There was quite a bit of wrestling last weekend, and Ring of Honor was no exception, as they presented Supercard of Honor 11 to their largest live audience in company history. Let’s see how they did.
Let’s watch some wrestling, shall we?
Ring of Honor Supercard of Honor XI – 4/1/17
We are LIVE from the Jenkins Arena in Lakeland, Florida! Your hosts are Kevin Kelly, Ian Riccaboni, & Colt Cabana.
“Bullet Club!” And we’re starting off with a bang, as here comes Adam Cole! He’s followed out by the champ, as The Villain, Marty Scurll comes dressed for battle.
Adam Cole vs “The Villain” Marty Scurll (c) – Ring of Honor World TV Title match
Both guys are crazy over, dare I say Scurll even moreso than Cole? Cole mockingly offers the Code of Honor, and Scurll refuses by kicking Cole’s hand away. Nice little wrestling sequence to start ends in a stalemate, so they slap each other. The dynamic here of both guys being heels has the crowd ready for someone to cheat first. Cole goes for the running chinlock, but Marty turns that into a crucifix. They fight on the floor and Cole threatens to hit Scurll with the umbrella, so Marty grabs the belt and threatens to hit Cole. Hey, turnabout is fair play. Both guys slowly drop their weapons and Cole goes for the cheap shot, but Marty is ready and hangs him up on the apron and hits a superkick. Scurll goldbricks off a slugfest and levels Adam with a right hand, Cole fires back with the Fireman’s Carry version of the Last Shot for two. Crowd is truly torn for both guys. They trade superkicks while trying to fake the other out, and it’s glorious. Brainbuster gets two for Scurll. Cole mocks the chickenwing and goes for it, but Scurll rolls him up for two, using the tights. So Adam rakes his eyes, of course. Cole gives us a ‘Bay-Bay’ pose, so Scurll grabs his fingers and breaks them. Cole fires superkicks and loads Marty up, hitting a package piledriver for two. Yeah, he’s not winning. Adam grabs the belt off the apron and threatens to hit the ref with it, so Scurll grabs his umbrella and breaks it in half on Cole’s head while the ref ducks. Snap piledriver by Marty gets two. They miss a tombstone reversal spot and Cole slams him for two, then hits the Tombstone proper for two. He tries for another one, but can’t hold him up and slams him again for two. Scurll breaks the fingers on both hands and hits another piledriver for two, then locks in the Chickenwing and gets the submission to retain. (Marty Scurll over Adam Cole, submission, 13:01)
MATCH RATING: ***3/4. I wanted to go **** just for the way that the match totally had the crowd just eating out of the palm of the wrestlers’ hands, mostly by allowing each to play their characters and really let the match flow through that. You knew that both guys were going to cheat and both were going to play to the crowd the whole time, and they worked in some pretty neat stuff on that front and the crowd kept up along with them, so the heat was tremendous and it was really fun. That having been said, I’m not a huge fan of kickouts on piledrivers, so 2 guys kicking out of them a total of 4 times in one match doesn’t really trip my trigger. It really drove the match down a bit for me on an objective scale.
This time, it’s really looking like we’re saying good bye to Adam Cole, as he adds another clean job on his way out the door; the best comparison I can remember is when Kevin Steen did a clean job to Michael Elgin at Supercard a few years ago, when everyone knew he was heading for Florida. That tap might have been the last time we see Cole on ROH PPV for a long time, and if it is, thanks are due to him for what he’s done for this company over the last several years.
And, for all the crap I give ROH sometimes, the booking of Marty Scurll has been phenomenal on almost every level. Scalping Cole here is no joke, as he’s well-respected and it’s a nice high-profile win as Scurll continues to mow down the ROH roster. He has been put over as a top guy who has come in and dominated, and I’m completely fine with this. If they keep this up for him at the current pace, he may indeed have the World title around his waist by the end of the year.
We are shown a “recap” of Silas Young offering to help the Kingdom defend the 6-Man tag titles against the Briscoes and Bully Ray, and then them losing those titles in that match. I put recap in quotation marks because the match HASN’T AIRED ON ROH TV YET. Stuff like that drives me nuts about this company.
TK O’Ryan accompanies Vinny and Matt down to the ring, with TK on crutches. Taven annoys the shit out of me by saying “Melvin” 100 times or so in his promo, then TK gets the mic and cuts a heel promo on the crowd about their support during his injury. Young and the Bruiser come out and I guess that I have to pay for the previous match, because it’s time for a promo from Silas. Joy. He blames Vinny for getting pinned in the title match and they bitch at each other and I hate this. Just fight, you dicks.
Silas Young & The Beer City Bruiser vs The Kingdom (Matt Taven & Vinny Marseglia)
No Code of Honor, as the Bruiser spits at Vinny and the fight is on. They fight on the floor for awhile, then Taven dives through the ropes with a dropkick to Young and Vinny follows with a corkscrew after that. They beat on Young for awhile before the Bruiser comes back in and we end up with Vinny against the Bruiser. Marseglia tells the Bruiser that he ‘looks like a damn pumpkin!’, which made me laugh. Hey, I’m a weak man. There’s no tags or anything in this match, so I’m just assuming that it’s anything goes. Bunch of slapping and forearms follows as this match just dies underneath the chaos. Double frog splashes by Young and Bruiser gets two. I really, really don’t like Marseglia. There’s no real reason why, I just kind of wish he’d stop wrestling forever and hope that I never see him again. He’s not even a bad wrestler, he just rubs me the wrong way for some reason. Vinny goes and gets Bruiser’s cigar from ringside and lights up, then threatens to put it out in Silas’ eye, and Ian wins my heart by actually saying ‘shades of Big Bully Busick’. Awesome. Anyway, Young stops that and hits Misery for the win, making sure to put the cigar in his mouth before the pin. (Silas Young & The Beer City Bruiser over The Kingdom, pinfall, 6:55)
MATCH RATING: **. This was certainly there. It was a boring, disjointed mess, but it was a match that happened and one that I watched. I mean, it wasn’t good or anything, but it filled some time.
Interview with Bully Ray, apparently from his hotel room, who cuts a nice promo about being in ROH, then spends time talking about facing off against the Guerillas, who trained under him at the 3-D Academy. Good promo here, but I kind of expect that from him, as he’s always been a good promo guy.
The Bullet Club (Hangman Page & The Guerillas of Destiny) vs Bully Ray & The Briscoes (c) – Ring of Honor World 6-Man tag title match
No Code of Honor. Tonga and Mark start off. Mark tries to headbutt one of Haku’s relatives, aptly pointed out as moronic by Cabana on commentary. Blind tag puts the Guerillas in control, and they’ve gotten much better from the resthold masters they’ve been in the past. Bully Ray is cheering on the guys from the apron, which is the best role for him right now. Loa no-sells a bunch of stuff from the Briscoes, ’cause he’s Samoan and his noggin is hard, and he takes over with a powerslam on Mark. Match has been exquisitely paced thus far. Finally, Mark escapes and tags in Bully Ray, who faces off against Loa and Tonga. Bully cuts a promo on both guys about fighting the ‘right way’ and offers a handshake. The Guerillas accept, then pull Bully towards them and beat the shit out of him. I approve, sportsmanship blows. Bully makes the comeback, taking out all three guys, then goes up and hits a crossbody off the top onto the entire Bullet Club. Wazzup drop on Page follows, and the Briscoes go to get the tables, but the Guerillas cut them off. Page in control on Bully in the ring until he gets speared by Ray. This match is really good, actually. Jay ends up on the outside and Page hits the shooting star off the apron onto him as Loa gets two off a Blue Thunder Bomb. Everything breaks down yet again as everyone gets hit with a big move, then a double Doomsday Device sets up the 3-man 3-D as Bully Ray and the Briscoes retain. (Bully Ray & the Briscoes over the Bullet Club, pinfall, 13:32)
MATCH RATING: ***1/2. A complete trainwreck of a match, but a pretty fun one and it was what was called for in spots. The frantic pace of the match was certainly a huge strength to it, even with the guys shrugging off huge shots far earlier then they should have. It was a pleasant diversion because everyone brought their working boots tonight, I just can’t go much higher on the rating because there really wasn’t any narrative flow to the ringwork. It was just hit a move, then a move, then a move. The best stuff outside of that was Bully Ray against the GODs. Bully Ray is a good addition to the Briscoes and they work well together, so I’m for this continuing.
Video package airs for Lethal/Cody. Now, this is quite a genius bit of booking here; see, Cody was a dick to Lethal in their match at Final Battle and now Jay wants to make him pay. That’s it. And it’s been great. The other factor is that Lethal is fighting for ROH, while Cody has disrespected the company ever since he turned at Final Battle. I give Delirious a lot of shit, but he’s actually done a good job with a lot of stuff this year, from the Decade of Excellence to Marty Scurll to this.
Lethal comes to the ring in a cowboy hat with a shirt that says ‘The Franchise of ROH’, while Cody evokes Terry Funk with a shirt that says ‘Lethal sucks eggs’. Cool.
Jay Lethal vs Cody Rhodes – Bullrope match
No lame-o 4 Corners thing, we’re pinfall or submission here. Cody stalls and looks to walk out on the match, but allows the ref to tie him up, and we’re off. No Code of Honor, nor would one be appropriate here. There’s a bell in the middle of the rope that either guy can use as a weapon if they get it. Both guys trade advantage using the rope early, lots of punches and choking, which totally work for this type of match and the story they’re trying to tell. Lethal ends up tying Rhodes up and taking him to the floor, then hitting him across the face with the cowbell before yanking Cody to the post. Rhodes does a bladejob under the ring after that, which is becoming an unfortunate ROH staple these days. Find another way, guys. Lethal gouges at the cut with the cowbell, then pulls him to the apron and does it again before wiping Rhodes’ blood on his shirt. Ewwwww. Lethal gets a chair and sets Rhodes on it, but gets yanked off the top by Cody using the rope, and he eats the steel. Jay goes for the Injection, but Cody yanks on the rope and Lethal goes flying, and I want to stand up and cheer because I hate the Lethal Injection. Cody looks under the ring and finds his old mask, but he tosses that aside and chooses a table instead. He attempts to suplex Lethal onto it, but Jay escapes that, so Cody jumps back in with a dropkick instead. Figure-four by Rhodes now. Cabana points out that the bell is next to Lethal on the mat, and Jay figures that out and clocks Cody with it to break the hold. Jay goes up, but the table of Damocles strikes, as Rhodes kips up and slams him off the top through the table on the floor. Back in and Rhodes kicks Lethal low, hits the Disaster Kick, then hits CrossRhodes…..and Lethal kicks out at two. Oh-kay. That’s…..interesting, I suppose. Rhodes sets Lethal on the top rope and hits him with a boot, then goes for a superplex, Lethal pushes him off to the mat and hits Hail to the King, but Rhodes gets the cowbell up and Lethal’s elbow hits that instead. Cody goes for another Disaster kick, but Lethal counters to a sloppy cutter, then kicks Cody in the balls before finishing with the Lethal Injection. Really? (Jay Lethal over Cody Rhodes, pinfall, 17:22)
MATCH RATING: ***. I really, really dug the first part of this match, where they really seemed to be playing around with the stip and using the rope, not using a ton of wrestling in a personal feud and resorting to brawling instead. Then it turned from a gritty kind of interesting into a Jay Lethal superhero show, something that felt like a complete 180 shift in tone and didn’t fit the match I started watching. To recap, he took a slam off the top through a table, a kick to the balls, and both of Rhodes’ finishers in sequence and still kicked out, which is a bit much for me, especially considering the match vibe they had laid down to start. They worked their asses off out there, hence the rating being what it is, but the match definitely swerved in a direction I did not care for near the end. Plus, I don’t see why Lethal needed to go over here, as no matter who wins the World title tonight, they’re going to need heel challengers, especially if Adam Cole is leaving. Cody seems fine for that spot, honestly.
Post-match, Rhodes picks up the rope and cowbell. Lethal offers the Code of Honor, and Cody hands him the cowbell as an answer, which Jay holds up before leaving the ring.
Cheeseburger & Will Ferrara vs Shane Taylor & Rhett Titus vs The Motor City Machine Guns
If you think I care about this nonsense, you’re nuts. The Guns pin Cheeseburger for the win after about 10 minutes. Waste of the Guns, waste of everyone but Cheeseburger, who’s just a waste. The Rebellion beat the Guns down afterwards, and Will finally looks to turn on Cheeseburger, but Punishment Martinez comes down for his match and Will runs for the hills, leaving Cheeseburger to take a spinkick and go down. Good. Match was about **, **1/2, somewhere in there.
Frankie Kazarian comes down, and he’s due to face off against Punishment in our next match.
Frankie Kazarian vs Punishment Martinez
No Code of Honor, as Kaz attacks before the bell rings with a dropkick to send Martinez into the corner. He keeps attacking and hits a legdrop, but goes up and gets sent to the floor off the top by a Martinez kick, and Punishment follows him with a tope over the corner, which is impressive as hell every time I watch it. Martinez tosses Kaz around like a ragdoll and gets 2 off a springboard splash. Kaz comes back with a tornado DDT and a senton, but the Unprettier gets countered to a Torture Rack Driver by Punishment. Frankie keeps at it, avoiding a charge and hitting a pair of springboard DDTs, one on the apron. Springboard cutter by Frankie gets one, then 3 springboard ledrops get two. Kaz goes up, but here’s Adam Page, who is ostensibly here because Frankie betrayed the Bullet Club. Kaz stops to argue with him, and turns around right into a kick and the sitout chokeslam from Martinez, and that’ll do it. (Punishment Martinez over Frankie Kazarian, pinfall, 6:04)
MATCH RATING: **1/2. Perfectly acceptable big man/little man match, and Martinez is improving rapidly. He’s clearly being told to no-sell a lot as part of the character, but he’s fluid in his movements and is able to be carried very well. I liked this more than I thought I would, as Frankie put across how frustrating it was to be in there with a guy that you hit with your best shot and yet he still keeps coming, and Punishment played his role perfectly on that front. Kaz still has a TV title shot in his back pocket, so no harm done here.
Intermission time! Smoke ’em if you got ’em.
We’re back and that’s the music of reDRagon! And Bobby Fish makes his way to the ring, which is somewhat of a surprise. As the crowd chants his name, Fish wants a mic! “I like the sounds of that!” He’s sure that there are a few of you in the audience shocked to see him tonight, but the fact is that Bobby Fish is NOT done with Ring of Honor! Yay! And he’s still got issues with guys in the back, and at the top of that long list, it’s Jay Lethal! Jay Lethal, a contest as close as Vegas…..that was a bitter pill for him to swallow! Man Lethal’s getting some love tonight, isn’t he?
He starts to say more, but he’s interrupted by the music of Silas Young! Oh, fuck you, Silas. Why must you take away my joy? He’s got a mic too, and he tells Fish that he had a different view of him before he came out here and started whining and making excuses about not being able to beat Jay Lethal. He’s sick and tired of Jay Lethal, yeah, but he’s also sick and tired of people’s excuses; because excuses are a dime a dozen, so Fish must be nothing more than a dime store chump!
GET THIS MAN ON THE RAW WRITING TEAM! WHAT HIGH QUALITY DIALOGUE!
Fish tells Silas that he really couldn’t care less what makes Young sick, and since he’s already walked too far down the aisle, why not step between the ropes? Young seems amenable to that, so he strips off his shirt and slides in with a ref behind him, and this match is on!
Bobby Fish vs Silas Young
No Code of Honor. Young charges Fish in the corner and eats a boot, Bobby jumps on his back with a sleeper and they roll around on the mat after that. They head outside and Young eats the barricade, but comes back with a boot to the face. He pulls Fish’s shirt over Bobby’s head and rakes his back, vintage Roddy Piper work here. Ian says that the number one trend in the world is #ROHSupercard, while the graphic in the corner helpfully tells us that it’s actually the #1 trend in the US. He’s lucky he doesn’t work for Vince, because McMahon would probably come through the headset and rip out his larynx for that one. Back in the ring and Fish comes back with a kick to send Silas to the apron, then tries to legsweep him there, but Young avoids it and the ref takes it instead. Dropkick by Young and he gets a chair, another ref runs down and takes it away, Silas shoves him down and that’ll be a DQ. Joy. (Bobby Fish over Silas Young, DQ, 2:32)
MATCH RATING: DUD. I have no idea what this was or even what it was supposed to be, but it didn’t work for any discernible purpose outside of Fish telling us that he was sticking around for awhile. It was a silly couple of minutes.
Post-match, Fish decides to make up for what we just saw, I guess, by hitting Young with a crazy spear that takes both guys out of the ring and they hit the floor head-first, which is just nuts and not in a good way. Fish runs Young into the barricade and attempts to suplex him onto a couple of chairs, but Silas reverses that and spinebusters him onto the chairs instead. Security is out to break it up, but they fight through them to the back.
Let’s go a different direction, shall we?
Jay White & Dragon Lee vs Volador & Will Ospreay
Oh, this should do quite nicely. I saw an interesting theory on why Jay White has had problems getting over in ROH – he was undefeated for 9 months, sure. But he didn’t DO anything. He just won matches that had seemingly no consequence and didn’t do anything with them, he just sort of was…..there. Contrast that with a guy like Marty Scurll, who came in and won the TV title and kept beating top contenders. I’m not at all saying that White is on the level of Scurll, but still; it’s not about being undefeated, it’s about what you do with it.
Code of Honor is followed. I’ll be shocked if anyone sells a move for more than a minute, but that’s not the point of this match. They work a wrestling sequence and White grabs a headlock on the mat, and you can tell that the crowd is itching for the high spots to begin. Slick wristlock reversal sequence leads to the 1,000 Ospreay kip-ups to take Jay over, and Will celebrates with a Flair strut. Tags to Lee & Volador and the crowd chants for Lucha. Flippy Lucha shit ensues, and Lee hits Volador on the outside with an insane tope. Tag to White and they double team, tag back to Lee and Volador manages to ‘rana Lee over and it’s hot tag to Will. He hits a huge flying clothesline on Lee, White comes in and Ospreay takes both of them out with a double handspring kick. Volador back in now and it’s standing Shooting Star by Ospreay, springboard moonsault by Volador, then a CRAZY springboard twisting senton by Will on Lee. How he gets that many rotations and still hits the move is just beyond impressive. That gets two. White back in now and he crotches Volador on the top rope and sends Will to the apron, where Dragon Lee meets him with a ‘rana that sends him from the apron to the floor! Ospreay is gonna be in a wheelchair by the time he’s 35. Volador moonsaults Lee from the apron, then White follows him out with a tope, because why not? Meanwhile, Will is back in the ring now, he runs the ropes, Space Flying Tiger Drop…..White catches him! Well, kind of. He sort of caught him, then slams him on the apron. This match is nutter butters. They toss Will back in and get two off a missile dropkick and a frog splash before Volador breaks it up. Crowd thinks this is awesome, and they have indeed correctly applied that chant in this case. White and Will back in the ring now and White folds him in half with a nasty German suplex, Jay off the ropes, Spanish Fly by Ospreay! Everyone hits kicks and now all 4 guys are down. Volador gets hung in the Tree of Woe and Lee comes off the top with a double stomp for two. White gets taken out and we get another Lucha showdown, which Volador wins with a superkick that turns Lee inside-out. Snap German by Lee, Tornado DDT by Volador. Volador hits Lee with a Canadian Destroyer and Lee rolls to the floor, which ends up being catnip for Ospreay, who runs across the ring and hits a Shooting Star Press to the floor on Lee! Okay, he’s gonna be in a wheelchair by 34. He just lost a year. White and Volador in the ring and White goes up to finish, but Volador hits him with an enzuigiri and brings him down off the top with a bodyscissors, and that’s going to finally put a stop to this craziness. (Volador & Will Ospreay over Dragon Lee & Jay White, pinfall, 13:49)
MATCH RATING: ****. I fell for it hard, I freely admit. They made no pretense about the story having much to do with wrestling; it was a chance for everyone in the match to show off, and the last big move won it. It was non-stop action, and I mean that literally. Will Ospreay is crazy and seems to literally have no regard for his body in any way, shape or form. There was very little ‘wrestling’ outside of the opening sequence, but the match promised a certain style and delivered spectacularly on that style, hence the high rating. This was really good stuff.
Post-match, everyone shakes hands and hugs it out while raising each other’s arms as the crowd chants “That was awesome!”
Let’s take a look at the World title situation. Up first, we’ve got our World champ, Christopher Daniels, imbibing the finest of beverages, the Appletini! “You know, the only thing sweeter than my drink of choice is the taste of victory!” And the feeling that he had after winning this title was the sweetest of all, but now the hard work begins! Defending this title, building a legacy against the top talent in Ring of Honor! Dalton Castle, you’re a talented guy, and it may not take 15 years for your time to come, but your time is not now – he will do anything to defend his title, but for competition’s sake, he wishes you luck!
Mr. Castle, would you care to rebut? “Christopher Daniels. You’ve made things interesting!” Here he is, preparing for a match at Supercard of Honor against Adam Cole, and then….your victory has him second guessing himself! Has he been preparing all wrong? He started to worry, he even picked up one his Faberge eggs and threw it against the wall! But the Boys calmed him down, and then it clicked; why is he worried? This is a World title match, he’s Dalton Castle….and he’s fantastic.
And there’s the music of Dalton! Boy Count for Dalton’s entrance – 8. Crowd ROARS for Castle, because he’s awesome. And here comes the champ! Christopher Daniels is out; Chris, PLEASE drop the SS jacket. You’re a face now, there’s no need to provoke the crowd, man.
The balliest move they could make here is to put the title on Castle.
Dalton Castle (w/ The Boys) vs Christopher Daniels (c) (w/ the satisfaction of a career finally fulfilled) – Ring of Honor World Title match
Code of Honor is followed. They fight over a wristlock and Daniels hits a leg lariat. Very methodical pace to start, and I don’t think it’s the right call. Crowd was jacked after Dalton’s entrance, and now they’re slowing down. More stalling ensues, as Daniels wants the Boys to fan him off, and they almost do. Dalton gets tossed to the floor and Daniels STEALS THE FANS from the Boys, and that’s a big no-no, as the Boys come in to try to get their fans back, allowing Castle to get a waistlock and a throw on Chris. Quick sequence and Daniels ends up outside the ring, so Dalton does his walk and pose. Back in and Castle gets the advantage with a waistlock, but Daniels comes back and hits an STO. Flatliner into a Koji Clutch for Chris. Drop sleeper gets two for Daniels. Dalton comes back with suplexes. He sets Chris on the top rope and hits a running knee to send him to the floor. The match isn’t bad at all, but there’s not much heat to it right now. Dalton follows Chris to the floor and ‘ranas him there off the apron. Daniels comes back and hits a split-legged moonsault as the Boys push Castle out of the way and take it themselves, and Dalton hits a tope on Chris. Back in, Daniels gets a Blue Thunder Bomb for two. Top rope Driver for Daniels gets two. Best Moonsault Ever attempt, Castle moves and hits a bridging German for two. Saito suplex and a running knee in the corner for Dalton, Bangarang hits! 1, 2, NO! Okay, he’s not winning. Crowd barely reacted to that as a near fall, which is kind of a bad sign. Daniels comes back with the flatliner into the Koji Clutch, but Castle makes the ropes. Angel’s Wings attempt is countered into a Bangarang, but Chris rolls him up for the pin before he can hit it. (Christopher Daniels over Dalton Castle, pinfall, 15:39)
MATCH RATING: ***. The ringwork was good, but something was missing from this match. Notably, the lack of drama in the story, as Castle never seemed to have an actual chance to win this thing. His one big nearfall was the bangarang in the middle, and no one bought it as the finish. That hurt the heat the match had, and they were in trouble because no one really wants to boo Daniels and no one wants to boo Castle, but the story didn’t really build well to having two faces work this type of match. It felt extremely anti-climactic watching, and the finish was weak – if Daniels is going to kick out of Castle’s finisher anyway, why not have Chris finish with the Wings or something instead of a rollup? I’m assuming it was to keep Dalton strong as they can play it off like a fluke, but I find it keeps guys stronger to lose a hard-fought match to a finisher as opposed to something like a cradle. I was less than enthused about this, which is a shame because I think these two are both excellent professional wrestlers. They just didn’t really click here for whatever reason two guys don’t click in the ring.
Post-match, Code of Honor is followed as both guys raise their arms…..and Cody Rhodes attacks from behind in a suit! Kick to the balls for Dalton, then CrossRhodes for Daniels as Cody picks up the ROH World title and holds it high. Me thinks he wants da belt! Kaz appears to chase him off, but I’d assume we haven’t seen the last of Cody with regards to Daniels. Might have been cooler had he beaten Lethal earlier tonight, but I assume they want Jay strong to keep him in the World title picture if Cody is also going to be there.
Recap of the Hardys and the Bucks, AKA the reason that ROH drew their biggest house in history. Hey, I’ll admit it.
Ladders and table surround the ring as the Young Bucks make their entrance. Piano music brings out the Hardys, and Matt is CLEARLY still playing Broken Matt here. Hey, I’m fine with it. Fuck TNA. Crowd agrees, chanting “Delete” before switching to the ever classy “Fuck that owl”.
The Hardys (c) (Matt & Jeff Hardy) vs The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) – Ladder match for the Ring of Honor World Tag Team titles
No Code of Honor. The Hardys toss aside the Superkick tag belts and the fight is on. They do a couple of sequences that end with Matt biting people and the Bucks superkicking people, the usual. Really nice sequence from the Bucks as they hit a double stomp on Jeff into a lungblower on Matt. The Hardys come back with Twists of Fate and they go get a ladder, but the Bucks dropkick the ladder and send the Hardys to the floor. Rise of the Terminator topes by the Bucks. Ladders enter the ring, but the Hardys do too, chopping away at the Bucks. The Hardys toss the Bucks into the ladders, then hit a double DDT on Nick. Matt Jackson tries to fight off both of them, but ends up on the apron and Jeff hits him with a ladder to send him through our first table of the evening.
The Hardys sent up a ladder seesaw now, but both Bucks are back in and everyone fights on the top, with Matt Hardy hitting a Crucifix bomb on Matt Jackson while Jeff pushes Nick to the floor. The Hardys take too long setting up a few tables, and the Bucks come back with a facebuster that sends the ladder into the face of Jeff as Matt Hardy takes a moonsault on the outside from the apron. The Bucks set Jeff on a table and hit a 450 onto Jeff through the table. The Matts end up on the top throwing rights at each other, Hardy wins that battle but loses the war as he gets yanked off anyway and takes the bucklebomb/enzuigiri combo in the corner. The Bucks set Matt Hardy on a ladder and look for another 450, but Jeff is back and stops that, even though he takes a superkick in the process. Nick gets slammed off the top and the Hardys put him through a ladder with an inverted wheelbarrow suplex.
Matt Jackson comes in to avenge his brother and hits Matt Hardy with a ladder to the midsection, then leaps out to hit Jeff with a DDT on the apron. He puts Jeff on a table and comes back in to climb, Matt Hardy stops that with a suplex. Nick sets up a smaller ladder next to the big one, which makes no sense except to set up the next spot, but it’s a really cool spot: Matt Hardy shoves over the smaller ladder, so Nick walks from one ladder to the next, which is also going down, to the top rope where he comes off with a swanton to Jeff through the table! So long as you remember this is just a video game, the match works fine. The Matts go at it again on top of the ladder, and it goes down as they both get snapped on the top rope. Everyone back in now, and they all end up on ladders before one goes down and we have Matt Jackson and Jeff slugging it out now on top. Jeff goes down and he and Nick double clothesline each other, while Matt Hardy stops Matt Jackson from making it to the top, then shoves the ladder over, sending Jackson through two tables on the outside. These guys are fucking crazy.
Nick takes on the Hardys by himself and does a pretty decent job of it with knees and kicks as Matt Jackson manages to get back in the ring, and the Bucks hit a double superkick on Jeff mid-air as he comes down with a Whisper in the Wind. Double superkick on Matt Hardy, but he rebounds with a double clothesline that takes out both Bucks, and now we’re all down again. Back up, Matt Jackson charges at Matt Hardy, and he gets backdropped through a table to the outside, while Jeff charges Nick and Jeff takes a backdrop through a table on the other side. Matt and Nick are standing and they battle on the apron, so Matt hits Nick with a Side Effect through the table to make sure he doesn’t feel left out. How magnanimous of him. Everyone is back in the ring within a minute anyway, so no worries. Both teams set up a ladder now, and they meet at the top, they exchange shots, and the Bucks hit stereo superkicks to send the Hardys crashing to the mat, then reach up and take the titles down to end this thing. Ladies and Gentlemen, we have NEW Ring of Honor World Tag Team champions! (The Young Bucks over the Hardys, belt retrieval, 25:19)
MATCH RATING: ****1/4. This absolutely blew away the 3-team match from the last PPV, both in execution and less gross spots (no thumbtacks). There was not a single ounce of realism whatsoever here, as both teams recovered from crushing shots in a matter of seconds, so to rate the match, I looked at the pacing and whether or not it delivered what it promised, and it did, in spades. The spots were placed extremely well throughout, as each ‘big’ spot was built to by smaller moments, and no one had an extended period of time alone in the ring, at least not enough for either team to realistically have gotten up the ladder. It was basically like watching a video game, but you knew that going in. The Bucks were very good here, as they toned down their usual too cool for school nonsense and came across like they wanted to win the match very badly, at least in whatever alternate reality this match was taking place in. I don’t think it was quite as good as the 3-team ladder war from last year, but that match had the compelling Daniels storyline as a backdrop, where this one didn’t quite have that. Overall, the match itself was delivered to a T exactly as promised, and it was exciting to watch. Good enough for me, even if I’m not a huge fan of this type of work. Good way to end things tonight.
Post-match, the Hardys offer the Code of Honor, as Matt Hardy calls the Bucks the best tag team they’ve ever faced. I wish Bully Ray would have run in and kicked his ass for that comment. Hardy continues, saying that he doesn’t know how much longer these vessels will allow them to continue, but they know that as long as there are teams like the Bucks out there, tag team wrestling is safe! Hugs and shakes all around, and Jeff takes the mic to sing the obsolete song to bring the whole thing to a close, and that’ll do it for Supercard of Honor 11. The Bucks pose to a standing ovation as we fade to black.
FINAL THOUGHTS: What more can you really want from a wrestling PPV? 2 **** matches, 4 at *** or better, hard work up and down the card, this blew away Wrestlemania and it really isn’t even close by any standard. Everyone came to play tonight, and while there were some disappointments, ROH continues their hot streak on PPV here with a quality show worth your time.
As always, thanks for reading this thing I wrote,
@MrSoze on Twitter