This past weekend, I had the opportunity to witness a new experience for me. It couldn’t have been any better. Ring of Honor had a live Internet Pay Per View (iPPV) on gofightlive.tv. It was a wonderful experience. I got to sit on the computer for a little bit and watch some really good wrestling. My wife got the tv and watched so many JFK documentaries, she calls Oliver Stone a poser. It was a nice experience, and we didn’t fight over the remote and both actually enjoyed our evening.
I fell in love with Ring of Honor all over again. I watched it when it was first created, but I had not really kept up with it. As a wrestling fan who despises the very thought of TNA existing, is tentatively getting back into the WWE’s product, can only watch AAA on Galavision for so long before my mind gets tired of listening to Spanish and can only go to so many live wrestling shows per month because I’m a husband and father before I’m a wrestling fan, Ring of Honor (ROH) fills a lot of holes for me. For those of you who haven’t discovered it, here are 10 Reasons to Watch ROH.
1. The price. WWE’s PPV’s are a whopping $44.95, $10 more for HD. Ring of Honor was $14.95. And they didn’t have some length promo bringing out Trish Stratus. I love Trish more than anything, but did she really belong being reintroduced on a PPV? I don’t think there was a single ROH fan tweeting that night that didn’t feel they got their money’s worth several times over.
2. Steve Corino storyline. I think that we can admit that Steve Corino has been one of the best heels of the past decade. The storyline now is that Steve Corino is trying to atone for his many sins. He’s trying to be a good guy. He still feels that urge to be bad. So now there is a kind of Incredible Hulk vs. Bruce Banner struggle.
3. Grizzly Redwood. My theater teacher in high school would always make us come up with verbs for our characters’ motivation. And she said to always go with the most interesting choice. Grizzly Redwood is a little guy. He plays the big burly lumberjack, which is ironic and a fun choice. He’s a great, scrappy babyface.
4. Kyle O’Reilly. The ironic thing is that I was not looking for O’Reilly’s matches. I was searching for Adam Cole, and I found a match where he was wrestling Kyle O’Reilly. And all respect to Adam Cole, but I was blown away by O’Reilly’s work. He’s sensational and worth watching.
5. El Generico. When it comes to chants, El Generico’s makes me happy. I even tried doing it for my local indy and their wrestler Lucha Lucha. The crowd did not appreciate the “Ole!” chant. However the Texas Rangers do “O’Day” for reliever Darren O’Day. He’s a great gimmick and a great reason to watch.
6. Sara del Ray. Most women on TNA & WWE look like they came off the page of a porn magazine. They teach women that they are never anything unless their cup size is double letters or look like the page of a porn magazine. Not that del Ray isn’t pretty or isn’t attractive, but she’s a strong female athletic wrestler. Plus, she’s a great heel and the woman you love to hate.
7. Kings of Wrestling. Kings of Wrestling are a Tag Team that seems like they could be very successful singles wrestlers, yet they are a tag team. They have an amazing swagger and work incredibly well as a team. They own the ring, and they own the Tag Team Division. And with respect to Beer Money and Motor City Machine Guns, they are the best Tag Team in wrestling.
8. TV Title. Most fans probably hate this, but I’ll admit it. I like the title. I’m ok with a DQ or countout. I’m ok with time limit draws. Matter of fact, I wish there were more time limit draws. I used to love the TV title, because Lord Steven Regal always found a way to last long enough. If you wanted that title, you had to win and you had to win in 10 minutes.
9. The Briscoes.I remember watching some early Briscoes matches, CZW, ROH, etc. I’m going to be honest. They didn’t show me anything. They were just two brothers who looked alike and were ugly as sin. This match they had against Haas & Benjamin was the real first time they had ever shown me anything. I think I finally “get it.” They showed me something for the first time. They still aren’t any prettier, but I finally “saw something.”
10. Shelton Benjamin done right. I could write a whole blog of how the WWE dropped the ball on Shelton Benjamin. With respect to John Morrison, he is perhaps the most athletically-gifted wrestler I’ve ever seen. Do you remember that match he had against Triple-H in a time when The Game DID NOT LOSE? How about his match against Shawn Michaels (That one was for bragging rights between me and my then-fiance)? And then they brought in his mother, failed sitcom veteran Thea Vidale. And I saw a great athlete ruined because of poor booking. Ring of Honor understands how to do Shelton Benjamin right. No stupid gold hair. No failed sitcom actress. No reference to his criminal past. Just a great athlete being a great athlete.