Thought Zero – Hey, a new episode of Ring of Honor. To what do I owe this pleasure? Oh right, syndication. Let’s go…
1) We start off with the new ROH World champion, Kyle O’Reilly. O’Reilly, who is still only so-so on the mic, gives the typical babyface “I’ll defend this title with honor” speech, even name-dropping Nigel McGuinness, Bryan Danielson, and Samoa Joe. Dude, I think you are a pretty darn good wrestler, but those are three pretty big names to reference.
2) In no time at all, we are joined by Adam Cole, who states he deserves a rematch and that he is the rightful champion. Then we are joined by Dalton Castle, who claims he deserves a title shot because he pinned Adam Cole in a tag match a few weeks back? That’s some dubious logic there, even from someone who is “half-math teacher” as Castle referenced himself in a pretty good line. Also, O’Reilly’s reDRagon partner Bobby Fish is out to remind everyone that he has a title shot coming up as well. And there seems to be Kyle O’Reilly’s first three title defenses.
3) Now we start with a new tournament. This one is for the veterans on the roster and is called the Decade of Excellence and involves wrestlers who have been with Ring of Honor for a decade. The winner gets a world title shot. Okay, I can deal with that. The first match in the tourney is Mark Briscoe versus Christopher Daniels. Before we get to that though, Nigel McGuinness changes the main event due to the opening talk segment. So he makes a very Raw-esque 6-man match between Adam Cole and the Young Bucks versus reDRagon and Dalton Castle. That’s pretty lazy booking there, Nigel. Or were you just practicing for your WWE move?
4) Kevin Kelly starts by asking if Christopher Daniels still “has it.” That’s pretty low, Mr. Kelly. Just because Christopher Daniels brings his AARP card with him to the ring doesn’t mean he still can’t go in the ring. But if the final of this tournament is Daniels versus Jushin “Thunder” Liger, it may have to be a walker on pole match.
5) The match between Daniels and Briscoe was pretty good, as I would expect, although it was a little slower than I would have predicted. Daniels still has very smooth looking moves. For example, his STO is very, very clean. And his Angel’s Wings finisher, which he used to put away Mark Briscoe after a missed Froggy Bow, is sweet. After the match, Daniels shakes Briscoe’s hand out of respect, which is a new character development for him. He’s making it work though.
6) We are back with Caprice Coleman versus Lio Rush. Apparently, The Rebellion gimmick involves Kenny King, Rhett Titus, and Caprice Coleman to start shopping at Goodwill. Then Kenny King tells Lio Rush to join them and hands him the microphone. That isn’t going to be good. Rush turns them down and talks about honor and respect. So Coleman takes the mic back and says that he sees why they don’t give him the mic. Ha! After Coleman obliterates Rush verbally, Rush gets a fluke win with a rollup. The Rebellion attacks afterwards and Donovan Dijak and Jay White hit the ring to even the odds, but the damage is already done.
7) Main event time with Bullet Club versus reDRagon and Dalton Castle. I really wish the Ring of Honor crowds would stop cheering the Young Bucks. I know they like the high energy they bring, but they are supposed to be heels. Boo them so they can fulfill their role in the promotion. Same goes for Adam Cole. I’m cool with shades of gray, but there is nothing gray about the crowd reactions to the Bullet Club. Let’s do better, ROH crowds.
8) And things break down immediately leaving Cole and O’Reilly in the ring alone where O’Reilly gets the best of Cole. Eventually everyone heads outside the ring with lots of jumping and diving and superkicks. You know, a regular Young Bucks match.
9) Kevin Kelly makes mention of Kenny Omega challenging Okada for the NJPW Heavyweight title at Wrestle Kingdom on January 4. That’s awesome. Not just the match, but the fact that it gets a shout out on a different promotion because they have a good working relationship. Honestly, I didn’t know about the Omega-Okada match coming up. I knew they were going to wrestle eventually, but I didn’t know when. But because I watch Ring of Honor, I now know, and will be looking to see that match. So, the shared promotion worked on me. I love it when a plan comes together.
10) Dalton Castle is over like crazy. Just thought I’d mention that. By the way, his bridging German suplex was definitely a three count and everyone in the arena knew it. You gotta get your shoulder up faster there, Young Buck. This match was fun, with the best sequences happening when reDRagon and the Young Bucks were going after each other. That is to be expected though given how often those teams have wrestled each other. The end came with Kyle O’Reilly catching Matt Jackson in a triangle choke off a 450 splash attempt. I guess that is fitting given O’Reilly is the new champ and all.
Overall, another good episode even with the lazy booking of the main event. The Decade of Excellence tournament is an interesting little concept to give some of the veteran guys something to do. It also allows for a little more “pure” and intelligent wrestling, given the experience and ability of everyone involved. Until next week…
Tags: Adam Cole, Bobby Fish, Caprice Coleman, Christopher Daniels, Dalton Castle, Donovan Dijak, Jay White, kazuchika okada, Kenny Omega, Kyle O'Reilly, Lio Rush, Mark Briscoe, redragon, The Rebellion, Young Bucks