Ring of Honor – September 24, 2011 – ECW On SyFy’s Debut Might Be Off The Hook Now

Ring of Honor
Date: September 24, 2011
Location: Frontier Fieldhouse, Chicago Ridge, Illinois
Commentators: Kevin Kelly, Nigel McGuinness

This is the debut episode under the new owners of Sinclair Broadcasting and since I get the channel that it airs on, I’ll be reviewing it weekly now. I won’t be doing it live but it’ll be up by the end of Saturday. This should be interesting as I’ve heard nothing but how great ROH is and now I can watch it. I’m not sure how great it’ll be but maybe it’s worth seeing. Anyway, I don’t watch a ton of ROH but I know of it and follow it to a certain degree. Let’s get to it.

Please keep in mind I haven’t watched an ROH show in about a year so if I don’t get a reference or miss something big, please bear with me.

The arena looks kind of small and it’s dark like the old WCW arenas were but with better production values obviously.

Kevin Kelly welcomes us to the show and announces the main event of the show as being for the tag titles with Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team (Haas/Benjamin) defending against the Kings of Wrestling (both in WWE now). He also brings out the returning Nigel McGuinness (Desmond Wolfe) as the analyst. Nigel talks about how he’s here for the boys in the back and how he wanted to be a part of this.

Adam Cole and Kyle O’Riley (Futureshock) says they’re going to take over the tag division.

The Bravados (didn’t catch their first names) say they’re going to destroy Futureshock and parents shouldn’t let their kids watch. These teams had a match before and one of the Bravados was injured so there’s a story to this.

Futureshock vs. The Bravados

Both teams appear to be faces and the Bravados are Cherokees. Their names are Harlem and Lance and Kevin Kelly says their win/loss record isn’t great. They’re shaking hands to follow the Code of Honor (not defined here) and it’s Adam vs. Harlem to start. Ok so Adam has the long hair. Got it. Futureshock uses some speed moves to take out Harlem and it breaks down quickly as Lance doesn’t have much more success. They hook a weird move where the Bravados’ legs are intertwined and both Futureshock guys hook armbars.

The Bravados make a blind tag (Kelly: He didn’t see that one.) and take over on Cole. I have no idea which Bravado is which but one gets a Justin Bieber chant. Yeah he does look a bit like him and the pin spotted trunks and boots don’t help. Ok Harlem looks like Bieber and Lance has long hair. Got it also. There’s a Tweet of the Week which makes fun of Russo’s booking by saying “You should watch ROH because it’s not 1997.”

The Bravados hit a double team superkick/German suplex combo called Gentlemen’s Choice for two. Adam tries to fight out of the corner and eventually rolls through to O’Riley. He’s part of Team Richards, meaning he trains with Davey Richards, meaning I’m probably not going to like him at all. He uses a double dragon screw leg whip (he whips one Bravado and that Bravado whips his partner because letting go is too much of a stretch I guess) and a double dropkick takes the Bravados down for two.

Futureshock does a bunch of combo suplexes and Adam hits a suicide dive to take both Bravados out. A missile dropkick off the apron puts a Bravado down and top rope cross body gets two for both guys. They take out Harlem with something that has a name but I couldn’t understand Kelly. It’s Total Elimination but with a clothesline rather than a spin kick and it gets the pin at 7:20.

Rating: B-. I think I can sum up this entire series in the following statement: if you like the ROH style, you’ll like this and if you don’t, you’re not going to be that impressed. There’s some good stuff here but a lot of the moves are ones where the other team clearly had to work with them for it to work and that drives me crazy. It was entertaining but I wouldn’t call it great. That can be good but it’s not going to get to a higher level than that with this style, at least not with me.

We get a report from Best in the World, a show back in I think June. Uh yeah….shouldn’t we be seeing new stuff instead of clips from old shows? It focuses on a four team elimination match won by Haas/Benjamin and followed by a post match beatdown by the Briscos. Now we talk about the world title match where Davey Richards finally won the title by beating Eddie Edwards. Never been a fan of Richards and I don’t think I’ll start now. This eats up like 6 minutes, or 10% of the show.

Here’s a segment called Inside Ring of Honor which explains the Code of Honor. Jim Cornette says that it’s a self imposed code. The idea is you shake hands pre and post match as a show of respect etc. It’s not mandatory but the guys that don’t use it aren’t that popular. In other words, take away the aspect of hatred for the sake of a Code and respect. That’s the same issue that TNA has far too often and it gets old.

Jay Lethal vs. El Generico for the TV Title next week. Lethal says he tried to be someone else for years (Savage) but here it’s about competition and not politics. He’s taking the TV Title so he can get the respect of the fans.

Since it’s been long enough since we’ve had an actual match, here’s a second look at the elimination tag match. Is there a point to this? I mean, it’s like an ad for the website/DVD instead of talking about the show itself. I don’t get this. WE SAW THIS TEN MINUTES AGO. This is eating up like 5 more minutes. They do know they only have an hour a week right???

Nigel interviews a fan who says the champs will retain.

Tag Titles: Kings of Wrestling vs. Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team

Each time someone comes to the ring they get streamers thrown at them. It’s annoying but I guess it’s something to get used to. The Kings are Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli. The champs (Haas/Benjamin) took the belts from them after the Kings held them forever. This is the first match in 24 minutes, meaning 40% of this show had zero wrestling on it due to highlight packages. That would be like 48 minutes without wrestling on Raw. Oh wait WE HAVE A COMMERCIAL BEFORE THE BELL.

There’s the bell and it’s been 27 minutes since the last match ended, or 54 minutes in Raw time. Haas vs. Hero to start us off. How did a guy like Haas get Jackie Gayda? Off to Nigel quickly so maybe he started and I wasn’t paying enough attention. Haas counters a few hip tosses and takes Claudio down with arm drags. This is match #4 in their series and the champs are 2-1 so far.

Blind tag brings in Benjamin and he hits a top rope clothesline to take over. Off to hero who gets caught in a small package for two. Hero sells a lot and things start to break down. Benjamin can’t hit the dragon whip and the Kings take over with nefarious means. Benjamin is thrown outside and Hero hits a baseball slide to take him out again. We take a break and come back with Claudio holding a headlock and hitting a powerslam for two.

Benjamin tries the tag and hits Dragon Whip this time but Hero pulls Haas off the apron. Charlie comes in and lets Hero hit an elbow to the back of the head for two. Off to Hero (Claudio got the two) and Hero hits a senton backsplash for two. Benjamin counters a double suplex into a double neckbreaker and there’s a leaping hot tag. Roaring Elbow by Hero is countered into a German and Claudio takes a T-Bone for two.

A rana and a big boot gets the same. Haas gets taken down and another elbow called the KTFO (you figure it out) gets two for Hero. Was there a tag there? The third spinning forearm/elbow (WE GET IT ALREADY) sets up a giant swing by Claudio as we go back to the 70s. The Kings set for their finisher (KRS 1) but it’s broken up by Benjamin. A hot shot sets up the thing where Shelton jumps over Charlie to land on the other dude’s back and a Hart Attack ends this at 16:48.

Rating: B-. Not bad here but dude, this was the best they could do? This is supposed to be the big and epic tag team division that is the best in the world? It’s not bad but it’s certainly not a classic or anything at all. I’ve definitely seen better stuff on Raw or Smackdown this year. I saw a match live that was better than this and I can’t even remember who were partnering with Orton and Christian.

They’re off the air at 2:58. We didn’t even get the whole hour. WOW.

Overall Rating: D+. And that’s a stretch. This was one of the least inspiring debuts I’ve seen in a very long time. On a 58 minute show (whatsupwitdat?) we had 22 minutes of wrestling and 36 minutes of talking/highlight packages. Now I could understand that if you’re introducing characters etc, but that isn’t what they did. We got two packages OF THE EXACT SAME THING, a quick promo for a TV Title match next week and a video on Richards who won’t be here for two weeks.

If this is the debut, you need to bring out the champ for it, not the tag champs. Wrestling fans see the world champion as the top guy in any company. I don’t care if it’s different in ROH, it’s not different for fans. This was their coming out party and it didn’t work for the most part. Not a fan so far, but this was their first show so we’ll see how it goes next time. Bad show.

Futureshock b. The Bravados – Ride the Lightning to Harlem
Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team b. The Kings of Wrestling – Wrestling’s Greatest Finisher to Hero


  1. Anonymous says:

    ROH is way too focused on TNA bashing instead of improving their own product. Not only do ROH fans regularly chant “f*** TNA” on their PPVs, but ROH’s big debut show featured a “tweet of the week” (from somebody who hasn’t tweeted in a month; yes, I actually looked it up) bashing TNA and Jay Lethal taking shots at his former employer. People criticize TNA for taking constant shots at WWE, but ROH takes shots at TNA more frequently (and TNA fans would never chant “f*** WWE”). I would think that TNA fans are more likely to give ROH a chance than WWE fans, since they are already willing to watch a show by a wrestling company not called WWE that doesn’t have the WWE’s production values or the WWE’s massive crowds (and TNA used to be much more like ROH).

    I definitely agree that ROH should have had Davey Richards on the show this week (his first title defense is scheduled for the 3rd week of this show). The current WWE and TNA viewers (99.9% of all wrestling fans in North America and the audience ROH has to reach if they want to grow) mostly look at tag team wrestling as a joke. A show of 2 tag team matches and a bunch of video packages isn’t going to appeal to anybody who isn’t already an ROH fan. ROH needs to deliver more talk and fewer video packages. Why didn’t El Generico (the TV Champion) get some mic time? Why wasn’t the PPV from September 17th mentioned at all (maybe they didn’t want to air the obscenities that their fans chanted at Mike Bennett)?

    If you are already an ROH fan, you probably don’t see anything wrong with their product. ROH has received very little criticism over the years because of their obscurity, but when 20% of the country can see their shows on network TV they will be able to point to the flaws in ROH.

    I remember when I saw TNA for the first time on Fox Sports Net and the X Division was interesting enough for me to become an occasional viewer of their show. I also remember when I started watching wrestling again (I gave up on wrestling entirely in late 2006) and TNA nearly turned me off their product when they had an awful episode of Impact (the Lockbox Challenge episode). If I hadn’t given them a second chance a few weeks later, I probably would have been done with wrestling entirely once again (I don’t think TNA is perfect, merely better than the other wrestling companies, and I agree with many of the criticisms of the company, but I think people are way too critical of them most of the time). I can’t imagine that many first time ROH viewers will want to give them a 2nd chance after this show. I got the HDNet shows last year and they were better than this, but I didn’t watch those very often. I’m sorry if I sound overly critical of ROH here. I have nothing against the company and would like to see them succeed. If one wrestling company does well, that helps the other wrestling companies as well (and since the companies sign wrestlers away from each other, you have to watch all of them to see all of your favorites).

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Yeah for a debut show, this was nothing special at all. It looked like an indu company and while that’s what it is, an indy company shouldn’t be on FOX (which is where it aired here). Even a five minute match in between the others would have done wonders for this show, which is odd but true.

  2. Adam King says:

    This was the show everyone was looking forward to?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Yep. This is the show that is supposed to save us from Raw and Smackdown and Impact and be the BEST show on TV. If this is the best, I’ll be off reading a book somewhere, because this was nothing I couldn’t see done better on OVW TV.

    Mando>Eddie Reply:

    Now you’re just being facetious — name me a half-dozen, or hell, a couple guys on the current OVW roster that have as good a body of work as guys like Hero, Homicide, Strong, etc. I agree that the production, pacing, etc. was poor on this show (and a big step back from their HDNet show which was consistently good) but this stuff about ROH being some sort of savior is just nonsense. Complaining about a free TV show with two B- matches?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Yep I’m complaining about it because it was poor. For your national debut that you’ve been waiting years for and that you have months to prepare for, this was a joke. There are a lot of cases where wrestling isn’t the point and this was one of them.