When my wife, Lindsay, and I went to our first live Ring of Honor show this past Friday it was the first time I’ve watched Ring of Honor in a while. I’ve tried getting into Ring of Honor’s tv show a few different times now and for whatever reason it never really grabbed me. I started regularly watching it when they first signed on with Sinclair, mostly to support independent wrestling and watch Kevin Steen sassing Jim Cornette and Davey Richards. But then there was a stable called SCUM, and other stuff kept getting in the way… so when we bought tickets to see them in Collinsville, Illinois I was fairly out of touch with the product, but still excited to see a wrestling show that was different, more intimate, and that wouldn’t involve me being stuck in a parking garage for an hour. I’m not really sure if they were recording it for tv, dvds, or if it was just a live show… Though Kevin Kelly and Steve Corino were there doing commentary, so I’m not really sure!

Despite being out of touch with the product, Lindsay and I had a blast at the show! I would roughly guess there were a few hundred people there (a legit sellout, standing room only), but the seats were all still really close to the ring. The fans were into the show the whole time and seemed very familiar with all the wrestlers. Nothing against little kids or anything, but it was also nice to be at a show where there weren’t kids screaming all night long, except for one adorable little kid who kept trying to get a “this is awesome” chant going all throughout the night- even before the show started. While I haven’t had much luck getting into the Ring of Honor television show, seeing it live gelled much more with me, probably because I was focused on the in ring action and not constantly distracted by Twitter, cats, dishes, the dog, laundry, etc.


Just about all of the matches were really great. The standout to me was Dalton Castle vs. Mike Bennett with Maria and Matt Taven. I didn’t really know who Castle was to start with (I later discovered I’d only seen him once before in Chikara as Smooth Sailin’ Ashley Remmington), but I was really impressed with his wrestling skills and how dedicated he was to his, uh, peacock strutting gimmick. Bennett, Taven, and Maria were also awesome in this match and later on when Taven fought Hansen from War Machine. The whole group of them really kept the matches fun and enjoyable by screwing around with the other wrestlers and referees, pointing out fan signs, and interacting a lot with the audience.

The Addiction (Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian) vs. Delirious and Matt Sydal was also really fun to watch and the crowd was really into it (probably in part because Matt Sydal is from St. Louis, only a short drive away). The Addiction were also pretty funny too, with Daniels telling us that Collinsville smelled like ass and feet wrapped up in armpit (I laughed).

All of the other matches were great too, such as Adam Page vs. Mark Briscoe, War Machine’s Raymond Rowe vs. Jay Lethal, and Cheeseburger vs. Silas Young. The crowd was actually split right down the middle for Cheeseburger vs. Young, with lots of audience members chanting “last real man” (Young’s catchphrase) during the match. Isn’t it a little weird though to chant that someone else is the last real man? What does that make you? I digress… The main event saw Jay Briscoe and Rodrick Strong take on Moose and Michael Elgin, in a match that got the crowd super hyped. Not to sound like a grade school teacher or anything, but I thought the crowd was a little harsh on Moose, chanting “Goldberg” at him non-stop, even though he spent most of the match getting the crap kicked out of him.


The only bad match on the show was The Romantic Touch vs. B.J. Whitmer. I’m not sure if it was because it took place right after the intermission or what, but the crowd was dead. Dead, dead, dead. Towards the end of the match some people at least began heckling Touch, but for most of the match it was just silence. Personally I was a little put off by his offense consisting of kissing and grinding on Whitmer. Maybe I thought it was funny when Rico did it in 2004, but I feel like we should’ve moved past that by now.

The whole show was awesome though, and I’d easily recommend it to anyone who has any interest in wrestling. Even though Lindsay and I barely knew who the wrestlers were or what storylines were going on we still loved it way more than the last WWE house show we went to. I’ll admit that part of it was the atmosphere of the hardcore wrestling fans, part of it was that all the seats were really close, but most of all it was due to the skill of the men and women (well, the two of them) involved. I imagine a lot of you already watch Ring of Honor and enjoy it, but for those of you who haven’t given it a chance or think that it’s only full of WWE rejects, please give it a shot.