Ring of Honor 16th Anniversary: First Exposure & First Solo Event

Last night I went to Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall (they couldn’t have just said “casino”?) which, I would never be at since it’s across town and I don’t gamble. Well, not really. After going back and forth with my husband on whether or not to go, he convinced me to give it a shot. I can’t recall going to an event or show by myself, so why not get a total “green” perspective. Adam had to work (damn responsibilities!) and I flew solo with an empty seat next to me. So, here I am with a Young Bucks shirt on, fanny pack and a Party City bag full of streamers, pretending to fit in. And this is the Ring of Honor 16th Anniversary show, so it’s one of their biggest nights. Let’s hope I do well!

Girl flies solo at a wrestling event: Uncommon?

This casino is pretty… well I don’t want to talk ill upon it, but it’s kitschy let’s just say. Sort of got an old western theme going on outside and inside it’s got this Montana backwoods hunting paradise vibe. I’m walking through just to grab a beer and find the merchandise table for ROH and then a HUGE line of people. Thinking to myself: “Well, this must be for the merch, right?” So, I’m standing around in the back of line looking around and it’s moving and then I’m talking to people and ask the question. And, silly me is waiting around for the meet ‘n greet. I have no idea half of these wrestlers names so, I quickly jump to the merch table, buy the tag team Best Friends, (wait, who?) shirt cause well, it has two cats in 80s workout gear on it. I had to.

The most hilarious part about this casino is that in the very center is an atrium full of streams, greenery, a giant waterfall, an anamatronic bear and a bar right in the center. So, this is the infamous waterfall bar Adam got sloshed at the last ROH show. Alright, posted up here for a while, had a few beers and chatted with some of the most friendliest fans. One girl complimented that when she saw me by myself in line was impressed and wondered if I had come to the show solo. I talked to this couple for a while and got to know how they got interested in the ROH brand and how she herself got into wrestling with her husband. Super cool people all around. Another group I mingled with at the bar even let me film their first wrestling memories. I had to it was a group of guys all in Hawaiian shirts! We’ll have a video up on our YouTube channel soon.

“The Elite, The The Elite! Bullet Club For The Win

So, how the hell do I know who the Bullet Club is? Well, like most wrestling Adam introduced me and we watched a few matches from New Japan Pro Wrestling and Ring of Honor on YouTube. We’re always taking recommendations from the wrestling community on brands to check out, matches to watch… so our friends on Twitter recommended a few to watch and I was convinced. The wrestling is super technical, flips, dangerous spots and great character profiles. Which, lead us to watch WrestleKingdom12 live at the Tokyo Dome, where several Bullet Club members wrestled and ended with with Chris Jericho (the only name I really knew) up against Kenny Omega.

So, that’s a little back story of how I became to KNOW about a few of the wrestlers of the ROH brand.

What I love about the venue they were in, literally you could have any seat and there is no bad seat in the house. It’s an intimate theater space, the ring is up close and personal so you can see the action. The fans, oh man the FANS! They’re so hyped! Most of the time standing and cheering various chants (i couldn’t tell you what they were chanting, ha!) and really interactive with the wrestlers during their in-ring action. I love that. Interactive with each other and interactive with the wrestlers. The brand is so on point with the personalities that they really get over with the crowd and they got over with me, a brand new fan, a green (did i say that right?) fan.

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Photo: @ROH

My favorite wrestlers thus far:

The Villain, Marty Scurll was the first I recognized. Holy shit does this guy get the brand. His entrance gave me the chills. He’s literally the Penguin from Batman, but younger and British. Super creepy, super maniacal, and great ring-gear.

Young Bucks vs. SoCal Unscensored: Las Vegas Street Fight

Whoa. Just Whoa. I’ve seen a few Tables, Ladders,Β  Chairs (TLC) matches on TV. But, not a full on street fight. I think that means: “anything goes” or they just added trash cans to the mix bag of objects under the ring apron. So, this is when I saw some blood shed. Excuse my language but this match was fu*king gnarly! Trash cans were crushed flat by bodies, ladders were jumped off of, tables broke in half and barricade bars were bent. And I don’t think barricade bars have much give. So… HOLY SHI*.

“American Nightmare” Cody Rhodes vs. Matt Tavven of “The Kingdom”

These two had serious ring chemistry and they’re both super charismatic. I don’t know who the crowd was more for, it was a split decision. Also, Rhodes’s valet was accompanied by a cheerleading Bear?? What??? So, murmurs of “who could it be?” started to grow in the crowd and I’m just here sitting in the back with all my streamers: “Okay, now I’ve seen everything.. but really who is this guy in the bear suit?” At the end Cody Rhodes won and then Bear slammed him on the ground, removed his head and… It’s Kenny Omega! What?!

Dalton Castle vs. Jay Lethal

Man, what a gimmick this is. Dalton Castle enters the arena, carried by his “fan boys” on a pharaohs platform. Feathers and glitter is all I need, this guy got over with me in less than three seconds. This was the main event match for the ROH Championship title. Another thing I loved about this crowd was the total ribbing they gave to the ref Todd, son of a wrestling promotor. Just absolutely did not give this guy a break, I was laughing more at the commentary coming from the row in front of me then anything.

Other surprises

Austin Aries showed up with ALL of his title belts (3 of them) and came here to promote his collection of title belts as he is missing the fourth one: Television Title. I don’t think I’ve mentioned that I’ve been following Austin Aries on social media for quite some time now. Ever since I found out he left the WWE cruiser weight division, he has been very vocal in his plant-based fitness and has been partnering up with a lot of Vegas vegan places to promote his new book: Food Fight. So, naturally I thought I’d give him a follow and he has been one of the wrestlers to watch in the indies. Totally unexpected to see him on the ROH stage.

Well, Kenny Omega being the Bear ringside during Rhodes vs. Tavven was also a shock to everyone. Even more of a shocker was when Cody Rhodes valet and real life wife laid a big smooch on Kenny Omega. The rest is history and we’ll probably find out the next chapter at the ROH Supercard of Honor. I know nothing.

Takeaways…

This being my first time running solo to an event, I have to say I was a little nervous since I’m not super (AT ALL)Β  knowledgable on wrestling, even more so the independent groups. But, I’m so so happy I went and experienced it. There is tons of talent that I had no idea existed. I have no clue what the active storylines are, but just the personalities of the wrestlers were so enthralling. They really live their gimmick. The fans were some of the most engaging people I’ve ever met at shows. I got to chat with a few different groups of people before the match and they were so inclusive and loved talking about the brand to a newbie. You won me over ROH, I hope to see the Bullet Club come through Las Vegas again soon. Or I will make the trip, WE will make the trip. What a brand.

Feature Photo:Β @ROH

 

 

 

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