ROH Ringside: Former ROH stars steal the show in New Orleans
By Jose Perez, OWW columnist
Wrestlemania XXX has come and gone, and despite the fact that my articles are not about W.W.E. specifically, just from reading the results and watching some highlights from the show, I felt obligated to comment on it (with a few R.O.H. links).
If you go back to my first issue every published on the website, you’ll more or less know how stale I got with pro wrestling when I arrived to Spain. The W.W.E. wasn’t cutting it. W.C.W. started well then died down. T.N.A. wasn’t available, but then I found R.O.H. Once I found and watched R.O.H. I gave two sh—s about the W.W.E. I loved R.O.H., and was focused on getting into other “independent” feds like Chikara, Combat Zone Wrestling and Dragon Gate USA. However, Wrestlemania has gotten me somewhat excited for W.W.E. again.
I’ll admit it, as an R.O.H. fan, when I see former R.O.H. wrestlers who I really like, on W.W.E. T.V., they instantly become one of my favorites. I may be biased, but its how I feel. I’m sure I’m not the first and I’m sure I won’t be the last. That is why, I’m very glad that this show was “Ring of Honor” orientated. Let’s go with my thoughts on the whole thing.
I always like Cesaro since he first started in the W.W.E. I think he has the look, the in-ring ability and the mic-skills (better than what people thing), and most of all, he’s a R.O.H. guy. In R.O.H. I didn’t’ get to see him much except for some promos from the King of Wrestling on YouTube (due to my system of watching shows in order). However, I did hear many people speak great things about him. Ironically, I saw his R.O.H. debut the week after Wrestlemania XXX. It was at “Fate of an Angel” and it was against Nigel McGuiness. He lost, but he showed some good stuff. His push as a strong man’s wrestler should get him over in the W.W.E. and with Paul Heyman at his side, even more so. So what did everyone talk about regards to the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal? About the impressive feat of strength of Cesaro body slamming the Big Show over the top rope. A must see feat. A Wrestlemania moment. I hope this proves what Cesaro is capable of, and give him that momentum he truly deserves.
The Shield vs. Kane and the New Age Outlaws was a pointless match. The Shield deserve more- However if their feud with Evolution if done right, it should be epic. Did I ever mention that Seth Rollins was an ex ROH World Champion as Tyler Black?
The John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt match seemed kind of “meh” on paper but it was very good in the end. I think the wrong man won. Bray Wyatt is very good, and should be getting pushed up the ranks. It was too early to put him up against John Cena at Wrestlemania. This match could’ve happened at Wrestlemania 31, if the feud and especially Bray Wyatt were pushed properly, then the match would make sense and Bray Wyatt losing would be less “hurtful”.
Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar. Despite all that has been said about this match. Despite the crowd reactions after the three count. Despite the back lash. I think this match is part of what made Wrestlemania XXX special. We all expected Taker to win. We all thought the streak would continue as usual. It had become predictable. People thought that the only unpredictable match for the Undertaker would be John Cena. Hence making the outcome more shocking and unexpected and thus special, in my opinion. A month has gone since Wrestlemania happened and it’s still talked about, thus proving what this match meant. Sure, it wasn’t the best match in the world, it was lackluster, but one little tidbit became the talk of the town.
Do you know the ironic thing though? The reaction the fans are having about this outcome is similar to when Bruno Sammartino lost this World Title for the first time. The fans hated it. Know the difference? Back then the fans thought it was real, and truly hated it with a passion, this day in age, we rant about Vince not knowing how to run a promotion, and we decide to not watch it and rant on it, thus keeping away the mystique of wrestling. When will fans learn to just accept stuff sometimes, instead of nitpick?
Finally, the Daniel Bryan story. Bryan Danielson is one of my favorite all time wrestlers in R.O.H. He can tell a great story in the ring. He had in-ring charisma. He had awesome in-ring talent and he was believable. At this time, I’m watching C.M. Punk’s final night in R.O.H. (August 2005), and up until this point, even though Bryan Danielson was a big part of R.O.H. he didn’t really wasn’t a regular due to his Japanese commitments. However, every time he wrestled it was something special, and I’m really looking forward to his future R.O.H. World Title run.
Thus, you can understand that when he went to W.W. E. I was both worried about his possible misuse by the W.W.E. as with usual independent wrestlers, and at the same time the excitement of seeing him on the main stage because I knew he had the talent. What I did have to be aware of is that his in ring skills shown in R.O.H. would be limited in the W.W.E. When he got fired after the Nexus incident, I saw it as the end of Daniel Bryan in the W.W.E., however luckily he returned, and since his match at Wrestlemania with Sheamus, his popularity grew with the yes movement. Through it all, I had the same anticipation and urge as the rest of the fans, hoping that one day, Daniel Bryan would get that giant opportunity with the W.W.E. Title and even though it was delayed waaaay more than it should have, it still paid off.
The match with Hunter, although great in itself, I felt was pointless, and over exposed Daniel Bryan. I mean, sure, he gets his revenge on the authority and all, but wouldn’t more revenge be winning the title that the authority didn’t want him to win? In any case, great match.
The main event was another great match. I admit that I was going into the match, a bit skeptical. I didn’t trust Batista winning the Royal Rumble and Daniel Bryan added at the last minute. I thought this last minute entry would be just a cheap trick for the fans to get our jollies, but deceiving us with a Batista win. Hell, you can even ask Dave Buckler, I told him I was worried about this ending. However, when I saw that Daniel Bryan won, I was one of the happiest campers alive. My R.O.H. boy won the W.W.E. World Title at Wrestlemania. Does it get any better than that?
Honestly, I was not very excited for Wrestlemania XXX. The matches seemed lackluster. The outcomes were not expected to be what everyone wanted. However, in the end, and looking back on it, I’d have to say it’s one of the best Wrestlemania in histories. I think it was very very enjoyable, and you know what? It actually made me excited again for W.W.E.’s product, especially after the great Raw show the next night. However, this past month, has been a bit on the downside, but let’s all keep our hopes up.