Hey everybody! After a long Wrestlemania week, I’m back with another week of Ring of Honor action! Sorry for missing coverage last week, but I was swamped with Wrestlemania happenings.
We’ve got a great tag match for the Ring of Honor tag team titles coming up - reDRagon defend their titles against The Young Bucks! Let’s dive right into the action, shall we?
Larry Mercer introduces tonight’s episode, and it’s a special one - “Road Rage.” It’s a highlight of matches from “Raising The Bar,” which was NOT a TV taping, so is very gritty looking. First up, Chris Hero vs. Roderick Strong!
Roderick Strong vs. Chris Hero
Before the Bell: Strong out first, and then a video recap from earlier in the night, with some signs of The Decade building it’s forces. Jimmy Jacobs seems to have convinced Adam Page to join up. After the video, Chris Hero comes out.
The Match: Some nice chain wrestling to start out. Hero runs the ropes and stops a leapfrog with his foot. Action spills outside the ring and Hero is in control. Back from break, Hero laid Strong out on the apron. Hero leaps in and Strong counters. Now it’s Strong’s turn to attack. Strong tosses Hero into the barricades, then locks in a chinlock in the ring. He stretches Hero out across the ring post. Hero flips over the ropes onto the apron, but Strong catches him with an enzuigiri to the head. Two-count. Both men trade kicks, Hero gets some momentum. Hero’s kicks take him down. Hero’s on fire. He gets a near fall. After another break, Hero sets up for an electric chair drop, but Strong reverses and hits a fireman’s carry. Strong hits a nice backslide for a near fall. The near falls are coming in quick. The men trade chops and elbows. Nice suplex and a cover from Hero. Two-count. The fans start chanting “This is awesome.” Strong with the jumping knee, then gut buster, then Sick Kick for a two-count. Strong Hold. Hero rolls through for a near fall. Spinning elbow. Make it another. He sets Hero up and drops him, then hits an elbow to the back of the head. He locks in a stretch and Roderick Strong taps.
Winner: Chris Hero
After the Bell: Hero celebrates with the local fans. Strong comes to slowly.
What Worked: These guys just work well together. Simply put.
What Didn’t: No major complaints, really
The Summary: A very good match between two pros. These men have gone to battle before, and they have good chemistry. Overall, enjoyable. I wouldn't call it must see, but definitely worth checking out.
Back to Larry Mercer, who introduces our Tag Team Title match from Chicago Ridge.
Highlights of the New Japan stars that will be joining Ring of Honor for the upcoming shows. I’m very disappointed I’m missing this one live.
The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) vs. reDRagon (Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly) (c) for the Ring of Honor Tag Team Champions
Before the Bell: The Bucks come out first, carrying their IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships. reDRagon, our Ring of Honor tag champs, come out next. This is gonna be a good one. Title intros for both teams. Handshakes. Worth noting Matt Jackson is wearing a cast on his right hand.
The Match: O’Reilly goes for an armbar early on, but Nick counters. Some nice action from Nick, who tags in Matt. Rapid fire tags. O’Reilly tries to counter some tandem action. Fish makes an early save. Fish and Matt are in. Nick does a pair of backflips, then, well, scratch Fish’s back. It’s seemingly heel vs. heel here. O’Reilly pushes Matt off the top rope outside the ring, then starts working the broken hand. Back from break, Fish hits a senton from the apron. Two count. Tag to O’Reilly. Sunset flip into Armageddon. More rapid tags. reDRagon are isolating Matt in their corner. Matt hits a spear out of nowhere and both he and O’Reilly are out. Hot tags for both sides. Nick is on fire. Furious kicks. Leaping face buster off the apron, two-count. Back from break, O’Reilly is in The Bucks corner on the apron. He gets his face kicked in. The Bucks hit a nice tandem moonsault on Fish. Really good action here. Superkick to Fish. Matt goes for the cover, two-count after O’Reilly’s save. Some back and forth action, and reDRagon get a near fall. All four men are in the ring and kicks to the face are flying everywhere. The fans are chanting for The Bucks. Nick Jackson leaps out of the ring but Fish catches him and O’Reilly stomp on him from the apron. Impressive. Matt goes up top, but O’Reilly catches him and Fish hits a Falcon Arrow. Two-count. O’Reilly and Matt are in the ring and it’s back and forth. O’Reilly takes a pair of superkicks. O’Reilly throws his mouthpiece at Matt. Matt hits him in the head with the cast. The ref never saw it. Superkicks to Fish, and a near fall on O’Reilly. Nick leaps out of the ring to Fish. They hit a spike tombstone piledriver. Two-count, but barely. They go for their tandem finisher, but O’Reilly catches Nick with a triangle choke. Nick rolls through into a bridge and get’s the three-count.
Winner: The Young Bucks to become the Ring of Honor Tag Team Champions.
After the Bell: The Bucks celebrate while reDRagon dispute the victory. Nigel McGuinness enters the ring to attach the belts to both men, a nice touch.
What Worked: Just about everything. The pacing of this match was perfect. Started out slow and just kicks in from one gear to the next. The pacing was frantic towards the end, and everyone - myself included - was into the near falls.
What Didn’t: No major complaints here. Even the high-spots, which I’m usually pretty critical of, were very well done and chosen tastefully. I would give this match a very high rating. 4 to 4.5 stars.
The Summary: I didn’t give this match justice. Tag matches are tough to cover to begin with, but these guys worked fast. A very good an enjoyable match, and even though I knew the outcome ahead of time, it didn’t take away. If you can seek out the full version of the match (this was cut for time) do so.