ROH Honor Reunited York Hall London 2018 Review

REVIEW: ROH Honor Re-United – York Hall, London (19/08/18)

It had only been just under three months since Ring of Honor graced British shores when they promoted ROH Honor United with a sprinkling of NJPW stars but for the first time ever we saw ROH return to the UK twice within the same year come to fruition this August. The ROH Honor Re-United tour wouldn’t feature any of the Japanese wrestlers from the first tour but that didn’t stop the company putting together dream matches with a blend of ROH regulars and British wrestlers, both rising stars currently shining on the World of Sport brand and legendary names dating back to the glory days of the FWA.

After two nights of consecutive shows taking place in Edinburgh and Doncaster which featured the preliminary rounds of the first ever ROH International Cup it was time for London to host night three of the Honor Re-United tour. The event had an usual bell time of 5pm which felt quite out of place for a wrestling show of this nature but being a Sunday meant they could get away with it. For the most part fans in attendance were obvious ROH & independent wrestling fans with a huge presence of Bullet Club shirts in view but there were a few generic wrestling fans in the building too with both adults and children wearing WWE merchandise ready for a slice of the wrestling action that had come to the Bethnal Green area. The set up at York Hall for wrestling events is usually pretty good with a clear view of the ring from anywhere in the main hall including the brilliant balcony seats the venue has to offer and ROH took full advantage of this set up with their iconic bannered guard rails in place. The set up also included a nice looking three screen set up by the stage area with custom graphics for the show which really made the event feel special. I do think they missed a spot by not having recap videos to hype up the upcoming matches before the action kicked off, especially for the casual fans in attendance and also simply to help build the hype for what we were about to see played out live. Another strange part of the schedule was the lack of an intermission, something that I think independent shows benefit from quite a bit for both the people working the event and attending event as it gives fans a chance to buy merchandise and have a little breather from the action without the risk of the show losing it’s spark. Thankfully most fans had already had a chance to meet wrestlers before the event which I am sure helped build that connection with huge queues to meet some of the stars, with the Young Bucks having the largest by far.ROH Honor Reunited London1The first match of the night featured a fairly light hearted start to the evening with a show down between Jonathan Gresham and Scottish grappler Joe Hendry, who has really been picking up steam in recent years. The match started with some chain wrestling and early on we saw Hendry escape Gresham’s full nelson with a nice counter which involved lifting and using his leg to force his arms down and away from Gresham. The impressive escape not only got a clap from the crowd but also got Gresham wondering if he could pull it off which lead to a comedic attempt as Gresham allowed Hendry to lock him into a full nelson so that he could try and learn the counter. unfortunately for the considerably shorter Gresham he was unable to reach his leg with his hooked arms and exclaimed the fact to a huge laugh from the audience as he tried to then wriggle his way out of the hold he’d allowed himself to be put in. Hendry did let him go once Gresham managed to bring the Scotsman towards the ropes. The crowd enjoyed the next few minutes of holds and counters that felt like we were watching something right out of the original World of Sport, a nice mix of technical wrestling and comedy. Sportsmanship was on show in the early going and seemed to peak when Hendry offered to teach Gresham another move and allowed Gresham to lock him into a hammerlock, which he then escaped by running around the ring with his struggling opponent trying to hang onto the hold until Hendry managed to slip from Gresham’s grip, fall to the floor and send his dazed opponent through the ropes and to the outside of the ring. This moment paid off but was close to losing the fans as the introduction to the spot meant the match stopped in it’s tracks and the wrestlers once again stood around talking which lead to a fan to mock chant “We want wrestling“, which got a laugh. Thankfully it was just the right amount of comedy though as fans got invested again with a series of submissions and oneupmanship including a beautiful hurricanrunner and a fantastic springboard moonsault surrounded by a fast set of roll up attempts ending in a final roll up that spelled victory for Gresham. ROH Honor Reunited London3The next match was a Triple Threat between Flip Gordon, Kip Sabian and Hangman Page which really set things in motion. The match would see some great action but also started with a little comedy as Page told Flip that he had wrestled twice the night before (in the Semi Finals and Final of the International Cup) and therefore wasn’t up for starting the match telling him “You start, I’ll watch“. After letting Kip and Flip go at it for a while, Page decided to join in as he had been knocked off the apron by Kip after Flip had dodged the initial attack. Flip was caught outside the ring by a suicide-dive from Kip which got the crowed excited but it was quickly overshadowed and outdone by a phenomenal shooting star press from the ring apron by Page onto the unbeknownst Flip. 

Flip Gordon and Adam Page continued to work together and both hit a running shooting star press on Kip Sabian at the same time from either side of the ring. The crowed went into a frenzy and Flip decided to capitalise by initiating a ‘high five‘ and got the hand of Page before waiting for him to turn around to sneakily roll him up for an unsuccessful pin attempt. Page initially forgave Flip but it didn’t last long as Page hit him with a tornado forearm which lead into a “Let’s go hangman” chant from the fans in Bethnal Green. Soon after this a backwards and forwards of pushes and punches between the two ensued and Flip hit a great springboard spear, not something you see every night! This would happen again a few minutes later and it would be Page getting the upper hand this time with a quick bucklebomb and lovely looking lariat and then a powerbomb which only got a two count as Kip made the save.

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The actual ending of the match saw a series of fantastic moves that saw the crowd get more and more hyped after each one. The series of fast paced moves included a Samoan drop from Flip to Kip that turned into a roll through to get up and a shooting star press and then into a corkscrew moonsault that was cancelled mid air by Flip as he saw Kip moving out of the way and decided to land on his feet, but his quick thinking could only get him so far as straight after that Hangman Page flew into the ring over the top rope with a front flip onto his feet and into a lariat to Flip Gordon followed up by a sharp lariat that turned Kip inside out followed up by hitting him with the Rite of Passage. A fantastic match from three rising stars and a great performance in particular from Hangman Page who continues to be pushed to the forefront of the independent scene with performances like this one that show fans his skill and commitment to pull off such immense work constantly within such a busy schedule.  ROH Honor Reunited London6 After Tenille Dashwood had to pull out of the tour for health reasons, ROH did well to line up replacement matches for the tour. London saw WOS Women’s Champion Kay Lee Ray take on fellow WWE May Young Classic 2017 grappler Ayesha Raymond. The women picked up right where the previous match had left off and kept fans fixed on the action. Ayesha initially got a nice pop from the London home crowd but that did not last once she had spent some time “heel-ing it up” for a bit which included being the first to break the traditional ‘Code of Honor‘ by kicking Kay Lee during their prematch handshake. Ayehsa asked for the London crowd’s sympathy due to her hometown status but picked up a strong “boo” instead, which is probably the best of both worlds for a hometown heel! Before straight up asking for the crowd to cheer her, she had been performing well which included catching a springboard attack from Kay Lee Ray and hitting a fallaway slam before cockily seeking claps from the crowd. Kay Lee Ray had no such issues with getting the fans to clap her on in preparation for a dive to the outside which only led to the Londoner on the outside hitting Kay Lee with a vicious looking forearm to the face as she went through the ropes. Ayesha hit a wonderful looking German suplex which lead to fans having to clap her out of respect for it’s execution, but the claps didn’t last long for the villain as the crowd chanted “Let’s go Kay Lee“, something Ayesha saw opportunity to take advantage of for some more heat and brilliantly mocked it. The size difference between the two women was a driving factor in this match when it came to Ayesha’s dominance and her strength was on display when she held Kay Lee up for a prolonged suplex that became unsteady and was reversed into a DDT by the Scotswoman. Kay Lee Ray saw a bit more control in the next few moments as Ayesha began to struggle to contain her which lead to Kay Lee sliding down Ayesha for a roll up pin. A decent match that continued to highlight the standard of female wrestlers worldwide, I would have liked to have seen more from Kay Lee as far as her character goes but her taking on the sympathetic role did give Ayesha time to shine as a heel to watch out for in the future. Ayesha left the ring with a clap from the home fans that I personally think went deeper than a “the match is over, we can appreciate you’re from here now” and seemed more about respect for putting on a promising performance like she had. 

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Ring of Honor veterans Christopher Daniels and Mark Briscoe were up next and fans were happy to see both of them, especially the SoCal Uncensored member as “SCU” chants broke out in the venue. The match started with Briscoe using a few dirty tactics by using the referee to his advantage for a few separations and sneaky punches as a boxer would, a nice touch that made it feel more legitimate. After a while Daniels hit the ROH Tag Team Champion with a head smash into each of the four turnbuckles. This match seemed to slow the pace down in general which wasn’t what I expected. The slow start lead to fans waiting for that one big move which came in the form of a suplex to Mark on hard floor outside the ring after narrowly missing one just moments earlier. Not long after Daniels hit another on the Briscoe brother but this time off of the entrance steps, a set of moves that got the crowd’s attention.

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Mark Briscoe ran around the ring looking for a breather and threw a steel chair into the ring, which the referee promptly removed but it lead to a low blow from Briscoe to the former World Champion. Briscoe would soon hit a Cactus Jack inspired elbow to the outside from the ring apron and really took control of the match. The match slowed down for a bit after this as Briscoe continued to keep control over Daniels which included avoiding an Angel Wing’s attempt. Christopher Daniels did soon take control though and we saw the second Briscoe run down to the ring as a result but Daniels made sure to control the situation by attacking Jay Briscoe first. This lead to the perfect distraction though when Mark prepped a chain around his fist and would hit Daniels in the face with it before wrapping it around his neck and following up with a rear-nacked choke. Daniels started fading as the referee came back to the ring after the Joe Briscoe distraction, just in time to call a submission win. As Mark celebrated the win and the fans cheered “V.A.R” (something I can see growing in the UK scene after the World Cup and the chants at the WWE Royal Albert Hall shows), the referee noticed the chain on Christopher Daniels and reversed the decision to be a Christopher Daniels win by DQ. The Briscoes didn’t take well to this attacking Daniels and with his SCU partners not in the UK it was down to a random pairing of Flip Gordon and Joe Hendry to save the day, which did feel a little out of place and like a ‘one and done’ local show with no storyline would to with the babyfaces… perhaps it is leading to somewhere though? 
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What came next was surely one of the highlights of the night in the form of an unexpected Street Fight match. Current ROH Television Champion was set to take on Jimmy Havoc who had made his ROH debut earlier on the tour in the International Cup. I was hoping that if Havoc didn’t make the Final that we would still get to see him at the London event as I had never seen him live up until this point and the buzz surrounding him on the independent scene is growing rapidly. If you’ve heard off Jimmy Havoc before then you will know that he is a fan of the hardcore style, so it was only logical that this what he brought to Ring of Honor in London when he told Martinez that although the ROH star might not know who he was,  he would definitely know who he was after the match was over. Havoc then challenged him to a Street Fight stating that although Martinez is undefeated in Street Fight’s in America, this was London.

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Hometown boy Jimmy Havoc had come out to a great ovation that only grew once fans heard abut the new match type and early on fans were chanting “E-C-DUB!” once Havoc began to give Martinez papercuts between his fingers…yep, we were about to get one those matches. It was a surreal moment for me, a kid who grew up in the Attitude Era and a fan of ECW now sitting feet away from where I sat as a kid just itching for any piece of hardcore action at my local BritWres show. Those shows never really fully adopted that trend however with a few chair shots and table bumps being about as extreme as things got and once the hardcore trend died in the big companies we saw most of the British ones drop it as fast as they could. In recent years my love for hardcore wrestling and for what I even consider to be hardcore has changed with a mix of getting older and WWE conditioning their audience playing equal roles in that change. I had no time to adjust though as the match quickly threw me back into being that kid who just wanted to see hardcore wrestling live as I witnessed chair shots and more papercuts as Havoc reigned in on Martinez with a slices to his hands and tongue and then squeezed lemon juice onto the wounds as chants of “You sick f**k” sang around the venue. Martinez soon took control though and it wasn’t with a wrist lock either as he took the hardcore action to another level stapling Havoc’s papercutting sheet to his own forehead and then used a pizza cuter to slice across Havoc’s arm. Martinez followed this up with a little lemon juice action of his own and Havoc screamed in agony and frantically stapled the wounds back up as fans starred with hanging jaws. More random weapons came out as we saw a tombstone esque move from Martinez onto a baking dish and then an attempt to throw Havoc through an ironing board that ended up being stopped and we saw Havoc get the upper hand and throw the TV Champion through it inside from the top rope. Jimmy Havoc’s bond with the crowd continued as he took a swig of a fans beer to the sound of cheers, another moment that showed that Havoc would not have been out of place in the original ECW or the early days of CZW.

ROH Honor Reunited London20 A fan at ringside taunted Martinez with a Roman Reigns roar but the Champions did not take well to it and did Reign’s gun cocking arm taunt followed up by a bras d’honneur. Havoc seemed to get the punishment for this comparison and received a chokeslam outside of the ring onto the side apron area. The Reigns jokes continued for Martinez as fans chanted “You’re a big dog” to the ROH star as he set up a table of chairs in the ring, but once again it worked against him as Havoc escaped a chokelsam and ended up driving Martinez through the chairs with a rolling death valley driver – only to get a two count. 

After a bit more back and fourth Havoc would finally hit the Acid Rainmaker but we had yet another false finish as Punishment kicked out again, the highly captivated fans started to chant “Fight forever” and Havoc pulled out the drawing pins (thumbtacks to you Americans!) pouring a few on the floor but also sticking some in the mouth of Martinez and lined him up for a punch until Martinez spat them back at him. This was an unconventional spot that I would not have imagined and the match was full of them which really made it feel fresh and stand out not only on the show but for the style of match type. Martinez picked up steam from here and hit three vicious looking silencer stomps onto the previously set up steel chair followed by a Psycho Driver onto the sharp pins, but yet again Havoc decided he match would not be over. The energy in the building grew into disbelief when Havoc kicked out of a silencer that saw his face stomped into the pins before a huge chokeslam back onto the pins kept Havoc down for the three count. Fans were not silent in their appreciation for the two performers giving them both plenty of applause for one of the most violent ROH matches in recent memory. Havoc may have lost the match but definitely won over the crowd in the building as both old and new fans chanted “Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy f**king Havoc”. The hometown wrestler would lap up the praise whilst sticking two fingers up at the departing Martinez and finishing off a fans beer. A hugely entertaining match and one of the best of the night without a doubt! 

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It would be hard to follow such an eventful match but thankfully for ROH they had another British homegrown talent waiting to step up in the shape of Marty Scurll who got a great ovation from the fans. Marty has really made a name for himself in recent years across the pond with ROH an America and in Japan with NJPW so it was a great chance to see the Brit back on home soil. The former Party Marty is becoming well respected around the globe but his connection with the British fans remains strong which is something that dates back to his early days of turning heads on these shores in promotions such as IPW:UK, the second incarnation of the FWA, RevPro and even as the co-host of WrestleTalk TV on Challenge. It’s usually acknowledgment from WWE that gets Brits all proud and excited for homegrown talent making it in the big leagues with stars like Wade Barrett, Paige and Neville but things are changing and independent wrestling is the coolest and most influential than it’s ever been. A call up to the coolest group in town in the form of the Bullet Club was all it took to propel the Cambridge lad to global stardom with his latest birdman persona.ROH Honor Reunited London26The Villain would be facing Jay Briscoe in their first ever match together which saw the crowd worked into a frenzy early on. Scurll would hit Briscoe with a suicide-dive that saw the two plummet into the guard rail quite hard. As the two fought outside of the ring Jay took a sign off of a little girl in the crowd that was for The Villain and shoved it into Marty’s face before ripping it up to a chorus of boo’s. Jay Briscoe constantly played dirty throughout this match and this continued when his brother Mark actually came to ringside to repay the favour to his brother for doing the same for him earlier in the show. The distraction of Marty led to a schoolboy which only got a two count but would soon lead to a Jay Driller. Marty managed to kick out of his opponents finisher which lead to the crowd going nuts as a concerned Mark Briscoe attempted a referee distraction only for Christopher Daniels to run down and attack him leaving an opening for Marty to hit Jay with his infamous umbrella whilst the referee was sill preoccupied after dodging a belt attack from Jay.ROH Honor Reunited London28

Scurll would pick up the win with a Graduation and would celebrate with Christopher Daniels by encouraging the crowd to chant for one another. The last moment between the two was a funny one when Scurll tricked Daniels into thinking he was about to snap his fingers after a handshake but then let him off with a laugh. The fans loved this comedic moment and it ended with the two agreeing to fist bump and high five instead. 

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Up next was the match that I personally had been most looking forward to and that was the Young Bucks vs Jonny Storm and Jody Fleisch. It truly felt like a special match to witness live as we saw arguably the most popular Tag Team in the world take on a team of two men who were the absolute highlight in British wrestling at the turn of the century. York Hall is a special venue in British Wrestling and is one that Jonny and Jody made their names in and would now see them back at it again with the memories of past triumphs such as Jody’s legendary moonsault from the York Hall balcony lurking in the shadows. I saw Jonny wrestle here at an All Star Promotions show in the early 2000’s back when as I mentioned earlier all I wanted was hardcore action but his exciting high flying style filled that void and made me a fan. My excitement for this bout was matched by the rest of the crowd as fans showed their love for both teams in the early going.

ROH Honor Reunited London30The match started with some chain wrestling that saw Storm reverse a wristlock with a headstand and his feet which Matt Jackson tried to copy until Jonny kicked him back down to the mat with laughs from the audience. The comedy in the early part of the match continued as Jonny ran towards Matt in the corner with a loud scream only to slap him in the face, Matt again tried to copy the Englishman but Jonny ducked the slap and gave Matt another before getting whipped into the corner that had Nick on the apron, Jonny stopped and looked the current IWGP Tag Team Champion up and down before slapping him in the face also. A highly entertaining start to the match that showed just how versatile these performers are. Jonny would soon tag in Jody who looks to be in the best shape of his career at the age of 38 and even though he may be bulkier muscle-wise than he was in his youth he can still move the same and showed off his athleticism to Nick Jackson. It’s not often that you’re going to get the fans in York Hall to cheer for someone that’s facing Jonny and/or Jody but the Bucks command that kind of respect from fans of indy wrestling as their style that focuses on innovative double team moves continues to excite fans around the world. The members of The Elite began to showboat with their iconic muscle flex pose either side of a laid out Jonny Storm who kipped up and hit a double DDT on the ROH stars. Jonny and Jody continued to work well together and shine as Jody hit a great springboard moonsault and Jonny continued with the British humour hyping up big moves only to hit basic punches and then using his own hands to force his foot to kick Matt in the face whilst having him in a headlock. The Bucks would soon be back in control though as Nick hit a fantastic combo of a stomp on a bent over Storm from the turnbuckle followed up by a run to the other corner to give a cradled Fleisch a backstabber out of the turnbuckle back into the ring which got a huge round of applause. The Bucks hit a suicide-dive in unison onto the Brits on the outside and threw Storm back into the ring but didn’t expect to have it come back to bite them as Storm would hit a corkscrew over the top rope to take out the brothers in a move that reminded fans that Jonny’s comedic side wasn’t the only thing he had in his arsenal. Jody Fleisch was not about to be outdone by his former rival though as he hit an incredible springboard shooting star press from the top rope to the outside to take out the Bucks again, rolling back the years in Bethnal Green. Jody would continue to impress with his athletic ability including a signature 720 DDT to Matt Jackson.

Fans chanted “Be Elite” as members of the respected faction locked in double sharpshooters and took back control of the match before hitting an impressive wheelbarrow facebuster combo which only got a two count – thankfully, we were in or more! Jody would take back the control himself with a reverse hurricanrunner on Matt as Johnny hit the Perfect Storm on Nick Jackson whichJody followed up with a running standing shooting star press and so nearly capturing the victory for the veterans. Things would soon catch up on them though as Storm would attempt to assist Fleisch from the top rope but Matt would stop this by giving Jonny a Geman suplpex which propelled Fleish into no mans land and lead to him receiving the Meltzer Driver and taking the pin fall to end a match that had was worth the price of admission alone.   

Storm and Fleisch would stick around taking in the applause from the fans and I truly hope this can be the start of something new for the high flying veterans as I would love to see them at it again in ROH after having such an impact on the companies early years with shows like Frontiers of Honor that took place with the now defunct FWA in co-promotion with ROH. These two legends would not look out of place on the ROH main roster, the new NXT UK brand, WOS revival or any of the top British companies such as PROGRESS or ICW… somebody call them quick! 

 

After an action packed evening of action we were now about to get to the show Main Event that would see Ring of Honor Champion take on the winner of the first ever ROH International Cup Mark Haskins. Just like at the start of the show, I would have really liked to have seen a tournament recap before this match to help build it’s importance and Haskins’ journey to the number one contendership but the match started with little introduction other than an in ring announcement which was a shame. The Englishman would be accompanied by his wife Vicky Haskins and fans were happy to see both of them. Lethal came out to a good reception as fans clapped along to his theme song in preperation for his title defence.

After the fast pace of the last match Haskins made sure there was no time for the audience to switch off as he rushed in for a big boot towards Lethal in the corner but the Champion dodged it. A fast start is what this match needed and the two spent the first few minutes of the match countering each others attempts to take control of the match early on. After a while Lethal got the slight edge but I really appreciated the smaller details such as the Champion staring down Haskins who was sitting in the corner with clear expression that he was waiting for the ideal time to get to his feet without giving up that extra bit of advantage. It put method and reason into the wrestlers movement and gave meaning to his actions something that gets left out a lot in wrestling these days. After that nice bit of methodical detail we were back into the fast paced stuff as Lethal attempted to dive off of the turnbuckle and it his opponent on the outside of the ring apron but Haskins moved and then had a miss of his own as he ran into the ring and attempted a dive to the outside before noticing that Lethal had also moved and then swinging himself back into the ring in almost like a backwards 619 motion. ROH Honor Reunited London38

The evenly matched theme continued as the two attempted suplexes on each other until Jay locked one in close to the ropes which took the two over them and outside to the floor in a very dangerous looking spot that looked like it would mostly turn out badly. Thankfully for the two performers they seemed to be okay and the crowd loved it. Lethal looked to be closing on the win when he called for the elbow drop before Haskins managed to get to his feet and run towards the turnbuckle which prompted Lethal to jump down and dodge a steaming pair of kicks from the Brit and then managed to lock him into a torture rack before rolling through with it, a very cool twist to an iconic move. ROH Honor Reunited London45

Jay Lethal was in firm control after another spell of Haskins coming at him full throttle and decided to play a little with the crowd with a Nature boy esque “Woo” during this little rest bite but it would work against him as Haskins propped up to the excitement of the crowd and clinched an inside cradle that only got a two count but ignited the belief in some of the fans in attendance. Lethal played the frustrated veteran here and initiated a duel of forearms between the two that Haskins took control off before receiving a discuss forearm and falling into the ropes only to bounce back with an incredible Canadian Destroyer out of nowhere that got the fans in a frenzy continuing as the challenger followed it up with a suicide-dive to the veteran who had rolled outside. Fans were getting more and more involved with each quick and impactful move from Mark Haskins which peaked when he threw the ROH Champion back into the ring following up with a double stomp from the top rope. 1-2….Kick out! Fans couldn’t believe it, they had let themselves along for the ride and believed for a split second that the challenger would get it done.  

Vicky Haskins looked on in amazement as the crowd caught their breath and thoughts began to set in that this probably wouldn’t be the night for a major upset. The two wrestlers still had the job of making us believe that though and would follow up on that. Next up it would be Lethal nearly getting the three count to make fans believe Haskins had more to give after hitting a fantastic springboard cutter and only getting the two count. The Champion would soon follow up with a second attempt to put Haskins away with the same move but it was impressively reversed mid air into an armbar. This spot worked really well as we had only just seen how close Lethal was with the original move and the reversal almost felt like a kick out in itself. The tension would continue to rise as Lethal worked his way out of the hold only for the International Cup winner to roll over his back and get another armbar locked in before the Champion could fully breathe. Jay Lethal did managed to wriggle out of the move but nearly met his fate with a Made in Japan which looked to put Haskins name into the record books with his awesome T-bone Micinoku driver. The wrestlers started to look exhausted at this point and I think fans were about to feel the same so it was a good time to start to fully wrap things up rather than risking the suspension of disbelief with too many false finishes. Before we got a final pin attempt we saw Lethal his a suicide-dive that was worthy of his last name, hitting Haskins with full force into the metal barriers which really took its toll on the challenger especially when Jay hit a second soon after. Lethal would try to it a third but Haskins had run up behind him and clocked the Champion with a rough forearm after he had sprung back from the ropes on the far side of the ring. The next move seemed a little clunky but it basically meant Jay had ran towards Mark to connect with the exact same thing and then Mark attempted do the same again but ran into a cutter from the Champion. I liked the idea of this spot but it did look a little clunky and was hard to process mainly for the fact that the other wrestler hadn’t gone that far forward before the other began to ran at him, maybe this would have worked better with more ring space to really get that ‘out of nowhere’ factor. It really didn’t help when Haskins looked to not have been effected by it at all, even getting up before Lethal had and urging him to get to his feet, what followed next was a great finish but had been tinted by what looked more like a ‘no sell’ than a show of heart, instinct and adrenaline. The three count came after Lethal ducked the lariat and managed to squeeze in another springboard cutter to finally connect it since the previous attempt had been so close. Fans cheered in appreciation for the match and I was one of them, it was a great effort from the two even if I didn’t initially like the “local guy get shot at the belt” booking as nine times out of ten that’s all it is and we all go into the match knowing the title wont be changing hands with a feeling of the match not actually mattering. Haskins and Lethal did a good job at trying to make you forgot this with a stunning series of moves around the start of the third quarter of the match but once it was apparent again that it probably would just be a case of “local guy getting close” they did a good job of wrapping things up quickly so that the magic didn’t completely wear off. 

 

All in all it was a really good show that saw a look of action to send fans home happy. It did feel strange leaving the event in day light as we exited York Hall just after 8pm with British Summer time still in full swing, a pretty surreal feeling for a wrestling show after spending a few hours in that bubble. Highlights were definitely the match between the Young Bucks and Jonny & Jody as well as performances from Ayesha Raymond, Hangman Page and the Jimmy Havoc and Punishment Martinez gore fest. There was a lot of variety in this show from high flying action, hardcore sopts, comedy and technical wrestling and a good measure of star power with guys like Jay Lethal and Christopher Daniels thrown in the mix, although I did feel like more could have been made out of their appearances as I never really believed Lethal would lose his title and the most memorable Daniels moment was his fun interaction with Marty Scurll aside from a few hard hitting spots within his otherwise slowly paced match. I did really enjoy my first live ROH experience and would definitely go and see another one of their shows. You can catch the entire replay of this event on FITE TV and be sure to catch upcoming ROH shows on their Honor Club service which will also be steaming the highly anticipated All In event featuring many of the stars from New Japan Pro Wrestling and Ring of Honor and the best of the independent wrestling scene.

Check out the video below discussing the future of the title, possibility of a regular WWE Network show, the chosen five & the forgotten original tournament entries, Triple H showing up in ICW and getting Finn Balor when you ordered Mick Foley.

Listen to more Wrestling talk from Scott and Tom on the Talk and Beans podcast, you can find them on Twitter @TalkandBeans and check out the weekly WWE Podcast from Lay The SmackDan!

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