ROH Reclamation Night 1
ROH continues 2013 with a string of house shows/DVD events that have great wrestling but at times do not feel as important within the context of the storylines as they should. Night of Reclamation Night 1 was no different. It had several matches that I enjoyed from the viewing of a fan, but at the same time could not really tell how they helped develop the talents on any major level.
The flow of the night was good as each match did not feel out of place which is important when viewing any wrestling product for me. The opening tag match was fast and simple. Sydal and Middoux looked very awkward and this has happened the few times I’ve seen them on ROH tv as well so they have a lot of work to do. It’s kind of surprising given that Sydal should be able to pull his weight but he’s hit or miss at best. ACH and Tadarius delivered on their end though it does take two to tango and on this night neither team really gelled well. The closing moments were passable at best.
Athena versus MsChif was good for what it was and it gave the show some variety but ROH lacks any sort of serious women’s division. Until they rectify that, this probably did more for the live crowd than it did for me knowing no matter who won they aren’t really building to anything. Still a good match and if you’re into women’s wrestling then you will be pleased.
BJ Whitmer versus Mike Bennett and Tommaso Ciampa versus Rhino were both two matches that were decent though neither did much in terms of character development. Bennett defeated Whitmer with a pile driver which unfortunately only brought up feelings about the apron situation, but this happened before so no harm no foul. Ciampa was able to go up against a man who is very tough and able to show that his knees are again his primary weapon. Good showings for all four men.
There was a match in between the last two and the reason I wrote about them together was because it would have been redundant to express similar feelings about both of them apart. But the match that divided them was Kyle O’Reilly vs. Eddie Edwards. This probably was the match leading into intermission so it was the first half main event persay and I thought both guys really dug deep and showed what Ring of Honor is all about. From the start the story of the match was O’Reilly who is a submissions “expert” was working the shoulder/arm of Edwards. Eddie knew that he could not rely on his arm as he fought on so in the end it came down to stomps to O’Reilly’s head that finished the match. It went about 21 minutes but you could see the urgency that Eddie was pushing as the match went on. Edwards is a triple crown champion in ROH and O’Reilly is the future and on this night they had awesome chemistry.
Kevin Steen versus Silas Young was not everything that I know both men are capable of but they were able to do well with the time they were given. It helped set up the World Title tournament also as Young looked good against the former dominant man in ROH. Steen won with the package piledriver but there were a few believable pins including one after a swanton bomb and another earlier in the match after his backbreaker-short arm lariat combo. Young has proven himself to me in ROH and elsewhere that he is a wrestler to keep an eye on while what more do I need to say about Kevin Steen that hasn’t been said before.
The final two matches were what really brought me into this show and encouraged me to give this a pretty high recommendation when it comes to the in ring work. The four way that was Matt Taven vs. Michael Elgin vs. Adam Cole vs. Jay Lethal embodied what I enjoy in multi man matches. There was the story told of Matt Taven holding his own after getting hit with move after move from the other opponents who all I believe have a stronger reputation when it comes to their abilities. The House of Truth interference wasn’t even that annoying as it can be sometimes but it made sense here. Generally speaking I enjoy four way matches more than most because I feel the intricacies of the talent involved can get messy but if done right can be more satisfying. Elgin and Lethal looked very strong here and headed into a World Title Tournament, all four men were in top form. I would say if the night had ended with this match, I would not have been disappointed. The ending sequence was Elgin power bombing Cole into Lethal and then hitting him again with the Elgin Bomb to finish off the match and get the win.
The main event was exactly what it needed to be to send the crowd home happy. Bobby Fish and Davey Richards went to war. The strikes, the kicks, the suplexes and the crispness to the match is the style of wrestling I enjoy the most and what has kept me a ROH fan for years. While I will admit we still had the subtle selling or sometimes lack there of from Richards near the end of the match, it did not really detract from the match as I being a MMA viewer for years have seen guys do that in that sport many times. The end saw a distraction from O’Reilly long enough to give Fish the opportunity to throw one of his deadly kicks to Richard’s head and get the pinfall. This main event delivered and continued the feud between the American Wolves and reDRagon.
Overall: I would give this DVD a semi high recommendation. The in ring work was great as I’ve come to expect from Ring of Honor and while I did say it didn’t do much for character development, it will solidify that the talent in ROH is still some of the best on the independent scene. I would say give it a buy. You can do that by going here. You can find out how to contact me or follow me by going to http://about.me/cgstong
Total Wrestling Magazine Issue 1 can be found here: http://twmag.co.uk/issue-1-total-wrestling-magazine/