The week of Wrestlemania is a busy one for the entire wrestling world, not least of all for Ring of Honor, as they present their annual monster matchcard show, Supercard of Honor XI. Taking place the night before Wrestlemania, and coming live from the Lakeland Center in Lakeland, Florida, there are four title on the line, headlined by Tag Team Champions The Hardys, Broken Matt and Jeff Hardy, as theyf ace The Young Bucks in a ladder match for the belts. Also on the card, new champion Christopher Daniels goes one on one with Dalton Castle for the ROH World Championship in Daniels’ first defense of the title he took 15 years to win. Not to be outdone, Marty Scurll looks to defend his ROH Television Championship against former World Champion Adam Cole (bay bay!), and the Bullet Club (Tama Tonga, Tonga Loa and Hangman Page) seek to take the ROH Six-Man Championships from The Briscoes and Bully Ray in a match with student versus teacher implications. ROH mainstays such as Silas Young, Jay Lethal, Will Ospreay and Punishment Martinez are also looking to make their mark, on Ring of Honor‘s Supercard of Honor XI.
+ The Hardys (Matt & Jeff Hardy) (c) vs The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) (ROH Tag Team Championship Ladder Match): this was everything you could ever want from two of the best tag teams around at the moment, if not all time (though I’m not sure if the Bucks have reached that accolade just yet). It was as if both teams wanted to try everything they could, even if it was just absolutely batshit insane. This was incredible from start to finish, even if the ending was known to me well ahead of time
+ Jay Lethal vs Cody (Texas Bullrope Match): first and foremost, there were some really innovative spots involving both the ropes and the bell, along with the same tried-and-true ideas certain to get a rise from even the most jaded fan. One rope-trick in particular made me wince, and a little throwback to Cody’s past made me chuckle. Aside from just the rope, this was surprisingly technical, with some nice holds, slams and other attacks to keep it all fresh
+ Marty Scurll (c) vs Adam Cole (ROH World Television Championship): this was a very fast paced, fantastic opening match up, although there were a few sloppy moves. An obvious botch did leave a slightly bad taste, and there were lots of “big moves” which were not treated as such, but I guess that is to be expected at a big ROH show. Either way, I really enjoyed this, despite not being a big fan of Adam Cole at all
+ Volador Jr. & Will Ospreay vs Dragon Lee & Jay White: an international showcase, this match saw competitors from Mexic and the United Kingdom versus athletes from Japan and New Zealand. THe only way to describe this is fast and furious, and full of flips. Ospreay and White were perhaps the cleanest together, but the thrill of seeing Volador in ROH, and the continuing brilliance of Dragon lee, made for a fantastic showing for all four men
+ Bully Ray & The Briscoes (Jay & Mark Briscoe) (c) vs The Bullet Club (Hangman Page, Tama Tonga & Tonga Loa) (ROH Six-Man Tag Team Championships): Hangman Page was far and away the least useful member of this match. The GOD, Tama Tonga and Tonga Loa, had a handful of fantastic student-teacher moments with Bully Ray, and The Briscoes always go all out. This was rough and violent, though I do think it never quite hit the second gear. Still, this was a good match between good teams
+ Bobby Fish vs Silas Young: after the incredible Fish/Lethal match from the Anniversary show, it was unlikely that Fish would not be on the card tonight. Not as much of a match as it was a short hardcore brawl, I really want to see more of this
– Christopher Daniels (c) vs Dalton Castle (w/ The Boys) (ROH World Championship): some shenanigans throughout this match did all they could to spice it up, and the aftermath is interesting, but at the end of it all this was just underwhelming. It’s not that Castle isn’t great, but he is not really the calibre of opponent that new champion Christopher Daniels should be facing at this point. This was fine for what it was, but as the top title match on one of the biggest shows of the year, it failed to deliver
– The Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin) vs The Rebellion (Rhett Titus & Shane Taylor) vs Cheeseburger & Will Ferrara: short and sweet, but still somewhat lacking. Nice to see the MCMG together properly again, but overall this was more of a time waster than anything
– Punishment Martinez vs Frankie Kazarian: back and forth action made for a relatively solid underdog story, though the athleticism from the huge Martinez is always impressive. It was the ending which was most interesting, if only to see where it goes from here, but overall this was another “nothing” match up
– Silas Young & The Beer City Bruiser vs The Kingdom (Matt Taven & Vinny Marseglia) (w/ TK O’Ryan): following O’Ryan’s injury at the Anniversary show, The Kingdom had to lose their titles, hence The Briscoes/Bully Ray being the current champs. This all involved a pretty good storyline where Silas Young would fill in for the injured O’Ryan, setting up this match. I only recap the story because it was more enjoyable than the match ended up being. Some impressive athleticism from the Bruiser was nice, but The Kingdom are just so bland I couldn’t get involved in this at all
> it was ironic that Adam Cole botched a Tombstone spot in his match with Marty Scurll, because nearly the exact same thing happened between Roman Reigns and The Undertaker the next night at Wrestlemania
Should you watch this event: In the nicest possible way, this was always built around the main event ladder match, and considering the way things went at Wrestlemania the night after this event, it was meant to be a big one. Scurll/Cole, Cody/Lethal and the international tag match were all great, and along with the aforementioned Hardys/Bucks ladder match made for unforgettable matches. Unfortunately, the handful of not-as-good battles made for a very mixed bag, and I could only suggest to watch the positives listed above.