Wrestlers that look like real life size men, that look like they could legit kick someone’s ass, that look like professional athletes, like fighters, and can work a match in a way that makes you believe, are the best professional wrestlers in the world. If they can also talk, do solid promo’s, and have some charisma, they can become “superstars” in the wrestling world. I believe that I’ve proven time and again to be able to spot that in young up and comers. For example, I predicted Jay White would be a big star for New Japan, back when he was losing every match, as a Young Lion. I’ve obviously been proven right there. Currently I see the same thing in another “Young Lion,” or whatever Ring of Honor Wrestling calls their dojo students. “Classic” Eric Martin, at 6’3” and 230lbs, is a man that will make you believe. Not only is his size worthy of attention, but his wrestling skills are top notch. Martin doesn’t rely on spots, something that’s unusual in today’s wrestling, instead relying on working holds, and grinding his opponents into the mat. Having first gotten attention as part of a tag team called “The Classics,” with then partner Tyler Stone, The Classics were what you would think, a throwback team to days gone by, when wrestling was better than it’s ever been since. Donning satin jackets, and matching gear, Martin and Stone couldn’t be called “Revival” rip-offs because they debuted this gimmick right around the same time as Cash and Wheeler debuted theirs. After dissolving The Classics, Martin went on to team with John Skyler, winning the MCW Pro Wrestling tag team titles, and getting attention from Ring of Honor.
Since entering the ROH dojo, Martin has been seen a few times on ROH television. In particular he got to shine in a 4 way dojo match, where the winner advanced to face the Pure Champion, Jonathan Gresham, in a title match. While Joe Keyes emerged victorious in that match, Martin stuck out to me. His size, strength, and agility really made me take notice, and question how he didn’t win this one? More recently, Martin participated in the first ever ROH Pure Gauntlet match. Martin was the third man in the match, facing World Famous CB, who had advanced by defeating Martin’s trainer, Will Ferrara. Martin forced World Famous CB to use his remaining rope breaks, by giving CB a very tough challenge, lasting the second longest time outside the final match of the gauntlet between Wheeler Yuta and Fred Yehi, who are Pure wrestling standouts. I would argue that Martin’s performance against CB wore CB down so baldly, that after CB managed to get Martin to submit, he then lost in three minutes to the next opponent, Wheeler Yuta. If you watch this match back, you will see what I mean.
All the ROH dojo students are very good, but I sense and see something special in Eric Martin. Truth be told, I’ve seen something in him since his days as part of “The Classic’s” tag team. However, now that he’s in the best wrestling company in the world, I really see the potential for him to become a major player, yes, even more so than any other dojo student. I would very much enjoy seeing Martin in a rematch against World Famous CB, and in the television division, chasing champion Tracy Williams, while facing men like Tony Deppen, LSG, and Brian Johnson. I believe Martin can one day make the same impact for ROH that Jay White has made in NJPW. When he does, I’ll be sure to point out how I told you so, how I told you that “Classic” Eric Martin is Wrestling Done Right!
Ring of Honor is one of the most bad ass, seriously presented, sports based, wrestling product in the World. I can hold my head up and proudly tell others that I am a Ring of Honor fan, and supporter. For some reason, I just don’t see this same style in Women of Honor. Far too often, especially post Kelly Klein, the women in Ring of Honor come across as silly, or campy. For example, the entire Allure vs. Quin McKay comes across like the plot of a cookie cutter teen move where the pretty girl picks on the nerdy girl. Yes, Quin is clearly the baby face, and Angelina and Mandy are the heels, but what they are doing doesn’t feel legit. It feels forced, over acted, and silly. Smashing coffee mugs, locking someone in a backstage room, and other silliness like that, doesn’t make me believe that these women are really fighting. It all feels like high school hijinks in the middle of a professional wrestling show, where the men are fighting, and struggling to work their way up the rankings, chasing championships. The Ring of Honor men, and their matches, come across, in style and presentation, like the fights in UFC do. Meanwhile, Session Moth Martina drinks, stumbles around, and is the comedy relief that no one asked for. I am at a loss as to why women can’t be presented every bit as serious as the men are. It’s almost like someone different is booking the women. Is Delirious not booking the women? I am not sure, but it doesn’t come across as if he is. Maybe the tournament this summer will change all this. Maybe I am leaning too heavily on The Allure vs Quin McKay, and Session Moth Martina, but that’s the only thing Women of Honor are presenting so far, it’s the only thing I have to base where WOH is going. I’ve privately advocated for Lufisto to come in. ROH needs a serious ass kicking female wrestler to lead the way. The NWA for example has Thunder Rosa and Kamille leading their women’s division, and they are legit as hell. MLW and New Japan don’t even bother with a women’s division. If you’re going to have a women’s division, they deserve to be taken every bit as serious as the men. I trust that ROH can do that, but will they? I certainly hope so.
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!