Hello again, Ring of Honor. I know I talk about you on a weekly basis over on my 10 Thoughts column. However, I thought I would show a little love here on the Fantasy Book.
When people watch Ring of Honor wrestling, they watch it for different reasons than why they watch WWE programming. And by people, I mean me. I watch Ring of Honor to see wrestlers who put on a great in-ring product. I don’t necessarily care if you can talk on the mic well, I just want you to be able to sell your character. Most of that character work is done in the ring in ROH, and that is appreciated.
There are times when the booking decisions can be a little iffy. Sometimes storylines don’t make a lot of sense. But for the most part, all is forgiven when it comes time for an event and we know we are going to see multiple MOTY candidates. The biggest issue I have with ROH’s booking and storylines has to do with their taping schedule. They are forced to tape so far in advance, that normally the storylines have advanced beyond what we are seeing on TV. So if we watch a PPV or pay attention to the live event results, those details do not always mesh well with what has already been taped. So when we only watch the hourly TV programming, we are occasionally left scratching our heads.
But for today, I figured I would work my way through the current ROH roster and fantasy book what would be a fun direction for them. First, a couple ground rules. One – I am only dealing with designated ROH talent. NJPW wrestlers who appear on ROH shows will not be on this list. Two – I am going off of the title holders at this very moment: World Champ – Christopher Daniels, TV Champ – Marty Scurll, Tag Team Champs – Young Bucks, and 6-man Tag Champs – Briscoes and Bully Ray. Three – I reserve the right to return to any of these ideas for future Fantasy Book columns if necessary or worthy of revisitation. Four – Since I plan on going through the full roster, only some will be completed today and the rest will be next week’s column.
Let’s get to it:
- Adam Cole – It is well known that Cole is probably on his way out of ROH. It appears he is in the midst of an angle with the Young Bucks and Kenny Omega. I fully expect Cole to come out on the losing side in that battle. What I would rather he be doing with his last few days with ROH is to put over someone who needs a signature win. I would suggest a couple matches with Jay White to really cap off White’s training mission in ROH. White has shown he can go, and Cole is a former champ that White can trumpet on his resume. Plus, Cole cut Jay Lethal’s hair, maybe he can at least give Jay White a scrunchie. (Yes, I resisted suggesting a new Brutus the Barber gimmick for Cole, but it may not be the worst idea ever.)
- Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin – Their “Search and Destroy” group is odd. They have no real sense of purpose, no real enemy, etc. I would love to see the Motor City Machine Guns go full on heel and either do some singles work, leading to Shelley getting a TV title shot, or a tag feud with Rappongi Vice. Since the Young Bucks like to play the faces in ROH, if the MCMGs get on a roll as a heel team, they should be able to tear down some houses together.
- Beer City Bruiser – You know what, Bruiser can work. He looks like he is just a comedy wrestler, or just another fat guy, but it turns out he is surprisingly good. His tag team with Silas Young has been thoroughly entertaining, and I would not mind them continuing. But I think Young would be better used in another way. Bruiser is better in a team though. Why not have Bruiser team up with another person who appears to be a comedy wrestler but can thoroughly work in the ring – Dalton Castle? Imagine the odd couple pairing of Castle and Bruiser. They could do a lot of comedy, but also be very good in the ring. They could go on a surprising run through the tag ranks and become top contenders very soon.
- Rappongi Vice (Trent Baretta and Rocky Romero) – RPG Vice is one of the top tag teams in the world who no one really talks about. As I mentioned above, I think a prolonged feud with the Motor City Machine Guns would be great. But they would also be believable in any title challenge. With a ton of good tag teams in ROH, matching Rappongi Vice with any of them could be gold.
- BJ Whitmer – You haven’t been on my TV in a while. That is not a bad thing. Either stay away, or develop your color commentary chops, because Ian Riccaboni really needs someone to grow with and play off of.
- Bobby Fish – Recently, Fish said he was targeting Jay Lethal. Then Silas Young came out and they fought. I like the idea of Bobby Fish and Silas Young getting into a protracted feud. It would be hard-hitting, it would be violent, and it would be a lot of fun. Young is very underrated and Fish has established himself as a major player. I could even see a best-of-7 series between these two with the winner getting a World title shot. That could play out nicely over the next couple months with a big ending.
- Caprice Coleman – Your role in The Rebellion is not all that good. Individually, your work has been stellar, but the Rebellion gimmick is just not working. I think it would be fun if you decided that ROH didn’t need all these young stars. You could go after the Top Prospects. You could jump newcomers like Will Ospreay. In fact, a couple matches between you and Ospreay would be a very good thing. It might even help people who see Ospreay as a flippy-floppy dude only in a little more serious light.
- Cheeseburger – Either be a curtain-jerking and jobbing comedic act or get off my screen. Stop pretending that anyone is ever in danger against you. It appears you are starting a little program with Will Ferrara. Of this, I am not sure I approve. The time you two take up on this feud could be better served for someone else.
- Christopher Daniels – Daniels deserves to be the champ. He is still great in the ring and has had a great run here recently. What I think he needs now is a split from Kazarian and concentrate on his World title run. It appears that Cody might be challenging for a World Title shot soon. I’m good with that, as long as Cody doesn’t get the belt. The matches could be good and the story could be good, but Cody should not have the belt. I would also like Cole to get his rematch and Daniels take a decisive win. A Daniels/Kazarian match could work down the line, depending on how Frankie can get himself over. Finally, I would like Daniels to have a big-time match with Jay Lethal in a few months. That is a match that could main event a major PPV. A title switch to Lethal there would make a huge amount of sense and would be a great way for Daniels’ ROH title run to end.
- Cody – I just talked about you above. Now that your fight with Jay Lethal is over, you decided to jump Dalton Castle and Christopher Daniels after their match. I think you could really pull in the fans for a couple world title matches. But I also think a feud with Dalton Castle could be really, really, really good. I made the comment a few weeks back that Castle seems a lot like Goldust in that there seems to be a ceiling on how far we can believably accept him getting in his career. A feud with Castle could play off that type of mind games that Castle plays. Cody could even reference having to deal with his brother doing this kind of stuff. And Castle could counter that Cody was even worse as Stardust. And for some reason, I think the matches could be a lot of fun.
I think I am going to pause here for now. I’ll start up with Colt Cabana next week. Any thoughts, comments, etc are always welcome.
Until next week…
Tags: b.j. whitmer, Beer City Bruiser, Bobby Fish, Caprice Coleman, Cheeseburger, Christopher Daniels, Cody Rhodes, Frankie Kazarian, Motor City Machineguns, Rocky Romero, silas young, Trent Beretta, Will Ospreay, Young Bucks