Notes In Observance – ROH Wrestling 11/9/16: All Hail The New Kingdom

Image provided courtesy of Ring Of Honor.

Image provided courtesy of Ring Of Honor.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez


“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows, Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.






(Aired 11/9/16)

All Hail The New Kingdom 

– The Toru Yano-“Unbreakable” Michael Elgin match was odd to say the least. Between Yano’s comedic cheap tactics and Elgin’s serious demeanor, something didn’t gel here. There was a subtle backstory that Elgin looked to get revenge on a countout loss against Yano in the G1 Climax Tournament that cost him two points, but this bout was more about hijinks, turnbuckle pad headshots and general silliness for us to care. It also seemed weird for Referee Todd Sinclair to simply let it go on and not even reprimand Elgin or Yano for their actions. Some decent near-falls towards the end, but even those were anticlimactic. Elgin’s win with use of the exposed steel, lariat and Elgin Bomb was fine for his “revenge” angle, but forgettable. A time killer if there ever was one.

– Dragon Lee had a great outing at All Star Extravaganza and this was a fine time to utilize him more, as we saw a hype video that showed highlights of that ASE encounter. This was all to hype his Proving Ground match against ROH World Television Champion Bobby Fish. To reiterate, Proving Ground matches involve an up-and-comer and a Champion where if the Champion is held to a time limit draw or a loss, the up-and-comer is promised a future Title shot. Thankfully that was ironed out for us later on by commentary. Sometimes, you’d think “Proving Ground” is just a fancy name.

– Speaking of Fish, he cut a great backstage promo that hyped his Title defense next week against Hangman Page of Bullet Club. Where we last left off, Page was determined to sideline Kyle O’Reilly and anybody associated with him, obviously Fish the biggest one. Fish’s mic work’s generally great but when it’s paired against a heel, it comes off even better. Fish’s supposed to be a protagonist against the wily Bullet Club. Let us root for him. His take on the promo questioned Page’s abilities to handle pressure while in the “wrong crowd” as he put himself over as somebody who turns in his best work when the lights shine the brightest.

– The Proving Ground match between Lee and Fish wasn’t the clinic it sounded to be on paper, but for the story it told and the result, we’ll give it big props. Fish came out with taped-up ribs as per his cracked rib injury at the hands of Bullet Club. At the same time, Lee looked smart to target those ribs and followed up with a chin lock at one point, to make breathing more difficult. Another highlight involved a missile-esque suicide dive from Lee. So much emphasis was placed on Fish’s sell of the ribs that it actually helped the match. Referee Paul Turner nearly called the match, but Fish carried on. The Champ appeared ready to close it out with the Fisherman Buster, but his ribs prevented him from getting all of the move and it transitioned into a package roll-up that gave Lee the surprise win. This was especially good because it gives something to look forward to with Lee’s character and also sold Fish’s vulnerability. This was an excellent hook for next week.

– Matt Taven’s backstage promo was last minute main event hype, which was fine, since there was the angle of the reveal of his “New Kingdom,” recreated in his image. He spoke about a “ticking clock” and how it signaled the end of Bullet Club. On the surface, this would make Taven appear to be a babyface, but more like a tweener. There was also the fact that this was Taven’s first match in nearly a year.

– The Six-Man Tag Team Tournament First Round match between ROH World Tag Team Champions The Young Bucks/ROH World Champion Adam Cole and The New Kingdom began with a dramatic entrance for The Kingdom, where it was revealed the new members included Vinny Marseglia and TK O’Ryan. On the surface, the reveal was a letdown since they were relative unknowns, but we liked the idea that they could get over with Taven in this leadership role. We also loved the continuity in that it was Cole/YB representing Bullet Club, as it fit their quest to get all the gold in Ring Of Honor. However, it can be dangerous when you pit a debuting stable against your Tag Champs and World Champion. Somebody has to lose. The match itself was also underwhelming, save for a few spots where we saw YB/Cole deliver simultaneous suicide dives and apron powerbombs. Another highlight was the Taven-Cole exchange, which lasted for a couple minutes. We’d guess that Kingdom were tweeners here against Bullet Club, but their bending of the rules to get the win in their favor would suggest they’re heels. This is when ROH’s lack of attention to a proper heel-face dynamic can hurt them. The crowd should know who to like and dislike. It was YB who took the pinfall, so perhaps that sets up a future Tag Title match. We did like that at least commentary played the Kingdom victory as a major upset, because in many ways, it was.






Quick Results

  • “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin def. Toru Yano via pinfall 
  • Proving Ground – Dragon Lee def. Bobby Fish via pinfall 
  • Six-Man Tag Team Tournament – First Round – The New Kingdom def. Adam Cole/The Young Bucks via pinfall to advance 

About Nicholas Jason Lopez

Just a 29-year-old Brooklynite. Nothing more, nothing less. Currently a freelance journalist with two websites - Pro Wrestling Opinion and The Music Bugle - he has also been published on sites such as The Bensonhurst Bean, Sheepshead Bites, Review Fix, College University of New York Athletic Conference, Dying Scene, Brooklyn News Service, All Media NY, and Yahoo Voices. He has also interned for The Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator based out of Brooklyn, NY.

Posted on January 6, 2017, in ROH and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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