By Nicholas Jason Lopez
From the Murphy Rec Center in Philadelphia, Pa. to Sam’s Town in Las Vegas, NV., Ring Of Honor has undergone plenty in its 15-year history.
It was only appropriate that the face of the “old times” that hadn’t gone to World Wrestling Entertainment, Christopher Daniels, would get his last chance at the ROH World Championship, a belt that alluded him his whole career.
It was also right that the current Champion was Adam Cole, Bullet Club leader, which represented the “new school” ways of ROH.
Of course this show will be regarded as “the one where TK O’Ryan got hurt,” but there was plenty of happiness to go around the card as well.
“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.
– The opening video highlighted the “most important main event in TNA history” (or not) and showed Team TNA decisively defeat Team Global Force Wrestling with factors like Drew Galloway getting the winning fall and Bram joining Team TNA all in a video package about as anticlimactic as the real match.
– The Hardys/Davey Richards-Abyss/Khoya/Manik Tag Team Hardcore match was a decent opener for the weapons-friendly two-hour Hardcore Justice show, but if you’ve seen one of these matches, then you’ve seen them all. Despite the entertainment, there was nothing innovative here, as the Hardys got their 67,900th revenge on The Revolution. Read the rest of this entry
Hunting For Hidden Gold
– The opening video put over how the Tag Team Championship tournament came to be with the relinquishing of the belts by The Wolves – with eight teams taking off, going to four in Ultimate X. The concept itself is actually pretty nifty to fill time for a two-hour show and was the perfect opportunity to make the Tag division somewhat relevant again. Read the rest of this entry
– The opening video hyped up TNA’s most dramatic steel cage-themed event of the year – and only steel cage-themed event of the year thankfully. Having a show with every match in a steel cage is a cool gimmick idea, but it really stretches out the concept and specialty a steel cage match could provide. The WWE Elimination Chamber PPV felt special because it had one or two matches in the Chamber. Could you imagine the burnout on the crowd if every match was a Chamber match? Repetition can create boredom. This is where TNA tends to lose it at times.
– The Tag Team Championships match between The Hardys and Abyss/James Storm was okay, but the interference by the 67 Revolution members was a bit much and predictable. The way The Revolution went over was at least decent. That bump Jeff Hardy took was absolutely brutal. With the dangerous power of the internet, we learned several weeks ago this was purely storyline as a way to write him off TV as TNA heads to the United Kingdom, but things like that still make you cringe looking back at it. The Revolution soaked up the heat, but the crowd was obviously concerned at the time for Hardy.
– The backstage Beat Down Clan meeting had MVP want to offer Angle “something he couldn’t refuse.” Do they have to use that expression so often? Also, how did word of what just happened to Jeff Hardy seconds prior travel backstage so quickly?
– Is Eric Young now a part of the BDC? It seemed to be the case when the announcers no longer mentioned that he wasn’t, but then again, he wasn’t involved in Lethal Lockdown. Who knows? The promo given by MVP with Kenny King and Young were okay in that they put the BDC over and the cage’s dangers. MVP’s “proposal” had him bring up logical points, but this just set up Angle not giving in. How melodramatic. On another note, it’s kind of creepy that MVP would talk to Angle’s doctor behind Angle’s back. This just erupted into a brawl which was kind of pointless since it’d all happen again later on. The angle here though was that the BDC possibly took out Gunner from the match, making Angle down another man, all the more making him seek out Bobby Lashley.
– The hype video for the Awesome Kong-Havok match was well done. Set up the match perfectly as it was two beasts colliding to see who’d dominate the Knockouts division.
– The backstage segment had Gunner in pain, but wanting to still compete and volunteer to start off Lethal Lockdown, which made him look a little tough. Angle wanting to pitch to Lashley again was also something to hold on to for the viewer.
– The Kong-Havok match was a “Clash of the Titans” affair from start to finish as the action went all over the place from outside to inside. Kong going over was the right move. Definitely some hard hits in there, though the action came off a little clunky in spots, but there was never a dull moment.
– The hype video for Young-Bobby Roode was okay, as it tried to heighten the ho-hum backstory behind it. Not all that dramatic.
– The backstage segment with Velvet Sky and Angelina Love from two weeks back was interesting in some way mainly in how Love smirked behind Sky’s back. Bitch alert?
– Bobby Lashley’s monotone reaction to finding out Angle was looking for him was expected and didn’t add much.
– The Young-Roode match was pretty good, not too long. The blood was there, but only from Young and it appeared one-sided in Roode’s favor once the chair came into play as he put Young away. This all kind of put a stop to Young’s growing momentum. A win by Young could’ve kept this going a bit longer.
– The Angle-Lashley backstage segment was just more of Lashley turning Angle down and Angle trying to “wake” him up. We could predict from here that Lashley would definitely be involved with the main event finish. Someone should also tell TNA not to show future highlights of the show we’re currently watching to hype the next week’s show. There were clear shots of Lashley taking part in Lethal Lockdown. So frustratingly dumb on TNA’s part.
– The 2-on-1 Handicap match between Mandrews/Rockstar Spud and Tyrus (w/EC3) was good while it lasted and continued the Spud/EC3 feud. The story told was a good one as it was a beast taking on two young high-flyers. EC3 getting involved actually added to the match. Spud’s flying lariat off the cage was also a great moment the crowd loved. It was also good to see Jeremy Borash as the one to cut the cord on the clippers, continuing the program. How this will all culminate remains to be seen, but it’s entertaining at least and Mandrews is getting a push out of it. Not sure if the “Spandrews” name coined by Josh Matthews will catch on.
– Roode’s postmatch promo indicated that he was done with Young and had his sights set on the World Heavyweight Championship. Makes sense, but eh. The crowd won’t respond to a Roode-Lashley program as much with both guys as faces.
– It was smart to have them show highlights of the “critically attacked” Robbie E-Brooke “cage obstacle course” segment that just looked terrible. Who thought of that? The cover-up of it being filmed “earlier tonight” was also sort of bad as most people knew it took place before the main event.
– The Lethal Lockdown match between The BDC-Team Angle was a decent main event. The impact of Lashley joining Team Angle would’ve been somewhat entertaining if it already wasn’t given away earlier in the show. The finish was okay, but could’ve been better. Lashley got the pinfall over MVP, but it’s going to take a lot more work to make fans truly care about yet another “battle lines drawn” angle between two stables.
(All Matches Contested In Steel Cage)
– Tag Team Championships – Abyss/James Storm (w/The Revolution) (Champions) def. The Hardys via pinfall to retain
– Awesome Kong def. Havok via pinfall
– Bobby Roode def. Eric Young via pinfall
– 2-On-1 Handicap Match – Tyrus (w/Ethan Carter III) def. Rockstar Spud/Mandrews via pinfall
– Lethal Lockdown – Team Angle def. The Beat Down Clan via pinfall