Thought Zero – I apologize for the delay in this Ten Thoughts. Apparently, my DVR did not recognize the ROH show to record (possibly due to the listing showing it as a show from 2010), but it replays on Comet TV on Wednesday night, so here goes nothing.
1) I know the ROH television shows are not live, but today we venture back a couple months to the February ROH/NJPW Honor Rising shows. Pat Metalhead already reviewed both of those shows better than I ever could (see http://insidepulse.com/2016/02/19/njpwroh-honor-rising-day-1-full-review-ishii-vs-strong-naito-and-lethal-vs-okada-and-yoshi-hashi-shibata-and-redragon-vs-omega-and-young-bucks/ and http://insidepulse.com/2016/02/20/njpwroh-honor-rising-day-2-full-review-lethal-vs-honma-the-elite-vs-yano-and-the-briscoes-los-ingobernables/), so these thoughts might be a bit less specific and more think-y, if you will.
2) The first match we see is Dalton Castle and Ryusuke Taguchi versus Jushin Thunder Liger and Matt Sydal. I think I like Taguchi’s cape better than Castle’s. The green is less tacky.
3) Liger is great as the taunting face. Using Castle’s Boys to help him pose was pretty fun. Also, Liger moves pretty well for an octogenarian. Oh yeah, Sydal gets the pin after a cool reverse hurricanrana and a Shooting Star Press.
4) Next match is Gedo versus Delirious. It has been a while since I have seen Delirious, so I am actually intrigued by this match. And, surprisingly, Kevin Kelly announces this is Delirious’ Ring of Honor television debut. Anyone who is a fan understands that crazy is big part of professional wrestling’s history and culture. Many gimmicks rely on insanity as a part of the character to various degrees, but other than George “The Animal” Steele, I can’t recall anyone who commits to the lunacy as well as Delirious.
5) The best part of the Delirious gimmick is that he is a very solid wrestler behind all the crazy. They play up the gibberish and humor factor, but he really holds his own with anyone in the ring.
6) ROH is doing some cool behind the scenes stuff with their guys in Japan. We saw some of the ring preparation earlier and an extended piece with Dalton Castle on the streets of Japan. It seems that the company really had fun on this trip. Like a genuine “we are so happy to be here” vibe.
7) Roderick Strong versus Tomohiro Ishii for the ROH TV title. Obviously, we know Roddy loses the belt here, but given that I am not a big fan of Strong I am looking forward to seeing this match. Also, Bobby Fish was backstage prior to the match getting into Roddy’s head in a cool bit. In a way, it is sort of disappointing that they went for the title change here, because they were doing a great job with the storyline of Fish messing with Strong’s head. Maybe ROH will return to that at some point, but it was working for me in a big way.
8) Big props to Ishii for taking that throw into the edge of the ring apron. That looked extremely painful. I know it was the storyline of the match and Ishii did a great job of selling it, but still. Ow.
9) Interesting situation here in that the commentary, in conjunction to Strong’s actions in the ring, made me appreciate him a little more. Let me explain. Strong is acting extremely heelish in this match and the crowd is booing his actions. This leads to Kevin Kelly and Mr. Wrestling 3 talking about how Roddy gets “rabbit ears” when the fans get on him. They continue by talking about how Strong thinks he is the best wrestler ever and that in his mind everything he does should be cheered. This also ties into the mind games Bobby Fish had been playing with him. Is Roderick Strong actually that good and subtle in his portrayal? Or has Ring of Honor just stumbled on something that looks like it could work with his normal lack of charisma?
10) Another hard bump outside the ring by Ishii on a belly to back suplex to the floor. It looked a little sloppy but still wicked painful. Ishii’s stalling superplex is damn impressive too, I must say. Overall, an excellent match. Ishii came across like a true badass and Strong’s ego proved to be his downfall. I can always count on Ring of Honor (and New Japan) to raise my wrestling spirits.
Until next week…
Tags: Dalton Castle, Delirious, Gedo, Jushin "Thunder" Liger, Matt Sydal, Roderick Strong, Ryusuke Taguchi, Tomohiro Ishii