I recently covered Ring of Honor Wrestling’s January 15th live event and it was a night that I’ll never forget. I hadn’t been exposed to the Ring of Honor, or ROH, wrestling federation before. I’d only heard it mentioned by a friend of mine, an associate editor at ProWrestling.net.
The dark match, Caleb Konley versus Orion Bishop, hooked me right away. Bishop, a big guy with a good look caught my attention despite a loss, but didn’t impress my seat neighbors as much.
Next the Bravado Brothers versus Kyle O’Reilly and Adam Cole proceeded to blow my mind. If this was a sample of what ROH had to offer, then I’d have to have more. All four men were young and in their prime, not the geriatric fossils becoming sadly common in pro wrestling. Each man attacked every move, throwing himself into it as if trying to jump forward into future stardom. The Bravados seemed to my uninformed eye, being brand new to watching Ring of Honor, to be the heels of the match and were good at it, taking away the win.
Next, Rhett Titus defeated Caprice Coleman. Titus, member of tag team champion contenders The All Night Express is a popular fixture in ROH; but it was the lesser known Coleman who got my attention. I was informed by a crowd member that Caprice is a real youth minister. He cut a promo before the match spouting a long list of accolades that finished by stating, “he still had time for the Lord.” Essentially, he is his wrestling character. All politics aside, I found that very intriguing.
The Bravados and Titus reminded me of childhood days watching classic WWF; so the next match, I should say mismatch, seemed logical. Big man Colt Cabana defeated pint sized Grizzly Redwood’s acrobatics. Both men demonstrated power, technical precision, and comedy. So far, everybody I’d seen wrestle, I wanted to see more of.
The next two matches kept the crowd on their feet for the entirety of both. “The Prodigy” Mike Bennet defeated Cedric Alexander, another young man who gave me that old familiar 80’s feeling that seems to be alive in Ring of Honor. ROH makes me want sugared cereal and cartoons. “Fallen Angel” Chris Daniels defended his TV title belt successfully from Claudio Castagnoli.
Steve Corino and Andy Ridge’s match was changed to another tag bout, where the pair defeated the Alabama Attitude. Although green and obviously new, I enjoyed Ridge’s energetic performance. Davey Richards defeated Chris Hero despite interference from Sara Del Ray and Shane Hagadorn. It was great to see some manager action again.
The four corner survival match between El Generico, Homicide, Kenny King, and Mark Briscoe was a misfire in my opinion. It had a lot of good, but you can’t please everyone every night. Look for my article detailing the trials and tribulations of that match coming soon.
Finally, Roderick Strong defeated Jay Briscoe to retain the ROH World Champion title, in one of the bloodiest and most satisfying match ups I’ve ever seen. Briscoe lined up a rematch with a post match promo, and informed the crowd, “that Ring of Honor was here to stay.”
I haven’t enjoyed wrestling this much since the fall of WCW. Any expectations I had of ROH prior to the event have been totally blown away. I look forward to being a fan of ROH’s tag team action, impressive stunts, and passionate work. Good Job Ring of Honor, you’ve sold me on your brand. I’m officially a fan now, and I will be sure to catch Ring of Honor when it returns to my area on July 9th.