By Haydn Gleed, Prowrestling.net Staffer (@haydngleed)
Supercard of Honor is by far the biggest and most important show that Ring of Honor has ever put on. Not only do you have a record sellout crowd but the eyes of the pro wrestling world are on the main event between Cody and Kenny Omega. ROH has had giant main events before where storylines have come together well, but the story has been self contained within the ROH Universe. Due to the nature of the feud being built in different companies, this is a huge main event combining stories told across the globe. The big question for me is whether ROH learned their lessons after the debacle that was the live stream for the ROH 16th Anniversary show for some of us. If they have failed to fix the issues that led to the blackout and there are issues here, you may lose the faith of first-time viewers and that would be a shame for both the talent and the company overall. Lets take a look at the card in it’s entirety.
Kenny Omega vs. Cody: In some people’s eyes the match of the weekend based on the story that is being told across various platforms. I would argue that if you only watched Ring of Honor TV or New Japan events or indeed the YouTube Channel, you have only seen parts of a multi-layered story arc that has been tremendous. But there’s no doubt that overall they have built up this match as a real face off between two huge bulls that has reached the crescendo at exactly the right time. I don’t see this being a “six star” style matchup within the ring because Cody is not that type of wrestler, but the story and the psychology used in the ring will be second to none.
The big question is going to be whether the other members of Bullet Club get involved. If so, where do they hang their hats? I thought the final visual on ROH TV this week was intriguing with Hangman Page holding back Cody as The Young Bucks and Flip Gordon held back Omega and Marty Scurll in the middle not sure which side to go. On a personal level I am looking forward to this match as much as anything else on WrestleMania weekend and if this match reaches the potential that the story told have pushed it towards this will be something special. In terms of a winner, it’s difficult to predict as they have positioned this feud in a way that there are multiple stories that can be told during and after the match. For the feel good moment, I can see Omega coming out on top only to have the true fracture of Bullet Club after the match, which ultimately will see an implosion storyline between various members which will take us through the summer.
Kenny Omega wins.
Dalton Castle vs. Marty Scurll for the ROH Championship: This match could have been built better. But because of the main event, I can understand that perhaps they didn’t need to go all out for the first match between these two. It has been a relatively straightforward build with Marty saying that he wants the title and Dalton saying it’s his and Scurll won’t take it from him. It’s going to be interesting to see how the crowd reacts to both men. Dalton has started to look and act like a true champion, but I don’t feel that the crowd 100 percent see him as the true top guy of the company. Add to the mix the lovable rogue type villain that Marty plays and I can see the crowd being truly split. Ultimately, though, I see Dalton coming out on top in a match designed to give him some credibility with the doubters, as Marty doesn’t need the title at the moment while he’s part of the big Bullet Club breakup feud. Hopefully when everything has calmed down on that front we can get a full fledged personal feud between these two down the line, ideally with Dalton as the long term champion.
Dalton Castle retains the ROH Championship.
Women of Honor Championship tournament semifinals and finals: The semifinal matches with Kelly Klein vs. Mayu Iwatani, and Sumie Sakai Sakai vs. Tenille Dashwood will be shown on the Facebook pre-show. The winners of those matches meet in the final, which will be part of the main show. Overall I’ve enjoyed the tournament, but I don’t feel it has been the home run that I was hoping for. I would give it a sold B overall. The earlier matches were filled with younger, inexperienced talent that are still learning. As we progressed through the tournament and we were down to the more experienced workers, the quality of the matches and therefore the tournament got better.
As for the semifinals, I can see Klein and Dashwood progressing to the finals where ultimately Klein comes out on top in a heelish manner to become the first Women of Honor champion. I can understand people looking at Dashwood as a big signing for ROH and thinking she should be the face of the division, but Kelly has been the anchor of the division since it’s inception. From a “gold watch” prospective, it would be would only right for her to become the first champion. From an ROH Universe prospective, I can see a heel Klein being chased by Dashwood, Mandy Leon, and Deonna Purrazzo as being the best way of establishing the division.
Kelly Klein becomes the first Women of Honor Champion.
Hangman Page vs. Kota Ibushi: A sleeper for one of the best matches of the night with both guys highly talented. There hasn’t been any storyline love provided for this, however on Hangman’s go-home show 30-second promo he did imply that Kota was the reason for the split in the Bullet Club. I wish they had spent more time exploring that thought as it would have made this match all the more compelling. Still, I am looking forward to the match. I see Page winning, as I see him being the righthand man of Cody coming out of this event and thus he needs to look strong. I can see him winning through some traditional heel manner to reinforce his position coming out of the show.
Hangman Page to win.
“SoCal Uncensored” Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky vs. Flip Gordon and “The Young Bucks” Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson in a Ladder match for the ROH Six-Man Tag Team Championship: The match that will have fans seeking pure athleticism salivating. There’s no denying that this match is going to be full of high energy, crazy spots, and a lot of fun. My only concern is that we know The Kingdom will be showing up on this show and given the storyline they are involved in, this appears to be the place for them to appear. If the interference makes sense it won’t ruin the match, but I don’t have great faith in what they are doing between The Kingdom and Bully Ray at the moment, so we will see. No matter what happens I can see SolCal Uncensored coming out on top because that trio holding any kind of ROH gold plays in well to the story they are telling regarding ROH management not wanting to re-sign them once their contracts expire at the end of the year. If they are holding gold it will add a nice dimension to that story.
SoCal Uncensored retain the ROH Six-Man Tag Titles.
Tomohiro Ishii vs. Punishment Martinez: This match could be a lot better than some people seem to expectgive it credit for. Martinez is a tremendous athlete for his size and age and Ishii should be able to get a good match out of him. I’m going to go with Tomohiro coming out on top of this match simply for the New Japan talent vs. ROH Talent logic, which is always a good default.
Tomohiro Ishii wins.
Kenny King vs. Silas Young in a Last Man Standing match for the ROH TV Title: I can see the logic in this match where this feud has been going on for six months plus, and they have been battling all over the buildings most weeks. Thus, in order to settle the score once and for all they are having a Last Man Standing match. With that being said I don’t think this has been the super hot feud that ROH officials hoped it would be. I don’t think they have done a good job at all of giving us a reason to get behind King . Outside the charisma he has shown in the ring which gets people into his matches, he has come across as somewhat unlikeable on the rare occasions they have given him a mic. I can see Silas coming out on top here, possibly with help from Beer City Bruiser and Brian Milonas to logically set up a babyface Austin Aries challenging Silas Young for the TV Title, which would be interesting.
Silas Young wins the ROH TV Title.
Mark and Jay Briscoe vs. Jay Lethal and Hiroshi Tanahashi in a Tag team match for the ROH World Tag Team Championship: Three of these wrestlers should be way higher on the what is the company’s biggest ever show, but I can understand that there are only so many spots at the top. At least they have found spots for The Briscoes and Lethal. With Lethal talking about how he wants Tanahashi to not let him down, I can see this being a showcase for The Briscoes to show that a tag team that has been together for a long time are far superior to two singles stars. I can see them winning in a way that leads Lethal to feel he has been let down by Tanahashi, which leads to a match between the two. My biggest wish for 2018 in ROH is they get back to the awesome work they were doing with the heel Briscoes at the tale end of 2017 and allow them to make the tag division in ROH mean something again.
The Briscoes retain the ROH Tag Titles.
Chuckie T. vs. Jonathan Gresham: A last minute addition to the card that features two undervalued and underused talents in ROH. This will be a good match, but ultimately no matter who wins it won’t matter.
*Tosses coin* Chuckie T wins.
Agree or disagree? Let me know via twitter @haydngleed or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Listen to Jason Powell’s 60-minute interview with Ring of Honor COO Joe Koff in the new Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast below.