Confessions of a Sport Entertainment Fan: Why I Refuse To Watch ROH

Yeah, I’m pretty much writing this just to get the indie contingent around here worked up.

Let’s rap about ROH a bit. According to its (fanatical, unsettling) fan(atic)s, (have I emphasized how much they freak me out in paranthetical asides yet), ROH is the greatest thing ever. In the history of creation. Even better than air, opposable thumbs, pornography, Matt Fraction, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, or any other thing you can possibly think of. It is the pinnacle of human achievement, and you are retarded if you don’t agree.

Okay, they don’t say so in that many words, but trust me, it’s implied. Subtext, man. Trust me. I was an English Major. I gotta use the damn degree for something.

Having set up my straw man, let me burn it down, by politely asking Aaron, Vin, Bones (best name ever!), and any other indie guys around here who evangelize ROH that I happened to have ignore one thing; shut the hell up about how great ROH is.

That wasn’t really that polite, was it?

Seriously, though; you guys are the kind of rabid indie fans that turn people like me off of indie things to begin with. It’s always “MOTYC candidate” this, and “Age of the Fall” that. Can’t you ever talk about the underepresented promotions out there, like that little multibillion dollar conglomerate in Conneticut that could, or that plucky indie fed so DIY they rent out a theme park to run their shows?

Well, okay, you guys do that some times, but usually just to talk about how your boys are doing now that they’ve left the nest. Your two best alumni are my two favorite active wrestlers based solely on their mainstream work, which is the only reason I ever paid any attention to you piddly little indie fed in the first place. But you also have to talk about how much better ROH is than WWE and TNA. It’s such a better product. It’s what wrestling fans really want. It will make you attractive to females.

No.

Well, maybe. But I really can’t be bothered to care. See, here’s the thing; I don’t have Vin’s daddy issues. I’m perfectly okay with the crap WWE and TNA shovel. Never mind that WWE’s exciting again for the first time in years, do to the roster shakeups and a certain tatooed love boy winning a certain belt from a certain other tatooed guy on a certain show. And your other big name, your “Legend”, the guy who carried the company on his back for 645 days, is on top in TNA. No, even when the mainstream wrestling world is not turned on its head, when it’s not raining cats and dogs and Paul Heyman isn’t lying with Jim Cornette (I bet there’s a slash fiction of that), I’d rather watch WWE and TNA than ROH. Here are a few reasons why:

1. It’s cheaper- I’m cheap. I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about and watching wrestling. But I spend as little money as possible to follow it. I do shell out for the PPVs these days, but I have to use my hi-def TV for something besides X-Box 360, you know? So, following a promotion by DVD? Not for me. I could torrent the damn shows, but I am against piracy in all its forms. Also, watching anything longer than 5 minutes on youtube makes my skin crawl, so my gnat like attention span isn’t conducive to 30 minute+ wrestling classics in a postage stamp sized screen. Also, I only just accepted I was a fan and not just an intellectual slumming it, so give me time.

2. I’m a WWE Mark- Grew up with ’em, was cemented as a fan during the Attitude/2000-01 run of awesome that killed WCW once and for all, and have watched RAW religiously since. And a lot of my favorites from that era are in TNA now, so I get a nostalgia kick from them.

3. I am not a work rate fetishist- At a certain point, when you guys keep throwing asterisks at me, I go numb. When Joe vs. Punk was getting raves, I was interested. Now that every time Bryan Danielson on the Briscoes fart in the general direction of a ring and you guys hold down shift and type on the 8 key furiously, I’m suspicious.

4. I think I’m more of a sports entertainment guy- I like great matches, sure, but I also like the lame comedy, talentless models who can’t wrestle rolling around in the ring, and stupid angles. I dunno, I think Wrestlecrap rotted my brain at an impressionable age, but I genuinely enjoy WWE most of the time. It helps that I tivo the shows and fast forward through things that insult even my intelligence. Not Hornswoggle, though. Little bugger cracks me right up. So, I’m thinking we’re not the same audience, you know?

5. I’m jealous of you- It’s true, and I have to comedic analogies to illustrate it. Remember that bit in Knocked Up, where Paul Rudd is watching his kids mark out over blowing bubbles, and he’s lamenting the fact that there’s nothing in the world he enjoys as much as his kids enjoy blowing bubbles? That’s how I feel about whenever I see you guys mark out over an ROH show. I’m kind of a disapposionate person, so anyone who raves over anything the way you guys do over ROH kinda freaks me out. I only wish I could feel that over anything, much less a wrestling promotion.

Secondly, Lewis Black once said that if America were a person, and it boasted as much about itself as it does, you’d be inclined to murder it, just to eat its heart and steal its power. So, to an uninitiated fan, all of this ROH raving can get pretty tedious pretty fast. Also, I kind of want to taste an indie fan’s heart. Just to see if it’s better than a WWE fan’s. Yeah, I can make that comparison.

All that said, I still have some vague interest in the 21st Century’s Philly based indie snob promotion. I’m probably going to pick up those “Greatest Hits” DVDs, especially since I can get them through Amazon. And the pedigree of the ROH-alums plying their trade in my neck of the wood makes me think you’re not such a crazy cult for raivng about this stuff. But I still like the mainstream stuff, too, and only have so much time for wrestling in my life, even if I do write for this site on occasion, and am paid to do so elsewhere. Maybe I’ll be one of you guys one day yet, yelling about how awesome Nigel McGuiness lariating Claudio Castignolli is.

Until then, though, seriously; shut up about ROH for a bit, okay? Or else we can’t be friends. And you want to be my friend. I have a Wii! People should like me based solely on that! I am so lonely.

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