I know I’ve been away for a while, and I apologize. Real life, at times, really does suck. But, something has come up that has tickled my fancy. I hope you take the time to check this out.
A little over a year ago, I attended ROH’s 6th Anniversary Show. I was content with the outcomes, and the show was put on as expertly as ROH Is known to put shows on. No, the name power wasn’t there, Homicide, Samoa Joe, AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, or even Colt Cabana, but the facts are the facts, the night went very well, and was very entertaining to watch.
Fast forward over a year, and let’s check the landscape. My interest in ROH has waned considerably. From the presumed idiocy I believed was being committed right from the top with tbe booking of the show to the fact that there was a serious depletion of talent due to other companies dipping in to what was once an abundantly talented roster, ROH had begun to enter a crossroads period in my eyes.
A year and change has passed, the idiot who booked the shows has been dismissed. The American talent that had been seriously lacking from the roster in Ring of Honor has been slowly rejuvenated with talents from the Orient, specifically Pro Wrestling NOAH and Kensuke Office, and the spark has begun to slowly gain some intensity in my belly.
Now granted, there are aspects here that are in drastic need of some definite changes to allow for a little chaos in the land of honor. Having only one title for the singles competitors makes the talent who aren’t prepared to take the next step in to main event competition have a tough time getting out of bulls**t matches against either students or much less noticeable talent. It also provides a stale taste in the mouth of most of the fans who are supporters of the main event talent, but when they have had multiple, and multiple shots to dethrone the current ROH World Champion, and all of them have been unable to do so, there begins a question that enters the mind of most ROH fans and, more specifically, talent.
Who and when is this guy going to go down to defeat?
Don’t get me wrong, I am all for long title reigns to prove the legitimacy and prestige of a world championship, but when the title reign is getting close to eclipsing legendary status, as it is en route to doing so with Joe’s reign being at 21 months, and Nigel’s is close behind, (I’m not sure exactly, but it is close….), you have to wonder one of two things.
Does ROH put Nigel McGuinness on the same plane, world champion wise, as Samoa Joe?
Or, does ROH believe that their roster is so main event calibre thin that there is nobody viable to dethrone McGuinness and take the reigns as ROH World Champion?
When you sit here and think about it, it’s a viable question on both sides of the coin. If ROH is not prepared to put the championship on a former title holder, as apparent by the fact that in seven years of their existence, there has not been one two time champion, then who is on the roster, the ROH roster, not NOAH or Kensuke Office or even Dragon Gate if they come back in to the fold sometime in the future, but the ROH roster as a whole, who on that roster is on the level as Nigel McGuinness as a main event calibre talent that is prepared to run the table with the company on its back?
Now, the world full of ROHbots are going to say Tyler Black is the next ROH World champion, and I would tend to think they have a valid argument, because of the fact that A) he has a tremendous following, B) he has all the potential in the world, and C) he is getting valuable experience in defending a championship of significant value by being the current FIP World Champion.
My retort is, Black has had NUMEROUS opportunities to wrestle the belt from Nigel, and all the time he has come up short. Does this bolster Nigel as a heel champion, or show Black to be not ready to take the next step? It’s a question only Adam Pearce can answer.
It’s that type of staleness that brought the lull in to my life when it comes to Ring of Honor. Yes, I am the first person on the planet to bitch and complain about multiple title changes in the span of a short period of time, (See the WWE Championship), but when the landscape shows little to no true competition to take your gold, it makes the product a little harder to swallow.
However, this time around, I felt a little flicker of desire to return to the live ROH culture, and see if the product is as good as it was when I was there last during the Sixth Anniversary Show up a few floors from where #7 will be, inside the Grand Ballroom of the Manhattan Center. Can Nigel vs. KENTA be the title match that brings the element of uncertainty to Nigel’s championship reign that he so desperately needs? Can there be the emergence of someone on the roster that backs Nigel in to a corner to such a point that he has to come out fighting with every ounce of energy he has to avoid losing his strap? Can the return of one of ROH’s top names, someone who just recently got out from under the clutches of Vince McMahon, can this man return on March 21st and reignite the flames of a lot of die – hard ROH faithful, and bring some needed oomph and pizazz to a product that needs it?
I’ll be able to tell you first hand, when I write my review of March 21st’s show in the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City.
And I gotta say, for the first time in a long time, I’m looking forward to it.
Thank you to the young lady who provided me with this opportunity.
Moving on, quickly, I had nothing to say last week about Smackdown or Impact because bluntly, I didn’t watch Smackdown, and Impact didn’t thrill me.
While I can’t comment on one thing with regard to Smackdown, I can comment that I am sick and tired of seeing Kurt Angle on my screen, I’m sick and tired of seeing Jeremy Borash lap at Kurt Angle’s heels like he’s some sort of dobermind pinscher, I’m sick and tired of listening to angles involving men that should be in the company preparing to evolve the next generation of superstars to the levels they need to be. And I don’t mean the next generation being Scott Steiner, Booker T., Sting, Kurt Angle, and old Greybeard, Kevin Nash. I mean AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Robert Roode, Eric Young, Jay Lethal, Cosequences Creed, and those others from the youth of the TNA roster that can’t seem to get a break due to the ridiculousness of the ‘feud’ between the Icon Sting and the Gold Medalist. Isn’t it about time that someone else who is not a former multi time world champion be given a shot at glory?
Right now the card for the Seventh Anniversary show has Nigel defending the belt against GHC Junior Heavyweight Champion KENTA;. Jay Briscoe taking on D’Lo Brown. Jerry Lynn vs. Mike Quackenbush, and the World tag team titles on the line as Steen & Generico defend against S&S’s American Wolves, Edwards & Richards.
I gotta admit, I’m intrigued already. I’ve heard nothing but positive things about Quack, and I have never had the chance to see him live. I am anxious to get the chance. Seeing him against Lynn may either be a clinic, or a cluster fuck. I don’t think it’s going to be much of anything else other thatn that. No good words…yet.
This match kind of puzzles me. Jay Briscoe vs. D’Lo Brown. I know why Jay is doing singles matches, to build his career up while Mark is on the shelf, but if I were D’Lo, I’d be focusing a lot more on the Global tag league he and Buchanan are in come the next tour in NOAH. D’Lo is a former GHC tag champion, and if I was fortunate and honored to be a former GHC champion, that’d be where my focus would be.
The World tag team title match has some potential, as the Wolves apparently have a ton of momentum from all the ‘knees’ they have been breaking, and if memory serves, Generico was one of their victims, and is just recently returning to ring action. While the possibility of Davey Richards once again wearing Ring of Honor gold is something I can see without question, I’m curious about the resume of young Eddie Edwards. I have not seen him as much, and don’t know too much about it, so I can’t really sit here and say this is a slam dunk match one way or the other. I guess by that notion, it’s a good booking, and let’s see where the chips fall.
When Homicide dropped the ROH World title to Takeshi Morishima nearly two years ago, I was stunned. Not because of anything more than the fact that ROH gave their biggest prize to a non-roster player. Whether you agree or not, technically, the NOAH guys are just that, NOAH guys. Morishima as champion was a surprise INITIALLY because of that fact, but he quickly grew in to the role, and performed admirably as ROH World Champion.
Fast forward to recently, and McGuinness recently defended the belt against Naomichi Marufuji, who, and I’ll go out on a limb here, is one of the best workers on the planet today. I thought Nigel would drop the belt to Marufuji, and we’d have a similar situation like we did when Morishima was champion, just at a totally different style of competition. It wasn’t the case, and Nigel remains champion.
Now, he is set on 3/21 to face newly re-crowned GHC Junior Heavyweight Champion KENTA. KENTA, who I hold in the same stratsuphere as Marufuji, as virtual equals, has not competed in ROH since his incredibly enjoyable showing with Mitsuharu Misawa in a failed attempt to capture the GHC Heavyweight title at Glory By Honor VI, Night 2. KENTA, who has a rich history with Nigel McGuinness already, goes in to this match having exacted revenge over Kensuke Office’s Katsuhiko Nakajima and recapturing the GHC junior title.
But, as much as I am looking forward to this match, and I am, I would be stunned beyond belief if there is a title change here. I don’t see ROH going in this direction at this time, as they are in DIRE, DIRE need of building up their own personal roster. While the addition of KENTA to the New York and Houston shows upcoming adds some needed star power to their lineups, ROH needs to find a way to liven up their roster in a hurry. Especially now that in about 10 weeks from now, a lot more people are going to be checking out Ring of Honor, when it’s done with its first six episodes on HDNet.
All of this, you place all of this in to a giant cauldron, and stir it all up, something comes out that hasn’t been there in close to a year.
Which, I’m sorry to say, I have more on from following ROH on the web, than watching WWE Smackdown or TNA regularly. I guess when there’s too much predictability in wrestling, things tend to get stale. Now, for the first time in nearly a year, ROH has some new ground to cover. Question is, can the administration of ROH cover it in a way to keep their fan base as rabid as they are?
Only time will tell.
Thanks for reading.
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