Thursday, 12 April 2012

ROH Glory by Honor X - DVD Review

It’s time to step into Ring of Honor territory once again, and this time we’re going back to last November as El Generico challenged Davey Richards for the World title in one of the company’s biggest shows of the year. The DVD in question is Glory by Honor X.

The show began with the four corner survival match featuring Mike Bennett, Michael Elgin (accompanied by Truth Martini), Adam Cole & Grizzly Redwood.

Fast-paced action was the order of the day in this short and sweet encounter. All four men gave a good account of themselves with some very interesting sequences.

I went into this one thinking that the heels would probably help each other. Well, that didn’t happen, mainly because Elgin just wanted to plough through everyone while Bennett didn’t even want to get into the ring at the same time as the unbreakable one.

Elgin basically took everyone apart at the end, using the much smaller Redwood as a weapon at times before getting the pin after taking Cole out with his sit-down powerbomb. Nice work all round.

The first singles match of the show saw Jimmy Jacobs, accompanied by Steve Corino, taking on Tommaso Ciampa, accompanied by the various Embassy cronies.

As Jacobs and Corino made they entrance they were stopped by Kevin Steen from his front row seat. A few moments later Jacobs took the microphone, reminding Steen that he was there as a fan, and that Jacobs couldn’t do anything legally unless he was provoked. I think you can work out what Jacobs asked Steen to do next.

Steen would go on to have a major impact from his ringside seat, hurling insults at Jacobs as he took Ciampa and arguing with Corino at ringside. It was a very good match, but when Jacobs was at ringside Steen stood up and threw his bottle of water at him.

That was all the provocation Jacobs and Corino needed as they attacked Steen, and it wasn’t long before Steen was being dragged away and tossed out of the building. That wasn’t enough for Jacobs and Corino though as they followed Steen into the car park to continue the brawl.

While all of this was going on the referee had ruled the match a no contest. This didn’t sit too well with Ciampa, who wanted to keep his undefeated record in tact. The Embassy’s legal mind R.D. Evans then reminded everyone that ROH was contractually obliged to give Ciampa a proper match, issuing an open challenge which was answered by Harlem Bravado.

So as Jacobs and Corino continued to go after Steen in the car park Ciampa quickly took Bravado in the ring, taking him down with his Ciampa project finisher for the pin.

The special challenge match saw Team Richards member Kyle O’Reilly going up against former World Champion Eddie Edwards.

Reviewing ROH DVDs on a regular basis has given me the chance to watch O’Reilly’s career develop, and I have to say that this was by far the best match I’ve ever seen him in.

It was one of those knock down/drag out kind of affairs in which both men went at it full tilt. The chops and kicks looked as stiff as that word which I can’t really say here, and their ground work and exchange of submission holds made for enthralling viewing.

Edwards put in his usual solid performance as O’Reilly really took his game up a notch, showing that he was deserving of being in the company of ROH’s first triple crown winner.

Sadly the youngster couldn’t get the job done. After putting in a thrilling performance and taking Edwards to the limit Die Hard eventually took the submission win when O’Reilly tapped out to the dragon sleeper.

The tag team challenge match saw Matt and Nick Jackson, the Young Bucks, taking on Jay and Mark Briscoe.

This one had a wild beginning as “#DemBoys” took the Jacksons to the woodshed, throwing them around the ring and into the barricades. The Jacksons met the barricades so many times they were probably on first name terms.

The Jacksons came back well, pulling off some nice double team and aerial moves, showing great continuity as they attempted to put Mark away.

We then so the inevitable four way brawl, which featured a ton of great moves and both teams almost getting the win on a number of occasions. But in the end it was the Briscoes who came out on top, taking out Matt with the doomsday device for the winning pin.

The Proving Ground match followed as Roderick Strong, accompanied by Truth Martini, faced TV Champion Jay Lethal in a non-title match.

The stipulations for this one were simple: if Strong could beat Lethal or take him to a time limit draw then he’d get a shot at Lethal’s TV title.

Strong wasn’t to happy about having to compete in a Proving Ground encounter. As a former World Champion he thought that he would be more than deserving of a shot at Lethal’s title.

But that didn’t stop him from putting in a top drawer performance. Mind you, Strong always puts in a top drawer performance.

For fifteen minutes these two put on a tremendous back and forth encounter. There was plenty of fast paced action, and with a little help from Martini at ringside Strong came close to beating Lethal.

As the time limit neared Strong put Lethal in the stronghold, but realising that he only needed a draw to get the title shot he released the hold. This almost led to his downfall. Seconds later Lethal locked in a figure four. Strong tapped out, but the bell had already sounded.

Lethal wasn’t too happy, and challenged Strong to five more minutes, and after a little provocation from executive producer Jim Cornette Strong agreed.

This did lead to his downfall. Despite dominating the action Lethal came back with a handspring ace crusher to get the winning pin.

The penultimate match saw the All Night Express, Rhett Titus and Kenny King, challenging Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team, Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas, for the World Tag Team titles.

This was good. From the outset two of the best teams not just on the roster but in wrestling today put on a great encounter, the perfect appetiser for the main event.

The champions went into this one still hampered by Benjamin’s injured ribs, but this didn’t stop them from going all out early on as they attempted to put their challengers away.

But when the All Nights came back into the match and targeted Benjamin’s ribs the pain was obvious for all to see, especially when the referee continually asked him if he wanted to carry on.

As the old saying goes Benjamin sucked it up and continued, and from there we got a frantic back and forth encounter as both teams showed why ROH have one of the best tag team divisions in the world at the moment, certainly better than those of the big two.

After over twenty minutes of action the champions finally emerged victorious, taking King down with a double team powerbomb for the winning pin.

The main event saw El Generico taking on Davey Richards for the World title.

Now this is how a main event should be. For nearly 30 minutes these two went at it full tilt with neither man given any quarter.

It started off slowly, gradually building it’s way to it’s finish with Generico taking the champion to the limit and with Richards growing more and more frustrated by the minute over his inability to put his challenger away.

There were tons of great exchanges and great moves, from Richards’ numerous hard kicks to Generico’s brain buster on the ring apron. It was all there.

But there was only so much the generic luchadore could take. As he sat stunned in the middle of the ring Richards came off the rope and connected with a sliding kick to the head. A three count later and Richards had retained his title.

That wasn’t the end of things though. As Richards checked on his fallen opponent nobody noticed that Kevin Steen had sneaked back into the building. Moments later he was back in the ring, attacking Richards from behind.

Numerous wrestlers came out from the locker room to separate them, but just as Steen was being taken out of the building again Steve Corino appeared out of nowhere and attacked Steen, beginning another brawl.

Eventually the two were separated, and Steen was ushered out of the building again as Richards grabbed the microphone to praise Steen and to commend Corino’s rehabilitation.

Extra features come in the form of the ROH Video Wire and a bonus match pitting Andy Ridge against Mike Sydal.

In conclusion - do I really need to say what I’m about to say?

I will anyway. Glory by Honor X is another excellent release from the ROH crew. There isn’t one bad match here, and it’s another show that builds up nicely to the excellent title match between Richards and Generico, the match of the night for me.

I must also mention the Steen storyline as well. Whereas others would rush their storylines to get to the big pay off match ROH have built this situation up perfectly, making it one of their most compelling tales of recent years.

So in all Glory by Honor X gets the big thumbs up from this particular writer.

With thanks to the powers that be for supplying a copy of this release. ROH Glory by Honor X is available to buy online at www.rohwrestling.com.