Ring of Honor Live Event (Los Angeles, Calif. at WrestleReunion 5)
Report by Will Pruett and ProWrestling.net
My buddy and I arrived at the hotel about two hours before the show and found Roddy Piper and Bob Orton in the lobby, both of them were really cool and shook our hands. As we were waiting in line to go into the ballroom, Edge walked by us. I caught up with him and he was very friendly (and much taller than I thought he was). Terry Funk walked by soon after. We sat to the left of the entrance about four rows back. The section next to us was empty, but filled up with wrestlers coming out of the back for the entire evening.
Roderick Strong and Christopher Daniels were signing autographs at tables when we came into the ballroom. Roddy Piper and Bob Orton watched the first half of the show from the back of the ballroom.
The show opened with a promo from the Kings of Wrestling. They mentioned all of the teams that they had beat (including the Motor City Machine Guns and Generation Me) and added Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin to that list. They also ran down The Lakers and said that Euro-Disney is way better than Disneyland. Hero covered most of the talking, with Claudio occasionally chiming in. Finally, they said Kings reign supreme and walked to the back.
1. The Bravado Brothers defeated Cedric Alexander and Kaleb Konley in about 12 minutes via pin. This was a really fun opening match that got the crowd into the show. One of the Bravados took a hard hit to the nose and started bleeding. He turned to the crowd and said “No one makes me bleed my own blood” which got a nice laugh. Really good tag match that ended when The Bravados caught Alexander with a victory roll type maneuver into a pin.
2. Jay Briscoe defeated Colt Cabana in about 10 minutes via pin. Lots of “Man Up” chants from the crowd to begin. Some great comedy from Cabana with his towel. We had our first dueling chant of the evening between “Let’s go Briscoe” and “Colt Cabana.” Cabana showed why he is so much funnier than Derrick Bateman in this one. Jay got with win with the Jay-Drilla.
3. All Night Express defeated The Cutler Brothers in about 15 minutes via pin. The fans were very much behind the hometown boys (The Cutlers) even though they were continuously blowing spots and really took a lot out of the match. ANX definitely look like stars in the ring. ANX got the win with a cool backbreaker/flying knee double team combo.
4. Davey Richards defeated TJ Perkins in about 20 minutes via submission. This was easily the match of the night. The crowd was very into both wrestlers since Perkins in a hometown PWG talent. This match was really well put together and Richards looked like a star. The finish came after some rapid fire submission and pin attempts until Richards finally caught Perkins with a Falcon’s arrow into an Armbreaker. Amazing match and definitely worth buying the DVD of this event for.
During intermission Davey Richards was posing for pictures and signing autographs at the merchant table. Edge walked into the ballroom and quickly made his way backstage. Shane Helms was wandering around, as was ODB. Mike Graham was at the bar grabbing a quick beverage before heading back into the show.
5. Christopher Daniels (w/ Alison Danger) defeated Mark Briscoe in about 15 minutes via pin to retain the ROH World TV Championship. It took the crowd a little while to get into this one coming back from intermission. There were significantly fewer “Man Up” chants during this match than Jay Briscoe’s. His match built up nicely and paid off in an exciting series of near falls until Daniels hit the BME and got the win.
6. Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin defeated The Kings of Wrestling in a non-title match in about 20 minutes via submission. This was the best tag team match that I have ever seen live. It began with dueling chants between the two teams (where Chris Hero pointed to himself when the fans chanted “World’s Greatest Tag Team”). This is another match worth watching the DVD for. It was not quite as exciting as Perkins and Richards, but it was tremendous. After a hard-fought battle Haas locked in the Haas of Pain on Claudio and Claudio tapped out. Great match that showed why tag team wrestling is alive and well in ROH.
7. Roderick Strong defeated El Generico in about 30 minutes via pin to retain the ROH Title. The fans were very into El Generico. Every time anyone in the ballroom thought the word “Ole” everyone was singing Generico’s theme song. This was another match that started a little bit slow but built to an amazing crescendo. Roderick Strong has some of the best kicks in the business. Every time he hit Generico, there was an audible groan from the crowd. Strong hit Generico with the ROH Championship, followed by a leg lariat and a Gibson Drivier for the pin.
After the match Strong grabbed a mic and bragged about still being ROH Champion after beating Christopher Daniels, Mark Briscoe, Davey Richards and now El Generico. Daniels, Briscoe and Richards came to the ring and ran Strong off. Daniels then said that this event was about honoring the legends of the business and that they are Ring of Honor. The three of them helped Generico out of the ring and that was the event.
After the show, Diamond Dallas Page and Shane Helms were walking from the back. They both stopped and said hi to us. After that, my buddy and I wandered over to the technical area and chatted with the lighting and sound people who were very nice. They showed us their equipment and we got to see the All Night Express tape a promo for the ROH video wire. I don’t want to give anything away, but there was rapping involved and it will blow your mind.
This was a great experience. I’d say that it was the second best event I’ve ever been to (Wrestlemania XXVI is number one). I’m amazed by ROH’s talent and willingness to put it all out there in every show. I will definitely be going to future ROH appearances in LA and ordering iPPVs for the foreseeable future.