Inside Pulse 12

10 Thoughts on … Ring of Honor May 07, 2016 (Global Wars preview show)

Thought Zero – Tonight is a preview of the Global Wars pay-per-view, so I’m not going to expect too much by way of actual matches. Let’s see how Ring of Honor is able to tell their own stories going into a major event. (Full disclosure, I am writing this on Sunday night and just checked the results of Global Wars so I may drop that knowledge in here as well.)

1) The hosts for this very special episode of ROH TV are Kevin Kelly and Mandy Leon. To be honest, Kevin Kelly doesn’t really need to be here. Mandy Leon is quite capable of getting the storylines over by herself. Plus, she is just slightly more enjoyable to watch.

2) Recap of the TV title situation is up first. Good recap showing Roderick Strong is a punk, Tomohiro Ishii is a badass, and Bobby Fish is excellent at trolling Roddy. By the way, Ishii’s headbutt towards the end of his title win against Strong was awesome.

3) I’ll be honest, I’ve enjoyed watching some of these matches with Ishii. But (SPOILER ALERT) Bobby Fish wins the TV title at Global Wars. So, I have to question what the point was of giving Ishii the belt for a few months? It’s been made perfectly clear that Fish has the better of Roderick Strong. He won the 2 out of 3 match to set up the challenge for the title at Global Wars, they played up that Fish got into Strong’s head which caused him to lose the title, and Strong tapped out to Fish in their first encounter even though the referee didn’t see it. So if you are going to show, over and over, that Fish is the victor in the feud, why not have Strong drop the title to him? I know giving the belt to Ishii gives him something to make some American audiences take notice, do you think they wouldn’t have taken notice if he kicked Strong’s ass even without the bet on the line? I don’t know… I guess the way they did it worked, it just seems like a very roundabout way. Moving on…

4) They are showing us some of Kyle O’Reilly versus Adam Cole from Supercard of Honor… in order to show O’Reilly’s state of mind? For his match against Tetsuya Naito? Did Cole somehow mind meld with Naito? Why should we care if O’Reilly had a blood feud with Cole? What purpose does that serve for his match with Naito? I think you are stretching a bit there, ROH.

5) Now they are setting up the Moose and Kazuchida Okada versus Michael Elgin and Hiroshi Tanahashi tag match. Now they are showing the match between Okada and Moose from the 14th Anniversary where Moose earned Okada’s “respect.” And while I’ll buy that, I am more interested in seeing the potential Moose versus Elgin battle than another Okada versus Tanahashi battle.

6) Moving on, Kevin Kelly says that to get us prepared for the “insanity” of the 8-man tag at Global Wars, here is a match from 14th Anniversary involving two people not in the match at Global Wars. But, to be fair, it did have 4 people involved. The 8-man match scheduled is between the Bullet Club members The Young Bucks and the Guerillas of Destiny versus Matt Sydal, Kushida, and the Motor City Machine Guns. I imagine that could be a great match, with some interesting secondary storylines, like will Kushida and Chris Sabin fight over Alex Shelley’s tag team affections?

7) The ROH tag team titles will be on the line at Global Wars as the Briscoes will challenge War Machine. Nice little setup for this match, including some violent footage of times they have clashed in the last two years. I’ll mention this again in my tenth thought. But for now, let me just say that I could watch these two teams fight all day.

8) Mandy Leon and Kevin Kelly do a tease going into the break about their upcoming tease of the Heavyweight title match at Global Wars. That’s pretty ballsy, ROH.

9) We get the same review of Colt Cabana’s return to Ring of Honor. Jay Lethal makes a good point in their confrontation that Colt Cabana has been gone for five years because he knows Lethal is better than him. And ROH decides to show us some of a 2005 match between Cabana and CM Punk. I’m glad that I actually get to see a little of Colt Cabana wrestle, since we haven’t seen him at all prior to getting a title shot, but damn, it’s good to see Punk again. It really makes me wish Punk was back in WWE now so we could get some Styles-Punk, Owens-Punk, Rollins-Punk, Ambrose-Punk, Zayn-Punk, Samoa Joe-Punk, Balor-Punk, or Nakamara-Punk main events. If anything could issue in a new era in pro wrestling, that could do it.

Bonus thought – It appears at one point during the match, Cabana screwed up a top rope belly-to-back suplex and drove Punk down to the mat right on the back of his neck. I’m sorry, am I supposed to be watching Global Wars to see if Cabana’s kills Lethal with a botched move like that?

Bonus thought #2 – The lighting for this match is horrible. Thank goodness the company was able to upgrade that, because this looks quite bush league even though the wrestling might have been superb.

Bonus thought #3 – Colt Cabana won that match against CM Punk with a random roll-up? After they showed about ten minutes of Punk crushing him? Why do I want to see Cabana versus Lethal again?

10) Okay, here goes… I appreciate a show like this once in a while. Nice rundown of a Pay-Per-View card, decent attempt to explain the issues between the combatants, and some intriguing old footage. But Ring of Honor, this show aired for me the day before Global Wars. It re-ran locally the night of Global Wars. And it will run later this week on the cable channel Comet AFTER Global Wars. If your programming is syndicated like this, maybe you should run a show like this a week earlier? You know, give people time to actually order the event?

Also, we’ve spent the past few weeks watching matches from two months ago. While those matches help the average viewer become familiar with some of the New Japan talent who will be at Global Wars, it doesn’t do much for storylines which have evolved since then. The two big title matches at Global Wars (the Heavyweight title and the Tag Team titles) I have heard almost nothing about, but I really should have been having those matches pushed and promoted for weeks now. I want to know why I should care about Colt Cabana and why he is deserving of a title shot. Jay Lethal’s claim of beating everyone and having no one left to beat should be money to bring in whomever you want to wrestle him. But for someone who wasn’t watching ROH five years ago, you have to give me a little more to care about someone coming in to challenge for the belt. And the tag team title match should be a HUGE event. The devastating War Machine against arguably the best tag team in ROH history? War Machine has never beaten the Briscoes. The Briscoes want the belts again. Everyone involved hits hard and are energetic. Push this match to the moon. No brainer, right? Hell, I think a match like that could even main event a PPV if featured properly. But, you know what? I absolutely forgot that this match was going to happen because you were focused on matches from two months ago. I should have been told every week that these matches were coming up at Global Wars and that I can’t miss it. I should have had video flashbacks, interviews with the parties involved, etc. Instead, I got some good matches from two months ago but no instructions on where to find a hot tub time machine to order THAT event.

Basically, I guess I am saying that while I love the wrestling in Ring of Honor, and am willing to forgive some of their confusing booking, I just wish they had a little more foresight in how they promote their product. Come on, guys. I’m rooting for you.

 

Later this week, part two of my invasion angle in my Fantasy Book column. Check it out. I’ll be back next week with some more ROH action. Until then…

 

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