I caught the iPPV (that means internet only Pay Per View) show live in Toronto last night with a couple of buddies. We didn’t have the best seats but they weren’t horrible, we just had to watch the show through Plexiglas.
Now I’m an outsider to RoH as was one of the two guys with me. We spent a lot of time asking the third guy “Who’s that?” My general impressions follow:
The in-ring action of Ring of Honor is the best I’ve ever seen. Lots of exciting action, high impact moves, intensity and workrate that blows the big two out of the water. But, after a while, that starts to wear on you. Counting pre-show and intermission (during which action broke out) the show was almost 4 hours long. With no investment in the characters or storylines I was burned out by the main event as was my other non-fan friend. The crowd was incredibly hot but the second the bell rang to end the main event they flooded out. The arena was not air conditioned (oddly the snack bar was) and it got hot. Plus it was 11:30 at night.
There is very little in the way of angles or mic work. Cornette did a bit, there was a little set-up before the big El Generico Kevin Steen match but mostly it’s match after match after match. Fact is, I’m a sports entertainment fan. I like some angles. I like a little comedy mixed in. Ring of Honor is very good at what it does but I’m not sure what it does will ever have a wide appeal. Still, it makes a great training ground for young guys to learn how to really wrestle before they get a WWE try-out and get neutered.
Guys I saw:
- Kevin Steen / El Generico – This was the best built match of the night based on the promotion I saw from RoH. I was a little upset it went on first but that was not the end of things
- Davey Richards – Good athlete, likely never going to make it big
- Tyler Black – I could see one of the big two coming calling but I don’t see him as a world champion anywhere else
- Daniels – Awesome as always he put on a match with Kenny Omega after the intermission that got the crowd right back into it
- The Briscoes / The Kings of Wrestling – I did not expect a No-DQ match in RoH and this was a good, bloody, hardcore brawl. A fan had brought a hubcap in and damn if the Briscoes didn’t end up using it as a weapon. I miss Fans Bring Weapons matches. The burnout for the main event had a lot to do with how good this match was.
- Daivari was there, Colt Cabana (the former Scotty Goldman) looking better than he ever did in WWE, Steve Corino and Tyson Dux wrestled, as he does whenever RoH comes to Ontario. I knew him from Total Extreme Wrestling where my fed (Tyson Wrestling Alliance, and yes that’s Mike Tyson) has never been able to steal him from MaxPro.
In the end, I’m not going to run out and buy 50 RoH DVDs. If their TV show was available in my area I would watch it, even if it meant adding a special channel, and if my roommate can make my TV synch up with my desktop I might even watch the next iPPV. Maybe stories become clearer when you watch the TV show. I don’t know. I certainly feel my $20 was well spent and I’m glad I got a last minute call to go.