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Ring of Honor Wrestling #354 Review

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Lucha Libre! Lucha Libre! Lucha Libre!

The world may be focusing on Best in the World, but in a clear taping prior to it, but broadcast after, the talk regarding the event was at a minimum. However, this meant that we got three solid matches culminating in the resurrection of Matt Taven’s feud with Ultimo Guerrero, and it was incredible. To kick off the show, we got a solid match featuring Jonathan Gresham vs Kenny King. Gresham isn’t called The Octopus for nothing, using his arms and legs to rap submission attempt after submission attempt on the powerhouse Kenny King. For the majority of the match it seemed as if Gresham’s arm locks were taking their toll on Kenny, but after a backbreaker, a huge Irish whip and a variation of the camel clutch, Gresham was beginning to weaken.

King connecting with an Eddie Gordo kick and a spinebuster, and Gresham’s back was clearly giving him troubles. After the two locked themselves into a ball, rolling around trying to pin each other and a trade off of some hard punches, Kenny landed the Royal Flush for the victory. It was a great match, but I would of liked to see a Gresham victory, especially as he’s been falling short of successes over recent weeks. King deserved it, however, and that finisher of his is a joy to behold every time.

Shane Taylor joined commentary for the next match as Josh “The Goods” Woods took on Facade. Accompanied by Danni, the Aerosol Assassin flew to the ring with confidence, and I was excited to see what he could do in ROH. It was a poor start for Facade, though, as Woods landed two dominating gut wrench suplexes. It didn’t take long for the speed and aerial ability of Facade to appear, as he landed some superkicks and a dropkick after walking a few steps along the ropes. In what was probably the best move of the match, he jumped onto the middle rope then to the top rope, hitting a summersault to Woods who was outside the ring.

Luckily Woods recovered and managed to roll over Facade from behind, and whilst holding onto his waist landed a suplex, followed by a big slam for the victory. Woods grabbed the microphone and called out Shane Taylor, telling him he’d been hit with a lot of punches in the past, but the punch that knocked him out a couple of weeks ago was one of the worst. He wanted to fight Taylor then and there, and it seemed as though Shane Taylor was game until he got to ringside, made a joke about former Knicks player Carmelo Anthony (with it being in New York), then said “Big Money Shane don’t fight for free.” Expect to see the match soon, though, as this feud is far from over.

A couple of video packages followed, with the first a look at what happened backstage before the show. Earlier in the night it was announced that in two weeks there would be a six-man tag gauntlet match, and the winner would be facing The Kingdom for a chance to take their championship gold away from them. The Dawgs approached Shane Taylor backstage but he was less than willing, telling them they better have some real money if they wanted him as their partner. There was also a recap video showing off the rivalry between Bully Ray and Cheeseburger. The two have got a match booked for next week in a no DQ no count-out match, and the video did a great job of hyping it. At the end of the video we saw Cheeseburger hit a promo where he said, “with this heart of fire and these golden boots, I’m gonna kick your ass.” I cannot wait to see these to go at it and hopefully see Cheeseburger get the victory over one of ROH’s biggest douchebags.

In the final match of the night, CMLL legend Ultimo Guerrero took on Matt Taven in an entertaining match filled with some wonderful set pieces aimed at pleasing the crowd. Ultimo hit a low dropkick to Taven who was lying on the apron, firing him like a bullet into the barricades. Guerrero left the ring and threw his opponent just as forceful over the barricades and into the fans. TK O’ Ryan got involved, so it was only natural that Guerrero thew him onto Taven as well. Taven came back for a while, attempting to give him a taste of his own medicine, but Guerrero was here to win. He drank a fan’s beer, spat it in Taven’s face, then sat him down on a steel chair at ringside. He grabbed O’ Ryan and sat him on Matt Taven’s lap followed by a running dropkick knocking them both off in spectacular fashion.

Following multiple chest slaps and a Senton de la Muerte, Ultimo was ready to end it, but Taven managed to wear Ultimo down with some strong kicks and a moonsault. Guerrero felt the energy of the crowd and landed yet another beautiful move on Taven: a powerbomb from the second rope. In what was a cheap end to the match, the red balloons flew from underneath the apron, and both TK and Vinny Marseglia got involved, giving Taven an opportunity to hit Ultimo with the Climax for the win. After a short promo where Matt Taven telling us he will always be better than Ultimo, the show was over, concluding a great show despite Ultimo’s unfortunate loss.

Chris White loves to write, and is a huge fan of wrestling of all kinds. He supports the Boston Celtics, listens to hip hop, and wishes Ric Flair was his granddad. He's a pretty cool guy, just ask his mum.

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