1. The opening segment was very effective. It clearly drew the battle lines between the American Wolves and Shane Hagadorn, and it gives the Kings of Wrestling someone to feud with in the short term. My only complaints is that it felt a little too rushed and didn’t draw much of a reaction from the crowd, except for Edwards’ save.
2. While this has the look and feel of a short feud (to be expected, given the Wolves’ status as singles stars), I am probably not alone in hoping that it is at least long enough and sufficiently featured that we get some one-on-one matches between the members of the teams to promote the feud.
3. Really strong promo from Austin Aries tonight, as he did a great job of putting the All-Night Express over in general, and the more vicious side they’ve recently shown in particular. Aries does a great job of adding credibility to the team, and I hope ROH doesn’t pull the plug on the King/Titus pairing once they take Aries off TV, as has been rumored, or that they don’t lose steam without their manager.
4. Building off the previous thought, I’m pretty into King and Titus as a team at this point. They’ve been showing a lot of chemistry together, and their double-team offense highlights their athleticism nicely. They did a nice job of setting the pace tonight with the Dark City Fight Club, and the result was a decent match with the Express rightfully going over cleanly.
5. As I’ve pointed out in previous weeks, ROH has seemed to find a workable formula for Roderick Strong promos with Truth Martini. That formula, however, only works if Martini does well with his portion, thus allowing Strong to simply drive the point home. That wasn’t the case tonight, as Martini’s promo wasn’t very good. His delivery was fine, as usual. He just didn’t say anything of consequence.
6. I know sometimes we have to check our logic at door and simply enjoy the product, but unless Cornette attached some special stipulation to the “Pick Your Poison” matches, did Generico and Cabana really expect Steen and Corino to face each other. I thought we’d get a Fingerpoke of Doom scenario, or a double countout with both men walking out on the match. Their “I Quit” promo was pretty good, but (through no fault of their own), no one bought it, so it felt kind of pointless.
7. I wonder if ROH intended to show that the Book of Truth is really the Book of Inside Information (a real book, which can be purchased here) with Martini’s cheesy book jacket. If it was unintentional, they need to be more careful in the future. If it was intentional, it only makes Martini seem like more of a con-artist and a phony, which is actually pretty cool.
8. I was happy to see Roddy bust out the Stronghold again, as it feels like it’d been a while. With his backbreaker-heavy offense, that move really needs to remain a part of his regular arsenal. I also get the Sick Kick, which gives him a “sudden” finisher which works nicely with Truth Martini around to distract referees. The Gutbuster, however, doesn’t really jive with the rest of Strong’s offense, and while a nice mid-match move, isn’t something he should use as a finisher.
9. As you know, I’m usually not a fan of the World Champion losing on free TV, save for a specific set of circumstances, but I was OK with it here. The finish to the match was not without controversy, which keeps Roddy strong (no pun intended) and feeds into his belief that ROH is out to screw him. Also, it gives Daniels a legitimate claim to a title shot. So in those regards, it was an effective finish.
10. I have mixed feelings about tonight’s show. The two matches were certainly good, if not great (especially the main event, which is understandable since they have a title match in a month and would want to hold something back for that), and the angle advancement stuff was fine. I did enjoy it; however, it just looked better on paper than it came out.
Tags: 10 Thoughts, All Night Express, Austin Aries, Chris Hero, Christopher Daniels, Claudio Castagnoli, colt cabana, Dark City Fight Club, Davey Richards, Eddie Edwards, El Generico, Kenny King, Kevin Steen, Kings of Wrestling, Rhett Titus, Ring of Honor, Roderick Strong, ROH, roh on hdnet, Shane Hagadorn, Steve Corino