Thought Zero – With Adam Cole and reDRagon crashing the NXT party, Ring of Honor risks slipping in my rankings of most enjoyable weekly hour of professional wrestling. Let’s see if they heed my warnings and step things up. I’m sure they are concerned. Ha.
- The first match is Jay White and Jonathan Gresham versus War Machine. Man, Gresham looks so small in there with those guys. White and Gresham attack to start, realizing they don’t have much of a chance going toe-to-toe with the IWGP tag team champs. And, sure enough, pretty quickly Hansen and Rowe are able to overpower them. Crowd-pleasing moment #1, Rowe body slams White. Then Rowe body slams Gresham onto White. And finally, Rowe body slams Hansen onto both White and Gresham. Fun carnage there.
- White and Gresham use their quickness to try to stay one step ahead, but War Machine’s power continues to get the best of them. The power versus speed dynamic does allow the match to feel like it is more back-and-forth than it actually is, which is a good thing. The crowd is invested in White and Gresham’s hope spots and occasional offensive flourishes.
- Crowd-pleasing moment #2 – Hansen does his back and forth splashes on White and Gresham. And then follows that with a double cannonball. Crowd-pleasing moment #3 – Hansen tosses Gresham to Rowe who catches him in mid-air. Then Hansen hits a springboard clothesline while Rowe hits a big German suplex. Nice. Crowd-pleasing moment #4 – Ray Rowe does the whole “block the forearms with my hard head” spot to both White and Gresham. Crowd-pleasing moment #5 – Ray Rowe kicking out at 2.5 after a brainbuster by Jay White and a 450 Splash by Jonathan Gresham. Crowd-pleasing moment #6 – Ray Rowe pop-up tossing Gresham into the air only for Hansen to catch him and hit a big powerslam for the victory.
- War Machine was hugely over with this crowd, and rightfully so. The crowd also busted out a “This is Awesome” chant which felt organic and then followed with a War Machine chant. After the match, Punishment Martinez comes out to destroy Jay White with a South of Heaven chokeslam while War Machine just walks away because they are badasses and don’t care about the schmo they just beat.
- Back from break and Caprice Coleman is complaining that his stuff isn’t there for his new Coleman’s Pulpit segment. I like Coleman, so let’s see where this goes. QT Marshall joins the announce team of Ian Riccaboni and Colt Cabana for some reason. Cabana doesn’t sound too annoying today, but I still probably prefer BJ Whitmer’s work from last week.
- Next up is Josh “The Goods” Woods versus Shane Taylor. This match was set up because Taylor attacked andpunched out Woods a couple weeks ago. There really isn’t much direction for either of these guys. Woods seems to be getting the Roman Reigns push where they are going to force him to be smiling face no matter what the crowds say. Meanwhile, Shane Taylor, the lesser member of his former team (the other being Keith Lee), appears to have lost 60 or so pounds, but is still doing the whole wrestling fat guy with a little talent schtick.
- Woods was able to get the victory with a roll-up after Taylor tried to use a chair. Post-match, Taylor attacked Woods, splashed him twice and then hit a right hand to knock him out. QT Marshall then hands Taylor an envelope full of cash (we assume, we never actually see the money), so apparently Marshall put a hit out on Woods. Why? No one knows.
- Before we get to the main event, they announce that Cody Rhodes’ opponent at Death Before Dishonor for the ROH championship will be Minoru Suzuki. We cut to Cody backstage who saw the announcement on the monitor the same time we did and he is not happy. He starts to throw a fit and we cut away. The little vignette for Suzuki was pretty well done I must say. They did a great job of introducing him to those fans who may not know of his work in Japan and made him seem like a very violent and scary dude.
- Next, we get an extended conversation with Kenny King. King talks about his experience on the Bachelorette program. I have never watched a second of any of those shows, so I had no idea he was on it. But it would make sense for ROH to promote any sort of mainstream popularity their wrestlers get. They also talk about his TV title match with Kushida that was interrupted by the Bullet Club and turned into a tag team match. This all leads up to the announcement that Kushida and Kenny King 2 will take place at Death Before Dishonor. I’m good with that.
- Main event today has the Young Bucks defending the ROH tag team titles against the Motor City Machineguns. Of course, this match is just too darn fast and creative to call, but it is a lot of fun. Just a couple things: Alex Shelley looks pretty crisp and awesome here and Chris Sabin looked quicker than he’s been. It is good to see these guys healthy again. The MCMGs brought the speed and the Jacksons matched it. Lots of innovative offense and interesting double team moves from both teams as you would expect. Another organic “This is Awesome” chant breaks out and it is definitely warranted. The match was a trainwreck spot fest, but it flowed very well. We didn’t get a finish though, as The Addiction came out and jumped both teams. I guess this was them living up to their promise of ruining the best wrestling on the planet or something.
- One final bonus thought – The Young Bucks have faced the Hardys and now the Motor City Machineguns. Apparently they are trying to wrestle every team that has ever influenced them. I can’t wait for the inevitable Young Bucks versus the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express match down the line.
Well, this show was pretty darn great. Two incredible matches, two storyline advancements, a cool introduction to Suzuki, and an extended look at Kenny King to really push him as a credible threat. I like what I see here, ROH. Keep it up. Until next week…
Tags: Jay White, Jonathan Gresham, Josh Woods, Kenny King, Minoru Suzuki, Motor City Machineguns, Punishment Martinez, Shane Taylor, The Addiction, War Machine, Young Bucks