Ring of Honor TV

October 02, 2011

I'm a week behind with my ROH thoughts because unfortunately I do not have a Sinclair affiliate in Calgary in order to watch the show on Saturday nights and therefore have to catch the show on their website. For those of you in the same boat and are unable to watch ROH on TV let me quickly explain the deal with watching ROH online, because it's pretty easy and well worth the effort.

You have two options when watching ROH TV online, and in both cases you have to go to www.ROHwrestling.com and register (sign up as a member). This is where you have the two option, you can sign up as a "ringside" member which will cost you $7.99 per month (there are yearly options too I believe) and for this price you will get access to the television show on Monday, as well as several other discounts and first in line privileges on ticket and DVD sales. All the benefits are listed on the site. If you are a cheapskate like me you can register as a GA (General Admission) member, which is absolutely FREE. The only information you have to provide is a name, email address, and year of birth. I assume this is simply to track their viewership and see how many people are actually watching the show. For GA members the TV show is available on Thursday of that week, and you only have to register the one time. I was briefly confused when I went to register because I was looking for a different GA registration link but you just use the one link and after you click to sign up, you get to select the type of membership you want. The process took less than a minute.

The ROH television show is only one hour and when you remove the commercials (a great bonus to watching online) it's even less than that. On the whole I really loved the show, and the one hour flew right by. I thought the program had the feel of the old territory days TV programs which I consider a real plus as the show was unique and thus very fun.

I really liked that the focus of the first show was the tag team division, because I think tag team wrestling is the element most lacking in WWE and TNA. By showing the depth of the tag team division in ROH right out of the gate they are showing that they have something you can't get anywhere else. In the one hour show we got to see six legitimate tag teams, which I actually remember the names of, and none of the teams and had Brangelina like tag team names. We saw Future Shock, The Bravados, The All Night Express, The Briscoes, The Kings of Wrestling, and the Champions, Wrestling's Greatest Tag Team.

Even more than that I think the point that made this show for me was how they managed to get over the duration and importance of matches in ROH. When they showed highlights of the 4-Way tag team match they gave us the time of the falls, giving us an idea of how hard fought these matches are and the level of competitiveness in ROH. I've often said that short 3-5 minute matches on TV are killing this business, because other than a guy getting over squashing someone nothing of significance can happen in 3 or 4 minutes. On this show ROH told us guys here fight for 30-40 minutes to achieve a victory, which to me seems so much more meaningful. The clips of the Davey Richards and WGTT wins made those matches feel extremely important, and thus worth paying to see.

The tag team main event of the show was also a very good match. To be honest it wasn't as good as other matches of theirs I've seen but I wouldn't want it to be. You don't want the greatest match in company history on your first show, you want it good enough to grab your attention and make you want to see more, which this match definitely did. I loved this match; because it was long enough that they could take there time and make it competitive. There was back and forth competition with the WGTT getting the best of it for a while before eventually getting cut off. I am so sick of: your turn/my turn 4-minute matches where no actual wrestling takes place, so this match was such a pleasant breath of fresh air.

The opening match on the show (there were only 2 matches on the show) I wasn't as big of a fan of, but I certainly didn't dislike it. This is more a nit picky point but for me the match was a little too high-spotty and the guys looked way too young. One of the biggest complaint I get when I talk to people, who attend Indy events, is that most of the guys on the card look like kids, and they paid to see men fight not kids play. When you then have a more high-spot heavy match, it starts to look like kids doing gymnastics, rather then men competing in a wrestling match. That is not to say that I wouldn't use these guys on the show. I think they showed a fair bit of talent, I would just put more effort into their look and style to make them come off more mature and credible. To that end I though the Bravado's tights looked like kids underwear. The solid waist band and the light colourful trunks looked like underwear bought in the kids department at Wal-Mart. Add to that the Justin Beiber haircut and I was left feeling there was a greater chance of me letting them date my 15 year old daughter than me being concerned they could actually beat me up.

I'm as sick as the next guy of watching the 50-60 year olds compete in the ring, but there is a lot of middle ground between pension age and looking like you need parental supervision. If you are under 25 years old and under 200lbs you need to put more effort into your look and how you carry yourself in order to have some level of physically credibility. I actually have an exercise I've had a few of my students at SWA do to test and improve their believability. I ask them to take the City bus and find a seat that has an empty seat on both sides of them and I tell them to, without saying a word or even moving, try to intimidate everyone who gets on that bus enough that no one sits beside you. If you can make someone stand on the bus rather than sit beside you just by looking at them, you've got presence and credibility. I doubt these 4 would fair well at this task.

Again on the whole I really liked this show, the main event was the best TV match I've seen in a real long time and at no point during this show did I feel stupid or insulted. I encourage you all to either watch the show on television Saturday nights or visit www.ROHwrestling.com and watch it on line. It's a very good show.

Lance Storm

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