22nd Sep2018

‘Ring of Honor’ Wrestling Review (Sept 18th 2018)

by Nathan Favel


Welcome to this week’s Ring of Honor review, right here on Nerdly. I’m Nathan Favel and we have the fall-out of the great Iron-Man match from last week. It’s time to bake a cake… dumb-ass. Also, we will be using a review of Ring of Honor from Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer that was written by Dan Velten. Please feel free to visit the Wrestling Observer as one of many places to get news and reviews about professional wrestling.

Match #1: Women of Honor Champion Sumie Sakai defeated Tasha Steelz – Proving Ground Match

The following is courtesy of the Wrestling Observer and Dan Velten:

Sakai put a hurting on Steelz in the opening sequence, but Steelz landed a springboard bulldog for a two count. She went for the Boricua Butterfly, but Sakai countered into her Smashmouth finisher for the three count.

My Take: 3 out of 5 – I thought this was a fine match that made Sumie look like a tough athlete. The idea of a Proving Ground match is a bit weird in this century, considering that you see champions wrestle potential challengers all the time. Ring of Honor is meant to work more like an old-school wrestling league, so when you have the champion fighting a challenger in a match that isn’t a title defense, it is meant to be a bit more special than the normal bout. I don’t know if that comes through quite as well, in terms of the intention of the Proving Ground stipulation, but it certainly feels like a unique gimmick to book into a card when you’re in need of establishing a new way to officially find a contender. Wow, I wrote a bunch of serious words. I’m a good boy! Anyway, this match had some nice back and forth that gave the challenger, Tasha Steelz, a chance to shine against the Women of Honor champion, Sumie Sakai. I’m still not entirely sold on Sakai being the woman to lead her division to the Promised Land, but I do enjoy her matches and she is a breath of fresh air when compared to the way women tend to wrestle in America. Over-all, this match had lots of good moves that didn’t quite turn this bout into a classic, but it did get to the finish line, so you still gotta give the winner a bottle of Champaign.

Match #2: Jonathan Gresham defeated Bully Ray (DQ)

The following is courtesy of the Wrestling Observer and Dan Velten:

Riccaboni stayed in the ring to speak with Gresham. Before Gresham could finish, Bully Ray came to ringside. Ray claimed he single-handedly sold out Madison Square Garden and then called Gresham a jobber. Gresham took the mic and challenged Ray to a wrestling match, not a fight. It was neither as Ray immediately kicked Gresham low and the referee disqualified Ray.

My Take: 0 out of 5 – I hate it when bookers do these non-match matches. It makes wrestling look as stupid as the general public thinks it is. I get that they are making Ray look evil, but it just feels like a broken promise every-time a wrestling league begins a match, only to reveal that it is all just smoke and mirrors. If you are going to promote a match, even for just a second, then you should deliver one. Then again, I’m not even sure if this was meant to be a match, with how poorly this whole thing was executed.

Match #3: Main Event – SoCal Uncensored (Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian & Scorpio Sky) defeated The Briscoes & Punishment Martinez – Six-Man Tag Team Match

The following is courtesy of the Wrestling Observer and Dan Velten:

SoCal Uncensored jumped their opponents and turned this into a brawl at the beginning. The Briscoes took over on Daniels and used quick tags to isolate him. Martinez and The Briscoes were working well together until Daniels was able to land a Blue Thunder Bomb and tag in Sky. Wheel kicks and cutters galore sparked SCU, but Sky walked into a Spicolli driver from Mark Briscoe and a Silencer from Martinez. Kazarian took the tag from Sky and landed a DDT on Mark Briscoe. The match broke down as everyone landed big moves. Mark Briscoe got a chair and wanted to hit Kazarian with it but accidentally nailed referee Paul Turner. That allowed Martinez to hit Kazarian with the chair. The Briscoes nailed everyone with chairs — and that caused Sabin to head to the ring to attack Martinez. The two of them brawled to the back, and Sabin used a shoe to hit him. In the ring, Daniels and Kazarian finished the match with the Best Meltzer Ever on Mark Briscoe to get the win.

My Take: 3 out of 5 – Remember when I used to actually put some effort into these reviews and write down all of the moves the wrestlers would do? Yeah, well that’s too bad for you, buckaroo, because we don’t work that way no more. Besides, everybody else does the same review any-way… or at least it feels that way sometimes. I like my stupid way of reviewing. I may not get a lot of outside work based on the way I review wrestling, but I’ve written about other subjects with a serious tone, so other people know I can do it. Hey, wrestling is supposed to be fun, right? Well, I should not veer too much farther from Ring of Honor or Gabe Saplonsky might show up and book this review until the Age of the Fall pop up to beat me to death. I think a few of the people reading this might actually like that, since I haven’t even mentioned the wrestlers in the match yet. Well, since I brought them up, I would like to mention that this was a good match and it had some nice brawling sequences in it that played to the strengths of the Briscoes. To be honest with you, this bout felt like a more exciting variation of a Smackdown tag team main event from 2009 rather than the great six man tags from Ring of Honor in 2013. The action of this match was good but lacked the passion of the tag matches of 2013, which were just incredible. The Shield had one hell of an influence on the sport of wrestling that year and helped spark the obsession with trios matches that has stuck around to this day. In fact, I bought a copy of the Japan’s Finest DVD that Ring of Honor released in 2011 and it has all of those great Dragon Gate tag matches that people went nuts over near the end of the last decade. If you want to see or just remind yourself of how great tag team wrestling can be, check out those matches and see how addictive they are. The one that won the match of the year from the Wrestling Observer was beyond great and is a tremendous example of why tag teams can still put asses in seats. I wish wrestling leagues would not use tag matches as a cheap excuse to just cram multiple rivalries into one spot, but I get the need to do it for a one hour wrestling card. Over-all, this match gave two great teams a chance to work a good match together to keep their love alive… on WHEELZ 104.5!

News Of The Night:

  1. Jay Lethal will defend the Ring Of Honor World Title against Will Ospreay at Death Before Dishonor.
  2. Flip Gordon saved Jonathan Gresham from an attack by Bully Ray, but was himself attacked for his trouble.
  3. Jay Lethal saved Gordon and Gresham, but was attacked by Silas Young.
  4. Jay Lethal and Jonathan Gresham will fight Bully Ray and Silas Young, next week.
  5. The Women of Honor Title is now is now known as the Women of Honor World Title.
  6. Sumie Sakai will defend the Women of Honor World Title against Tenille Dashwood at Death Before Dishonor.
  7. The Bullet Club admonished all of the other factions of New Japan Pro Wrestling.
  8. The Chris Sabin/Punishment Martinez feud for the Ring Of Honor World Television Title continued with Sabin scouting his opponent during the main event.

Final Verdict: 2 out of 5 – A devotion to talking segments cut into the wrestling time in a big way. The matches that went more than a second were good, but were undermined by endless angles that got more attention than the wrestling.


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