10 Thoughts on ROH TV 09.24.11 – Shelton Benjamin, Chris Hero, Eddie Edwards

Ten Thoughts?!

1. Did Kevin Kelly just kick it to backstage prematch comments?  Even if you like the concept, did the producer really need to tell the guys, “look, I’m gonna need your best spell of boredom. RIGHT NOW.” If you didn’t know who Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reily were or who the Bravado Brothers were before this, I’m not sure those comments helped establish them. At least not in a positive manner. But, if what they were going for was to give off a vibe of, “alright, we dare you to turn the channel motherfuckers,” they probably succeeded.

2. As for the match, it was pretty standard formulaic tag fare that ROH seems to bring in high qualities of late. There wasn’t anything too terrible about the match, but, it wasn’t very unique or captivating from a structure standpoint. The Bravados had a very small moment where they seemed to go for working over the neck of Adam Cole. But, for the most part, the psychology was geared more for the workrate quick cheap pop crowd and not anything deeper. Which isn’t a bad thing for an opener. This match was clearly better than anything that has been on WWE TV the last month or so, but, it did nothing to alleviate my concerns that current ROH is mainly going to be mainly about back and forth COMPETITION.

I also liked the finisher Cole and O’Reily (no fucking way I’m going to call them Future Shock on any kind of consistent basis) used in the same way I probably enjoyed The Eliminators hitting Total Elimination back in the ECW days, so, I’ll give them that.

3. The ROH promotion of late seems geared mainly to one small subset of people who are willing to give non-mainstream wrestling a chance. Will that cause people who currently don’t tune in to tune in? Maybe, how the fuck do I know? I do know that when I became a fan of ROH a long time ago, they gave off much more of a vibe that they were trying to include something for everyone.

4. Because, they’re clearly trying to create a “sports” feel to their matches. They had a fuckin’ “tale of the tape” before the opener. During the match Kevin Kelly remarked that Kyle O’Reily was on “Team Richards” and “in his fighting camp.” The problem with trying to create a sports feel is that a lot of the times it will feel artificial and, oh, yeah, there are a lot of options for people to watch MMA.

Are they trying to catch “WWE fans that are 11 years old, realizing WWE is shit and only cool for 9 year olds, so why have they been watching it the last year, they’re too cool for this, but, they don’t really know what MMA is yet?” If that’s the fan they’re catering to, my guess is they might succeed at locking them in.

This “sports” stuff is fine in small dosages that come about naturally. I guess you could throw Team Taz fighting some dude named Polar Bear 15 years ago out there as a good example of that. But, I’m not sure how overkill on this aspect will go over.

5. saysomethingpositivesaysomethingpositivesaysomethingpositivesaysomething …ok, overall, compared to the HDNet Show, the feel of the show is very good. HDNet was a very sterile environment and felt like they were in a studio. That seems very, very bad for putting together a quality wrestling show. So, I think they’ve taken solid strides in the overall packaging of the show. I also thought the graphics were good.

And, my biggest complaint about the HDNet show was that it was not reflective of the overall company. For better or worse, they’ve captured that here. Which is a definite plus, even if it’s not exactly what I want from a wrestling promotion. One way they’ve also improved in this is including the package from Best in the World and also showing a clipped version of the ending of the 4-way tag from Best in the World. Good move there.

6. The way I see it, if you’re gonna build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?

The Code of Honor is…back? Did it ever leave technically? Either way, it seems like they are back to placing emphasis on the Code of Honor and SHAKING HANDS. Why they think this is a good idea I couldn’t tell you. Did they sit around a Conference room and have all their power players in the room and talk about the pros/cons of this move? Then, did they all just blackout from boredom and this is the end result?

I don’t TECHNICALLY know the answer to that question, but, I’ll assume it’s very damn likely. They did not need to go back to the Code of Honor. The Code of Honor represents dark days for ROH. Look, ultimately, the Code of Honor is insignificant to fans of the product. The problem is, the Code of Honor is representative of a lot of lameness when you present it to the general public. If you think shaking hands is just some innocuous thing, you weren’t a fan of the company back in 2004 when it was really, really hard to break that stigma. It’s pointless and a waste of time at getting people over. It absolutely is not coincidence that when they de-emphasized the Code of Honor, the company began to take off. They didn’t need to go back to it.

7. Why in the fuck do they let Davey Richards speak words?

7a. If Eddie Edwards is going to be nicknamed “Die Hard” can he do at least one of the following…

a. Say “yippee ki-yay motherfuckers”

b. Have shootouts on snowmobiles instead of regular promos?

c. Be billed as hailing from “Nakatomi Plaza”

Or d. Receive Managerial advice from Officer Carl Winslow?

8. Needs more Briscoes. Their interview segment wasn’t great and should be filmed live on location in Delaware while they are drinking beer and landscaping or some shit. But, it was still fun compared to a lot of the other moments like this. The Briscoes act is better when juxtaposed with all this artificial “sports.”

8a. I actually kind of dug Lethal’s interview segment. I think the material he was working with wasn’t great, but, he had a couple decent lines that I took particular notice of.

9. Oh, the Main Event? You know, I actually enjoyed the opener more than the Main Event. They were both basically go nowhere athletic displays barely straying outside the lines of their paint-by-numbers patterns. Except, the Main Event had 10 additional minutes for you to realize, “wait a second, this is not going anywhere.”

It’s not that I found it to be a bad match. I just would have liked it to be shorter if it wasn’t going to have much psychology. I guess they pulled off good matches the first times I saw these two teams go at it on iPPV, but, this was a step below those for what they were even going for. The Kings are generally really good at pacing a match even when I think that some of the match threads are a little weak, and that wasn’t the case here.

10. I decided to watch the end of the Main Event a second time. This time, when the hot tag came and the nonsensically excessive big move-kickout sequence began, I fired up DMX’s “Party Up” and muted the ROH announcing. Sometimes my decision making is really questionable. This was not one of those occasions. Try it.

I’m not saying you’ll get an experience tantamount to synching up Dark Side of the Moon with the third roar of the Lion at the start of Wizard of Oz, but, you’ll get a better experience than you would have otherwise.

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