Many pro wrestling fans find themselves increasingly frustrated nowadays. PG ratings and old timers have left us shaking our heads. We long for the days where wrestling was just that, not a watered down version of Sesame Street, and not a bunch of broken down stars of yesteryear holding on for way too long.
For those of us who wish to see compelling professional wrestling matches pitting some of the very best performers in the world, and don't particularly care for what the big two promotions offer, Ring Of Honor is the answer.
After attending my third live ROH event, I once again find myself amazed. Not only do they continue to outdo themselves with quality, but the appreciation shown to the fans by the roster and management is remarkable.
Prior to the 7:30 p.m. bell time for the ROH event in Charlotte, N.C., wrestling icon Jim Cornette was signing autographs and thanking everyone for spending their time and money coming out to see the event.
The matches started promptly at the announced belltime, and fans were once again treated to the absolute best in professional wrestling.
There were no 15 minute sessions of talking on the microphone. No silly little skits which make the entire product seem stupid and childish. There were eight matches featuring the very best that ROH had to offer, as well as a mix of young talent.
Each and every one of the performers gave everything they had, and the crowd roared with approval.
The two final matches of the night were literally two of the best I've ever witnessed in my 25 plus year tenure as a fan.
Tag Wars 2010, featuring The Kings Of Wrestling, The All Night Express, Dark City Fight Club, and The Briscoes, was an epic battle which showed why Ring Of Honor is the true home of Tag Team wrestling. Fans were given perhaps the best concept match in the last 20 years, and were thrilled throughout.
Then came the Main Event of the evening, featuring "American Wolf" Davey Richards in a rematch of perhaps the match of the year, taking on ROH World Champion Tyler Black.
Fans of independent wrestling are very knowledgeable, and this would be no different. Black's recent signing with WWE led to several chants of "you sold out," and a few others which were a little too descriptive to print.
Black played the role perfectly, refusing to make the match a World Title rematch, saying he was going to leave the company and take the belt with him. The crowd stayed on him throughout the entire match, booing his every move and calling him a "future jobber."
Richards was equally brilliant, using the whole situation to get "ROH,ROH,ROH" chants going and vowing revenge on behalf of the fans.
The match itself was possibly the greatest match I personally have ever seen, and that covers a lot of time. The wrestlers matched each other hold for hold for well over 20 minutes before Richards forced Black to tap out.
As Black left the ring, title belt in hand, Richards addressed the lively audience, saying that this was the best wrestling company in the world. It would surely be tough to argue that point.
As the evening drew to an end, ROH owner Cary Silken stood at the exit and personally thanked each and every person with a handshake and genuine appreciation. This was a gesture that really hit home. An owner who really is grateful for the loyal fan support. Some others could really learn from this.
As we were leaving, I told him thank you for the entire show, and that this is the only ticket worth buying for a wrestling event. I'm sure I'll be back when Ring Of Honor returns next January.
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