Thought Zero – Ring of Honor returns for another hour of some of the most enjoyable professional wrestling on the planet. And to balance that out, we will probably get some more BJ Whitmer foolishness. Let’s go!
1) The opening match features Toru Yano against Michael Elgin. Okay, this does not inspire confidence that it will be a good hour. I don’t care about the history between these two from the G1 Climax tournament. I just do not care about Michael Elgin these days. And Toru Yano just annoys me. Hopefully Elgin just squashes him quickly, but I don’t think that is going to happen.
2) The thing with Yano is that if he is going to be a comedy act, don’t involve him in serious matches. I know they try to play up Yano’s amateur and MMA background, but he comes across as just silly. And his insistence on playing with the turnbuckle pad is veering into George “The Animal” Steele territory, only without the possibility of Steele’s insanity causing him to rip your face off.
3) Elgin hits a sweet Falcon Arrow. That is a move that never seems to get a pinfall any more, but it is a visually striking move that looks like it would be very effective. I wish someone would build it back up into a finisher. I have liked how Seth Rollins has used it in transition off a superplex, but it still doesn’t get a pin. Okay, I’m done ranting about moves that should be treated better. I will just file the Falcon Arrow right next to the Death Valley Driver and the Michinoku Driver.
4) Elgin gets the pin finally after more turnbuckle shenanigans, low blow antics, and various other high jinks. An Elgin Bomb was what finally did it, in case you are curious.
5) Next up is a Proving Ground match between Dragon Lee (from CMLL) and Bobby Fish. They show highlights of Adam Page beating down Bobby Fish while Fish cuts a promo saying that Page is not a proven commodity and can not handle him. However, these clips seem to show otherwise. In fact, they are saying Bobby Fish has cracked ribs from that attack. Ring of Honor is really pushing Fish as a tough SOB.
6) Dragon Lee looks pretty impressive, with a nice array of high flying moves, ground-based moves, and some cool and quick suplexes (one impressive sequence included two rolling Northern Lights suplexes into a brainbuster). Lee gets the pinfall victory which means he will get a TV title match in the future. The match itself, in my mind, was brought down a few rungs due to the over-focus on Fish’s injured ribs. It just didn’t allow the match to flow and be as fast as it could have been. But it served its purpose, putting over Lee and making Fish appear vulnerable going into a TV title match against Adam Page next week.
7) Today’s main event is a six-man tag team tournament match between the Bullet Club and The Kingdom. The Bullet Club is being represented by Adam Cole and the Young Bucks. And after almost a year, Matt Taven brings out his new Kingdom – and it’s a couple guys I have never heard of, TK O’Ryan and Vinny Marseglia. Okay then.
8) The Kingdom starts off by taking out the Bullet Club. Then we went to commercial break. When we came back, the fortunes had changed and the Bullet Club had control, even hitting triple powerbombs to the ring apron. But, in pretty short order, The Kingdom takes over again. Then the Bullet Club again. This is quite the little back and forth match only with more contrived sequences. But hey, the Young Bucks are involved, so of course.
9) Finally we get former Kingdom-mates Adam Cole and Matt Taven going after each other one-on-one. I’ll be honest, it might have been a bit more dramatic if it hadn’t been a year since their falling out. In the end, The Kingdom wins and moves on in the tournament. There were some nice moves there at the end with TK O’Ryan hitting a pumphandle Greetings from Asbury Park (yes, add that move in the file I discussed in thought 3), Taven hitting Climax, and then Marseglia hitting a nice looking Swanton Bomb. Adam Cole and Matt Taven had a nice staredown at the end as well.
10) Overall, it was a good debut for this new Kingdom which has been formed in Matt Taven’s image. I am okay with them building up this new/old faction, but maybe starting them in this six-man tag tournament wasn’t the best idea. With so many guys out there, and so much going on in and around the ring, O’Ryan and Marseglia could not really stand out or differentiate themselves from anyone else. Let’s see how they continue on from this. But Taven, “Melvins” is not getting over, deal with it.
Until next week…
Tags: Adam Cole, Bobby Fish, bullet club, Dragon Lee, George "The Animal" Steele, matt taven, Michael Elgin, seth rollins, The Kingdom, TK O'Ryan, Toru Yano, Vinny Marseglia, Young Bucks