Thursday night, the day prior to the tapings, Ring of Honor announced that the Honors Reigns Supreme would be live streamed on Facebook Live, ROHWrestling.com, and Fite. The show had went from a tv taping, to a house show, and now a special event! My excitement for the show tripled almost immediately and I knew I’d be in for something special.
Normally, when I sit down to write a live report, I work on breaking down some details of the matches, but since Honor Reigns Supreme was live streamed and can still be watched on ROHWrestling.com and the Fite App, I’m not going to go into all of that. Let me just say, it was a great show to attend live and I believe a good show to watch and I recommend checking it out for yourself. Instead of discussing the matches in detail, today’s live report is going to focus on the whole Ring of Honor experience.
The Cabarrus Arena and Event’s Center is a 5,000 seat arena located about forty minutes outside of Charlotte, North Carolina. The arena has hosted Ring of Honor several times, NXT, and TNA’s Bound for Glory 2015.
This was my first trip to Cabarrus Arena and I really liked it. I prefer to see wrestling/hockey/concerts in smaller venues and Cabarrus is perfect for that. There is not a bad seat in the house and parking was plentiful.
I arrived at 5:30 PM right when the Meet and Greet was set to begin. As I was crossing the parking lot the line started moving into the building right on time, which made me happy. I love it when wrestling organizations are on top of things.
It didn’t take long to get inside the arena, but a line extended from the floor up into the second level and then wrapped back around for people waiting to buy Meet and Greet Tickets. Not everyone was set up right at 5:30 PM, but the Bullet Club Members were all at their tables and their lines were massive. I knew the Bullet Club was hot, but I wasn’t expecting this. The picture below shoes the three lines for the Bullet Club members (One line for Cody, one line for Marty Scurll, and one line for Adam Page and the Young Bucks). This photo was taken one hour after the Meet and Greet had begun and the lines remained this long up until bell time at 7 PM.
The prices were very reasonable for all of the stars. Its twenty dollars to meet a singles wrestler and thirty dollars to meet a tag team. I was on a bit of a budget, so I restricted myself to meeting just one wrestler and I decided to go straight to the World Champ, Dalton Castle.
I hopped in line and walked up to Dalton and introduced myself as Brandon. He smiled and said he hated that name, but loved it on me! Meanwhile, he was glancing over at the one of The Boys (whose real name is Brandon) who was holding back a laugh. It made everyone laugh in line and then we exchanged some small talk about where I from before setting up for a photo. I’d asked a fellow wrestling fan in line to take my picture. He locked himself out of my phone pretty quickly, and Dalton began yelling for me to give away my passcode and allow this stranger access to everything on my phone. It was hysterical and got a big laugh out of everyone. Sadly, the stranger only took one picture and it was blurry. I managed to clean it up the best that I could, which you can see below.
Silas Young’s table was located next to Dalton Castle, and Dalton kept poking fun at Silas. Looking back on everything, I regret not snagging a photo with Silas. I won’t make that mistake next time.
Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian were next to the merch booth and were yelling at fans to buy their comic. The merch booth was rather small and the only thing that caught my eye was a poster of the event that was signed by everyone on it except for Adam Page. The merch guy said if you bought the poster you could go to the front of the line and Adam would sign it real quick for free. I loved the poster and really wanted it, but $50 seemed a little steep. I would have purchased a non-signed poster if I could, but apparently all they had were the signed posters and I left empty handed, something else I’d go onto regret quite a bit.
I was excited to see that a screen was set up for the show as well as pyro. It made the show feel special and bigger than the house show that I was expecting just two days earlier. I found my way down to my front row seat and enjoyed a very decent dark match between two local talents from Firestar Pro Wrestling out of Greensboro: Griff Garrison and Marcus Kross. I wasn’t expecting much out of the match, but it was surprisingly good. Griff Garrison has the All-American look going for him and Marcus Kross is doing the big hair anime character thing which I hate. Seriously, every low budget indie has an anime character now and they all suck. Kross has a lot of talent and I could see him working his way up if he bulked up a little and ditched the gimmick.
Working as two of the outside ring members (who gathered streamers and costumes) were Keith Mack and Billy Brash, two AML Wrestlers I’m very familiar with. It was nice seeing them around ringside.
The second dark match, was actually a taping for the Women of Honor Tournament. Deonna Purrazzo defeated Holidead in a very decent, but forgettable match.
After the WOH match, the show began and Bully Ray was introduced as ROH's new enforcer.
I’m a fan of both men and it was nice to see them go head-to-head in the ring, especially since their styles clash.
Kenny King defeats Shane Taylor
Kenny King is damn fine showman and I was impressed how well he and Taylor worked, when like the first match, their styles clashed quite a bit.
Arguably the highlight of the night followed the King/Taylor match when Ian Riccaboni to introduce a surprise entrant to the Women of Honor tournament: Tenile Dashwood formerly known as Emma. I was a little bummed I couldn’t make it to her AML debut later this month, so this really made my night. I don’t think any wrestling fan alive who knows how badly she was treated in the WWE and how bad her release was isn’t rooting for this young lady to make it big. Ring of Honor might just be the place where she could make a huge impact. I would have loved to have seen her tournament match, but Bully Ray (ROH’s new enforcer) booked her for a tag team match which I can’t complain about. This was by far the biggest surprise I’ve ever been at a wrestling event live for and that made this a very memorable show.
Silas Young w/Beer City Bruiser defeats Josh Woods
What’s not to love about Silas Young and I can confirm that the Beer City Bruiser was in fact drinking beer when he smashed it into Josh Wood’s head, because we got misted.
SOCAL Uncensored (Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian, and Scorpio Sky) defeated Dalton Castle and The Boys
Following the Dalton Castle match, we went into an almost thirty minute intermission which I’m okay with, but I wish there was a little communication with the audience about what was going on and when we’d be back. The screen just showed the Honor Reigns Supreme logo, and no time limit was given for how long the intermission would last. Also, despite walking around some, I didn’t realize some wrestlers had set back up at tables and were doing Meet and Greets. Even Tenile Dashwood was there taking photos and I missed it! I was so bummed when I found out about this later that night when I saw some Instagram shots. Ring of Honor lost at least twenty bucks from me by not announcing that wrestlers were setting up and were available for photos.
The Briscoes made their way to the ring following the break and I tuned out. The Briscoes do nothing for me anymore. I know a lot of people are thrilled with their reinventions of themselves, but I just need a break from them. I tuned back into the action in the ring when I felt a huge rush of air right next to my head as Alex Shelly flew over my shoulder on his way to the ring to get his ass kicked.
Mandy Leon and Tenile Dashwood defeated Kelly Klein and Stacy Shadows
Jay Lethal defeated Jonathan Gresham
This match was amazing… too bad I couldn’t concentrate on it. Two drunk rednecks decided to spend the entire match yelling at Todd, the referee. I was so afraid you’d be able to hear it on the broadcast, but I’ve yet to see a review discussing it so I’m thankful ROH was able to keep that from interfering with the audience’s enjoyment of this technical classic like I was. It was by far the most frustrated I’ve ever been with an audience at a wrestling show.
The Kingdom (Matt Taven, TK O’Ryan, and Vinny Marseglia) defeated The Bullet Club (Cody, Marty Scurll, and Adam Page)
The Young Bucks defeated Best Friends (Chuckie T and Trent Beretta)
It was nice to see them continuing Matt’s back issues over from New Japan and I think the match told a great story with Matt selling so much, but it was a little slow in spots for an already tired crowd.
Once Marty finished up, Cody recognized Adam Page as the hometown boy and allowed him to close up the show. Right as he finished, Marty grabbed the mic and decided to say a few more things while Cody and Adam looked on in astonishment since Adam was supposed to close the show. Cody eventually took the mic ended the night leading the crowd on a “Fuck the Revival” chant.
By this point in the night, I knew I wanted that Honor Reigns Supreme poster and was hoping the merch booth was still open. Of course, it wasn’t, I had missed out of my opportunity to buy that poster. So, the lesson here is: when you see something exclusive to an event you are at and you really want it, don’t hesitate like I did!
Honor Reigns Supreme was obviously booked as a sort of introduction to Ring of Honor in hopes to gathering new fans for their new HonorClub program. Overall the night was very solid with no matches really coming across bad. We got a little bit of everything and got to see all the stars of Ring of Honor and even a huge surprise with Tenile Dashwood’s debut. Needless to say, I had nothing to complain about and I loved every minute of it.
Top Three Matches:
1. Jay Lethal vs Jonathan Gresham
2. Dalton Castle and The Boys vs. SoCal Uncensored
3. The Kingdom vs. The Bullet Club
Top Three Moments:
1. Tenile Dashwood’s Debut
2. Marty Scrull Singing Complicated (What can I say, I love Avril Lavgine’s early work!)
3. The Bucks Posing in the Ring
Honor Reigns Supreme was a wonderful show to attend live. Ring of Honor is organized and everything ran smoothly and was right on time. My only complaint, which is a minor complaint, comes with my seat placement. I’m not sure if this is ROH or the arena’s fault, but when I purchased my ticket based off the Ticketmaster seating guide, I was going to be seated just about dead center of the ring. The side that I was on was broken into two floor groups and I was the first seat which ran just about center of the ring. When I got to the arena, my seat was actually in the corner, which meant my view was a bit restricted as you can tell by the photos. It’s a small complaint, but one worth mentioning.
Based on my experience, I won’t miss another Ring of Honor show when they come to North Carolina anytime in the future.
I’ve skimmed through the broadcast of the event and you can see me in quite a few shots. I’m the guy in the white and black New Japan shirt.