10 Thoughts on … Ring of Honor July 2, 2016 (A “Best of 2016” Show; 3-Team Philly Street Fight, AJ Styles)

Thought Zero – Today ROH TV is celebrating their 250th episode. They will be showing some of their favorite matches from 2016 so far.

1) Match number 1 is Bobby Fish versus Tomohiro Ishii from Global Wars. I’ve never seen this whole match, so let’s see what is in store. Bobby Fish doesn’t look intimidated by Ishii’s badassery and is using a series of kicks to wear Ishii down. But that doesn’t last for long as Ishii delivers some very hard chops.

2) Ishii’s nickname is the Stone Pitbull. I’m not sure I understand it. A pitbull can be a ferocious little dog, so I get that part. And if you are tough like stone, I can understand that (“Hands of Stone,” “Stone Cold,” etc). But if you put the two words together, you basically get a small little lawn ornament that just sits there and doesn’t do anything. I mean, how dangerous does “garden gnome” sound as a nickname, because that is roughly the same as a stone pitbull. Either that or 14 pounds of a lousy rapper.

3) I like Bobby Fish. I think he is a good wrestler and was showing some good character development when he was trolling Roderick Strong a few months ago. But in this match, his whole offensive strategy seemed to be kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, sleeper hold. Not the most original offense. This whole match just seemed like ROH needed the belt off Ishii instead of a great performance by Fish to win it. I’m not quite sure that match would qualify as a best of anything, much less best of 2016.

4) Match #2 is Mark and Jay Briscoe versus Michael Elgin and Hiroshi Tanahashi from the 14th Anniversary Show. I can see how Elgin’s power moves got him over in New Japan, but I am still not a big fan. And with Tanahashi, I guess I am a little burned out on him as well. Although, I could watch him hit sling blades on guys all days. As for the Briscoes, while they are not normally the guys I am cheering for, there is no question they bring high energy every time they wrestle.

5) The segments of the match with Jay Briscoe versus Tanahashi are the most interesting to me. I could see that built up into a big time match down the line. Not even for a championship or anything, but just two standard-bearers of their respective promotions, add in some personal beef between the two, and you’ve got yourself a main event.

6) Elgin disappeared for a while and then Tanahashi disappeared for a while. For a couple guys who have been teaming up quite a bit lately, it sure felt like two singles wrestlers going against a tag team with lots of double team moves and stuff. And for me, the tag team should always win that battle.

7) And because I wanted to see the Briscoes win, of course Tanahashi and Elgin win. They looked a little more like a team in the last couple minutes, but only because they completely ignored any semblance of tag wrestling and Elgin and Tanahashi just stayed in the ring double teaming to their heart’s content. I’ve seen better matches from all four of these guys. Even just in 2016. Oh well, this show is rapidly becoming the “Okayish matches of 2016.”

8) Next we see part of the Fight Without Honor between Silas Young and Dalton Castle. This Fight Without Honor was WWE PG-level. The best part of it was that it ended the interminable feud between those two. Yet another match which doesn’t live up to “best of” hype.

9) Main event time is a three-way tag team Philly street fight from January between reDRagon, The Kingdom, and the Young Bucks. The Young Bucks attack reDRagon on the ramp and we’re off. The Kingdom is represented by Adam Cole and Michael Bennett today (nice to see Bennett and Maria Kanellis again. Hopefully they are doing okay in the wasteland that is TNA). Way too much action to call, lots of superkicks, chairs, a shopping cart, tables, ladders, and just general chaos. Mr. Wreslting 3 with a funny comment, “It’s amazing what you can find in South Philadelphia.” Ha.

10) The Young Bucks spend about 45 minutes setting up a table outside the ring while the Kingdom and reDRagon crush each other in the ring. Which of course leads to the Jackson brothers running roughshod over everyone in the ring after. Kevin Kelly eats a superkick during the chaos and everyone winds up knocking each other down with some pretty sick looking spots. Kyle O’Reilly and Adam Cole fight to the back leaving two of the three teams with only one team member. The Young Bucks take advantage of this with several double team moves plus the assistance of AJ Styles (who hit a very nice looking Bloody Sunday on Michael Bennett). This was a crazy brawl with things happening everywhere at once. These teams all know each other well and work together well, which is really the only way you can pull a match like this off. I can definitely see someone thinking this match was one of the “best of 2016 so far,” so they ended on an up note.

Next week, ROH returns to regular programming and they discuss the results of Best in the World. Until then…

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