#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

@RingOfHonor Is The Worst

gimmicks.se

gimmicks.se

From time to time, I’m unobservant. That was my lesson from the first round of the the Top Prospects Tournament. I am unobservant because I noticed the same problem with the second semi-final as the first. Hanson, he of the Scottish Highlander gimmick, started wrestling in 2002. Adam Everett was the younger of the duo but he started wrestling in 2007. That is also stretching the term “prospect”. I’m expecting much younger than that. That wasn’t the only similarity to the other semifinal. Hanson won this match in a virtual squash. Everett got in more offense than Corey Hollis and is more polished than him too. But the big man with the gimmick won. So the Top Prospects Tournament Finals pits Raymond Rowe, who started wrestling in 2003 probably with a biker gimmick, against another who started in 2002. A combined twenty three years in ring experience. I should have know ROH would be the worst at picking Top Prospects. Prince Nana would have the worst stable ever if he started the Embassy 7.0.

Mike Bennett is not on TV enough to warrant the treatment he gets. After winning a match against Cedric Alexander, Bennett said he was going back to Japan. Thanks for making my point for me. It’s one thing to take a tour over there it’s another to be there so often that the last time I had material to make fun of you was back in September of 2013.

Everyone knows how the end of the match between AJ Styles and Roderick Strong went, right? Botched Styles Clash and poor Roderick is laid up for a while. So let’s take a look at what happened before that bad spot. I’m not good with Styles continuing the new crotch rocket look. I make fun of people in TNA & ROH for not developing so making fun of his new look would seem to contradict that stance. It doesn’t when the new look is worse than the old one. I noticed during this match that Kevin Kelly & Steve Corino had head sets on. Congratulations on being in modern TV production guys. For some reason, the announcers pretend like AJ Styles isn’t used to wrestling longer matches. One step forward, one step back. Styles may not have been in thirty minute matches but they’re not even that common in ROH. Styles was in plenty of fifteen to twenty minute matches. He’ll be just fine. As much as I’ve made of Roderick Strong’s legendary fitness, I do enjoy his matches. I’m not the biggest Styles fan in the ring but I think he’s plenty good. The match was a lot of fun. Styles had a botched spring board attempt that hurt himself and Strong. It took them a moment to get things rolling again but they did. The view on TV of the botched Styles Clash has you looking square in Strong’s face which I think is a poor choice for the director. The further out shot from behind didn’t look quite that bad and didn’t show the pain in Strong’s face. Not a great start for Styles from where he began his career. – Kevin

#ROH Is The Worst Part XIV

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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 XII

800-numbers-are-so-easyROH makes it so easy to write a column. I’m 18 minutes into the show and I’m furious. They have sent Maria Kanellis out to be the mouth piece for Mike Bennett’s new character. The match was inconsequential to my anger. Brutal Bob was going against Mike Bennett. It was a squash match with Bob getting in some opportunistic offense. She was terrible on the head set. Maria still sounds like a moron. She could be perfectly smart. I don’t remember any of her interviews when she did the Playboy thing. Which is another factor, she seems so much less hot to me now. I remember looking forward to that Playboy issue. Now, I wouldn’t bother. Back to her dumb streak though. The logic of Bennett’s turn, which isn’t a turn at all. Bennett was a heel. Now, he’s a heel. With no clown car at least. Being down to one manager is a good thing. Having her try and tell us that he’s not going to follow the establishment anymore is down right dumb. He never shook hands before a match that I can remember from the past year and 8 months. So how did that make him “establishment”? He wasn’t in SCUM but that doesn’t mean he liked management. He had complained how he wasn’t getting a shot at the big time. Now, he’s complaining that he’s not big time. How is his position any different? Well, Maria has another gem for us. She tells us to look at Bennett’s new tattoo. That proves he’s a rebel. Nevermind that the WWE Champion has two full sleeves and back tattoos. Randy Orton is even being backed by the establishment in the WWE. But for some reason, the “Man” in ROH is going to keep down that rebel Mike Bennett with one tattoo on the under side of his forearm. Christ on a pony. Maria’s insights were so important that ROH brought her back to be guest commentator during the next match because she’s a women’s wrestling expert. Maria hasn’t wrestled in ROH. I remember her not wrestling too well in the WWE. I remember her being a hold out for a while too. Maria rehashes her points about the new, more rebel like Mike Bennett which are just as dumb a second time around. Then she adds that Ms. Chif is a tough broad. Thanks Maria. I had no idea that the only woman who has won on ROH TV this year is good. What a dumb bell. ROH is the worst. Kevin

Maria Kanellis

I mean, I still would, but that something extra special she had going on is gone.

You know what. I forgot about something when wrapping up the upper part. I forgot that I don’t like the new look for Mike Bennett with the shaved head and beard combination. It makes you look older than you are. Grow back the hair.

Another thing about using Maria as the mouthpiece that hurts his “WWE Stock” as I call it. Mike Bennett needed to show that he was in control to take that next step. Keep Maria around. She can still talk for you sometimes but this occassion of a fresh and more vicious Mike Bennett needed to be delivered by the man himself. You look like a puppet having Maria do the talking. You can’t look vicious as a “hired gun” type when it’s your woman. Maybe if say, Sinister Minister (since how ridiculous that I was going to say Paul Heyman? That guy is never leaving the WWE. He’s killing it right now. They want him around.) were the one in control, you could sell me as “hired gun” material but it’d still be a weird angle. Bennett needed to deliver this speech he didn’t. Two fails in one segment. Congratulations. -Kevin

Ring of Honor has reached its… Boiling Point! Ugh.

Looks like a fucking narcolepsy convention.

Just received another e-mail from Ring of Honor, this one promoting this Saturday’s iPPV event, Boiling Point! And what was my eye drawn to as soon as I opened the e-mail? A picture of T-shirted Kevin Steen, belt cliche-illy around neck, looking like someone pulled him away his 8-pack of hot dogs on the stove reaching their BOILING POINT to take this fucking picture. And it looks like he’s taking on a bum I walked over to get to work today. Oh, that’s Chikara Grand Champion, Eddie Kingston, complete with wife beater, stubble, multi-finger point and dreamy bedroom eyes. It looks like we caught him right in the middle of a burp, too. The XPW Champion never looked better.

Also on the card is a guy named “Die Hard” who looks more like a 14-year-old high diver from the UK Olympics team, taking on a guy who, despite reaching his BOILING POINT, has the world’s biggest, toothiest grin on his face. I guess I would too if I were paired up with Maria, the only person on that poster who looks like a star. Smilin’ Joe & Maria take on Faux Hawk & this smug broad Sara Del Ray in a match that has inspired me to sit really hard on my wallet next weekend.

Oh well, I guess they could have put the “Zombie Princess” Jimmy Jacobs on the card. Man, of all the things people claim are killing the business these days… -Eric

#WatchROH – Aired 12 May 2012

I know it’s the wrong border. I don’t care.

Ultramantis Black is joining Nigel McGuinness & Kevin Kelly in the announce booth for the Chikara take over of ROH. They add a pillow ad on before this so I can only hope this is another short show on a PPV night. That’s not a bad plan on their part. Why waste a squash match after a PPV that has yet to be wrestled? Ophidian (Hypnosis dude) and the Ice Creams are teaming together against The Colony. They had separate names but they didn’t show them on the screen so I don’t care. They stressed the heavy Lucha Libre influence including following their rules. Soldier Ant has camouflage on. Green Ant is next in the match. I’m confused. The action is fast. They cut to commercial at a bad time.

They come back with Ricky Reyes hitting the ring for a match against Jay Lethal. What the hell happened to the Chikara match? Kelly calls Lethal’s 20 pound weight advantage negligible. Reyes went on the attack early. The announcers do a good job of selling Reyes’ previous loss on ROH TV against Roderick Strong. Lethal turned it around with a leg lariat. A hand spring back elbow only got a two count. Kelly informs us that we’ll get Border Wars highlights next week. A Roll of the Dice by Reyes got him a two count. Nigel sells ROH as a parity league. Lethal Combination then a Lethal Injection for the win. He took care of Reyes much easier than Tomasso Ciampa taking care of Matt Taven the previous week.

Veda Scott interviewed Davey Richards about his match with Rhino. Richards is confused why Truth Martini would hire a hit man when he has something better in Michael Elgin. Richards said Rhino won’t be able to gore him with a broken ankle. Richards tells Rhino he’ll knock him back into the jungle if he does get a chance to try and gore him. Richards then gives us his best Blue Steel look.

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Stunt Granny Audio #184

Caution: Clown car ahead.

This week Kevin and Dusty are at the helm of Stunt Granny Audio, and you are in good hands for sure, as they navigate you around the biggest stories in the week of professional wrestling. Those stories include the latest in the NHL playoffs and Josh Hamilton’s ownage of the Baltimore Orioles. They also find time to talk about some actual wrestling, including what they deemed worthy of discussion on Monday Night Raw. Just how earth shattering was the return of Paul Heyman? Just how vital to the entire show *was* that women’s tag team match? Why does Dusty hate the overrun so much? They then turn their attention to ROH. Dusty blows Kevin’s mind by revealing RD Evans’ secret identity. The duo sound impressed with Mike Bennett, and less so with Prince Nana. And then focus shifts to TNA. Or is it Impact Wrestling? Whatever it’s called, they seem to have a Master’s Degree in Giving People Stuff They No Longer Want To See. Do they find anything positive about the company to talk about? You’ll have to tune in to find out, and it’s not even going to take an hour off your life, so have a heart, people!

Stunt Granny Audio Show #184

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