@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

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

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