Thought Zero – Before I write about this week’s Ring of Honor television, let me just say this: The Pittsburgh Penguins are Stanley Cup champions, baby!!! Wooooooooooooo!!!
1) Ring of Honor continues from the Global Wars tapings. The announcers today are Kevin Kelly, Nigel McGuinness, and special guest commentator Mark Briscoe. Mark Briscoe is always amusing on commentary, so I approve of this choice. To prove my point, very early into this show, Nigel states that Mark Briscoe once told him he is the most intelligent wrestler in the company. Mark concurs with that but also states that he can eat more hard boiled eggs in one sitting than any other wrestler in the company. That’s what I’m talking about.
2) First match is Moose versus the IWGP champion, Tetsuya Naito. Moose got to wrestle Okada recently before Naito won the belt, so they are pretty darn serious about giving Moose some big matches and learning opportunities. I am glad to see that.
3) Naito’s white suit with the crazy skull mask is pretty sweet looking. And, of course, he plays the dickish heel great as has been mentioned many times before.
4) Moose’s athleticism is amazing, but when he shows off his strength, it is fun to watch. Take, for example, a fall away slam on Naito outside the ring directly into the railing. That kind of shit is what gained Samoa Joe rabid followers in TNA. If he can play that up, just be dominantly strong but surprise his opponents with his agility and such, he would be pretty formidable at any event. But, I would like to change his finisher from the flipping spear. maybe he could resurrect the Pounce or something. (By the way, as I typed that, Moose almost killed Naito with a huge discus clothesline. Maybe that could be a finisher for him.)
5) Naito takes the victory with his reverse flip slop drop (whatever it is called). Good match which made Moose look very impressive but beaten by his lack of experience. That is a good trajectory for Moose, in my humble opinion. It sets up good matches, and is a very good long term storyline for his character.
6) Next match is the All Night Express versus Cheeseburger and Jushin Thunder Liger. I’m sorry for this, but Cheeseburger is wearing a mask and carrying a cheeseburger pillow, which is apparently filled with McDonald’s cheeseburgers that he is throwing to the crowd. And the crowd chants “This is awesome” at that entrance, but it actually the opposite of awesome.
7) ‘Burger and Grandpa Liger get way too much offense in before the All-Night Express take over and establish the squash nature of the match. Cheeseburger is your fast food in peril, and I just am not that thrilled with the All Night Express. Maybe I need to see them more against some better competition. Liger gets the hot tag and a superplex which is pretty impressive that he didn’t break a hip or something. I joke, but Liger is still pretty impressive with everything he can do at his age. And Cheeseburger eats the pin for his team (see what I did there? ha).
8) Now Roderick Strong comes out to trash talk Mark Briscoe to help sell their match at Best in the World. Nothing happens really, they just get in each other’s face. But Briscoe is still wearing the headset and gives the best line and delivery I’ve heard since William Regal called someone Sunshine. Strong gets up in Briscoe’s face and tries to act tough, so he starts to strip down to be ready for a fight, like wrestlers do. But he doesn’t get very far in that and Briscoe says, “Oo, you gonna unzip your jacket, huh?” Love it.
9) Kushida versus Kyle O’Reilly is the main event. But before that happens, Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness do a hard sell of the Best in the World PPV. While I am looking forward to Jay Lethal versus Jay Briscoe II, calling it the biggest rematch in professional wrestling might be a bit of a stretch. Hey, here is Silas Young to talk about ACH being a child and not a real man. Then he trash talks some with the fans until ACH comes out and hits him with a dive to outside. Okay, Silas Young’s shtick is pretty one-note, but this did have some energy. Plus, having ACH crowd surf out through the crowd after hitting his big dive onto Young was a pretty cool moment, I must say.
10) Okay, main event time. Rematch of the finals of the Super Junior Tournament a year ago. O’Reilly cuts a promo saying that he vowed he would DIE before losing to Kushida again. That’s a bit much, don’t you think, Kyle? I mean, especially since the outcomes are pre-determined? Really, if you saw you were scheduled to wrestle Kushida here at War of the Worlds and that you were penciled in to lose, would we have to charge Delirious with attempted murder? Anyway, a pretty good match between these two as you would expect. I’d like to say more about it, but I’m out of thoughts and this isn’t a Jay Lethal match or anything. But seriously, this is a good solid match which I enjoyed as someone who likes good ground based wrestling and submission styles. I just never got emotionally invested in it. Maybe if it was for Kushida’s title it would have meant more or been the finals in an important tournament. But as it was, it felt like a good match from the middle of a card (which in reality it was) instead of a television main event. For those keeping track, O’Reilly won with a rollup reversal of the hoverboard lock.
And with that, I’m out. I’ve got some celebrating to do with my fellow Penguin fans! Stanley Cup, baby!
Tags: All Night Express, Cheeseburger, Jushin "Thunder" Liger, Kushida, Kyle O'Reilly, Mark Briscoe, Moose, Tetsuya Naito