SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
RING OF HONOR: MANHATTAN MAYHEM
MARCH 4, 2017
NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. AT HAMMERSTEIN BALLROOM
REPORT BY MICHAEL SOUZA, PWTORCH SPECIALIST
After the doors opened, there was a meet and greet featuring Will Ospray, Silas Young, Dragon Lee, Cody, and The Young Bucks. Cody and The Young Bucks had the longest by far. I was able to chat with Matt & Nick Jackson and they told me they really enjoyed their eight-man tag match on the second night of Honor Rising and were excited for their match that evening. They were very friendly, appreciative, and were extremely interactive with every fan they met. Really something awesome to see.
The audience was told that they are filming for future ROH television programming and online content. Silas Young is the guest commentator.
(1) Opening Match: Christoper Daniels defeated T.K. O’Ryan
Daniels opened the show with a promo putting over the history of Ring of Honor and the stars that got their start in the company. He was interrupted by The Kingdom with Matt Taven begging Daniels to retire already. This prompted a match between Daniels and O’Ryan which was a fun opener. A lot of outside interference from The Kingdom but Daniels hit the Best Moonsault Ever to pick up the win.
(2) Dalton Castle defeated Colt Cabana
Dalton and Cabana have some history so there was some heat between the two coming into this match. They started slow with a lot of comedy spots featuring Dalton’s boys and Colt heeling it up to Castle and the crowd. The fans were very much behind Dalton throughout the match and got a big reaction when he hit the Bang-a-rang off of a top rope reversal combination for the victory.
(3) ROH Television Championship Match: Marty Scurll (C) defeated Sonjay Dutt
Both wrestlers in this match performed extremely well and the crowd was split 50/50. Marty got in his classic offensive spots but was also really impressive in his mat work. Dutt matched Scurll’s pace and the two made for one of the best matches of the night. Scurll wins with the cross faced chicken wing submission.
(4) Dragon Lee defeated Will Ospray
I am not quite sure if words can describe the athleticism displayed by these two men in this match. Each wrestler was “as advertised” and took each other to the limit. Dragon Lee won the match but unfortunately the gentleman in front of me was standing up when the pinball occurred, but I believe it was a quick roll up. The crowd seemed a bit shocked that Dragon Lee got the win.
(5) ROH Tag Team Championship Match: Young Bucks (C) defeated Lio Rush & Jay White
Another fantastic match seeing a great mix of quality wrestling and comedy with the Bucks slipping on banana peel after banana peel at one point. The Bucks has the crowd in the palm of their hands and got one of the biggest pops of the night. Jay White and Lio Rush were both extremely impressive. White especially stood out to me as a future star. After all 4 men created chaos for a final few minutes of the match, Matt & Nick pick up the win.
After the match the lights went out and two people were heading towards the ring with music playing. The lights came back and it was MATT & JEFF HARDY! The crowd went absolutely insane. It was a special feeling to be a part of what felt like a really significant moment in a company’s history. The fans in the Hammerstein Ballroom knew it, and they reacted accordingly. Matt & Jeff want a match for the titles and The Young Bucks agree!
(6) ROH Tag Team Championship Match: Matt & Jeff Hardy defeated The Young Bucks (C)
And new!!!!!! Another amazing match with the crowd 100% invested from start to finish. The Bucks and Hardys have incredible chemistry and performed a very entertaining match. Matt hit the Twist of Fate followed by a Swanton Bomb from Jeff to pick up the win and earn the ROH Tag Team Championships. Following the match Matt told the fans that they had the whole wrestling world talking and that he and his brother have signed with Ring of Honor and will be competing at an upcoming pay per view and a television taping. They did not talk about how long they are signed for, so it is yet to be seen how long they will stick around. They will be defending their titles against The Young Bucks at Supercard of Honor in Lakeland, Florida during Wrestlemania, but not currently booked for anything after that. Regardless, it was a tremendous moment created by ROH for the live crowd and certainly created a buzz.
Intermission saw an opportunity to head downstairs for an impromptu meet and greet with Matt & Jeff Hardy.
(7) ROH Honor Battle Royal: Matt Taven wins an earns a future ROH World Title Shot
This was the only match on the card that fell a bit flat. A lot of rest spots (as you would imagine) with each wrestler involved getting in their signature spots. Some of the wrestlers involved were Cheeseburger, War Machine, The Kingdom, Chris Sabin, The Rebellion, Silas Young, the Tempura Boys, the Beer City Bruiser, and others.
(8) Cody & Hangman Page & Frankie Kazarian defeated The Briscoes & Jay Lethal
This was a good six-man tag match with a lot of action in and out of the ring. Cody is still heeling it up to the ROH crowd and it drew some serious heat. It was odd at first to see Kazarian with the Bullet Club logo on his trunks but he fit right in and worked very well with Cody and Page. Bullet Club gets the win but both teams looked extremely strong.
(9) ROH World Championship: Adam Cole (C) defeated Bobby Fish
In the weeks leading up to this event Ring of Honor has done a great job promoting this match as a big deal and it felt as such in Hammerstein Ballroom. The crowd was firmly behind Cole at the start but Bobby started to win some over during the match. Pretty straight forward from these two who kept a good pace and didn’t seem to rush anything. They told an awesome story that culminated with a Cole victory.
After the match Cole was joined by Cody, Hangman Page, and Frankie Kazarian to beat down Bobby Fish. This prompted The Briscoes to come out for the save and table was set up in the middle of the ring. As The Bullet Club gained the upper hand, BUBBA RAY DUDLEY appeared at the top of the stage! Bubba came to the ring, grabbed Cole, and put him straight through the table to a huge pop.
Bubba grabbed a mic and talked about New York City being his home and Ring of Honor reminding him a lot of ECW. Dudley continued by saying that he doesn’t want to end his career without competing here and that for now, he is with Ring of Honor as Bully Ray.
This was my first live Ring of Honor show and it was one of the most enjoyable wrestling shows I have ever experienced. Every match was exciting and different, the crowd was engaged throughout the night and really appreciated the efforts of each wrestler, and the surprises were incredible. A job well done all around.
NOW CHECK OUT THIS PRIOR ROH LIVE EVENT REPORT: 11/18 ROH in Liverpool, England: Scurll and Ospreay, TV Title match, memorable six-man main event, flimsy ring, comparison to ten years ago
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