Ring of Honor is on fire. While AEW promised wrestling fans “a sports based promotion, where rankings and wins and loses mattered,” it’s ROH that’s delivering on that promise, as AEW simply gave us their version of Sports Entertainment. This doesn’t mean that Ring of Honor is boring, not using gimmicks, or angles (I hate calling angles “storylines,” as this has been an epidemic caused by Sports Entertainment). The Foundation feuding with La Facción Ingobernable, pure wrestlers vs rudos, or heels, that are “ungovernable” is a very hot “angle in ROH. Brody King forming a stable that’s all about violence is a very hot angle at the moment. Shane Taylor Promotions being so good, but not often used at the top of the card, is a great angle. The World Famous CB is a good gimmick, being used as an angle as well. The reinvention of a gimmick that was so sports entertainment is a sign of ROH being the sports based company that I’m talking about. EC3 coming into to ROH, questioning if Honor is real, is an angle. The entire Pure division is one of the best angles/gimmicks in the entire wrestling business today! The difference between angles, and storylines is that while storylines are often insulting, or cringe worthy, angles simply give you a reason that wrestlers are fighting, or the motivations behind what’s going on.
Brian Johnson is a man that has walked into this environment calling all these things stupid, and pointless. This is why it works, this is why Johnson is getting more and more popular. Not because ROH fans agree with everything he says, be because it’s enjoyable to see this man walk into a company as bad ass as ROH, and call it all a joke. He doesn’t care about Pure wrestling. He thinks Lucha Libre is stupid. He calls the one overly gimmick wrestler ROH has, Danhausen, a parody of the sport he loves, an insult, an embarrassment. Brian Johnson’s sincerity is what is getting him over. That said, the man never stops talking, and that is what makes is tough to like him, or for him to ever be a fan favorite. I’m not talking about his ability to cut amazing promos, because he can, and does, but his incessant talking in the ring, as he enters, as he waits for his opponent, as the match goes on, this guy never stops running his mouth. In the way you wanted to punch Larry Zbysko in the face for his constant stall tactics in every single one of his matches, you want to do the same to Johnson for his seemingly inability to just shut the hell up. You will laugh at much of what he says though, even if you disagree, and that is one of the things that make you want to see him succeed as well. He brutal forwardness is refreshing in a world where everyone is so guarded, and where PC is king. In today’s world, I want to hear Brian Johnson talk, I want to “like” his Tweets, even if I don’t agree with everything he says! Finally, it’s Johnson’s ability to work, to wrestle, that can’t be denied. A grappler in the style of someone like Drew Gulak, it’s his Philadelphia reputation as a hardnosed grappler, not afraid of anyone, that will force you to respect him. Johnson has latched onto a catchphrase, and even though I often don’t like those, his works. Of course a man as confident as Brian Johnson would call himself “The Mecca,” and in Ring of Honor it absolutely is “Mecca vs everybody,” and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
This link has been added to the home page, as it is a must subscribe! This is just a video, see the entire channel!
I've added this to the home page, as it's very well done!
Imagine if wrestling looked like a legit fight. Every match was conducted like an athletic contest, where both participants, who looked like athletes, and not like people in the crowd, were striving to win, in order to climb up their perspective division rankings, in order to get a title shot. Imagine if a company focused on this style of presentation, not turning wrestling into a joke, or satire, or slapstick. Imagine if when you watched wrestling, you could believe in it, so much so that you got so lost into your enjoyment of it, that you didn't think about things like who was getting "pushed" or which "angles" or "gimmicks" were good, and which were not. Imagine if every single championship title meant something, and fans didn't call them "props." Imagine if promos weren't scripted, instead they were shot as if what you were seeing was real life, and that the wrestlers were real people, with real passions, and goals, that they could state in these promos, making you love, or hate them. You can stop imagining now, because this...is Ring of Honor Wrestling, and Honor is real!
Ring of Honor's 19th Anniversary show, set for Friday, March 26th, looks to be an amazing show. The WDR Network will be covering it in full here in Honorable Mentions, as well as our ROH Vlog, "Not your mother's basement!"
Ring of Honor's use of LFI (La Facción Ingobernables) as real "bad guys," legit pisses me off, as a fan. It's been so long since I felt this way while watching wrestling, it feels kind of weird. Some would call me a "mark" for feeling this way, but they don't get it, at all. This is how wrestling is SUPPOSED to work. The heels aren't supposed to be cool, and likeable. They are supposed to inspire disgust, and hatred toward them, without having "go away" heat.
Over the years, since the near destruction of “kayfabe,” nearly all wrestling organizations across the world have struggled greatly to introduce “bad guys,” or “heels,” in their companies. For the most part, heels have been smarmy, cocky, arrogant, characters that typically attract male fans to their side. Think of “The Bullet Club” for example. Have they ever really been heels? Fans have flocked to them, and bought their t-shirts until they were out of stock. Few actually booed them, and even those who did, or do, only do so because they are popular, not because they are legitimately hated. I’m not picking on the Bullet Club though, they are just an easy example.
Recently, La Facción Ingobernables won the Ring of Honor World tag titles by cheating behind the referees back, using a closed fist for the second time (something that in the Pure division is an instant disqualification) defeating beloved Pure wrestlers, the former champs, Jay Lethal and Jonathan Gresham, in a match of their own, a Pure Rules match up, only the second ever Pure tag team match. If that wasn’t enough, on that same program, Ring of Honor World Champion faced the much heralded, and respected, Shane Taylor, for the title. Taylor, a Ring of Honor “lifer” at this point, having worked his way up to this match, voted into it by the fans, on Ring of Honor’s official Facebook group, seemed to be a favorite going in. His longtime friend, but La Facción Ingobernables member, Kenny King, was conflicted for several weeks leading up to the match. Numerous times we saw King arguing with his faction members about fighting Taylor honestly, and honorably. It seemed King had heat with his friends for this, as they don’t care about anything but humiliating anyone that would dare cross them. After nearly 20 minutes into the brutal World title bout, Rush slammed into the referee, and got a steel chair out from under the ring, ready to wrap it around Taylor’s head. Instead, King rushed to his friend’s defense, only to then turn, and nail Taylor with the chair himself, giving Rush the win, retaining his title.
While I am sure there are plenty to La Facción Ingobernables fans, I assume most are Lucha fans, supporting anyone of that style, and most others are just fans of the “bad guys” because that’s the cool thing to do. The presentation, and use of La Facción Ingobernables has been done better than any heel faction that I can recall in a long, long, time. They have legitimate “heat,” and in today’s wrestling world, that is so difficult to garner. This is simply yet another thing Ring of Honor is doing perfectly, and why they are clearly the world leader in Wrestling Done Right!
The interviews on a wrestling show, which have become known by their insider term, "promos" are as important to professional wrestling as the inside the ring work is. Sadly, they are also a lost art. During my time in the business, as a commentator, and backstage interviewer, I often struggled to get anyone to agree to do "promos." When I found wrestlers who were willing, they were almost always the same three or four guys. When I would convince someone new to do one, just about every time, they would ask for my direction, even asking me "What do you want me to talk about?" This is why I am excited over how good the promos on ROH TV, and ROH Week by Week YouTube show have been.
I find myself wondering who teaches and directs promos and promo classes at ROH? Seriously, they have been so damn good. It's clear to me that they are going with the UFC's style of presentation with these things. We get insight from both wrestlers (fighters) before a match, including clips of other matches, discussions about their training, goals, and sometimes even life before wrestling, etc. It really is how wrestling should be presented in 2021, as well as moving forward. They are keeping the KEY element of promos in as well, as each wrestler will put their opponents skills, and abilities over, while telling us why they are still going to defeat them. I've also seen guys that I've never seen give a good promo, doing these things perfectly, so someone is clearly leading/directing them extremely well. Brian Johnson's most recent one about Dragon Lee is an example of the perfection of this style, but check out the interviews with Joe Keys and Dak Draper on last weeks "Week by week" to see another example of this being done to perfection. Kudos to ROH, and all the wrestlers pulling these off. They are amazing! Then we also get post match interviews, again, much like UFC does after their fights, with someone "standing by" to get the winners and losers immediate thoughts. This works, as this is when a wrestler is most passionate, I would say even more so than before a match. I've told you time and again how Ring of Honor is Wrestling Done Right, this includes the fact that they are also Promo's Done Right!