Cero Reviews ROH Death Before Dishonor (2022)

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cero2k
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Cero Reviews ROH Death Before Dishonor (2022)

Post by cero2k » Jul 24th, '22, 22:18

ROH Death Before Dishonor (2022)
July 23, 2022
Tsongas Center, Lowell, MA

ROH World Championship Match
Jonathan Gresham (C) vs Claudio Castagnoli - 8.5/10
I don't think anyone expected this match to open the show, but it officially confirmed that the tag title match is main eventing tonight. Not a big fan of sandwiching a show between the two "main events", but I can see them trying to set up some hype and buzz after Claudio's win.

Match was mostly a power vs technique match, but not in a brute vs polish way, more like Claudio is just way to freaking big and strong for Gresham, which in a way was also one of the reasons I felt some stuff didn't work out so great, because they had a couple spots here and there, where Claudio just looked too big and awkward for Gresham. Main one that really felt off for me where the elbows to the neck from Claudio, who was using his body to lock up Gresham, but being so tall and thin, the 'lock' looked really loose. Gresham would end up hurting Claudio's leg enough to cancel some of his arsenal, but Claudio ended up hitting the Ricola Bomb and getting the pin.

It's kinda poetic that the day after Vinny boy McMahon Jr retired, Claudio Castagnoli became a world champion, and of the ROH title for that matter. I kinda wish it would had come after an established story, challenge, and chase, but I can't blame the circumstances, I can't shit on AEW for having too many titles, and at the same time shit on them for not running stories for titles from other companies.

In the time between the show and me finishing this review, Gresham quit the ROH/AEW group, and while I won't go into details, I wasn't surprised in the slightest. I had originally written a big piece on what I thought about the Gresham and ROH relationship since Sinclair sold the company, and the news confirmed my suspicion that both parties were not working well together.

I don't necessarily think that Khan dislikes Gresham, but I don't blame Gresham for feeling misused since the sell. For the ROH champion, to only have a couple of appearances in AEW's smaller shows, leading to their (kinda) first pay per view, feels underwhelming. But it's not like he's the odd one out, Joe and Martinez haven't really been on Dynamite either, actually, it's rare to see any of the "ROH" guys on AEW television at all. I obviously don't know all the details, but this kinda feels like Gresham may have overreacted.

Daniel Garcia Interview - Garcia talked shit about no one wanting more rules in wrestling and about winning the title and breaking the belt.

ROH 6-Man Tag Team Championship Match
Dalton Castle & The Boys (Brandon & Brent Tate) vs The Righteous (Vincent, Bateman, & Dutch) (with Vita Von Starr) (C) - 6.5/10
Good match, but it took a while to get there. The whole heat section of the match was really slow and dead, but once they all started doing dives and going into a faster paced tornado tag spot, the match did get more exciting. I didn't think the Boys looked all that great.

At the end, Castle hit the Bangarang on Bateman for the win, which I guess it's rearrangement of titles since Vincent is pretty much with Impact now. Castle and company are an ok choice for this, people still love them.

Jay Lethal & Sonjay Dutt Promo - Dutt talked about dressing all white because they were going to the funeral of Samoa Joe. Lethal talked about winning the title tonight and finally overcoming Joe.

ROH Pure Championship Match
Wheeler Yuta (C) vs Daniel Garcia - 9/10
Love this match, Yuta and Garcia have always had a good rivalry going, but this match really took it to a new level as we had William Regal on commentary trying to portray this match as a reflection of his and Jericho's rivalry and how their different schools of wrestling were being passed on to Yuta and Garcia respectively, but even beyond that, how both guys were using the moves of the other's mentors. That is something that I really appreciated from this and the opener, having Regal tell you that wrestlers actually prepare for matches, for wrestlers, and that it's not just lifting weights, but talking to peers and learning from each other.

Match was just a straight up good technical match between two guys that know each other. The match didn't use rope breaks as much, which was also slightly used for their development, as Regal did mention that Yuta would get scolded if he would use a rope break instead of knowing how to break out of a hold.

The judges for the title match were Josh Woods, John Walter, and Ace Steel, but obviously, never came into play.

Garcia rejected the Code of Honor after the match.

Rush with Jose the Assistant vs Dragon Lee - 8.5/10
Rush and Lee have been in many matches together, as tag partners or opponents, but this is the first ever singles match between each other, which I most definitely had to check because it sounded hard to believe.

Rush had his working boots on today, maybe because he and his brother were trying to get each other over, to the point that both guys gave each other a lot, even kicking out of Rush's Bull's Horns. The match itself was a bit of a spotfest, but it did have an underlying story of Rush respecting Lee to not rely on cheating or tricks to get the upper hand, at least until the ending spot where Lee took down Rush, who played possum a bit to get Lee into a false sense of security and then Rush capitalizing on the opportunity to turn the tables on Lee, hit him with a second Bull's Horns, and get the win.

ROH Women's World Championship Match
Mercedes Martinez (C) vs Serena Deeb - 8/10
This was a really good match, but man oh man, do Mercedes' strikes take me out of her matches. I don't know when it happened, but I feel like Martinez used to be somewhat heavier on her striking, but ever since I've seen her work post-WWE, be it here or Impact, she has looked kinda soft. Maybe it's all in my head and she's always done it that way, but this match made it obvious because Deeb's striking is definitely better.

Match saw both women be mostly equals to each other. Early on Deeb had the technical advantage over Martinez, but it wasn't all that beyond, but later on when it came to striking and powermoves, they stayed somewhat balanced to each other. As the match went on, Martinez started going for the Brass City Sleeper, but Deeb fought out of it. It would be until later that she would properly lock it in after hitting the OG, and Deeb was forced to tap out.

ROH Television Championship Match
Samoa Joe (C) vs Jay Lethal (with Sonjay Dutt & Satnam Singh) - 8/10
Lethal sent Dutt and Singh to the back during the entrance, and I don't know if it was a timing issue or in purpose, but Lethal wasn't even in the ring when Joe's music hit, he came out, and they went straight into the brawl, which really fired up the crowd. This also meant that the match didn't start and allowed Lethal and Singh to attack Joe before the match started. Good thing was that the referee was smart enough to send Singh to the back before ringing the bell.

Match was good, but I didn't think it was a classic or anything. Lethal worked over Joe's arm and shoulder, Joe used his power and proficiency to keep coming back, and every time he would, Lethal would come up with something else, until things escalated to Dutt coming out for the distraction, but Joe still managed to survive a belt shot, locked in the Coquina clutch, and tap out Lethal to retain.

ROH World Tag Team Championship 2-out-3 Falls Match
FTR (Dax Hardwood & Cash Wheeler) (C) vs The Briscoes (Jay & Mark Briscoe) - 9.75/10
This was a 9.75 for me, but I don't want to say that as a comparison to the first match. First match was special in a way that a dream match is special, and then it delivered, this to me was more like Punk vs Joe II, Okada vs Omega II, and the sort, something that we go in already with an expectation and they still manage to take it to the limit in terms of story, violence, energy, and quality.

I liked the layout of the match. The first fall was mostly a wrestling match, held within the ring and in a way, as technical and sportsmanship as it would get, and after a long match, Briscoes took it with a Doomsday Device. Second fall was mostly the brawl, when things got overly violent, when we saw more blood, and when we started to see the Briscoes start to push it to the heeler side after trying anything to get the second straight win like if it was 2007. FTR took the win with a Big Rig.
Final fall was just like the final minutes of any match, but extended over a longer period. We got tons of near falls, pretty big ones for that matter, and if there was any complain, would be that the visual pins we had for both the Briscoes and FTR were somewhat unnecessary at the point, but I understand them as a way to give us big move kick outs without actually hurting the move. Finish of the match was brilliant in my opinion, I loved that Cash straight up blocked a Doomsday Device by just grabbing Mark and throwing he and himself down to the floor where I like to think there just happened to be a table, and that way allowing Dax to take on Jay, survive, recover, and bring him down with a sick second rope piledriver for the win.

Post-match - FTR cut their winner's promo, put over the Briscoes, talked about winning and stuff and before the left, the Blackpool Combat Club came out and while having all champions close the show would make sense, this was definitely a challenge to some tag wrestling down the line.

OVERALL THOUGHTS
Really good show, top to bottom, everything was good to excellent. As the first ROH show of this new Khan ownership, it was immediately obvious that the production, presentation, image quality, everything just looked so much better than it looked when Sinclair owned the promotion. Even Riccaboni and Coleman just sounded more legit and professional for some reason.

The one thing that I want to point out is that for as good as this show was, I also leave the show with the feeling of uncertainty. The little staredown at the end aside, there was nothing on this show that made me feel like there is a follow up show coming up, and that staredown thing, it's an AEW feud going forward, not necessarily a build to whatever next ROH show we get.
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Re: Cero Reviews ROH Death Before Dishonor (2022)

Post by Thelone » Jul 25th, '22, 11:21

cero2k wrote: Jul 24th, '22, 22:18In the time between the show and me finishing this review, Gresham quit the ROH/AEW group, and while I won't go into details, I wasn't surprised in the slightest. I had originally written a big piece on what I thought about the Gresham and ROH relationship since Sinclair sold the company, and the news confirmed my suspicion that both parties were not working well together.

I don't necessarily think that Khan dislikes Gresham, but I don't blame Gresham for feeling misused since the sell. For the ROH champion, to only have a couple of appearances in AEW's smaller shows, leading to their (kinda) first pay per view, feels underwhelming. But it's not like he's the odd one out, Joe and Martinez haven't really been on Dynamite either, actually, it's rare to see any of the "ROH" guys on AEW television at all. I obviously don't know all the details, but this kinda feels like Gresham may have overreacted.
It was pretty clear that Khan didn't care too much about him in the first place, and he would have moved the title on someone else at the previous PPV if SCOH wasn't built around a title vs. title match even before he bought ROH from SBG (and I guess Bandido is fine being a freelancer for now).

The problem is that this isn't the first time there are communication issues between Khan and the wrestlers, especially when it comes to bad news. He also built a reputation of being "easy to talk to and share ideas with" so when you have multiple people telling you that they've been ghosted at the end of their contract when they just asked if they were renewed or not, he comes off as a guy who'll be buddy-buddy with you until the moment he actually has to act like a boss. And look, I can understand if the whole "he's always available" was true in the early days but not anymore since he's stretching himself so thin with his million jobs in the company and has more than a hundred wrestlers under contract nowadays, but then own up to your mistakes publicly (for once) and privately with the people involved and hire a couple of people to be those middle men. Allegedly this is Daniels' job, but he's still taking indy dates so this isn't full-time and it wouldn't surprise me if he was also a road agent and coach at the very least (QT seemingly has many hats as well for example).

As for Gresham, I'm not gonna pretend to care about him and maybe he was a mark for himself who thought he was going to have a lenghty run as a silent badass or whatever, but I find it hilarious how everyone is acting like he's Aries 2.0 because he voiced his displeasure to Khan. Is he known to be a pain in the ass in the lockerroom (or even rumored to be)?
The one thing that I want to point out is that for as good as this show was, I also leave the show with the feeling of uncertainty. The little staredown at the end aside, there was nothing on this show that made me feel like there is a follow up show coming up, and that staredown thing, it's an AEW feud going forward, not necessarily a build to whatever next ROH show we get.
It doesn't help that Khan is sending mixed signals like "still being in talks with Discovery for "ROH"" while signing the Briscoes even though Discovery supposedly do not want them on their programming, so someone is obviously lying here and no surprise at who I think it is.

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Re: Cero Reviews ROH Death Before Dishonor (2022)

Post by Big Red Machine » Jul 25th, '22, 14:09

Thelone wrote: Jul 25th, '22, 11:21
cero2k wrote: Jul 24th, '22, 22:18In the time between the show and me finishing this review, Gresham quit the ROH/AEW group, and while I won't go into details, I wasn't surprised in the slightest. I had originally written a big piece on what I thought about the Gresham and ROH relationship since Sinclair sold the company, and the news confirmed my suspicion that both parties were not working well together.

I don't necessarily think that Khan dislikes Gresham, but I don't blame Gresham for feeling misused since the sell. For the ROH champion, to only have a couple of appearances in AEW's smaller shows, leading to their (kinda) first pay per view, feels underwhelming. But it's not like he's the odd one out, Joe and Martinez haven't really been on Dynamite either, actually, it's rare to see any of the "ROH" guys on AEW television at all. I obviously don't know all the details, but this kinda feels like Gresham may have overreacted.
It was pretty clear that Khan didn't care too much about him in the first place, and he would have moved the title on someone else at the previous PPV if SCOH wasn't built around a title vs. title match even before he bought ROH from SBG (and I guess Bandido is fine being a freelancer for now).

The problem is that this isn't the first time there are communication issues between Khan and the wrestlers, especially when it comes to bad news. He also built a reputation of being "easy to talk to and share ideas with" so when you have multiple people telling you that they've been ghosted at the end of their contract when they just asked if they were renewed or not, he comes off as a guy who'll be buddy-buddy with you until the moment he actually has to act like a boss. And look, I can understand if the whole "he's always available" was true in the early days but not anymore since he's stretching himself so thin with his million jobs in the company and has more than a hundred wrestlers under contract nowadays, but then own up to your mistakes publicly (for once) and privately with the people involved and hire a couple of people to be those middle men. Allegedly this is Daniels' job, but he's still taking indy dates so this isn't full-time and it wouldn't surprise me if he was also a road agent and coach at the very least (QT seemingly has many hats as well for example).
What he needs is a Johnny Ace/Mitoko Baba figure to be the bearer of bad news, as he clearly doesn't want to be the one doing that.

Thelone wrote: Jul 25th, '22, 11:21 As for Gresham, I'm not gonna pretend to care about him and maybe he was a mark for himself who thought he was going to have a lenghty run as a silent badass or whatever, but I find it hilarious how everyone is acting like he's Aries 2.0 because he voiced his displeasure to Khan. Is he known to be a pain in the ass in the lockerroom (or even rumored to be)?
What I heard from my secret source a few years ago is that Gresham (and Jordynne Grace as well) had such reputations in the past, but had worked hard to shed them. It's quite possible that he may have "relapsed." The issue in the main event of the second Terminus show was something of a red flag (though in a different way).
And yet, in this case, I really can't blame Gresham at all.
(Also, this made me remember that I need to watch the 3rd Terminus show, too. That darn Vince picked a REALLY inconvenient weekend to retire. Why couldn't he have done this last week?!)
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Re: Cero Reviews ROH Death Before Dishonor (2022)

Post by Big Red Machine » Jul 25th, '22, 14:47

cero2k wrote: Jul 24th, '22, 22:18 As the first ROH show of this new Khan ownership,
2nd show. SCOH was first. He bought them in March or something like that.
cero2k wrote: Jul 24th, '22, 22:18Even Riccaboni and Coleman just sounded more legit and professional for some reason.
As dumb as this sounds, I think the difference was where they were doing commentary from. They used to be standing this table, far away from the ring, with their backs turned to it so that they could look at a monitor. This time, they were right there by the ring, using either a monitor(s) at the desk, or just looking at the ring and calling it.



cero2k wrote: Jul 24th, '22, 22:18 The one thing that I want to point out is that for as good as this show was, I also leave the show with the feeling of uncertainty. The little staredown at the end aside, there was nothing on this show that made me feel like there is a follow up show coming up, and that staredown thing, it's an AEW feud going forward, not necessarily a build to whatever next ROH show we get.
This right here. It's really easy in modern wrestling to just book a bunch of great workers against each other and give them time and then get praised for putting on a great show *cough*PWG*cough*. It's not that much harder to plan some rematches of those great workers and send some other great workers out there to have a stare-down with someone a match *cough*NJPW*cough*.
It's much harder to try to tell an actual story. Tony Khan tried to do that somewhere between two and four times on this show, depending on how generous you want to be.
1. Joe vs. Lethal was a basic (nothing wrong with that) and competently-told story, although it dragged on for WAY too long (basically, they had about six week's worth of material that they stretched out into twice that).
2. YUTA vs. Garcia was mostly part of another feud, and once they started focusing on that feud individually, we got a convoluted series of multiple messages as to what the story was.
3. Deeb vs. Martinez was really just an angle or two instead of any sort of real story. It was competent.
4. Claudio vs. Gresham really shouldn't count as a story, as it was really just "two great workers have a stare-down." In that short time, though, Tony made the inexplicable decision to turn Gresham heel when doing so made almost no sense (see my comments when the turn happened for why).

So I'm really not very optimistic.
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Re: Cero Reviews ROH Death Before Dishonor (2022)

Post by cero2k » Jul 25th, '22, 23:06

Big Red Machine wrote: Jul 25th, '22, 14:47
cero2k wrote: Jul 24th, '22, 22:18 As the first ROH show of this new Khan ownership,
2nd show. SCOH was first. He bought them in March or something like that.
You're 100% right, I had a brainfart, I had a vague memory that SCOH had been booked before TK took over.
Big Red Machine wrote: Jul 25th, '22, 14:47
cero2k wrote: Jul 24th, '22, 22:18Even Riccaboni and Coleman just sounded more legit and professional for some reason.
As dumb as this sounds, I think the difference was where they were doing commentary from. They used to be standing this table, far away from the ring, with their backs turned to it so that they could look at a monitor. This time, they were right there by the ring, using either a monitor(s) at the desk, or just looking at the ring and calling it.
Maybe that was it, they sounded more focused and reactive to the wrestling.

Big Red Machine wrote: Jul 25th, '22, 14:47
cero2k wrote: Jul 24th, '22, 22:18 The one thing that I want to point out is that for as good as this show was, I also leave the show with the feeling of uncertainty. The little staredown at the end aside, there was nothing on this show that made me feel like there is a follow up show coming up, and that staredown thing, it's an AEW feud going forward, not necessarily a build to whatever next ROH show we get.
This right here. It's really easy in modern wrestling to just book a bunch of great workers against each other and give them time and then get praised for putting on a great show *cough*PWG*cough*. It's not that much harder to plan some rematches of those great workers and send some other great workers out there to have a stare-down with someone a match *cough*NJPW*cough*.
It's much harder to try to tell an actual story. Tony Khan tried to do that somewhere between two and four times on this show, depending on how generous you want to be.
1. Joe vs. Lethal was a basic (nothing wrong with that) and competently-told story, although it dragged on for WAY too long (basically, they had about six week's worth of material that they stretched out into twice that).
2. YUTA vs. Garcia was mostly part of another feud, and once they started focusing on that feud individually, we got a convoluted series of multiple messages as to what the story was.
3. Deeb vs. Martinez was really just an angle or two instead of any sort of real story. It was competent.
4. Claudio vs. Gresham really shouldn't count as a story, as it was really just "two great workers have a stare-down." In that short time, though, Tony made the inexplicable decision to turn Gresham heel when doing so made almost no sense (see my comments when the turn happened for why).

So I'm really not very optimistic.
Like I mentioned, I won't complain as much about the lack of stories because there is no ROH show where to tell those stories, only AEW and if he used more time of AEW to build up ROH stories, you'd have the nerds complaining that he's focusing too much on ROH and ignoring the AEW talent.
I'm optimistic that there WILL be more ROH, eventually, but what this show didn't give me was a tease of the direction.
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