Friday, April 27, 2012
Preview: ROH “Unity” 4/28 Chicago , IL
To say I am excited would be an understatement.
This Saturday night, I get the chance to experience live professional wrestling for the first time in almost 1 year! The last event I had the opportunity to attend was ROH Revolution: USA in May 2011 from Dearborn , Michigan . Since that time, family, work and the birth of my son in August have rightfully taken priority in my life.
My fellow contributor Jim will also be in Chicago and truly gets his “pro wrestling holiday” as he will take in the CHIKARA event in the afternoon on Saturday (preview posted), then ROH and finally WWE’s Extreme Rules (Head 2 Head to come) with Brock Lesnar’s WWE in-ring return against John Cena!
I decided to take a look at the ROH “Unity” show as part of the doubleheader of the day and Synergy with CHIKARA. Let’s get right to it! Ring of Honor’s approach to focus on the theme of “Unity” and an all-tag match format is interesting. Each match is going to need to offer something unique and interesting to keep the crowd engaged and not burned out on Saturday. I am excited for all of the matches, so more so than others.
ROH World Tag Team Title Match The Briscoe Brothers (C) vs. Jigsaw & Hallowicked
This match is a result of the CHIKARA duo winning their “Proving Ground” Match in January at “The Homecoming” event.
The Briscoes are calling out to the ROH Locker Room and wondering if they will have their backs in Chicago . I expect this to be a great match, which I think Jay & Mark retain. I don’t believe the ROH-CHIKARA partnership or connect ends this weekend, but with the upcoming feud ending bouts with WGTT of Haas & Benjamin, The Briscoes being the champs in those bouts adds more to their meaning.
Davey Richards & Kyle O'Reilly vs. Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin
This is an interesting match up on paper. Haas & Benjamin have certainly changed their tune in ROH and are more aggressive than ever before. Davey & Kyle are still early on in their teaming, but have the deep background as training partners as part of Team Ambition. O’Reilly, as well, has shown signs of not caring about the fans or their cheers. This has the chance to be the most athletic match on the card. A win over Davey by Haas or Benjamin could lead to a ROH World Title shot. This is also a case where I am not sure the direction for either team really in the aftermath of this bout. I will go with WGTT as the pick, to increase/create tension between Davey & Kyle.
All Night Express vs. Roderick Strong & Michael Elgin
By this point, many people that I know and discuss wrestling with fully expected the cracks in foundation of Strong & Elgin as the House of Truth to be on the verge of finally breaking. Nothing could be further from the truth. While Strong & Elgin’s teaming is still somewhat infrequent, they are unified by Truth Martini and both are experiencing greatness; Strong winning the ROH World TV Title and becoming the 2nd ever ROH Triple Crown wrestler, Elgin being a part of many people’s current top Match of the Year candidate with Davey Richards less than one month ago in Ft. Lauderdale as he was SO close to winning the ROH World Title. Their opponents, Kenny King & Rhett Titus, are looking to recapture the momentum that they had before Rhett Titus suffered a knee injury in late 2011. They are getting back into the groove as a team and they have their sights set on becoming ROH World Tag Team Champions, with a title shot from a previous “Proving Ground” match in their back pockets. I expect a good match and that the ANX (as they are on the path towards their eventual title match) get the win.
ROH vs. CHIKARA Trios Action Jay Lethal, Adam Cole & TJ Perkins vs. The Colony of Fire Ant, Soldier Ant & Green Ant
This match is going to be fun! While the ROH trio is kinda thrown together, The Colony have tremendous experience in this type of match. TJP and Fire Ant did battle in Ft. Lauderdale , with TJP getting the win. I just plan to sit back and get “lost” in the action. Again, depending on where the ROH-CHIKARA relationship goes from here, either team could win. I am going to go with The Colony to get the W on ROH turf.
Kevin Steen & Jimmy Jacobs vs. El Generico & BJ Whitmer
This is probably the match I am most interested in. Kevin Steen is the most interesting and engaging thing going in ROH (and likely all of wrestling) today. He has “infected” Jimmy Jacobs and they continue to battle with rival El Generico and the returning BJ Whitmer. Any ROH fan worth his or her salt knows the history between Jacobs & Whitmer, so that adds a great element to this grudge battle. I expect this the match to be violent and possibly bloody. Steen & Jacobs will get the win.
The Young Bucks vs. The Bravado Brothers
The Bravado Bandwagon rolls back into ROH!!! Harlem & Lancelot return from their tour of Pro Wrestling NOAH and to ROH rings here. While not successful in the ring much during 2011, they did make their mark with fans. Has their in-ring work improved from their time in Japan ? I hope so and cannot wait to see! They will battle Matt & Nick Jackson, The Young Bucks. These teams have a little history as well, with The Bucks previously being dominant over the boys from North Carolina . My honest opinion is that each team is going in different directions. The Bucks are almost done with their feud with ANX and The Bravados have a clean slate to build-on. I think they begin here and get a surprise, impressive win here.