@RingOfHonor Is The Worst

From funnyjunk.com

From funnyjunk.com

The Top Prospects Tournament got to the semifinals on TV on January 25. I didn’t watch it until it became abundantly clear that Peyton Manning had staked his claim on the “All Choke Team” during the Super Bowl. I’m in no hurry to watch ROH. They introduced Raymond Rowe as the first combatant. Corey Hollis was his opponent. ROH always does a tale of the tape before each match up which I like. The problem came along with the tale of the tape though. It noted that Rowe had debuted in 2003. Is he really a top prospect if his career has already spanned a decade? My vote is absolutely no. You’re a career minor leaguer. Kevin Kelly & Steve Corino should be using like “wily veteran move” to describe what Rowe is doing. Hollis was noted as debuting in 2009, which is the cut off for me to be a prospect. One needs some seasoning in a smaller league then you move on to bigger and better things. ROH is a good stepping stone after being seasoned in a local independent company.

Last column, I noted that I hated the size differential between Hanson and Cheeseburger. We had a similar problem this episode because Rowe is 6′-1″ and 247 pounds and Hollis is 5′-8″ and 192 pounds. That is a 55 pound swing. This discrepancy would not happen in the UFC or any other fighting league. This is professional wrestling though and you can do that. It sounds like I am countering my point I made previously but I am refining the thought. These participants, especially after the first round, should be somewhat evenly match in the skills department. They’re both desperate to get a contract with ROH and get a shot at the TV Title. They should be scrapping even if there is a size differential. Unfortunately, this match only went 5 minutes.

On the ROH management front, wouldn’t you be pissed if your talent evaluator Prince Nana has whiffed on Kongo, Cheeseburger, “The Benchmark” Bill Daly and Corey Hollis, who got into the second round? Nana may have also let in a current member of the ROH roster in the form of The Romantic Touch aka Rhett Titus even if he lost his match. A scout doesn’t get every pick right but Prince Nana has brought in a full half of bad tournament plus a fraud. That’s not just missing a prospect, that’s missing the iceberg you’re about to hit.

I have an ongoing problem with “ROH fans.” Considering that roughly 75% of their fans have TNA or WWE shirts on, they are just wrestling fans. But you consistently hear from people that they enjoy ROH because of the relative lack of story lines and concentration on wrestling. So it really got my goat that the crowd cheered quite loudly for “The Barrister” RD Evans, who is accompanied by the lovely Veda Scott. Evans is a fantastic character and quite entertaining. Scott plays her role well as taking over Evans law firm. I’ve got no problem with them at all. Evans & Scott are touting his imaginary thirteen match winning streak which grew to fourteen after the end of his match. If you enjoy wrestling and the story line “free” ROH, why do you enjoy a character that is complete story line? ROH fans are the worst. – Kevin

@RingOfHonor Is The Worst

Veda Scott ROH

Two of these four people are relevant to the topic. Screenshot courtesy of ROHWrestling.com

The Top Prospects is still going on so I’m going to try and write about a positive idea that ROH have. Unfortunately, they tested my patience with the opening match to this week’s show. Adam Everett, who Kevin Kelly, Steve Corino and Prince Nana talked about glowingly, got stuck in a match with an angle. His opponent was “The Romantic Touch“, who the announcers knew next to nothing about him including Prince Nana who organized the tournament. Veda Scott came down to call out Rhett Titus who was under the mask. Corino and Nana being misogynistic to her made some sense in that it was inline with their characters except for one small problem, she’s a heel and so are they! When Kevin Kelly joined in on the misogyny line of questioning, it became down right weird. Kelly is the baby face announcer who shouldn’t want to see a damsel in distress. The whole situation was made stranger by Scott herself making a very valid and baby face in nature point that Rhett Titus is not a top prospect hence compromising the competition. The Romantic Touch then played to Veda Scott who called him Rhett Titus. Touch got in another move or two but then played to Scott again. Everett took advantage of the distraction and rolls up Touch for the win. The Romantic Touch would not have played to her if he weren’t Rhett Titus. The last I checked, Rhett Titus was a heel. So Veda Scott, a heel, was calling out a heel in The Romantic Touch while all the announcers played doggie pile on the woman. Fantastic booking guys. To make matters worse, this Everett kid looked like he had a solid aerial arsenal but because the match was based around the angle, Everett didn’t get to show off much. He has at least one more round but I feel ripped off in the quality wrestling department.

ROH also tested my patience in the second match. Cheeseburger, crowd favorite for reasons that still escape me, took on Hanson, who looked like a Highlander. Hanson dominated in a squash match which is good because that’s what should happen when he was twice Cheeseburger’s size. The problem to me is that same obvious fact. A squash match against someone closer to Hanson’s size seems impressive. Having him beat a man that the announcers called 144 is just expected. I don’t think it gives Hanson much of a preview similarly to Everett in the first match.

The match set up was very similar to that of last week. Kongo didn’t stand much of a chance in my estimation despite being much larger physically than Cheeseburger because a green fat man with a terrible look isn’t even going to cut it in ROH. There was also a match with an angle in Corey Hollis vs “The Benchmark” Bill Daly vs Mike Posey, his partner. Fortunately for the match, the angle took place before it started. We’ve had one quality match so far out of this tournament. Here was the point that I was going to say, there are X number of matches left so we’ll see how things go. But despite going to their website and Facebook page, I can’t find the Top Prospects Tournament bracket. I made fun of Kevin Kelly last year for wanting everyone to fill out their bracket for this tournament. Now I wish I had the opportunity to just look at a bracket. ROH made it worse than last year’s Worst. – Kevin

@RingOfHonor Is The Worst

USHL_top_prospectsWhen I was looking through the end of the year material, I noticed that ROH should be getting ready for it’s annual Top Prospects Tournament. I wasn’t surprised at the beginning of 2013 when Matt Taven won the tournament against Tadarius Thomas. Both of them got some television during the previous year. I had no idea who they were going to have in it because they have no television time for prospects. Or at least they didn’t make time for them. On this past week’s edition of ROH, I was relieved to find out that they didn’t try to recycle some of the younger names on their roster. I like the idea of bringing a new face to television and giving them a jump start. I loved King of the Ring and this is it for lower members on the totem pole. ROH does get some things right. Now let’s look at who they brought in.

The first man out of the back was Raymond Rowe, who looks like he was brought in from Sons of Anarchy without the leather fetish. His opponent was Kongo, a tall and fat man who hailed from South America. I’m really surprised that the biker gimmick doesn’t get used more often. Aces & Eights filled our TV screens for the past year on TNA. The previous time before that that I can think of was Undertaker’s short stint as “The American Badass” with his Kid Rock lead in. Then prior to that, I can think of was the Disciples of the Apocalypse (DOA). Considering that I can name just as many Samoan gimmicks in recent history (3 Minute Warning, The Usos, Rikishi), I’m surprised this gimmick doesn’t come around more often. Rowe has a good look and wrestled well.

Rowe was pitted against a fairly agile man for his size in Kongo. Steve Corino called attention to a problem right off the bat, Kongo is from “South America” which is incredibly dumb in this day and age. You could at least put a country in there. No one is going to call you out for him looking more Peruvian than Bolivian. I’ve been talking about it recently with Chris Hero, body shape does matter. I don’t think everyone in professional wrestling needs to have a cookie cutter body builder look, but any wrestler needs to lift weights. Kongo’s arms looked smaller than mine despite him being three times my weight. I can’t say the same thing about Brodus Clay who has the closest build I can think of. I was glad that Raymond Rowe ended up winning the match. He’s a much more viable candidate for ROH not to look any more bush league.

The next match started with Corey Hollis and his partner Mike Posey in the ring. “The Benchmark” Bill Daly was supposed to be Hollis’s opponent but he had a high ankle sprain. Since he was a heel (I guess), Kevin Kelly wondered if he was really hurt or if he was exaggerating the injury. Steve Corino defended him, again reinforcing the fact that Daly is supposed to be a heel. This line of questioning made Kelly sound stupid to me. This injury is common in the NFL which requires 4-6 weeks of rest and rehab. Daly had claimed that he sustained the injury the previous weekend so not wrestling makes sense. Since Daly’s character hasn’t been on TV, it is a secondary reason why Kelly shouldn’t tell the fans what kind of character he is. Let Daly establish himself.

Posey took advantage of Daly bowing out of the competition. He talked his partner into a match up. The main problem was that it was never established as to whether Hollis’s spot in the Tournament was on the line. Kelly, Corino and “talent evaluator” Prince Nana all had no clue. I think GMs are over used these days. But this situation called for Nigel McGuinness, the match maker which is so different than being called a GM, to come out and clarify before the match started. ROH didn’t think to close this simple plot hole. At the end of the match, we find out in the Land of a 1001 Finishers that Corey Hollis’s finishing maneuver is a running back elbow. You mean to tell me that a package pile driver through a table may not pin someone but a running back elbow will? ROH is the worst. – Kevin

#ROH Is The Worst – Part XVI

jesse_sorensenROH decided to bring in Jesse Sorensen for at least a match. It is his first televised match since his neck surgery. It seems like a perfect time to give him a feel good victory, right? They’ve had Grizzly Redwood job to nearly everyone on the roster, so have him do the deed. But since ROH is the worst, his opponent was Tomasso Ciampa. As I’ve noted several times, I really enjoy Ciampa but there’s no need for him to beat Sorensen. He just as easily could be fed Q.T. Marshal, R.D. Evans or Silas Young, who I’d prefer since Ciampa finished his feud with the first two already. They could have also brought in some indy wrestler to fill either the spot against Sorensen or Ciampa as ROH likes to do. ROH did make the right call by giving Sorensen a competitive match against Ciampa. Sorensen still took a loss though which seems really dumb. Have him win his return then have him “pay his dues” as if coming back from neck surgery is some walk in the park.

I missed the two of the last three weeks because ROH continues to get bumped for Big Bang Theory at midnight on Sunday/Monday since it’s such an important time slot. The week it did record properly, they replayed their 100th episode which had originally aired about two months ago. I had already noticed that Steve Corino was behind the color person’s headset so something had gone down in the weeks I had missed. I know they had done some online segments and letters but I’m tired of trying to unearth it because ROH’s site Blog and Video sections are terrible. The origin of this complaint thought is what Kevin Kelly said during the match. “Steve, you’re an outstanding analyst. That’s how you got the job in the first place. Let’s make sure you keep it this time, okay?” Holy shit. Kevin Kelly loves doing a 180 with his opinions and it is awful. When Kevin Steen turned baby face, Kelly was all aboard the Steen train which has gone nowhere. Could you please, at least for this set of tapings Mr. Kelly, be wary of Steve Corino? Give him a hard time for at least that length of time. Hell, even as bad as Jerry Lawler is, he still gets a burr under his saddle when JBL brings up his loss to Michael Cole at Wrestlemania. Cole and Lawler get along now but Lawler rightfully remembers when they were at odds. I asked back in August if Kevin Kelly has ever taken a broadcasting class. This action confirms he never has. I’m not sure if Steve Corino is an outstanding analyst but I will say I enjoyed several of his jokes during the broadcast.

Jeans in Boots

If his name was Michelle Elgin, I’d let his fashion faux pas electric slide.

I have one last complaint and it yet again has to do with the choices people make for style. I have made fun of Michael Elgin for his mullet before. He has added to his terrible look by deciding to wear cowboy boots, which are fine. The bad part comes in when he tucks his jeans inside of the boot. ROH is the worst. – 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

#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 X

Surprise+Surprise+with+Holly+Willoughby

Holly Willoughby from Surprise, Surprise.

Well I’ll be damned. Ring Of Honor put on a good show. Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander took on a debuting Alex Reynolds & John Silver. Most teams in their first match aren’t good but they performed admirably. The next match on the docket delivered too, Veda Scott taking on Ms. Chif. Even though Ms. Chif ended up winning the match, Veda Scott showed much improvement from when I saw her at Wrestlelution. She only had one year of experience at that point and has pretty much doubled that in the mean time. Very good match with a very good opponent. The third match of the show was Silas Young taking on Adam Page, another new comer. Young got to cut a promo before the match so one would assume that he was going to get the win. You would be wrong. Page ended up winning with a victory roll which made things really odd. Young had won more of the match and got the mic time so why let him lose? I only count this match as a victory because the match itself was really good. The main event was Eddie Edwards taking on Matt Taven. Kevin Kelly & Steve Corino hit Taven’s problem directly on the head when they said that his entourage of Turth Martini & the Hoopla Hotties (Scarlett is pretty damn hot) take away from how good of a wrestler Taven is. When the announcers do something right, you’ve got to give it to ROH for a good show. To boot, the min ring product did have a high quality. One part of all of these matches was that they weren’t very “ROH” in that people didn’t kick out of multiple finishers and they didn’t exchange an obnoxious amount shots. Congratulations ROH, you got one right. -Kevin

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