1. Nice touch by Delirious to throw a couple of judo moves (o soto gari, ippon seoi nage) into his offense tonight. If you’re going to dedicate air time to this “new training” that Daizee Haze is having Delirious do, you may as well have it mean something.
2. Solid opener by Delirious and Sonjay Dutt. I enjoyed it a lot more than their first match, which was a little too slow for my taste. Not so here, as they cut a good pace and mixed chain-wrestling and high-flying pretty well. Still, if they’re going to go the heel route with Dutt, I’m not sure how well those nonsensical promos are going to play.
3. Eddie Kingston at least showed some diversity with his offense tonight (albeit in squash fashion), but I still can’t get into his work. Plus, that backfist looks terrible.
4. With its limited air time and emphasis on wrestling over talking, ROH has to be judicious as to how it uses its promo time, and ensure that it means something. The promos from the tag teams hyping up tonight’s main event and from Chris Hero hyping up his match with KENTA next week accomplished just that, making me want to see the matches they were used to hype.
5. Poor Joey Ryan. Can you imagine having to look like a cheap porn star in your day-to-day life, all in the sake of maintaining your gimmick?
6. Very good match between Joey Ryan and Roderick Strong! Both men looked very good, but . . . did Joey Ryan really have to win, especially if Strong needs to be kept strong (crummy pun intended) to be one of Austin Aries’ challengers of the post-Danielson and McGuinness era? It appears they are angling to have Strong be somehow involved in McGuinness’ departure, but McGuinness didn’t even really play a hand in costing Strong the match, as McGuinness’ distraction came right at the very beginning of the match. I still want to see where this is going, but the setup was a little lacking tonight.
7. Another entertaining promo from Aries in his role of arrogrant, yet goofy, ROH World Champion. The “my ‘some people’ against your ‘some people'” line was great. And with another Lucky Lottery now scheduled for next week, we’re promised some more good television. I only hope he brings our Kenny King & Rhett Titus as his lackeys again.
8. So apparently, tonight’s Tag Team Honor Rumble was only for “bragging rights.” I don’t see anything wrong with guys wrestling strictly for pride and because it’s their job, but I would still have stipulated that the winning team be granted a title shot – unless, of course, the American Wolves won, which would then benefit them in that none of the other 7 teams would have a guaranteed shot. Either way, everyone would be fighting for something extra.
9. Battle royals can be very hit or miss. I was especially curious as to how well a battle royal between tag teams would play out. This, as most things involving the ROH tag team scene, was very good. The eliminations weren’t overly contrived (often a problem in battle royales), and the teams did a great job of incorporating double-team offense into the match without disrputing the flow, which I wondered if they’d be able to pull off. On that topic, that is, in my opinion, one of the things that makes the ROH tag division so great: the tandem offense, which seems to be somewhat of a lost art these days.
10. After a couple of down shows, ROH rebounded with a very strong effort this week. 3 out of the 4 matches were damn good, and the only one that wasn’t, I didn’t really expect to be. The middle portion of the show did not drag as it has done recently, thanks to some good promo work and a nice Strong-Ryan match. I also liked that they spent some time hyping up stuff for next week (Hero/KENTA, Lucky Lottery), which should be entertaining as well. Thumbs up for this one.
Tags: 10 Thoughts, Austin Aries, Brent Albright, Chris Hero, Dark City Fight Club, Delirious, Eddie Kingston, Erick Stevens!, Jimmy Rave, joey ryan, Kenny King, Kevin Steen & El Generico, Nigel McGuinness, Rhett Titus, Ring of Honor, Roderick Strong, ROH, Sonjay Dutt, The American Wolves, The Briscoes, The Young Bucks