Ring of Honor Review: Cedric and Alexander, Mike Mondo Set for DBD 10
A month ago, Adam Cole became Television champion. Two weeks ago, the All Night Express was stripped of the Ring of Honor Tag Team Championship.
In this week’s episode of Ring of Honor Wrestling, we found out who would be competing for those titles at Death Before Dishonor X.
Ring of Honor’s focus this week on the secondary titles was deceptively important.
One could argue that the ROH championship should be the focus at all times. However, Ring of Honor found out the hard way at Boiling Point that a good world championship match isn’t enough to make a good show.
This week’s No. 1 contender matches for the Tag Team and Television championships proves that ROH is learning from their mistakes.
Thumbs Up: C&C Wrestling Factory vs. Young Bucks
There was little doubt that this match would be a crazy, fast-paced, tournament-stealing affair.
Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander dominated early, with Coleman hitting a trifecta of Northern Lights suplexes without ever releasing the hold. I had never seen anything like it.
The Young Bucks, as good heels must, soon took control, grinding down Coleman with eye rakes and a seemingly infinite number of double-team moves.
Cedric made a comeback, but was halted by an insane diving-corkscrew Ace Crusher from Matt Jackson.
The finish really highlighted C&C’s athleticism.
Coleman hit a no-hands Hurricanrana off the turnbuckle, followed by Alexander connecting with a no-hands splash, leaping from the apron to the turnbuckle onto Nick Jackson to score the win.
Get the belts on these two now.
Thumbs Up: Full Force
It’s good to see the Young Bucks back again, just as it was nice to see the Bravado Brothers return a couple of weeks ago. The ROH tag team division was in dire need of some fresh faces, even if those faces were familiar.
The Young Bucks are a study in contrasts. They are as fluid when wrestling as they are grating when speaking.
They’re poetry in motion inside the ring and Chad Kroeger lyrics outside of it.
I think that makes them the perfect heel tag team.
Thumbs Up: Not a Leg to Stand on
It’s not easy being a heel. Sure, heels are allowed a bit more creative freedom and are typically more interesting than your standard “Boy Scout face.”
However, in order to play their part in the story, they must find a way to be logically wrong.
When heels are the only voice of reason in a story, there is no reason to cheer for the faces. However, if you take it too far in the other direction, heels become idiots or cowards and the audience has no reason to take them seriously as a threat.
Charlie Haas is a master of flawed logic. For two weeks he’s argued that the tag titles should be returned to wrestling’s greatest tag team.
There is no precedent for this, so Haas is wrong.
But, given Shelton Benjamin’s suspension, there is logic to his complaint that the previous champions should at least be in the tournament.
It’s just one more reason Charlie Haas is so good at what he does.
Thumbs Up: The Plot Thickens
As Charlie Haas and Jim Cornette bickered in the ring, Rhett Titus interrupted, promising to pull himself up by the bootstraps and win the titles again.
Charlie Haas dressed him down before saying he had the perfect partner for Titus. This mystery partner was one of the best technicians in wrestling and could probably teach Titus a thing or two.
That man was Charlie Haas.
Haas offered to tag with Titus, allowing them to face off for the ROH tag titles after the tournament ended. Titus accepted.
Knowing Haas, this isn’t going to end well for Rhett Titus.
Thumbs Up: Tiny, Tiny Hamsters
Rhett Titus didn’t have any verbal gaffes this week, but he still looked completely lost.
Everything he said and every response he made seemed to be just a beat or two late.
Those overweight hamsters turning the wheel in Rhett’s head are screaming for Kenny King to return.
Tadarius Thomas vs. QT Marshall
Both Tadarius Thomas and QT Marshall looked to make an impression in their singles debuts.
Early on it was Marshall, baiting and mocking the ring attendant with his robe and slapping away the hand of Thomas during the Code of Honor.
Then it was Thomas, whose offense, a mix of professional wrestling with the Brazilian martial art known as capoeira, clearly confused Marshall early in the match.
Marshall, though, used his power to dominate the rest. Eventually, he hit an Alabama Slam for the win.
This match did a nice job of introducing Marshall to the ROH audience.
Thumbs Up: The Book of Truth
Truth Martini got philosophical this week, urging Charlie Haas and Rhett Titus to learn to love each other because “The Book of Truth says that hate is a counterproductive emotion.”
Is the Book of Truth on Amazon? If so, I would order it.
Next week, the Guardians of Truth will face Haas and Titus in another first-round tournament match. There are so many ways this could go, I won’t even try to make a prediction.
Thumbs Up: No. 1 Contender Six-Man Mayhem
The rules of a Six-Man Mayhem Match are simple: Two competitors are legal at any given time. Other competitors become legal if a tag is made or if they enter the ring when another competitor touches the floor. The first fall wins.
The match began with a brawl, which continued until only Jay Lethal and Tommaso Ciampa were left in the ring. All six took their turn controlling the fast-paced action before a barrage of signature moves left everyone on the mat.
Roderick Strong almost pinned T.J. Perkins with the End of Heartache, but Mike Bennett broke it up. Bennett laid out Strong with a spear, but Mike Mondo broke up the pin and hit a double-arm DDT on Bennett for the win.
It was a fun match, but way too short. Eight minutes was not nearly enough time to do this match, or these six competitors, justice.
Thumbs Up: Challenging Conventions
This match was a perfect example of why I think Ring of Honor is better than WWE.
Ring of Honor challenges conventions. WWE does not.
It’s why every WWE Triple Threat Match and Fatal 4-Way looks the same. There’s no creativity. As soon as they want to get an additional competitor involved, they toss someone else out, allowing them to lazily script another one-on-one encounter.
When wrestling companies like Ring of Honor or Chikara break the mold, it makes everything they do seem more unpredictable. And in professional wrestling, unpredictable means enjoyable.
There wasn’t much to analyze or break down this week.
The action was straight-forward and aside from Charlie Haas and Rhett Titus, there was little “story” of any kind.
However, this week’s episode did put Ring of Honor in a position to begin telling stories in the weeks leading up to Death Before Dishonor X.
If I was a betting man, and I’m not, I’d place my money on Death Before Dishonor X being the best Ring of Honor event since Border Wars.
All photos courtesy of rohwrestling.com