has his waist bandaged so Lethal had a big bullseye for early offense. The match was hard hitting, but once we got to the Suicide Dive spot, the match seemed to really drag. A bad Elbow Drop from Jay got turned into a crucifix pin, and that’s never good when you telegraph the counter by half assing the move. A few counters on moves were supposed to be exciting but really just felt like it was extending a match that no one really cared about. Lethal ducks under a lariat and hits the Lethal Injection for the pinfall.
Overall Score: 4.5/10
So the crowd was dead through most of the show, when they finally panned out we saw that there were many empty seats at the show…and that was obvious. Aside from the Villain Enterprises match, the crowd was really kind of dead. The first few matches should get people charged up, but Cheeseburger does nothing for me and Bruiser’s match wasn’t awful, just not a lot of time and the story being told was a little odd. Even Cobb’s match, though decent, didn’t really wake the crowd up much.
This whole show was a boring grind, where nothing really happened and it was just hard to sit through. After this event I’m looking forward to WWE Raw tomorrow since on average it’ll be at least as good, if not better than this. So thank you ROH, you made me excited for WWE.