Thought Zero – I’m taking a break in my March Madness viewing to see what ROH is up to this week. Already, the crowd is more amped then last week, which is great to see. Let’s get it started.
1. The first match is for the ROH TV title. BJ Whitmer challenged the “Stone Pitbull” Tomohiro Ishii. I am not a big fan of Whitmer, but let’s see what Ishii is all about. Ishii looks very short. I’m getting a bit of a Tazz feel from Ishii, but the match hasn’t even started yet. Hey, here is Veda Scott and Cedric Alexander. And Veda bribes Whitmer to give his title shot to Cedric Alexander. This match just got 100 times more interesting to me. Plus, Ishii doesn’t look as short any more. I didn’t know Whitmer was that tall.
2. Ishii takes over with a sick looking chop that appeared to hit Alexander in the throat. Ouch. Alexander looks to be okay though. Veda Scott interferes and Alexander takes over until Ishii decides to stop selling and just crunch Alexander with forearms and clotheslines. That was sort of cool, I’d say.
3. Ishii finally wins with a brainbuster, but this was much more competitive than I would have thought it would be. Very well done, I have to say. I wound up believing Alexander could have won and thus see him as a viable challenger to a championship. And Ishii comes away looking strong, including some bad ass antics after the pin by shoving the belt in Alexander’s face and snapping at Kevin Kelly on the way out of the ring. I am impressed.
4. The Addiction comes out to hype up their feud with the newly reformed Motor City Machine Guns. Kazarian is just not very good on the mic. He isn’t actively bad, but just isn’t good. Daniels gets the mic and rants for a minute until the MCMGs come on out to challenge The Addiction. Daniels and Kazarian bail and say they will fight when they decide to fight. I hope this isn’t all a big set up to have Sabin swerve Shelley and rejoin The Addiction because that would be much less interesting than the matches we could see between those teams.
5. An ROH World Title match is announced for next week as Jay Lethal takes on Hirooki Goto. Awesome! And a good job in hyping the next week. That is something I don’t see WWE doing much of at all anymore.
6. The next match is Jay and Mark Briscoe versus Reno Scum. I’ve never seen Reno Scum before, but I’ve heard they are pretty decent. (And before the match starts, they announce the Motor City Machine Guns versus The Addiction in two weeks. See Thought #5 above re: hyping future shows.) The crowd really loves the Briscoes and they do have a bit of a Austin-esque appeal. Kevin Kelly and Mr. Wrestling 3 are talking up a potential Briscoes versus War Machine battle for the tag team belts, which is cool, but hopefully they haven’t forgotten Roppongi Vice is the number one contenders after last week.
7. Reno Scum have some pretty cool double team moves. Personally, I like the one where they whipe Mark Briscoe into the corner and then both just start swinging clubbing blows onto the back. Hey, there’s a Mongolian Chop, and called as such by Mr. Wrestling 3. Gotta love it. Reno Scum with a German suplex/double stomp combo which was pretty sweet for a two count. But the Briscoes put them away after a big Froggy Bow.
8. And hey, here’s Dalton Castle to let us know that the Fight Without Honor he has upcoming with Silas Young (to end their feud, FINALLY) is going to be on ROH TV in three weeks! That is three weeks in a row they are promoting with big time matches. I like that. And I will like it even more when the Castle/Young program ends.
9. Main event time with the Young Bucks versus Michael Elgin and Hiroshi Tanahashi. The Young Bucks have some major fringe going on today. I know Michael Elgin is getting some major love over in New Japan, but his partnership with Tanahashi really makes him look like a bigger star here in ROH. What I mean by that is that Tanahashi got a star’s reaction from the crowd even here in front of an ROH crowd, and Elgin looks like a superstar by association.
9.A. Just a follow up on Elgin. “Unbreakable” is not a bad nickname. It isn’t great, but it isn’t bad. But “Big Mike?” Where did that lameness come from?
10. Tanahashi seems to really enjoy playing to the American crowd during the match, which is fun to see given how different the crowds are in Japan. For example, an abdominal stretch with a human air guitar solo. Then Elgin follows up a double Samoan drop/fall away slam with a pretty cool dead-lift super falcon arrow. Then everything breaks down and it is a superkick party, of course. But Elgin and Tanahasi finish things off with a powerbomb, sling blade (damn, I love that move), and a High Fly Flow for the victory. You know, for as over as the Young Bucks are, they sure seem to lose a lot in Ring of Honor. They might want to talk to someone about that.
Bottom line is this was another very fun episode of Ring Of Honor television. Not a lot of talking and a lot of very enjoyable in-ring action. Plus, the next three weeks of television were hyped very well. The WWE should really take note.
Tags: Briscoes, hiroshi tanahashi, ishii, Michael Elgin, motor city machine guns, Ring of Honor, ROH, Young Bucks