@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

@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 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 VI

rick_silva_recap

I’m digging this picture from ricksilva.net

This week’s criminal act involves the recently interviewed Veda Scott, who not only wrestles in several independent leagues but also does interviews for Ring Of Honor. Recently at an iPPV Scott was interviewing Ms. Chif. She was upset that she didn’t win a multi participant match for a chance at something. I didn’t pay attention. I don’t feel like rewinding because it doesn’t matter to this crime. Ms. Chif out of her anger spit mist into Scott’s eyes. ROH did the right thing and held Scott off of television for a couple of weeks to see the injury. This week’s show was supposed to air before the pay per view (which only taped on Sunday for me this week meaning that it aired after the iPPV debuted. That’s a whole column similar to last week’s.) so it’d make sense if they decided to add a women’s match. They don’t have enough of a women’s division to have it be a weekly feature so they start this angle at the last iPPV then have a recap on TV a couple of weeks ago and then have this week’s confrontation. Ms. Chif came out for a scheduled match and started it but then Veda Scott showed up seething. Scott then attacked Ms. Chif. They had to be pulled apart. Kevin Kelly and Prince Nana do their job and sell the change in demeanor since she had been playing a meek reporter. Scott charges a second time. They get pulled apart again. Just then Kevin Kelly says “We HAVE to go to commercial now” so that we can do the iPPV center recap. (Emphasis obviously mine.) I’ve got no problem with Kelly on this one. He’s just doing his job. If he’s a producer, he’s culpable. There is no reason you should be cutting to commercial when Scott breaks away a third time to attack Ms. Chif. You’re trying to sell a change in personality and (I’m assuming) a match at some point between the two even if it wasn’t for Border Wars. You can’t go to commercial when this is happening. You can find thirty extra seconds if you even need that much extra. Ten probably would have done the trick. ROH is the worst. -Kevin

Alex Shelley is leaving TNA

Peace out bitches.

So Alex Shelley’s time in TNA has come to an end according to Prowrestling.net via some other place. I was hoping Eric would take this one since he is more familiar with his work. All of my experiences with Shelley have come from TNA and a limited time watching him in ROH.

It never seemed like TNA utilized him correctly and the only substantial push he received was as part of the Motor City Machine Guns. Even then they pushed and then pulled them from television so often they hardly built up any sustainable momentum. Hell his only other memorable run was with Goldy Locks as her Baby Bear. Oh yeah and when he was kind of sort of teamed with Kevin Nash.

Not sure what the future holds for Shelley. The obvious choice is to head back to ROH. He would immediately be inserted prominently you would figure. He also could head over to Japan for a stint which would probably be ideal. So best of luck to Alex. -Jeremy

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