Welcome, everyone, to the last “10 Thoughts on ROH” column of 2010! I debated whether or not to do one this week, given that it’s a recap show (and I’d risk repeating thoughts I had when the recapped matches actually happened), but I just love you guys way too much. Now, before you dive into this column, why don’t you go ahead and check out Kyle Sparks’ review of the show? Go ahead, I’ll wait.
You’re back? OK, thoughts!
1. All in all, ROH had a good 2010. Coming into the year, I had some concerns regarding the main event scene, but the company did a find job of elevating some guys (more on that below) and freshening up others, and was helped by an infusion of talent (namely, Homicide and Daniels). Even better for the company, I don’t see any key players getting poached this year unless the Kings of Wrestling decide to go to TNA, so they should be able to keep the top of their pyramid relatively intact.
2. The Television Title Final, its outcome, and the decision to have Richards and Edwards pursue singles goals without really breaking up turned out to be a good business decision. Davey remains as over as ever, and Edwards has really been elevated into a credible World Title challenger. Once Davey’s title reign comes around, I hope we get a Richards-Edwards title match, either as a “respect” thing or as a turn and feud.
3. I loved the final of the TV Title tournament, but still don’t think it’s a slam-dunk as the best match of the tournament. Seriously, go back and watch the Steen-Edwards semi-final, which I feel is very underrated. If it wasn’t as good as the final, it wasn’t that far behind.
4. Wow, I had almost forgotten about the Austin Aries-Delirious feud. The matches were pretty pedestrian, and the whole thing just dragged for too long. The one bright spot that came from it was that, in helping Aries take out Delirious, the All Night Express showed a more vicious side, which has helped them be taken seriously as a team.
5. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Young Bucks back in ROH sometime in 2011. I don’t know what their contractual status is with TNA, but it’s obvious the company has nothing for them to do, and no desire to figure something out. I do hope to see them back, as the tag division could use one more credible babyface team to round things out.
6. On a related note, the Kings of Wrestling were so dominant and awesome in 2010 that it’s going to seem like a huge deal when someone finally takes the belts off of them. I can’t see anyone on the current roster doing it, so we’re either looking at Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin, or a Samoa Joe-like title reign for KoW. I wouldn’t be opposed to either.
7. It’s a damn travesty that ROH decided to not retain Steen for 2011. He was a huge breakout star this year and could have remained an integral part of ROH’s upper-midcard, with the occasional cup of coffee atop the card. I hope ROH changes its mind and brings him back, and does so before the momentum from his awesome 2010 is killed.
8. Yet another guy that was elevated in 2010 – El Generico. Sure, he’s a fine wrestler and was already over, but his feud with Steen called for him to tap into a darker, more vicious side of his character that he had not shown before. I think he’ll do just fine, even with his signature feud being over.
9. Daniels should have picked someone other than Cal Ripken, Jr. as a guy that got better with age. You can see the decline in his stats after this MVP season of 1991. He should have picked Brett Favre instead. At least it would have been funnier, and I could have made penis references.
10. Isn’t it telling that the “Best of 2010” show included virtually NOTHING about Roderick Strong’s heel turn and World Title win? I don’t mean to knock the guy, but he wasn’t interesting enough to be a champion as a face, and I don’t think this heel turn has cured that. ROH has been fortunate that other feuds have held the fans’ interest, but will that continue to be the case? Davey’s time needs to come. And very soon.