Wednesday, March 9, 2016

RoH Supercard of Honor IX

We are within a month of Wrestlemania 32, so just like last year I am celebrating with two wrestling entries this month on the blog! Like last year I will kick it off with my recap of the last year’s Supercard of Honor (SoH) from the number three promotion in America, Ring of Honor (RoH). Make sure to come back in a week or two with my rundown of last year’s Wrestlemania 31. 2015 saw RoH bestow us with SoH IX, and like most years this event transpired, it happened on the same weekend and city where Wrestlemania took place in order to attract its biggest crowd and most ardent fans. SoH IX took place in Redwood City, CA, which is in the greater San Francisco/Santa Clara area where WM31 occurred.

I will preface with a little context on the state of RoH one year ago. At that time RoH’s weekly TV show could only be found for free on their website and on syndication at mostly odd hours in a growing number of markets around the country. After a brief run of the weekly TV show airing on Destination America network, the newly rebranded Comet TV channel started to air the show on Wendesday nights at 11pm CT. RoH’s parent company, Sinclair broadcasting recently acquired the Tennis Channel and speculation is brewing they are going to give the channel a makeover and make it a perfect fit to showcase RoH and finally give their production values a big upgrade to standout on the channel.

With that 2015 setup out of the way, SoH IX kicks off with Mark Briscoe squaring off against ACH. Like last year it seems the Briscoes are both on their own separate paths with Jay now rising above as the serious headliner, while Mark is all about his own unique brand of redneck kickass he has on display here. It also took awhile for me to get use to seeing a Briscoe with so much….hair. I enjoyed this fast paced opener, and got a kick out of Mark’s brand of ‘redneck kungfu’ he had on display. Mark won the opener after a sequence of rollup reversals.

The second match on the card saw Michael Elgin face Frankie Kazarian. For whatever reason I was never too big on Kaz from his days on Impact Wrestling, but Elgin I recall being impressed by in his bout with Davey Richards at Showdown in the Sun. This match just did not do it for me and it fell victim to the RoH stereotype spotfest. By that I mean it had little to no time to for selling and give the match time to sink in. Elgin got the winning with a spinning powerbomb-driver.

The next match was a 6-man Mayhem match, where two are in the ring and can tag in and out to anyone. Featured here were Moose, Caprice Coleman, Cedric Alexander, Tomasa Ciampa, Matt Sydal and Andrew Everett. Great seeing Matt Sydal (AKA Evan Bourne) back in action for the first time in at least three or four years after screwing up back-to-back drug tests and riding out the remaining two years of his WWE contract on suspension and somehow wound up with a nasty foot injury in a freak accident that sidelined him for even longer. As a result Sydal does not have the same spring in his step, but was still capable of several good spots in this match, including his trademark Shooting Star Press for the victory in a really good match that had the crowd the entire way. I want to give props to Moose’s dropkicks here. Moose gives me the vibe of a well rounded Titus ‘O Neil.

Up next was probably my match of the night as is pitted Decade faction members BJ Whitmer and Jimmy Jacobs against each other. Their steel cage match from several years ago is still my favorite RoH match, and this match had a very nice shoutout to that match with BJ teasing doing a move that went terribly wrong in one of their prior matches, but wisely backed away from it. While these two are getting up in age and are not as flashy as before, unlike a lot of matches on this card, these two allowed their match to breathe with lots of selling and psychology to help setup the next stage of the match. It even told a story with the Decade turning on Whitmer after the match. Christopher Daniels and Roderick Strong should have took note, because their match next was another match with nonstop spots with no room to breathe and resulted in me zoning out of the match before I realized Strong won with a submission.

The tag team title matchup was a bit of a mess for my liking. ReDragon (Kyle ‘O Reilly & Bobby Fisch) defended their belts against The Kingdom (Michael Bennett & Matt Taven). I actually enjoyed the early stages of the match that were filled with some fun comedy moments and good traditional tag action, but then they just went into RoH spot-spot-spot mode and some lousy interference at the end backfired on The Kingdom and lead to ReDragon successfully retaining the belts in a lackluster match.

The TV title match next helped redeemed the tag title contest. Jay Lethal won the TV title at last year’s SoH show, and he is still the champion in an impressive reign, that continued after this night with a successful defense against the legendary Jushin Thunder Liger. Liger is 50 and can somehow still go! I just watched him last weekend in a tag match off the WWE Network from Starrcade ’92…..1992…that is 24 years ago!!! Probably cause of Liger’s age is why this match was not nonstop spot-spot-spot, but it worked towards its benefit and made me believe Liger would come away with the title, but it was not to be after Jay hit his Lethal Injection for the victory.

The main event saw a returning Samoa Joe face Jay Briscoe for the RoH World Title. Samoa Joe is coming back to RoH after nearly 10 years in TNA Wrestling, and five years since his last RoH appearance. I was expecting Joe to emerge victorious here as he unleashed all his vintage moves in a bout that went nearly a half hour. It was not to be though as Jay successfully defended the title with a clean pin after his trademark Jay Driller. Really good match, but seemed to be missing something to make it a runaway match-of-the-year contender.

Supercard of Honor IX was an OK card overall. It had a mix of disappointing spotfests that resulted in me forgetting about them almost as soon as they were over, but it was good seeing Sydal and Joe back in RoH and both got plenty of moments to shine. My two matches of the night however go to Liger/Lethal and Whitmer/Jacobs for having me the most invested throughout. There is one bonus match on the DVD featuring a quick bout between Romantic Touch and Shane Taylor, along with plugs for other RoH merchandise.

Past Wrestling Blogs

Best of WCW Monday Nitro Volume 2
Biggest Knuckleheads
Bobby The Brain Heenan
Daniel Bryan: Just Say Yes Yes Yes
Dusty Rhodes WWE Network Specials
ECW Unreleased: Vol 1
ECW Unreleased: Vol 2
ECW Unrealeased: Vol 3
For All Mankind
Goldberg: The Ultimate Collection
Its Good to Be the King: The Jerry Lawler Story
Ladies and Gentlemen My Name is Paul Heyman
Legends of Mid South Wrestling
Macho Man: The Randy Savage Story
Memphis Heat
OMG Vol 2: Top 50 Incidents in WCW History
RoH Supercard of Honor V
RoH Supercard of Honor VI
RoH Supercard of Honor VII
RoH Supercard of Honor VIII
ScoobyDoo Wrestlemania Mystery
Superstar Collection: Zach Ryder
Top 50 Superstars of All Time
Tough Enough: Million Dollar Season
Warrior Week on WWE Network
Wrestlemania 3: Championship Edition
Wrestlemania 28
Wrestlemania 29
Wrestlemania 30
The Wrestler (2008)
Wrestling Road Diaries Too
WWE Network Original Specials First Half 2015
WWE Network Original Specials Second Half 2015

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