(05/17) Young Bucks (c) vs. reDragon (Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish)

Ring of Honor
Hammerstein Ballroom (New York, New York)
Ring of Honor World Tag Team Championship

The challengers were accompanied to the ring by mid-card UFC middleweight, “Filthy” Tom Lawlor.  On a show filled with good corner work (Adam Page in the Strong/Whitmer vs. Gedo/Jado match and Gedo in the main event), Lawlor might have been the best.  Lawlor was paired with reDragon because of the tag team’s MMA-inspired gimmick and (to some extent) wrestling style.  However while he came to the ring carrying a small spit bucket but that was the only resemblance his role had to that of an MMA corner man.  Otherwise, he was in full-on pro wrestling manager mode and he was pretty great at it.

Lawlor hit on many of the pro wrestling manager staples.  His outfit – jorts and pink running shoes – felt like the kind of garish spiritual ancestor to Jim Cornette’s jackets or Jimmy Hart’s . . . well . . . everything.  He rolled out a reDragon banner MMA style but presented it far more as a pro wrestling taunt than anything else.  When he got in the face of the Bucks pre-match, they responded by causing him to “crotch himself” on the ropes, which Lawlor sold with the right blend of comedy and anger.  His reactions to near falls got appropriately larger and more animated as the title bout wore.

Lawlor is a big wrestler fan (after all, he is the same guy that once parodied the Shockmaster’s infamous WCW entrance during a UFC weigh-in) but it was still pretty impressive how well he took to the managerial role.  ROH would be wise to get him back – he added a lot of Fish and O’Reilly’s acts.

Inside the ring, this was purely a Young Bucks match.  The defending ROH World Tag Team Champions and reigning IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions have developed quite the adrenaline-fueled tag team style that is heavy on big moves, counters, near falls, and an impressively fast pace.  It is a style that is certainly not for everyone but it is hard to deny that they do spot-intensive tag team matches better than anyone going today.

This match was filled with big, clever spots during a near fall run that ate up the majority of the match. The New York ROH crowd ate it up.  A tough aspect of this kind of match to get right is the ability to peak and end the match at the appropriate times.  Sometimes there are so many big spots throughout that the reactions dip a bit in the middle or at the end of the run.  There was a small lull here a few minutes before the finish, but they picked it up right afterwards and certainly got out a high note with a really unique and well-executed finish.

reDragon regained the ROH tag team titles here which was almost a foregone conclusion since the Bucks’ reign had the feel of a novelty reign to start.  This is the kind of match that is loads of fun live and certainly entertaining from your couch, although it might be a bit *too much* for some.

Tag Team Sprint | Watch It | Quality, Spectacle & Hype

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