Saturday, July 3, 2021

Ring Of Honor - JOE VS. KOBASHI (October 2nd, 2005)

Those UWF shows were a chore to sit through, kids. Fortunately, those were the only UWF shows we had to sit through and I thought that I had picked a nice little palette cleanser for this week's musings. And that's where today's show comes into play... from Ring Of Honor circa 2005 and aired on The Fight Network ages ago - thus allowing me to preserve the event onto DVD-R, including commercials - today's show doesn't shy away from what the main event is going to be: Samoa Joe vs. Japanese legend Kenta Kobashi.

At the time, this was hailed as one of the best matches on U.S. professional wrestling soil. And seeing this match for the first time, it certainly had enough to live up to that hype because I had a ball with that match. However, much time has passed and one has to ask; Is Joe Vs. Kobashi still one of the best matches in U.S. professional wrestling history? Or has it lost its luster?

Claudio Castagnoli (a.k.a. Cesaro) defeated Colt Cobana in a pretty solid opening match to set the tone for the wonderful action we are to witness.

Christopher Daniels defeated Matt Sydal and Azrieal in another pretty solid three-way match.

Sal Rinauro & Tony Mamaluke defeated BJ Whitmer & Jimmy Jacobs to win the tag titles. Eh, this was alright. There was a bit of goofiness here and there, but it didn't kill the match for me.

ROH Pure Champion Nigel McGuiness defeated Jay Lethal to retain the title. Pretty good match for the most part, though part of me regrets not seeing Nigel on the bigger stage prior to his retirement because the guy was so good.

Roderick Strong defeated Jimmy Rave via submission. Strong hurts small fellow with back breakers and does a Boston Crab submission that hurts the back for the submission win. Psychology in wrestling, everyone. It is possible.

Ricky Reyes defeated some guy named Pelle in less than a minute. Total squash and that's okay with me.

James Gibson (a.k.a. Jaime Noble) defeated Jimmy Yang via submission in another perfectly acceptable wrestling match.

Jack Evans defeated Homicide with a roll-up and a timely distraction from Colt Cabana cutting a promo on Homicide from the balcony. Eh...

And in the main event - the glorious main event - Kenta Kobashi defeated Samoa Joe with a lariat after twenty-plus minutes of just absolute balls to the walls, hard hitting . There're hoss fights, there're two big fuckers beating the fuck out of each other, and then there's Joe Vs. Kobashi. The war of a billion slaps, reddening chests, highs-impact assaults, near falls galore, and when all was said and done, a show of respect between two hardened ring warriors. No words could properly convey how great this match was. There may be matches with more people watching or higher ratings in the funny papers, but in terms of pure, unadulterated brutality contained within a professional wrestling match, there is none that gives me greater glee than Joe vs. Kobashi.

This is a one match show... and the name of the show alone proves that point and everything that came before is just icing on the cake. It's a nice bonus to have a bunch of good matches beforehand, but at the end of the day, it's all about Joe and Kobashi. Take your Okadas, Omegas, Ospreys, Lesnars, and whatevers and stick it, kids. As far as I'm concerned, there is no greater match in my book than Joe Vs. Kobashi.

A wholehearted recommendation to watch... and I don't do these often here.

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