Glory By Honor has been a key event in the history of Ring of Honor. It has always been an event to look forward to and that’s definitely the case once more for the tenth instalment. There’s a huge World Title match between Davey Richards and El Generico and Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team defend their Tag Team titles against the All Night Express. Roderick Strong enters the Proving Ground against Jay Lethal and Kyle O’Reilly takes on a man he doesn’t quite get on with, Eddie Edwards. All that plus an appearances or two from ‘Mr Wrestling’ Kevin Steen! So, did ‘Glory By Honor X’ (11/19/2011) live up to the hype? Find out now:
The show kicked off with a four corner survival match between Mike Bennett, Michael Elgin, Adam Cole and Grizzly Redwood. This is the first four corner survival I can remember seeing in quite some time. Didn’t ROH used to use them quite regularly? Anyway, this was a decent opening contest. Bennett was afraid of getting in the ring with Elgin as Cole and Grizzly tried to do the impossible and floor ‘Unbreakable’. There were some nice sequences but I’ve seen better four corner matches – Elgin got the win with the spinning sit-out powerbomb on Grizzly.
Next up, was a singles bout between Jimmy Jacobs and Tommaso Ciampa. This was more of a storyline advancement than a genuine match. Kevin Steen was in the front row and Jacobs and Steve Corino started to exchange a few pleasantries. After a few minutes of the match, Steen threw a bottle of water at Jacobs and all hell broke loose. Corino and Jacobs brawled with Steen into the parking lot. The match was ruled a no contest but Ciampa demanded some competition so Harlem Bravado answered his call. Ciampa cut him off as he entered the ring and hit the Project Ciampa for the win. While this was going on, we could see the brawl outside. Unfortunately, the audio for both events was playing at the same time so it turned out to be a bit of a mess. The brawl itself looked impressive and very realistic with Cornette and the cameras chasing rhe action – they could have pulled it off better in production though.
Following that was a match with a lot of promise as Kyle O’Reilly took on Eddie Edwards. The story behind this one is that there is some bad blood between these two regarding Davey Richards. This match was really good and the only real complaint I had was that they did far too many strike exchanges which slowed the match down. Add that to the fact that this one started slowly and it does drag the match down a little bit, but on the whole it was enjoyable and the crowd were really hot for it. Eddie got the win after reversing a guillotine choke, hitting two Die Hards and locking in the Dragon Sleeper. The finish made O’Reilly look strong and he came out of this one looking great. It’s a pity they completely ignored the Dragon Sleeper – and the importance they built on it – at Final Battle.
Another match with promise is up next – The Briscoes vs. The Young Bucks. This match was perfectly paced and was just a great tag team match. It started off with a flurry as the Briscoes attacked the Bucks on the outside – I think both Matt and Nick Jackson are on first name terms with the barricades in Chicago Ridge! Once in the ring, the Bucks took control and slowed the match down. The Briscoes came back into it and it led to some fantastic double team moves which included both teams going for the signature double teams. The Briscoes managed to evade the More Bang For Your Buck and hit the Doomsday Device on Matt Jackson for the win – very good match and hopefully the rematch for the Tag Titles will be just as good, if not better.
A Proving Ground match now as Roderick Strong tried to earn himself a future ROH World TV Title shot against Jay Lethal. After a couple of great contests, the flow of the show was sort of halted with this one. It wasn’t a bad match, it was just nowhere near as good as I had hoped. Both of these guys are capable of better and they both looked a bit banged up – especially Lethal. This match just seemed to plod along and waste time, waiting for the 15 minutes to finish. The match eventually ended in a draw with Strong tapping out to a figure four leg-lock just after the time limit expired. Jim Cornette comes out and says Roddy has a title shot but everybody wants to see a winner, after goading Strong he agrees and we get five more minutes. The two or so minutes we got in overtime we very good and full of action. Lethal got the win after escaping the Strong Hold and hitting the Lethal Injection.
Following that match, we have the first of two title matches for tonight – Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team defend their belts against The All Night Express. ANX won this shot by beating the Briscoes at ‘Death Before Dishonor IX’ in Ladder War III. Unfortunately, this match wasn’t quite the one that it could have been. A lot of emphasis was placed upon Shelton’s injured ribs and he really played it up. Of course, ANX tried to exploit that weakness and they dominated large parts by cutting off Shelton. Much like the previous match, though, this just seemed to plod along and never really got going. It was by no means a bad match, just not a great one. ANX were close to winning after hitting the Springboard Blockbuster on Shelton but the pin was broken up. WGTT eventually got the win after botching – yet again – the Leap of Faith and then hitting a double spinebuster for the win. Disappointing.
Now time for the main event of the evening as El Generico gets a shot at the ROH World Title against Davey Richards. Generico has unfortunately been lost in the shuffle a bit since the new TV show started but he showed in this match that he is an invaluable man to have on the roster. He can go out and have a great match with anybody, anywhere on the card. These two told a great story in the ring and it turned out to be an absolutely awesome match. Generico just wouldn’t give up despite what Davey was throwing at him. Generico then came back into it and almost won on several occasions, not least when he hit a brainbuster onto the ring apron. Davey showed his fighting spirit, though, and despite Generico outlasting almost everything (including a huge lariat and his very own brainbuster), he succumbed to three vicious kicks to the head as the Champion retained his title in one of the better matches of 2011. After the match, Steen comes through the crowd and attacks Davey from behind. They brawl briefly before Steve Corino comes out and throws Steen, several times, into the barricades. Security eventually gets Steen and escorts him out of the arena. Davey then gets a mic and puts over Generico and Corino as we see Steen trying, unsuccessfully, to get back in.
Overall Thoughts: On the face of it, this card was probably one of the best of the year and it did not disappoint. The main event was absolutely terrific and was exactly what you have come to expect from both of those guys. The Kevin Steen invasions were also an added bonus to the show and it really helped set things up for Final Battle. Kyle O’Reilly continued to impress with a great bout against Eddie Edwards while the Young Bucks and Briscoes put on a great match. Lethal vs. Strong and WGTT vs. ANX were a bit disappointing but were not bad by any stretch. The four corner survival was enjoyable and even the Jacobs vs Ciampa segment had a reason. There is also the pre-show match on the DVD where Andy Ridge defeated Mike Sydal. Cornette noticed Steen in the crowd and they began trash talking. Steen had a ticket so was allowed to stay, but not for long! All in all, this was a very enjoyable event and definitely recommended.
Overall Score: 8/10
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