Ring of Honor returned to the Windy City on July 11 with what was promising to be the craziest night in ROH history. A totally ‘unauthorised’ event, ‘A Night of Hoopla’ hosted by Truth Martini, was shaping up to be an extremely interesting show with a pretty strong card. A pants off dance off, a six-person intergender tag main event and the Tag Titles on the line for Cheeseburger’s debut; this show has it all. So, did ‘A Night of Hoopla’ live up to the hype surrounding it? Let’s find out.
The show kicks off with Scarlett singing the House of Truth national anthem which is a take on the American anthem and was mainly talking about breasts. She then takes her dress off and I can already tell this show is going to be awesome.
Matt Taven vs. Adam Cole vs. Eddie Edwards
Referee Gino Colucci gets spanked by Scarlett as the match begins. The refs really aren’t wearing pants… Cole and Edwards go straight after World TV champion Taven and he ends up in the front and second rows quite often. Edwards proceeds to take plenty of pictures of Taven lying on various fans! Gino then almost gets Eddie the win after accidentally DDT’ing Taven! Scarlett tries to distract Eddie and Cole but only ends up getting her ass chopped by Edwards! Cole superkicks him, Eddie hits back before Taven hits the modified DDT on Eddie for the win. Really, really fun opener with some great wrestling to boot. This was the perfect way to book a triple threat and there were no slow parts at all throughout the match. Plenty of hoopla and a great way to start the show!
Jimmy Jacobs then comes out and sings the Ballad of Lacey before performing one of his new songs, Gypsy Soul. Jimmy manages to put as much emotion into his signing as he does his matches. He rightly gets ‘that was awesome’ chants as he goes to the back.
‘The Machismo King’ Jay Lethal vs. Delirious w/special guest ref Maria
Lethal is in full Randy Savage gear which is pretty awesome to see and cuts a great promo before the match. Lethal even has his own Sensational Sherri at ringside who keeps trying to interfere. Delirious is channelling his inner Ultimate Warrior and this is already getting weird! Lethal hits five top rope elbow drops but Delirious somehow kicks out. Lethal eventually wins with a rollup and a handful of tights. This was another really fun match and it was great to see Delirious in an ROH ring once again. I’m pretty sure this was more or less a flashback to the Randy Savage v Ultimate Warrior match at Wrestlemania XII, although I haven’t seen it myself. If I was being super critical I’d maybe say it went a bit too long but it was still an entertaining watch. After the match, Lethal asks Maria (Miss Elizabeth) to marry him, she says yes but then Mike Bennett comes to the ring to grab her!
Pants Off Dance Off
We have the hoopla hotties Scarlett and Seleziya as well as another woman in the dance off who appears to be called Val. Judge Jeff Jones of ECW fame is going to decide the winner. Just before he goes to pick a winner, Davey Richards hits the ring. He starts to cut a promo about how ROH used to be about the best wrestling on the planet. But he then asks for the music and begins to dance and gyrate with the hotties. Jeff Jones then makes Davey Richards our pants off dance off winner. Silas Young then comes out and asks ‘what the fuck shit’ that was. I’d like to know! He says Davey has just disrespected the business and isn’t a real man which then leads to our next match…
Davey Richards vs. Silas Young
Silas will probably be the only person taking this show seriously but it fits in with his gimmick so that’s perfectly fine. I’m a big fan of his so I’m glad to see him in such a big match. After a few minutes, Truth Martini comes out and says Silas is spending too much time on the outside so he turns it into a lumberjill match. The only catch is that the lumberjills are actually men in drag! I hope they got paid a lot for that… Silas tries to attack one of the lumberjills but ends up getting kissed instead which leads to him getting a double stomp from Davey before he taps to the ankle lock. Another fun match but this show is getting weirder and weirder! I really think Silas has what it takes to be a big player in ROH and it’s great to see Davey really enjoying himself as he sings a little song after his victory.
Back from intermission and a fan gets picked for a lapdance from the hoopla hotties. However, he is blindfolded and he actually gets a lapdance from two rather scary looking females. He quickly scampers away after his blindfold is removed and that leads in to our next match.
ROH World Tag Team Title Match
reDRagon defend against Camp Cheese (Roderick Strong & Cheeseburger)
This is the highly anticipated in-ring debut of Cheeseburger and he got one hell of a crowd response. Bobby Fish says he has a better chance of growing a vagina than beating reDRagon up. Hmmm….. Burger gets tagged in and does surprisingly well against O’Reilly before Strong is taken out and the two-on-one assault begins. Camp Cheese fight back though and Burger even gets a couple of near falls. He then starts to get dominated by Fish & O’Reilly and they really build up the hot tag which had the crowd totally behind Burger. He then even hits a Canadian Destroyer on Bobby Fish and gets a very long two count! The crowd are going nuts! Strong is swiflty taken out, though, and reDRagon hit the Chasing the Dragon on Cheesburger for the win. This match struck the perfect balance between wrestling and comedy. It was a great match and had some funny parts too. Cheeseburger looked great on debut and the crowd loved him; another really fun match.
Truth Martini then hosts Hoopla Uncut and his guest tonight is… Satan. He says he owns souls all over Chicago as well as in ROH. He then asks how else QT Marshall could get a job in ROH which is an excellent point! The crowd tell Satan to ‘shut the fuck up’ and it’s clear that Satan is indeed quite the heel. Satan then says that maybe Night of Hoopla is a bit too much, even by his standards. Truth says he’s too wound up and asks him to take his pants off. He refuses and says Truth and the hotties are going to hell before Scarlett low blows him and Seleziya hits a Death Valley Driver on him!
ACH, TD Thomas & Athena vs. BJ Whitmer, Michael Elgin & MsChif
It’s clear from the get go that Elgin and MsChif are going to play on the fact that they have recently got married in real life. Chants of ‘please don’t divorce’ quickly come from the Chicago crowd. TD and Elgin begin to have a breakdancing contest and holy shit, Michael Elgin, probably the strongest man in the world called Michael just did THE WORM! Frankly, that has impressed me more than his various five star matches! This has turned into a mass dance contest/comedy show. ACH can’t hit MsChif because ‘he doesn’t want to become the OJ Simpson of pro wrestling’! After 15 minutes or so of great action, MsChif appears to kiss her husband Elgin. However, he then proceeds to spit the green mist into TD’s face before the buckle bomb and Elgin bomb pick up the win for his team! Another match that balanced the comedy and great wrestling. This was a fantastic match first and foremost. But it made you laugh at times and always made you focus on what was happening inside the ring. A great way to end what was a really great show.
Overall Thoughts: Yes, you might see this one and think it’s all a bit of a laugh. But don’t let that fool you because there are several really good matches on this show. Of course the comedy aspect is a big thing and it’s really refreshing to see ROH guys (and girls) relax a bit and just have fun. The show came over really well on VOD and the crowd were loving every second of it. This has to be one of the most enjoyable wrestling shows I’ve ever watched and it’s most definitely worth $15 of your money. If they keep A Night of Hoopla as an annual thing, I think it would be a fantastic yearly occasion. I must also note that there was no commentary at all and it made for a really immersive watch. All in all, a great show full of great laughs, great matches and plenty of weird stuff you’ll never see again. A must watch!