Ring of Honor
Tennessee State Fairgrounds Arena (Nashville, Tennessee)
ROH World Tag Team Championship
The one special attraction that Ring of Honor did use to sell their first PPV event was the ROH returns of Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian after a long stint as a tag team in TNA. Daniels in particular has a long history with ROH going back to when he was the promotion’s main heel during the promotion’s infancy. Daniels and Kazarian jumped right into a tag team title bout versus reDragon, given that the latter’s only natural opponents for this show (War Machine of Hanson and Rowe) could easily be bumped without anyone noticing.
This was a strong match that had strange crowd reactions. ROH shows and indie wrestling shows in general can be draining experiences when they are four hours+ of big move after big move. This show was only three hours in length and to this point, had been paced decently well. Still, the crowd appeared totally burnt out for the semi-main event. Daniels and Kazarian did not get the hero’s welcome one would expect on their returns and the match itself – while technically solid – received little in the way of heat.
The work focused on Kazarian having his arm attacked. Kazarian is “just a guy” – a role player – in many respects but wrestling needs those guys too. He was very good selling the arm throughout the bulk of the match. You knew what the end game was the entire time, but that’s fine because they told the story clearly and effectively. The announcers also did a good job. The announcing on this show was much better the minute Nigel McGuiness joined Steve Corino and Kevin Kelly. Nigel added to this match by highlighting the fact that Kazarian’s decision to tag back in with an injured arm after just having tagged out could prove to be a foolish one. It did indeed turn out that way as O’Reilly caught Kazarian in an arm bar moments later, forcing him to tap out.
From a long-term booking standpoint, ROH might have been better served to book Daniels and Kazarian against another team (like Adam Page and Tadarius Thomas) on this show while running reDragon versus War Machine as initially planned. Daniels and Kazarian’s return to ROH was probably enough of a draw on its own and would have allowed them to build to a future tag title shot. Instead, losing in their first match in to the tag champions – even though once the match was booked, it had to be done – came off flat. Daniels promises post-match that this isn’t over which likely means this rivalry will be re-visited somewhere down the line after Daniels and Kazarian have a chance to get themselves reacquainted to ROH.
US Indie Tag Team | Worthwhile | Quality & Promotion Debut