#RingOfHonor Is Second Best

dry-tortugas-florida-keys

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

#ImpactLive – Total Nonsense Analysis

Day One– I think of this column as starting fresh each week. TNA has decided, against all logic, to make MVP heel already. So it makes sense that the top baby face in the company, Bully Ray, would come out and cut a promo against him. Ray also expressed his rage at the Dixie Carter clan along with MVP’s crew. After MVP’s crew came out and beat him down, Austin Aries and the Wolves came out for the save. I understand that things may move more quickly in the booking department today than it did yesteryear but it makes no sense for MVP to accept the match of himself, Bobby Lashley and Kenny King. I’m glad that MVP got the pin on Davey Richards because the heel faction needed a win. The only problem I had is that the announcers decided not to talk up Richards’ injuries from the previous week.

Bram debuted against Tigre Uno. A squash match is nice and good but Bram has given Magnus tough opponents. Beating up someone half his size doesn’t exactly prove his point. Thankfully, Magnus points out these exact points and suggests a match against Willow.

Madison Rayne not helping Brittany is mind boggling. You’re the baby face. Brittany isn’t quite Mickie James with Trish Stratus psycho so there’s no reason Rayne shouldn’t help her especially against her hated rivals! They just kicked your ass too. You’re just going to sit back and watch someone else get to fed to them? You’re a selfish bitch who should be the heel.

The Menagerie taking on the Bromans is perfect curtain jerker fodder. It’s just too bad that they forced the Gunner and Ken Anderson story line because it was irrelevant to the match and broader segment. At least it also makes sense that Anderson would have a problem with Gunner. Why not help earlier?

Brittany got help from Gail Kim but she was also cold to her. Why are you doing this to your baby face women? Or maybe I should phrase the question, why isn’t Brittany acting like more of a psycho? Both could solve the problem.

– I’m not quite sure what the conflict is between Dixie Carter and MVP. They didn’t resolve it this week either. Bully Ray & Eric Young broke up the party before it could go anywhere. Carter could at least offer ECIII’s services as a good faith gesture. I’d be fine with the heels teaming up. Again, I’m thinking wipe the slate on the stupidity of the turn. It ends with a match between EY & Bully Ray with ECIII as the guest referee. Bully Ray overshadowed the champ, which isn’t a good thing.

– Here’s the other weird thing about Brittany, if she respected the other Knockouts as much as she claims, she’d tag them. Her character has a real disconnect. She’s also taken a bad tag into her matches and taken the loss. It means there’s a story but why would she do that, again? Brittany respects these women. She would realize they dislike the Beautiful People as much as she does. Holy crap, this segment is still going on. Madison Rayne gets called out. They make Brittany look crazy for a minute but then they have the Beautiful People point out how bitchy Madison is being. It makes them look good and the crowd even cheered them. What are you people doing? You’re making every Knockout look terrible.

– I would say that TNA is copying the WWE with MVP, Bobby Lashley & Kenny King filling various ring side functions but it is  common occurrence in the “evil regime” era. The match between Bully Ray and Eric Young was pretty nondescript because of interference from the MVP side of the world. After things break down, Samoa Joe makes the save. Wasn’t Austin Aries the one with the problem? Better yet, why was Bully Ray in this match? Let him finish his feud with Dixie Carter. Put Aries in this match instead of Ray then we have three men (EY, Aries & Joe) against MVP’s crew. Bad ending to what was mostly a decent show. – Kevin

#ImpactWrestling – Total Nonsense Analysis

Self Loathing by Evelyn Astegno from fineartamerica.com

Self Loathing by Evelyn Astegno from fineartamerica.com

– I can’t believe how mind numbingly bad the opening two segments are for Impact Wrestling. MVP was walking backstage with Bobby Lashley and Kenny King. They ran into Kazarian, who was talking to Chris. It is Wrestling 101 to take out a leaving wrestler. Normally it helps to get someone over. The problem in this instance is that Kazarian was last a heel so another heel beating him up doesn’t get them over. To make matters worse, they barely beat him up. If you’re going to send someone on their way, make it count. Kick his ass from pillar to post.

MVP when finally in the ring tried to explain away plot holes that are large enough for rabbits are living in some of them. It was made quite obvious that they were back tracking to make this angle sound. Nothing made that statement more than Kenny King grabbing the mic and saying that his problems with MVP & Lashley were all faked. Going back to the Wrestling 101 handbook, I see that you need to have a reason to believe that the opposite may be true to say you hood winked someone. MVP, King & Lashley never afforded us that opportunity. I may not like Stephanie McMahon’s execution sometimes, but at least she’s saying one thing “Kane! No! Stop!” and clearly unleashing him at the same time. If you’re going to take your champion queue’s from the WWE, please pay attention to this detail in story telling.

– At least the Wolves, Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards, showed up. They were pissed about not being in on the plan. That makes complete sense. The problem though is that it also points out an obvious flaw in the plan. If MVP wanted to reign over TNA with Kenny King & Bobby Lashley, why didn’t he just hire them instead of the Wolves? Lashley came back as a baby face so he’d be great to fight against the “evil” Dixie Carter. Kenny King got reset with vignettes of him spending money all over Las Vegas acting like a baller that was supposed to get under people’s skin. Easy solution, right? Make the vignette’s portray King as a baby face, which I believe he was before whatever caused his absence and recasting. Then you have three baby faces booting the “evil” Dixie only to they themselves turn out to be corrupt. Instead the Wolves have to come out to back track to try and make this angle appear to work.

– I was thinking it during the beat down of Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards that either Eric Young or Austin Aries should have come out to save them. We would have a team of three baby faces against three heels. Instead, Eric Young is shown steaming mad coming to the ring after the damage is done. He comes out to grouse the very next segment. Why did your top baby face just leave two guys hanging who have a beef with the very same person he does? Austin Aries has also made clear since returning that he called out MVP early on and using this turn as proof that he was correct. Aries comes out to save EY which was nice but also late. His buddies from ROH were left hanging in the earlier segment too. Were you late to work? You’re a both bums Young & Aries.

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WWE To Sign Two Fresh Faces To Developmental Deals?

From Logopond.com by cspainey

From Logopond.com by cspainey

On Monday according to Prowrestling.net, the WWE was expected to sign Kevin Steen and Willie Mack to developmental contracts. It’s Thursday and nothing has been made official yet. So that gives me the time to remind everyone that the last time two ROH stars were jumping to the WWE because of a nondescript video from England, they went to TNA so that Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards could wear bad cow skin & wolf hair coats. That leaves TNA time to swoop in and sign Steen & Mack.

If that does happen, the story line will be Dixie Carter signed Steen under MVP’s nose so that she can rid herself of her Bully Ray problem. Steen will then get to fight Abyss for the TV Title completely ignoring Dixie Carter’s plan to become a baby face by supporting Eric Young for a reason that will never be mentioned on TV. Since TNA or the talents they hire can’t come up with new gimmicks Fight Steen Fight will be shortened to Fight Steen.

MVP will then hire Willie Mack because we all know that “those people” stick together. Along with Bobby Lashley and Kenny King, they’ll become the Republic of Reign. Or the Country of Supremacy. Or the Dominion of Domination. Or Association of Power. They will reign supreme over TNA until Rockstar Spud turns on Dixie Carter and becomes part of the group. He will break Jesse Sorensen’s neck again (who was re-hired by Dixie Carter too) and eventually leave the group. Willie Mack will end up turning on MVP after the crowd starts to support his new catch phrase “If Inhale The Odors from Mack’s Kitchen!” – Kevin

#ImpactWrestling – Total Nonsense Analysis

From widowsvoice.blogspot.com

From widowsvoice.blogspot.com

Things are back to normal in the DiFrango household after I got stranded in Chicago because of a smoking restroom fan in the control tower and weather related problems. My welcome back is getting to take Impact Wrestling off my DVR after I finally watch Raw. I’m glad I watched an hour this morning so it’s only a PPVs worth of wrestling for me tonight. Time to have fun at TNA’s expense.

MVP turning already is tragic. You can really tell TNA had no idea why they installed Eric Young as champion. I have no idea how this was part of MVP’s “plan.” He admitted he didn’t think EY would win the title but it sped up his plan. So the only conclusion I can make is that MVP planned on a weak champion at some point during his reign so that he could win the title. How is that a good plan? It’s the world championship. That doesn’t happen much. I know it’s TNA and all of the possible champions could be called weak but TNA can’t address it that way on TV.

– I hope this Bram character can make Magnus a more aggressive attitude. His weakness was as champ was being too much of a waffle. I hope the idea is to make Magnus consistently wanted to hurt people is installed. It sure seems that’s where it’s headed. Willow/Jeff Hardy is a good target especially if TNA plans on keeping Magnus in the main event scene. A win over him in a singles match at even a TV PPV would serve a good purpose. A distraction win for Hardy on this night is in fitting with the angle too. The only problem was it was in no way should Magnus have been pinned with a small package, barely damaged.

Eric Young trashing MVP’s office isn’t cool like TNA intended. It’s EY acting like a child. You didn’t get a beat down like HHH gave to Daniel Bryan. It was a cheap attack but he didn’t handcuff you and beat the snot out of you. EY has no reason to be this pissed off. MVP is no different than any other opponent he could have named for you. Did EY think he’d fight some cream puff?

– Do I really need to go into why the Bully Ray vs Dixie Carter stuff is terrible? Same thing, week after week. Just because you “shoot on location” doesn’t mean it’s different.

Gail Kim and The Beautiful People is bombing because Kim isn’t over as a heel and the Beautiful People aren’t hated as heels. Taz & Mike Tenay pointing out how over Kim was only made it more obvious amongst the tepid response. Just like other acts in TNA, the Beautiful People are only together again because they were once great but now are stale. They haven’t freshened up the act at all. It doesn’t really matter that Kim beat Velvet Sky. Everyone knows Velvet is the “road block” to the champ Angelina Love. Perfect example of not freshening up the act. Sky stuck around, shouldn’t she be the champ supported by Angelina.

Rebel has a fantastic heiney. Other than that, I wasn’t impressed last week by The Menagerie. TNA in no way let on that Knux was part of a carnival family. How did a flood kill the business then? You’re mobile! Get the fuck away from where ever it was going to flood. Fuck you if you decided to still it out. Crazy Steve is taking on the nearly departed Kazarian. It ended up in a DQ win for Kazarian. It made no sense. Knux looks like he decided to pack on some weight too.

– Immediately after this lengthy waste of time, Austin Aries confronts MVP about not being honest. Hey, a positive! TNA remembers that Aries called MVP a phony not that long ago when he joined Bobby Roode. Aries clocks one of the body guards which gets him booted by the others. Eric Young then attacks MVP and they cut to commercial. They follow up their lone positive with a terrible mistake. They are still fighting after the break. MVP and Young even fight into the ring. Thanks for giving away your match. Young also made his comeback after MVP stomped his arm in a chair. Taz had the misfortune of trying to still sell the arm injury. MVP then declares their match tonight. Nothing like solving a problem (MVP turning already) by creating a larger one, burning through Young’s few options as credible opponents as quickly as possible. First Abyss, then Bobby Roode and now MVP. Congrats on lording the title of worst organization over ROH.

– Do you remember a time when James Storm against Ken Anderson would have been anticipated? I don’t either. I wasn’t planning on typing anything other than the winner of the match but Storm did something so dumb, it had to be noted. After distracting the ref and giving Anderson the old trick knee, he puts his feet on the ropes for the pin with the referee having a clear view. Having Storm win with beer to the eyes is a way to extend a meaningless feud.

– I like that TNA is using video packages for Sanada‘s promo time. WWE could learn something about wrestlers who don’t speak English. Unfortunately, they are using his approval from the Great Muta entirely too much. Let him focus on being great now that you’ve developed his ties to Muta over his first several months in TNA. Tigre Uno being in the match makes no sense since he already lost in a best of three series with Sanada. I love DJ Z in this spot because he’s a good wrestler but it’s odd for the lackey of a group to be going after the singles title. Sanada pins DJ Z with a double underhook bridging suplex. Have DJ Z pin Sanada in a non-title match so that they can have another title fight.

EC3 moving on to Bully Ray after finishing off Kurt Angle makes sense. It’s the only part of the segments that made any sense. Even if EC3 doesn’t deserve it.

– I have no idea why Kenny King is joining forces with MVP. They just hated each other! Even the announcers were forced to mention the recent feud. Then Bobby Lashley joined the crew. It’s not just the WWE that teams together all of the black gentlemen. What a horrific group with no commonalities. They didn’t even foreshadow this group coming together. How do you book something this poorly? So it’s EY & Austin Aries vs MVP, Kenny King & Bobby Lashley? My head hurts. Impact Wrestling is the worst. – Kevin

#ImpactWrestling – Total Nonsense Analysis

From Deviantart.com done by Supersaz.

From Deviantart.com done by Supersaz.

MVP having the three contenders (Bobby Roode, Gunner & Mr. Anderson) is good and bad. I’m glad someone like Magnus, who later complained about it, wasn’t put in just as a mandatory fourth person. Challengers shouldn’t need to be in even numbers. If they had included someone else though, they could have held this match off until next week to put some hype into it. A champion, even Eric Young, shouldn’t be defending the title as often as the old TV Title used to be defended.

Mr. Anderson pretending like he had the crowd in the palm of his hand was sad. He thinks he can still do the Rock routine but he can’t. They haven’t been behind him much in the recent past so I don’t know why he thinks it’s working. You’ve had the exact same gimmick for nine years, if you start the clock at his Smackdown debut. Please, change it up some.

– I have no idea what they are trying to do with Knux and Rebel. They have made Rebel a complete dip shit including her continued “concern” over “Crazy” Steve. She’s also an idiot for pretending like TNA is at minimum the WWE, if not more like being on a movie set kind of awe about her. They are going to be called The Menagerie.

– Thank goodness Bobby Roode won over Gunner. Roode is much better and one of the few worth while talents in this company. Pretty sure he was dumb enough to sign an extension, so good luck being stuck in a terrible situation.

– It just dawned on me that Dixie Carter is now ripping off, of all people, Paul Heyman. He beat CM Punk and got to brag about beating the “Best In The World.” Dixie, you putting Bully Ray through a table isn’t on the same level. If Dixie really wants to copy the WWE correctly, she needs to have a hired gun like Brock Lesnar. If she brings back Rampage Jackson or King Mo, I’ll cry during my laughter.

– Taz & Mike Tenay are trying to make Willow “more sadistic” and “different offense than from Jeff Hardy” but just as they are saying that, he does his hip bump but on the outside so they had to sell it so much more lethal. It was comical. I’ve been meaning to mention that it has driven me batty that he hasn’t changed up his offense at all. Hardy also only came up with a coat and mask but not new sleeves, pants or shirts. He has the creativity but I think it’s lazy not addressing those areas.

Sanada and The Wolves destroyed The BroMans as they should have but the problem with that is the tag team division is non-existant of these two teams.

Just for Dusty. From some wrestling forum who probably saved it from Impactwrestling.com

Just for Dusty. From some wrestling forum who probably saved it from Impactwrestling.com

– Somehow, the Knockouts are in a worse state than the WWE Divas. Except in looks as Dusty & I discussed last week.

– I asked while talking to Jeremy about Eric Young having longer matches. The main event bell struck at the 1:45 mark of Impact Wrestling. Fifteen minutes isn’t enough time especially if you’re putting him in there with one of your best hands in Bobby Roode. At least Taz pointed out the bad decision to defend the title this often. Eric Young getting the win over Roode burns through an opponent that should have been on a PPV. I know they’re trying to play catch up with EY’s legitimacy but I’m still not buying. I smell desperation. After the big win, why are you putting someone else on the TV? Why? – Kevin

 

@ImpactWrestling – Total Nonsense Analysis

Retro Never Dies by Jazzgin from Hongkiat.com

Retro Never Dies by Jazzgin from Hongkiat.com

I checked Prowrestling.net after coming back from a trip to Altoona for my nephews’ and sister’s birthday which got joined in by Easter. I noticed that the biggest news of the weekend may have been Jim Ross commenting on the possibility of Renee Young going to ESPN. I too like Ross believe that the rumor seems to be coming awful fast. She has enjoyed a quick rise in the WWE, but she still seems a bit fresh to be on ESPN’s radar. I won’t watch ESPN any more if she’s on there so she’ll be missed but I’m sure the WWE can pull someone in just as hot. Too bad they won’t be as competent.

Since that news wasn’t that big. I decided to keep going with the amusement that I found in Impact Wrestling this week. The Eric Young is Daniel Bryan recreation hit another level when Dixie Carter tried to rain on his parade (Cough, Authority, cough) but she is interrupted by Bully Ray who came out to endorse EY. Impact Wrestling evidently considers it to use Bully Ray, who is off to a poor start as a baby face, to mimic John Cena endorsing Bryan. The only problem other than Bully Ray’s overness problem, is that John Cena endorsed Daniel Bryan after he beat him on PPV. EY has not beaten Bully Ray in even on of those TV “PPVs” that Impact Wrestling hosts. Even if you consider Bully Ray’s heel turn a roaring success (I do), he’s not exactly on the level of John Cena. If Bully Ray starts saying he’s the measuring stick of Impact Wrestling, I’ll scream. They continue to miss the finer points of simple logic.

They weren’t done yet. Any of us with half of a brain said, EY just lost to Abyss about two weeks ago. So how else can Impact Wrestling prove that EY is credible? Let’s have him beat Abyss in a Monster’s Ball match. Yuck, stop trying to retroactively prove how good Eric Young is. We know you’re trying to make up for a terrible decision. The other thing that doesn’t help is that it was a gimmick match. The majority of EY’s matches over his entire career have been comedy or gimmick matches. If you want to convince me that EY is a true champion, show me that he can hold a good match. Daniel Bryan wrestled two non-gimmicked matches at Wrestlemania. Another point of logic that Impact Wrestling is missing. – Kevin

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