So I’m not crazy. Up until the moment the bell rang, I’d been under the assumption that this was to be a Fight Without Honor. Turns out, that wasn’t something that just came from a misunderstanding or confusion from the advertised “Fight to Honor Jay” billing. As proven by some graphics that still exist online, there must have been some kind of marketing error as there do exist match announcements that have this listed as a “Fight Without Honor.”
It’s honestly not the worst mistake in the world, and it’s not hard to figure out what’s going by the time the match gets going. Once everyone settles into a fairly standard, if mechanically sound, six-man tag, it’s clear to see where the miscommunication happened. What it does do though is make the overall booking choice surrounding this match all the more baffling. After 18 minutes of working the match under standard rules, the bout falls apart leading to a double countout. Mark Briscoe protests the decision and the bout gets restarted as a Fight Without Honor, which is what a lot of people had come into the pay-per-view expecting anyway. It can’t help but feel like a real contrived half-measure to deliver what had originally been advertised to begin with. It probably doesn’t feel half as bad without the advertising error.
All that said, when the violence gets going it rocks.
No one in the world wields a fork with as much skill and brutality as Jon Moxley, Mark Briscoe is able to absorb some truly heinous bumps combined with his underdog fire, and everyone very much gets into the spirit of just fucking shit up in honor of one of the greats. We even get a nice bullying performance from Bryan Danielson which we saw hints off in the standard half of the match when BCC really upped their bullying tactics on Mark which led to the big brawl. Danielson turns up the cockiness for the final few moments, making it all the more satisfying when he’s the one who has to pile of a shit and take the fall.
Weird match, contrived in concept, but with a second half that delivers too strongly to ignore.
Rating: ***3/4 (barely)