Monday, May 8, 2017

battles

wooooo! oh my god, okay. so. ring of honor last night was just the fucking best.



it's interesting because i look back on my first live wrestling experience - a wwe house show in september 2015 - and i was so goddamn excited. and though i've been to plenty of wrestling shows in the following two years(!), there hasn't been anything i've loved quite so much as my first time at a wwe show. (i don't think i've lost my shit at anything harder than i did the first time i saw seth rollins in person, and this was at the height of my seth markdom.)

but: since then, i've fallen way in love with ring of honor, one of the bigger american wrestling promotions that isn't wwe. roh is one of my favourite things now. it's not immensely popular among a lot of wrestling fans, which just means i love it all the more. also, there's the tiny fact that my favourite wrestler of all the wrestlers in the world - dalton castle, our peacock king and flamboyant suplex machine - is in ring of honor, so of course i'm gonna be a fan. i go where my fave goes. (the first time i saw him was on tv a little over a year ago, and i'm pretty sure i just started shrieking. what the fuck holy shit this is the greatest man oh my god what!!!!!)

so i'd been looking into going to the u.s. for an roh show for the last year now - i almost went to one in michigan last summer, but had no money - and was stoked to learn that they were once again doing their annual war of the worlds tour stop in toronto in may. ticket: bought immediately.

A post shared by Caitlin H. (@mylovesubliminal) on

so may got here in a flash, and yesterday i headed out early with some friends to deep east york to see a card that i was probably more excited about than any of the wwe stuff i've seen in the last year.

it was cool too because it meant we got in early enough to hit up the merch booth (i spent all my money on dalton merch, which is exactly the way i wanted it) and be close to the front of the line for the meet & greets. and i mean, sure, it's easy to rag on paid meet & greets, but like...why not have that option? it gives the talent a bit more money, and it weeds out the casuals from the diehard fans. plus from what i saw, it wasn't like an impersonal assembly line or anything - all the wrestlers took the time to chat with the fans, sign their stuff, and get photos. (sean got some good face time with the young bucks as well as a photo and autographs, and i got to have a few words with the bucks as well)

with business taken care of, we all grabbed our seats, and it was just really cool to soak in the atmosphere. there was something especially fun about the ring and the seats and the meet & greets happening in the same place, and the excitement was palpable. big crowds, and far similar to what you'd find at a local indy show rather than the army of cena children and their exhausted parents that you'd find at a wwe house show. just a sea of stoked smarks in black and white bullet club merch (ya girl no exception - i may have been wearing a dalton castle shirt, but i was also proudly carrying my bullet club tote, to which some adorable child in a cm punk shirt shyly said, "i like your purse." d'awwwww).

and then the goddamn show. it had all the big-fight feel of a wwe card with the smaller scale and intimacy of an amazingly good indy show, and the crowd was so amped for it. i was lucky enough to be three seats over from the entrance ramp, and my friends let me squeeze over so i could pound the barricades and give/receive high fives from the wrestlers as they headed to the ring.

also, this happened:

some people got high fives, i got physical contact. (me right by the barricade, in my dalton t-shirt, holding up the peacock fan i bought. the proudest fangirl nerd)

i didn't get a ton of photos, if only because i wasn't in the best spot for it (we were opposite what would have been considered hard camera), and because i was too busy trying to whip streamers at people to snap pics. but here are a few i managed:



pretty much one of the only shots i got of dalton and the boys, mostly because as i said, i was too busy screaming like a fucking banshee and/or hurling party streamers. (i gotta say i am absolutely thrilled he won the match, because my heart would have been broken a little bit otherwise)







birthday boy will ospreay not impressed by cody's evil showboating. (this match was super fucking great, btw. plenty of flippy shit from will, and cody is such a good heel.)



the! elite! the the elite!









getting ready for the terminator dive. (it was absolutely a treat to get to see the elite, for sure. they're basically hilarious cartoon supervillains and also the best dudes.)

during intermission, longtime pal/first-time meetup joe (hi joe!) remarked that he saw cody out signing autographs, and i perked up. wait, there was a second round of meet & greets?? dalton hadn't been present at the one before the show, but maybe i should go check this one. i pretty much bolted - intermission was three-quarters over at this point - and sure enough, he was one of the wrestlers out there for meet & greets. i dashed up to the ticket guy, yelped "how much time do i have??", was told that i have "just enough time", tossed down my $30 for a dalton ticket, and shyly crept over to his table. (going so close to the end was a stroke of luck, as there was only one trio ahead of me already meeting him)

and man, for real, dalton was a sweetheart. i didn't cry in front of him, although i threatened to - and he encouraged it, haha - but i did manage to shakily stammer out that he was my favourite wrestler in the world, and that it's because of him i fell in love with wrestling, and i'll always be a fan wherever he goes. (i was actually trembling, probably.) he signed the t-shirt i brought, and signed a picture for me too because ugh man he is just the best ever. (and he called me back for one more face caress before i dashed away and died forever.)

i mean, it was hard to get out because i was so nervous, but i'm just really glad i got to tell him how grateful we are for him and to thank him for everything he does. it doesn't sound like an easy life, being a pro wrestler, and i feel that as with any artist, it's so important to tell them that their work is appreciated. (even if you do look like the world's biggest fangirl dork in the process, lol.)

this is what i toted home at the end of the night:

A post shared by Caitlin H. (@mylovesubliminal) on

(the inscription on the photo reads "to caitlin - get yourself some boys!" i'm trying, dalton, i'm trying)

plus this lovely piece, which has already shot to the top of my favourite wrestling t-shirts list (the roh shop's unisex small is the best fit ever):



so i got home just before midnight, with a disappearing voice from screaming and bruised fingers from banging on the barricade so hard (it's an roh thing). what an incredible night. i'm already gonna start scanning the ring of honor website for any dates and locations i can hit up next.

here are the card results, in order, for posterity:
  • will ferrera & cheeseburger def. the fraternity
  • the rebellion (caprice coleman & rhett titus) def. motor city machine guns
  • hirooki goto def. shane taylor
  • dalton castle & the boys def. chaos (gedo & roppongi vice)
  • bully ray def. punishment martinez and hangman page
  • cody def. will ospreay
[intermission!]
  • los ingobernables de japon (tetsuya naito & bushi) def. the kingdom (matt taven & vinny marseglia)
  • the briscoes def. los ingobernables de japon (evil & sanada) and silas young & the beer city bruiser
  • kushida def. jay lethal
  • the elite (kenny omega & the young bucks) def. the addiction & hiroshi tanahashi
and that's the story of my first ring of honor show. stay tuned for next week when i attempt to survive seven more straight hours of wrestling at the phoenix!

[ music | none ]

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