Thought Zero – Ring of Honor in the middle of summer. The set of tapings here happened a few weeks ago in Cabarrus, NC. I was right next door in Charlotte the day of the show, but had to head back to Virginia before the show began. It sort of stunk, but adulting is hard.
- We start off with Frankie Kazarian coming to the ring to complain about the fans not showing any respect to Christopher Daniels during the 2 out of 3 championship match last week. He calls the crowd liars and that the fans aren’t here to watch the best wrestling on the planet but here to throw streamers. On queue someone throws a streamer with deadly accuracy right past Kazarian’s face which gets a huge laugh and cheer from the crowd. Kazarian ends his rant by saying he is going to destroy everything the fans love about Ring of Honor and calls them “stupid marks” as he leaves. Pretty effective promo, and if the crowd was split before, they are now thoroughly against The Addiction.
- Punishment Martinez versus Flip Gordon is the first match tonight. Flip has a new entrance theme (did he ever have one before?) and entrance video (did he ever have one before?)? Ian Riccaboni is making a big deal about Flip being from Montana (who cares) and that he was in the military. Punishment Martinez does not look impressed.
- Flip uses his quickness to avoid a bunch of offense from Martinez, but just hits chops which do nothing. Eventually, Martinez just casually catches Gordon on a dive through the ropes to the outside and attempts a chokeslam on the floor. Can you guess what happens next? That’s right! Flip flips out of it and escapes for the moment.
- Gordon’s good luck doesn’t last long as Martinez kicks him around hard and turns him inside out with a clothesline to knock him right into a commercial break. Back from break and Martinez is still just tossing Gordon around. Gordon’s offense doesn’t seem to be doing much. But then…
- Gordon catches Martinez with a series of moves which get the crowd going crazy. To wit, he hit a springboard sling blade which was awesome then followed up with a big frog splash. After that, he did a great Matrix-style dodge of a big kick and then picked up Martinez to hit a flipping Samoan drop followed up with an Asai moonsault. He then hit a Kinder Surprise (a superkick off the top rope) and then climbed the ropes and hit him with a huge dive.
- Martinez then caught Gordon with a big boot in the corner and a throwing falcon arrow. Gordon somehow kicked out at two for that. Then Martinez missed his own springboard flipping diving move and Gordon hit a beautiful standing shooting star press. Eventually, Gordon hit two chops, but Martinez CAUGHT a third one and then blasted him with an elbow. The finish came with Martinez, on the second rope, catching Gordon, who had jumped to the top rope, hitting a super South of Heaven chokeslam for the victory. Excellent match between two guys who should be huge stars very soon.
- Jay White jumps Punishment Martinez as he is walking to the back. Very poor sportsmanship there, Jay White. I know they keep pushing this program, but isn’t it almost time for White to be recalled to NJPW? Let’s give Martinez a definitive victory over a game Jay White and then let him go over and have a bunch of 4 star matches with the NJPW guys.
- Oh boy, Cheeseburger. He is fighting Rhett Titus. The amount of interest I have in this match is indescribably small. However, if they want to try get the crowd to care about Rhett Titus, destroying Cheeseburger is not a bad way to go. Titus has full control of the match until Cheeseburger reverses a Razor’s Edge (in a sloppy bit) and then hits a palm strike in the corner. A distraction from Will Ferrara allows Titus to hit a big boot and then a sloppy frog splash for the win. Afterward we are teased with a possible Titus/Ferrara partnership, which wouldn’t be the worst thing for both guys, as long as they got away from Cheeseburger.
- Main event time is for the ROH TV title as Kenny King challenges the champion Kushida. This should be a very good match and one that I’ve been excited about since it was announced. Kenny King does the code of honor handshake at the beginning which is always nice to see. King looks really good with his more unique offense and less kicking and punching. Kushida is, of course, Kushida, one of the best in the world.
- The match was even and exciting and then Marty Scurll and Hangman Page charged the ring and attacked both guys. I guess the match got thrown out. But Kenny King grabs a mic and calls Page and Scurll the Bullet Club B-team. King then challenges the Bullet Club to a match between he and Kushida. And it’s on. Well, that was very WWE of them. I would have rather had this match separately instead of replacing a very good TV title match, but you can’t argue with getting a bonus Marty Scurll match. The match was awesome as you would expect, especially the Kushida/Scurll sequences. Kenny King gets the win with the Royal Flush on Hangman Page. I guess that is one way to get King the bump without sacrificing Kushida.
You know, the fact that Ring of Honor can pull off an ultra-exciting hour of television like this, and you see NXT doing so much with an hour a week, you have to wonder if WWE is actually paying attention to their 3 hour plus Raw and insanely long PPVs. If you get a chance to check out this episode of ROH, do so. You will not be disappointed.
Until next week.
Tags: bullet club, Cheeseburger, Flip Gordon, Frankie Kazarian, Hangman Page, Jay White, Kenny King, Kushida, Marty Scurll, Punishment Martinez, Rhett Titus, The Addiction