Ring Of Honor DVD Review: Proving Ground – 01/11/08

rohprovingground
Available at ROHWrestling.com

Ring Of Honor didn’t really catch my eye with the first couple of reviews I did for their DVDs, but considering some of the other wrestling organizations I’ve given years to a couple more viewings couldn’t hurt. I’m glad to say that my ROH experiences are getting better with every DVD that comes my way. On January 11, 2008 in Boston, Massachusetts, the superstars of ROH came together to settle some scores and just putting on some damn fine wrestling. There is violence, there is blood, and there is nothing but sheer talent stepping in that ring with every match. ANd the atmosphere just makes you want to sick back and enjoy the ride!

~ Kenny King & Jason Blade Vs. Eddie Edwards & Pelle Primeau – This was one hell of a way to open this show as the action was hot from the opening bell. A rather basic tag match here with Primeau being the face in peril and constantly fighting for the hot tag to Edwards. They held their own though against the YRR and put on a really great opener.

~ Daizee Haze Vs. Alexa Thatcher – Not a bad women’s match here, but it was way too short to get anything going. Not much high-flying or anything, but these girls were just looking to inflict some pain. It’s been years since I’ve seen a good heart punch.

~ Claudio Castagnoli Vs. Ruckus – Castagnoli is way over with the crowd in a match that seems to have two very differing styles with these guys. It wasn’t a great match, but it stayed consistent and had a lot of back and forth considering the technical wrestling of Castagnoli and the flippy-doo wrestling of Ruckus clashed and meshed so well at the same time.

~ Daniel Puder Vs. Mike Bennett – Short and sweet and stupid.

~ Bryan Danielson Vs. Brent Albright – Quite amusing seeing that Danielson calls out Albright who I remember from his short stint in the WWE as Gunner Scott. Albright isn’t impressed with Danielson and wants him to earn his respect. Sounds like a good enough reason for a good match to me. I will tell you that this may not have been Danielson’s best match, but he impressed the hell out of me. Albright is no slouch by a long shot, but the American Dragon is everything I’ve heard people say he is and then some.

~ Street Fight: Kevin Steen Vs. Necro Butcher – Nothing more can be said here then this is simply a totally vicious and brutal brawl. These guys whip out some weapons and put some good spots on display here in a match that entertained me from the start. Steen is fun to watch.

~ Delirious Vs. Sal Rinauro – I like Delirious. The guy is just damn enjoyable and having a ton of fun out there which shows not only in his character, but also in his matches. Delirious and Rinauro put on a really good match together that is fast-paced and nicely even between the two.

~ Roderick Strong Vs. El Generico – While not bad, I’ve seen a few matches from Strong now and this was not one of the better ones.

~ FIP World Heavyweight Title Match: Erick Stevens Vs. Austin Aries – Any match that actually has someone performing my favorite move of all time, the TKO, is perfection in my book. Stevens and Aries go toe-to-toe the entire match, but it is quite slow for the first half or so. After a restart in it mid-match, things really getting rolling and it turns into a near masterpiece.

~ ROH World Tag Team Title Ultimate Endurance Match: Jimmy Jacobs & Tyler Black Vs. Brent Albright & BJ Whitmer Vs. Jay & Mark Briscoe Vs. Jack Evans & Jigsaw – OK, this match is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. It’s an elimination match that has the first fall as a “Scramble Match” meaning no tags are necessary. The second fall is “No Disqualification.” And the third fall is strictly a tag match for the ROH Tag-Team Titles. You honestly could not ask for a more enjoyable match as it is twenty straight minutes of nothing but hard-hitting and wild action. Some of the stuff all of these guys pull off is just insane.

Video Wire – Talks about ROH online and DVDs, nothing much.

My first viewings of anything Ring Of Honor came with the DVDs for Caged Rage and Motor City Madness which left me less then impressed, but still wanting some more. I got my hands on some copies of other ROH events and was totally blown away by not only the talent being shown in the ring, but the sheer insanity by some of the performers. That talent and insanity continues here on Proving Ground in which another solid event from top to bottom was put on by Ring Of Honor. There are a couple slow spots from time to time, but nothing that would turn me off or get me bored. The tag-title match is just balls to the wall nuts while Danielson/Albright, Aries/Stevens, and Delirious/Rinauro just made everything about wrestling seem good again. If you’re a big time fan of ROH then you’ll know if this is an event you want over others, but for non-fans looking for their first taste…this is the way to go because they proved themselves to me.

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Ring Of Honor presents Proving Ground 01/11/08. Featuring: Jimmy Jacobs, Brent Albright, Roderick Strong, Erick Stevens, Austin Aries, Bryan Danielson, The Briscoes, Daizee Haze, and many more. Running time: 180 minutes. Rating: Not Rated. Available at ROHWrestling.com

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