#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

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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

#RingOfHonor Is The Second Worst

usmilitary.about.com

usmilitary.about.com

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 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 XIV

scarlette-johanssen-mullet

Scarlett Johansson can get away with a mullet. Michael Elgin can not.

“Unbreakable” Michael Elgin got mic time to address the Ring of Honor World Title Tournament. They ended up bringing out four of the favorites for the tournament. The other three were Kevn Steen, Mike Bennett and Tomasso Ciampa. I would imagine ROH would call these guys the face of ROH. I’m going to break down why this segment stunk and why each of these guys wouldn’t even be given a B+ from HHH.

Michael Elgin’s look is terrible. Mullets are just a bad hairdo. Trust me, if you look hard enough I’m sure there’s a picture of me with one floating around the internet. Once I got out from under my parent’s roof, it was gone. That was in 1994. Elgin feels differently though and has been letting his mullet grow out. To make matters worse, he’s going bald and you can clearly see his bald spot coming in. You’re not Donald Trump, you can’t get away with a whacky hairdo that is unexplainable. Shave your head and be done with the charade of a hair cut you have. His shirt is even worse than anything the WWE puts out, which is saying something. First off, on the front of the shirt is a skull with chains surrounding it. The design looks like a rough draft for what the shirt should look like, not the final product. At the bottom is Elgin’s slogan, #Elginmode, which would be fine if I had heard about it before he was sporting this shirt on this week’s program.

Kevin Steen was the next one out. I do like the his “Guilty” shirt but his look is still terrible. HHH made fun of Daniel Bryan’s physique (at least according to WWE.com is 5′-10″ and 210 lbs.) for being scrawny and small. What would he say about Kevin Steen who judging by his shirt (Because ROHwrestling.com only has his weight) is 6′-0″ and 240 lbs? And trust me, I understand that HHH wouldn’t be running down Bryan’s physique if he weren’t as over as he is. He’d do it to Steen to see if he was “Tough Enough” to take the verbal beating in public. Or maybe Michael Cole could give him the “Ferrari engine in a tank’s body” moniker since Bray Wyatt is now following buzzards all day which has got to slim his physique a little bit. Though Steen has mic skills, he seems to waste them. Steen makes similar jokes to John Cena which makes it even funnier that “smart” wrestling fans cheer for him. Another display of wasting his mic skills was his utter apathy to trying to turn the fans against him when he was trying to get Jim Cornette out of the company. The fans were hanging on his every word yet he did nothing to try and make them turn against him like a logical story line would dictate.

Mike Bennett was the next out and talks about all of the opportunities Elgin & Steen have been given by management. If he had been paying attention, he would see they weren’t handed opportunities. Steen was, as already noted, raging against the machine known as ROH with Jim Cornette at the helm. Elgin on the other hand had to subvert the entire House of Truth just to cash in his opportunity from Survival of the Fittest to get his title shot. I wouldn’t call either of those situations “having it handed to them multiple times by management”. He could be the future of ROH but his look has gotten worse during his re-imaging. One would think with a looks driven model like Maria Kanellis at your side, you would make better decisions. Trade mark hair? Let’s shave it all. Pretty boy look? Let’s get some terrible tattoos. I’ve revamped the rest of my look so naturally you’d change your trunks, right? Why would my fashion designer girlfriend not design me a pair? Nope, let’s keep them shiny silver and purple and the same cut. Ugh.

Tomasso Ciampa was the last one out. He has an awesome look. He exuded his “Sicilian Psychopath” attitude by going nose to nose with the rest of the competitor’s before saying “Your next ROH World Champion, Tomasso Ciampa” then stomping out of the ring. His underdeveloped mic skills makes him ripe for manager but he had a way too short feud with R.D. Evans (who booted him to the curb for his real life ACL surgery) and Q.T. Marshal so Evans is not an option. Prince Nana got unceremoniously unseated by R.D. Evans in his own Embassy Faction so Ciampa could go back to him but Nana is nowhere to be found these days. Ciampa could help re-build the House of Truth but he’s too busy pushing Hoopla Hotties and Matt Taven to be worried about adding to his stable. So Ciampa’s got to depend on under-developed mic skills which might be one of the reasons he got released from WWE Developmental.

So, if Daniel Bryan is a solid B+, let’s figure out HHH’s final grade for this quartet. Michael Elgin is in shape, strong as an ox but looks worse than Billy Ray Cyrus twerking on a stuffed animal – Grade C. Kevin Steen is out of shape, short, can’t wrestle all that well and has mic skills – Grade C+. Mike Bennett – Good physique, solid mic skills and overhaul-able looks AKA the Randy Orton tattoo special AKA covering up bad tattoos a la Fire Crotch on Tattoo Nightmares – Grade A. Tomasso Ciampa – Good look, good demeanor and terrible mic skills – C. That is ROH’s top 4 for their World Title. ROH is 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

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