Wednesday, May 2, 2012

3 Things About...ROH & Chikara: "Synergy"!

We thought we’d try a new feature here at Two Spot Monkeys.  We’re going to call this one “3 Things About…”  Whenever one of us (or both of us) attends a live wrestling show, we’ll post “3 Things About…” for that show.  Three thoughts we are taking away from the show.  This isn’t a match by match rundown of the show, you can find those all over the ‘net.  This is just what we thought of the show, well, at least 3 things we thought of the show.  So, without further adieu, here are my 3 Things About Chikara: Hot Off The Griddle, and both Tom and I share our 3 Things About ROH: Unity!

Jim’s 3 Things About Chikara: Hot Off The Griddle

1. Mixed Martial Archie

~Mixed Martial Archie may be the best comedy act going right now in wrestling.  He was absolutely hysterical in his matchup with Kobald.  And the crowd was right there with him.  The “Better Than Brock” chants were awesome, and he played it up perfectly.  When he pulled Gavin Loudspeaker into the ring for a “post-match interview” before the match ended (since he’d presumably “knocked out” Kobald, but didn’t pin him), it was just priceless.  Will he ever be Grand Champion of Chikara?  Not likely.  But, as a mid-card comedy act in a company that embraces comedy characters, he fits perfectly!  Check him out if you want to enjoy yourself! 

2. Kingston/Steen just getting started!

~When they had Eddie Kingston vs. Kevin Steen go on with 2 matches still to come, I was wondering what was up.  And when they did the DQ finish, at first, I was really ticked off, as this was a match that I was really looking forward to on the show.  However, I thought about it some more, and Kingston/Steen isn’t a feud that you do one match with and then you’re done.  My guess is that we get a rematch at the Chikasauras Rex iPPV on June 2nd, and I for one would be a huge, huge fan of that idea.  Kingston and Steen had a great start to a feud on Saturday afternoon, but it has just gotten started, I look forward to “Round 2” whenever that happens!

3. Del Rey vs. Generico – MOTY candidate?

~As mentioned in my preview for this event, I was very much looking forward to this matchup between two of the best in the world today.  I wasn’t sure how it would end up, but I was very interested.  Well, if I hadn’t seen Davey Richards vs. Michael Elgin a month ago, I would likely be singing the praises of this match as the Match of the Year.  I definitely think it needs to be in the discussion.  They had a GREAT back and forth match, and Generico didn’t take it easy on Del Rey at all.  Her chest was beet red from the chops he was laying in, and you could tell she was just loving it.  I absolutely think this is a match that you should pick up the DVD to check out, it was that good.  Best match on either show on Saturday in Chicago, by a mile. 

Tom’s 3 Things From ROH “Unity”

My first ROH show in just under one year. The roster has changed. No more Kings of Wrestling, no more Christopher Daniels, no more Colt Cabana and no more Homicide. Core names that fans could connect with are gone and in most cases having greater success. ROH is still finding its identity as a TV and iPPV product that runs house shows taped for DVD. Here are three things I take away from last Saturday night.

1. Is the Magic Gone?

~ROH was often can’t miss live. You absolutely knew you had to be there live because something awesome was going to happen. I am not sure that the same can be said anymore in all circumstances. Just a month ago, Davey Richards vs. Michael Elgin captured everything that is and ever was awesome about ROH. It enthralled fans. It was dramatic. It left fans wanting more. With the sale of ROH last may to Sinclair Broadcast Group, it changed the identity and presentation of this great company. Don’t get me wrong, it is still great. It is a different and more selective great.

On a personal level, it is a lot like peanut butter & honey sandwiches. I love PB & H. Unfortunately, not every PB & H I make is the most satisfying. Sometimes it is the bread, sometimes it Is not enough honey, but I still eat it. That is how I felt Saturday. I was happy to be at ROH live and in the front row, but it was more of a miss than a hit and it left me wondering if, indeed, the magic was gone?

I will never stop being a Ring of Honor fan. I’ve been here since day one and will be until the final day. Change always happens – good, bad, in between – and I hope as ROH continues to change they have more good than bad and in between. I just didn’t feel that way on Saturday.

2. Hop on the Bravado Bandwagon!

~Home in the United States and North Carolina from their tour of Pro Wrestling NOAH and training in the NOAH Dojo, Harlem and Lancelot Bravado returned to ROH last weekend. When their match with The Young Bucks was announced, I was excited because I had the belief it would be a good match. I was wrong. It was a very good match! The Bravado duo was given a lot of opportunity during 2011 and to a lot of fans probably felt shoved down their throats. Remember, unless you are an established name, ROH fans have had a hard time accepting you in the ring over the years. The Bravados faced that, if not more because they came from the ROH Wrestling Academy. Other than Rhett Titus, the Academy has not produced an active wrestler who is a “star” or puts on “four star plus matches.” I even read a comment recently when the Bravados returned that people abhorred the thought that they had come back and no NOAH talents came along for a shot or tour with ROH.

Well, if you saw them in the ring with the Bucks on Saturday, you would sing a different tune. Despite Lancelot getting chants of “Justin Bieber” or Harlem getting “Vote for Pedro” chants and dated Napoleon Dynamite references, The Bravados were very crisp and polished in the ring. And before you counter argue “well, they were in the ring with Matt & Nick Jackson!,” I would still say that they are a new team, with the tour benefiting them greatly and hopefully they can infuse some freshness into the ROH tag division.

3. Battling the Chikarmy

~The “rivalry” with Chikara began in January and came to the end of it’s first chapter in Chicago, with the Synergy doubleheader. Jim had the great opportunity to attend both and I am excited for his feedback here. This is a good opportunity to cross promote each promotion and give wrestlers the chance the opportunity to get more booking opportunities. So far in ROH, we’ve seen Jigsaw & Hallowicked & The Colony in the ring. Chikara got the opportunity to book Eddie Kingston vs. Kevin Steen and will have a Ring of Honor team appearing at their June iPPV.

For ROH, this past Saturday, their trio of Jay Lethal, Adam Cole and TJ Perkins fell to The Colony, with TJ taking the fall. By design or not, TJ Perkins has been at the center of the in-ring goings on with Chikara. I don’t think things ended on Saturday. I certainly hope I am right. I would love for Eddie Kingston, Ultramantis Black and more to make their way into ROH rings. The opportunity for fresh matches and a real sense of “rivalry” to be reborn in ROH exists. I hope that those who are creatively in charge have the vision to make that continue and come to life.

Jim’s 3 Things from ROH “Unity”

1. Hire BJ Whitmer – NOW! 

~If there was any doubt that BJ Whitmer deserves a full time slot in ROH again, he erased that on Saturday night with his performance in the No DQ tag with Generico against Steen and Jacobs.  He was absolutely on point, and took a beating, while dealing one out as well.  His T-bone suplex through the table with Jacobs was a thing of beauty, and it was cool to see him get the pinfall for the victory.  Whitmer can fill a role of a grizzled veteran who can absolutely hang in the ring with the top stars today, and can also be called on for a crazy brawl when need be.  Whitmer impressed me greatly on Saturday night, I was glad to see that they announced in Tuesday’s newswire that he’ll be on more shows going forward, he more than deserves it. 

2. Chikara and ROH should allow talent to work both

~Chikara has a number of guys (Jigsaw, Hallowicked, Kingston, The Colony – both in tags and singles, and Sara Del Rey) who easily can fit in the ROH world, and they should work to allow those stars some more bookings by working for both companies.  Both companies have great fan bases, and who doesn’t love to see fresh matchups?  This would allow both companies to have fresh matchups for their cards.  Plus, seeing the Briscoes in Chikara as the guys who just want to kick ass, and not get into all that “comic book crap” would be incredible as well.  Briscoes for CDP if you ask me!!!

3. WGTT needs some time off

~I have been feeling very “eh” about World’s Greatest Tag Team for quite some time.  I just don’t feel like anything they are doing is that special anymore.  While they are heels, and they shouldn’t be wowing me with their work to a point that I start liking them…they just bore the hell out of me anymore.  I think it’s time for ROH to cycle them out for a bit, and keep the matchups fresh.  Honestly, after the Fight Without Honor, they shouldn’t face The Briscoes again for ANY reason for at least 12-18 months.  We’ve seen them face each other what seems like a million times, and honestly, it’s gotten way old.  So, if they do stick around, no more Briscoe matches.  But honestly, it’s time for them to take some time off and see if they can freshen things up when they come back down the line. 

So, that’s what Tom and I are thinking about after the ROH and Chikara shows this past weekend.  Join us again on Thursday for our React column looking at Extreme Rules!  Also, we hope to have a very special interview posted next week as well!  Lots going on here at Two Spot Monkeys! 

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