Ring of Honor Weekly

ROH vs. TNA Live… ’nuff said.

News of Honor

The Philadelphia PPV taping is being moved from March 15 to March 16 to accommodate a March 14 and 15 taping for The Wrestler, a feature motion picture starring Mickey Rourke. The two new taping will be in Dover, NJ

This could be huge for ROH’s exposure. I’ll be at all three shows that weekend so please stay tuned for results and commentary!

Rising Above will debut on PPV March 7

This one has a must-see Aries vs. McGuinness title match. Get it and see the Match of the Year so far this year for $10-$15.

This Week on Inside Pulse

The Ditch has the first installment of links to set you up with the very best of Kenta Kobashi’s Entire Career. This is the best idea I’ve ever heard. You MUST go get this while you can.

Wiswell reviews Reckless Abandon. ROH reviews are yummy. For further proof, Big Andy Mac reviews Race to the Top Night 2. Jesse McGurk kicks it into overdrive with Steel Cage Warfare.

Mark Allen has a nice column on the Megapowers vs. The Twin Towers, which was amazingly important and is a great read. It doesn’t hold a candle to his new column, This Week in the ‘E, which is immediately a personal favorite.

Brashear discusses Tough Enough.

Please check out my Comics Reviews. Specifically be sure to check out a very important East of Gotham. Don’t sleep on the rest of the Comics Nexus, either at ComicsNexus.com. Big things are on the horizon.

The Fool in the Stands: Live ROH vs. Live TNA

TNA has lately made a habit of going head to head with Ring of Honor in where and when they run house shows. TNA and ROH both ran Dayton at the same time recently and will do the same thing on Long Island on February 22. Adding to this is that TNA will likely begin live television show tapings while ROH is in Orlando for Wrestlemania weekend. All together, TNA seems to know that wrestling fans come out and pay for wrestling when ROH is in town and so want to get some of those fans over to their shows. That leaves us with one burning question: Which show should you go to?

Often the first question a wrestling fan will ask before going to a show is, “Who will be there?” TNA doubtlessly has the bigger names than ROH at this point. Still, before choosing TNA, one must really check to be sure these names are present at the show and in prominent matches. All ROH shows are for DVD release, so they will have the bigger names in longer, better matches. TNA treats these as lesser, house shows, so major talent likely won’t do too much. If all you want, however, is to see big names, then the TNA show is the place to be.

One major drawing card for TNA with ROH fans is the former ROH wrestlers on the roster that we’ve all come to miss. It’s hard to know Samoa Joe will be local and miss the show, especially knowing ROH will return within six months. Adding in the Murder City Machine Guns, Homicide Lethal, AJ Styles and several others, the choice becomes more and more difficult. The problem is, on a TNA show, these guys aren’t going to tear the house down or do anything important as they would in a ROH ring. To me, merely seeing the talent, but not truly experiencing them as fully as in the past makes me choose ROH, but this is a difficult choice for any ROH fan.

If you’re looking for a good show in the ring, which is where you will be seeing the majority of the live action, then ROH is absolutely the place to go. Rare is the ROH show without at least one very good to great match, and many have more. Particularly up against TNA, ROH is stacking cards and has the certain advantage in which company will produce the better show. If you care about in ring action, ROH is the way to go.

TNA is also bringing in international talent of late. Seeing Japanese superstars live in the U.S.A. is always a major draw. TNA will not have their international talent on house shows to this date. ROH, on the other hand, does not have house shows and the best talent available, including Go Shiozaki and Kota Ibushi, might be at any given show. This is where you get the experience in ROH you truly cannot find in TNA.

Oddly enough, if you want storylines and storyline advancement, ROH shows are still the way to go. TNA is heavily storyline driven, but nothing of import happens off television. ROH has everything released on DVD, so every DVD, and therefore show, features storyline advancement. If you want stories told in and out of the ring, the ROH show is the way to go.

Lastly, there is the fact that TNA, run by the wildly successful Panda Corporation is targeting Ring of Honor, a far smaller, family owned business. This is a rather scummy move, especially when you factor in that the increased finances of TNA allow for far more advertising, thus drawing fans away from ROH shows who would never have heard of the ROH show to begin with. Hopefully this rather low maneuver (TNA could easily run these towns on different dates) convinces ROH fans on the fence about whether to see Joe or another Danielson classic to choose the “American Dragon.” Remember, the best in the world is always the right choice.

The Top 10 Reasons ROH is the Best Live Experience

A special thanks to Griffin for his insight on ROH’s tremendous live atmosphere.

10. Real Music

I know, I know, with the other companies having T.V. deals this isn’t entirely fair. Well, they have production values and video packages, but live nothing compares to a great song. Whether it’s banging the guardrails to Aries “Personal Jesus”, clapping along to “Gimmie Back my Bullets” as the Briscoes kick ass, or, best of all, singing along to “Final Countdown” for the best wrestler in the world, the music is iconic in a way that’s almost impossible to quantify.

9. Meeting Wrestlers

I’ve been invited backstage and such, but don’t go (same with movies, I don’t care about actors, I’m there for characters and roles). Even with that I’ve met 2/3 of the roster. With smaller venues and a lot of goodwill to be built for the company to thrive, the wrestlers hang around the concession stands and watch various matches from the audience. Nigel in particular is around a lot and always has a kind word. Yes, that’s the World Champion. How often do you hear that about Cena and Angle? It’s just not feasible for them. All of the stars of ROH are approachable and none has ever been disrespectful in the least.

8. Seeing Future Stars

Know how it’s great to find a movie like Napolean Dynamite or a great band before they break it big? I do. There’s a pride in seeing great talent develop and gain recognition. Remember when you saw Samoa Joe, Paul London, Brian Kendrick, CM Punk, Alex Shelley, Homicide and others before they were on TV? I do. Want to see whose next?

7. Fan Interaction

When a fan say something stupid, he is quickly chanted down. If he isn’t shouted down by the fans, a wrestler will often stop to address the foolish fan, usually with hilarious results. Crowd chants and reaction play a role in the structuring of a match and who’s pushed. Want your favorite pushed? Go out and cheer him like mad. Maybe it’ll catch on and we’ll have a new star!

6. Community

When you go to a ROH event you will feel part of a larger community. In person almost everyone you can meet is cordial and happy to help out with whatever. These are real fans trying to spread and support something we all care about. Most of us really want more people and love discussing ROH. It’s the friendliest fanbase, with the friendliest company I can recall. Even the company goes out of their way to make the events more communal. Kids seem to be often given special passes, while the owner, Cary Silkin shakes hands as people leave the event.

5. Inexpensive

ROH is constantly running sales. Before nearly every show there will be a 25% off sale, so if you’re getting reserved seats, that’s an instantly great deal. If you don’t get reserved seats and prefer General Admission, everywhere but NYC has the $10 sale for those tickets. Go check WWE prices and enjoy.

4. More Intimate Venues

Yes, the buildings are smaller. No, this isn’t a bad thing. I’ve been to 40 or so WWE events and besides the top guys like Hogan, Warrior and Rock no one gets the sustained reaction of top ROH talent. More than that though, in ROH every seat is a good seat. You can see from almost anywhere and have a great view of the action, including many subtle things that don’t come out on DVD. Check a show out to see how much more fun smaller venues can be!

3. International Talent

Want to see the best wrestlers from around the world live? Only ROH offers you that opportunity. The biggest names to appear are Kenta Kobashi, Mitsuharu Misawa, Jushin Liger, and The Great Muta and, of course, these are huge events, but you can regularly see the new generation like KENTA, Morishima, Marufuji, CIMA, Naruji Doi, Shingo, and now Go Shiozaki and Kota Ibushi at ROH Live! Seeing these extraordinary talents live adds a whole new level of appreciation for their mastery of the form.

2. A Variety of Styles

WWE has their main event style. TNA has some X-Division spottiness, the Abyss monster match, and their heavyweight wackiness. Meanwhile, nearly every ROH show has one top notch tag match, a high speed spotfest or two, a brawl through the crowd, a technical masterpiece, a puro juniors style match, and a regular heavyweight match. Variety is the spice of life and ROH makes life quite spicy. Try it out; there’s something for everyone.

1. Great Matches

Ring of Honor simply has more great matches in more varying styles than any other federation anywhere else. Here’s a quick list of some stuff to check out in each style in no particular order:

Technical Masterpiece:

1. Bryan Danielson vs. Austin Aries – Honor Nation
2. Nigel McGuinness vs. Bryan Danielson – ROH Driven
3. Samoa Joe vs. CM Punk – Joe vs. Punk II

Great Brawl:

1. Jack Evans vs. Necro Butcher – Final Battle 2007
2. Morishima vs. Danielson – Glory by Honor VI Night 2
3. Homicide vs. Chris Hero – In Your Face

MMA Influenced:

1. Bryan Danielson vs. Takeshi Morishima –
2. Bryan Danielson vs. Low Ki – Round Robin Challenge
3. Samoa Joe vs. Low Ki – Glory by Honor

Brawl through the crowd

1. Steen and Generico vs. The Briscoes – Death Before Dishonor V Night 1
2. Necro Butcher vs. Jay Briscoe – Undeniable
3. BJ Whitmer vs. Jimmy Jacobs – Fifth Year Festival: Finale

Cage Match:

1. Jimmy Jacobs vs. BJ Whitmer – Supercard of Honor 2
2. CM Punk vs. Jimmy Rave – Nowhere to Run
3. Austin Aries, Roderick Strong, Jack Evans, Matt Sydal vs Jimmy Rave, Alex Shelley, Abyss, Prince Nana – Steel Cage Warfare

Modern Tag Wrestling:

1. Briscoes vs. Aries and Strong – Unified
2. Briscoes vs. Murder City Machine Guns – Good Times Great Memories
3. Aries and Strong vs. CIMA and Doi – Better than Our Best

Traditional Tag Wrestling

1. The Briscoes vs. Kevin Steen and El Generico – Fighting Spirit
2. Mike Quackenbush and Jigsaw vs. Kevin Steen and El Generico – Domination
3. Aries and Strong vs. Sydal and Daniels – Gut Check
Total Spotfest:

1. Vulture Squad vs. No Remorse Corps – Honor Nation
2. Hidaka vs. Amazing Red- Glory by Honor
3. Claudio Castagnoli vs. El Generico – Race to the Top Night 2

Story Driven

1. Nigel McGuiness vs. Chris Hero – Glory by Honor VI Night 1
2. Bryan Danielson vs. Homicide – Final Battle 2006
3. James Gibson vs. CM Punk vs. Samoa Joe vs. Chris Daniels – Redemption

Traditional Face vs. Heel:

1. Austin Aries vs. CM Punk – Death Before Dishonor 3
2. Takeshi Morishima vs. Claudio Castagnoli – Death Before Dishonor V Night 1
3. Nigel McGuinness vs. Jimmy Rave- Fifth Year Festival: Finale

Puro Style:

1. Bryan Danielson vs. James Gibson – Glory by Honor IV
2. Austin Aries vs. Bryan Danielson – Glory by Honor VI Night 1
3. Marufuji vs. Davey Richards – Final Battle 2007

Imported Foreign Star:

1. Joe vs. Kenta Kobashi – Joe vs. Kobashi
2. Bryan Danielson vs. KENTA – Glory by Honor V Night 2
3. Dragon Gate 6-Man – Supercard of Honor

Gimmick Matches (hatred):

1. Jay and Mark Briscoe vs. Kevin Steen and El Generico – Ladder War – Man Up
2. Homicide vs. Colt Cabana – Chicago Street Fight – Better than our Best
3. CM Punk vs. Raven – Dog Collar Match – Death Before Dishonor

Gimmick Matches (hate free):

1. Bryan Danielson vs. Nigel McGuinness – Pure Rules – Unified
2. Bryan Danielson vs. Paul London – 2/3 Falls – Epic Encounter
3. Takeshi Morishima vs. Bryan Danielson vs. Austin Aries vs. Chris Hero – Final Battle 2007

Six and 8 Man Matches:

1. Bryan Danielson vs. Samoa Joe vs. Austin Aries vs. Colt Cabana vs. Homicide vs. Mark Briscoe – Survival of the Fittest 2004
2. Cage of Death – Death Before Dishonor IV
3. Austin Aries, Roderick Strong, Alex Shelley and Jack Evans vs. The Briscoes, John Walters and Jimmy Rave – Generation Next
4. Bryan Danielson, Mark Briscoe, Austin Aries and Matt Sydal vs. Nigel McGuinness, Delirious, Roderick Strong and Jay Briscoe – Race to the Top Night 2
5. Rocky Romero, Austin Aries, Delirious and Claudio Castagnoli vs. CIMA, Susumu Yokosuka, Dragon Kid and Ryo Saito

That about covers that, then, yes? See you next week with a TNA article, a ECW article, and, as always, more Ring of Honor Weekly.