Ring of Honor e-mail includes posters featuring homeless men pointing at their necks

Yes, Eddie, step one of Arn Anderson Training is to put your thumb there.

As a loyal Ring of Honor fan who has watched about 45 minutes of one Sinclair Broadcasting Group TV show and who purchased his most recent ROH DVD in April 2009 but watched his most recent ROH DVD in, like, January 2009, of course I receive ROH’s weekly e-mails, because how better to keep up with a company with such an identity crisis as, as Austin Aries dubbed it, Smoky Mountain of Honor. (Thank you, Cageside Seats, for ranking high in a Google search for that term.)

Low digital quality, low-rent font, high calories!

So these are the types of show posters I’m treated to, the graphic designs that are supposed to excite me into parting with my money rather than buy lunch a few times this month (although I’m sure there are still ROH fans who will gladly buy PPVs and refuse to skip lunch). Low-resolution pictures of a guy who may or may not be a professional wrestler, chewing on a championship belt, while someone with a fetish for newspaper-letter clippings is holding something or other hostage. Not sold. How about the image at the top of this post? The one with FORMER WORLD CHAMPION Eddie Edwards pointing his thumb to his throat about as threateningly as a baby bunny eating my god damn tomato plants.

“O noes, stuck in ROH steal cage!”

But wait, there’s more!

L to R: A group who couldn’t draw money if their dad was Bob Ross; hot-ass Maria.

These are looking more indy by the minute. And seriously, Roderick Strong? Are you checking your pulse? Because you barely look like you could fog a mirror at this point in your life.

I could make the standard “Kevin Steen taking a dump” joke here, but I’ll aim below the belt and suggest that the person on this poster who looks most like a pro wrestler is god damn 90-year-old Bruno Sammartino. (No offense, @jaybriscoe84)

Finally — and please let this be the image that drives home the point that Ring of Honor has plenty of internal struggles to deal with (namely, hiring someone who uses Adobe Photoshop instead of MS Paint) and not that there’s anything wrong with the wrestlers… except Roderick Strong — here’s a piece of communication wizardy:

Now, ROH, tell me, how the fuck am I supposed to know where to go, when and how to get there, when Lance Fucking Storm is standing in the way??

Once again, I shouldn’t slight the wrestlers so much as I should pick on ROH for its half-assed attempts to promote (and, at times, produce, M I RITE CHRIS SHORE) its live events. But I’m not the only voice here; let’s open this up to the peanut gallery:

Dusty: The only thing dangerous about Bruno is that he is still able to speak.

Jeremy: Could they have made them look cheaper? Roderick even knows this is shit. Oh, and look at the Briscoes, how cute.

Dusty: This has to be the first time in recorded history the Briscoes were described as cute in any way whatsoever.

Kevin: There were wrestlers on those posters? I thought I saw ads and some homeless men who couldn’t afford clothes. Any reason this type of thing can’t be a post with us ripping on one of the posters in particular?

Ask and ye shall receive. -Eric

#WatchROH – Aired 7 May 2012

We get a replay of Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander beating the Briscoes with the help Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin. Tomasso Ciampa starts off the show with his clown car. Matt Taven is his opponent. Kevin Kelly tries to sell us on Taven’s credibility. Ciampa got a quick jump on Taven. Jay Lethal comes to ring side and sits down. Ciampa nailed his finisher then stared at Lethal. Taven reversed into a suplex on the exposed concrete. They exchange on their knees and feet back in the ring. Taven uses his legs to his advantage. Taven gives Ciampa a neck breaker after Ciampa was hung up on the top rope. Ciampa kicks out after a frog splash. Nigel McGuinness says the crowd is going nuts. They aren’t. Ciampa gave Taven a jumping knee but only got two. Ciampa kneed Taven twice in the Tree of Woe.  Ciampa nails “Project Ciampa” for a win. If a schmuck gives Ciampa this trouble, shouldn’t Lethal walk all over him?

Veda Scott interviewed TJ Perkins who will be wrestling Mike Mondo again. The Young Bucks make fun of Perkins. They still suck, not in a good way. Perkins had a paint by numbers promo. He’s not engaging. I love his in ring work. They shake hands, which is more of a rarity than not shaking. Perkins gets in a neck breaker. Mondo crawled under the ring to attack Perkins from behind. Mondo fish hooked and dragged Taven around. Kevin Kelly tells me to set my DVR to watch Rhino take on Davey Richards. It won’t be that epic. Mondo ground his elbow into Perkins head. Mondo exposed the eyeball and appeared to be ready to eat it. Perkins fought out and started to use his speed advantage. Perkins nails a missile drop kick. The Young Bucks came to ring side. They distract Perkins. Mondo tumbles to the floor. Obvious over the top rope spot. One of the Young Bucks holds a leg. Mondo gets the win. The All Night Express makes the save after Mondo & the Bucks attack PErkins after the match.

Charlie Haas gives everyone a reminder that the Briscoes started the war between themselves. Shelton Benjamin said they want their belts. The Briscoes admit to starting the feud. They’re going to whoop them in Toronto. Truth Martini runs down his houses matches. Roderick Strong told Fit Finlay he’ll be in for the biggest fight of his life. Michael Elgin tells Adam Cole that he’s the only break out star. Rhino said that he’s going to take out Eddie Edwards. Eddie says it’s all about who can take more punishment. He told Rhino he won’t stand in his way to getting the ROH Title back. Mike Bennett told Lance Storm that he’s pathetic for asking for a rematch. Bennett said that Storm’s career will come to an end at Border Wars. I just realized that Border Wars was last night. Their events seem more packed together than the WWE’s PPV. I’m not even looking up the results but Dusty’s “LOL ROH” tweet takes on a whole other context now.

Continue reading

#WatchROH – Aired 28 April 2012

It’s more highlights from Showdown In The Sun. They showed off the Briscoes beating the World’s Greatest Tag Team, Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin. Benajmin & Haas attacked the Briscoes after the match so they had to be carried to the back. I’ve bitched about other companies giving away their pay per views. It’s even worse when you only show the pin fall.

Cedric Alexander & Caprice Coleman are in a Proving Ground match against the Briscoes. ROH has too many types of matches. Alexander get the upper hand on Mark early.  Coleman started to get worked over by both Briscoes. Alexander gets a luke warm tag. Alexander gets a two count from a face buster. Coleman got wheel barrowed into the barracade. Alexander kicked out after a combo ending with a Razor’s Edge. Haas & Benajmin low blowed Jay with no one seeing it. Mark takes the pin after a huracanrana & frog splash combo.

Veda Scott interviewed Prince Nana & Barrister Evans along with Truth Martini. Rhino had his contract purchased by Martini. Rhino is going to rip Eddie Edwards in half. Vinny Marseglia was the sacrificial lamb for a debuting Rhino. The best thing I can say about this match is that Rhino is in much better shape than just about any other ECW alumni. Everyone was cheering Rhino. Um, he’s never been a particularly good wrestler. Rhino wins with a Gore.

I think John Cena gets less mic time than Kevin Steen. I’d take his dick jokes over Steen droning on about a horrendous angle any day. Jimmy Jacobs is with him. Kevin Kelly & Jim Cornette were already in the ring. Steen makes a fat joke about Cornette. People in glass houses Mr. Steen, should not throw rocks. He did have a good crack about the flags and theme of Border Wars being so 1987. Davey Richards comes out drag down the quality of this segment even more. Steen claimed that Richards promised to help him but he didn’t. Steen steals the show every time. Richards says he’s holding himself down.  Steen says that Richards threatened to leave ROH multiple times. They were ready to fight but security separates them. Cornette wants them to sign a waiver since the pile driver will be legal for the match. Cornette slipped in a provision that this is Steen’s only shot at the title. The segment was OK when they were yelling at each other. Richards would only threaten to go to Japan because his mic skills aren’t even good enough for TNA.

Continue reading

Guest Blog: Dan reminisces about ECW in light of recent Extreme Reunion fiasco

"I'm gonna hang a flyer right here and FRANCHISE this light pole's ASS HA HA HAAA!"

Well, the ECW reunion show took place over the weekend and the reports I have read have not been very complementary of the show.  I read the fairly detailed report over at prowrestling.net (http://www.prowrestling.net/artman/publish/miscliveevents/article10024865.shtml) and one or two other reports and it sounds like the fans who made up an impressive crowd for an indy show turned on this show in a big way.  I do think it sounds like the crowd did not have very realistic expectations for the show.  The things I would have hoped that this show would have tried to accomplish they at least attempted.  I feel like for this show to have any chance of repeat success they would have to use some of the established names to get the fans interested in new talent.  With the interference in the Gangstas match and the use of new Raven’s followers it sounds like they tried to set up some things for the next show.

The obvious problem with this show is that the ECW style takes a serious physical toll on the wrestlers and to expect most of these guys to be able to work the types of matches they did well over eleven years ago just isn’t very realistic.  When one starts thinking about the alleged health problems or scares that Sabu and Justin Credible had that prevented them from performing at the show it makes the event a bit more depressing.  Many will write about and talk about how the extreme style has possibly ruined people’s lives and certainly contributed to many premature deaths.  As a fan who discovered ECW on a grainy UHF TV station (yes I had to disconnect my cable to watch ECW, this station was so small it wasn’t on any cable systems but was part of the “America One Network”) and loved watching ECW programming it’s not pleasant to think about the price many of these wrestlers I enjoyed watching so much have paid.

I went to several later day ECW shows in St. Louis but I only made it to the ECW Arena once for “Cyberslam ’98”.  When I first started taking the Torch I was rather frustrated to read about Cyberslam ’96 and ’97 AFTER it had occurred or I might have made one of those shows as well.  I had a great time at this event and met some very interesting folks (maybe that goes without saying).  I was then in grad school so while I did not have a tremendous amount in common with many of these performers I certainly appreciated what they did and enjoyed the question and answer sessions and thought seeing a card at the ECW Arena was one of those things I was able to take off my bucket list.

Because I have great memories about those experiences watching and enjoying ECW I wanted to reflect on those people who were most benefited from working in ECW.  I’m sure it’s not a complete list and this is not to say that these performers would not have done well if ECW did not exist but since many have been focusing on the cost ECW incurred on many of its workers I thought I would reflect on who benefited the most from their ECW experience.  Please feel free to add suggestions to this list.

1.  Taz — Make no mistake about it.  The ECW Taz was as bad as they come (in a good way).  At the show I went to he physically manhandled one of many body builders the WWF wanted to get behind in Brakkus and the fans loved every minute of it.  However, he parlayed his ECW success into a frustrating WWE run followed by many years making what I am guessing is pretty good money as a TV announcer.  As great as Taz was when I saw him wrestle….  well let’s say I don’t think he will be entering the real (Observer) hall of fame or even the WWE version anytime soon.  As far as making a great living based off of what he contributed to ECW I’d say Taz is the #1 choice.  God bless him for making money as far as I am concerned also.

Continue reading

#WatchROH – Aired 17 & 24 March 2012

They showed Adam Cole pinning Davey Richards. Richards shakes Cole & Eddie Edward’s hands. Kyle O’Reilly refuses to shake. Kevin Steen is going to be Davey Richards personal nightmare until he gets a match against him for the ROH Title. Adam Cole comes out for March Mayhem Eight Man Tournament. Cole had a backstage promo. He’s mad at O’Reilly for not respecting him. He’s going to make O’Reilly respect him. Chris Silvio is his opponent. I’m ready for a squash match. Oh my lord, Kevin Kelly compares Silvio to Jesse Ventura & “Superstar” Billy Graham. I just vomited on my lap top. Kyle O’Reilly does his best to make the announce booth sound even worse. Cole wins a Florida Key which is a criss cross dragon suplex. Not an impressive outing. O’Reilly stormed out of the booth for storyline reasons but it should have been because it was a poorly executed match. O’Reilly challenges Cole to a match at Showdown in the Sun. Cole accepts.

They recap Jimmy Jacobs vs Kevin Steen. Hilarious that Jacobs is rehabbing from being evil in ROH & being evil in PWO. Kelly gets to interview Kevin Steen. He is carrying a tennis racket that has Davey Richards on it. Steen talks about destiny. He’s just as boring as Alberto Del Rio. He will be ROH Champion despite Jim Cornette‘s attempts to kept him away from the title.  Cornette shows up. Cornette tells him that his opponent for Friday night for Showdown in the Sun. El Generico is his opponent. Steen said he won’t be dumb enough to get himself suspended by using the pile driver.

Lance Storm cuts a promo from his gym. He said he isn’t out of shape and will be ready for him. He said Mike Bennett doesn’t have the passion to be in wrestling. They try to make the promo more interesting by shooting him from multiple camera angles. It doesn’t work. Davey Richards knows how tough his three man match will be against Eddie Edwards & Roderick Strong. If he wins that, he takes on Michael Elgin. Richards said if he gets out of that weekend with the title, he’ll have earned it. DemBoys said everyone in this match hates each other. The chicken shit is going to hit the fan in Florida. Charlie Haas tells the Briscoes that they’re dumb. It’s a grudge match so when this match is over, their feud is.

Evidently everyone pays in and wins a pot of money for the March Mayhem. Four matches lead to a four way match. Winner of the four way wins the cash. They love having money on everyone’s mind. We get replay of Jay Lethal versus Tomasso Ciampa. The match went to the time limit. Ciampa attacked Lethal and stole the TV belt. Roderick Strong with Truth Martini takes on Jay Lethal in the first four way match. Counting in English reminded Kevin Kelly of El Generico’s return. I think he’s locked up worst announcer in wrestling with tonight’s showing. Congratulations on unseating Mike Tenay’s several year reign. They go to commercial before much has happened.

Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: