#RingOfHonor Is The Second Worst

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Since TNA/Impact Wrestling has wrestled the crown of worst promotion from the very incapable hands of Ring of Honor, I wasn’t sure if I could continue doing this column. I will try to talk about the positives  but I already know it’s not going to last long. Simple solution. When they do more than 50% positive in a show, I’ll call it “ROH is Second Worst”, if not it will resume it’s former name of “ROH is the Worst.”

Tomasso Ciampa had a quality match with Roderick Strong, who continues to look better than he had for the last year and a half. 2014 has been sharp for him from what I’ve seen aside from not knowing how to take the Styles Clash. ROH has highlighted the ongoing feud between Cedric Alexander and The Decade, which consists of Strong, Jimmy Jacobs, BJ Whitmer and lackey Adam Page. Alexander interfered in Strong’s match and cost him the victory. They ended up fighting after the match which I’m not a big fan of since they are fighting at the next pay per view. On a positive note, they have fought recently (last week if memory serves) so they weren’t giving away anything we haven’t seen before. Having people cost their adversary a victory is in the Booking 101 hand book. Good on ROH.

Silas Young versus The Romantic Touch was good for what it is. The Romantic Touch is mildly amusing character so he lost to the more serious Young. Silas isn’t going to be moving up the ladder any time soon but he had a quality feud with Mark Briscoe early this year. He should and did get the win over the comedy act. ROH is 2 for 2.

Kevin Steen‘s claim for the World Title is a very valid one since he never got a rematch for his title. Playing a video package to recap this feud is what you should be doing. I never said wrestling was rocket science.

Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly cut a quality promo against the Young Bucks. I could have used without Kyle O’Reilly drinking casually out of a coffee mug but he was fine when he spoke. Bobby Fish really delivered and made me like this short promo.

Jimmy Jacobs taking on Corey Hollis was another example of The Decade going after younger wrestlers and disrespecting them. Jacobs did his part by not shaking hands with Hollis. The Decade also debuted a new lackey, Tadarius Thomas. I’m not sure that ROH needed to add anyone else to the ranks of the Decade because four seems to be a good limit. I’m also not sure what they have in mind so I’ll give the angle some time. Jacobs ended up winning the match without interference, which is another good choice by ROH. If The Decade wants to maintain their disdain of younger wrestlers, they need to beat them first so that the crowd rallies behind Cedric Alexander and whoever else they have help to dismantle The Decade.

Michael Elgin versus Rocky Romero was a good quality main event. It wasn’t anything special but much like the Touch vs Young match, the correct person won in Michael Elgin, which isn’t a given in ROH. They gave Romero enough offense to not look bad but had Elgin win fairly handily. Quality show for ROH all around. Maybe I’ll start calling them Second Best if this keeps up. – Kevin

#ROH Is The Worst – Part XVII

Zombie Princess

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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

#PrimeWrestling – Season 6 – Episode 13

Jeremy Madrox is set to wrestle Johnny Gargano in the opening bout. The offense was split between the two early. The big news was Marion Fontaine taking off a few weeks. Gargano went for a dive outside but had to chase Madrox who had moved around the corner. Madrox caught Gargano with a knee to the head when he tried to sling shot back in. Madrox worked over Gargano’s back. Joe Dombrowski and Aaron Maguire talked more about the new referee than the WWE has talked about their referees all year. Gargano caught Madrox charging in with a boot. Gargano nailed the Elijah Express (Anybody remember that name?) Gargano caught a resting Madrox with a suicide dive. Gargano got the sling shot spear the second attempt. Madrox came back with a running elbow in the corner. Gargano reverses an Irish Whip and turns it into Uniquely You. Marti Belle distracts the ref. Matthew Justice distracts Gargano. Madrox rolls up Gargano with a handful of tights. Dombrowski questions where Gargano will go from here.

Analysis: The end of the match is really irritating me after a very well wrestled match. I haven’t seen much of Madrox in the ring but he held up his end of the bargain against Gargano. I understand the double distraction technique but it makes no sense seconds after taking a finisher. I get that he cheated to win, which heels should do, but his recovery was miraculous. Then Dombrowski questioning what Gargano does next? How did the baby face announcer not go the indignant route for how the bad guy had to cheat to win? Then you can say Gargano will get them another day. Score: +1.

Vic Travagliante was being interviewed by Michael Cash. (Welcome back? Nice guy when I met him after Wrestlelution 2.) Vic has plans for Gargano so that’s why he’s not firing him. Cash questioned Vic about his call with Rhino. Analysis: He made up with Gargano the last we saw. You can play the mercenary card but these are basically the same guys that burned him last year, if he sides with Megalomaniacs. Score: +1.

Bobby Beverly has never felt better in his career. He feels he’s close to getting back in the title picture but there are too many groups in Prime Wrestling. He helped Gargano so that he can serve notice to Prime about his goal. Analysis: I’m not sure how helping Gargano serves that notice but that’s the best he’s done on the mic since he tried the country boy gimmick at the end of last year. Score: +1.

Gory was set to take on Mr. RBI Isaiah Bonds. He brought Gory back into the ring with a sling shot. RBI was all over Gory early. Gory turned it around with a trick knee. Gory tried to wear down Bonds. RBI turned a cross body into a power slam. RBI elbowed Gory a la Dusty Rhodes. Gory knocked Gory off the top rope. Gory double stomps RBI for the win. Analysis: Solid stuff. The power slam was a little rough in the transition area but otherwise good. Score: +1.

Nicki Valentino needs a contract with the Megalomaniacs. Vic tells him what he has in his stable already. Valentino babbles and then tells Vic he will impress him. Analysis: Is there a clause in his current contract that says “No character development ever.”? He does goofy pet raccoon fine. Score: 0.

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#ROH Is The Worst Part VIII

Signs and symptoms

Jay Lethal vs Jimmy Jacobs was a fair enough match. So was Cedric Alexander & Caprice Coleman vs Cliff Compton & Rhett Titus. Both matches were ROH vs SCUM. Both had injured babyfaces (Lethal & Coleman) that made valiant efforts but were still defeated. The idea of a heel getting a victory because of an injury is classic. There comes a problem when ROH executes it though. To borrow an example from Raw and of all unlikely people, HHH, let me point out some differences. Curtis Axel makes his debut on the 20th of May. He ends up challenging HHH because of Paul Heyman’s association with Brock Lesnar. The announcers do a good job of selling HHH’s brutal cage match. This part, ROH got right. Kevin Kelly sells the injury while Steve Corino mocks them for being idiots for wrestling while injured. Curtis Axel ends up knocking HHH silly after he puts up a semblance of fight, but not much one. I was surprised that Bigfoot Levesque put someone over fairly easily. That’s where ROH comes in, they decided to borrow from Bigfoot or John Cena. Jay Lethal came back several times and dominated the match. He only failed to win when his knee buckled after he was going for his second finisher. Lethal was well enough to execute his first finisher! Jacobs should have beaten him much easier. He got made to look weak during the match instead of looking like a heel who took advantage of a baby face’s injury.

Coleman pulled the same routine. He left the match for a long stretch leaving Cedric Alexander to fend for himself. Alexander did a good job of selling after the normal flurry of offense. Coleman was being escorted to the back by referees and EMTs when he came back to ringside to tag the hot tag. Coleman got in entirely too much offense. He ended up losing the match but again, SCUM was made to look so weak by barely beating an injured opponent. ROH is the worst.

On a side note, I was so happy that Steve Corino called out Kevin Kelly for slobbing Kevin Steen’s nob. Corino told him that he didn’t like Steen a month ago. Kelly countered with “He was a great world champion.” Corino ripped that idea since many people were former world champions. Kelly had no logical reason to back Steen so he started to call the match. Corino didn’t hound him but that’s okay. The damage was done. After hearing that though, it make me wonder if our old WWE mole is now working for ROH since I called Kelly out on it a month ago. -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

@PrimeWrestling – Season 6 – Episode 3

Pedro De Lucca has to introduce Corey as the special guest referee. Jimmy Jacobs is introduced first. Bobby Beverly is his opponent. Beverly rushed the ring and they start brawling. Beverly clothes lined Jacobs to the outside. Beverly nailed a nice enziguri as Jacobs tried to get back in the ring. Beverly kicked him from the apron. Jacobs dodged a diving Beverly who hit the guard rail. Jacobs tossed Beverly into the guard rail. Beverly bicycle kicked Jacobs. Beverly chopped him. Jacobs DDTed Beverly coming back into the ring. Jacobs low drop kicked him. Jacobs got in a neck breaker. After taunting the crowd, he hit another. Jacobs yapped to Corey. Beverly hit a back breaker. Jacobs rushed into a corner and Beverly hip toss (I think I’m using the wrong move, but) Jacobs into the corner. Beverly caught him with a suplex to target the back again.Jacobs kicked Beverly in the crotch. Then did it to Corey. Jacobs grabbed a chair. Beverly blocked it. Nicki Valentino came out and got the chair. Corey pulled him down.  Corey grabbed the chair from Jacobs. Beverly rolled up Jacobs for the win.

Analysis: A really good match. The right person won too. Jacobs can recover, if he’s going to be around. I was ready to kill the DJ but he must have had some training. Corey looked more comfortable in the ring than I expected. Score: +1.

Gregory Iron admitted to defeat from N8 Mattson. Iron said that it was more important for him to have the respect of Zack Gowen. He said that they plan on taking out the Sons of Michigan. Iron said he hasn’t forgotten about Kirst. He is mad at him. Iron said him & Gowen will climb to the top of the tag team ranks and battle him and Krimson. Iron finished by saying he was “dealing with a loaded hand gun” then shot the camera. Analysis: Greg, you had me until the end. That was so cheesetastic I didn’t even like it.  I mean, I watch shows for their cheesiness. Not good. Score: 0.

Justin LaBar said that it has been quite a ride as commissioner. He said a chair shot and being low blowed by Marion Fontaine was to be expected. LaBar said that being thrown against the guard rail by Vic Travagliante was worse be cause he was a trusted friend. LaBar shows a picture of them at Vic’s wedding. He said he’s done being taken advantage. He said they would fight some time. LaBar said that he’s not going to travel alone and introduces Matt Cross. He’s mad at Vic & Aaron Maguire because they’re taking the spot light off of the wrestlers. Cross said he was happily standing by LaBar’s side. Analysis: LaBar was fine. Cross brought the fire. I like showing off the travel credentials. Score: +1.

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@PrimeWrestling – Season 6 – Episode 2

There was a theme to this show. Guess why the picture applies.

This review will be interesting. I’m watching on my lap top so it’ll be a chore to flip between the  action and typing up the report. “Amazing” N8 Mattson returns to the ring to take on Gregory Iron. Benjamin Boone is accompanying Mattson. I’d have to take a look at their website but Iron’s new shirt looks pretty nice. Mattson looks like he could have hit the gym a little bit more before making his comeback. Plenty of stalling to start the match. Joe Dombrowski counters my observation by saying that Mattson looks to have been hitting the gym during his time off. Mattson shoulder blocked Iron down. He charged at Iron again but got chopped. Mattson poked him in the eye. Iron came back with more chops. Mattson kneed him in the stomach in response. Boone strangles Iron while Mattson distracts the referee. Mattson taunts Iron while he kicks him while he’s down. Iron sneaks in a small package but got nailed with a high boot coming out of it. Mattson only gets a two count from a fisherman’s suplex. Mattson locked in a sleeper. Iron didn’t drop the arm the third time. Iron jaw jacks Mattson. Iron got caught in a small package by Mattson. Iron cross bodied him for a two count. Boone grabbed Mattson leg after an Irish Whip. Mattson kicked Iron who was down for a back body drop. Mattson nailed the M80 for the win.

Analysis: I wish Mattson hadn’t gotten help on his return to the ring. He’s been gone for a year. Establish that Iron is in trouble without Gowen by having him loss clean. Good match in the ring though. Score: 0.

Krimson was on old film that kept flipping like an old horror movie.He said that every absurdity has it’s champion. Krimson told Johnny Gargano it was his title for the taking. He then warned Rhino that he spent his whole career being the hunter. Krimson asks if he’d like to be hunted. Krimson doesn’t care who wins their match next week because he will take them out. Analysis: The production on his promos is so far above anything else. The horror story film is a nice touch and advances his theme that started black and white. I liked his message too. Krimson continues his roll. Score: +1.

Vic Travagliante said that his turn was the most unexpected turn of Wrestlelution 5. Vic said he was tired of being Justin LaBar’s errand boy. Vic said that he has done everything for this company but he hasn’t gotten the TV time or advancement that LaBar has. Vic warned that LaBar’s days were numbered in the company. Analysis: A well delivered simple message even if the turn was in no way unexpected. Score: +1.

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