SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
– An overall “hit” for ROH and their pre-match promos during the introductions. Some may be better than others, but as a whole, this is a great feature of ROH wrestling and I heartily approve.
– THE BRISCOES VS. REY HORUS & BANDIDO
Leading off this “Death before Dishonor” go home show, this match lined up as a winner. After the mid-ring handshake, the wrestlers got right after it despite some mix-ups between Horus and Bandido as to who would step in the ring first. Jay Briscoe and Bandido got into some good, fast action in the more high-flying style, but unfortunately just as things were heating up, we went to break. Not good advertisement placing here. Plus, if I have to sit through one more Ric Flair Car Shield spot, which is what airs on the ROH channel, I may just have to run into the street screaming. That said, after the break, the action continued pretty hot and heavy with Bandido and Horus selling the big impact shots by the Briscoes.
Through the middle section of the match, the pattern was Horus and Bandido hitting some big spots only to be stopped in their tracks by huge shots from the Briscoes. It got a bit redundant, but was effective, as it allowed everyone to shine. The pace remained high as the match moved into its third phase as the power and brutality of the Briscoes overcame the speed and talent of Horus and Bandido.
This match was a very good 12 minutes. It was well thought out and booked and told a good internal story of these four wrestlers going at it. A strong “hit” to start of the show.
– WILL FERRARA VS. JOSH WOODS
This match was wrestled under the “pure” rules so going in you know what you will be getting. Lots of mat and chain wrestling. The story of this match was the obvious size difference between the two wrestlers with Woods easily 40 pounds or so heavier than Ferrara and added the extra little bit of the champion (Jonathan Gresham) who Woods would be facing at Death Before Dishonor on commentary. Interestingly, while a bit thicker than Ferrara, Gresham is also much shorter than Woods (as was Ferrara), setting up the visual between Woods and Gresham in their championship match. While this style of match is not everyone’s cup of tea, I like the “cleanliness” of the action and shows off the “wrestling talent” rather than then big kicks and strikes of non-Pure matches.
This match was really just about setting up the championship match between Gresham and Woods and the two even shook hands (with a blown kiss by Gresham to a smiling Woods) in the aisle after the match. The action was fine, and as a Pure-style fan, I would give this match a mild “hit,” mostly because it did its job of setting up the championship match.
LA FACCION INGOBERNABLE (KENNY KING & DRAGON LEE) VS. VLNCE UNLTD (HOMICIDE & CHRIS DICKINSON)
This match is for the tag team championship and was moved from the PPV to the TV show. Will be interesting to see if it lives up to its potential PPV ranking. Quick note here: in the pre-match promo, Dickinson totally outclassed Homicide.
Early on, this match seemed to miss having a crowd as the action was kind of plodding and a crowd would have helped things. (A note here, according to a few websites, it appears that ROH will not be taping in front of an audience for a little while yet. I am hoping they can get in front of an audience soon, in a safe way,) Once Dragon Lee tagged in the action picked up both due to Dragon’s offense and his selling. Kenny King does not move well, and he looks tentative in there, while Dragon Lee is dynamic in most of what he does. Against two big bruisers like Homicide and Dickinson, you need two good movers to keep the action moving, especially in the non-crowd environment.
As the match moved towards its conclusion, the action picked up appreciably with at times all four wrestlers in the ring and plenty of big moves with high impact. The match was carried at this point by Dragon Lee and Homicide, until the very end when Lee and Dickinson took over exchanging strikes while Homicide and King were out cold on the floor. Ultimately Dragon Lee was able to hit his Lights Out finisher on Dickinson to get the win and win the Tag Team Titles.
This match was very middle of the road, mostly because Kenny King has a way to go in tightening up his move set, however, I would say that this match tips into the Hit category by like 52 to 48.
– A pretty good PPV go-home show this week, with no “misses” and a couple of strong “hits.” A very enjoyable hour of wrestling.