Ring of Honor Weekly

This week we cover ROH’s most controversial angle in a long time, plus major news!

News of Honor

Ring of Honor will run the Hammerstein Ballroom 5/10

This is huge news as it seats a good 1300 more than ROH’s previous max. I’ll have a lot more on this next week.

Nigel McGuinness is a full heel

This happened at last week’s Sixth Anniversary Show. Nigel is so much better as a heel it’s unbelievable. Hopefully they didn’t soften Danielson too much in setting up Nigel, though.

Results for the night before in Long IslandI

This was surprisingly good given how badly the weather messed up travel.

Tammy Lynn Sytch will appear at the Orlando, Wrestlemania Weekend Ring of Honor shows

Honestly, I’m skeptical as to how much she really adds to the product, but, well, she’s at least a very big name.

On August 15 ROH will return to Cleveland, Ohio

Get your tickets Clevelanders and anyone in traveling distance!

Last, but far from least, please check out The Story of Eric. If you have interest in helping out, contact our own John Wiswell.

This Week on Inside Pulse

Wiswell knows how to (review) Man Up and has another Cult of ROH discussing Nigel’s awesome heel turn.

Mark Allen speaks historically about Foley vs. Hunter

The Boss got smoooooked!

Wheeler talks Mania thus far.

Kace Evers returns and Counts Down ECW.

The Fool in the Stands: Ring of Honor’s “encouraged Rape” Angle

The Issue: At the Sixth Anniversary Show heel manager Larry Sweeney had a talk show segment. He was with his fat, sympathetic lackey Bobby Dempsey for this. His guest was former ROH manager and women’s wrestler Allison Danger. During the segment, Sweeney called Danger a slut in various ways. Well, he’s a heel, so degrading women very much fits his personality. Allison decided she didn’t have to take the abuse and when she turned to leave, he knocked her out with the microphone. Violence on women… it’s not new in wrestling, but it’s rare in ROH, where the Honor is usually more strongly emphasized. Here’s where it gets controversial though.

The Controversy: With Danger down, Sweeney urged Dempsey to “make a man” of himself by taking advantage of and raping the fallen Danger. Dempsey stood over her, Sweeney told him to at least cop a feel on various parts while the crowd chanted things like “Man Up” and “Suck Her Tits.” He then knocked Dempsey out on top of her and stepped on his groin to grind it into her.

The Result: A lot of the ROH board freaked out over this highly offensive angle. A lot of people defended the angle as Sweeney just being a heel and “not that big a deal.” Eventually, ROH Booker Gabe Sapolsky issuing an apology and stating that this would never happen again. Throughout various message boards, the debate continues.

My Tale: This is a WWE Style, Sports Entertainment segment. These are often offensive to a certain set of fans. Ring of Honor supposedly is all about matches and wrestling, with angles built around that. They advertise themselves as a wrestling company so as to appeal to those alienated by this very Sports Entertainment style segment.

The segment is, at the very least, questionable. What’s more, it’s directly opposed to what ROH supposedly stands for. Is it marketable? Maybe, but that’s not the point. It’s marketable to a different fanbase and strays distinctly from ROH’s vision. Following that market design is what WWE and TNA do. If they’re going to be the same in that manner, they don’t stand out and aren’t necessarily worthy of financial support- after all I can get a load of the other two free, while I need to pay for any and all ROH.

Will anyone other than regular ROH fans buy to see this? No. Will this turn off some regular ROH fans who would otherwise purchase events? Yes. Is there a valid case for it being offensive? Perhaps, but regardless, it’s a style of segment ROH has pointedly built itself, or at least it’s image, around avoiding. That’s poor business.

Now, to it being distasteful. I don’t especially want to even be reminded of rape while I’m watching wrestling. My girlfriend immediately turned to me while it was happenning and said “Are they cheering for her to be raped? This is terrible.” She’s a casual fan at best. This is what it means to a non-fan: Distasteful stuff that reinforces why people either stopped watching or disliked wrestling in the first place. There’s a segment of fans who could care less, but they are getting this silliness for free in WWE and TNA, so why try to get them to pay for more of the same?

There’s also something to be said to the fact that at least some of the fans chanting for Dempsey to do it had an initial gut reaction that it wasn’t so bad. Some people on the ROH board suggested groping a passed out female was acceptable. That’s what we want Ring of HONOR to be about, now is it?

Thanks for your time and I’ll see you Monday with A Modest Response.