On Sunday November 20th, I went to the Ring of Honor live event held at York Hall in Bethnal Green. I consider myself quite a big wrestling fan. For example, I’ve been to two Wrestlemania’s, I go to viewing parties and I try and watch Raw whenever it’s in London. However, I know very little about the independent scenes in general. Practically nothing specific in fact. It’s mostly due to time constraints, WWE takes up too much of my time already and I’m just not willing to commit to watching and following other promotions.
I have recently watched a little bit of WCPW and have slowly started to be introduced to some of the wrestlers in the British wrestling scene. For example, Marty Scrull and Will Osprey who just so happened to wrestle at this show!
So this show, the third night in the Reach For The Sky tour, was more or less a complete introduction to Ring of Honor. Now I’ll admit I did have some preconceptions about indie wrestling styles and how it’s a lower standard. For example: people kicking out of finishing moves left, right and centre, not selling moves effectively and of course the over use of super kicks. Interestingly, all of those problems have either been or currently are effecting WWE as well.
In short, I had a really good time. It was a fun show and I will definitely try and catch Ring Of Honor next time they are in the UK or I’m in America. Here are some of the my favourite highlights.
ROH World Title: Adam Cole vs. Jay Lethal
Adam Cole Bay Bay! verses Jay Lethal for the Ring of Honor World Title. It was an excellent main event between two clearly very talented performers. There’s not much I really want to say about it in honesty, other than it was really good. Now obviously, York Hall isn’t going to be the place for a World Title change, especially this close to the Final Battle PPV. Yet the two still put on a great match, even if we all knew the finish.
It was during this match I realised that ROH loves a last stand babyface hulk up. Both Ospery and Lethal did this. It’s a no selling sequence of moves to get back into a match, just before they lose. Its a true last stand of defiance. It was really cool to see, though I imagine it’s probably overused. It would be cool to see this last stand mentality in the WWE once in while though. The closest and most recent thing I can remember to it was Shaun Michaels verses The Undertaker at Wrestlemania 26. Although that was more of him signally for ‘Taker to finish the match and slapping him to anger him enough to do it.
The Youngs Bucks vs. The Briscoe Brothers
From the limited amount I’ve seen The Young Bucks both before and since this live event I would have told you and would still tell you that they are one of the most annoying tag teams I’ve ever seen. Overused of the superkick infuriates me, it’s now become so popular that even most WWE wrestlers do it on the main shows! I hate it.
However, when you’re there in person. It’s just a whole lot of fun. My friends and I placed bets on just how many we would see in the match. The answer was 19. 19 superkicks! Ridiculous, yet amazing. Yes it’s funny but I still don’t want to see it all the time.
Advatised on the card this was supposed to be two singles matches between the competitors, but The Briscoe Brothers came out, pulled a Teddy Long and made it a tag team match. Which, I guess they thought would be for the tag team titles but it was never specified. After they won the match and didn’t win the titles they complained. Silly sods! Also, side note their accents are incredibly thick.
For the match itself I was amazed with how quickly The Young Bucks can move inside the ring. It’s very impressive. Towards the end of the match one of the Bucks was on the recieving end of a Razers Edge into a neckbreaker from the top rope. It looked terrifying and brutal. Obviously he kicked out at two.
This was the most ‘stupidly indie’ match on the card, but instead of it annoying me like I thought it would. It entertained the hell out of me. So nice work!
Television Title: Will Osprey (c) vs. Marty Scurll
Obviously I knew who Will Osprey is, mostly from the buzz that was created from his match in New Japan against Ricochet. For the record, I stand on the side of that match been too much like a gymnastic performance (as impressive as it is) rather than a fight. Wrestling is supposed to be a fight! Though I have to admit that I hadn’t really watched him since until I saw him wrestle Martin Kirby in WCPW, which was a pretty darn good match.
WCPW also just introduced me to Marty Scurll as well. I really enjoy his look and style. He stands out in a crowd for sure. Also, who doesn’t look a gimmick involving an umbrella?
This match was for the Ring of Honor Television Title, which Osprey had won from Bobby Fish on the first night of the tour. The night after Osprey and Scurll had teamed together to try and win the Tag Team Titles from The Young Bucks. After they failed in that effort Scurll challenged Osprey for his new belt.
This was a great match and it was awesome to see Scurll win the title. Both men are so good in the ring and have completely different styles but messed together excellently. At one point Osprey did a Shooting Star Press from the top rope to the outside and got an insane amount of height.
About halfway through the match there was a spot in which Scurll ‘broke’ one of Ospreys fingers. I’d seen it recently on WCPW and incidentally the crowd also knew what was coming as they went silent in anticipation. I don’t know how he does it, but Marty makes the best finger snapping sound I’ve ever heard. Not that I hear that all the time of course. It’s punctuated by the crowd being quiet for it and then Scurll himself rushing to the ropes to gag at home disgusting it was while the crowd chant ‘You sick fuck! You sick fuck!’. Brilliant.
The end of the match saw a resilient come back for Osprey and a stubborn refusal to lose. Flipping the bird in defiance at Scurll only resulted in Marty breaking both of those fingers though. Brutal!
The final highlight I want to talk about was actually the first match on the card. Dalton Castle verses Lio Rush. I think I have a new favourite wrestling gimmick in Castle. It’s just fantastic.
For those who don’t know, Dalton Castle is somewhat sexually ambiguous, incredibly flamboyant showman. It’s very glam rock with Freddie Mercury and Justin Hawkins (of The Darkness) as inspirations.
He wears sparkling sequin jump suits and a cape. He is accompanied to the ring by ‘his boys’, shirtless, mask-wearing men with peacock feather fans who act as human furniture. It’s just all brilliant.
Once I got back from the event I just had to look up some more of his work, including a promo in which he uses ‘his boys’ as human furniture to challenge Jay Lethal to his Television Title. I also watched one of his entrances for TNA, in which ‘his boys’ are replaced with women and Josh Mathew spends every moment dumping on the entire thing. It’s just rubbish. Classic TNA.
Not only is Dalton Castle a fantastic gimmick, he also has one of the best entrances themes of all time. Titled ‘Dalton Wants It Now’ by Adam Massacre, I’ve had this thing on repeat for over a week. It’s the perfect accompaniment to the gimmick and excellently references Freddy Mercury, Queen and the whole glam rock vibe. Mostly, because it’s essentially an extended instrumental version of the opening guitar solo for Queen’s ‘I Want It All’.
The match itself was pretty entertaining with Castle taking multi timeouts to get fanned by ‘his boys’ when Lio Rush got the better of him. Amazingly the character isn’t presented as a heel, instead getting huge cheers every time he interacted with ‘his boys’. Highlight of the match was Lio Rush doing a suicide dive to the outside, which Dalton sidestep and instead Rush hit the boys. Dalton freaked out and Rush kept apologising, hilarious.