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Ring of Honor - 2023


Matt D

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@Matt Dshouting out Disorderly Conduct, DVDVR faves, Cult of WORLDWIDE~! heroes.

As a huge Skye Blue mark, I agree that her signature kick spin reversal move needs some work and maybe doesn't need to be in every match. She needs to incorporate some Gaea-style shotgun dropkicks, her whole spitfire character and her build are perfect for an explosive lower-body power move like that.

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  • Willie Mack vs Brian Cage: Yeah, this got pretty stupid by the end but I'd much rather see something stupid with two giant monsters than with just about anyone else if I have to see something stupid. You watch Brian Cage for the excess. Even I am not soulless. There's just about no one in the world he can do "excess" with better than Mack.  I don't rate this sort of thing, but I'll share popcorn with @Gordlowwhile watching it.
  • ZSJ vs Rocky Romero: Lots of close-up magic here, with a few big bursts as well. At times it almost got too cutesy but they never went over that line and by straddling it so closely, you ended up with some very fun stuff. Very natural opponents as Rocky gave Sabre a lot to work with. They've only had a few singles matches before so this felt pretty novel. Romero knew exactly who he needed to be for this one.
  • Workhorsemen vs Andretti/Darius: Workhorsemen should be the ROH tag champions probably, so... Darius showed me as much here as he's ever shown me. I think a lot of that was Henry and Drake but I liked how much of a struggle he made everything without making things seem contrived. They still got there but it took that much extra work. Here's the deal with Action: I just don't have room in my life for the guy. I am not giving him a fair shot and I know that, but I'm just full up. No room. Sorry pal. I am not going to take you seriously. There's not enough time in the world for Action Andretti. Try later.
  • Butcher/Blade/Kip squash: Nothing to say here. I don't like this specific act in ROH. I can't explain why. Again, B&B could be tag team champs and I'd be happier. But otherwise, there should be at least some guys who don't come over, no?

And I have 40 mins (and some big matches) left but that's it for now.

 

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I know we smart marks give puro themes a pass but come on, some of that shit is mad cheesy.  Every time Shibata’s theme hits, I get scared that somebody’s using J. Lo’s “If You Had My Love” or “Stay” by Lisa Loeb.

Yes, these are 25 - 30 year old references, fuck you.  😃

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17 hours ago, Technico Support said:

I know we smart marks give puro themes a pass but come on, some of that shit is mad cheesy.  Every time Shibata’s theme hits, I get scared that somebody’s using J. Lo’s “If You Had My Love” or “Stay” by Lisa Loeb.

Yes, these are 25 - 30 year old references, fuck you.  😃

Ain’t a damn thing wrong with that J.Lo song! Can we talk about the obnoxious hyper Dance Dance Revolution J-Pop themes?

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Tho not a piece of music I would find much interest in outside of the Wrestling bubble, I love Shibata's music. I deeply feel the calm before the storm dynamic. Shibata's simple no bullshit entrance is just wonderful. 

These empty arenas certainly distract the eye. Really awful visual seeing one disinterested dude locked into his phone screen surrounded by empty seats while matches are being had. The Arena taped shows often seem to fall into the Dark style match-match-match formula, which I find incredibly disappointing. Not shooting promos for inbetween the bouts always feels like a completely wasted opportunity to help get this roster over with the audience. It would also help the feel of the broadcast to show the commentators at some point early. Let them preview the show. It's also nice to see a few shots outside of the arena, discussing the city they're in. These little things help make the show feel more like a Live wrestling show rather than a collection of dusty old taped matches. I'm particularly worried about this show moving to the Collision events as these arena tapings have all fallen terribly flat. It's really a shame they can't economically move these tapings to a few of the smaller arenas in the East Coast or in hotter cities. Ppl need to see a hot crowd that knows who these guys are reacting to the matches. It'd help draw in the less familiar. Last time around, Universal didn't really provide much of that feeling either.

Speaking of disappointing, this show felt like a step back from last week's excellent offering. That said, enjoyed the Righteous v Dark Order, Sabre v Romero and Shibata v Coughlin. Athena v Kiera (with the fun post match fight), Kingdom v Infantry, Dante/Action v The Workhorsemen and the Kommander/Bandido/Vikingo v Jack Cartwheel (excellent showing)/Angelico/Serpentico bouts were all good. Brian Cage v Willie Mack was a bit disappointing after their previous bouts. Cage looked a bit weak and a bit sloppy here, but Willie seemed game. I have no interest in a Kip/Butcher/Blade squash. I like the trio fine, but I'm not so sure how three AEW enhancement talents squashing jay-brones on ROHTV serves much to paying subscribers. Similarily a Diamante enhancement match? I don't want to complain about Skye Blue getting reps, but we've seen a lot of her lately. I couldn't not skip that one. This show with all the skipping ran closer to an hour. I haven't skipped more than a couple matches previous to this week. So, yeah, sorta disappointing week of ROHTV, but still some nice action. Maybe disappointing is a bit strong and too much a reaction to this terrible audience visual - I'm getting flashbacks to dying days AWA. The one measley promo they gave us with Sabre and Joe was very good, and I'm excited to see this bout building. Fucking right Sabre v Joe!

Edited by HarryArchieGus
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Not a must see but that Skye Blue vs Trish Adora match was actually pretty good. I thought it was going to be a quick squash since Trish didn't get an entrance but there was a budding story there. Apparently Trish has joined the NJPW dojo and has been stripped down to the beginning. She's a pretty decent technician so I think some polishing with Rocky is going to do her some good. It was pretty competitive and both women looked really strong at the end.

We've seen Athena vs Keira probably 3 times before so not much new here other than Athena being a little more brutal this time around. It seems like Keira had some spots that were meant to come across as receipts but the timing was off or she didn't fully connect and it really didn't look impactful at all. They seem to be pushing for a rubber match with how Athena stole the win and the post match brawl. 

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From Jacob Cohen's twitter

The new board of directors for ROH are Stokely Hathaway and Jerry Lynn. So their roles are matchmaking and ruling authority, but Tony Khan can overrule those two.

 

 

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Just finished watching the other night's show and I thought it was pretty good as usual. My MOTN was Sabre Jr vs. Rocky. Shibata vs. Coughlin was a close second.

Athena continues to roll as champion but it was nice to see her almost get put in her place by Keira in the post match. They have some good chemistry so I'd like to see more of them fighting.

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22 minutes ago, HarryArchieGus said:

Anybody have a non-spoiler match listing from the Sunday tapings?

  • Mark Briscoe vs Anthony Henry
  • AR Fox, Action Andretti, Darius Martin vs Sonny Kiss, Slim J, JVSK
  • Matt Sydal vs Zack Clayton
  • Embassy vs Cheesburger, Eli Isom, Macrus Kross (Proving Ground)
  • Kingdom vs El Cobarde y El Dragon
  • Kiera Hogan vs Robyn Renegade
  • Skye Blue vs Viva Van
  • Shane Taylor and the Workhorsemen vs Dark Order
  • Mercedes Martinez vs Vertvixen
  • Tony Nese vs Serpentico
  • Lee Moriarty vs Griff Garrison
  • Fenix vs Gravity
  • Nick Comoroto vs Deimos (w/Teal Piper)
  • Stu Grayson & the Righteous vs Dalton Castle & the Boys
  • Samoa Joe vs Matt Sydal (TV Title)
  • Miranda Alize vs Notorious Mimi
  • Tracy Williams & Rhett Titus vs Iron Savages
  • Dralistico vs Willie Mack
  • Willow Nightingale vs Rachael Ellering (NJPW Strong)
  • Christopher Daniels vs Kyle Fletcher
  • Diamante vs Teal Piper
  • Athena vs Trish Adora (Proving Ground)
  • Embassy vs AR Fox, Action Andretti, Darius Martin (6 Man Titles)

It's not as exciting of a taping as the previous one. Some good stuff but a lower floor, I think.

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Aren't ROH tapings going to be with Collision going forward?  I'm really curious as to how that is going to work, considering the sheer volume of matches they seem to put with all of these tapings in addition to a live Collision show.  That could easily be a 4-5 hour commitment on a Saturday night, unless they trim it down.

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4 hours ago, Matt D said:
  • Mark Briscoe vs Anthony Henry
  • AR Fox, Action Andretti, Darius Martin vs Sonny Kiss, Slim J, JVSK
  • Matt Sydal vs Zack Clayton
  • Embassy vs Cheesburger, Eli Isom, Macrus Kross (Proving Ground)
  • Kingdom vs El Cobarde y El Dragon
  • Kiera Hogan vs Robyn Renegade
  • Skye Blue vs Viva Van
  • Shane Taylor and the Workhorsemen vs Dark Order
  • Mercedes Martinez vs Vertvixen
  • Tony Nese vs Serpentico
  • Lee Moriarty vs Griff Garrison
  • Fenix vs Gravity
  • Nick Comoroto vs Deimos (w/Teal Piper)
  • Stu Grayson & the Righteous vs Dalton Castle & the Boys
  • Samoa Joe vs Matt Sydal (TV Title)
  • Miranda Alize vs Notorious Mimi
  • Tracy Williams & Rhett Titus vs Iron Savages
  • Dralistico vs Willie Mack
  • Willow Nightingale vs Rachael Ellering (NJPW Strong)
  • Christopher Daniels vs Kyle Fletcher
  • Diamante vs Teal Piper
  • Athena vs Trish Adora (Proving Ground)
  • Embassy vs AR Fox, Action Andretti, Darius Martin (6 Man Titles)

It's not as exciting of a taping as the previous one. Some good stuff but a lower floor, I think.

Yeah, very Dark. I’m hoping some of the names I’m unfamiliar with are pleasant surprises. I’m not so hasty as to drop the subscription over a bad show, but I’m not into paying for Dark and it has been leaning that way. Too many boring squashes (as opposed to fun squashes) and uncompetitive matches creeping in. Again, don’t want to be hasty as there’s some potentially neat looking stuff here, and it helps greatly if they properly spread out the action with some promos. Or maybe they’ll  put a bit of effort into some video packages. A lot of selling of talent opportunities being missed on the reg.

Im also a bit fearful of this straight man/funny man board of directors team of Mr JL and Stokley. I very much hope on screen authority figures don’t start eating up tv time. 

1 hour ago, StuntmanCrowley said:

Aren't ROH tapings going to be with Collision going forward?  I'm really curious as to how that is going to work, considering the sheer volume of matches they seem to put with all of these tapings in addition to a live Collision show.  That could easily be a 4-5 hour commitment on a Saturday night, unless they trim it down.

That wouldn’t be uncommon to the overstuffed Dark/Dynamite/Rampage tapings. Which generally resulted in dead ‘Friday night’ crowds. As much as they grow and learn from their mistakes, overstuffing shows and draining out crowds is a lesson they refuse to learn. A bit of a pass for the economics, but crowd heat is often a selling point of the Khan promotions. It feels like the difference between a good and weak crowd results in a product with a variance between ecw and wwecw. Tho actual product wise it’s a bit too harsh a comparison.

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46 minutes ago, Curt McGirt said:

Heh.

The feud started when Gravity said Fenix and Penta could potentially have been AEW trios champions, if they could have found a third guy to team with.

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32 minutes ago, AxB said:

The feud started when Gravity said Fenix and Penta could potentially have been AEW trios champions, if they could have found a third guy to team with.

I already gave this a "laugh" reaction, but goddamn does this need more recognition than that.

Fucking brilliant joke!

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So is Shibata back or close to 100% now to be working like this? Does he even get checked or cleared by doctors? I know some wrestlers have made some pretty miraculous comebacks before, but it sounded like his injuries were pretty dire. 

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It is interesting how many people on TK’s payroll are folks that were thought to have career ending injuries. There are prob more but Danielson, Christian and Saraya immediately come to mind. Presumably, every case is unique, but you wonder if it was mainly over-cautious WWE doctors/lawyers/Vince keeping them on the shelf, just healing over time or another answer? 

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Commuted in for the first time this week so I finished last week's show.

  • The Bandido/Vikingo/Komander vs Cartwheel/SAP match was the most Nitro 6-man lucha match I've seen AEW run maybe. It was a little more grounded than those with the pairings but once it broke down, it really broke down. I would have liked it to follow more of a CMLL style of a clear beatdown after things broke down, but I get why it didn't. Cartwheel has a good act in small doses but I wouldn't want to spend a lot of time watching him. He's best as the world's most dynamic Brady Boone as an enhancement guy, basically. Still, this was undeniably entertaining.
  • Shibita vs Coughlin was very interesting. Look, I haven't seen a ton of Shibata's big NJPW matches, just a few, but I think he greatly benefits from shorter matches. It gives him more of a dominant UWF feel which is very unique to 2023 TV wrestling. He came off like a monster on the mat, driving those initial rope breaks. There's a sense of inevitability. He even got me once when he burst out of the corner after being chopped. I want to see Danielson vs Shibata but only if Shibata wrestles like this and Danielson has to somehow overcome it. As the match went on, Coughlin leaned on his strength effectively, but he was doomed from the start and we all knew it.
  • Athena vs Hogan was good, especially once she wrenched the arm and started to pick it apart. The real joy of this one was the post match though. They're running it back but it's a shame the match won't have a gimmick. With Willow winning the NJPW strong title, I also don't see an endgame for Athena's title. They should just keep it on her for the next year.
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Solid opener from Fletcher/Daniels.  Clayton/Sydal was too short but nice while it lasted, feel like they could have a pretty good longer match. Dralistico/Willie was pretty awesome with Mack having another great showing in defeat.

Love having multiple live appearances from Coach Tony K, but the whole board of directors deal feels rather unnecessary thus far at least, especially when Tony made all the announcements anyway. I generally can't stand hathaway, so I hope this is kept limited and not used as more of a weekly authority figure role.

Great to see Rachael Ellering here as I was a huge fan of her too brief run in Impact. She didn't get to show a ton here but thought she looked pretty good. Equally great to see Vertvixen, and getting an entrance at that. Nice little match with Mercedes.

fun Embassy squash. Welcome back Griff Garrison.  Enjoyed Kiera vs Robyn and the attempted not quite twin magic. Great post-match continuing the Athena/Kiera feud I am loving.

Mike Bennett seemed to get the Fight Without Honor wounds reopened and was covered in blood 2 minutes in, cool visual and a nice win to strongly put over for the Kingdom. 

Liked the presentation and special introduction for Gravity and a very good showcase main event with Fenix. 

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  • Fletcher vs Daniels: I love Fletcher's hammerlock hook set up. I kind of wish he'd do it from a reverse DDT position with the arm under the body and just go back with it into a cutter/facebuster sort of thing because I think that'd look gnarlier than his fall forward tombstone thing. I respect Daniels. I think a lot of the "floaty" issues he had for much of his career have sorted themselves out with age crumpling his natural athleticism (unbridled athleticism can be bad and make things seem less organic/natural/gritty? Gasp!). But I never have anything to say about his matches really.
  • Clatyon vs Sydal: Only thing to mention here is that I love how Clayton took the meteora. It's one of the iffiest moves in wrestling because it involves the opponent to sit up in a way that they never actually do in the course of any other match, but Clayton sold the damage to the neck in a way that it seemed like he was fighting to even sit up as opposed to just looking like an idiot and waiting for his opponent.
  • Dralistico vs Mack was pretty good. This has been a show of relatively even guys. I liked the comeback spot with the headstand a lot. It just felt big. Indirect interference finish here was probably the right call.
  • Willow vs Rachael was solid. They put over her strength and power well enough and I hope she stays around in ROH. They had put Willow front and center in the graphic hyping this which shows that they have a better sense of what they (kind of sort of) lucked into so I was a little surprised this wasn't the main event. Has Willow used the camel clutch before? It's a natural for her visually and a weird before-the-fact Iron Sheik tribute. There was no Sheik tribute on AEW right? That was kind of weird.
  • Embassy vs Eli/Cheeseburger/Kross was a fine competitive squash. Some of the tandem stuff is coming along with the Gates. Nigel saying Kross was Landel's illigitmate kid was funny The Dragonball thing seemed like a way for him to get over and that's gone so maybe he should work a Buddy Landel gimmick.
  • Martinez vs Vertvixen mainly made me want an actual program for Mercedes. I'd be for the Athena II match or Willow getting a win back against her for NJPW Strong but I'd rather have something based on a non-title storyline, be it with Alize or Lady Frost or Skye Blue or anyone really.
  • Great to see Garrison back as he was the one with the upside in the blonds but he looked to have some ring rust here maybe? Maybe the chemistry just wasn't there with Moriarty? Not sure. More later!
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On 6/7/2023 at 6:54 AM, odessasteps said:

It is interesting how many people on TK’s payroll are folks that were thought to have career ending injuries. There are prob more but Danielson, Christian and Saraya immediately come to mind. Presumably, every case is unique, but you wonder if it was mainly over-cautious WWE doctors/lawyers/Vince keeping them on the shelf, just healing over time or another answer? 

Probably both, combined with the lighter schedule.  Danielson is the most notable name from that list and, aside from the PPV, when was his last match?

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