Thought Zero – This week on Ring of Honor television it is tag team goodness with a seven team gauntlet match. Let’s begin.
First match of the gauntlet is reDRagon versus Caprice Coleman and Will Ferrara. Still not sure what is going on with the Prince Nana envelope team. Commentary mentions challenges by Nana to Coleman and Ferrara, but nothing beyond that. Extended beatdown by reDRagon on Ferrara to start until a hot tag to Coleman who shows some fire. (Sorry, but the crowd appears to be very small and very quiet and it is actually distracting from the in-ring squash happening.) reDRagon with some good doubleteam work and Fish makes Ferrara tap out to a kneebar. Good opening squash for reDRagon, although the crowd’s lack of enthusiasm hurt it.
(2) – Next up is reDRagon versus The House of Truth (Joey Daddiego and someone named Chris LaRusso). LaRusso is apparently a martial arts expert AND a lawyer according to Truth Martini’s introduction. I don’t really see this working out well for him. And reDRagon takes turns just kicking the crap out of LaRusso, but they fail to sweep the leg and he makes a tag to Daddiego. The HoT takes over for a couple minutes, but then some heel miscommunication and Daddiego walks out on LaRusso. And of course, O’Reilly destroys the attorney and makes him tap. Chris LaRusso is no Daniel. (What? If they didn’t want me making Karate Kid jokes, they shouldn’t have given the kid that name.)
(3) – Third match of the gauntlet is reDRagon versus The Young Bucks. And the Young Bucks superkick LaRusso on the way to the ring. Ha. That was pretty funny. I have enjoyed every Young Bucks/reDRagon matchup I have seen over the past year and a half or so, but I don’t expect this one will live up those classics, simply due to the gauntlet stipulations. But the crowd finally woke up for the Jackson brothers, so that’s a good thing.
(4) – Fast paced and double teams galore as expected. Maybe I was wrong, as these two teams just keep laying it out there against each other. They work well together and every time I see them wrestle, I see moves I have never seen before. If they can keep innovating every time they wrestle each other, let them wrestle 100 more times. There is definitely a Midnight Express (reDRagon) versus Rock and Roll Express (Young Bucks) vibe here, but the Bucks don’t sell as consistently as a Ricky Morton.
(5) – This does appear to be a sped up version of their matches, I would say. And the announce team is trying to play up reDRagon being worn out after their first two matches, but honestly, the first two matches weren’t that taxing. Things break down a bit and the Bucks FINALLY hit a superkick. And it was a double superkick to O’Reilly. More Bang for Your Buck is next and the Young Bucks move on in the gauntlet. And so the best team is out of the running, but that’s okay by me. I’d like to see the champs hold onto the belts for a while before setting up a program between War Machine and reDRagon.
(6) – The Young Bucks move on to face Tim Hughes and Brutal Bob Evans. I really thought ROH had some better teams than this. It should give the fans a bunch of superkicks and make them happy at least. And yep, superkicks aplenty to start things off. After a few comedy spots (Hughes is actually pretty funny), the Bucks take the victory.
(7) – The Addiction is the next team in the gauntlet match. They jump the Young Bucks from behind to start things off and take control. And they have things well in hand until two separate superkicks give the Bucks a quick victory. Daniels and Kazarian are nothing but good sports though and proceed to beat down the Bucks before the next team makes their way down to the ring.
(8) – The final team in the gauntlet is Roppongi Vice. Daniels and Kazarian are still in the ring, and RPG Vice and The Addiction get into it. Mr. Wrestling 3 makes a good point, wondering why Romero and Baretta would even engage a team they weren’t even going to wrestle. Kevin Kelly tries to suggest they felt bad for the Bucks and were even sort of defending them and “stood up” for them. That’s a pretty big stretch there, Mr. Kelly.
(9) – Wow, this crowd is just dead for anything anyone does except for the Young Bucks. A couple guys in the crowd try to start a “This is awesome” chant, which it almost is, but the chant dies quickly. Pretty solid match between these guys, with Romero able to shine and keep up with the Bucks pace. The end comes with Baretta making a blind tag and they hit their Strong Zero finishing move. Sub-thought time!
9.A. I am cool with Roppongi Vice getting the tag team shot. They are a good team and we haven’t seen them around the title picture in a long while. So it feels fresh and that is a good thing.
9.B. Some of the teams in this gauntlet match were not really worthy of a tag title shot, I would say. Where was the All Night Express? Where were ACH and Matt Sydal? Where were the Briscoe brothers? Where were Silas Young and Beer City Bruiser (they’ve been teaming together lately)? Where were Dalton Castle’s Boys? Heck, where were the Motor City Machineguns? Lots of talent left on the sideline, but still a pretty fantastic way to spend an hour watching wrestling.
9.C. I don’t know if this match was on early or late, but the crowd was just dead. And that is a shame, because for at least four or five of these teams, they deserved more love than they got.
(10) – They end the hour hyping up the War of the Worlds shows starting next week with ROH and New Japan stars. And then, just to really push the hype button, they show the last few minutes of a match from last year between the Okada and Nakamura versus Jay and Mark Briscoe. And it was as awesome as you would think. I don’t remember seeing that match before, but given the talent involved in it, I can’t imagine it wasn’t anything but fantastic.
And with that, I bid you adieu. I’ll be back Thursday with another Fantasy Book column, so I’ll see you there…
Tags: Brutal Bob, Caprice Coleman, Chris LaRusso, House of Truth, Jay Briscoe, Joey Daddiego, Mark Briscoe, nakamura, Okada, redragon, Roppongi Vice, The Addiction, The Young Bucks, Will Ferrara