I did something this weekend, which I’ve avoided doing for years. It’s something I used to do pretty often, until I felt I was no longer getting any bang for my buck…until I felt I had been burned one too many times to continue doing the same old, same old.
I gave my hard-earned money to Ring of Honor.
I don’t regret it. Much like when ECW made the leap to traditional Pay-Per-View, I knew the company needed support. I knew the show would be (at-least) decent, if not pretty damn wonderful. I knew the guys in the ring, all with something to prove in one way or another, would BRING IT.
It was alright.
That’s not a slight against the show, or the workers, either. But in the end, without rocking a sweet pair of rose-colored glasses, it was just alright.
I won’t do a “bang for your buck” type review, or even my usual big-show response, because it’d get really repetitive, really fast. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
The in-ring work was pretty good, and the show built pretty logically. A couple of guys looked a little sloppy, but in less of a “this guy sucks” kinda way than a “it’s far and away the biggest show this guy has ever worked on, and he’s understandably nervous” one.
The production leaves room for improvement. That’s not to say it looked bad, because it didn’t. But if you’re expecting a WWE-style production, you’re in for a disappointment. The ring and arena looked small. The crowd was either horribly mic’d, horribly quiet, or both. And the choice of camera shots for big spots in the show showed just how good Kevin Dunn and the WWE production team really are.
It looked like a well-polished Indy fed. Not the Best in the World.
If someone could host a clinic before the next ROH tapings, teaching the art of selling, that’d be great.
There was very little star power, outside of Kevin Steen, The Briscoes, Matt Hardy, and Bad Influence. That’s not a problem for me, but it sure seemed to be a problem for the crowd. Most of the Nashville crowd sat on its hands for much of the show, coming alive for the occasional chant. When guys like Silas Young, ReDragon and Matt Taven were busting their asses to put on good matches…they just sat there.
Highlight of the show, for me at least, was the ultimate false finish. During the main event, challenger Michael Elgin scored a near fall over ROH World Champion Adam Cole. The crowd started celebrating what they thought was a title switch, throwing streamers into the ring. Oops, only a two count. The “We Fucked Up” chant that followed was a glorious moment of self-awareness, that made the crowd’s pitiful silence throughout the rest of the show almost forgiveable.
Ouch, you really got me there, didn’t you? It was true ten years ago, and it’s still true now. WWE uber-marks are annoying. ROH uber-marks are the worst kind of marks to ever mark. Get over yourself. Let loose and ENJOY THE SHOW YOU PAID TO SEE, instead of defending the world’s worst crowd from someone willing to call you out in 140 characters or less.