Figured I'd give my thoughts to the Friday night Ring of Honor show held at the Michigan State Fairgrounds in Detroit. It's been almost three years since I first witnessed ROH during the Wrestlemania 22 weekend and their excellent card, Dragon Gate Challenge. That show was attended by just myself and my roommate at the time. Last night, we had a group of 15 total people going most of them that don't even really care for wrestling.
I have to say that last night was a luke warm show and I don't think the crowd ever really got going. I can definitely see that they are in fact going in a different direction since Gabe stopped booking, but it is going to take some getting used to. I love the fact that they're really trying to build new talent, which is evidenced by the opening matches of Danielson vs Rhett Titus and Aries vs Silas Young. Austin Aries is now a heel and I think he did his best to draw heat with his pre-match promo but Detroit has a hard time hating Aries especially since no one really knows who Silas Young is.
Then, there were several matches after that with non-finishes. Necro Butcher vs. Brodie went to a double countout and the brawl was weird. Not as wild as people have come to expect from Necro and it seemed like they were doing more to set up storylines for Chicago tonight then to entertain the Detroit fans. Favorite matches of the night were Jerry Lynn vs. Tyler Black even though that one went to a timelimit draw which just pissed off the fans. I'm sure the two of them will rematch real soon, but if you don't buy every single DVD why would you care? Match of the night goes to Steenerico vs. the American Wolves for the tag team belts. Steen and Generico retain and I hope and pray for an extended title run for those two just like Aries/Strong had back in 2006. ROH is good at having these crazy long heel reigns with the championship strap but never really for the tag belts...
I almost forgot (because it was mostly forgettable) that Nigel and Jay Briscoe had a non-title match. It was okay, Nigel won but I expected a lot more out of the both of them since they've had so many great matches in the past. Too bad it seems that either Jay or Mark are injured at any given time, but that is a product of their completely insane style of wrestling. Enjoy them while you can!
I'm glad I got the sale price on tickets for $10 since $20 at the door is a bit steep and I'm happy I could enjoy some "adult beverages" and let the bus drive me home (Detroit has public transportation, honest!). I feel like I've been spoiled by so many amazing ROH cards from the past when they had Japanese stars, Samoa Joe and a plethora of other great current WWE/TNA stars. Still some of the best wrestling you'll find anywhere and I always enjoy the closeness to all the action and wrestlers which always makes ROH worth it. Plus getting people out and showing them that wrestling can be fun and you can really get into it instead of just watching some guys on TV is always very good.
I don't recall HHH vs HBK really drawing much of anything on PPV in the two years this feud has been going on. And, even if it was a draw two years ago, the repeated showings of this match must play into the rule of diminishing returns.