24th May2018

‘Ring of Honor’ Wrestling Review (May 20th 2018)

by Nathan Favel

ring-honor-banner

Announcers:  Analyst – Ian Riccaboni | Color – Caprice Coleman

Welcome to the second review of Ring of Honor TV!  This week features a double main event in Jay Lethal wrestling Punishment Martinez and a trios match featuring the Bullet Club fighting So-Cal Uncensored.  Here we go!

 Match #1:  Jay Lethal vs Punishment Martinez

The crowd was really primed from the opening bell for this bout.  Lethal took control of the match from the first grapple, with the story being that the wily veteran was systematically grounding the raging behemoth known as Punishment Martinez.  Lethal was like a maelstrom to Punishment, with each strike and every blow delivered from his body like bullets from a Gatling gun.  Lethal performed a dive sequence that was like watching an obsessive-compulsive missile repeatedly striking its target, as much because of programming as instinct.  From there, Martinez began to dominate Lethal with his massive arms while Lethal fought him off with furious elbow shots that rained down on Martinez’s back like rubble from an explosion.  Martinez’s nimble, agile body became more notable at this point as the giant pounced on his opponent like a ferocious lion, eager to sink his jaws into his prey.  At this point, it’s worth remarking that this match has such a good pace, that the crowd is sticking with it.  Lethal is a star in their eyes and Martinez is closer to Braun Strowman than Roman Reigns as far they are concerned.  Despite the frenetic action, this is not a contest wrestled in Ring of Honor’s house style, but one that was worked in the brisk, pained technique that can only occur if both participants have taken the heed of the constructive criticism that their elders are prepared to share.  If you want proof that Martinez has improved, than take a look at the amazing spinning leg kick that he launches at Lethal like a cannon-ball in the final act of the match.  In the end, the right man won as Lethal, who could have given a clean loss to the rising star in Martinez, was instead rewarded for carrying Ring of Honor’s resident mastodon, Punishment Martinez.  It must be said, that Martinez’s performance did mor favors for him here than a victory attached to a stale match would have done.  This was a hell of an opener.

Winner:  Jay Lethal

Match #2:  Shane Taylor vs. Joey Daddiego

In Daddiego’s return to Ring of Honor, the ever-promising prospect grappled the ever-dominant Shane Taylor, who continues to become leaner and meaner by every second, it seems.  Daddiego has become a more muscular fighter, one who is reminiscent of today’s MMA fighter’s, in both his battle stance and his rapid-fire punches that land like mile-wide hail in an ice storm.  Like the first bout, the crowd is hot for this clash of underrated wrestlers, who are making the most of this small, yet vital opportunity.  After a few minutes of Daddiego bruising the proverbial punching bag in Taylor, the latter brutalized the former with a furious vengeance that led the mighty Taylor to hurl his powerful opponent into the outside barricades like he was a slab of beef.  Suddenly, Taylor splashed Daddiego through a set of chairs and roared his way through a path of destruction that destroyed a referee and several members of the security team.  Taylor looked like a sadistic beast in all of this and may have done more for his career here than at any other point during his run with Ring of Honor so far.  This was a good, simple match that made Taylor’s foe look formidable before he was destroyed by the brute strength of Shane.

Winner: No Contest

Match #3: Main Event:  Bullet Club (Adam Page, Marty Scurll and Cody Rhodes w/ Bernard the Business Bear)  vs.  the Ring of Honor World Trios Champions So-Cal Uncensored (Scorpio Sky, Frankie Kazarian and Christopher Daniels) – Trios Match

Cody and Sky started the match by trading holds until Sky landed a hard suplex to his opponent.  Cody powered out and battled back until we got Page and Kazarian as the legal men.  As Page and Kazarian reignited their old feud from several years ago, Daniels leapt into the fray in an effort to aide his long-time partner best the Bullet Club’s resident hang-man in Page, but the young, brash fighter countered with a kick/back-flip combo that sent the Addiction team plummeting to the mat.  Cody tagged back in and went to work on Kazarian, picking him apart, piece by piece.  Daniels returned to the action to be the legal man, gaining the chance to fight his old rival with whom he once competed for the Ring of Honor World Heavyweight Championship.  One thing I still notice about Cody Rhodes after all this time is that he still quite slow compared to a lot of his contemporaries, but he works so hard that it makes his matches worth watching, like Kenan Thompson on Saturday Night Live (who has always struggled to get his sense of humor on the show, but has managed to convince people he knows what he is doing any-way).  The action spilled to the outside like a flood tearing through a cracked dam and leaving chaos in its wake.  As the fight reached its climax, the champions were beaten into submission upon the altar of wrestling’s most famous faction of the 21st century, the Bullet Club.

Winners:  The Bullet Club

News of the Night:

  1. Marty Scurll accidentally attacked Cody Rhodes in a post-match brawl.  This will go some way in the build towards the Scurll/Rhodes feud that seems destined to culminate in the World Title match for Best in the World.
  2. Cody Rhodes announced he is challenging Dalton Castle for the Ring of Honor World Heavyweight Title at Best in the World.  It should be said, that Castle has been rumored to fight both Rhodes and Scurll for the title at Best in the World, but I didn’t see any-thing on this card that mentioned both men as competing for the strap at the PPV.

Final Verdict: An excellent opener, combined with a very good main event made for a strong night of fights from Ring of Honor.

Next Week:  Sumie Sakai defends her Women of Honor Championship against Jenny Rose.

Thanks for reading and I’ll catch you, next week.

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