Ring of Honor – October 8, 2011 – Raw is Having A Walk Out So ROH is Having A Strike Off

Ring of Honor
Date: October 8, 2011
Location: Frontier Field House, Chicago Ridge, Illinois
Commentators: Kevin Kelly, Nigel McGuinness

Hopefully the third week gets a bit better than the previous two. I’d imagine we’ll see more of a focus on the tag team scene which has been the theme of the show so far. It’ll also be interesting to see if the shows are the same for everyone so far. The final thing they need to do is have a third match. That would fix a lot of problems as it would fill in some of the holes. Let’s get to it.

The Briscoes open the shows in an interview with Cornette. I’m starting to see the issues with the production values as you can’t really hear what Cornette is saying. In short, the Briscoes want the title shot at Haas/Benjamin and they have to beat the All Night Express next week for the title shot. The Briscoes are rednecks from Delaware and are the most successful tag team in ROH history.

We get a focus on the Dominant Male, Tomossa Ciampa. He’s undefeated and part of the Embassy which is a long running heel stable that has only been kind of successful. It’s leader is Prince Nana who claims to be a prince from Ghana who finances the team with his tax collections. He lost his money and got rich again through Obama’s stimulus package. I can’t say they’re not getting creative. Basically Ciampa trains a lot and is tough. There you go.

Andy Ridge vs. Tomossa Ciampa

Steve Corino is on commentary for this match. Ridge likes to kick a lot. The first bell rings at about 17 minutes into the match. Ridge fires off some kicks but Ciampa suplexes his way out of it. They go to the apron and it’s chops vs. kicks. Ciampa gets sent to the floor but he pulls Ridge off and sends him into the barricade in a hard shot.

Off to a head scissors which is a lot harder than it sounds. Ridge fires off a kick (shame we were looking at Nana at the time. It might have been a chacha contest for all I know) and hits a slingshot cutter. And never mind as he takes a bunch of knees to the head in the corner. A powerbomb into a backbreaker ends this at 4:45.

Rating: C-. Just a squash here and I don’t think anyone expected anything else. It was nothing great but Ciampa looked good and that’s what it was supposed to do. Ciampa is a guy that in a company like WWE would be built up and fed to Cena or Hogan back in the 80s but for this, I’m not sure I can see him going anywhere. For one thing, there’s no real storyline on this show. It’s random matches with a title match at the end. Oh and the finisher is called Project Ciampa.

A fan is asked about the main event and says bring back Kevin Steen, who is a wrestler that lost a mask vs. career match like 10 months ago. They’ve been building to his return for awhile.

Roderick Strong says winning the title is like being the captain of the football team. Richards talks about his grandfather having cancer while he was winning his first title and then trying to get to the hospital when he passed away. I know they’re trying to make Richards this feel good story but I’m just not buying it. Granted I’m not a fan of his at all.

ROH World Title: Roderick Strong vs. Davey Richards

Strong is part of the House of Truth which is Truth Martini’s heel stable. There’s a lot of time for this, provided they don’t end three minutes before the hour again this week. Feeling out process to start and Richards hooks on a modified surfboard which I remember Pillman using a few times. Strong counters it and we get this idiocy: Kelly: “Look at this!” That sounds fine, but they cut to a shot of Martini as he said it. Brilliant guys. Brilliant. They speed things up and Richards is sent to the floor as he tries an ankle lock.

They head to the floor with Richards missing a baseball slide so that Strong can take over. They chop it out because you have to have at least three strike exchange sequences in an ROH match. Martini distracts Richards and Strong gets in a shot for two as we take a break. Back with a video of more striking during the break. Richards gets a belly to back suplex and both guys are down.

More strikes and Strong goes down this time. Out to the floor and there’s a big suicide dive by Richards and then a missile dropkick gets two. More striking and we get it: they can throw forearms at each other. Crucifix gets two for Richards and then Strong fires off a kick for two. We head to the apron where Richards takes a belly to back suplex on the apron for two. They strike some more which Richards no sells and then a clothesline takes Strong down.

I know I say this a lot, but here are more strikes which take up a lot more time than it should. Richards fires off kicks in the corner but Strong shrugs them all off and hits a gutbuster for two. The fans say it’s awesome and I’m going to think I disagree. A superplex into a falcon arrow gets two for Richards and it’s into an ankle lock which is one of Richard’s finishers I guess.

Martini gets on the apron and Strong taps but Richards, ever the face idiot, lets it go to chase Martini. Strong gets a big boot and puts on the Strong Hold (Boston Crab) but Richards rolls through to the ankle lock. That is escaped also so Strong spits on him, gets kicked a lot and the ankle lock ends it at 22:14.

Rating: C-. This match sums up everything I don’t like about Davey Richards and ROH. There was no flow, there was no story, there was ZERO psychology, the selling was all over the place and as someone else I read talking about this match, you could watch the last thirty seconds and get most of the match. The striking is so repetitive it’s unreal and when they just stop selling them and hit something else it makes my eyes roll.

Then we get to the finishers. Here’s the thing: a hold like the ankle lock is stupid to use as a finisher (and yes Kurt, I’m talking to you too) if you don’t try to use it from the very beginning of the match or work on the ankle throughout the match. In short, if you can get the submission that fast on an ankle lock, why would you get your brains kicked in for twenty minutes beforehand? Look at someone like Ric Flair: he uses a leg lock but before he goes for it, he at least uses a knee crusher and a chop block to soften it up. It’s about building to a finisher rather than just hooking one all at once which is what makes a match work.

This was all about striking each other in the head and trying to make a match flashy without putting any real thought into it. “But KB! That makes it more realistic!” Good for it. Here’s the thing though: PRO WRESTLING IS NOT REAL! Also, look to something like UFC: when people get hit in the face over and over again, THEY GO DOWN. It doesn’t make it look realistic. It makes it look stupid and goes against the point of pro wrestling in general. I could go on for days about how stupid these matches are but I’ll cut myself off here.

Overall Rating: D+. I know some people will say how great the main event was and while it had some cool spots, it really wasn’t great or even that good. The rest of the show was the usual ROH formula: talk a lot, short match, talk some more, talk about the main event, commercial before main event, main event, go off the air with 5% of your show left. I know they taped these all at once, but this is a good example of why that’s a bad idea. They need to make a lot of changes at the Louisville tapings but I’m not sure if they knew the issues before they taped there. I hope so.

Tomossa Ciampa b. Andy Ridge – Project Ciampa
Davey Richards b. Roderick Strong – Ankle lock


  1. newc868 says:

    I have to say on the submission rant there, I think that’s why I like Del Rio in the ring. A lot of his offence is centred around his opponent’s arm, or at least appears so, and it makes his finisher look more believable than say John Cena’s STF where there is little build or psychology towards it.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    The STF I can forgive for one reason:

    There was a match against Batista (I think at Mania) where he was in the STF and could almost kick himself in the hip.