Saturday, March 14, 2015

RoH Supercard of Honor VII

It is time to pick up where I left off catching up on my Ring of Honor (RoH) Supercard of Honor (SoH) DVDs. Today I am covering SoH VII, the 2013 incarnation of the event. For whatever reason RoH decided not to have a SoH branded event in 2012, but they made sure to bring it back right in 2013 by having it take place on Wrestlemania weekend in the same region WWE hosted its biggest PPV of the year by having SoH emanate in New York City.

SoH VII is being taped at the acclaimed Hammerstein Ballroom. For those that do not know, it has a long history with wrestling dating back over 20 years where most of the first year’s worth of Monday Night RAWs were taped in 1993, and then it started to take over the old ECW Arena for ECW’s flagship event center for its final year in business in 2000. When WWE brought back their version of ECW, the first two One Night Stand PPVs took place at the Hammerstein 2005 and 2006, and now in recent years RoH and TNA Wrestling have been hosting cards there. So to have SoH VII take place there during the biggest weekend of wrestling of the year adds a special dynamic to the event.

We are now a couple years into RoH being owned by Sinclair Broadcasting, and they have made noticeable improvements to the overall video and lighting production of the shows. SoH VII was originally broadcasted live on Internet PPV, and the in-ring lighting and entrance stage areas got a big bump up in quality from the last SoH event in 2011. It is still a couple tiers in quality below WWE and even TNA Wrestling standards, but at least it does not have that low-rent, home movie feel that many of RoH’s past events suffered from. It also appears now that RoH has contracts with several indy bands producing music for them because wrestler’s entrances are no longer cut off anymore. When RoH was more under-the-radar, for their fist several years of existence they were able to get away using copyrighted music, but now since growing more in recent years it is good to see they took the appropriate steps at licensing music with independent artists so they do not face a huge lawsuit from big label music companies.

Enough prefacing, let us get on with the show! There is a well made opening montage setting up the back story going into this event where the big bad faction causing a ruckus in RoH known as SCUM went on a streak of terror at the recent RoH 11th Anniversary Show. However, matchmaker Nigel McGuiness rallied the RoH troops to stand up to the group at SoH VII. The card opened with ACH & Tadarius Thomas beating QT Marshall & mystery partner, his manager, RD Evans with their big bang finisher. RT had a good promo hyping up the mystery partner being himself, and this was a good opening bout with fast paced action to set the tone for the crowd. Next, Shelton Benjamin was supposed to take on former partner Charlie Haas, who suddenly retired from competition which lead to impromptu opponent, “The Prodigy” Michael Bennett. Bennett won with a dirty heel roll-up, and I will tip my hat to Bennett’s manager and former WWE Diva, Maria for taking one hell of a bump towards the end of the match.

Moving on, “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin squared off against Jay Lethal in a contest that featured one of the best superplexes I have seen in quite some time and Elgin winning with a devastating flurry of powerbombs. Afterwards, we had a 10 man RoH vs. SCUM clash with Cliff Compton, Jimmy Jacobs, Rhett Titus, Rhino & Jimmy Rave representing SCUM against RoH’s BJ Whitmer, Mark Briscoe, Mike Mondo, Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander. I am digging Whitmer’s new look since the last time I have seen him, this is the least bland he has appeared and he actually looks menacing now. This bout had nontstop chaos, with SCUM’s manager Steve Corino getting in the mix by laying a beating on commentator Caleb Setzer. In the end of this mayhem, SCUM emerged victorious after a vintage gore from Rhino.

We then were treated to a lengthy montage of Jay Briscoe falling short of winning many RoH World Title matches in previous encounters against Xavier, Samoa Joe and Nigel McGuinness. It helped set the stage for the main event tonight of Jay’s title bout against Kevin Steen. Speaking of McGuinness, he came out to replace Setzer at the announce booth for rest of the show. Next up was Karl Anderson beating Roderick Strong with an Ace Crusher, but like I mentioned in my last SoH write up, I am just not a big fan of Strong, because even though he has some sick looking moves, there is something about his act I find boring and stale in the ring, and this match continued to prove it.

RoH Television champ, Matt Taven successfully defended his title in a triple threat elimination match against Adam Cole & SCUM’s Matt Hardy. First Cole pinned Hardy after a devious low blow, and then Taven got a quick roll-up shortly thereafter to win in a match that featured many interesting shenanigans transpiring ringside with new RoH knockout, Scarlett. The penultimate match featured the tag team titles on the line with the Red Dragons successfully defending against the American Wolves. I think I would have gotten more out of this bout seeing it live since it featured countless highspots in quick succession, but watching it on video the huge lack of selling of these moves and a ref that does not give a damn at having double teams last seemingly forever made this stick out in a bad way as a “indy-riffic spotfest.” I guess I am use to WWE’s officiating significantly improving in recent years in treating wrestling more sports-like and getting quicker at reacting to illegal holds and double teams, and to have the RoH ref here make little to no effort to break up surprising long stretches of it here just did not gel well for me.

In the main event Jay Briscoe challenged SCUM’s Kevin Steen (who you may be more familiar with as NXT’s current top champion, Kevin Owens) for the world championship. I liked how the RoH/SCUM storyline carried over here, with RoH troops quickly preventing SCUM from running in and helping out Steen in his title defense and surrounding the ring and successfully fending off SCUM in a wild brawl. This match did not have as many epic spots as some of the previous duels, but it told a great story between two indy veterans with Jay Briscoe finally winning the big one and claiming his first RoH World Title in a fantastic moment.

Overall, this was a great return to form for the Supercard of Honor brand by having it finish off with Briscoe finally ending Steen’s year plus world title reign. Most of the first half of the show and the main event gets my seal of approval, but the Strong/Anderson and the tag team and TV title matches left me a little underwhelmed. Overall though, a pretty entertaining show that gets thumbs up from me.

I will finish with a quick aside. I do miss the bonus feature video wires that dominated most prior RoH DVDs that usually feature a bunch of promos and quick sketches from the wrestler’s hyping up their matches, but the show kind of made up for them by having quick video packages detailing the history leading up to most of the matches on the card. There are still two other bonus features on this disc with Jay Briscoe cutting a prematch promo and a Jay Briscoe word title celebration that aired on the next episode of RoH TV.

Past Wrestling Blogs

Best of WCW Monday Nitro Volume 2
Biggest Knuckleheads
Bobby The Brain Heenan
For All Mankind
Goldberg: The Ultimate Collection
Ladies and Gentlemen My Name is Paul Heyman
Legends of Mid South Wrestling
Macho Man: The Randy Savage Story
OMG Vol 2: Top 50 Incidents in WCW History
RoH Supercard of Honor V
RoH Supercard of Honor VI
ScoobyDoo Wrestlemania Mystery
Superstar Collection: Zach Ryder
Warrior Week on WWE Network
Wrestlemania 3: Championship Edition
Wrestlemania 28
Wrestlemania 29
Wrestling Road Diaries Too

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