Before I get to the show, let's have a talk.
I used to really dig Ring of Honor. Not in the early "everyone shake hands" days, but once they grew some balls and became a pro wrestling company. That has faded over the last couple years as they've become...not so good.
I decided to check out the Best in the World show from last month because I wanted to see where they were at, and I'm going to tell you right now that I fucking hated damn near every second of it. I hate the ROH crowd, I hate the phony "American strong style" nonsense where 5'6" dorks are constantly getting into forearm-y firefights and I hate having to pretend that Truth Martini isn't anything other than really fucking embarrassing.
But hey, I'm on a mission to find out what the indy circuit (and yes, ROH is an indy) is up to these days. So here we go.
Briscoe Brothers vs The Guardians of Truth
I can't take Truth Martini seriously. I just can't do it. Not as a wrestler and not as a manager.
The Guardians of Truth are "faceless" meaning they wear blank black masks. I'm informed that this is not a situation with any honor. Because the "code of honor" is still a (very fucking stupid) thing, I guess. They keep switching when the ref isn't looking because you CAN'T TELL THEM APART! Other than that they have very different tattoos. The ropes are also all fucked up and loose.
The Guardians of Truth are just bell-less Ding Dongs and they're awful. The Briscoes are doing some sort of "redneck kung fu" bit now and I guess it's supposed to be funny but still high impact? It's not cool like the old school redneck karate shit like Smothers did, it's cartoony and stupid.
Match ends when a Briscoe has a Guardian on his shoulders and then the Guardian kind of...rolls down and gets pinned? Announcers call the match "interesting." I call it fucking horrible.
Eddie Edwards vs. Homicide
Look, jerkoffs. Stop throwing streamers for everyone. Just fucking stop.
ROH "code of honor" handshake nonsense to start and then the first move is a big ol' suplex dropping Homicide on his head. Second move is Eddie Edwards with a dive to the outside. And this match is immediately everything that is wrong with ROH and the "we want wrestling" movement. Because this isn't wrestling, it's just "OH MAN! BIG MOVES! THIS IS AWESOME! I CAN'T WAIT FOR THE NEXT MATCH SO I GET TO THROW STREAMERS AGAIN! WHAT COLOR WILL I USE FOR ADAM COLE?!"
The run through basically every move anyone has ever used as a finisher in the history of wrestling before Homicide wins. This is the worst match of 2012 and I mean that from the bottom of my soul.
Hybrid Fighting Rules: Kyle O'Reilly vs. Adam Cole
"The winner of the contest will be judged as the most accompished proponent of all fighting styles" it says at the end of a bunch of "let's pretend this is like MMA" rule listing. And I hate the shit out of this already.
Kyle O'Reilly joins the luminaries deserving of having streamers thrown into the ring. And then, so does Cole. Oh no! Kyle O'Reilly doesn't follow the code of honor either?! He does shake hands though! Because he RESPECTS Cole!
These guys know that wins and losses are gonna happnen! That's what they tell me! Oh no! It's a takedown and "ground and pound!" and now a reversal into "mount" for "palm strikes" before they do some "striking" on the feet. Now they do some "amateur wrestling" and then it's "submissions." For the second match in a row there is "dueling big boots" ending with both being knocked down.
Seriously, who the fuck likes this shit? This is embarrassing.
They do a phony Frye/Takayama segment. Now "Cole's two front teeth came out" and he's bleeding all over the place. They're doing a bunch of like..."look at them hit each other" stuff. And everyone is all "this is awesome" even though it's actually stupid other than that there's a lot of blood and blood is always pretty cool in a wrestling ring.
LOL! The "doctor" from the "athletic commission" wants to stop it. But Cole says no! This is the stupidest fucking match and I take back my assertion that Homicide vs. Eddie Edwards is the worst match of 2012 as that honor belongs to this match.
Figure four wins it for Cole. Google now tells me that Cole did split his lip but the "teeth" that they said were knocked out were actually just gum. To be fair though, the split lip was pretty good.
Cole wants to shake his hand! O'Reilly says no so we're told that he is "a piece of crap." "Adam Cole shows that you fight and you win with honor." Ugh.
Michael Elgin is mad that Roderick Strong is mean to him so he tells Roderick and Truth Martini to not be at ringside for his match.
Fit Finlay vs. Michael Elgin
Streamers! Streamers! Streamers for everyone! ...you fuckin' people.
Every match with this god damn stupid "will they shake hands?!" bullshit. They wonder if Finlay has ever wrestled someone as strong as Elgin and I turn and vomit onto my floor.
They're not high flying or power moving each other to death and the crowd is starting to turn on it. They want to be all "Fit Finlay, man! A LEGEND!" but they're here for nonsense where everyone pretends that it's MMA.
But, to be fair, this is kind of shitty and boring. And some people in the crowd chant "boring" and then some nerds get really angry and start flippin' 'em the bird and chanting "shut the fuck up" and then start chanting "this is awesome" but that one doesn't take off, because no....this is not awesome. I hope for a second that they were actually chanting "this isn't awesome" and it just didn't translate in the audio. But I know better.
I love Fit Finlay as much as the next guy. But this is garbage. It's less offensive garbage than the other matches as it's just a boring pro-wrestling match instead of fake MMA or super-move-American-Strong-Style, but it's still garbage.
Elgin gets his ass kicked all match before kicking out of a tombstone piledriver, hitting a spinning backfist(slap) and then a powerbomb on the turnbuckle and spinning powerbomb. A lonely streamer enters the ring after the win. Fuck you.
They take an intermission on their internet PPVs? For real? I guess I appreciated that they did video packages to cover the three big matches, but then they ran them all a second time.
Mike Bennett comes out. People throw streamers. He's talking and it's hard to hear him because they're basically hoping that the cameras can pick up his mic over the arena speakers. He doesn't want to wrestle, he wants to make out with his lady. Something about Boston. Mike Mondo comes out and is all "grr! I'm from New York!" "It's always been my dream to always perform right here in the Hammer. Stein. Ball. Room." Mike Mondo is awful on the mic. Just pure awful.
Mike Bennett vs. Mike Mondo
Mondo clears house by missing a bunch of punches by a mile. Oh my god, everyone. This is fucking horrid. Mike Mondo may be the worst wrestler on earth. He certainly throws the worst punches. After a delayed reaction by Mondo to a punch...I've decided that I have no interest in writing about what happens the rest of the way here beyond that I can accurately make the really obvious "Worst in the World" joke here.
You know what? No! Mondo gets all fired up and he takes time to pose and pretend he's shooting Bennet before landing a stomp to the head, and then decides to sell that he's still hurt even though it makes no fucking sense.
The "this isn't a scheduled match, it's a fight" segment ends with Mondo winning...by...roll-up.
This was so bad that I did a poorly made video about it:
ROH Television Title: Tommaso Ciampa vs. Jay Lethal vs. Roderick Strong (c)
Streamers for everyone! Nevermind that people are slipping on them while trying to wrestle! Why let that get in the way of your shit stupid "traditions?!"
They inform me during this match that since the piledriver is banned, and Fit Finlay did a tombstone in his match earlier, they are fining him $250 as the ref misunderstood the rules and thought it was okay. $250. Remember, this isn't real so they could use ANY amount. But went with $250. Earlier I was told that Truth Martini paid $70,000 for Rhino's contract, so we're obviously not living in the real world. So $250 doesn't seem like enough.
This is better than a lot of the other shit on this show, but Ciampa is a terrible "crazy guy." Also, why a "crazy guy" has the nickname "The Dominant Male" is beyond me.
I also don't really understand why Jay Lethal is a guy who does no-sell comebacks nor do I understand why there has to be a chop battle between him and Strong just minutes into the match, but hey "ROH, ROH, ROH!" means stupid shit like that.
Lethal locks in a figure four on Strong and a crossface on Ciampa at the same time, and that was kind of stupid, but "innovative." Nana is in the ring and accidntly trips Ciampa who gets pinned by Strong. Then Lethal gets hit with a book and Strong does a stupid ass move where he release suplexes Lethal and knees him in the butt when he comes down and that's the end also. God. That match didn't offend me to my core like everything else on the show but it was still stupid.
I'm on my third sitting (second day!) of trying to get through this show. It's been so fucking horrible that I just can't make it through these matches.
ROH Tag Team Championship: All Night Express vs. Wrestling's Greatest Tag Team (c)
Titles can change hands on DQ this match. Guess what? Fucking streamers.
Here's a lesson for how to throw streamers at a wrestling event:
1) unroll them
2) shove a big handfull down your throat
WGTT come out and act like honest to god heels, getting into it with the crowd and being dickheads. So...the fans throw a bunch of streamers. GOD DAMN YOU ALL!
They're trying to do a super slow start to the match and it's a bit too slow but at least it feels kind of Memphis-y with WGTT being so hesitant to engage and get things started.
This turns out to be a perfectly fine match with guys wrestling like...wrestlers. And there's still space for shit to get kinda nuts at times and turn into a wild brawl. Crowd chants "this is awesome" which is a stretch and it should be "this is competent" but whatever, I guess. I did enjoy Kenny King yelling "get your bitch ass up and fight back" at his own partner.
Haas tells the ref to call the match or they're going to kill Rhett (who is already bleeding) and then tells the ref that the blood will be on his hands. Man, imagine that. A wrestling match with some good angle stuff happening during it is way better than fake MMA and shitty American strong style nonsense.
All Night Express wins with a schoolboy. New champs. Streamers. WGTT whips ass rather than let the new champs celebrate. Hooray for wrestling.
Steve Corino is in the ring and says he's "proud to be evil" as the crowd chants "ECW." He says he'll call the match with the announce crew and says Cornette is a fat piece of crap. Douchebag fans hold up pictures while Jim talks and they giggle like idiots because they're a part of the show too! :)
ROH World Title: Kevin Steen (c) vs. Davey Richards
Richards is all grumpy and kicking and stomping on crew around the ring? Cool, bro.
Kyle O'Reilly is out to whine about Davey being mean to him and talk about the Adam Cole match. He's bitching and bitching and bitching. He's not in Richards' corner tonight, he's going to "go through him" which is a spectacular thing to do before the main event and not out of place at all.
Davey Richards has a "yes" for "Code of Honor" on the tale of the tape, but he was just stomping and kicking innocent people at ringside. SO MUCH HONOR!
Steen is put through a table with the first move of the match. Fuckin'...whatever. A few minutes later Steen joins the list of people tonight who does a move and is all "LOUD TAUNT!" before then going "oh yeah, I'm 'hurt!'"
The best thing about this being a brawl more than a match is that Davey isn't really able to annoy the shit out of me with his American strong style nonsense. In a classy moment, in a show that has seen fans chant "Benoit" (on the anniversary of that horror), several crossfaces and Richards doing the Benoit throat slash multiple times, the commentary jokes about the internet getting upset as Richards takes an unprotected chair shot. Because concussions in wrestling never lead to...well..you know.
For a big super spotty brawly mess, this is actually okay. Of course, being okay means "this is awesome" chants. Davey knocks out a ref, Steen knocks out another. Cornette and Corino get involved, Jimmy Jacobs has a spike that he brings in the ring. Richards with another throat slash as he has a spike, but Steen stabs him (in the dick?) with a spike of his own and hits the package piledriver for the win.
This was like an ECW main event from their heyday as done by some pretenders. I mean, it wasn't awful by any means because Steen's limitations prevented it from being a Davey Richards match, but it also ended with a dick stabbing.
Steen closes the show with a weirdo thing about being champion in front of you people right here! And then he's all "this comes from the heart" and calls Davey a real champion and one of the hardest working men in wrestling and says Davey is the best in the world. Now he calls the fans hypocritical pieces of shit and they all cheer. This makes no fucking sense. He stabbed Davey in the dick and then is all "you're great!" Of course, the fans have to be all "yay! we're not going along with anything because we're smart and part of the show!"
Aside from the fact that a lot of it not making sense, when Steen starts going off on the crowd it's a good promo, but the crowd KILLS the entire segment with their fucking "yay! we're so cool!" bullshit. Go back to your mom's basement and choke on a Hot Pocket you loser fucks.
I hate ROH crowds and I hate this show.