A Modest Response

Ranking the entire ROH roster’s chances to defeat Takeshi Morishima, then going to see the Simpsons Movie. ‘Nuff said.

News of Honor

All four of the finalists in the NWA Tournament are ROH Wrestlers

August 12 in Charlotte will see Claudio Castagnoli vs. Brent Albright. August 18 will feature Bryan Danielson vs. Adam Pearce in Vancouver.

ROH has a new Video Wire up

Thanks to Ollie for the full summary!

A Bad Week for ROH Alum in WWE

Punk lost cleanly to Morrison for the ECW Title for the second time, James Gibson was pinned by Hornswaggle of all people, and London and Kendrick were defeated by the Worlds Greatest Tag Team. Way to make me feel like I’m missing something Vince.

Every card from Aug 10, 11 and 24 and 25 will feature different iterations of Briscoes vs. Steen and Generico

The 10th is a non-title street fight and the 11th is 2 singles matches. The 24th is a cage match and the 25th is 2/3 falls. This should be great and totally blow off this major feud!

The $10 Sale is on at ROHwrestling.com

My recommendations: All Star Extravaganza, 1 Year Anniversary Show, Night of Grudges, Bitter Friends Stiffer Enemies, Midnight Express Reunion, Final Battle 04, Redemption, Chi Town Struggle, and Generation Now.

This Week on InsidePulse

I reviewed Arena Warfare, the second in our Milestone Series Reviews. Before you read me, be sure to check out Ollie Sutherland’s first Milestone Series Review, 4th Anniversary Show. This is the best series of DVDs match quality wise perhaps ever, so come see the reviews.

Also, starting our Summer of Punk review series is Chris Sicoli with The Future is Now. Come see Punk’s legendary final run of ROH shows.

Andy Mac compares the live experience of “Respect is Earned” to the PPV.

Clark has a very good look at the Puro influence on American wrestling and vice versa. He misses the huge impact Liger had on ROH and that Gabe himself calls ROH Americanized Puro. I really hope he goes back to that and writes in detail about how that’s true. He doesn’t appear to listen to me, however, as the terrible weekly “f*ck you” continues to make a good writer look bad.

The Top 100 Wrestlers Continues.

Matt Michaels turns WWE superstars to dead Rock Stars.

If Brashear doesn’t do something less offensive soon, I’m going to scream.

Blatt reviews ECW which is just getting depressing.

I discuss Wolverine and what makes the character work. Try out Who’s Who in the DCU by Mathan also.

Over in the games section, I discuss some alternatives to Popular RPGs.

Wheeler talks to Top Simpsons Episodes and my favorite checks in at number 5. It’s the best TV show ever and if you don’t watch and revere the earlier seasons, well, I don’t know what to do with you. They put out about 100 absolute classic episodes and it’s absurd how high quality they consistently were until about season 10. As soon as I finish this I’m going to see the movie and you should too. They got the great writers back!

A Modest Response: Ranking the ROH Contenders by chance to dethrone Morishima

This is a take off of a VS. question I received which will be put up when my opponent removes his head from his anus. The question was about who the most likely to dethrone Morishima is. This week, I thought I’d rank from least to most likely to take out the champion, excluding the tag team champions.

22. Adam Pearce – Pearce was already squashed by Morishima once and is way too definitively a heel to beat Morishima. He’s also far more likely to open a show than main event.

21. BJ Whitmer – Morishima absolutely destroyed him twice. There’s no reason for him to ever receive a rematch. I like BJ, but really, he needs to do something new.

20. Pelle Primeau – The top graduate of the ROH wrestling school is one of the smallest non-midget wrestlers ever. He’s tiny and fast and specializes in upsets. Does he have a real shot to beat Morishima? Of course not, but there’s always the extreme outside chance he gets the old ECW Mikey Whipwreck push.

19. Matt Cross – MDogg20 is about as balanced and fast as you can find in a pro-wrestler, unfortunately, he’s still about the third of fourth best high flier on the roster. He has held major gold elsewhere, notably UWA and Aries has shown that his protégé’s tend to improve quickly, but unless Morishima holds the belt for a lot longer than expected, Matt Cross is going to have no shot for the foreseeable future.

18. El Generico – Generico is the PWG champion and a way better wrestler than is generally accepted. Yes, he’s a gimmicky luchador, and yes, he’s in a tag team, but should the Briscoes manage to keep the belts through August, Steen and Generico will have no reason to team regularly and could make singles waves. Generico’s benefit is he’s a main eventer in one of the other top 5 indies, but the detriment is that his spot is basically already filled by the man from the Edge of Sanity who we’ll get to late. Ole!

17. Erick Stevens – Erick Stevens is great and will one day be among the best, but that day is not yet here. He’s still green. He’s a future ROH champion, but not anytime soon. Again, Aries protégé’s have improved quickly before and Stevens already has had great showdowns with Strong, so in time, Stevens will be a top carder.

16. Kevin Steen – Kevin Steen is awesome. He specializes in bullying, surprising agility and head drops and the upper-midcard has a lot of use for a guy like him who is totally unique on the roster. He won’t be bullying or head dropping Morishima, though. Godzilla will crush him.

15. Matt Sydal – The next few guys have a shot in the extreme longshot range. I see Sydal winning this weekend and moving to the top of the card, but more as a foil for McGuinness and Claudio than as a true threat to Morishima. It would take a lot for a heel to beat Takeshi, since that would instantly make them a conquering hero.

14. Roderick Strong – Eyebrows will raise at Strong being this low since he’s been a major title threat all through Danielson’s reign, but he has four major things against him. First, he is FIP champion and can have his own title matches built around that for a long while before forcing a Morishima confrontation. Second, he’s embroiled in a major feud with half the roster, so he’s sort of busy. Next, he’s a heel, and I really don’t see a heel beating Morishima. Lastly, Morishima has already beaten him and only once in singles competition has a man beat the champion on his second try against the same man holding the belt- Homicide with Danielson, and the story behind that clearly creates extenuating circumstances.

13. Jimmy Rave – I absolutely love the Jimmy Rave silent assassin gimmick and with a turn to a tweener, because of his presence and leg work, I could easily see him being one of the two or three most over guys on the roster. Unfortunately, that would take build, and he’s a heel who already lost to the champion.

12. Mike Quackenbush – This is my favorite long shot possibility besides Rave. Alright, he’s said he won’t be booked in ROH after this month, but he’s booked against Danielson at a major show, Death before Dishonor, so that could be a work. He also owns his own company, but if they didn’t run against ROH, it’s easy to see them working together and him signing with ROH. He’s getting Japan bookings, his dream, so this is further limiting, except that ROH has Japanese contacts. He’s Rey Mysterio meets Dean Malenko and fabulous. He could beat Morishima. All he has to do is stick around, scout him, and he really could be the next ROH champion. It doesn’t hurt that he’s a major draw for indy fans. There’s just too many if’s to rank him higher than this.

11. Nigel McGuinness – The number three man in the company lost to Morishima twice and shouldn’t really get a third shot before anyone ranked above him gets a chance. He should get a long title reign, but there’s money in his chase and that hasn’t dried up yet, so look for the chase to continue until, like Homicide or Danielson, the time is perfect. That time isn’t yet.

10. Rocky Romero – I really dislike Romero, but he is constantly being put over by Gabe as among the best in the world, which means he has a shot. A few years ago, the number 2 man in Generation Next, Austin Aries, rose to the occasion and took the belt from Samoa Joe. Romero could do the same, but he’s such a good heel I doubt it.

9. Austin Aries – A former world Champion, he would really benefit from being the first ever 2 time world champion. I get a feeling that honor will be Danielson’s though, and Aries has already lost to Morishima. I expect the NRC feud to keep Aries busy until after Morishima loses the title, but of all of those who Takeshi has already defeated, he has the best shot.

8. Chris Hero – Hero is another future ROH champion in the making. He’s big and fast with a ton of charisma. He’s also the best heel on the indies, despite sometimes drawing face reactions because he’s so damn good. The Best Wrestler in the World fills that tweener role and Rave would be better at a second in that spot than Hero. Let Hero and his heel stable continue their Claudio and McGuinness feuds. There’s no need to rush him with the title and him winning would constitute a face turn, which would be a bad thing.

7. Davey Richards – Remember what I said about Generation Next and Aries? Well, Davey is a lot like Aries and in the NRC. The cocky upstart gave Joe and Aries all they could handle on more than one occasion and is being protected from facing the top of the card. Perhaps this is for a title feuds to seem fresh? Either way, Davey is a good enough worker and if he wins the RTTT this weekend, he would earn a shot. He’s a mix between Low Ki and Aries and it’d be easy to turn him on the NRC or have him assume control of them. He’s the highest ranked pure heel on the list.

6. Delirious – Delirious is just wildly over. The masked man is right near the top of the card and nearly beat Danielson several times. He also just won a feud with Top Heel Roderick Strong. Not much is left besides chasing Morishima. He probably won’t beat the beast, but his unorthodox style is unlike anything Morishima has ever seen, so the upset to end all upsets is a possibility.

5. Jack Evans – Jack is among the most over, charismatic, and unique wrestlers on the roster. He’s beaten Roderick lately and really, would be something different from a World Champion. Since he’s been in Dragon Gate he’s become among the best fliers in the world, second only, in my opinion of primarily lucha based guys to Quackenbush and CIMA. A lot of people will disagree with me here, but Jack has everything it takes to be ROH champ but time in America. If he spends less time in Dragon Gate, I can see him beating Morishima.

4. Jimmy Jacobs – He’s hurt. He’ll be back. And I believe in love’s victory.

3. Claudio Castagnoli – Claudio has a shot coming up at a major show and in ROH titles almost always change at major shows or venues. Him winning the title would give a whole slew of new contenders shots and create a ton of fresh matchups. He’s got very good matches with Nigel and Sydal already, and more to come surely with Hero and every smaller wrestler on the roster. He’s top notch, but will his promo ability and being used to wrestling smaller wrestlers stop him from rising to the top against Morishima?

2. Brent Albright – Albright has received a push very similar to Samoa Joe’s early in ROH and taken out both BJ Whitmer and Homicide. He is a very good wrestler and even if he’s lacking that big ROH singles match, he’s had big feuds with Punk in OVW which I’m sure will carry weight with Gabe. He’s a beast and if anyone can match Morishima’s power, it’s Albright. There’s no reason he cannot beat Morishima, except that he isn’t featured on the first two PPVs, so let’s see how it breaks down.

1. Bryan Danielson – The Ace of the Company. The Best Wrestler in the World. The Man who will be in Inside Pulse’s Match of the Year two straight years. ROH is the kind of company where the top man should be the World Champion. Well, Danielson is the top man and he should be World Champion August 25.

ROH Weekend Previews

Andy Mac’s Picks – Right here in a new window.

My Own Picks – Right here in a new window.

That’s 30 Straight Weeks of AMR for Pulse Wrestling without being late or missing a week. Hope you’ve enjoyed and continue to read. Drop me a line at hbk826@aol.com or on msn at hbk826@hotmail.com, or on aim at hbk826. Thanks for the support and see you this weekend with Race to the Top Results! Be sure to check in during the week for ROH DVD Reviews from me and the rest of the Pulse Staff!