Milwaukee has a pretty cool history with professional wrestling. Just look at some of the things that have happened here:
• The Mega Powers exploded and it was voted greatest moment in Bradley Center history
• WCW Superbrawl II, one of the truly great WCW pay-per-views, was held at the MECCA
• Stone Cold preached Austin 3:16 for the very first time and had one of his greatest matches against Dude Love
• Cult favorite ECW’s final Hardcore Heaven was at The Rave
• Last year, The Miz main evented a late-September episode of Smackdown
Believe it or not, Milwaukee is actually a pretty good wrestling town (we would say “cool wrestling town,” but we all know wrestling isn’t cool) and this Friday we can add another bullet point on that list when Ring of Honor hits Turner Hall.
Ring of Honor is that band you saw at the Cactus Club before they got a song on that Verizon ad you hate. What started as an independent dream match promotion out of Philadelphia 13 years ago is now a nationally touring company with a syndicated television program (shown weekends locally on My24 and CW18), action figures and pay-per-views. If not quite a competitor, they are a clear alternative to mainstream WWE. Meanwhile, their alumni section reads like a who’s who of wrestlers that you actually like watching in WWE: Daniel Bryan, Seth Rollins, CM Punk, Sami Zayn, J&J Security, Cesaro, and the list goes on. Guys who stand out in ROH, stand out in WWE. ROH is the place to see the best wrestlers of today and the superstars of tomorrow. That isn’t just clever marketing, it’s actually true.
This is the show for you. The wrestlers will go all out to deliver and the matches will be exciting. Not enough? Here’s four more reasons ROH at Turner Hall will be the best wrestling show in Milwaukee this year.
1. SAMOA JOE
Samoa Joe is something that you can only understand if you’ve seen him. When you look at his picture, he’s just a fat Samoan guy. In the ring? He’s the man, a fat Samoan guy who will kick your head off and murder you with moves. He is pro-wrestling at its best. Joe put Ring of Honor on the map with his legendary world title reign and his classic matches with Kenta Kobashia and CM Punk. The “Joe Is Gonna Kill You” crowd chant is one of the few that actually carries some gravitas. You know, unlike pretty much every other wrestling chant. (Seriously, can we stop with the “This Is Awesome” chants? We’re not characters in LEGO Movie. We can experience emotions without chanting them.)
Joe is making a brief return to ROH after wasting years of his career in TNA before (presumably) heading to WWE as an angry, dancing chef named Jordan Samsay (or something). He’ll look to show that he’s still one of the best in the world in front of a crowd that’s going to be extremely excited to see him. Expect magic as he faces ACH, a truly amazing athlete who has “next big thing” written all over him.
2. KEEP IT LOCAL
This show is going to feature two Wisconsin-bred wrestlers in “The Last Real Man” Silas Young and the Beer City Bruiser. One of them is a mustachio-ed badass wrestler who looks like he’d fit well on the 1982 Brewers roster, and the other is a fat guy who you wish would keep his t-shirt on. Guess which one is from Milwaukee.
3. THE CROWD
WWE NXT champion Kevin Owens (aka former ROH star Kevin Steen) ranked the Turner Hall crowd as one of his three favorite crowds in the United States. Seriously. Let that sink in. It’s amazing. Milwaukee!
Maybe it’s the intimacy of Turner Hall, the way you feel close to the ring no matter where you, are and that feeling of togetherness you only get in a jam-packed ballroom. Maybe it’s the way the noise of the crowd reverberates off the old walls and threatens to knock paint off the ceiling. Maybe the Turner ghosts are simply excited to see some wrasslin’. Or maybe, just maybe, it has something to do with the ability to boo David Gruber, which is something that actually happened last year. Proving that not even #ItsAaron can save you from a hostile crowd that has seen far too many pandering commercials.
4. TURNER HALL IS THE BEST WRESTLING VENUE ON EARTH
If there was ever a drink designed specifically to have in hand while you watch live professional wrestling, it’s the PBR tallboy. Turner Hall has those! Best of all? You can drink about twice as many as you could anywhere else downtown for that price. Plus, if you’re like more than a few other wrestling fans and have a hard time dragging your girlfriend to matches, Turner Hall is a godsend. The lack of bathroom lines are a dream and you can sell her on the historic nature of the building before you spend the next three hours getting domestic-beer drunk and screaming “I love you” at a guy named Samoa Joe. Talk about a perfect date night.