This is the first time that we have had a chance to review a Ring of Honor DVD, but we have been familiar with the promotion for a while now. Staff at NeuFutur have lauded the merits of Ring of Honor (hereafter abbreviated ROH) over other indie federations such as CZW (Combat Zone Wrestling) and IWA-MS (Mid-South), and even over the more established federations (TNA and WWE). “Reckless Abandon” takes place in Dayton, Ohio in late November of last year. The first thing that individuals will see about this show is that it feels like ROH is building toward the future, giving a number of new stars a chance to possibly hang with the ROH regulars.
This means that many of the matches seem a little one sided on paper – Nigel McGuinness takes on Silas Young, while Claudio Castagnoli has a match against Seth Skyfire (formerly of OVW). However, unlike many of the old wrestling shows (think back to early nineties WCW or WWF), these early matches are surprisingly solid. The action is split nicely between promos and actual matches; for every good ten minute block of matches, there is a related minute or two of promos that acts as a good palette cleanser, as well as introduce the motivations behind why the matches later down on the card are taking place. A strong point of the card is the early Chris Hero and Jigsaw match, while they have had a number of other matches in other federations, it feels as if both stepped up their games during this match. The size differential between the smaller Jigsaw and Hero is negated due to the familiarity that the two have together. It just feels that one move could have switched the balance to allow Jigsaw to win. Moving further down the card, another high point comes in the three-way match between Davey Richards, Human Tornado, and Erick Stevens.
Again, the storytelling ability of the wrestlers are what makes this match memorable – each wrestler has an unique style, but the styles themselves do not contradict. For individuals that are fans of dream matches, the final two spots on the cards are nothing less than drool-worthy. While I might have put the thirty minute Ironman match between Strong and Aries at the ending of the card, the booking makes sense in that the sense that the energy of the Tag Team Scramble (featuring the Age of the Fall, the Vulture Squad, the Briscoes, and the Hangm3n) would exhaust fans before the Strong/Aries match could take place. While some of the early matches may be a little bit slow considering the clashes of the titans that take place later on in the card, the Skyfires, Jigsaws, and Silas Youngs may be what is big in 2008.
Ring of Honor (ROH) – Reckless Abandon / 2008 ROH / http://www.rohwrestling.com /