Greetings! I am back with another Fantasy Book for your reading pleasure. I know I tend to be very verbose in these things, but today’s column will be short and to the point. Or at least I will try to stay focused.
But first… those who read me (shout out to my singular peep out there) know that I also do a 10 Thoughts column on Ring of Honor wrestling each week. Ring of Honor is the promotion that I have started watching more regularly these days, and with good reason. They have the best wrestlers, their booking (while having some issues) doesn’t insult me the way WWE’s booking does, and they have a good working relationship with New Japan Pro Wrestling. This last point is important because I get a chance to see some of the best wrestlers in that fine organization as well on a fairly regular basis.
I have also been watching a lot of Battlebots recently (go Tombstone!), but more on that later.
Not everything in ROH is perfect. There are some wrestlers who I just don’t like. There are some wrestlers who are just not over but still get pushed hard. And there are jobbers-to-the-stars whose presence fluctuates between tolerable and annoying. One such person is Mr. Will Ferrara. If you do not know who Will Ferrara is, here is a match he had with the Romantic Touch last year.
Now, Will Ferrara is a good wrestler. I don’t mind that he is short. Short wrestlers can be good wrestlers and I can enjoy their work. Ferrara appears to be a good hand who can put on a good match with almost anyone and even be a legitimate victor at times. But as I noted in my 10 Thoughts column this week, none of his attempts at displaying a personality has worked for me. I just don’t really care about him. In a way, he is the Tim Horner of his day. I don’t mind seeing him on my TV, but I don’t care if I don’t see him on my TV.
So I started to wonder what could be done to make me care about Will Ferrara. It was an intriguing question in my mind as he was wrestling a Young Lion named Jay White. I believe Jay White is currently on loan from New Japan Pro Wrestling to gain some experience and recognition. While Adam Page is doing the same thing over in NJPW, I thought it would be a perfect fit for Will Ferrara.
My main reason for thinking Ferrara should take a tour in Japan is to establish a new character for him. Let me back up just a second to set the stage. I mentioned the good relationship between NJPW and ROH previously. That includes talent swaps and wrestlers spending various times in each other’s world, even competing for their titles. One wrestler who has used this relationship to do wonders for his career is Michael Elgin.
Elgin is a former Ring of Honor World Champion. However, his act was starting to get stale in Ring of Honor in the minds of many. But then he went over to Japan and started competing in matches for NJPW. He got over so well that the promotion signed him to a lengthy deal. He is also the current IWGP Intercontinental Champion.If you are not familiar with “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin (or his currently HORRIBLE nickname “Big Mike), here is some highlights of a match he had with the greatest wrestler in the world, Jay Lethal.
And I would have Will Ferrara join up with him in Japan.
Don’t think that I am just putting Ferrara with someone who is over and hope that he gets the rub. Not at all. Elgin’s popularity will definitely help, but it is not the main reason.
Back to Battlebots. I have noticed a lot of these bots have smaller robots with them. I call these small little bots “nuisance bots.” While the main bots are doing battle, these smaller bots are trying to get under their opponent, spit fire at them, etc. Basically, they are not going to take out the opponent’s main bot, but they could annoy them enough for the main bot to finish the job.
Will Ferrara would be Michael Elgin’s “nuisance bot.” At first, Elgin would not want to associate with Ferrara. But Ferrara could keep bugging Elgin, talking about their time in Ring of Honor and how much he looks up to him. Eventually, Ferrara would come out during Elgin’s matches to do some very loud cheering. Elgin would be upset at this, but would soon realize that Ferrara caused enough of a distraction to his opponents that he could take advantage.
This would begin the partnership between Michael Elgin and Will Ferrara. Ferrara could continue to have his own matches, desperately seeking approval of Elgin. Elgin could continue to be straight-faced and cold to Ferrara, only occasionally giving him a word of encouragement. This could lead to Elgin finally coming to Ferrara’s aid in a big moment, begrudgingly acknowledging Ferrara’s importance to him. They could team up regularly, establishing a solid big guy/little guy dynamic. And Ferrara could continue to be Elgin’s biggest supporter, and the best nuisance bot he can be.
Is this a role of a limetime for Ferrara? Maybe not. In fact, it is probably not even the gimmick that he will keep for a long, long time. But I can see it playing out in Japan and getting over. They can even have a big breakup towards the end of Ferrara’s run there. Then, coming back to ROH, Ferrara can establish a new attitude and build off the work he did overseas.
If nothing else, one thing I think this could do is make me care about Will Ferrara. It could make me care about seeing him on TV. It could make me interested in any comedy the angle could bring. It could make me care about what antics might be exploited by Elgin for his benefit. It could make me care about the reluctantly budding friendship between these two men.
It may not make Will Ferrara a star, because ultimately that is up to him. But it could make the audience invest emotionally in him. And that kind of investment is what wrestlers need to make their mark.
Until next week…
Tags: adam page, Jay Lethal, Jay White, Michael Elgin, Rhett Titus, Romantic Touch, Tim Horner, Will Ferrara