Shahid’s Blog: Cracked Glasses of Nostalgia – An Adult’s Walk Down ECW’s Memory Lane

ecw I remembered being depressed after moving from Philadelphia to Atlantic City during my high school years.  Separated from my family, friend and comfortable surroundings for a dump of a coastal city was a jarring experience.  WWF wasn’t helping either – Friar Ferguson and Beverly Bros/Money Inc main event matches would turn any smile upside down.  On a random Thursday evening, I stumbled upon a new wrestling promotion.  Gritty, small, loud and realistic, it instantly drew me in.  Regardless of the fact that I was watching a plodding match featuring Tully Blanchard, I was enchanted by the promos, violence and music of what was known as Eastern Championship Wrestling.  I can vividly recall talking to like minded individuals about how ECW was actually real, instead of that scripted crap of the WWF.  Seeing Sandman, a fat drunkard with a cigarette with Woman or Missy Hyatt on his arm just seemed authentic on some visceral level.  Hearing adult promos from Cactus Jack, Steve Austin and Shane Douglas made WCW and WWF seem quaint and childish.  State of the art matches from Rey Mysterio, Chris Jericho,  Dean Malenko, Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit…..violent brawls from the Public Enemy, the Pitbulls, Terry Funk….Sabu vs Taz…Raven terrorizing Tommy Dreamer and The Sandman…..sexy females with scant clothing and even less decorum.  ECW was a teenager’s dream.  Hearing the Gangstas come out to Natural Born Killers to engage in a blood bath made a Bret Hart match seem boring as can be.  I can remember waking up at 1 am to watch an ECW episode consisting of a pissed off Steve Austin just spitting venom at Eric Bischoff, Dusty Rhodes and WCW.  In a pre screw job, pipe bomb, real name era, it was as if someone had a peephole behind the magic rasslin curtain.  By the time they invaded Monday Night Raw to promote their first PPV, I was a full-fledged ECW acolyte.

Now, I’m sure there are many individuals in my age group that share similar joyous memories of ECW.  Even with One Night Stand and a brief resurgence led by Paul Heyman, it still felt hollow and empty, missing that rebellious fire of the 90s.  So when the WWE Network arrived, ECW was the first area delved into, due to an adolescent fondness. Even though it lacked the music and didn’t have the weekly shows, I was excited to see how well it held up.  So I watched a few ppvs and weekly shows and then watched a few more.  I tried jumping around during various time periods, hoping to shake this nagging sensation.  After a week of watching, I had to admit to myself that ECW, like many teenage passions, didn’t age well.

I won’t use revisionist history and proclaim ECW an overrated vanity project and minor league system.  It was enjoyable and revolutionary, and I will always cherish those teenage memories.  But watching it now is borderline painful.  Seeing the Sandman no longer brings feelings of awe and admiration. Now, I witness a slovenly bum who was a perfect example of smoke and mirrors.  Instead of rooting for the underdog story of Mikey Whipreck, I scoffed at the notion that he could ever beat Steve Austin in a match (side note – him pinning Austin killed any notion that ECW wasn’t predetermined).  I can understand the reasoning and logic behind pushing individuals like Tommy Dreamer and Justin Credible, instead of superior talent such as Chris Benoit and Rob Van Dam.  But as a fan today, I have little tolerance of watching Eddie Guerrero in the midcard, for fear of being snatched away by WCW and WWF.  For all of the wonderful long term angles pulled off by ECW, there were too many instances of inconsistent referees, match stipulations, and haphazard PPV’s.  If WWE tried to pull the ol “Let’s announce two matches, and we’ll work out the rest of the details later” style of booking, they would get crucified. I almost forget, they did try that…it was called December to Dismember, and it was universally panned.

The biggest issue with ECW is the same factor which added to its popularity – the extreme violence.  Seeing someone kick out from a power bomb through a flaming table with thumbtacks, only to get rolled up due to seeing the 34DD’s of Francine seems asinine today.  The constant one-upping of finishing moves led to many negative habits, not only by ECW, but by WCW and WWF. WCW was rightfully mocked for taking the piss out of ECW concepts, featuring hardcore matches with cotton candy used as a weapon.  But as an adult, I prefer that approach more so than WWF, which raised the bar to an extremely dangerous level i.e. Hell in a Cell with Undertaker-Mankind, and the myriad TLC matches.  Classic events, but considering the mark left on many of the individuals, something that is watched with trepidation.  But nothing makes me cringe more than the chair shots to the head.  When I first saw Tommy Dreamer plaster Raven square in his hipster face, I remember screaming like a girl at a Bobby Brown concert.  But after current knowledge of concussions and long term damage, I can’t help but cringe. I won’t even touch upon the menace known as New Jack (that’s a column for another day.)

As far as the adult content, what seemed risqué as a teenager comes off as misogynistic and trashy today.  Shane Douglas cussing every 3rd word makes him come off as an uncouth doofus. For every great promo from Raven or Cactus jack, there was some nonsense from the Pitbulls, or some foul mouthed diatribe from Rhino. And it wasn’t restricted to the wrestlers – hearing an arena full of angry men chanting crack whore or she has herpes doesn’t seem cool anymore.  I’m definitely not a prude, and I specifically remember the eye candy of ECW very fondly.  Between Beulah, Missy Hyatt, Woman, Francine and Dawn Marie, ECW definitely upped the sex appeal factor from the almost quaint days of Missy Hyatt and Sunny.  Today – well, seeing a skinny broad with some silicone enhancements taking a pile driver just seems unclean.  Any doubts to ECW being a mainstream entertainment vehicle vanished with my wife’s utter look of disgust after hearing a Dudley Boys promo.  My “it was a different era, baby”  didn’t hold much weight.

Regardless of my experience, I’m very grateful for the opportunity to traverse down memory lane with a more mature point of view.  ECW will always have a fond place in my heart, and I am grateful and cognizant of its effect on professional wrestling.  However, next time someone complains about Vince’s asinine booking and longs for the halcyon days of Paul Heyman, gently remind them that Steve Corino and Justin Credible were ECW World Champions, but Rob Van Dam and Stunning Steve Austin weren’t. And then tape their expressions for YouTube. -Shahid

@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 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

#ROH Is The Worst – Part XVI

jesse_sorensenROH decided to bring in Jesse Sorensen for at least a match. It is his first televised match since his neck surgery. It seems like a perfect time to give him a feel good victory, right? They’ve had Grizzly Redwood job to nearly everyone on the roster, so have him do the deed. But since ROH is the worst, his opponent was Tomasso Ciampa. As I’ve noted several times, I really enjoy Ciampa but there’s no need for him to beat Sorensen. He just as easily could be fed Q.T. Marshal, R.D. Evans or Silas Young, who I’d prefer since Ciampa finished his feud with the first two already. They could have also brought in some indy wrestler to fill either the spot against Sorensen or Ciampa as ROH likes to do. ROH did make the right call by giving Sorensen a competitive match against Ciampa. Sorensen still took a loss though which seems really dumb. Have him win his return then have him “pay his dues” as if coming back from neck surgery is some walk in the park.

I missed the two of the last three weeks because ROH continues to get bumped for Big Bang Theory at midnight on Sunday/Monday since it’s such an important time slot. The week it did record properly, they replayed their 100th episode which had originally aired about two months ago. I had already noticed that Steve Corino was behind the color person’s headset so something had gone down in the weeks I had missed. I know they had done some online segments and letters but I’m tired of trying to unearth it because ROH’s site Blog and Video sections are terrible. The origin of this complaint thought is what Kevin Kelly said during the match. “Steve, you’re an outstanding analyst. That’s how you got the job in the first place. Let’s make sure you keep it this time, okay?” Holy shit. Kevin Kelly loves doing a 180 with his opinions and it is awful. When Kevin Steen turned baby face, Kelly was all aboard the Steen train which has gone nowhere. Could you please, at least for this set of tapings Mr. Kelly, be wary of Steve Corino? Give him a hard time for at least that length of time. Hell, even as bad as Jerry Lawler is, he still gets a burr under his saddle when JBL brings up his loss to Michael Cole at Wrestlemania. Cole and Lawler get along now but Lawler rightfully remembers when they were at odds. I asked back in August if Kevin Kelly has ever taken a broadcasting class. This action confirms he never has. I’m not sure if Steve Corino is an outstanding analyst but I will say I enjoyed several of his jokes during the broadcast.

Jeans in Boots

If his name was Michelle Elgin, I’d let his fashion faux pas electric slide.

I have one last complaint and it yet again has to do with the choices people make for style. I have made fun of Michael Elgin for his mullet before. He has added to his terrible look by deciding to wear cowboy boots, which are fine. The bad part comes in when he tucks his jeans inside of the boot. ROH is the worst. – Kevin

#ROH Is The Worst Part XIII

From Green Street Hooligans

From Green Street Hooligans

Nothing in this week’s episode made me irate. But they did have several examples of why they are an awful company.

The Error: The production for the World Championship was terrible.  My Take: So third rate. I continue to compare this league to Prime Wrestling for a reason. They now both have Fox behind them, since Fox Sports bought out Sportstime Ohio, but ROH has the bigger budget yet all of their work comes off as smaller budget compared to Prime. It’s incredible. I tried to find the video on Youtube but ROH is ashamed of it so it isn’t posted.

The Error: Matt Taven is yelling at Kevin Kelly when the match finish happens. My Take: The match was a four way match to determine who would take on Taven next for the ROH TV Title. I would assume that Kevin Kelly has an idea of when the match will conclude unless an injury occurs. That’s right, injuries don’t change things in ROH. My error. Point being, Kelly should know when to get Taven to flip out on him. It makes his opponent seem meaningless. Probably because he is but that’s another problem for another column.

The Error: Kevin Kelly makes fun of #PartyBoys then continues to use it through out the match. My Take: I think it’s perfectly fine for an announcer to mock a heel’s persona. When Mitchell Cool makes fun of Zeb Colter, he continues to mock him even if the zingers are terrible. Kevin Kelly made fun of the use of the hash tag during Mike Sydal and Zizou Middoux’s entrance. Fair enough, now rip on them for it. Kelly instead starts complimenting their in-ring work saying things like “#PartyBoys are looking strong in this match.” Christ on a pony Kevin, did you not take a single broadcasting class?

The Error: The tag team titles are playing hot potato. My Take: A couple of weeks ago, Forever Hooligans (Alex Koslov & Rocky Romero) beat reDRagon (Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish). During their Inside ROH segment, they said that Forever Hooligans lost to the American Wolves (Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards) at an un-televised event. Kevin Kelly then tells us that the American Wolves have since lost the titles but he doesn’t tell us to whom. How fucking dumb! What’s the point of the update then?

The Error: For bring out the guy who is helping to fund you. My Take: He must be ashamed to be on TV. I have no idea why he agreed to it. I don’t remember what his name is and I don’t care enough to rewind. All the TV executive needs to do is check out the competition, which he should do every now and again. None of them have champions leaving the company. Kenny King and Jay Briscoe to ring a bell, right? ROH invigorated their Championship by crowning Jay Briscoe as champ after they killed the Championship with the Kevin Steen vs Jim Cornette feud that morphed in SCUM vs. Jim Cornette feud which morphed into a Steve Corino led SCUM which waging war on ROH. Since SCUM’s defeat (only a three weeks ago in TV terms), it seems they’re writing a palate cleansing angle to “Restore honor” to ROH. The main part of this palate cleansing should be the champion that did it. Unfortunately, they’ve got to look like the third rate company they are, not re-sign Jay Briscoe and have a ROH World Championship Tournament.

The Error: Kevin Kelly tells us to go ROHWrestling.com and fill out brackets for the World Championship tournament and play along. My Take: You have got to be kidding me. I would download the WWE App, uninstall it and re-install it for a week straight before going to ROHWrestling.com and filling out a bracket. ROH is the worst. -Kevin

#ROH Is The Worst Part X

Surprise+Surprise+with+Holly+Willoughby

Holly Willoughby from Surprise, Surprise.

Well I’ll be damned. Ring Of Honor put on a good show. Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander took on a debuting Alex Reynolds & John Silver. Most teams in their first match aren’t good but they performed admirably. The next match on the docket delivered too, Veda Scott taking on Ms. Chif. Even though Ms. Chif ended up winning the match, Veda Scott showed much improvement from when I saw her at Wrestlelution. She only had one year of experience at that point and has pretty much doubled that in the mean time. Very good match with a very good opponent. The third match of the show was Silas Young taking on Adam Page, another new comer. Young got to cut a promo before the match so one would assume that he was going to get the win. You would be wrong. Page ended up winning with a victory roll which made things really odd. Young had won more of the match and got the mic time so why let him lose? I only count this match as a victory because the match itself was really good. The main event was Eddie Edwards taking on Matt Taven. Kevin Kelly & Steve Corino hit Taven’s problem directly on the head when they said that his entourage of Turth Martini & the Hoopla Hotties (Scarlett is pretty damn hot) take away from how good of a wrestler Taven is. When the announcers do something right, you’ve got to give it to ROH for a good show. To boot, the min ring product did have a high quality. One part of all of these matches was that they weren’t very “ROH” in that people didn’t kick out of multiple finishers and they didn’t exchange an obnoxious amount shots. Congratulations ROH, you got one right. -Kevin

Gabe Sapolsky hates money, pro wrestling, you

For no reason

For no reason

Quote Mike Johnson:

When I reached out to Sapolsky, he noted that they would not be working with Wrestlecon this year as they could not come to a “business arrangement” with Highspots.com, the primary promoter/sponsor of the event due to the costs involved with the Wrestlecon venue.

Okay, so here’s the deal as I understand it. Wrestlecon is the indy’s way of weaseling in on the cash cow that is WrestleMania weekend. I believe all the promotions should band together for this event, as a way of maximizing profit for all parties. Since this is wrestling and that would seem to make sense, no dice there.

Wrestlecon is currently slated to be this amount of shit sandwich:

* Saturday AM session, 10 am to 4 pm: Includes admission to vendors, autograph and photo sessions; Marty DeRosa comedy show; $5 Wrestling event; & more.

* Saturday PM session, 7 pm to 1 am: Includes admission into the signing & vendors area; an independent show; a live taping of Colt Cabana’s podcast; & more. For an additional $25, fans can upgrade to a front row ticket.

*Sunday session, 10 am to 3 pm: Includes live tapings of The Kevin Steen Show & Old School with Steve Corino; & admission to the signing & vendor area; & more.

Meanwhile…

the “WWN Live Experience” in a separate venue is “live events and iPPV shows from Evolve, Shimmer, Kaiju Big Battel and Dragon Gate USA, with shows on Friday, multiple shows on Saturday and Sunday afternoon.”

So Gabe Sapolsky’s aversion to doing good things and making money shines through again. He’d rather get into an “I can one up you!” pissing contest, thus spreading the indy dollar thin and no one wins. As Jeremy put it early today, Gabe is that liberal college douchebag who doesn’t care about making money. Maybe his brain is doing a semester abroad to try to find itself.

And ROH? Well, ROH will get back to you real soon! – Dusty

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