ROH: Back on TV with a dynamite first show
MATT MACKINDER - SLAM! Wrestling
Ring Of Honor is back on TV. This is a good thing, for sure. For fans of professional wrestling, I suggest you tune in to your local Sinclair Broadcast Group channel each weekend. For those that want the "other stuff," wait until Monday night.
The show has a very ECW-like feel to it - small arena, loud fans, chants, you get the picture. Tonight's show is from the Frontier Fieldhouse in suburban Chicago.
While Dave Prazak and Mike Hogewood are no longer our commentators, we now get Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness. Nigel, or "Desmond Wolfe" for you Thursday night fans, gets introduced to start the show and puts over ROH in an in-ring interview with Kelly.
Match #1 - Future Shock (Adam Cole & Kyle O'Reilly) vs. The Bravado Brothers (Lancelot & Harlem)
Tag action at its best. I wish this one went longer, but a seven-minute opener works for me. Cole and O'Reilly have great chemistry and the Bravados are underrated.
Cole and O'Reilly get the win after Ride The Lightning. O'Reilly hoists Harlem in a fireman's carry and Cole connects with a thrust kick. O'Reilly sets Bravado on his feet and while Cole kicks out his one leg from underneath, O'Reilly drills him with a clothesline. Cole covers and gets the three.
Winners via pinfall: Future Shock
Post-match, the Code of Honor is displayed as all four wrestlers shake hands.
Kelly hypes upcoming live ROH events and brings in ROH World champion Davey Richards. This reminds me 100 percent of interviews and promos Larry Nelson used to do about 25 years ago on AWA television shows on ESPN.
A quick recap of ROH's "Best In The World" iPPV tag team elimination match that saw Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin retain over the Briscoe Brothers, the All Night Express and the Kings of Wrestling is next. The Briscoes (heels now?) attacked the champs after the match with chairs. Davey winning the ROH gold over Eddie Edwards is also recapped. Just based on these two matches, this event looked like it was four stars.
Kelly then hosts a segment called "Inside ROH" where he and Jim Cornette explain the Code of Honor. Jay Lethal, who takes a poke at TNA, gets some air time as well talking about his return to ROH. Lethal gets a shot at El Generico's ROH World TV title next week.
More footage from the elimination tag match at "Best In The World" is next. Pretty sure this is the last we'll see Claudio Castagnoli in ROH as he is now Antonio Cesaro in WWE's developmental territory.
Nigel is ringside with a fan asking about tonight's main event with Haas and Benjamin defending against the Kings.
Match #2 - Wrestling's Greatest Tag Team (Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin) vs. The Kings of Wrestling (Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli w/ Shane Hagadorn and Sara Del Rey)
Kelly does another Larry Nelson bit and this time has the Briscoes in tow. Man, those dudes are ugly.
Back to the main event, which gets close to 20 minutes. Castagnoli puts Haas in the giant swing and Hero boots Haas for a close two. The Kings go for the KRS-1, but Benjamin breaks it up. Castagnoli gets knocked to the floor and then the champs finish off Hero with the World's Greatest Finisher (AKA the Hart Attack). Haas covers Hero and gets the duke.
Winners via pinfall ... and STILL ROH World tag team champions: Wrestling's Greatest Tag Team
So pumped that ROH is back. The show had great flow, kept me interested and made me proud to be a wrestling fan. 'Til next week, folks.
Matt Mackinder now has something to do at 11 p.m. on Sunday nights. Sleep is underrated anyway, right? Email Matt at firstname.lastname@example.org.