If you’ve never traveled a total of 6 hours over the course of two days with Pulse Glazer and his army of bad ass Latinos in a full small car in which the radio plays more static than music to see indy wrestling, well, you haven’t lived. I have now lived, and I survived to give you my top 10 list of the most enjoyable stuff I saw at Ring of Honor this weekend.
1. The Briscoe Brothers in the $10,000 8 man tag team match. When Jay and Mark were picked on opposing teams, I had a feeling they’d be going up against one another during the match. It happened earlier than I thought it would and the crowd went f*cking crazy. They did some mat wrestling and then started pounding the crap out of one another with forearms. When they decided they had enough and wanted to go drink and proceeded to hit sick double team moves on the other 6 people in the match. They’re the best act anywhere in the business right now, and I’m glad they’re somewhere where they don’t have to water down the action. Man up indeed.
2. Claudio Castagnoli’s speech after winning the Race to the Top tournament.
3. The second half of the El Generico vs. Claudio Castagnoli tournament finals match. This followed the eight man tag which actually suffered from the amazing Briscoe segment because it was all downhill from there. The crowd was silent for most of the match but came alive for the 10 minute hot finish. They hit incredible move after incredible move and kept kicking out. I’m reasonably sure that Claudio will one day be performing for thousands of people, but El Generico is definitely in the right place for the next few years of his career. He was amazing and beat some of ROH’s top stars, so Generico is obviously held in high regard and should be. The speech Claudio gave after was a heartfelt promo about leaving everything behind to pursue moments like the one he was experiencing. Just an amazing end to the weekend.
4. Jack Evans vs. Kevin Steen on Friday.
5. Kevin Steen in the six man match on Saturday. Before I came to the event my favorite singles wrestler in the company was Bryan Danielson. It is now Kevin Steen. You know what heels don’t do anymore that he did? He begged for God mercy just before he got hit with a high impact move. He and Brent Albright are both heels, they’re both bigger than most of the others in ROH. The difference is that Kevin Steen doesn’t want to be cool. He doesn’t need to act tough. He bumps like a madman, has incredible charisma and has one of the best winning moves in wrestling. Hopefully Steen is the next breakout star for Ring of Honor. Jack Evans vs. Kevin Steen was the Long Island match of the night in my opinion. Evans was great, and I met him while he shaved in the bathroom and he was pretty cool there too. His 630 splash is unbelievable in person.
6. The pre-show women’s match on Friday. I chanted Jailbait at Portia Perez and Larry Sweeney jawed with me. That’s never happened to me at a show before so I got pretty jazzed, and Portia was very good in the ring for a fifteen year old. The crowd was also REALLY hot for the match and a good time was had by all. Sweeney was also cool in the parking lot, and he brings cigars with him to shows. That’s a nasty habit Larry.
7. Bryan Danielson’s entrance. I was pretty disappointed with Mr. Danielson at these shows. I guess I expect him to steal the show at every event, and my favorite thing he did was threaten to punch Larry Sweeney if Sweeney tried to get him to partner with Bobby Dempsey. But ‘Final Countdown’ always gets me for some reason. It’s just an odd yet fitting choice of music for the standard bearer of the company, and even Austin Aries got into it.
8. Both the venues. Because I love the smell of ball sweat.
9. The massive amount of heat on Roderick Strong. That guy is over big time. I’m pretty sure it’s real heat, not X-Pac heat.
10. Chris Hero was very good. Aaron thought he had the match of the night on Friday, I preferred Steen, but Hero impressed me.
All in all the shows were pretty good with absolutely amazing moments. The NYC show should be killer. Buy the PPV if you haven’t already and experience wrestling for adults.