Sunday, August 5, 2012

Why There Isn't Much ROH Coverage on My 1-2-3 Cents

Davey Richards vs. Kevin Steen
Photo courtesy: ROH
By Chad Smart
@chadsmart & @my123cents on Twitter

Kevin posted a question recently on the my123cents Facebook page asking what topics readers would be interested in seeing covered in future blogs. One response was more Ring of Honor coverage. I realize ROH is the defacto number three promotion in the United States and it gets very little mention on this blog. There are a few reasons for the lack of writings on the company.

When my123cents started, Kevin was the primary writer and focused mostly on WWE and old school memories and comparison. As Kevin has stated multiple times in his blogs and on his YouTube videos, he hasn’t followed the independent wrestling scene until recently. Most of his exposure to the Indies over the last decade was when I’d force him to watch a DVD. Having a family with kids involved in multiple events and an insane work schedule takes up the majority of his time. It’s been hard enough to get him to watch Impact much less a show he’d have to track down and watch.

When I started writing for my123cents, one of my primary goals was to try and bring more of a focus to the Indy scene. What that really meant was promoting Chikara as much as possible. By living in Los Angeles, I have Pro Wrestling Guerrilla and NWA: Hollywood that I should be paying more attention to but don’t. Due to a combination of long work hours and at times a hectic semi-social life, my writings have been more sporadic than I’d like which usually results in just writing on whatever is happening in WWE or TNA.

Briscoes vs. WGTT
Courtesy: Ring of Honor
Even if I did focus more on the independent scene, ROH would still most likely get very little attention. Simply put, I’m not much of an ROH fan. I have not bought an ROH DVD since 2006. I’ve been to four ROH shows. The only one that I truly enjoyed was the first show, which was the first show they did over Wrestlemania 22 weekend in Chicago. Even then, we left at the start of the main event. A main event that last 55 minutes and started at midnight, by the way. I have ordered a few of their Ippvs and usually got bored about half way through the show. The last show I ordered was “Boarder Wars” back in May. That was the first Ippv ran completely in-house and ended up that most of the people who ordered didn’t get to see it because of technical issues on the Sinclair Broadcasting side of operations.

One of my biggest complaints during the days when I would try to watch ROH was their production values. While their weekly television shows have improved audio, the pitch-black ringside lighting comes off very amateurish to me. Somebody may point out that that’s how wrestling was presented back in the day before Vince McMahon came along and made the show more of a spectacle. If that’s the vibe ROH is going for, that’s fine. It’s just not something that makes me want to watch the show.

Another factor to my low interest in ROH is during the early days of the promotion most of the top guys worked for TNA and IWA:MS as well as ROH. Instead of seeking out ROH DVDs, I could watch TNA’s weekly show or go to the monthly IWA:MS show in the area to see guys like AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, Samoa Joe and others. Without having a reason to actively seek out their show on a regular basis, I never really became a fan of the promotion.

While ROH’s history is filled with “classic” matches, my cynical opinion is ROH fans often consider any match that goes at least 30 minutes, has a minimum of 10 false finishes and has guys dropping each other on their heads is an automatic five star match. If the match happens to include a Japanese wrestler than automatically gets 4 stars before it even starts. This mindset of fans, along with constant “this is awesome,” “this is wrestling” chants are more factors that turn me off to ROH.

Richards & Steen
Courtesy: ROH
Over the past year or two, the face of ROH was Davey Richards. Davey is the poster boy for everything I hate about independent wrestling. With Davey as champion, even with an undercard that would put on an amazing show, I had near zero interest in watching ROH. I won’t get into details, but there was an incident last weekend in Iowa involving Davey and for the foreseeable future, I am boycotting any show that has Davey Richards. From what I’ve read, ROH isn’t using Davey at the present time, so this boycott may not apply to ROH.

Overall, ROH simply doesn’t appeal to me. I understand they’ve gone through some roster changes and the independent wrestling scene isn’t as top loaded with talent as it was in 2002-2003. I have no problem with watching guys who aren’t ready for primetime get their shot and watch them improve as they get more experienced. Heck, that’s basically how I’ve gotten to know and appreciate the entire Chikara roster. The problem is what I’ve seen out of ROH hasn’t captured my attention.

Maria & Mike Bennett
Courtesy: ROH
Now that I’m done burying ROH, I hope at least a little of what I’ve written explains why you don’t see much coverage of Ring of Honor on my123cents. Plus, I don’t get the weekly TV show in LA and don’t think about watching it online.

Also everything I’ve written could be applied to Dragon Gate USA/Evolve. Even the guys I do enjoy watching wrestling in ROH/DGUSA/Evolve don’t appeal to me in those environments so I’d prefer to watch them in other promotions.

I will try to include more thoughts about the Independent scene in the coming months. It would help if promotions sent me some DVDs to check out. With limited finances and a Chikara addiction to feed, as well as upcoming trips for Bound For Glory and Wrestlemania 29, my wrestling budget is pretty tight at the moment.

Thanks for reading and your continued support of my123cents. Remember to check us out on Facebook and Twitter.

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