Chris Hero’s first ROH match in about two years, facing off against arguably the biggest star outside of the “big leagues”, Kevin Steen, in his first match of the new year. Heading into this match, Kevin Steen expressed himself in regards to his long overdue ROH World Title rematch, having dropped the belt to Jay Briscoe in April of 2013, while Hero expressed his desire, too, to be the king of ROH. Consider the dream match in Hero vs. Steen, and this is already must-see TV.
Before the two men even began with wrestling, the Nashville crowd had already exploding into loud pops and chanting, something that would not die down, only grow bigger and bigger as the match progressed. With the Code Of Honor adheared to, the two worked the crowd with some ring psychology and classic heavyweight rasslin’, Hero going for quick submission as Steen quickly made for the ropes. Hero and Steen did nicely to portray a short-lived story in Steen’s weight advantage, through Hero’s inability to get Steen off the ground and Steen’s ease to floor Hero (some very smart wrestling right there). Another cool sequence saw Hero dishing out as much striking punishment as possible to get Steen to the floor, and being rewarded with the nearest-of-near falls.
Along with believable striking and two flying flip-sentons from Mr. Wrestling, we were given a good variety of both grapples and reversals, especially given the shorter length of this contest. Though the match ended with a distraction at the hands of B.J. Whitmer, Roderick Strong and Jimmy Jacobs of new stable “The Decade”, I still felt that the ending was good, with Steen nailing Hero with a Sleeper Suplex (and by “nailing”, I do mean NAILING). The best part of that was where the story goes from here… Is Steen with The Decade? Are The Decade against Chris Hero? Do they want Hero to join their cause? Time will tell!
Not the perfect match, not the greatest match, and far from MOTY contention, though Hero/Steen proved to be a great watch, and a very good wrestling match. I’m sure that a rematch is in the books for these two and that on the second encounter we’ll be given something memorable, this match, however, was just a very good television main event.