Ring of Honor
January 11th (Taped January 4th)
Tennessee State Fairgrounds (Nashville, Tennessee)
This is another nice piece of work from Hero. Hero makes Steen’s offense look better than it usually does. He leans in on Steen’s strikes, bumps well for him throughout the match, and takes a good looking rolling neck bump on the finish. Like he did with Ricochet, Hero sets a tempo for the match early on and keeps this match paced effectively. Most Kevin Steen matches don’t have that same pace, nor do most ROH matches. Hero is the variable here. His athleticism also shows through, while his offense – a hit of miss aspect for him – is overall perfectly fine in this particular match.
On top of all of that, Hero came across like a wrestler that in terms of presence and even look is far ahead of the rest of the ROH roster and ready for something bigger – like the WWE perhaps. It is rumored that his physical appearance led to him being cut from the NXT roster, but I do not see it. Chris Hero of a decade ago – with the baggy garbage bag pants, long unkempt hair, and flabby physique – was a wrestler whose look was holding him back. 2014 Chris Hero in regular tights, with a decent ponytail/beard look, and a lean frame is in a much better position. If the WWE did not like the fact that that he does not have six-pack, there were ways to work around it.
It will be interesting to see where Hero goes from here in 2014. His “return to the indies” tour should sustain him for the first quarter or longer, but eventually the novelty of seeing Hero wrestle (and lose to) newer indie wrestlers will run its course. He already feels too big for the Indie scene so a permanent gig in Japan or a return to the WWE feels like the most likely avenues for him as 2014 wears on.
TV Match | Watchable | Quality