wrestling / TV Reports

411’s Ring of Honor TV Report 09.24.11

September 25, 2011 | Posted by Shawn S. Lealos

Welcome to the first week of the new Ring of Honor television show recap. My name is Shawn S. Lealos and I have to admit, I haven’t watched a Ring of Honor event in a very long time. Actually, I have watched a lot of the old stuff on DVD but nothing recently. So, as I kick into the new recap, which will not be live but instead go up every Sunday, I will be learning about the new product just like the rest of the nation should be as Ring of Honor looks to expand.

Welcome to my world…

World Champion:
Davey Richards
Tag Team Champions: Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas
TV Champion: El Generico

I am completely shocked that Ring of Honor, on the HD channel no less, is in full screen SD and not even in widescreen. I also wasn’t impressed with the intro. It reminded me a lot of some of those wrestling shows I used to watch reruns of from the early ‘90s. Not an impressive look for the show, I have to say.

From the Frontier Field House in suburban Chicago, Illinois … it’s Ring of Honor wrestling. Kevin Kelly starts us off in the ring and explains that the main event will feature Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas defending their ROH tag team championship against the Kings of Wrestling. Then he introduces his color commentator and, as soon as he says “from London, England” the fans go nuts.

Nigel McGuinness, the former ROH World Champion, comes out looking quite dapper in a nice suit and designer shades. The fans throw streamers into the ring to celebrate his return to ROH. “Welcome Back” chants. Nigel: “Being back here is bloody awesome. There would be no Nigel McGuinness without Ring of Honor.” Nigel then says he is not the focus of the show but all the guys in the back are the focus and he is just excited to be here.

Kevin Kelly sends it back for pre-recorded comments from the competitors involved in the first match.

Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly (Future Shock): Adam says they have only been together for a year but gelled and will take the ROH tag team division into the future. Kyle said “we are the future” and then Adam said “we will shock the Bravados, the fans and Ring of Honor.”

Harlem and Lancelot (The Bravados): Harlem complained that Future Shock gave his brother a concussion last time they fought and that’s “not good sportsmanship.” Harlem then said they were going to bring the wrath of their Cherokee ancestors down on Adam and Kyle and then Lancelot said “young children should probably leave the room.”

Only Cole showed any charisma here. Harlem looked like a geeky Bob Backland, Lancelot was stiff and Kyle just liked to scowl. That is just their charisma in interviews. What really matters is how they deliver in the ring.


I have to really complain about the production values here. One of the coolest things about the ring entrances is the music and you can barely hear it here. I understand that, along with the full screen SD video, there is also a problem with the monotone audio and it really hurts the presentation. I’ve produced a show on basic cable on a network like this and I sympathize with the production values but Ring of Honor is a major company with a lot of resources and I was producing the show with my own equipment. There is no reason their show should sound the same as mine did.

The storylines of the two teams are that Future Shock is the dynamic tag team similar to the Motor City Machine Guns while the Bravados are the bad guys who “want to be role models for the kids” and are hated for it. The four shake hands and Kelly mentions the “Code of Honor.” Nigel says he doesn’t understand why fans boo the Bravados because they look like fine young men.

Cole and Harlem lock up and they end up in the corner. Harlem doesn’t give a clean break but Cole reverses out and whips Harlem into the corner. He follows him in and whips him into ropes after making a tag to O’Reilly. The two confuse Harlem, take him to the mat, and then Kyle hits a stiff kick to his back while O’Reilly hits a low dropkick. Lancelot in but gets taken down to the mat and then they lock the Bravados legs together, turns them over and locks in armbars. The fans liked it but it was kind of lame and the referee breaks it up.

O’Reilly with some boots and then Cole delivers some chops. Lancelot with the blind tag and they hit Cole with a nice double team move that looked like Harlem lifted Cole into the air so Lancelot could deliver a cutter. It got them a two count. The Bravado brothers began double teaming and Kelly mentioned they grew up studying the Steiner brothers. The fans began to chant “Justin Bieber” at Harlem and he starts to work on the neck of Cole. Harlem gets a kick for two and then tags in Lancelot for a double suplex. That got a two count. Lancelot tags back in Harlem. Lancelot sets up Cole for a neckbreaker and Harlem chops Cole before he drops him. That gets two.

Tweet of the Week: “You should #WatchROH because its not 1997” – ok…

Cole tries to fight back but O’Reilly gets knocked off the apron by Lancelot. The Bravados try a move called the Gentleman’s Approach, where one of them grabbed Cole’s leg wraps him around the other who delivers a back suplex. O’Reilly in for the save. Harlem is tagged in but delays and it allows Cole to fight back and make the hot tag to O’Reilly. O’Reilly delivers a series of kicks and then a leg sweep takes down Harlem. The announcers namedrop Davey Richards as the man who trained O’Reilly. Lancelot in but O’Reilly delivers kicks to both and then an enziguiri to Lancelot. He then wraps the Bravados up again and delivers a dragonscrew leg whip to one, causing him to dragonscrew his partner as well. O’Reilly heads up top and hits a missile dropkick to both Bravado brothers. He gets the two count on Harlem and tags Cole back in.

Future Shock try a double team move but Harlem kicks them off and then the Bravado brothers delivered a double back suplex to O’Reilly. Cole superkicks Harlem out of the ring and then hits an enziguiri onto Lancelot. O’Reilly then hits a series of rolling butterfly suplexes and that leads into a DDT by O’Reilly followed by Cole hitting a nice wheelbarrow suplex. That was a really nice series of moves and the highlight of the match so far.

The Bravados both head outside the ring and Cole hits a big suicide dive onto them. Lancelot disappears and Harlem gets moved into the corner outside the ring where O’Reilly takes a running, flying knee smash into him. The fans are chanting “ROH” and the match has really picked up here. O’Reilly hits a flying bodypress and then they hit their finisher called Ride the Lightning. Basically, O’Reilly picked up Harlem on his shoulders in a rack where Cole then hits a superkick. With Lancelot dazed, O’Reilly hit a clothesline while Cole hit a leg sweep. The move is pretty much Total Elimination, the move perfected by the Eliminators in ECW. That gets the three.

Winners: Future Shock by pinfall in 7:23 (**)

The first three-quarters of the match was a generic tag match but nothing special. It really picked up at the end though and the double team moves by Future Shock were really solid. Nothing spectacular though.

Next up is a generic commercial where Kevin Kelly says Ring of Honor will travel to Sinclair Broadcast cities including “THIS ONE.” Yeah, he actually said “this one” so it works for every market. Then, Kelly brings in Davey Richards. Davey sells the company and says they are the best in the world and you will experience that if you come see them in person. Richards then says he just wants to fight the best.

Next up, fans are interviewed outside of the “Best of the World” iPPV. They showed a ton of footage from the event including the beat down of Benjamin and Hoss by the Briscoe brothers. Then we see highlights of the Davey Richards vs. Eddie Edwards world title match with some commentary by both men. They showed some amazing stuff in this video package. I’ve ragged on the production values of the show but if they can give us something closer to this video package, I would be happy.

Davey Richards defends the title on TV in two weeks.

There are a ton of commercials for ROHWRESTLING.COM. Probably why the site is dead right now…

Next up is a segment called Inside the Ring of Honor. This is a news brief styled segment hosted by Kevin Kelly. First up, is an explanation of the Code of Honor. Jim Cornette explains that the code is not imposed by ROH but self imposed by most of the wrestlers in the locker room. Basically, all it is now is shaking hands before and after the match (they show Bryan Danielson in this part of the video). Cornette said the wrestlers who don’t follow this are “not very popular with their peers in the locker room. Next up, Kelly announces that El Generico defends his TV tile against Jay Lethal next week.

Jay Lethal talks about how when he was in Ring of Honor last, he was 21. He then said he came back to ROH because he doesn’t have to pretend here to be someone else, like he did in his last promotion. He said when he returned, they cheered him because of who he was not because he tried to be someone else. Lethal said the way to the World Championship is through the TV Title.

We see more highlights from Best in the World 2011 match between The Kings of Wrestling and Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team and the Briscoe Brothers attacking after the match.

Next, Nigel McGuinness asks a fan who will win the next match. He chooses Haas and Benjamin.

We get another commercial from Kevin Kelly, with the same “INCLUDING THIS ONE” live event slogan before he brings out Mark and Jay Briscoe. Wow, when did they go so pure white trash? They weren’t always this bad. They mention their six tag team title reigns and then say they want the tag champs. That was kind of brutal.


The Kings of Wrestling were the former tag team champions until Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team won them. The Kings come out first with their manager Shane Hagadorn and Sara Del Rey. Then the WGTT comes out, leading to the super special ring introductions. Neither team will shake hands, refusing the Code of Honor.

Nigel mentions how Haas and Benjamin are amateur wrestlers while the Kings are world travelled. Haas and Claudio jockey for position with Haas staying on top. Claudio gets a hard strike in and then overpowers Haas before flexing for the audience. Haas blocks two hip tosses and hits a fireman’s carry before hitting two armdrags. Back to their feet and Claudio gets a knee and a brutal forearm.

Benjamin with a blind tag and hits a BIG dropkick from the top buckle. He then hits an armdrag and gets a one count. Claudio makes it to his corner and tags in Hero. Benjamin gets out of trouble and hits an armdrag and locks in an armbar. Hero with a hard knee and an armbar of his own. Benjamin works out of it and gets a hammerlock. Shelton with a cradle for two and then nails Hero with a hard right blow.

Hero with a kick and a pair of chops. Benjamin returns the kick and hits a series of chops. Shelton with a headlock. Hero sends Shelton into the buckle and Shelton responds with a boot to the head. Shelton then hits Claudio with a clothesline. Haas tries to get involved, distracting the referee which allows Claudio to nail Shelton and Hero to hit a BIG superkick. Hero throws Benjamin out of the ring. Claudio to the floor and holds Shelton while Hero hits a running kick to Shelton outside of the ring.

We go to a commercial break here.

We come back and Claudio has Shelton in a headlock. Claudio hits a powerslam for two. They show what happened during the commercial as Shelton tried to get a tag but failed. Shelton sent into the buckle but gets his boots up to stop Claudio. Hero tries to cut off Shelton from making the tag but ends up flying out of the ring instead. Shelton with an enziguiri and tries to get the hot tag but Hero pulls Haas off the apron. Hass gets pissed and sends Hero into the ring. The referee focuses on keeping Haas out of the ring. Claudio picks up Shelton for what looks like a suplex, lets his blood rush to his head, and then sets him back down onto his feet where Hero hits a hard clothesline to the back of the head. Two count.

Claudio starts pounding on Shelton and tags in Hero. Hero comes down on Shelton with a senton and gets a two. Hero lays in the boots. Claudio back in and they just keep beating down Shelton Benjamin. They deliver a wishbone suplex on Shelton and Hero gets a two. Shelton tries to fight back but Hero hits a kick to the face. The Kings try a double suplex but Benjamin holds onto their necks, comes down behind them onto his feet, and drops them both with a simultaneous double neckbreaker. Benjamin finally gets the hot tag.

Haas starts to clean house on the Kings. Nice spinning flying headsizzors to Claudio by Haas (Kelly: “he didn’t learn that at Seton Hall”). German suplex to Hero. T-Bone suplex to Claudio for a two count. Claudio sends Charlie into the buckle but Charlie hits a hurricanrana and a big boot for two. Claudio fights back and drops Haas to the mat. Hero hits the KTFO for only a two count. Hero gets mad. He has Haas in the corner, strikes up the band and hits a running splash into the corner and then nails Haas with a monstrous elbow.

Claudio tagged in and they hit the helicopter crash (helicopter swing by Claudio into the Hero boot to the head). Benjamin saves the three count. The Kings set up Haas for the KRS ONE but Benjamin flies into the ring and spears Claudio. Hero tries a clothesline to Haas but Haas ducks and Shelton hits a superkick. Haas drapes Claudio over the top rope and Shelton hits the Leap of Faith. Haas picks up Hero and Benjamin hits the clothesline, which Kelly calls “Wrestling’s Greatest Finisher.” You probably know it better as The Hart Attack.

Winners: Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team by pinfall in 16:19 (***)

That ends the show with Benjamin and Haas in the ring celebrating. The main event was a great little tag team match. I’m kind of surprised that with tag team wrestling deemphasized in the WWE, they would only have two tag matches on the first show and no singles bouts. Regardless, the first match was ok and the tag championship was really pretty good. This isn’t the best of Ring of Honor but it is a nice start.


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Shawn S. Lealos

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