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Thread: Ring of Honor Superthread *SPOILERS*

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    Senior Member Mad Dog Smith's Avatar

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    Default Re: Ring of Honor Superthread *SPOILERS*

    [QUOTE]
    Quote Originally Posted by KashDinero View Post
    Actually, @Mad Dog Smith, buddy, numerous guys have said that they saved their best work for RoH. Having been an avid follower of the indy scene, at the time, I rarely came across many matches from the RoH regulars that was significantly better than their RoH matches. Seriously.That place was like the fucking mecca for North American indy wrestling stars and beyond. It was where the best of the best went to showcase their talents to the absolute best of their abilities. A wrestler knew he had to be on sharpest of sharpity sharp point in that red and black ring. They had to. They were surrounded by the coast to coast cream of the crop
    I'm not saying this isn't all true. But I'm saying it's a little bit different from what I'm saying.

    I'm sure everybody liked working at ROH, probably because it paid better than most places, and the spotlight was bigger.

    But did ROH use them better than other promotions those same guys were working for? Did ROH do anything for them besides give them a place to shine?

    No. Not in my opinion. Aside from a few bright spots (I like the first PPV era.) I just think ROH had a good production. YOu know who else has a lot of fans and a good production and has an absolute shit product? The WWE.

    Yes, the aforementioned names would have been great without RoH, I guess, but woulda, shoulda, coulda, shmoulda.

    What If's aren't real.
    I propose that it ain't a what if. I propose that CM Punk and others went to places and did what wrestlers do. Told INteresting stories.

    More interesting than the ROH.


    Fact is, the top indy talent from around the world fucked shit up in RoH and pushed each other to their limits and then some. Yes, talent is talent regardless, but when you mix awesome talent with equally awesome talent all the talent becomes more talented because they naturally bring out the best in each other. RoH was a place where everyone tried to steal the show, and it was perfectly OK, because all that meant was the best possible shows were being put on month after month.
    Not the case. Look at how great the WWE roster is. And the shows suck. Aside from a pay check I don't see what WWE is doing for their roster. From an artistic stand point, but also from a stand point of making wrestlers better.

    Is Nakamura better in WWE? Than he was in NJPW?

    Writing is more important in wrestling. IF we're talking about just putting on good matches, ROH did that. Sure. But a promotion that focuses entirely on that? Not my thing. NOt most people's thing.





    C'mon, Dog, really? Strong wouldn't be shit without RoH. If anything, he has more to thank RoH for than Punk has. RoH genuinely made that guy. Generation Next put him, and Aries for that matter, firmly on the mapski.
    I don't think Strong is the shit now. But from what I hear? HIs work in PWG was better.

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    Default Re: Ring of Honor Superthread *SPOILERS*

    I've got to side with Kash on Strong. Roddy received his first break in another independent, but it was his work with Generation Next that put him on the map.

    I don't think you're completely wrong, Dog. They dropped the ball with the House of Truth and never made the most of Roddy after that. Watching Roddy in PWG & Evolve was night and day to his ROH stuff and it was clear he was miscast as a babyface.

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    Ravishing Slick Dude KashDinero's Avatar

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    Default Re: Ring of Honor Superthread *SPOILERS*

    [QUOTE=Mad Dog Smith;4421179]

    I'm not saying this isn't all true. But I'm saying it's a little bit different from what I'm saying.

    I'm sure everybody liked working at ROH, probably because it paid better than most places, and the spotlight was bigger.

    But did ROH use them better than other promotions those same guys were working for? Did ROH do anything for them besides give them a place to shine?

    No. Not in my opinion. Aside from a few bright spots (I like the first PPV era.) I just think ROH had a good production. YOu know who else has a lot of fans and a good production and has an absolute shit product? The WWE.

    I propose that it ain't a what if. I propose that CM Punk and others went to places and did what wrestlers do. Told INteresting stories.

    More interesting than the ROH.

    Not the case. Look at how great the WWE roster is. And the shows suck. Aside from a pay check I don't see what WWE is doing for their roster. From an artistic stand point, but also from a stand point of making wrestlers better.

    Is Nakamura better in WWE? Than he was in NJPW?

    Writing is more important in wrestling. IF we're talking about just putting on good matches, ROH did that. Sure. But a promotion that focuses entirely on that? Not my thing. NOt most people's thing.
    Broski, you're veering off with this WWE talk. I don't think it's really relevant here. I agree with you. I think. It's not what I'm discussing here, brudda

    I'm talking about RoH from Era of Honor Begins to, say, Final Battle 2005, where Joe lost the RoH World title to Austin Aries after hold said title for twenty three months. Giving Joe that epic run was one thing RoH did for Joe. His feuds with Homicide and The Briscoes are another. Giving him interview time, a vast amount of ring time, and general guidance with his character development are further examples of doing stuff with the guy. Joe is obviously an easy guy to prove my point, but he was far from exclusive. Paul London was given the chance to shine show after show and had a phenomenal 2003 with the company wheee he was given every chance to grow as a wrestler. When "The American Dragon" first started with RoH his promo skills were sub par to say the very least. By the time RoH/Gabe was finished with him, he had an unseen confidence on the moc no oje foresaw at the time.

    As for Punk going elsewhere and "telling interesting stories"? Yeah, he had, like, midling to fair matches in other places, mostly against Colt Cabana, with whom he mainly only really had oftentimes sloppy looking matches, but no way in hayul did the guy do anything outside of RoH during that time outside of RoH that was better than his Raven feud, which was about way more than just wrestling, and a few elements of that feud was mimicked just recently with Punks Jericho feud. Yeah, he had a fun run in IWA-MS, where he first really made a name for himself, but none of it compares to his RoH stuff. Not even close. Can you give me some examples of Punks work outside of RoH, not including WWE, that can compare? I'm genuinely interested here.

    Admittedly, RoH did focus primarily on wrestling matches, but it did a hell of a lot of developing character, elevating talent, and grooming superstars, while telling coherent and logic stories along the way. Yes, there were no fake pornstars stealing peoples wives and GF's, or any One Man Gangs becoming African Dreams or any Steve Austins beating up his boss or any one foot in the grave old chicks sleeping with Olymic weightlifters and giving birth to gunky hand, but, who needs that shit when you have Christopher Daniels? Oh, and, yeah, Daniels had a hell of a good run in early RoH with his group, The Prophecy, and got genuine heel heat for refusing to follow the code of honor. To each their own, bro, but RoH gave its fans and demographic exactly what they wanted. The writing of the shows was good, great even. It just wasn't inspired by Russo, and I doubt very much that anyone was putting actual words in anyones mouths, barring a few bullet pounts (@$ it shpuld be).

    I gotta ask, man, did you actually watch RoH during the era I'm on about? Like, really watch it, show by show, following the product? Personappy I have near enough every show on DVD from Era of Honor Begins to Final Battle 2005 -with an odd few 2005 shows missing- that I collected as they were happening. I loved this era. Perhaps I'm biased, but I prefer to look at it as being knowledgable on the promotion at the time.

    I'm pretty sure that RoH was way more than a decent pay day for the boys anyway. Like, way, way, WAY more.

    I don't think Strong is the shit now. But from what I hear? HIs work in PWG was better.
    I didn't say he was the shit. I said he wouldn't be shit if not for RoH. Gabe took that non-descript chap and gave him direction, a place in the company with his brand new super group, Generation Next, alongside Austin Aries, Jack Evans and Alex Shelley, and pushed him as, uhhh, strong as he could. As for PWG? They became my new "RoH" a long time ago, but without his great start in RoH, where he defined who he was as a wrestler, he wouldn't have been as great as he is. I'm pretty sure he did have better matches in PWG, though, but the greatness that is PWG is another discussion entirely, bro. It's also not my point. I also know you have shunned PWG because of what you read about them somewhere on the internet. Shame of you, Dog. That place is gangbusters and sloberknockers incarnate. Check it out.
    Last edited by KashDinero; 02-05-2017 at 06:49 PM.
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    Senior Member Mad Dog Smith's Avatar

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    Default Re: Ring of Honor Superthread *SPOILERS*

    I used to have the 2011 version of their on demand network.

    I do like the stuff from where Austin won it. I'm just saying, and this is where the WWE talk relates to it ...

    We can talk about great matches and sporadic storylines like Punk/Raven.

    But ROH gets credit for being a great creator of stars. And I'm just saying they don't create these guys. Putting Joe on a great winning streak was good for him, but there's more to writing wrestling than just typing down "Joe Wins Again."

    These guys were appearing for multiple promotions at once. Sure, matches in ROH may have been better. But was the overall product better? Aside from the sporadic moments of greatness?

    I just think ROH from every era is over rated.

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    Default Re: Ring of Honor Superthread *SPOILERS*

    By 2010-11 ROH was already past it's peak.

    2004-08 was the peak for the promotion. Not only did you have some top talent in their prime, there was also a healthy dose of angles to keep fans vested. ROH/CZW, Summer of Punk, Jacobs/Whitmer are all worth checking out again and they complimented the championship scene well.

    Once Gabe left, the promotion became a shell of itself.

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    Senior Member Mad Dog Smith's Avatar

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    Default Re: Ring of Honor Superthread *SPOILERS*

    I hear the CZW feud was good. Never saw it. I guess in 2011 they only had the rights to their own stuff.

    I don't know what they're network, or the closest thing they have to one, has now.

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    Ravishing Slick Dude KashDinero's Avatar

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    Default Re: Ring of Honor Superthread *SPOILERS*

    Quote Originally Posted by Mad Dog Smith View Post
    I used to have the 2011 version of their on demand network.

    I do like the stuff from where Austin won it. I'm just saying, and this is where the WWE talk relates to it ...

    We can talk about great matches and sporadic storylines like Punk/Raven.

    But ROH gets credit for being a great creator of stars. And I'm just saying they don't create these guys. Putting Joe on a great winning streak was good for him, but there's more to writing wrestling than just typing down "Joe Wins Again."

    These guys were appearing for multiple promotions at once. Sure, matches in ROH may have been better. But was the overall product better? Aside from the sporadic moments of greatness?

    I just think ROH from every era is over rated.
    Not being funny, but I c˛uld tell from youŕ posts that you didn't actually watch the shows during the time period I am refering to. The product was top notch back then, and no other promotion did more for the big indy names in question. Their first show had LowKi vs American Dragon vs Christopher Daniels as the main event, yet they had a recently fired from WWE Eddy Guerrero at their disposal. That in itself points to the company wanting cultivate, spotlight, and create new stars from the get go.

    There were way more great moments, feuds, and matches than I could mention here without neglecting anything. Seriously, using the word sporadic is laughable. RoH were literally putting on great shows every show. There were no other promotions even close at the time. Sure, companies like CZW, IWA-MS and MLW were using a similar roster, but the overal products were inferior to RoH.

    RoH created a platform for these guys to shine, and Gabe did more for them than anyone. I imagine the advice he was giving them helped to create what they were and went on to become. So, yeah, I think you're a bit wrong in saying they didn't create anyone. Did they give these guys their names? No, but they certainly helped mould them into the stars they became.The evolution of American Dragon to Bryan Danielspn was all on RoH. That speaks for itself.

    I have no idea what you mean by overrated tbh, but by my definition of the word, no, no they wasn't. Far from it. That there is even one person dissmissing the importance of the company points to them being underrated.

    Bottom line is without RoH the scene back then was a lot worse off. A hell of a lot.

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Pete View Post
    By 2010-11 ROH was already past it's peak.

    2004-08 was the peak for the promotion. Not only did you have some top talent in their prime, there was also a healthy dose of angles to keep fans vested. ROH/CZW, Summer of Punk, Jacobs/Whitmer are all worth checking out again and they complimented the championship scene well.

    Once Gabe left, the promotion became a shell of itself.
    Yeah, once Gabe left things went South. Fast... Yes, that was a jab at Cornette
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    Default Re: Ring of Honor Superthread *SPOILERS*

    It was a weird set of circumstances.

    After 6 long years, Gabe was beginning to burn out as the head and creative and ROH was noticeably down compared to previous years.

    Then Pearce came in and suddenly fans realised how good they had it.

    With Jim, it was clear creative took a back-seat and he was more concerned about broadening the appeal of the promotion. I couldn't fault Jim for taking that approach but it was an unmitigated disaster. Go Fight Live couldn't handle their shit, so even when ROH managed to put together a good show, nobody could see it. On top of that, Sinclair was a total bust so Jim's era is remembered as a real low point in the company.

    When I think back on certain booking decisions they certainly have a point. Still, at least under Jim you got the sense that ROH had some ambition. These days, Delirious is just happy to piggyback off of NJPW.

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    Default Re: Ring of Honor Superthread *SPOILERS*

    Some would say once RF was forced to leave for reals the company went south...


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    Default Re: Ring of Honor Superthread *SPOILERS*

    Quote Originally Posted by Engel View Post
    Some would say once RF was forced to leave for reals the company went south...
    Some would also say Xavier was the best champion ROH ever had, but nobody listens to stupid shit like that.
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    Default Re: Ring of Honor Superthread *SPOILERS*

    That is a low blow man... Real low...

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    Senior Member Mad Dog Smith's Avatar

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    Default Re: Ring of Honor Superthread *SPOILERS*

    Quote Originally Posted by KashDinero View Post
    Not being funny, but I c˛uld tell from youŕ posts that you didn't actually watch the shows during the time period I am refering to. The product was top notch back then, and no other promotion did more for the big indy names in question. Their first show had LowKi vs American Dragon vs Christopher Daniels as the main event, yet they had a recently fired from WWE Eddy Guerrero at their disposal. That in itself points to the company wanting cultivate, spotlight, and create new stars from the get go.

    There were way more great moments, feuds, and matches than I could mention here without neglecting anything. Seriously, using the word sporadic is laughable. RoH were literally putting on great shows every show. There were no other promotions even close at the time. Sure, companies like CZW, IWA-MS and MLW were using a similar roster, but the overal products were inferior to RoH.

    RoH created a platform for these guys to shine, and Gabe did more for them than anyone. I imagine the advice he was giving them helped to create what they were and went on to become. So, yeah, I think you're a bit wrong in saying they didn't create anyone. Did they give these guys their names? No, but they certainly helped mould them into the stars they became.The evolution of American Dragon to Bryan Danielspn was all on RoH. That speaks for itself.

    I have no idea what you mean by overrated tbh, but by my definition of the word, no, no they wasn't. Far from it. That there is even one person dissmissing the importance of the company points to them being underrated.

    Bottom line is without RoH the scene back then was a lot worse off. A hell of a lot.



    Yeah, once Gabe left things went South. Fast... Yes, that was a jab at Cornette
    That particular version of the On Demand service did have a lot of those shows. Also, I used to buy the DVDs from that initial era. That Founding Fathers era. Used to sell them at FYE, which in my mind, wasn't a terrible form of distrubution.

    Obviously wrestling, like anything else, is subjective. But I never saw what the big deal was. Even then.

    Though I will say, I watched Danielson like a hawk. There was always something about that guy.

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    Ravishing Slick Dude KashDinero's Avatar

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    Default Re: Ring of Honor Superthread *SPOILERS*

    Quote Originally Posted by Mad Dog Smith View Post
    That particular version of the On Demand service did have a lot of those shows. Also, I used to buy the DVDs from that initial era. That Founding Fathers era. Used to sell them at FYE, which in my mind, wasn't a terrible form of distrubution.

    Obviously wrestling, like anything else, is subjective. But I never saw what the big deal was. Even then.

    Though I will say, I watched Danielson like a hawk. There was always something about that guy.
    Very subjective!

    If it's any conselation, I've been put off from watching ICW because of shit I've read online... Shame on me.

    Remember Danielson vs Cena on Velocity back in, like, 06? Sucked to see him in that jobber role, but, boy, did Dragon get him back that win. Sad we'll never see the "rubber match", but it's safe to say B-Ry had the more monumental win #1ForTheGoodGuys
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    Senior Member Mad Dog Smith's Avatar

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    Default Re: Ring of Honor Superthread *SPOILERS*

    Quote Originally Posted by KashDinero View Post
    Very subjective!

    If it's any conselation, I've been put off from watching ICW because of shit I've read online... Shame on me.

    Remember Danielson vs Cena on Velocity back in, like, 06? Sucked to see him in that jobber role, but, boy, did Dragon get him back that win. Sad we'll never see the "rubber match", but it's safe to say B-Ry had the more monumental win #1ForTheGoodGuys
    Never got to see the Dragon in WWE. Never got the Final Countdown entrance.

    So many nevers with that promotion.

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    Default Re: Ring of Honor Superthread *SPOILERS*

    I've been digging into the Observer archies to learn more about the Cornette era. I've still got to go through what was happening in 2012 but this is what I've looked into so far.

    In November of 2008, the original booker Gabe Sapolsky was fired from the promotion. Gabe was the heart and soul of the promotion and his vision of Pro Wrestling was considered the best in the business at that time, winning multiple 'Booker of the Year' awards from various sources. However, business wasn't doing all that great and there was no sign of it getting any better. The DVD industry was going through a major shift with the rise of free streaming services like YouTube and considering that was the life-blood of ROH they needed to shift.

    So Gabe was let go in favour of Adam Pearce. Pearce was more of an old-school fan who catered to Silkin's taste and more importantly knew how to run a promotion on a budget. The biggest problem with Gabe and the cycle he found himself in is that in order to sell DVDs, he had to fly in all this talent from around the world, adding expenditure that the company couldn't account for.

    Pearce's tenure lasted from November of 2008 all the way to August of 2010. In that time, ROH secured a television deal, had lost two of it's biggest stars in Danielson and McGuiness and were set to lose another big name in Tyler Black. I haven't really looked into Pearce's time in Ring of Honor, but from what I gathered it was more or less a watered down version of Gabe's show. Pearce wanted to really scale the show down and focus more on angles and getting moves over but he was constantly butting heads with the office who were still focused on selling DVDs. From what I gather the television product wasn't much to write home about and ultimately the decision was made to cut Pearce.

    While all that was happening, James E Cornette joined Ring of Honor in September of 2009 after being fired because he wasn't 100% behind Russo's vision of TNA. Whether it was a sign of things to come, the show where Cornette announced his signing with ROH, Danielson and McGuiness worked their final match together before they were both headed to the WWE. It couldn't have happened at a worse time for Cornette as the product entered a new phase.

    Despite the early set-back, the initial Cornette shows were well received. After what had been a difficult period for ROH, a lot of the shows he was involved with were praised and it appeared that the company was on the upswing. When Pearce was let go, Delirious (Hunter Thompson) was promoted as head booker and it seemed like the promotion was in fair hands going forward.

    In fact, that's the one aspect that's lost in history. Nothing about Cornette's role changed after Pearce was let go, it was Thompson who was promoted and yet talent rarely blamed him for the direction of the company. While Jim certainly had some power and would often over-rule Thompson on bringing talent in, he had as much say in creative as Jim did.

    Never the less, both guys were presented with a challenge right off the bat: Who replaces Tyler Black? Black had just signed a deal with the WWE and was on his way to FCW and so the company had to find a new star to build around. At that time, the choice was obviously Davey Richards who was over with the crowd and was considered the best worker in the promotion.

    However, instead of having Tyler put Davey over in his last match, the decision was to put the belt on Roderick Strong. Strong had been in the company for seven years and while he was a really good worker in his own right, drew criticism for his lack of charisma and wasn't considered at that level. Initially the plan was for Roddy to hold the championship until ROH's penultimate show Final Battle where Davey would go over on the biggest match of the year but the plans were changed at the last minute. There's plenty of speculation about this decision, whether the bookers wanted to delay it even longer or if there were concerns about Davey's future in wrestling (he was considering retirement) but ultimately Davey never recovered from the loss. The fans lost interest in him and were looking for somebody else to get behind.

    The obvious alternative at that time was Generico who had garnered a huge following in the promotion and was hot off his feud with Steen which was among the best in company history. Jim wasn't high on Generico even though he rated his work in the ring. To Jim, the Generico character didn't suit the serious tone of the promotion and since Generico had to be flown in from Canada, he was considered an unnecessary expense. So guys like him, Colt Cabana and Grizzly Redwood were phased out of the company in favour of guys like Michael Bennett, Tommaso Ciampa, Mike Mondo, The All Night Express & Jay Lethal. In addition to that, they built the company around Richards' eventual title win and by that point the fans had moved on and were more interested in Kevin Steen winning the belt. The problem was that for storyline purposes' Steen was to take six months off of television and return in great shape for an eventual championship run. The problem was, Steen was the biggest star in the promotion at that time and fans wanted to see him on top instead of Davey. The other is that Kevin couldn't afford to be off of television and get into shape if he wanted to support his family as an independent wrestler. While both Jim and Kevin were at fault, common sense should have seen Kev brought back in as a full-time competitor during the early Sinclair shows and the Final Battle 2011 main event should have seen Steen challenge Richards for the ROH Championship.

    Around this time, ROH ended their run on HD Net and signed on with Sinclair Broadcasting. The deal was set to be a huge coup for ROH, being available on more televisions and allowing them to put on the type of production that would enable them to sustain necessary growth. Unfortunately the deal wasn't what was initially envisioned and Sinclair basically neglected the company. One of the big changes Jim was hoping to implement was better production values to help draw casual fans to the product, but since Sinclair wasn't willing to invest the money they had originally agreed to the show continued to look like a low rent independent.

    Another issue: internet PPVs. I touched on this earlier, but one of the big changes Jim was making was that instead of relying on taped DVDs that were usually a good two months behind the product, he was going to have more live shows at a reasonable price. It was a good idea in theory, but in execution the company suffered from streaming issues and a lot of shows were unwatchable.

    And that leaves us with 2012 where shit really started hitting the fan...I really want to dig into it but for fans at that time (@Falcone, @Djm, @Raven*, @KashDinero) what memories do you have of that time that stick out?

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    Senior Member Pinkman's Avatar

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    Default Re: Ring of Honor Superthread *SPOILERS*

    I kind of feel a bit bad for Pearce. Sure, 2009 sucked and there were a lot of problems with the show - Having Nigel drop the belt to Jerry Lynn of all people and doing a sixty minute draw to end Final Battle- but I honestly thought things picked up under him in 2010. The Steen/Generico feud with Corino and Cabana as supporting acts was for my money the best feud ROH has ever done, they finally put the belt on Tyler and he had several good defences e.g vs Hero, vs Roddy/Aries in a 3 way, vs Davey, vs Steen etc. Aries/Delrious was solid, building up the slow tease of Davey/Daniels and they had a good feud between the Kings of Wrestling vs The Briscoes. Losing Bryan Danielson and Nigel McGuinness was pretty rough for them along with the fact that Aries became more of a character than the worker he used to be, not having KENTA around but I thought they managed to slowly replace all those guys by 2010. The match quality remained high and they had several good to great angles going on at the same time with the iPPV's delivering great shows such as The Big Bang, Death Before Dishonor, the Anniversary Show etc. It seemed weird to me that they actually got rid of Pearce when he got ROH back to the way they used to be, not 2006 good, but still better than any other promotion by a good distance. I'd disagree with the HDNet show being a disappointment, to me in 2010 that was easily the best weekly show of the year.

    Delirious started off fine for the rest of 2010 - Final Battle was a great show and it didn't seem like losing Tyler was a loss to them and you always knew Steen would eventually be back. If I recall correctly, they were originally going to have Davey beat Tyler for the title but I think Davey had commitments in Japan and couldn't make Glory by Honor or something. I don't think waiting as long as they did to put the belt on Davey hurt him like it did Tyler, what Davey was that he became increasingly more uninteresting in the ring as champion as he basically just became a parody of himself with his lame 'fighting spirit' shtick.

    Personally I think ROH began to decline once they got bought by Sinclair. The booking went downhill fast, the talent wasn't as good as they no longer really had the best guys on the Independent scene and they couldn't replace losing Aries, Hero, Claudio, Generico with similar talent like they had before. PWG pretty much took their spot for having the best Indie talent so you couldn't even excuse the piss poor excuse for booking because you'd at least know you're getting great matches, it's not something ROH did anymore and it's a problem they still have to this day. Scrull/Ospreay/Dragon Lee aside, they don't have the best indie guys anymore and Delirious has shown to be a bad booker along with Cornette proving how far behind the times he is (Generico would have been insanely over as ROH Champion). It sucks for them but they really need to invest a lot of money to get back to where they once were.

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    Ravishing Slick Dude KashDinero's Avatar

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    Default Re: Ring of Honor Superthread *SPOILERS*

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Pete View Post
    I've been digging into the Observer archies to learn more about the Cornette era. I've still got to go through what was happening in 2012 but this is what I've looked into so far.
    In contrast to earlier years, I really wasn't a fan of RoH around this time. Casually? Sure, but the place was a shadow of what it was. Not even a shadow, more like a slight shade. It wasn't awful, but it was so far away from what initially drew me in that I had no desire to hunt down their shows like I once did in the Gabe years. The place was also a big mess. They tried to expand way too fast in my mind. They are in a good position, now, I guess (?), but it took them a while, and pretty much everything about the company suffered as a result of the inner turmoil. PWG became my new RoH during the Cornette era. I know PWG is always under pressure to expand in similar fashion (or at lesst move to a bigger arena), but as a result of Super Dragons refusal to give into the desire to become the next little engine that could, the quality of their product has never slipped.

    In November of 2008, the original booker Gabe Sapolsky was fired from the promotion. Gabe was the heart and soul of the promotion and his vision of Pro Wrestling was considered the best in the business at that time, winning multiple 'Booker of the Year' awards from various sources. However, business wasn't doing all that great and there was no sign of it getting any better. The DVD industry was going through a major shift with the rise of free streaming services like YouTube and considering that was the life-blood of ROH they needed to shift.
    And it was all going so well....

    The honeymoon period was over a while before the divorce, but in terms of vision and booking, Gabe was still the man for the job. Execution on the other hand was more than a problem for the guy. He is a fat, little hyper fucker who always pushed himself to the limit in similar fashion to his mentor Paul Heyman. He gave everything he had into every one of their straight to DVD shows. You start throwing expansion onto TV and PPV on top of him and he was just no longer able to cope with it all. Having met Cary Silken before and spoken with the guy for a fair amount of time. He ain't a guy to take shit. Gabe is bullheaded at best. Once cracks began showing in Gabes armour and the quality of his one shining redemption started slipping, Cary clearly saw no reason to keep him around. You can hardly blame the guy. Gabe went on to basically adopt his tried and tested show-to-DVD and iPPV format with EVOLVE and Dragon Gate USA to a whole heap of critical acclaim. Gabe may have been labelled worn out but RoH itself was the one wearing him out by trying to spread its wings too soom and in turn spread itself to thin. Funnily enough, EVOLVE and DGUSA are just as responsible for helping me move away from RoH as PWG. I was a huge fan of both of those sister promotions and preferred them over the RoH offerings. I still enjoyed parts of RoH, though, and would never dismiss it entirely as I'll have a soft spot for it. Quietly hoping for the best for them, butvunable to become fully invested in and onboard with their product.

    So Gabe was let go in favour of Adam Pearce. Pearce was more of an old-school fan who catered to Silkin's taste and more importantly knew how to run a promotion on a budget. The biggest problem with Gabe and the cycle he found himself in is that in order to sell DVDs, he had to fly in all this talent from around the world, adding expenditure that the company couldn't account for.
    Adam who?! Fuck that lame arse. You know what? Thinking about it, it was this bum 80's throwback that helped sour me on RoH. I don't one hundred per cent hate the guy, but when he started wrestling for RoH I was never a fan. Yeah, he was good at what he did, but there were other promotions where he would have fit the mould better. The fact that Gabe was replaced with this, and I repeat, bum 80's throwback in taking over the ship was a big reason why I gave them a one finger send off. This was a complete one eighty shark jump for RoH. The day the dream died.... I'm depressing myself here.

    Pearce's tenure lasted from November of 2008 all the way to August of 2010. In that time, ROH secured a television deal, had lost two of it's biggest stars in Danielson and McGuiness and were set to lose another big name in Tyler Black. I haven't really looked into Pearce's time in Ring of Honor, but from what I gathered it was more or less a watered down version of Gabe's show. Pearce wanted to really scale the show down and focus more on angles and getting moves over but he was constantly butting heads with the office who were still focused on selling DVDs. From what I gather the television product wasn't much to write home about and ultimately the decision was made to cut Pearce.
    Despite the misgivings I had about RoH at the time, they still had talent for days, and if one stopped trying to keep up with the comings and goings and shennigans of their storylines in a comprehensive manner and focused mainly on their big shows, there were more than enough great matches happening. I liked seeing old man Jerry Lynn in the role of Randy "The Ram" Robinson, minus the heart attack, title win and all. On the other hand, Rhett Titus wrestled Bushwacker Luke, so, yeah....We ain't in Kansas no more.

    While all that was happening, James E Cornette joined Ring of Honor in September of 2009 after being fired because he wasn't 100% behind Russo's vision of TNA. Whether it was a sign of things to come, the show where Cornette announced his signing with ROH, Danielson and McGuiness worked their final match together before they were both headed to the WWE. It couldn't have happened at a worse time for Cornette as the product entered a new phase.
    https://youtu.be/wCfWHqrYUqo

    Blood in the water causes the inevitable.

    Despite the early set-back, the initial Cornette shows were well received. After what had been a difficult period for ROH, a lot of the shows he was involved with were praised and it appeared that the company was on the upswing. When Pearce was let go, Delirious (Hunter Thompson) was promoted as head booker and it seemed like the promotion was in fair hands going forward.

    In fact, that's the one aspect that's lost in history. Nothing about Cornette's role changed after Pearce was let go, it was Thompson who was promoted and yet talent rarely blamed him for the direction of the company. While Jim certainly had some power and would often over-rule Thompson on bringing talent in, he had as much say in creative as Jim did.
    While I'm sure they somewhat respected each others opinions, it was an internal struggle between Hunter and Jim, with Hunter desperately trying to fend off Jims attempts to turn RoH into OVW: 2.0.

    Never the less, both guys were presented with a challenge right off the bat: Who replaces Tyler Black? Black had just signed a deal with the WWE and was on his way to FCW and so the company had to find a new star to build around. At that time, the choice was obviously Davey Richards who was over with the crowd and was considered the best worker in the promotion.

    However, instead of having Tyler put Davey over in his last match, the decision was to put the belt on Roderick Strong. Strong had been in the company for seven years and while he was a really good worker in his own right, drew criticism for his lack of charisma and wasn't considered at that level. Initially the plan was for Roddy to hold the championship until ROH's penultimate show Final Battle where Davey would go over on the biggest match of the year but the plans were changed at the last minute. There's plenty of speculation about this decision, whether the bookers wanted to delay it even longer or if there were concerns about Davey's future in wrestling (he was considering retirement) but ultimately Davey never recovered from the loss. The fans lost interest in him and were looking for somebody else to get behind.
    I liked Davey at this point. He should have been champ long before he did. I was miffed that Eddie won the title before him. Eddie could have benefitted from having won the belt after/from Davey. To me he was just keeping it warm for Davey. Oh well, Daveys title win was memorable either way. Just not as much as it would have been at Final Battle 2010.

    The obvious alternative at that time was Generico who had garnered a huge following in the promotion and was hot off his feud with Steen which was among the best in company history. Jim wasn't high on Generico even though he rated his work in the ring. To Jim, the Generico character didn't suit the serious tone of the promotion and since Generico had to be flown in from Canada, he was considered an unnecessary expense. So guys like him, Colt Cabana and Grizzly Redwood were phased out of the company in favour of guys like Michael Bennett, Tommaso Ciampa, Mike Mondo, The All Night Express & Jay Lethal. In addition to that, they built the company around Richards' eventual title win and by that point the fans had moved on and were more interested in Kevin Steen winning the belt. The problem was that for storyline purposes' Steen was to take six months off of television and return in great shape for an eventual championship run. The problem was, Steen was the biggest star in the promotion at that time and fans wanted to see him on top instead of Davey. The other is that Kevin couldn't afford to be off of television and get into shape if he wanted to support his family as an independent wrestler. While both Jim and Kevin were at fault, common sense should have seen Kev brought back in as a full-time competitor during the early Sinclair shows and the Final Battle 2011 main event should have seen Steen challenge Richards for the ROH Championship.
    I'm sure we all know about Steens troubles with Cornette. I wasn't aware of it at the time, but the fact that Steen was basically let go for months on end with no pay after his loser leaves town with Generico at FB11is pretty low rent. Yeah, he came back and won the belt, but the company put him on his ear leading to some uncertain and distressing hard times before that. His matches with Davey and Generico were great, though. Border Wars 2012. Toronto. Done the fans a favour and took the belt from Davey. Davey caught a lot of flack for his long winded spot fests. Steen became the man and I'm pretty sure more than a few heads in WWE were turning his way at this point.

    It would be remiss to not mention RoH's tag division at this point. Namely, The Kings of Wrestling. Damn, I miss those guys. Having The Worlds Greatest Tag Team around was a nice touch too.

    www.fuckmikebennett.com

    Around this time, ROH ended their run on HD Net and signed on with Sinclair Broadcasting. The deal was set to be a huge coup for ROH, being available on more televisions and allowing them to put on the type of production that would enable them to sustain necessary growth. Unfortunately the deal wasn't what was initially envisioned and Sinclair basically neglected the company. One of the big changes Jim was hoping to implement was better production values to help draw casual fans to the product, but since Sinclair wasn't willing to invest the money they had originally agreed to the show continued to look like a low rent independent.

    Another issue: internet PPVs. I touched on this earlier, but one of the big changes Jim was making was that instead of relying on taped DVDs that were usually a good two months behind the product, he was going to have more live shows at a reasonable price. It was a good idea in theory, but in execution the company suffered from streaming issues and a lot of shows were unwatchable.
    To be honest, I haven't really paid much attention for the last few years. They lost me. Too many other great promotions to follow to bother with RoH and their compromised product. While there have been a lot of great matches, it would take a lot for me to ever go back to watching them regularly.
    Last edited by KashDinero; 02-10-2017 at 01:24 PM.
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    Senior Member Pinkman's Avatar

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    Default Re: Ring of Honor Superthread *SPOILERS*

    The funny thing is, Gabes turned EVOLVE into what ROH used to be. 2016 was a real turning point for EVOLVE and they had a very strong argument for being the best promotion of the year with pretty much consistently great shows top to bottom (apart from Thatchers horrible stuff), he has access to the best Indie talents in Hero (not anymore obviously but for 2016), Sabre Jr, Riddle, Gulak etc. while helping the likes of Riddle and Yehi become more well known independent names. Everything about it is just so much better than ROH currently from better booking to better matches. I don't think ROH has the roster anymore to put on such matches that they were once known for and while they have guys that I like (Ospreay, Scurll, Castle, Adam Cole) they're all far more interesting in other promotions than in ROH so the need to watch the company goes down, hell even the lure of ROH having access to the NJPW guys doesn't work out for them because companies like Rev Pro just make more interesting matches with the NJPW guys than ROH - ROH really can't compete with booking matches like Hero vs. Shibata or Ishii.

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    Ravishing Slick Dude KashDinero's Avatar

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    Default Re: Ring of Honor Superthread *SPOILERS*

    Quote Originally Posted by Pinkman View Post
    The funny thing is, Gabes turned EVOLVE into what ROH used to be. 2016 was a real turning point for EVOLVE and they had a very strong argument for being the best promotion of the year with pretty much consistently great shows top to bottom (apart from Thatchers horrible stuff), he has access to the best Indie talents in Hero (not anymore obviously but for 2016), Sabre Jr, Riddle, Gulak etc. while helping the likes of Riddle and Yehi become more well known independent names. Everything about it is just so much better than ROH currently from better booking to better matches. I don't think ROH has the roster anymore to put on such matches that they were once known for and while they have guys that I like (Ospreay, Scurll, Castle, Adam Cole) they're all far more interesting in other promotions than in ROH so the need to watch the company goes down, hell even the lure of ROH having access to the NJPW guys doesn't work out for them because companies like Rev Pro just make more interesting matches with the NJPW guys than ROH - ROH really can't compete with booking matches like Hero vs. Shibata or Ishii.
    I share these sentiments, but feel EVOLVE was killing it from their first show. Ibushi vs Richards main event? Yes please. They tried to be different from the get go and it worked for me. Sure they tweaked their rules and whatnot over time, but the intent was there from the off. Loved how they pushed Kyle even back then. That association with Davey as his young boy was a huge reputation boost in my eyes. Kyle's MMA inspired style was perfect for the company. Shame he never stuck with them. Either way, there was a reason HHH picked EVOLVE to work with. They put on pure, simple, logical, athletic, respectful, state of of the shows that push the right guys and gets the best out of their roster. #GabeGuy
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    Senior Member Pinkman's Avatar

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    Default Re: Ring of Honor Superthread *SPOILERS*

    Quote Originally Posted by KashDinero View Post
    I share these sentiments, but feel EVOLVE was killing it from their first show. Ibushi vs Richards main event? Yes please. They tried to be different from the get go and it worked for me. Sure they tweaked their rules and whatnot over time, but the intent was there from the off. Loved how they pushed Kyle even back then. That association with Davey as his young boy was a huge reputation boost in my eyes. Kyle's MMA inspired style was perfect for the company. Shame he never stuck with them. Either way, there was a reason HHH picked EVOLVE to work with. They put on pure, simple, logical, athletic, respectful, state of of the shows that push the right guys and gets the best out of their roster. #GabeGuy
    I forgot all about that Davey/Ibushi match, that match was awesome.

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    Senior Member Mad Dog Smith's Avatar

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    Default Re: Ring of Honor Superthread *SPOILERS*

    I don't buy into the idea that Sinclair didn't give ROH the budget they needed. I loved the look of the show from epsiode 1.

    And now? Oh, my God. It looks amazing.

    I'm not saying it was better than TNA in terms of production. (Sure as hell is now in my opinion.)

    But Sinclair didn't short change them. I support SBG. In my mind, they're saints for using the budget now, because the thing that's gonna improve ROH? Had nothing to do with money or roster.

    ROH desperately needs a new writer. Some dude hanging out in a small room with a notebook or a laptop ... writing a compelling wrestling show.

    If they ever get that down then I'd buy the argument that Sinclair needs to start throwing money at the production.

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    Big Pimpin' Big Pete's Avatar

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    Default Re: Ring of Honor Superthread *SPOILERS*

    Cornette made the most of what he could of in terms of the production. Sinclair actually gave him a bunch of broken equipment and he had to use his experience to try and figure out solutions. Any credit for how the show looks should go to him and the production team who made the most of what they could with a shoestring budget.

    And yeah, the show looks a lot better now, but it should have been that and more from 2011. That was the big selling point for Jim, to make the show look presentable since that had always been one of the major barriers for the company but again Sinclair neglected their investment.

    Great posts @Pinkman @KashDinero. Kash you're unbridled support for all things Gabe is truly inspiring. While I don't watch nearly as much Evolve or FIP as I should, everything I've heard about it has me convinced that it would be my favourite American promotion. My only qualm is the production and admittedly I've always said I'd rather watch a mediocre Wrestlemania than an amazing low-rent independent show. Different strokes, different folks but I definitely want to watch more Evolve this year.

    Also I wouldn't mind taking a closer look at the Pearce era just to see what the fuss was all about. So far, I only know the cliff-notes version of his time with the company and haven't really seen too many specifics.

    For the time being, I'm crunching away at RoH 2012 and want to do a KayFabe Commentries style Year-In-Review post.

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    Ravishing Slick Dude KashDinero's Avatar

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    Default Re: Ring of Honor Superthread *SPOILERS*

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Pete View Post
    Cornette made the most of what he could of in terms of the production. Sinclair actually gave him a bunch of broken equipment and he had to use his experience to try and figure out solutions. Any credit for how the show looks should go to him and the production team who made the most of what they could with a shoestring budget.

    And yeah, the show looks a lot better now, but it should have been that and more from 2011. That was the big selling point for Jim, to make the show look presentable since that had always been one of the major barriers for the company but again Sinclair neglected their investment.

    Great posts @Pinkman @KashDinero. Kash you're unbridled support for all things Gabe is truly inspiring. While I don't watch nearly as much Evolve or FIP as I should, everything I've heard about it has me convinced that it would be my favourite American promotion. My only qualm is the production and admittedly I've always said I'd rather watch a mediocre Wrestlemania than an amazing low-rent independent show. Different strokes, different folks but I definitely want to watch more Evolve this year.

    Also I wouldn't mind taking a closer look at the Pearce era just to see what the fuss was all about. So far, I only know the cliff-notes version of his time with the company and haven't really seen too many specifics.

    For the time being, I'm crunching away at RoH 2012 and want to do a KayFabe Commentries style Year-In-Review post.
    I haven't seen anywhere near as much EVOLVE as I want. Perhaps about half of their 80 suttin shows. They combine "pure" wrestling and spot monkey shit in fine fashion. Ideal for my tastes. Gabe knows me too well. Absolutely love seeing Drew Gulak showing up on Monday Night Raw. That is all on Gabe.

    Never really checked out FIP. To me they were always basically RoH's old Do or Die shows in the form of a whole promotion. I liked those DoD shows, as I love checking out new talent, but couldn't watch that low rent level of wrestling on a regular basis tbh.

    Seeing as this an RoH thread, lemmie just say, I know this happened about a month and a half ago, but shame on The Bucks of Youth for double superkicking Vanguard 1. If that doesn't warrant DELETING nothing does.
    Last edited by KashDinero; 02-12-2017 at 10:30 AM.
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    Senior Member Pinkman's Avatar

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    Default Re: Ring of Honor Superthread *SPOILERS*

    ROH announced that they're running Dragon Lee vs Will Ospreay at Manhatten Mayhem

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    Ravishing Slick Dude KashDinero's Avatar

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    Default Re: Ring of Honor Superthread *SPOILERS*

    Quote Originally Posted by Pinkman View Post
    ROH announced that they're running Dragon Lee vs Will Ospreay at Manhatten Mayhem


    Well... There's a reason to check out RoH.

    Jeebus.

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