Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over ten years now and have reviewed over 5,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net, starting today. It could be anything from modern WWE to old school to indies to anything in between. Note that I rate using letters instead of stars and I don’t rate matches under three minutes as really, how good or bad can something that short be?
Chris Jericho’s Rock N Rager At Sea
Date: November 3, 2018
Location: Norwegian Jade Cruise Ship
Commentators: Colt Cabana, Jay Lethal
And now here’s a show on a boat! Late last year Chris Jericho hosted a wrestling cruise (it has to be better than WCW’s nightmare version back in the 1990s), featuring Fozzy concerts, podcasts, and of course live wrestling matches. This includes the Ring of Honor Sea of Honor Tournament plus a few more matches. While they didn’t tape everything, we’ve got most of the tournament plus a few bonus matches. Let’s get to it.
Note that Cabana and Lethal are the main two commentators with others rotating in.
Here are the original brackets for the tournament:
Beer City Bruiser
We open with some highlights of the first round, which has been cut for the sake of time. Understandable, as that would be another eight matches. The set looks great with a big Ring of Honor ring and a lot of fans all around. You wouldn’t know it was on a boat otherwise, though the sun going down is always a cool touch.
Here are the quarterfinal brackets:
Sea of Honor Tournament Quarterfinals: Christopher Daniels vs. Dalton Castle
Actually hang on as Castle has a concussion and can’t wrestle. We have a replacement on hand though.
Sea of Honor Tournament Quarterfinals: Christopher Daniels vs. Ashley Remington
For those of you not familiar with Remington, it’s certainly not Castle in his Chikara gimmick of a sailing enthusiast. After all, Dalton doesn’t wear a snappy sailor’s hat. The hat is spun around Remington’s finger and he throws in some finger guns. Lethal sees no peacock gear or Boys so this CANNOT be Dalton Castle. Daniels is very confused and the THAT’S NOT DALTON chants make it even worse. He even gets a mic and says “Wait…..so you’re NOT Dalton Castle???”
Daniels agrees to wrestle for the sake of the tournament and they take turns driving each other into the corner to start. Remington isn’t pleased with the referee taking issue with his aggression and gets in a Dalton style yell. Daniels sends him into the ropes bu Remington is right back with a finger gun, because he’s that smooth. A pinfall reversal sequence goes nowhere so Daniels gets punched in the ribs a few times to slow things down again. Daniels blocks a Vader Bomb with raised knees and a running knee to the ribs makes things even worse.
It’s off to the waistlock as Lethal suggests that REMINGTON IS DALTON CASTLE!!! I mean, he has a concussion and thinks he’s a sailor named Ashley Remington, but he must be Castle. I’m still not convinced, even as Remington makes a comeback with Castle inspired offense. A running knee in the corner sets up a running bulldog for two but it’s too early for the Bang A Rang. Er I mean the Anchor. Yeah the Anchor. Daniels tries a Blue Thunder Bomb but gets cradled to send Remington to the next round at 7:14.
Rating: C. This was a lot of fun with Remington being the perfect choice for a replacement. The match wasn’t exactly the point here, but how serious can you be with a guy named Smooth Sailing wrestling in a match on a cruise? This tournament seems to get the idea of not taking itself too seriously and that’s a very good thing.
As is his custom, Remington offers Daniels a complimentary fruit basket. That’s good enough to earn a hug so everything is smooth.
Sea Of Honor Tournament Quarterfinals: Flip Gordon vs. Marty Scurll
The fans are behind Marty here and that’s not the most surprising thing in the world. Marty is nice enough to offer a handshake and even wants some silence for the gesture. Instead they hug (Colt: “Code of Honor really, really shown!”) to a very positive reaction. Ever the villain though, Colt pulls him into a Rock Bottom for two at the opening bell. Flip rolls outside so Marty superkicks him from the apron for another near fall.
Back up and Flip starts to flip to avoid a clothesline, followed by a standing moonsault. They chop it out in the corner with Marty managing to crotch him on top and hit some uppercuts. A top rope superplex attempt is broken up with a headbutt but Scurll enziguris him and NOW the superplex connects for two. Marty starts in on the hand before going to some holds to work on the ribs. He’s a versatile villain you see. There’s a backbreaker into an abdominal stretch on the mat.
Gordon finally kicks him into the corner for a breather and the backflip World’s Strongest Slam sets up a running shooting star. A springboard Sling Blade drops Scurll again and the 450 gets two. They chop it out until Marty turns him inside out with a clothesline. They’re both down for a bit until another chop off goes to Scurll. You don’t often see the villain win one of those. Flip snaps off a Falcon Arrow but gets powerbombed. The ensuing cover is reversed into a rollup to give Flip the fast pin at 11:16.
Rating: B. That was a heck of a match with both guys working hard. I know Scurll doesn’t have the best reception at times but he can put on some good stuff at times. He can go in the ring under the right circumstances and Gordon was more than game for this one. Flip has surprised me over the last few months as he’s turned into a character who can work a match instead of just a one note guy. Really fun match.
Flip’s chest is busted up but Marty still won’t hug him.
Sea Of Honor Tournament Quarterfinals: Jay Briscoe vs. Cheeseburger
If this is anything other than Jay beating this guy into oblivion, there’s no justice in the world. Before the match, Jay offers Cheeseburger a chance to walk out instead of take this beating. Cheeseburger flips him off and please make this be quick. Cheeseburger slugs away to start and gets run over for his efforts as I become a bigger Jay fan by the second.
Jay knocks him hard into the corner but misses a charge, allowing Cheeseburger to get in some meaningless shots to the head. A Death Valley Driver gives Jay two and it’s off to a reverse chinlock. Cheeseburger slips out and hits what looked like a low blow, followed by the Shotei palm strike for two. Jay superkicks a springboard out of the air and the Jay Driller finishes Cheeseburger at 6:36.
Rating: D. Nothing match of course but I get a perverse enjoyment out of seeing Cheeseburger get destroyed. That’s all this match needed to be as even the announcers were making it clear that Cheeseburger didn’t have a chance. Jay is the most successful wrestler in ROH history so this was a glorified bye for him.
Sea Of Honor Tournament Quarterfinals: Mark Briscoe vs. Adam Page
They chop it out to start with Page’s chop being so bad that the fans make fun of him. It’s hard to get this crowd to boo a guy like him but that chop was worth the insult. Mark hits a chop of his own and the fans seem rather pleased. An exchange of slams has no effect either so Page grabs a delayed suplex to actually get an advantage. Briscoe slugs away but gets kicked out of the air, which the fans say was weak as well. The tabletop suplex gets two and a THAT WAS STRONG chant from the crowd.
Mark turns him inside out with a clothesline….and we’ve got a bird landing on a fan in the crowd. The fans start chanting for the bird so Mark is smart enough to grab a chinlock until they pay attention again. Page gets two off a German suplex but walks into a fisherman’s buster for the same. A hard powerbomb gives Page two more but the Rite of Passage is broken up. Instead Briscoe sends him to the apron and counters the Buckshot Lariat into a rollup for the pin at 10:29.
Rating: C. Thankfully the bird didn’t mess things up that badly as there’s only so much you can do when the fans get distracted like that. Mark putting the chinlock on to ride it out was the right call and it didn’t last too long. You could have gone either way here as Page is a popular guy but the battle of the Briscoes is hard to pass up.
Here are the updated brackets:
Dalton Castle/Ashley Remington
Sea Of Honor Tournament Semifinals: Dalton Castle vs. Flip Gordon
It’s night now and it makes for a very cool visual. Castle is back (after some great concussion protocol) and it’s Mandy Leon and Matt Taven on commentary. Hang on though as Castle, in a shirt, says he has a severe sunburn and asks Flip not to touch his body at all. That earns Castle a shoulder block for the most painful reaction ever.
Castle strikes the Peacock Pose so Flip kicks him in the ribs (Fans: “ALOE VERA!!!”) and sends Castle outside with a single chop. Back in and more chops, followed by a BACK RAKE (through a shirt but still) has the fans booing Gordon for the first time. A springboard frog splash gives Flip two so Castle is right back with a hard clothesline. Hang on though as Castle needs to pause for some ice to the chest.
More shots to Flip’s chest set up a short DDT for two but Flip kicks him in the face. A springboard missile dropkick sends Castle into the corner but he’s right back with a spear. Castle is right back with a running knee in the corner as Cabana thinks Castle is reminiscent of Ashley Remington. There might be a small similarity but they’re rather different. Back up and Castle grabs his arm, allowing Flip to roll him up (kind of a wacky rollup with a wrist clutch) for the pin at 9:36.
Rating: D+. They had an idea with the sunburn thing but it didn’t exactly go anywhere. Castle is still banged up so it makes sense that they didn’t want to do all too much here. It was a comedy match and that’s fine on something like this, though the match wasn’t all that fun in the first place.
Sea Of Honor Tournament Semifinals: Jay Briscoe vs. Mark Briscoe
This should be fun. They bump forearms before the bell but Mark isn’t waiting around here and shotgun dropkicks Jay at the bell. Another knockdown sets up the Froggy Bow for a very early two. The fight heads outside with Mark throwing a chair in, only to have Jay pelt it into his head to take over. Jay starts stomping away in the corner and fires off some uppercuts. It’s back to the floor with a big boot to Mark’s jaw just waking him up a bit. Jay comes right back and the fighting turns Mandy on a bit.
Back in and Jay kicks him in the face for two more before wedging the chair into the corner. Of course Jay is the one going face first into it and a crossbody through the chair gives Mark two of his own. The fans are WAY into this one as Mark stomps away in the corner. An exchange of kicks to the face (as in seven or eight each) doesn’t go anywhere so Jay goes with a neckbreaker for two instead.
Jay kicks him again but can’t hit the Jay Driller. Mark knocks him in the jaw again and takes him up top for something like an Iconoclasm for two of his own. A second Froggy Bow misses so Mark dropkicks him in the corner for a second time. The fisherman’s buster gets two more as the fans go into a LET’S GO BRISCOE/BRISCOE SUCKS chant for something clever. Mark takes too long going up and gets chaired down, setting up the Jay Driller for the pin at 10:50.
Rating: B. This was all about two guys beating the fire out of each other and it was very entertaining. They were going for the violent, intense brawl here and it worked as well as it could have. I would have gone with Mark getting to the finals for a little change of pace, but Jay is the bigger star and will give Gordon more of a boost if he wins.
They hug post match because brothers have to fight. Or wrestle.
Sea Of Honor Tournament Finals: Jay Briscoe vs. Flip Gordon
Jay jumps him before the bell because he’s a better heel than a face. The beating sends Flip outside and he kind of looks like a monster as they walk around. You can’t script a look like that and it’s a good way of playing towards Briscoe’s nature. Back in and the stomping begins as Flip can’t do anything yet. Jay switches it up to stomping AND choking in the corner, followed by a running big boot.
Flip finally sends him to the floor for a kick to the head but walks into the neckbreaker. A dropkick sets up some swearing and it’s off to the chinlock. As you might have expected, Flip pops up and hits a springboard crossbody/right hand (cool….I think) to put Jay down again. A Pele sets up the springboard spear for two more but Jay crotches him on top. Jay’s superplex is escaped and Flip scores with a running dropkick to the back.
Flip tries a suplex of his own but gets reversed into a fisherman’s buster to knock him silly. Since no one can keep momentum here, Jay walks into a Falcon Arrow for two more. The Jay Driller (See what I mean about momentum?) gets two and the fans aren’t happy with that not being the ending. Flip kicks him in the head again and a TKO is good for the pin and the tournament at 10:53.
Rating: C. This was fine, though that kickout was too much and I think the fans knew it. After three matches of taking a beating, Flip shouldn’t be kicking out of one of the most protected finishers in the company. I’m cool with Gordon getting the title shot though as it’s always nice to see someone fresh get a chance, even if it’s a one off.
Alpha Club vs. Bullet Club
That would be Chris Jericho and the Young Bucks vs. Kenny Omega/Cody/Marty Scurll, which should be a heck of a match. There’s no Brandi here for some reason, though if you were her would you want to be on a cruise around a bunch of fans? Jericho gets the big introduction, as he certainly deserves. He also comes out dressed as a Buck, complete with bandanna, though it looks a bit like a bad Rockers cosplay. The fans are going NUTS for this, as you had to expect. Fans: “VINCE CAN’T TOUCH THIS!!!”
Cody and Nick start things off but Cody isn’t interested in an early handshake. A dropkick sends Cody into the corner for almost the only action of the first minute. Cody’s drop down uppercut lets him flip the fans off so Nick cranks on the arm. He is known for protecting the fans you see. Jericho comes in (POP/CHANTING) to stay on the arm as the Alphas start taking turns. It’s time for the rapid fire offense and triple dives, though the camera doesn’t catch all of them.
Things settle down and it’s Jericho vs. Omega for the real showdown. They circle each other…just long enough for Cody to tags himself in as the waiting has to continue. A jumping knee to the back sends Matt to the floor and it’s Marty starting in on the knees back inside. Marty stomps on the arm for a bonus before handing it off to to Cody for a delayed vertical suplex. Matt finally sends Cody into Marty’s raised boot in the corner but Marty breaks up the hot tag attempt.
Cody loads up Shattered Dreams but stops to flip off the crowd, which amazingly enough allows Matt to fight out of the corner. The hot tag brings in Jericho to clean house as everything breaks down. A crossface chickenwing attempt is countered into the Walls on Marty, leaving the Bucks to put Cody and Omega into matching Sharpshooters. Those are broken up as is the Walls, so Matt clotheslines Omega and Cody down. The Bucks start speeding things up and it’s a top rope splash/standing moonsault for two on Cody.
More Bang For Your Buck and the Meltzer Driver are broken up and it’s Omega with his running Fameasser to take Nick down. A series of kicks to the face gets two on Nick with Jericho making the save (Scott D’Amore on commentary: “Not on my cruise!” Good line.) and NOW we get the Omega vs. Jericho showdown. Omega knocks him to the floor but the Rise of the Terminator (which took FOREVER to set up) is countered with a double superkick.
A triple superkick sets up the Meltzer Driver into the Walls on Omega, but Jericho has to let go for a Codebreaker on Marty. Omega is fine enough for a series of hurricanranas but Jericho takes him down into the Walls again. Marty’s umbrella to the back makes the save though and Omega gets a good near fall. Another Meltzer Driver is broken up but Omega can’t hit the One Winged Angle. He can hit a V Trigger though (shocking), followed by a second (take a shot) and the One Winged Angle finishes Matt at 23:20.
Rating: B+. This was exactly what the main event should have been with the kind of wrestlers that these fans want having the kind of match that they do best. It was entertaining, it was fast paced and it was fun. Really, what else could you have asked for here? Also, well done on having Jericho take the fall on his cruise. A lot of people wouldn’t have done that.
Post match it’s a big staredown with Omega and Jericho talking to wrap it up.
Jericho thanks the fans for everything to end the show.
Overall Rating: B. I liked this a lot more than I thought I would as it was as laid back of a show as you could have asked for. The wrestling was fun (not great the entire time, but fun) and the venue really made things feel special. Not everything needs to be some big show and it’s ok to have a good time every now and then. That’s what we got here and it flew by at less than three hours. Even if it’s just a big advertisement for next year’s cruise, well done indeed.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his Amazon author page with 28 wrestling books. His latest book is the History Of In Your House.
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