Supercard of Honor XII was a big night for Ring Of Honor as they broke their attendance record. It’s the latest example of the company being able to take advantage of the outstanding popularity of The Bullet Club as New Japan made the surprising decision to allow them to book Cody vs Omega. When you throw in Scurll challenging for the ROH Title and The Bucks for the Trios belts, it’s a Club focused show. Not that all the credit belongs to the BC members. I’m sure lots of people were tuning in for Silas Young vs Kenny King…
Chuckie T defeated Jonathan Gresham
People might not have come for Young vs King, but I would tune into nearly any promotion for this one. It made me sad to see how little reaction they got. Bullet Club fans are great for business, not so much for non-BC related atmosphere.
Sorry, going to stop being a snob. Wrestling is for everyone etc.
And even if some in attendance didn’t appreciate these two going at it, I did. Early on, Gresham had a terrifying landing off a dive which led to Beretta chiming in with the advice ‘he broke his neck, so get onto that’. You got to love those Best Friends. Greg would play a part a few times as he also stopped Chuck going into the barrier with a big old hug.
In the ring, these two meshed together well. They both have unique styles, and it could have gone either way depending on their chemistry. Thankfully, it became a fun opener with Chuck getting a win with an inside cradle. Let’s see them do this again with a lot more time.
Verdict: Three And A Quarter Stars
Punishment Martinez defeated Tomohiro Ishii
I have a real issue with Punishment Martinez. From his hokey entrance to his weird look, my brain tells me should be shit. I want to dislike him. Then he throws that massive frame over the turnbuckle to the outside and I get giddy. How can you not love that?
It helped that you could put my Mother’s corpse up against Ishii and I’d watch it. The man is a tank and having Martinez stand and take his offence instantly legitimises him. Although he might not have been the best person to take the high flying side of Punishment’s attack. He’s not that tall, so Martinez came close to going over his head and meeting a sticky end.
Thankfully he didn’t. Instead, he followed up with another dive, a spinning heel kick from the top and a Super ‘Rana all of which is mental for a man that size. He’s a freak. Not all the credit goes to him, though. Ishii travelled halfway around the world to make another wrestler look like a star. His lack of ego is almost a fault.
There’s still a part of me that suspects Punishment Martinez is shit. At some point, I might have to accept that the weird ass goth is a damn good wrestler.
Verdict: Four Stars
Kota Ibushi defeated Hangman Page
You know what I wouldn’t have seen coming a year ago? I am now an Adam Page guy. Damn, has he stepped up. He always had something to him, but it never came together, and I found him dull. Now, in his newly deranged state, he looks like a star.
Of course, being in there with Kota Ibushi – the Golden Star of my heart – will help anyone out. God, I love him. The way he sold Page’s early dominance before using his speed to create distance and start dishing out kicks was babyface wrestling at its best. Even the pro-Bullet Club crowd was booing Page before too long. Although those boos quickly turned to gasps when Kota reversed Hangman’s attempt to moonsault off a barrier with a snap German which probably should have killed him.
Also, much like Ishii, Kota is a wrestler who looks to help his opponents. He didn’t need to work his arse off here; he could have delivered the greatest hits and gone home. However, this was a big moment for Page and Ibushi treated it that way too. In my headcanon, they bonded over their love of moonsaulting off things and took it from there.
These two went out there looking to steal the show; there’s an argument to be made that they succeeded.
Verdict: Four And A Quarter Stars
Sumie Sakai defeated Kelly Klein
I can see what Ring Of Honor was going for here. The heartwarming moment where the smaller Sakai overcame Klein after working from underneath. However, it didn’t click. ROH has relegated this Women of Honor tournament to pre-shows and Facebook Live. Where, surprise surprise, no-one watched it and therefore didn’t care.
Klein and Sakai did all they could with an impossible task. They were sent out in front of a crowd that didn’t give a shit, with a tiny amount of time and worked hard. Sometimes, though, hard work isn’t enough. If ROH wants people to believe in their women’s division, then they need to work as hard as the wrestlers do.
Verdict: Two And A Half Stars
SoCal Uncensored (Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky) defeated The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson) and Flip Gordon
Holy shit. I know The Bucks and The Addiction have a history of trying to murder each other in ladder wars, but they might have just one-upped themselves. At times, the insanity didn’t even make sense. Scorpio Sky hit a dive over the top rope into a ladder with the goal of knocking the Bucks to the floor. Pretty sure that hurt you more than them you nutter.
Weirdly, these are the hardest matches to review. There was little in the way of story here as it was crazy moment after crazy moment. While I could list them all, at that point, you might as well watch it. Something that you should do by the way. I will mention that Flip Gordon took the stupidest bump I’ve ever seen. Standing on top of a ladder, he dropped down to bash his head off the top of it before flopping to the ground. The crowd didn’t even react particularly loudly!
The only flaw was the appearance of The Kingdom towards the end. I could not give a flying fuck about those clowns. They’re crap, and while it led to a couple more big spots, this would have been infinitely better without them. Still, this is something you need to see.
Verdict: Four And A Half Stars
Two Pieces Of Shit defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi and Jay Lethal to retain the ROH Tag Team Titles
After their behaviour at Fight Club’s Dream Tag Team Invitational, The Briscoes are on my shit list. Rather than watching this why not donate a bit of money to a charity like Stonewall? Or, if you want to keep it wrestling themed, maybe buy one of Jack Sexsmith’s Proud Apparel shirts? 25% goes to Stonewall. Sounds like a much better way to spend your time.
Verdict: Fuck The Briscoes
Silas Young defeated Kenny King to win the ROH Television Title
I don’t think Young or King have done anything offensive, but I was kind of wishing they had by the end of this. It would have given me an excuse to skip it. There was exactly one moment that did anything for me which was King hitting a Shooting Star Press through a table on the outside. It was beautiful, so watch that and then jump to the end.
It wasn’t aided by a dumb finish as both men were down on the floor when it became clear something was preventing King getting up. It turned out to be Beer City Bruiser who was under the ring and had a hold of his legs/had tied them up. Terrifyingly, that means this feud will continue, although Austin Aries made the save post-match so at least he’ll be involved.
Verdict: One And A Half Stars
Cheeseburger and Bully Ray do some stuff
If you’ve any sense, you’ll skip this too.
The Dawgs (Rhett Titus and Will Ferrera) attacked Eli Isom on his way to the ring leaving Cheeseburger without a partner. That brought Bully Ray out, who after a bit of back and forth agreed to be ‘Burger’s friend. Sadly for Cheese, it didn’t last long and Bully turned on him.
Bully then went full middle-aged white guy by running down millennials. Does anyone want to see this? I don’t. Flip Gordon tried to save Cheeseburger, but it didn’t work. In the end, he ate a powerbomb from Bully. At least this means we have the potential for another Bully retirement speech. I haven’t seen enough of those.
Verdict: Zero Stars
Cody defeated Kenny Omega
A lot of people got excited about this one. I’ve seen people on Twitter calling it the best match of all time which is quite frankly ridiculous. It was a good, story-heavy fight with a hot crowd. All of which is impressive, just not quite worthy of the praise it was receiving.
My main problem with it is that for all Cody’s improvement, he’s still slow. While I know his old-school heel work gets heat, he’s in there with Kenny Omega, I don’t want to see five-ten minutes of stalling. They should be trying to murder each other after what has gone down so far.
Except, it quickly became apparent that this wasn’t the final chapter in their story. It was probably one in the middle of act two, as they continue to lay blocks for where The Bullet Club is going. We saw more intrigue being added to Brandi’s relationship with Flip Gordon and Omega himself, as they both showed more concern for her than Cody did when she went through a table. Then the main takeaway was The Bucks’ role in Omega’s loss, as their duel superkick led directly to the finish. It appeared to be accidental – they were aiming for Cody – but I’m not sure whether that matters to Omega after everything that has happened.
All of which put the actual in-ring work into second place. The problem with this story is that there’s so much going on that the wrestling becomes redundant. However, this was still Kenny Omega, and for all Cody’s flaws, when Omega steps up a gear no-one can touch him. The moments that saw Kenny cut loose were fantastic, and the number of wrestlers I enjoy watching more can be counted on one-hand.
That wasn’t what this match was about, though. It was about continuing the story they are meticulously crafting. If you’re invested in that, you can’t miss it.
Verdict: Three And Three Quarter Stars
Dalton Castle defeated Marty Scurll to retain the ROH World Title
Damn, can you feel anything except sorry for these two? They went out and had a decent match. It just wasn’t the match that they needed to have. The show had already gone far too long, and with the fans having sat through one thirty minute epic, they were in no mood for another.
It’s frustrating because Scurll and Castle were a natural pairing. Scurll’s villain behaviour going up against Dalton’s flamboyance is an easy story and allows them to bring the aggression out of each other. Consequently, there were moments where they were giving it their all, so it was sad to see the crowd give them nothing back.
If you take this same performance, remove the ref bumps that played into the finish and cut out ten-fifteen minutes I think it would have been a great main event on top of a solid show. As it stood, no-one cared.
Verdict: Two And A Half Stars
Hmm, I think this is best described as a mixed bag. It started hot, with only the Women’s match being a letdown and that was more down to the booking than the wrestlers. Then, post ladder insanity, it all went a bit to shit. We got some homophobes, a dull Last Man Standing and some Bully Ray crap. Combined with a flat main event, it left me struggling to get enthused. Pick and choose what you watch, though, (the main event will probably work in a bubble), and you’ll have a good time.