Stunt Granny Audio #260

From breakdanceworld.com

From breakdanceworld.com

After a break from talking to each other, Jeremy & Kevin are back to talk wrestling. Except that they start talking about Jeremy’s receiver and X Box problems. Did Kevin see the commercial that has caused X Box owners problems? Is that how they transitioned to talking about the studio analysts of the World Cup? What makes them different from other commentators on TV? Why did they start adding so many talking heads to College Game Day? Who does Jeremy want to get the boot? Speaking of people getting the boot, there is speculation that Josh Matthews is out of a job with the WWE. Did he ever get a fair shake? How long did he announce Smackdown? Why did Michael Cool take his spot? Do your hosts think he is finally doing a good job? How vanilla has he gotten? Does he even do play by play any more? Why did a Josh Matthews conversation turn into Michael Cole conversation? Kevin moves on to clarify his article about ROH changing world champions from Adam Cole to Michael Elgin. But this clarification turns the conversation into a talk about TNA’s bizarre decision to remove the belt from Eric Young? Why would they do it right before his television appearances for “No Limits” on Animal Planet? What style of booking led to TNA winning at Slammiversary but then dropping the belt at the next Impact Wrestling? Do the guys talk themselves into saying that Eric Young is the best option as champion in TNA? Find out the answer to that question and more when you click on the link below.

#RingOfHonor Is Second Best

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Dry Tortugas in the Florida Keys from nationalparkguides.com

I didn’t watch “Best In The World” but I did read the results on Prowrestling.net. I only care about one match result and that is Michael Elgin beating Adam Cole for the ROH World Title. This result is so logical that they automatically jump ahead of TNA in competency with it alone.

Michael Elgin has been built up on two previous occasions. He won the Survival of the Fittest Tournament in 2011 which allowed him to have a shot at Davey Richards. Elgin came up short against Richards in a match that many people who watched it called a five star match. Elgin was not expected to win that match. It was his coming out party. Elgin then beat Adam Cole to get his first true shot at the ROH World Title. He took on Kevin Steen at Glory By Honor XI: The Unbreakable Hope. He was built up enough on TV that they used his nickname “Unbreakable” in the title. He lost to Steen.

Elgin then had his second crack at the title coming when Jay Briscoe got injured and had to surrender the title. Elgin was entered in as one of the favorites. After getting to the finals of the tournament, he was defeated by Adam Cole at Death Before Dishonor XI in September 2013. If you haven’t listened to any of the podcasts in which I’ve trumpeted Adam Cole then I can direct you to written forms of that opinion here, here and here. Much like Jason Powell, in some ways I didn’t want to see the strap removed from Cole’s waist. I brought up the month of his title reign because Cole had the belt for eight months. That is plenty long enough to establish your young star.

Michael Elgin got a shot in a three way match with a returning Jay Briscoe against Adam Cole for the title. Everyone who watches wrestling knows that the champion has a 99% chance of winning because his two opponents always turn on each other. I’d discount that chance also. Elgin then had to stew while a returning Chris Hero got a shot then Jay Briscoe got his one on one shot. Elgin then got the build up again on TV. ROH ended the Elgin build up by airing the assault Cole and Mike Bennett along with Maria Kanellis on their hype show on Saturday. That was another small positive about “Best In The World”, they aired it on Sunday like a professional wrestling organization should. That made the hype show more effective than airing it the same day and sometimes after the Saturday scheduled PPVs. Back to the beat down, Cole & Bennett zip tied Elgin to the ropes and cut his hair. ROH tried to market the mullet but it was still a horrendous choice because Elgin is balding. Cutting Elgin’s hair was another correct move. MsChif came out to make the save. We found out is Elgin’s wife while Cole denigrated both of them. Cole then gave her a choice to kiss him or watch her husband get assaulted. MsChif spit on Cole. He then decided instead of attacking Elgin to slap the Figure Four on MsChif while Bennett held her arms down. It makes Cole look like an absolute dick but I don’t like that aspect of the angle. I know she can take it but it doesn’t look good. The angle was made worse by security showing up after Cole let go of the hold. Cole should have beaten down Elgin.

TNA was in charge of a similar scenario twice, with James Storm and Bobby Roode. Roode was hyped through out the Bound For Glory Series only to lose to Kurt Angle in the Finals. To make matters worse, TNA decided to give the title to Storm on the next Impact Wrestling show after BFG. Roode recovered when he turned heel on Storm by breaking a beer bottle over Storm’s head to capture the TNA World Title. Roode went on to have the longest title reign in TNA history. James Storm had a couple of months off then came back to TNA with much video build up of him working on his farm. Storm didn’t win the TNA Title after the BFG series the next year because Roode cost him a match against Bully Ray in the semi-finals. Storm got the better of Roode at BFG but didn’t get the title because it had been won by Austin Aries. Storm later won a three man match with Roode and A.J. Styles. Storm then lost his contendership on the next episode of Impact. Storm has never recovered in the two following years.

If Michael Elgin had lost against Cole again, I fear that he would become James Storm. Elgin would have been hyped up too many times to believe that he can win the big match. ROH did the right thing though and put the strap on Elgin so that he can become Bobby Roode. – Kevin

Stunt Granny Audio #243

A-diamond-in-the-roughOh holy crap, Dusty and Kevin are back once again to lay down some serious opinionz for your listening pleasure. They start out by trying to recreate the magic of their off-air conversation about ROH and pro wrestling in general. Are Adam Cole and Jay Briscoe the only diamonds in the ROH rough? How would their skills translate in the major leagues? Was WWE justified in getting rid of Chris Hero? Does Dusty believe that having good talent on your roster is a good thing?

Then they turn their attention to the big “real sports” story of the day: Dan Lebatard giving his Baseball Hall of Fame to Deadspin.com. Kevin stays out of the way as Dusty rails against the holier than thou baseball writers that have been torching his hero the last couple days. Is the voting process flawed? How can real change be effected? How do we know who did and didn’t use steroids when Alex bleeping Sanchez tested positive for it? Dusty has a proposal for the Carolina Panthers to counter the 49ers’ use of Ric Flair before their victory over the Green Bay Packers last week. They also talk briefly about the NFL coaching carousel and it will only take about an hour of your life, so listen to it or else you might lose your vote!

#ROH Is The Worst – Part XVII

Zombie Princess

indulgy.com

The first match of the night was Davey Richards vs Roderick Strong. Here are some observations: Davey Richards added highlights to his hair. I sure hope he made that call like Eva Marie did on Total Divas because if the WWE did this on purpose, they have done a poor job of starting his repackaging.

– I am really enjoying Steve Corino as the color commentator. I think he’s fairly funny and brings personality since Kevin Kelly lacks any. “That is what it means to be a wrestler in Ring of Honor. You’re taking knees and punches and kicks and everything. You use every last ounce of energy to get that last move in…It’s never say die. That’s what makes Ring of Honor the best on the planet.” That statement is the best one I’ve heard to explain the ROH style. I’m not saying I like their style of wrestling any more now though.

Roderick Strong hasn’t been present for some of the recent tapings. I found him to be in the best shape that I have seen him since watching this program. Unlike when they over did is in one of my earlier columns, they undersold his work out regiment.

– Easily the best match I have seen from both of these performers over nearly the past two years. I kept hearing they were the greatest in the world but I didn’t see the proof in the pudding. They delivered in this match. If you’re going to hammer them, you’ve got to call them the other way too.

The middle match of Mark Briscoe vs Michael Elgin had a whole lot of nothing. The main event was Jimmy Jacobs, who just earned back his spot in ROH, against Adam Cole for the ROH Title.

Steve Cornio sold Adam Cole’s new personality switch. He explained that Cole had always been that way. I thought he did a good job of establishing it as much as anything I’ve heard from Cole. Unfortunately, during this match they had to show the announce table which was situated  on the corner of the ring with the hard camera looking straight at it. It was quite easy to see that Kevin Kelly was using a hand held microphone. Steve Corino and guest commentator were sharing a microphone. If you’re so bush league that you can’t afford three head sets, you shouldn’t be shown on TV. The ring bell people were on the other side of the corner from them. I would have rather seen them than this display of bush league.

Jimmy Jacobs speared Adam Cole from the ring apron to the guard rail. Every cool spot. I really enjoyed this match too. I’ve been high on Adam Cole for a while but Jacobs held up his end of the bargain. Adam Cole did have a strange couple of spots right together. He could have pulled a heel move and been counted out but came back into the ring. It almost cost him the belt which was a nice near fall and submission attempt. The attempt is the other strange part since he hulked out after the referee lifted his arm for the third time. He’s a heel, he doesn’t get to hulk out. Jacobs kicking out of the Florida Key was a surprise.

– I enjoy Nigel McGuinness as an announcer. He can be a little dry but he does a good job. He made a stupid statement though. After the Florida Key and a little back and forth, Cole gave Jacobs a flip pile driver with momentum from the second rope. Nigel said “We’ll have to see if he got all of that.” It’s a flip pile driver, you should be toast no matter how much you got unless it was nothing. – Kevin

Stunt Granny Audio #235

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Freed from the shackles of audio ban, Dusty is back once again to join Kevin for another rousing edition of Stunt Granny Audio. The fearless duo talk about whether TNA is really up for sale or not, and if so, who might be among the potential buyers. And does it even really matter since TNA doesn’t exactly have a sterling reputation for knowing what to do with their product anyway. And might this be just another business acquisition for Vince McMahon to add to his tape library?

They then switch gears to talk about the goings on in the last episode of Monday Night Raw. Dusty talks about how he thinks Jay Briscoe is the best thing about professional wrestling right now. Kevin expresses his sadness for the state of his beloved Pittsburgh Steelers right now. Dusty grills Kevin about the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin bullying scandal. And a whole lot more fun and nonsense, including Dusty challenging the listeners to come up with an example of a good song about dinosaurs, and it will only cost you an hour of your life and your cold black soul, so why not listen!

The Art of Wrestling – Adam Cole

corona_labelIt’s really easy to make fun of ROH so I’m going to do that while also highlighting one of their successes, Adam Cole and his t shirt. The part that I’ll make fun of is their website. We’re still a layout or two old in as far as a blog goes but then again we’re not owned by a broadcasting company. The page I came on to look at shirts is laid out like this which looks well enough because there’s only so many ways to list a bevy of items. The problem I have with it though is that the product that you are selling is the smallest item on the page. It should fill from break line to break line. If the wrestler is there to endorse their product, they should be wearing it. Why does ROH make the easiest jobs hard?

I like Adam Cole. He’s one of few people that would get me to come to an ROH event. It’s no surprise to me then that he has the best shirt in the company. He also follows a pattern that I’ve liked before, ripping off an iconic label and re-purposing it for his own means. In Cole’s case, he co-opted the Corona label and turned it into his shirt. To start at the basics, they use the same colors. Any good rip off has to at least follow the light and dark pattern that they evoke. The next part of the brand re-purposing is using the same text style as the original. In this case, Gothic lettering is used to say “Adam Cole”. To fill in the space below that, ROH put “Est. 2008”.

The crown is still used above the circle that bleeds into the yellow top of the image. The words “La Cerveza Mas Fina” means the “Finest Beer” at least according to Yahoo! Answers. Which is why I have a minor problem with this shirt. Instead of saying “The Finest Wrestler”, they put in “Key De Florida ROH” You have to brand your shirt but that’s a terrible place to put it. As far as I can tell, the back of the shirt doesn’t have anything on it so the ROH label should be there. Considering that Panama City isn’t in the Florida Keys, in fact is on the panhandle, they shouldn’t be using the word Key at all. This problem doesn’t wreck the shirt though. I just think it’s a missed opportunity.

The bottom portion of the shirt changes things up in a good way. Instead of the griffins flanking the button, they are using Palm Trees. It makes sense although one would think to stay in the creature motif and one that would invoke a tougher image that they could use alligator heads. Below that is more text “Imported From Panama City”. Considering that from time to time, ROH makes it still sound like it’s the territory days he could be “imported” from the same country. They have already used “established” though so you can’t reuse it. I don’t have a good solution except to eliminate it above, go with just the year and then use it below to make more sense.

Both of the problems with this shirt are minor. It should be mentioned again that there is nothing on the back of the shirt which makes this a wearable in public t shirt. Find a Sippy Time Beer, find a beach and export the money from your wallet for this shirt because ROH did something right. – Kevin

#ROH Is The Worst – Part XV

silenceI haven’t been off the ROH beat. I’ve been watching for the past month and a half as the tournament for the ROH World Title has unfolded. I did sneak a peak at the results of the iPPV, which was given out for free because of yet another malfunction, to see who the new ROH World Champ was because I didn’t think it’d be on TV. It was on TV though which gave me the additional two weeks of viewing, um how do I say this, pleasure. Sure, I’ll touch on the negativity in this article but for the majority of this time period, I have liked what I’ve seen.

In the last six weeks, Kevin Kelly has not completely sucked. For whatever reason, he seems more comfortable when Nigel McGuinness is his co-pilot. Wikipedia tells me that he got canned for budget reasons. I’d have to say he doesn’t do well arguing because he was tongue tied when Steve Corino or any heel is around. Of course, I spend most weeks bemoaning Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler not arguing with JBL well enough so maybe it was budget cuts. Kelly has made his fair share of dumb comments, but as an overall whole he has been good in selling the matches and describing the title tournament picture well.

I do like ROH’s style of wrestling since it is an alternative to the WWE and WWE Lite AKA TNA. I have noted my reservations about their multi-finisher set of moves numerous times. That problem hasn’t changed. I wish they’d throw in more basic offense instead of a second finisher. But the thing about all of those finishers is that they do look cool and require quite a bit of athleticism. Some people go over board with trying to make it look complicated but most if not all of the men in this tournament don’t do that.

Speaking of the wrestlers in the tournament, ROH made some smart decisions and whittled it down to the four guys at the top of their roster. Adam Cole against Tommaso Ciampa was one semi-final bout while Michael Elgin against Kevin Steen was the other one. The only people on their roster you could make a case for other than these four are Jay Lethal, who isn’t doing better since dropping the Macho Man gimmick but is still an excellent wrestler, Davey Richards, who stinks and is also in an ongoing feuds with Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish and Rocky Romero & Alex Koslov, and Michael Bennett, who needs to be built up but has the potential.

ROH dedicated the last show, this past week’s, to the conclusion of the tournament which is a great idea. They showed build up for Adam Cole and Michael Elgin. ROH also gave them promo time along with soon to be dethroned champion Jay Briscoe. I’m sure they didn’t show the entire match but they showed a lot of it. The match was the bulk of the show though, another positive. The last of three positives was the fact that they decided to throw the strap on the newly heel Adam Cole. He had been trending in that direction but Cole super kicking Briscoe in the back of the head after Jay had handed over the ROH Title to Cole cemented the turn. Too bad the “smart” ROH crowd ruined the moment by starting to cheer for Cole. Maybe ROH isn’t the problem. ROH’s fans are the worst. – Kevin

The Art of Wrestling: ROH Newswire

Eric sent me the ROH Newswire email that he gets and asked whether I’d review these shirts. That’s like the wife asking Eric to stay off Stunt Granny. Or Jeremy being told to watch the latest freak show on TLC. Or Dusty being told Jim Cornette was signing autographs in Fond-du-Lac for free. Of course I’ll do it.

I love the advertisement in the middle of this add which screams “We’re high quality” by announcing that their shirts are only $10 this weekend. In comparison, you need to look at the prices at TNA (A majority of shirts are $19,99 with a high of $24.99) and the WWE (A majority of shirts are $24.99 with a high of $30.99). I’m not going to buy t-shirts from all three companies to compare their quality. I do feel like TNA & the WWE could bring their price down but I’m sure their shirts are of better quality than those from ROH. They could have put a nice spin on it by saying it’s a special for their ten year anniversary all year long.

The next part of this advertisement that bellows “We’re high quality” is by advertising their biggest stars which naturally means they’ve got two ROH shirts that are more generic than anything TNA or the WWE produces. The least they could do is add a hand shake silhouette in the background or even use a modified medal of honor. I don’t quite understand the logo either. The lengthened O underlines the other letters but it doesn’t really do much for the design. It adds flags to the top of R and H but not to the bottom so they didn’t keep the theme going. The O is also another spot that they could use the medal of honor.

The US Medal of Honor

To move on with the star content, they decided that Roderick Strong, The World’s Greatest Tag Team, Jay Lethal and Eddie Edwards should represent them. The only shirt with anyone’s name is Camp Strong which is just a tad ironic. One of my favorite moments on #WatchROH recently is when Nigel McGuinness explained that Strong concentrates on cardio conditioning. Why does the guy have a gut then at 180? Camp Strong needs a new head trainer. The barbell has beers on the end of it to make it a hilarious shirt. Oh, that isn’t funny?  Austin pulled off the beer drinking gimmick. James Storm pulls off the beer drinking gimmick. A little imp can’t pull it off.

Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas have the most boring shirt of them all. Black shirt with grey print and a script below it explaining the acronym. They should have used white to help make the contrast more bold but even that wouldn’t have saved this boring shirt. Jay Lethal and Eddie Edwards shirts are better with the contrasts but the designs are left lacking too. One could argue that the Lethal Injection looks like a syringe but I think they could go more in that direction to make it look more realistic. Instead, it’s a lazy lined fade pattern. WGTT & Lethal’s shirts have something in common that Edwards’s shirt doesn’t, the first two are centered and symmetrical, while Edwards has a lop sided design. As I’ve noted previous Art of Wrestling columns, lop sided is not necessarily bad. In this case though, there’s nothing to offset the design in the lower right hand side of the shirt so it’s bad.

The one last thing I will note about all of these shirts is that none of them are Ring of Honor’s champions. Not the ROH World Champion Kevin Steen. Not the TV Champion Adam Cole. Not their Tag Team Champions in Steve Corino & Jimmy Jacobs. The later two don’t even have a shirt so no link. The first two aren’t any better in quality but they should be pushed more because they’re the top names in the company. ROH is a third rate company. Their t shirts only help to prove it even more than their TV product. -Kevin

#WatchROH – Aired 28 April 2012

It’s more highlights from Showdown In The Sun. They showed off the Briscoes beating the World’s Greatest Tag Team, Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin. Benajmin & Haas attacked the Briscoes after the match so they had to be carried to the back. I’ve bitched about other companies giving away their pay per views. It’s even worse when you only show the pin fall.

Cedric Alexander & Caprice Coleman are in a Proving Ground match against the Briscoes. ROH has too many types of matches. Alexander get the upper hand on Mark early.  Coleman started to get worked over by both Briscoes. Alexander gets a luke warm tag. Alexander gets a two count from a face buster. Coleman got wheel barrowed into the barracade. Alexander kicked out after a combo ending with a Razor’s Edge. Haas & Benajmin low blowed Jay with no one seeing it. Mark takes the pin after a huracanrana & frog splash combo.

Veda Scott interviewed Prince Nana & Barrister Evans along with Truth Martini. Rhino had his contract purchased by Martini. Rhino is going to rip Eddie Edwards in half. Vinny Marseglia was the sacrificial lamb for a debuting Rhino. The best thing I can say about this match is that Rhino is in much better shape than just about any other ECW alumni. Everyone was cheering Rhino. Um, he’s never been a particularly good wrestler. Rhino wins with a Gore.

I think John Cena gets less mic time than Kevin Steen. I’d take his dick jokes over Steen droning on about a horrendous angle any day. Jimmy Jacobs is with him. Kevin Kelly & Jim Cornette were already in the ring. Steen makes a fat joke about Cornette. People in glass houses Mr. Steen, should not throw rocks. He did have a good crack about the flags and theme of Border Wars being so 1987. Davey Richards comes out drag down the quality of this segment even more. Steen claimed that Richards promised to help him but he didn’t. Steen steals the show every time. Richards says he’s holding himself down.  Steen says that Richards threatened to leave ROH multiple times. They were ready to fight but security separates them. Cornette wants them to sign a waiver since the pile driver will be legal for the match. Cornette slipped in a provision that this is Steen’s only shot at the title. The segment was OK when they were yelling at each other. Richards would only threaten to go to Japan because his mic skills aren’t even good enough for TNA.

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#WatchROH – Aired 31 March & 7 April

I’m not going to bother with doing a full review for the show three weeks ago, but I am going to mention the results and little comments.

Tomasso Ciampa is one of the few guys that can cut a promo but they bring out a clown car with him. Jim Cornette is brilliant, right? Kyle O’Reilly took him on in the $25,000 pyramid tournament. Ciampa is no selling way too much in this match. Ciampa won with a knockout via a knee strike to the stomach. Ciampa no sold a dragon sleeper & knee strikes to the head too. Woof. The work isn’t bad but who thought it was smart to book a match this way?

Davey Richards is letting Kyle O’Reilly be himself. Richards isn’t happy without him not observing the code of honor. He says something about his opponent Brian McBride in a Proving Ground match. Dear lord, how many type of matches do you have? Richards picture for his tale of the tape is awful. How does anyone let that slide? Richards squashes McBride. (Edit: Wait, was his name really Brian? Like the soccer player? I don’t care enough to rewind.)

Kevin Steen needs more mic time. He doesn’t really. But we’re getting it. Steen wants more matches. He calls himself out for not wrestling. He doesn’t even come out obnoxious. It comes out stupid. Davey Richards wants to fight him. Steen calls out Cornette for being a bad figure head. Amen.

The Briscoes and World Greatest Tag Team replay. Jay Lethal is mad at Tomasso Ciampa. Jay, why not talk ROH out of dumb stipulations like time limit draws? Do it a couple of times a year at most, not every other month.

Mike Bennett comes down with his clown car. Granted, Maria Kanellis is a nice shiny item from this clown car. Eddie Edwards comes down. Nigel McGuinness mentioned Edwards winning money in a tag team tournament. Jimminy Christmas. Stop with the tournies for money. Please come back on Pro Wrestling Ohio. ROH is going to be the death of me. The ref bites on the worst acting ever from Maria so that Mike Bennett can win. That’s why I don’t miss her, she has no acting ability.

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