Hello everyone and welcome to your weekly addition of The Shoot!? Today’s column is going to be dedicated to Ring of Honor.? It is my favorite promotion in the U.S. and writing about Ring of Honor got me hired here at WrestleView as a columnist so I think it’s fitting that I talk about it.? Plus, I?ve just been itching to get to a column like this and I?m out of an antipruritic.? Despite all of that, it’s time to get to this week’s Quick Shots!
Last week on Monday Night Raw, we saw, possibly, one of the greatest endings to a Raw in quite some time when Randy Orton RKO?d Stephanie McMahon after punting Shane McMahon right in the head.? While this does close the book on the Orton/Shane feud, it opens the door on the new Orton/HHH feud as we saw The Game run down and tend to his fallen wife.? We?ve seen HHH vs Randy Orton before and some feel that this is just going to be another boring rehash, but I disagree.? The intensity in the look that Trips gave The Legend Killer was phenomenal.? Many haven?t seen Triple H this intense in quite some time and you know this is going to be a brutal match when it comes around. I can?t wait to see it.
So TNA released Sonjay Dutt, eh?? That one kind of came as a surprise to me with Sonjay being the cornerstone of their relations in the India market.? How his release is going to affect TNA programming over there remains to be seen, but that was definitely not one of TNA’s smartest moves in recent memory.? I heard that TNA is still trying to work out a deal with Sonjay to get him back under a contract, but I wouldn?t be surprised if the ball is d ropped again and he is let go completely.? f rom here, Sonjay could go back to CZW where he originally came f rom, go over to Japan, or try his luck with the WWE.? I would personally like to see him tour Japan, especially with the Dragon Gate organization.? Some of those matches would be phenomenal.? Sonjay Dutt vs Dragon Kid.? Yes? grab your towels now.
Finally, in probably the biggest news (for me) I?ve seen recently is that the legendary ?Nature Boy? Ric Flair is heading to Ring of Honor!? Ever since his departure f rom the WWE, the ROH fans clamored about bringing Ric Flair into the company, even if it wasn?t for a wrestling role.? There have been many suggestions by the ROH fans as to what the company should do with Ric Flair f rom giving a speech in the ring, to having the ultimate handshake between him and Kenta Kobashi.? Whatever ROH decides, I?m sure will go over big? I mean, it’s Ric Flair!? If Ric hadn?t retired, I would completely buy a plane ticket to wherever it happened to go see Flair vs Danielson because I am sure that would be a dream match for anyone.? But retired or not, I can almost guarantee that before Ric Flair’s time in ROH has come to an end, someone is ending up in a figure four leg lock!
Speaking of Ring of Honor… (I smell segue) it’s time for the main portion of your column.
In case you are not familiar with Ring of Honor, here is a quick summary to the best of my knowledge.? ROH is a Philadelphia-based wrestling promotion founded in 2002 by Gabe Sapolsky, Robert Feinstein and R.F. Video.? Its early shows were held in the now defunct Murphy Rec Center.? ROH pooled some of indy wrestling’s top talent into one promotion which included names such as ?Fallen Angel? Christopher Daniels, Samoa Joe, Low Ki, Homicide, Amazing Red, The Briscoes, and Bryan Danielson.? Other big names such as Paul London, CM Punk, Colt Cabana, Michael Shane, and AJ Styles would show up on ROH’s doorstep.
Then controversy struck the company when Rob Feinstein got caught in some acts that I will refuse to mention here.? I?m sure you can all Wikipedia his name and find out what happened.? ROH then was taken over by current owner Carry Silken.? Samoa Joe, the company’s third champion, took the belt overseas and it was recognized as a World Title.? Austin Aries and Roderick Strong did the same for the ROH Tag Team Titles as well.? ROH even introduced a mid-level title known as the Pure Title which followed different rules than a normal ROH match that were pretty unique.? The Pure title would then soon disappear after Bryan Danielson (who was then world champion) defeated Nigel McGuinness (who was then Pure Champion and is now the current World Champion) in a unification match at ROH Unified in England.
ROH continued to grow by extending their hand of friendship to Japanese promotions such as Dragon Gate, Kensuke Office, Pro Wrestling NOAH, DDT, and even New Japan Pro Wrestling. ROH has evolved f rom a small Philadelphia company and has become global.? ROH has run shows in England, Canada, and Japan.? They have branched out in the United States as well by not sticking to their northeast territory and migrating out to Dayton, Ohio and Chicago, IL.? They then went south to Virginia, Tennessee, and Florida.? They branched out west and held a show at the legendary Cow Palace in Las Vegas and this year, they will be holding a show for the first time in Houston, Texas.? ROH has also broadened itself past the DVD sales to worldwide Pay-Per-View.?
InDemand, DISH, and (finally) DirecTV all carry ROH.
All this came to fruition in just six short years.? The popularity and growth of Ring of Honor is steadily climbing and there is only one thing left for ROH to do and ROH has done just that:? go onto national television. As I mentioned, all of this happened in the span of six years as ROH’s Seventh Anniversary Show hasn?t happened yet and ROH has already secured a station and a time slot.? Starting on March 21, 2009, you can see Ring of Honor on HDNet TV every Saturday at 8pm.? This is a huge stepping stone for Ring of Honor, but I have a question:
Who here has HDNet?
According to my DirecTV package, I do get HDNet, but my channel doesn?t come in because I do not own an HD receiver f rom DirecTV.? The same question was asked on the ROH message boards when the announcement was made about which station was going to pick up Ring of Honor and there weren?t too many positive replies in regards to people actually getting the channel in their homes which means a lot of people will have to upgrade their equipment and services just to watch Ring of Honor and that is something I don?t think will pan out well for ROH? at least not at first.
While it is nice that ROH is going to be presented on a national level in full HD (because maybe they will get actual television studio equipment to tape their shows, thus bringing up the production quality), the biggest question is will it all be for nothing if the majority of their fan base can?t even watch it?? Pulling in the viewers on a niche channel such as HDNet may prove to be another obstacle for Ring of Honor, but then again, it really isn?t ROH’s fault that they ended up on HDNet as they were just one of the very few channels that were willing to pick them up and out of the ones that were willing to pick them up, they were one of the very select few willing to work with ROH to help promote and package the company.? ROH needed television and they had to go with the obvious choice.
Another issue that was voiced by the fans was going to be the entrance music.? A lot of the ROH wrestlers are instantly known by what music they have, especially one, Bryan Danielson who uses Europe’s ?The Final Countdown?.? The problem here is that Cary Silken is not Vince McMahon.? Cary Silken does not sit on a pile of money that he can throw out to bands such as Waterproof Blonde, Rev Theory, Saliva, and Alter Bridge to use their songs for their wrestlers.? While Cary is trying to get a cover for the Final Countdown (which I will be happy with), all I have to say is THANK GOD I don?t have to listen to Wheezer for Austin Aries? new theme anymore.? Sorry if you are a fan of Wheezer, but that song is just awful. ?Also? if possible, I kindly ask that a good song be created for El Generico because looping ?Ole! Ole ole ole! Ole?. Ole!? over and over again is just mind-numbing and I?m sure those who saw Rising Above would agree.
Despite the possible bumps in the road with getting to re-recognize wrestler entrance themes or the possible difficulty of being a channel that not everyone has, this was still the right decision by Ring of Honor.? National TV is the obvious next step for ROH and I really do wish nothing but success for the company.? Getting an upgraded stage should be the next step, but maybe that will come with the TV Deal.? I?m sure once the television tapings go down (which will be on a three week delay f rom what I understand), we will see if that actually happens or not.
That brings me to this week’s feedback question:? What is your whole take on ROH’s TV Deal and what this means for ROH’s future?
Before we go? it is time to unveil the final new feature of the column.? I hinted at the feature in the first column so you might have guessed what it is since I placed this announcement at the end, but in case you didn?t? the new feature is Reader Feedback.? Last week I talked about The Undertaker’s streak at Wrestlemania and I received a great array of responses f rom the readers and for that, I thank you.? I tried to respond to all of them, but I didn?t get a chance to so if your E-Mail went without a response, I do humbly apologize.? Here is what a few of you wrote to me:
Liam Hunt wrote:
Hey there, just a comment regarding the Edge or Orton dispute over who should pick up the pin at Wrestlemania over Undertaker.
My opinion: Neither! And i’m not saying I want his streak intact until he retires, no.
Edge and Randy are both 100 per cent over as the top heels in the industry right now and they have no need to pick up the win because they are already at the top and there is nowhere to go but to stay at the top or go down.
I believe that Undertaker should ‘pass the torch’ either at next years ‘Mania or at WrestleMania 27 to eith Cody Rhodes, Ted DiBiase Jr, Jack Swagger?or another very young up and comer.
Because eventually Edge will retire and you will have Orton as your only over heel and then before you know it he is looking at retiring, so my idea is using his streak to completely push a next generation star into superstardom.
If I had my way, Ted DiBiase Jr, but that’s just me.
Steve Loewen wrote:
You?re right on in saying that neither should get the privilege of defeating the Undertaker at Wrestle Mania, and yes?his streak should remain intact until the day he retires.? There is only one wrestler out there right now that may, in fact, do the impossible and that would be John Cena.? I thought all through the year I thought that Cena-Taker would headline Wrestle Mania 25, and now that we all know that this will not happen I hope to see the match at WM 26.? I ultimately feel that Taker will want to ?pass the torch? ala Andre to Hogan, and there is no bigger or better star out there than Cena. ?The parallelism of the Undertakers to Andre’s career, I feel, stands out like a sore thumb. ?As much as I do not want to see the streak broken, Cena will still be a relatively young star next year, mark my words?Cena will defeat the Undertaker in the main event of Wrestle Mania 26, and what a moment it will be. Let me ask you a question:? HBK has been in the WWE match of the year for 5 straight years (?04 Triple Threat, ?05 Angle, ?06 McMahon, ?07 Cena, ?08 Flair).? I?ll say it right now?Taker-HBK f rom WM 25 will be the 2009 Match of the Year.? What’s your pick?
I responded with HBK/Undertaker as being the show stealer in case you wondered.
Suzanne Abshire wrote:
I think the built up the Randy Orton vs Shane McMahon match problem is Randy has been made to look weaker then Shane when it should have been the other way around?
If TNA loses the Motor (or Murder) City Machine Guns they are really stupid because they will be losing one of the best tag teams in the business and they will be pissing off New Japan who gave the Motor (or Murder) City Machine Guns the belts so they could be defended in the USA.? Although ROH will be on TV soon and are on PPV it is a step dwon for them.? With that said anyone who leaves TNA or WWE ROH should look at all of them.
ROH is trying to get a cover of The Final Countdown.
I agree no man should ever beat the UnderTaker at WrestleMania.? I used to think that EDGE should have eventually but then WWE put him in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match at WrestleMania 23 and he wasn’t the winner.? Prior to that match he was also undefeated at WrestleMania and in a couple of years he would have a long enough undefeated streak of his own that a 1 on 1 match between them could have been huge but EDGE didn’t win that match and WWE doesn’t have anyone else they could build up enough before the UnderTaker retires to make it worth while for the UnderTaker to lay down.
I don?t want to fill up space with every E-Mail so I?ll stop here.? These were just chosen at random, but a big thank you goes out to everyone for reading and sending in feedback. If you wish to give me any feedback on the topic discussed this week, where your free pizza and beer is f rom my promise two weeks ago, why they should have gotten Sara Del Rey’s legs to play Chun-Li in the Street Fighter movie, or why Billy Mays would kill Vince in a real life fight, please send it my way at firstname.lastname@example.org!?
Because I can.