A Great Alternative: ROH TV 4-4-2015

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Ring of Honor has been around for  thirteen years and I am horribly ashamed I’ve only gotten into it recently. I’m going to keep watching their show and recapping it as it’s something that every fan of professional wrestling should get behind. One of the best things about this show is you can watch it right here. I’m probably going to gush… be warned…

RING OF HONOR TELEVISION 4-4-2015

We kick things off this week with a re-cap of “Young Boy” search 2015. I can’t be the only one worried about the name right? Right? Perhaps I’ve become that guy who just sees prison rape references everywhere? I just hope this turns out better than Motherboy 2004.

Saddest
Saddest

We are STILL in Baltimore Maryland and I am completely out of things to say about this fair city. It’s probably just my own ignorance but all I could muster in three weeks was, The Wire, Cal Ripkin Jr. and a plethora of violence. There’s got to be more to this town right?

Match #1 Will Ferrara Vs. Michael Elgin

Just a suggestion if they wanted to mix things up, they could totally call Elgin Moose. He’s got the right build, he’s from the north, he has a snarl that makes children cry and I wouldn’t want to run into him with my car. Of course then we’d have to come up with another name for the actual Moose. Maybe Magma? No one’s ever been called Magma in wrestling and that’s a damn shame. Elgin’s robe is wrinkled to the point that it looks like it’s been tossed in a gym bad at the end of the night for the past ten years. I do enjoy his music though. Completely different than anything else in wrestling today.

I've got an old iron at  my house. I'll send it to you if you promise to use it.
I’ve got an old iron at my house. I’ll send it to you if you promise to use it.

Ferrara is doing great flipping around a fantastic sounding ring until Elgin LEVELS his with a stiff kick. He then proceeds to toss him about sixty-five feet in the air before applying a vicious chin lock. Anyone who reads my stuff knows that I hate rest holds where it looks like you’re resting. This is certainly not that. Elgin wrenches his head to the point that it looks like he’s trying to put him away with the chin lock. I think we all know that that’s not going to be the way this match ends, but it’s totally refreshing to see someone attempt to get it over as deadly. I say attempt to get it over but I certainly wouldn’t want Michael Elgin to drive the six hours from Toronto and put me in a headlock…

Ferrara fights back and attempts to nail a tornado DDT but Elgin is too string and turns it mid-air into some sort of a suplex bomb that makes me fear for Ferrara’s livelihood. I love that in every match I see Will Ferrara in he tries to pick up his bigger opponents. I’m not sure why it gets such a pop out of me but it’s an interesting little character quirk that most guys don’t take the time to do any more. Of course it backfires and Elgin proceeds to murder him with a forearm. The it’s buckle bomb, sit down power bomb and a cover for three on Ferrara. Will is dead, dead, dead.

Kevin Kelly on commentary the whole time is putting over the story that Elgin wants to have better competition here in Ring Of Honor. It works so nicely in conjunction with the story in the ring that Michael Elgin is making Will Ferrara’s children orphans. I’ve been a little hard on my fellow Canadian Elgin in my past writings, but I thought he was excellent here. He told a neat concise story without ever taking me out of it with anything unbelievable. If this is how he’s going to be going forward he’s very quickly going to morph into one of my favorite guys.

I didn’t want to mention the Super Beta Prostate commercials with the Briscoe brothers, but Mark forced my hand by ending the segment with his two fingers pointing straight in the air as though he was about to examine/violate my rectum. Thanks for the nightmares Mark!

You're welcome pal...
You’re welcome pal…

Match #2 War Machine Vs. Jobbers

The aren’t named or given graphics so they clearly aren’t important enough to research. War Machine is of course Hanson and Ray Rowe. Rowe proceeds to win me over by obliterating one of the enhancement guys with a back breaker/gord buster/ power bomb combo. The beat on them some more until they finish a guy named “All Good” with a top rope leg drop homicide. Squishy squishy squash.

We’re not done though as Michael Elgin makes his way back to the ring. He’s being punished by Ring of Honor so he’s going to punish everyone else. He decides to fight War Machine on his own as he brought them into this world so he can take them out. Kevin asks if Elgin has lost his mind. He has Kevin, but think about why for a second. He’s from Toronto, where I’m sure Bret Hart would stick the hose if he wanted to give Canada… you get the idea. They have a hockey team that hasn’t won a championship since 1967 (a team I was a fan of for a while) a basketball team named after fucking dinosaurs and a baseball team that hasn’t been relevant since Joe Carter leapt from base to base with the glee of a small child in 1993. At this point we should probable be happy Michael Elgin hasn’t suplexed himself of the CM Tower. Their mayor was a crack addict that said he had enough pussy to eat at home. Seriously Kevin cut Elgin some slack, he’s a product of his environment. Fuck Toronto.

Mayor of Toronto or crack addled Bob Backlund?
Mayor of Toronto or crack addled Bob Backlund?

Samoa Joe is bringing the revolution back to ROH! I certainly hoped he’s run this by James Storm and Shane Douglas.

Match # 3 Michael Elgin Vs. War Machine

Handicap match that in all probability will leave Elgin handicapped. This is stiff as all hell and is over pretty much as soon as it starts. Elgin goes for the chair and gets DQed wailing on the bearded duo. It’s a nothing match but it was fun to watch these guys wail on each other…

Jay Briscoe in the back talking about Samoa Joe. A great impassioned promo where he states that Joe is going to have to kill him to get the title off of him. He finishes with “The Champ is Here!” I would pay good money to see Jay Briscoe fight John Cena. I would pay even more to see Cena attempt to smile it off after leaving the Briscoe’s farm…

MAN UP!!!
MAN UP!!!

Match # 4 ACH Vs Q.T. Marshall

Marshall has been a favorite of mine since I attended the taping they did in Philly in January. I made it a point to scream at the wrestlers as they went to the ring. Like a five year old child, I know… but of all the guys I yelled at good old QT got into it with me. When I told him what he did wasn’t very nice he screamed “I’m not paid to be nice.” Later after taking a beating at the hands/feet of Roderick Strong I asked if he was ok to which he painfully yelled, “I’m not ok!!!” So I’ll like him forever.

What a great dick...
What a great dick…

Steve Corino lists all the people Marshall has a problem with, the fans, the internet community, everyone. I like that character, the grumpy fuck who just hates everyone. Fun stuff. We also learn that ACH is Corino’s second favorite Hardy, which I’m sure will spark the biggest on-line debate since Caesar/Pompeii Magnus. QT is a great prick kicking ACH when he attempts to follow the code of Honor. Marshall goes to the apron and avoids an attack by flipping to the floor. I did not expect that from him… He then gets punted smack in the fucking face. Nice. He then catches ACH with a power slam to the floor. You certainly can’t say these two aren’t going all out.

The original Team ExTreme.
The original Team ExTreme.

Marshall is angered by the internet and the fans so he’d probably hate that I’m about to point out that his heat segment on ACH is actually pretty decent. Great stuff during said segment as Kevin and Steve discuss their love for the Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air and we even get a Young MC Bust a Move reference. ACH is so exciting to watch. Just a tremendous talent, but I’ll say this QT Marshall doesn’t look out of place at all in there with him. QT even tried to hit him with a 450 splash!!! Of course he misses and Kevin and Steve nail it with “Marshall may have broken his leg! And his Spirit!!!” This is the kind of humor I love from a commentating team. ACH finishes with a 450 of his own before going to console Steve Corino for all the Young Boy suffering he’s been through.

This of course brings out the Decade to get all up in ACH’s face. BJ on the stick calls ACH Albert so you know it’s a shoot!!! Apparently no one likes ACH in the back and the Decade is here to teach him a lesson. They’re mad that ACH has been given opportunities that should have gone to Adam Page. BJ does nail a killer line with “Every time your mother looks at you all she sees is a failure.” This prompts Colby Corino to attack ACH from behind. It does nothing but A for effort Colby. The Decade pounces and beats the living hell out of ACH finishing him off with a reverse tombstone. While the Decade stands triumphant, Steve Corino appears to be the most disappointed father on the planet.

At least Charlie Chapin made a movie about my son.
At least Charlie Chapin made a movie about my son.

Mark Briscoe cuts a great promo on AJ Styles. This ain’t no tag match and the only guy Styles is going to be in the ring with is a crazy man. He drops truths like rooster and cock sure in a way that anyone else would make sound ridiculous. He closes by saying how honored he is to have the match. Just great genuine stuff, that almost made me forget about the violating commercial I sat through before.

Match # 5 AJ Styles Vs. Mark Briscoe

I have yet to see Mark Briscoe win a singles match since I’ve started watching. The commentators immediately ease my feeling by selling the fact that Briscoe needs just one big win to get back into contention. I love when the sport is respected. AJ Styles gets far and away the biggest pop of the night and receives all the streamers in Baltimore when he hits the ring.

There goes our economy.
There goes our economy.

AJ dazzles with all kinds of fantastic offence. He ‘s really morphed into a tremendous technical marvel to watch. Mark Briscoe is right there with him though, move for move step for step, Briscoe is killing it. AJ hits a sweet arm drag variation I’ve never seen before and nails the smoothest dropkick this side of Hardcore Holly. Presumably without any of the bullying or psychological trauma.

I'm dead on the inside.
I’m dead on the inside.

They brawl on the outside, nailing each other with absolutely vicious shots to the barricade. I swear every single AJ match I see impresses me because you never get the same match twice. Just as I write that they head back in for a submission sequence. AJ locks in an Indian Death Lock which Mark counters by unlocking the grip around his neck. I’m not even sure how Styles manages to swing around to get into the Calf Killer, but I’m equally impressed by the simplistic and logical elbows Mark throws to break the hold. Every move makes sense, as does every counter to the moves. That’s wrestling.

Red Neck Kung-Fu is next, which is maybe the most underrated spot into he business. Mark gets the best of AJ with these strong, quick strikes, but it’s short lived as AJ destroys him with a fisherman buster for two.

Kevin and Steve decide to explain to us why AJ usually kicks out at one. It’s because he’s too proud to let anyone get a two count on him. That means that if Mark Briscoe is getting two counts that AJ must be tired/weakened. What a tremendous bit of commentary that gives us awesome background on AJ’s character but also puts over how strong Mark Briscoe is. All in two sentences. This is totally a lost art and it’s a privilege to listen to here.

This match has been a joy, but it has to end sometime. Briscoe goes for a top rope “what” a maneuver and AJ counters with his knees. He then pounces, hitting the Sunday Bloody Sunday and the Styles Clash in rapid succession before putting Mark away for the three. I LOVE the urgency at the end from Styles trying to put Briscoe away. I also love that when AJ decides to win he hits you with two-three high impact moves to make sure you’re dead. Great match which is made even greater with the handshake. AJ Styles is the man, but Mark Briscoe is just as big a stud.

This is wrestling.
This is wrestling.

Best Match: AJ Styles Vs. Mark Briscoe
Worst Match: Michael Elgin Vs. War Machine by default.
Best Promo/Skit: Jay Briscoe the Champ Is Here!
Worst Promo/Skit: No one likes you Albert.
MVP: AJ Styles &Mark Briscoe

What Worked Really Well

Awesome Main Event for the second week in a row.

Michael Elgin came out of his shell for me a little tonight. I really enjoyed his stuff.

Every match was at least competitive, and after all, competition is what this show is all about.

What Sort Of Works

I liked War Machine killing the jobbers, but if they’re going to take that abuse I think they’ve earned the right to be named…

What Didn’t Work

I’m not a huge fan of “no one likes you in the back,” feuds. It bleeds the line too much between the competitive and scripted nature of the show. It’s just weak motivation.

So Why Should I Watch This Instead Of Raw?

Because you get an hour of really solid wrestling culminating with a match between two of the best wrestlers in the world. IF you’re not watching AJ Styles every chance you get these days you’re missing one of the better runs in recent memory. Couple that with a solid undercard, great commentary and a prick who wants to fight two Vikings and this week is an easy win for me.

Just as a side note. I love writing these re-caps and I know I can be on the snarky/assholish side. That’s just me and who I am. I do write these because I truly love the product and want to promote it as much as I can. ROH and TNA at this point are the wrestling I love watching week in and week out. Even the guys I rag on I respect and appreciate as professionals, in the end they’re the ones busting their ass to entertain and I’m just a guy behind a keyboard. Thanks again for reading! See ya next week.

Nothing but respect.
Nothing but respect.

Author: Aaron George

Aaron is a classically trained Shakespearean actor by day who fulfils his culture quotient by watching wrestling by night. He has two sons a great wife and once explored the sewers in his hometown.