Jason Namako’s Ring of Honor TV Review
June 3, 2015
Recap by: Jason Namako of Wrestleview.com
Today, June 3, 2015, marked the biggest day in the 13-year history of Ring of Honor as they just made their debut on national TV via Destination America with their first of four shows taped in Toronto, Canada, that will be shown on TV over the next four weeks heading into Ring of Honor’s next PPV, Best in the World, on June 19 from New York City. How did Ring of Honor do for a first impression on a brand new network with a lot of new eyes on the product? Stick out your hand for a virtual Code of Honor and let’s get to things, shall we?
Briscoes opening promo – Simple, to the point hype for tonight’s main event by #DemBoys. Not much more you can ask for to kick things off.
KUSHIDA vs. Will Ferrara – Fun opening contest between a rising New Japan junior star in KUSHIDA and a high potential ROH prospect in Ferrara. There is still lots to develop with Ferrara’s overall presentation and performance, but in due time, he will be someone to look out for in the next couple of years.
The Addiction ringside promo – Easy to follow build for next week’s ROH Tag Title return match between Addiction and former champs reDRagon. Addiction delving back into their Bad Influence playbook with the “World Tag Team Champions of the World” moniker and “We allow you to worship us now” punchline is a nice touch to their recent character change in ROH and highlight how much more suited Daniels & Kazarian are as a heel team as they never really got their legs under them as babyfaces in ROH prior to the recent turn.
Silas Young vs. Watanabe – Solid match, Watanabe was very impressive here, especially with his interactions with the Toronto crowd, who were not into him during the Global Wars iPPV the night before this taping. However, Watanabe was able to get the crowd behind him towards the end, before falling to the veteran heel in Silas, who tacts on another win to his belt.
MOOSE vs. BJ Whitmer, turned into MOOSE vs. Colby Corino – Super entertaining squash match, with lots of effective storyline development throughout. First off, this squash gave me flashbacks to the old Vader squashes of brutality throughout the mid ’90s. Secondly, both MOOSE’s offense and Colby’s bumping were both very well done. Third, this did a good job of adding even more story to the long-standing Steve Corino/BJ Whitmer rivalry as it now shown that Whitmer & Page are using Corino’s son as a pawn to piss him off. Whenever the time comes that Corino will finally snap and go after Whitmer will be a big-time moment, just purely based off of the amount of time they have put into this angle, which has now gone on for 18 months and shows no signs of slowing down. Finally, love the dynamic of MOOSE having the proverbial angel and devil watching over him, with Stokely Hathaway being the longtime friend who is the voice of reason for MOOSE, while Veda Scott is the vindictive one, demanding MOOSE lambast the entire ROH roster without any honor, as some semblance of deep-seeded revenge and vindication for Veda, who for 2 years, has felt wronged by ROH as a company after she was hurt in a match against MsChif. Everyone in the presentation plays their role very effectively and I continue to be intrigued by how this plays out.
Lethal/Martini backstage segment – Quick, simple segment to highlight that Lethal is not gonna be competing in the main event thanks to his manager, Martini’s, fanegaling. Notable to me is that before this week, ROH rarely, if ever, did any kind of backstage segments. Leads me to wonder if creative knew of the Destination America deal around the time of these tapings.
Inside ROH segment – Nice to see this brought back as I thought it was an effective way to showcase to new viewers what the current storylines were and why they were important. ROH did away with this segment near the end of 2013, so I was pleasantly surprised to see this make its way back as a weekly segment, another inkling that ROH creative knew about the DA deal. Good idea, also, to showcase Mandy Leon as the host in the return of this segment. Leon’s got a great look and she will be someone who will jump out of the screen to new viewers if and when they decide to tune to ROH TV for the first time on DA. Video package to highlight the Adam Page & ACH was well done and announcing a new match for the PPV on this first show on national TV was very clever.
The Briscoes vs. The House of Truth – Solid main event. Diesel is still very rough around the edges, but he was good in smaller doses. Dijak continues to progress and with his vast size, great look and impressive athletic ability, shows why ROH put him instanteously into a major role as the muscle of the House of Truth behind Lethal. Lethal was stellar on color commentary, having very good interactions with Kelly & Corino, with a nice callback to Lethal & Corino’s past issues when referencing Lethal’s parents. Lethal did a great job of hyping the main event for Best in the World, while getting to shine with great verbal barbs putting himself over and putting down Jay Briscoe. Post-match with Briscoe laying out Lethal with his finish was risky in that it made have been better for the two of them not to touch until the PPV, but Briscoe showing that just like that, he can hit Lethal with the Jay Driller and put him away was a nice sense of intrigue to their match at the PPV. Main event was solid, everything else surrounding it was very well done.
Overall, while this first episode for ROH on national TV was not the blow-away episode one would surmise ROH thrusting out there to give a real kick in the pants to new viewers to what they are all about, it did provide a nice wetting of the pallet to first-time viewers, making them want to see more in the coming weeks, while at the same time, delivering a lot of effective build to the PPV and especially to the long built-up main event. Many people wanted ROH to hit one 500 feet on their first at-bat for Destination America, when all they really needed and succeeding at doing was staying disciplined at the plate and spraying a couple of singles and doubles around the ballpark. When it comes time to deliver that home run on June 19 for Best in the World PPV, they will be locked and loaded to do so.
After one more virtual Code of Honor, I bid you aideu for this week. Hope you enjoyed reading and I’ll see you next week, back in Toronto, for more Ring of Honor Wrestling on Destination America! Have a good one!
What did you think of this week’s Ring of Honor television? Please comment below.
Jason Namako recaps and reviews the weekly Ring of Honor TV, as well as all ROH iPPVs, PPVs and VOD releases for Wrestleview.com.