#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

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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!

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!

#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

#ROH Is The Worst Part XIII

From Green Street Hooligans

From Green Street Hooligans

Nothing in this week’s episode made me irate. But they did have several examples of why they are an awful company.

The Error: The production for the World Championship was terrible.  My Take: So third rate. I continue to compare this league to Prime Wrestling for a reason. They now both have Fox behind them, since Fox Sports bought out Sportstime Ohio, but ROH has the bigger budget yet all of their work comes off as smaller budget compared to Prime. It’s incredible. I tried to find the video on Youtube but ROH is ashamed of it so it isn’t posted.

The Error: Matt Taven is yelling at Kevin Kelly when the match finish happens. My Take: The match was a four way match to determine who would take on Taven next for the ROH TV Title. I would assume that Kevin Kelly has an idea of when the match will conclude unless an injury occurs. That’s right, injuries don’t change things in ROH. My error. Point being, Kelly should know when to get Taven to flip out on him. It makes his opponent seem meaningless. Probably because he is but that’s another problem for another column.

The Error: Kevin Kelly makes fun of #PartyBoys then continues to use it through out the match. My Take: I think it’s perfectly fine for an announcer to mock a heel’s persona. When Mitchell Cool makes fun of Zeb Colter, he continues to mock him even if the zingers are terrible. Kevin Kelly made fun of the use of the hash tag during Mike Sydal and Zizou Middoux’s entrance. Fair enough, now rip on them for it. Kelly instead starts complimenting their in-ring work saying things like “#PartyBoys are looking strong in this match.” Christ on a pony Kevin, did you not take a single broadcasting class?

The Error: The tag team titles are playing hot potato. My Take: A couple of weeks ago, Forever Hooligans (Alex Koslov & Rocky Romero) beat reDRagon (Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish). During their Inside ROH segment, they said that Forever Hooligans lost to the American Wolves (Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards) at an un-televised event. Kevin Kelly then tells us that the American Wolves have since lost the titles but he doesn’t tell us to whom. How fucking dumb! What’s the point of the update then?

The Error: For bring out the guy who is helping to fund you. My Take: He must be ashamed to be on TV. I have no idea why he agreed to it. I don’t remember what his name is and I don’t care enough to rewind. All the TV executive needs to do is check out the competition, which he should do every now and again. None of them have champions leaving the company. Kenny King and Jay Briscoe to ring a bell, right? ROH invigorated their Championship by crowning Jay Briscoe as champ after they killed the Championship with the Kevin Steen vs Jim Cornette feud that morphed in SCUM vs. Jim Cornette feud which morphed into a Steve Corino led SCUM which waging war on ROH. Since SCUM’s defeat (only a three weeks ago in TV terms), it seems they’re writing a palate cleansing angle to “Restore honor” to ROH. The main part of this palate cleansing should be the champion that did it. Unfortunately, they’ve got to look like the third rate company they are, not re-sign Jay Briscoe and have a ROH World Championship Tournament.

The Error: Kevin Kelly tells us to go ROHWrestling.com and fill out brackets for the World Championship tournament and play along. My Take: You have got to be kidding me. I would download the WWE App, uninstall it and re-install it for a week straight before going to ROHWrestling.com and filling out a bracket. ROH is the worst. -Kevin

#ROH IS The Worst Part XI

manchester-arena-wrestlingOkay, Ring of Honor would never play an arena this size but it’s what I got when I typed in “arena floor plan wrestling” into Google. I had to go that route after “DuBurns Arena Floor plan” didn’t come up with anything useful. DuBurns Arena has no page on Wikipedia. The best I can do is the Coppermine Restaurant at Du Burns Arena on Facebook. They record at a fancy spot. Woof. The floor plan above will work as a nice tool though to describe what Ring of Honor did wrong now. They did do something right though. But let’s save the good news for after the bad news. I’m that kind of guy.

ROH was back in Du Burns Arena to tape some episodes. Normally, their floor plan would have their walk way through areas H and J then the entrance ramp would be at the large aisle between sections 116 & 117. The set up made it looks pretty full for an arena of well, probably no more than 3,000 since that was the size of the place they played here in Columbus. ROH decided to switch it up for the big match up between Matt Hardy and Jay Briscoe. They placed the entrance ramp in section 114 with a very short aisle to the ring. I have a problem with my example now because it doesn’t convey the tightness of the length of the aisle. Just pretend that the second deck isn’t there and section 114 is about half the size. The WWE has a similar set up when they go to Madison Square Garden. I don’t like that set up but it doesn’t bother me for one reason that became glaringly obvious when ROH used camera angles that weren’t the hard camera. The WWE packs MSG full so no matter what angle they film from, it’s a packed house. For whatever reason, ROH used more non-hard camera angle shots than I can remember in any other broadcast. The main problem as you can guess by now was that the crowd in sections 109-119 was sparse at best. So ROH did it’s best to point out that an arena that is likely in the 3,000 seat area was not full. Even TNA isn’t this stupid. To compound the problems, it seemed that they acknowledged this problem by filming really close up to the wrestlers to minimize the amount of crowd seen. I have close up filming in movies and wrestling because you lose context. ROH is the worst.

The good news? Even though ROH was dumb enough to leave their title belt on Jay Briscoe who was leaving the company (dumb) but they did two smart things. They didn’t put the strap around Fat Hardy’s waist. The other upside was that SCUM beat down Mark & Jay Briscoe before they were booted from the company. TNA wasn’t smart enough to with DOC recently so we need to give ROH an “Atta boy” pet every now and again. -Kevin

Briscoes spotted at WWE house show

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Let the rampant speculation begin!

Vince McMahon has always been a fan of backwoods hillbillies, so this signing makes perfect sense even though tag team wrestling in WWE is old and tag team wrestling in WWE is dead. – Dusty

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