10 Thoughts on ROH TV 10.22.11 – Jay Lethal, Nailz, TJ Perkins

1. If you thought “man, ROH does some really really bad interview segments, well, at least they can’t get any worse on the stick!” then you would have had a rather ill-advised thought. Because this Mike Mondo fuck just raised the bar for awful promos. Usually with these bad promos, I wouldn’t tell you to rush out and go watch it. But, seriously, rush over to rohwrestling.com and watch this debacle.

1a. Don’t blame me after you watch it and you are left feeling like you just went out and banged a muddy tattered shirt wearing meth-addled prostitute, though.

2. I don’t know what to think about TJ Perkins at this point. I’ve only seen a handful of his matches and while watching them most of the time I feel like they’re a bit aimless. But, I don’t find myself hating them as much of a lot of ROHs aimless work. I haven’t figured out what that means yet. Is he doing aimless grappling work that is just better than the rest of the ROH roster? Maybe. Is he doing good work that with some tweaks and extended thought could turn into something really good? Maybe. Is he doing normal ROH aimless work, but, being contained in short bursts at the moment so that it is not noticeable? Maybe.

3. We’ve moved from Chicago to Louisville. I’m definitely a fan of them moving show location around, but, would it kill ’em to go to a building with some character and not have the lights as dark? ECW at least understood that for a small promotion to work, they need to be a bit different in that regard. Through 5 episodes and 2 locations, ROH seems like they’d love it if they were filming in a television studio. Try filming TV in Hammerstein with the lights on. Right off the bat, that’s gotta be an improvement.

4. They’re advertising Final Battle already. We’re 2 months out. That’s a good thing. On the PPV section of the website, they advertise that people can go back and get past PPV offerings on GoFightLive. Another good thing. They’re putting a lot of archived content on  the website right now. What about offering a show from 6 years ago that is out of print for free on GFL? I can’t imagine new viewers just off the TV show are immediately ready for the concept of internet PPV. Massage it a little bit.

5. DIE HARD Eddie Edwards gives a promo about Final Battle. He doesn’t know his opponent, but, he does know that he’s going to be driven to the building in a limousine by his driver, Argyle. He’ll then leave Argyle in the limo where Argyle will jam out to “Christmas in Hollis” by Run-DMC.

6. When it comes to these interview segments…there’s no positive reason why they involve Truth Martini. But, I’ve said that. Let me take a moment to be shockingly positive. I’m OK with more Roderick Strong interview time. Not because I particularly enjoy his promos. It’s just, for the first time, with this sarcastic douchebag frat cat character, there are glimpses of potential there. He needs time cutting promos to get better at it. With this current direction, I’m more willing to suffer through some boringness from Roddy over most other guys.

6a. Like Davey Richards. Holy fuck. If they turned Davey and Jim Cornette heel and had Cornette manage Davey, I think that could work. But, Davey just sitting there lookin’ the complete opposite of Bill Bellamy during an episode of MTV Jamz circa ’96 just doesn’t work.

7. The Briscoes were also on this show somewhere. Dem Boys were all “yo, we came in this place, raked a couple leaves, drank a beer, painted a shed, drank a beer. Now make us number one contenders!” And Cornette said some boring shit and we moved along.

8. Mike Bennett…pretty lousy, eh? Match with Lethal was enjoyable enough, I guess.

9. The exchange on the outside which only served the purpose of showing two fans chant their asses off for Kevin Steen was a good move. It didn’t seem too out of place, and Bennett ignoring it by referencing only the fans who said he was a poor wrestler helped that. But, I think they’ve done Steen stuff two weeks in a row. So, hey, maybe we’ll get to see the dude at some point?

10. Gotta talk about the finish of the TV Title Main Event match. They had Bennett do an MMA ground and pound operation on Lethal. And, when the match didn’t get stopped, he bitched and then walked out on an extra five minutes when this went to time limit draw.

10a. I am OK with the time limit coming into play in two straight TV Title matches. They should make the time limit a factor in matches. Too many TV matches, and this plagues WWE a ton, suffer just from accelerated selling. As in, they realize some people just come to see the wrestlers in an emotional struggle, so they give it to them earlier on, without altering their work much to get there. To some degree, that’s OK, because you can’t always have a wrestler come out like a house of fire and try to end a match quick. They should drop the accelerated selling, as well, but won’t.

In theory, by consistently pointing out what the time limit is and showing that wrestlers struggle to get there, it would give reason why a wrestler would want to avoid a feeling out process and just get at it quickly. In reality, who knows if they’ll do that.

10. Back to the ground and pound finish. What did people think about it? I’m predisposed to dislike incorporating MMA story traits in wrestling matches, so, it didn’t really work for me. But, I can also see where they should be given some credit for the creativity of the finish. For at least trying something different.

First, if you thought the finish didn’t work just because it didn’t look good because Lethal was blocking the shots with his elbows, you’re a knucklehead. I saw a comment of that nature about the finish and it was a definite facepalm moment. So, two dudes fake fighting doesn’t look as good as if Bennett was actually landing the strikes? No kidding.

Anyway, here’s my main beef with the finish…when does a wrestling match ever get thrown out or stopped because of a situation like that? Bennett walks away acting as if he expected the MMA mount to pick him up a win. Dumb. Not because that can’t work as a finish. Put aside my dislike of MMA type story elements in wrestling, this finish didn’t work because it wasn’t set up.

As much as I hate the idea of Mike Bennett being on my television, they should have burned 3 minutes of boring interviews and had Bennett get a ground and pound stoppage over someone. I also hate squash matches, and yet I’m advocating for this. Why? Because you needed to spend moments establishing that the ground and pound could actually get an ROH match stopped. It’s not an inherent point where a viewer is just going to sit there and wonder why the hell a match wasn’t stopped. You needed at least a handful of times where that moment actually stopped a match.

Bennett walks out looking like a coward. By setting this finish up better, he could have easily walked out under the guise of trying to make people think that he should have won the match.

So, did the MMA ground and pound finish work for you?

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