#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

@RingOfHonor Is The Worst

conversations.nokia.com

conversations.nokia.com

I haven’t reported on Ring of Honor recently because they have done anything blatantly offensive recently. They haven’t exactly been hitting their show out of the park either. I’ll take the improvement to mediocre. After I came back from a Wrestlemania, I was giving my parents the run down of all things not wrestling and watched ROH on mute. It was a Road Rage edition so it was iPPV worthy material. The opening segment didn’t get my dander up but figured I may as well lay out my observations. The  second match was what led me to writing this article. I’ll get into those reasons below.

Chris Hero vs Roderick Strong – I’m starting to wonder how close Chris Hero was close to being called up to the main roster in the WWE. I’ve seen two or three matches and none of them have blown me away. The other match I know I saw was with Adam Cole, who I do enjoy both in the ring and on the mic. Roderick Strong usually has good matches in ROH. Hero hasn’t blown me away in either match. He doesn’t seem as athletically gifted as anyone called up recently. Hero looks like he’s going through the motions since he’s stuck back where he started. Maybe it’s dawning on him that he blew it in the WWE by not getting into shape, but I don’t think that’s the case since he still isn’t in shape for a guy who is 6′-4″ and 225. Bray Wyatt gets away with extra weight because he uses it to his benefit in the ring by showing off his agility and that spear/body block move he does. It’s hard to take advantage of being a thin tall guy without muscle tone and a baby gut. If you’re going to disobey a WWE edict, you better have something special to back it up. So far in his ROH run, Hero hasn’t shown me that something special.

The Young Bucks vs ReDRagon – Let’s start with the positives in this match. I have never been fond of The Young Bucks persona but I have enjoyed them in the ring. reDRagon is another act that I enjoy in ROH, both in the ring and on the mic despite how little time they’ve been given. Matt Jackson did have a cast on his right hand which limited him in this match but they worked around it fairly well. The main problem with this match was the ending, which ending in typical ROH style. Kyle O’Reilly was taking on Matt. Jackson whacked O’Reilly with his cast on the head while his brother Nick distracted the referee. O’Reilly kicked out which is ridiculous. Then the Young Bucks nailed their finishing move on O’Reilly, who kicked out again. O’Reilly quickly recovered from both of these devastating shots and went to lock in a triangle choke. Matt reversed it into a jack knife pin and got the win for the Tag Team Titles. So O’Reilly felt good enough to lock in his finisher but not good enough to kick out out a jack knife pin? ROH finishes are the worst.

The other problem with this match was called out during it. Forever Hooligans had not been on TV before they defeated the American Wolves last year. Kevin Kelly remind us of this event. The Young Bucks have been gone for months, if not over a year since their last TV appearance. reDRagon has defended the belts against all comers and defeated them. So like the American Wolves, reDRagon lose the titles to people who basically aren’t part of your product. I’m not a big fan of the booking. Have the Young Bucks at least win a contenders match before capturing the straps. The other comparison that could be made is that Forever Hooligans then left shortly after winning and then losing their titles to reDRagon. Wouldn’t it have been more effective to have the American Wolves beat Forever Hooligans then losing the straps to reDRagon? Not title hot potato and both of your acts look better than someone you brought in for two tapings at the most. ROH booking is the worst too.

@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

@WWE Children’s Book Ideas

50th-birthday-cakeIt was announced that the WWE has signed a deal with DK Publishing to produce eighteen books over the next three years. According to MarketWatch.com

two upcoming commemorative books WWE 50: Celebrating 50 Years of Sports Entertainment, which chronicles the company’s 50 year history and 30 Years of WrestleMania, the ultimate guide to WWE’s annual pop-culture extravaganza. DK will also publish new line of children’s books focusing on the careers of John Cena, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and other top WWE Superstars.

Both of the commemorative books sound pretty damn cool. I’m sure you will have seen some of that information before but they always seem to turn up a little something more every time. The eye catching part to me though is the line of children’s books. They mention that John Cena and “The Rock” will get books but we don’t know their titles. May I suggest:

Dwayne The Rock: Too Cool For School – How One Superstar actually got out of the Biz. Inspiration here.

John The Bachelor: John’s Big Bachelor Pad (My First Bella Twin Experience). Inspiration here.

That also means that there will be fourteen other books. Let’s see if I can guess the other fourteen titles:

Daniel Hears a YES! by Dr. Bryan. Inspiration here.

Diary of a KSU Grad: Kick To The Head – The Story of Dolph Ziggler. Inspiration here.

Roderick Rules: The Story of a Company the WWE Won’t Acknowledge. Inspiration Here.

Jake & Scott: No News Is Good News Because That Means We Haven’t Relapsed. Inspiration here.

Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky I Am For Getting This Many Chances? By Alberto Del Rio. Inspiration here.

AJ Lee Wardrobe Malfunction

She is an odd one. But also hot. From wrestlingnewssource.com.

There Was An Odd Diva Who Got a Tattoo by AJ Lee. Inspiration here.

Rob Van Dam and the Grower’s Stoned. Inspiration here.

Randy Orton and the Chamber Pot of Gym Bags. Inspiration here.

Brie & Nikki’s How To Dress Like a Slutty Princess. Inspiration here.

The Superstars Employment Agency: The Future Endeavored Edition. Inspiration here.

Evan’s Not So Secret Garden. Inspiration here.

The World of Vince McMahon: The Complete When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Sixty-Eight and Trying to Bury Every Hatchet. Inspiration here.

Who do you think some of the other Superstars and titles will be? Put them in the comments below and I’ll make a full post of those ideas.

Weekend Rewind – Jim Ross, Impact Wrestling on Tour, AJ Styles and More

what_goes_on_tour– I am kindly requesting that anyone using Twitter stop asking Jim Ross if he’s going to be at “Insert WWE Event Here” in this case Old School Raw. The WWE doesn’t want him around. If you ask Ross this question, I will be sure to send one of our minions out to chop your fingers off. If you then get skilled enough to type with your toes, I will send out another minion (I can’t have them get noticed) to remove all of your toes. If you’re so dedicated to professional wrestling and learn how to type with your nose, you will be killed by a third minion then dropped off in the bed of the next person that asks Jim Ross whether he’ll be at the next event in Oklahoma City.

– I read on Prowrestling.net, by way of PWInsider.com, that TNA Impact was unable to secure a sound stage at Universal Studios. I’m sure everyone believe Dixie Carter and her mother now that they’re not looking to sell the company. I’m sure every business is turned away by their largest supporter.

– Speaking of TNA, our good buddy Jeff Jarrett will return to the ring with his lovely wife Karen Jarrett for USA Championship Wrestling. I’m sure it’s just a primer for his special Royal Rumble appearance. I’m sure everyone would mark out for him like they did for Kevin Nash when he came back. Except they’d mark out for Jarrett when he’s the fastest man ever eliminated.

– I hate headline writers. I mention this because there was a header on Dot Net “ROH New: Current Champion Unable To Appear At Television Tapings” which I was bummed about because I thought it meant no Adam Cole. He is one of the few things to look forward to watching that dreadful product. Fortunately, the headline was marginally misleading because it was Kyle O’Reilly, half of the tag team champions, who won’t be at the tapings. I do like him as a wrestler but reDRagon has barely been on TV recently. No big loss. We’ll get to see another dozen matches between C & C Wrestle Factory and umm, hmmm, since ROH has the greatest tag team division in professional wrestling.

– Since we hop scotched over to ROH, let’s talk about AJ Styles. If for some reason you didn’t see Roderick Strong incorrectly hold onto Styles’s legs during a Styles Clash go to jdew1492’s Instagram account. I’ll hope that all of that working out he does in his gym in Tampa included neck strengthening exercises. If he’s out for an extended period of time, at least AJ Styles can rip off Zema Ion’s angle when he broke Jesse Sorensen’s neck. Should we take bets on whether ROH would let Roderick Strong go like TNA did to Sorensen? I’m sure Dan Kuester can give us a good over under for that bet. – Kevin

#ROH Is The Worst – Part XVII

Zombie Princess

indulgy.com

The first match of the night was Davey Richards vs Roderick Strong. Here are some observations: Davey Richards added highlights to his hair. I sure hope he made that call like Eva Marie did on Total Divas because if the WWE did this on purpose, they have done a poor job of starting his repackaging.

– I am really enjoying Steve Corino as the color commentator. I think he’s fairly funny and brings personality since Kevin Kelly lacks any. “That is what it means to be a wrestler in Ring of Honor. You’re taking knees and punches and kicks and everything. You use every last ounce of energy to get that last move in…It’s never say die. That’s what makes Ring of Honor the best on the planet.” That statement is the best one I’ve heard to explain the ROH style. I’m not saying I like their style of wrestling any more now though.

Roderick Strong hasn’t been present for some of the recent tapings. I found him to be in the best shape that I have seen him since watching this program. Unlike when they over did is in one of my earlier columns, they undersold his work out regiment.

– Easily the best match I have seen from both of these performers over nearly the past two years. I kept hearing they were the greatest in the world but I didn’t see the proof in the pudding. They delivered in this match. If you’re going to hammer them, you’ve got to call them the other way too.

The middle match of Mark Briscoe vs Michael Elgin had a whole lot of nothing. The main event was Jimmy Jacobs, who just earned back his spot in ROH, against Adam Cole for the ROH Title.

Steve Cornio sold Adam Cole’s new personality switch. He explained that Cole had always been that way. I thought he did a good job of establishing it as much as anything I’ve heard from Cole. Unfortunately, during this match they had to show the announce table which was situated  on the corner of the ring with the hard camera looking straight at it. It was quite easy to see that Kevin Kelly was using a hand held microphone. Steve Corino and guest commentator were sharing a microphone. If you’re so bush league that you can’t afford three head sets, you shouldn’t be shown on TV. The ring bell people were on the other side of the corner from them. I would have rather seen them than this display of bush league.

Jimmy Jacobs speared Adam Cole from the ring apron to the guard rail. Every cool spot. I really enjoyed this match too. I’ve been high on Adam Cole for a while but Jacobs held up his end of the bargain. Adam Cole did have a strange couple of spots right together. He could have pulled a heel move and been counted out but came back into the ring. It almost cost him the belt which was a nice near fall and submission attempt. The attempt is the other strange part since he hulked out after the referee lifted his arm for the third time. He’s a heel, he doesn’t get to hulk out. Jacobs kicking out of the Florida Key was a surprise.

– I enjoy Nigel McGuinness as an announcer. He can be a little dry but he does a good job. He made a stupid statement though. After the Florida Key and a little back and forth, Cole gave Jacobs a flip pile driver with momentum from the second rope. Nigel said “We’ll have to see if he got all of that.” It’s a flip pile driver, you should be toast no matter how much you got unless it was nothing. – Kevin

The Art of Wrestling: ROH Newswire

Eric sent me the ROH Newswire email that he gets and asked whether I’d review these shirts. That’s like the wife asking Eric to stay off Stunt Granny. Or Jeremy being told to watch the latest freak show on TLC. Or Dusty being told Jim Cornette was signing autographs in Fond-du-Lac for free. Of course I’ll do it.

I love the advertisement in the middle of this add which screams “We’re high quality” by announcing that their shirts are only $10 this weekend. In comparison, you need to look at the prices at TNA (A majority of shirts are $19,99 with a high of $24.99) and the WWE (A majority of shirts are $24.99 with a high of $30.99). I’m not going to buy t-shirts from all three companies to compare their quality. I do feel like TNA & the WWE could bring their price down but I’m sure their shirts are of better quality than those from ROH. They could have put a nice spin on it by saying it’s a special for their ten year anniversary all year long.

The next part of this advertisement that bellows “We’re high quality” is by advertising their biggest stars which naturally means they’ve got two ROH shirts that are more generic than anything TNA or the WWE produces. The least they could do is add a hand shake silhouette in the background or even use a modified medal of honor. I don’t quite understand the logo either. The lengthened O underlines the other letters but it doesn’t really do much for the design. It adds flags to the top of R and H but not to the bottom so they didn’t keep the theme going. The O is also another spot that they could use the medal of honor.

The US Medal of Honor

To move on with the star content, they decided that Roderick Strong, The World’s Greatest Tag Team, Jay Lethal and Eddie Edwards should represent them. The only shirt with anyone’s name is Camp Strong which is just a tad ironic. One of my favorite moments on #WatchROH recently is when Nigel McGuinness explained that Strong concentrates on cardio conditioning. Why does the guy have a gut then at 180? Camp Strong needs a new head trainer. The barbell has beers on the end of it to make it a hilarious shirt. Oh, that isn’t funny?  Austin pulled off the beer drinking gimmick. James Storm pulls off the beer drinking gimmick. A little imp can’t pull it off.

Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas have the most boring shirt of them all. Black shirt with grey print and a script below it explaining the acronym. They should have used white to help make the contrast more bold but even that wouldn’t have saved this boring shirt. Jay Lethal and Eddie Edwards shirts are better with the contrasts but the designs are left lacking too. One could argue that the Lethal Injection looks like a syringe but I think they could go more in that direction to make it look more realistic. Instead, it’s a lazy lined fade pattern. WGTT & Lethal’s shirts have something in common that Edwards’s shirt doesn’t, the first two are centered and symmetrical, while Edwards has a lop sided design. As I’ve noted previous Art of Wrestling columns, lop sided is not necessarily bad. In this case though, there’s nothing to offset the design in the lower right hand side of the shirt so it’s bad.

The one last thing I will note about all of these shirts is that none of them are Ring of Honor’s champions. Not the ROH World Champion Kevin Steen. Not the TV Champion Adam Cole. Not their Tag Team Champions in Steve Corino & Jimmy Jacobs. The later two don’t even have a shirt so no link. The first two aren’t any better in quality but they should be pushed more because they’re the top names in the company. ROH is a third rate company. Their t shirts only help to prove it even more than their TV product. -Kevin

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