When I first arrived to the University of Montevallo, in 2005, my interest in professional wrestling was quickly reignited by many of the founding members of our L.E.W.D crew. I had been out of the loop for a couple of years, and realized I had a lot to catch up on, but these guys were quick to fill me in.
One name I kept hearing, over and over was “Low-Ki” – which was usually either prefaced or proceeded by something along the lines of “will kick you straight to hell”, or something else equally as menacing.
Not long after, I gave in to curiosity and wanted to see what this Low-Ki guy was all about. Thanks to The Right Reverend, or as I knew him “The Pastah!!!”….I would soon have my professional wrestling mind changed forever.
What match was shown to me? “The Era of Honor Begins” ROH’s very first event – what was the main event? Christopher Daniels vs. Bryan Danielson vs. Low-Ki. The match was held in a very run-down high-school gym, and the production value was very poor – but it was, and still is, one of the all-time greatest wrestling matches I have ever seen.
…..that being said, I felt a special calling to pay the $9.99 to watch ROH’s 10 Anniversary Show iPPV, this afternoon. What follows below is my general, quick review of the show. There will possibly be spoilers, so…
ROH’s 10th Anniversary Show kind of snuck up on me, and everyone, I would imagine. From the beginning, the show seemed to lack some of the mystique and grandeur that I felt a company who has put on such amazing wrestling would be able to avoid. The card seemed kind of lackluster, the price was only $9.99 (I’m assuming in honor of it being the “10″th Anniversary), and the iPPV started at 4pm on a Sunday afternoon (also rare for the company). However, I was not deterred, and tuned in.
Granted, I did miss the first couple of matches, but I tuned in time for the real bulk of the card, which was all that even looked promising.
Tommasso Ciampa vs. Jay Lethal for the TV Title was an excellent match full of quick, powerful moves and drama – but it went to a time-limit draw (20min.). This was done, in my mind, to protect Ciampa’s undefeated streak, but not give him the title (which he so painstakingly has earned), but I digress. Great match.
The Briscoe Brothers(c) vs. The Young Bucks proved to be more entertaining than expected, but lacked a lot of the drama that I anticipated with two great tag teams, on arguably one of ROH’s biggest ppv’s ever. Clean finish, Doomsday Device, Briscoe’s retain.
Jimmy Jacobs vs. Kevin Steen – NO DQ match. Pretty typical ROH “extreme” match. No real twists, turns, or drama. Steen is as impressive as ever, and I don’t remember the last time I saw Jimmy Jacobs win a wrestling match, but I still enjoy his work. The match ended with Steen’s version of the F5, onto a chair… just seemed kinda flat for someone who has done much more gruesome things.
Main Event – Davey Richards/Kyle O’Reilly vs. Eddie Edwards/Adam Cole had some interesting plot lines going into the match. Both members of both teams were former tag teams – Richards/Edward the American Wolves who had a storied career in ROH and Cole/O’Reilly who billed themselves as “Future Shock” but eventually took on Edwards and Richards, respectively, as their “mentors”. I foresaw the young guys banding together, and turning on the veterans who had offered to help them out – getting them major heat, and a huge push in the company. However, all I learned from this match was that the superkick is the new clothesline, and that this ppv just wasn’t done right all around.
I got the story the match was trying to tell – these two teams are very evenly matched, because they are obviously so in tune with what each other would be doing. However, the entire 39:!5 long match consisted of one person clotheslining, then the other clotheslining them back, one person chopping in the corner, and the other person turning them around and chopping them… it was just so repetitive, and slow.
The finish? A flying crossbody from Adam Cole to Davey Richards. Yeah. A flying crossbody.
Closing thoughts: The crowd wasn’t into the weak card, there were no surprise stars, or super dramatic finishes. There were no twists, or 5-star matches. There wasn’t really even a lot of storyline development. The ring didn’t even look as good as a normal ROH ring. They didn’t have any lights or their normal awesome entrance set-up – but sadly, it was obvious that it wasn’t done in a way to pay homage to the company’s humble beginnings – it just all came across as low budget, unthoughtful, and incredibly lackluster way for such a phenomenal company to celebrate the ten year anniversary of their fantastic company and all of their achievements.
I still love ROH, and it is still the place I go when I want that perfect mix of flashiness mixed with real, no-excuses, no questions asked WRASSLIN’… but this whole card could have been so much more for the company, and they just dropped the ball. Sad day.