Monday, March 5, 2012

Ring of Honor 10 Year Anniversary

From @trendingdanny
By Chad Smart
@chadsmart on Twitter

Since Ring of Honor’s 10-Year anniversary show ended a little over three hours ago, I’ve been sitting here debating whether to write about the show or not. One on hand I realize the writings on My123Cents are heavily slanted towards WWE and Chikara and would like to see us branch out and write about other promotions more. On the other hand, I’ve written before about what I don’t like about ROH and the 10-Year show highlighted a lot of those areas. I made the New Year’s resolution to be more positive in my writings because I’ve been called out by several friends who say I’m always complaining and if I hate what’s going on in the wrestling world so much why do I write about it.

I don’t watch the weekly ROH TV show. There’s no Sinclair station in the Los Angeles area and I don’t make time to sit and watch it online. I’ve attended three ROH shows and have walked away from each show more disappointed than entertained. I have not bought an ROH DVD since 2006. My biggest complaint with Ring of Honor is every match has the same ultra serious mindset. From what I’ve seen, there is very little variety. Maybe I’m wrong and haven’t seen enough recent action to form an opinion. If so, please let me know.

After thinking about it, the one positive I can say is if you are interested in watching the show, it is available on gfl.tv for only $9.99. At three and a half hours long, $10 for a PPV is a bargain in today’s market.

Guess if I’m going to be critical of the show might as well start with the main event. After all that’s what theoretically sold the show, right? The main event was subtitled “Young Wolves Rising.” The American Wolves (ROH Champion Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards) have apparently split up and taken a member of Future Shock (Kyle O’Reilly and Adam Cole) under their wings. Davey teamed with Kyle while Eddie had Adam as his backup.

The last ROH Ippv I ordered had a main event of Eddie Edwards defending the ROH title against Davey Richards. Davey won the title after a 40-minute grueling contest that allegedly Davey didn’t remember the last half of the match due to being knocked senseless. I am not a fan of the strong style Davey is known for because I don’t care to see wrestlers actually getting hurt. Plus the matches tend to rely on a lot of high impact moves, which should end a match, yet are used as transition moves. There’s little psychology.

In the 10-Year main event, at one point Davey was fighting with Adam and Eddie was beating up Kyle. Davey and Eddie were doing the exact same moves. I could buy this if it happened at the start of the match to show how The American Wolves were identical and used to build frustration between the two. Instead this came about 20-25 minutes into the match. The layout of the match didn’t gel with me. As I mentioned before, there were several moves that should have ended the match. At one point, I forget who it was, but one guy got kicked in the head then brainbustered. A 1-2 punch that would have sensibly ended the match. It didn’t. What did end the match? A flying crossbody. There’s nothing wrong with a crossbody. Ricky Steamboat won many a match using the crossbody. However when guys have been dumped on their head over and over and other high impact moves didn’t end the match, then a crossbody pins a guy who was in control of the match, I don’t buy it.

Adam Cole got the crossbody on Davey Richards to position him as a legitimate future challenger for the ROH title. I have no problem with this even though I expected Eddie Edwards to get the win since he is challenging Davey at the next ROH Ippv over Wrestlemania weekend. After the match Kevin Steen showed up in the crowd to taunt Davey and claim he would be the next ROH champion if given a shot at the title. So you have one guy who’s got a title shot, one guy who proved himself capable of pinning the champion, and one guy trying to talk himself into a title match. I applaud ROH for setting up several challengers instead of waiting until one title match is done and then inserting another challenger into the role.

The rest of the show was neither good nor bad. It was just there. There were some matches I enjoyed more than others but there wasn’t anything totally offensive or anything that blew me away. I did take exception to the TV title match going to the 15-minute time limit. Not that I disagree with the decision, just that that should happen on the weekly TV show not on PPV. Just my opinion.

I’ve read several opinions on the show and a lot of people are giving high marks to the Roderick Strong/Michael Elgin vs. TJ Perkins/Amazing Red tag match. To be honest, I was dozing off during the match so I didn’t notice anything that made the match stand out. My personal opinion is TJ and Red are good high-energy guys that can fly around the ring. I haven’t seen Michael Elgin enough to have an opinion and the only positive I can say about Roderick is, at least he’s not Davey Richards.

Due to the finding the first half of the show lackluster and having a Twitter conversation going on during the start of the second half of the show, I feel I need to go back and re-watch Briscoes/Young Bucks and Kevin Steen vs. Jimmy Jacobs. Both matches were ones I was really looking forward to and my initial opinion was both were a step below what I expected.

One area that really bothered me was the commentary on the show. This was my first time hearing Nigel McGuinness on commentary and I don’t think given his ROH experience he added anything that anyone familiar with his career couldn’t have said if they were on headset. WWE fans know how annoying Michael Cole can be when he’s shilling Twitter during a match. At least he doesn’t actually stop calling the action to read tweets the way Kevin Kelly did during the high profile matches. Maybe I’m old and haven’t embraced the new social media, I simply don’t get the point of ignoring the in ring action to tell the fans what fans are saying when fans could simply log into Twitter and read the comments themselves.

In addition to the commentary, this was probably the worst show from a technical standpoint. During the first two matches the audio levels kept bouncing from a good level to REALLY LOUD. Graphics promoting the upcoming matches would pop up earlier than they should have and stayed up too long. Several times the picture would cut to something irrelevant while something important happened in the ring. I don’t know if there was a new crew working behind the scenes or what the reasoning was for the glitches. I do know if this was the first show I ordered, I would be hesitant to order another Ippv.

And the TNA moment of the night belongs to the Homicide/Mike Bennett match. Bennett is dating former WWE Diva and ex-girlfriend of CM Punk, Maria Kanellis. This lead to the ROH smark crowd to chant CM Punk during the match to try and insult Bennett. Bennett got on the mic and claimed he, not Punk, was the best in the world. I don’t remember if it was Homicide or Bennett who attempted a Pepsi Plunge during the match. Towards the end of the match, Homicide gave Bennett the Go 2 Sleep after mimicking Punk’s mannerism of sleeping. An undercard match, which should have been used to elevate a rising star for ROH, was instead used to put over the WWE champion. Makes perfect sense to me.

Oh yeah, I guess I should mention the one part of the show I enjoyed and was the main reason I ordered the show. Chikara Grand Champion Eddie Kingston was invited to the ring to talk about the Chikara/ROH doubleheader in Chicago. During his interview Kevin Steen came out to try and entice Kingston into joining forces to destroy both Chikara and ROH. After Kingston turned Steen down, the two came to blows. When security got Kingston out of the ring, Steen took the Grand Championship belt, laid it in the ring and proceeded to set up like he was going to urinate on the title. Seeing their company’s title being disrespected, Jigsaw, Fire Ant and Green Ant hit the ring to fight for Chikara’s honor. I don’t know where the feud is leading but I’m all for a Kingston vs. Steen match.

Again, I’m not ROH’s target audience. They offer up something different then WWE and TNA. I’m simply not interested in their product. I won’t fault anyone who finds ROH enjoyable. Not everyone needs to enjoy the same things in life. Life would be pretty boring if everyone always agreed. I will more than likely attend the ROH Chicago show in April. At least I’ll have Kevin and our friends from AAPW with us to help enjoy the show.

Did you watch the ROH 10-Year Anniversary? Do you watch the weekly ROH TV show? What is your opinion of the promotion? Share your thoughts on Facebook.

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