Reaction of Honor: Manhattan Mayhem V (Wolves, Hooligans, Bucks, reDRagon)

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The Glimpse:

Ring of Honor invades Manhattan once again.  Aside from taping multiple matches for the ROH World Title tournament (which will be shown on TV), we have quite a bit of tag action, as well as a surprise return!  We won’t be covering the Title tournament matches here so that they can be looked at as they air on ROH TV weekly.  The action summaries will be the finishes with any other spots or notes I feel like including.  I was at this show live, so take my word on notes about the crowd – These things always come across different on film.

The Action and The Reaction:

Match 1:  Silas Young vs Adam Page

Winner:  Silas Young via pinfall

Silas Young pins Adam Page after the headstand slingshot moonsault in the corner.  Nothing bad about this one, but nothing outstanding.  Young is proving himself a worthwhile roster member.

Match 2: C&C Wrestle Factory vs Adrenaline Rush

Winners:  C&C Wrestle Factory via pinfall 

C&C hit Overtime after a wild back and forth.  ACH was allowed to shine in this one and TD put in a good day’s work; his kicks are looking more and more solid.  This one never stopped once it got started, but that’s expected out of these four guys.

Match 3:  Mike Mondo vs Matt Taven, Proving Ground Match

Winner:  Matt Taven via pinfall

Matt Taven picks up the win with The Climax headlock driver (well that name’s original).  There was of course a load of shenanigans from Truth Martini and Salezia, as well as their tiny friend.  Wasn’t Scarlett Bordeaux, so my friend was extremely disappointed.  The tiny one, toward the end of the match, landed a stellar Lita-style diving hurricanrana on Mondo.  Mondo came close a few times, but I don’t really see the point of him coming back just to lose a Proving Ground match.  At least win that then lose the title shot or something.

Match 4:  Forever Hooligans vs The Young Bucks

Winners:  Forever Hooligans via pinfall

I counted about 6 super kicks in this match.  The Bucks must have had twisted ankles or something.  Hooligans win it with Contract Killer, but this was even all the way through.  Matt Jackson grabbed Koslov’s hat at one point and mocked his Cossack Kicks, which the crowd tore into him for.  I get that the Bucks’ gimmick is nothing but Superkicks now, but it’s just one of those moves that I hate to see tossed around so casually.  This is a tag match you won’t see too often and it’s absolutely worth catching.

Before the next match would start, QT Marshall and RD Evans would come out and sit in a chair mid-ring, demanding to be on the show.  The usual bit, as this seems to be Marshall’s place on the roster.  Cue up flashing lights and an odd siren/spooky music combination.  Out would come someone in a clown mask down the aisle, then someone in a wig and button down shirt snuck up on Evans and Marshall.  He danced around a bit before finally revealing that it was Eddie Kingston and Homicide!  Prince Nana, the now-official “talent scout” of Ring of Honor, tells the crowd that he’s signed these two to the roster.

Match 5:  Eddie Kingston & Homicide vs RD Evans & QT Marshall

Winners:  Kingston & Homicide via pinfall

Kingston and Homicide would win after landing a combination of the Ace Crusher and the sliding forearm.  The crowd was completely lost on this one before it started.  The clown thing was really wonky, but at the time of the reveal, the crowd popped big.  It might have been the area I was in, but I swear there were a TON of people there that just didn’t understand who was revealing themselves and the significance of them being announced as signed and not just being a one night show.  The match was pretty dead, aside from the occasional rustle of interest for Homicide’s action – This is something that I really hope ends up being a “Steve was sitting in a crummy area of the crowd” issue and it comes across on DVD/VOD much better.  After the match, Homicide would snap one of Evans’ fingers blatantly in the middle of the ring, which the refs played up by bringing ice down to ring side and escorting him to the back.

More from these guys later…

The next three matches were the for-TV singles matches in the ROH Title Tournament –  Steen/Strong, Ciampa/Bennett, Elgin/Anderson.  As I said, I’ll cover these as they air on TV, but one thing I’ve got to rant on (And I’m sure come the time it airs, I’ll do it again) – The guys in the crowd right next to me that insisted on Jim Duggan chants at Michael Elgin for the ENTIRE match.  One or two “hooooooo!”‘s would have been fine; yes, he has a mullet and it’s funny.  But the entirety of the match was HOOOO and USA chants.  It caught on enough that Elgin had to acknowledge it prior to climbing for a superplex by flashing a big thumbs up to the crowd.  I’m all for a load of goofy fun at wrestling shows, but good lord was this annoying.  I absolutely hope this isn’t something that follows Elgin show to show.

Match 6:  reDRagon vs American Wolves (c), ROH World Tag Team Championship

Winners:  reDRagon via submission, new ROH Tag Team Champions

After Kyle O’Reilly dropkicks Richards’ arm while it’s extended (playing up an injury to it), he would lock in a Cross Armbreaker and tap him out.  This one was balls to the wall – If you love ROH, this is the match for you.  If you think ROH is overkill, this one will drive you bonkers.  Now what we have here is three ROH Tag Title matches and three title changes, with them ending up back where they started.  My best guess is that we’ll end up with a three way match, possibly a Ladder War.  I don’t think the Hooligans are hanging around for too long, considering they’re also the IWGP Junior Tag Champs, so they’ll likely do it at the next big event if that’s the plan.

The ending was a bit flat – And I don’t mean that in the way it sounds.  I don’t think anyone expected the tap out at the point it happened, considering how ROH matches usually go.  Once people put together that the dropkick to the floor was an injury angle and that Richards was tapping out because of it, they reacted loud.  Despite being purposefully-douchey heels, reDRagon gets a great reception in Ring of Honor.  When the crowd was chanting for Edwards before the match started, Fish was flabbergasted – “He’s from Boston, I’m from freakin New York!” which got a great laugh.

As The Wolves licked their wounds and reDRagon celebrated getting their titles back, the lights flickered and the sirens blared again…Kingston and Homicide would hit the ring and give O’Reilly the same treatment as Evans:  A broken finger.  They announced that they came to “tear the company down” for some reason.  Now, Prince Nana signed these guys, so either A) He’s behind it or B) He’s terrible at his job.  I’m never a huge fan of the “tear the company down” gimmick, because the company is how these guys make a living.  Not to mention how many times in the past few years Homicide has shown up to defend ROH or at least remind us that it’s his house and he loves it.  Maybe Kingston brings some rage with him from the closing of CHIKARA or something?  This one has me interested to see how it plays out on TV and at future events moving forward.  I can’t imagine these guys work in just a twosome…

Buy/No Buy?

I’d call this one a solid buy.  Now if they include the taped for TV matches, it’s a much better deal.  A lot of things happened aside from the matches, and the action was all incredibly solid.

The Preview:

The ROH World Title tournament carries on and the ROH Tag Titles seem to be in flux…

The Shill:

As always, if you like what you read here, let me know in the comments or on twitter @sbfantom.  I sincerely would like to hear what people think and strike up some conversation!

Here to bring you Roundtable contributions for Raw, NXT and Ring of Honor where appropriate. Covering ROH and NJPW major events, be they live or PPV. Avid Smash Bros fan and player. Come find me @sbfantom on Twitter and join in on the fun.