03rd Jul2018

‘Ring of Honor’ Wrestling Review (July 1st 2018)

by Nathan Favel

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Welcome to this week’s Ring of Honor television review. I’m Nathan Favel and ROH is back at New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom for a night where of the most iconic luchadores in the world returns to America to fight one of ROH’s biggest stalwarts. Let’s get right to the fights!

Match #1: Kenny King beat Johnathan Gresham

This is a great pairing; well at least that’s my opinion. King has been doing very well for himself since returning from his stint on ABC’s The Bachelor, which he will be returning to in the coming months. King has improved his promos, his presence and his wrestling, to the point that he earned some time as the ROH TV Champion for a while. Gresham, on the other hand, has been on the path to becoming one of wrestling’s best technicians in an era when there aren’t enough of them. What Gresham lacks in charisma, he makes up for in wrestling talent, as well as having the aura of an athlete. Gresham is so intense at times that you wonder how far he’s willing to go to maintain the illusion of authenticity. In Ring of Honor, the home of fierce, brutal action, that could be dangerous. To start off a fight between these two on this night, they chose to go right for the goods, going hold for hold. They had the crowd with them right from the start, trading shots like mad-men. Eventually, King would get control, making the most of his years of experience to look like the seasoned veteran he is. Gresham would be the one to take the match to the next level, fighting like a house of fire every step of the way. For every blow dealt to and for every fall taken by, Gresham slowly, but surely, became the star of the match. As the match reached its boiling point, King pounded his opponent into the mat like he was a hydraulic press until it was enough to get King the win.

Verdict: This was a good match that served as another great showing for Gresham.

Match #2: Josh Woods beat Façade

Woods is another wrestler in the vein of Gresham, with a devotion to technical wrestling, but perhaps even more exclusively. Working as a shooter, Woods has a different appeal from the veteran Façade, who is like an electric tsunami (I don’t know what the hell it mean either) in the ring. Façade is one of the most talented wrestlers in the world to not have more fame to his record. I can’t believe it took until this year for me to see him more than once on television. As far as this match was concerned, this was a short, but sweet match, with a lot of furious action that was pretty even all around. Woods suplexed the hell out of Façade, like he was a bear fighting a wolf. Woods transitioned from hold to hold like a true professional, giving Façade room to maneuver only when it was convenient for him. Façade gained some ground in spectacular fashion, diving with desperation onto Woods like Geronimo off a mountain. No matter how close Façade came to getting the finish, Woods had the answer to Façade’s offense. In the end, Woods superior technique led to Woods getting the victory.

Verdict: Façade should be on television as much as possible, especially if he’s going to give great performances like this. Woods is like a less-known version of Matt Riddle, because of his great shooting skills and intense attitude. These two turned out a good match that did both men a lot of good.

Match #3: Main Event – Matt Taven beat Ultimo Guerrero

This match is interesting for quite a few reasons. First of all, Ultimo is not some-one we see here very often in America. Secondly, Ultimo is much older than those we normally see in ROH. Thirdly, luchadores don’t usually appear in ROH, let alone in the main event. Then, we get to the pairing of Taven and Ultimo itself, which is actually the latest in long rivalry, which has spanned a great part of the country of Mexico. Taven has completely reinvented himself in the Mexican lucha wrestling league, Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre, becoming a great heel. As you’ll see in this match, he has never look as comfortable in a Ring of Honor ring as does working Ultimo, which I would contribute to pride as much as comfort. This whole match really feels like Taven’s coming out party, with a more aggressive, powerful side of his skills being presented here. In this match, Taven feels like what Triple H probably wanted for his career, that being a fluid, intricate wrestler who could blend with any style, rather than simply being the great brawler who could bump with the best of them. Even though Taven has a difficult time standing out from the crowd, if he can pull this side of himself out when he works here in America, then he’ll be able to find more profound success in the future, whether with Ring of Honor or else-where. Ultimo, on the other hand, looked great here, not just for his age, which must be in the fifties at least, but just in general, with tight, firm grapples that made him look both precise and methodical. It’s strange to see a luchador work a more rounded style, but I would argue that the lucha moves Ultimo does perform in this match against Taven benefitted from the technical moves that diffused spot from hold. At the end of it all, Taven took advantage of a distraction seen by Ultimo and got the pin and the win.

Verdict: This was an excellent match that gave both men an extra shot in the arm. Taven came across great here and has really come a long way from where he was when he first joined Ring of Honor several years ago.

News of the Night:

  1. A feud between Shane Taylor and Josh Woods was teased.
  2. A possible feud or union between Shane taylor and The Dawgs (Rhett Titus and Will Ferrara) has been teased by way of Taylor coming to collect some money from The Dawgs.
  3. Matt Taven cut the best promo of his career, at least from what I’ve seen from him over the past several years. Taven could be a really big deal if he’s able to keep his momentum going.

Final Verdict: This was a fine fight card that set the stage for the next few weeks, quite nicely.

Major Spoilers:

The following is a major spoiler for the coming months. After this point, the information will be revealed.

Over the weekend, Jay Lethal beat Dalton Castle for the Ring of Honor World Heavyweight Championship. As one of four people in a Fatal Four Way for the title, which also included Cody Rhodes and Matt Taven, Lehtal got the strap for the second time. This may have occurred to give Castle some time off to heal some injuries, but only time will tell.

Next Week: Cheeseburger will wrestle Bully Ray in a No DQ match and Cody Rhodes will wrestle Titan.
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Thanks for reading and I’ll see you, next time.

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