I just got done watching the debut episode of Ring of Honor's new TV show, and my God, was it horrible.
The intro was awful. Generic, lyric-less music, and graphics that looked like they were created by an autistic 11-year-old using MSPaint. I will say that the ROH logo is a slight improvement over the intro, though. It has a sort of tribal tattoo feel to it that. It's outdated but it looks slightly
more professional than the sloppy, cheap intro.
Anyways, the whole opening feels at least 10-years outdated, and even 10-years-ago, it would've still looked very low-budget. This is not a major league wrestling promotion (e.g., WWE & TNA), and they let you know from the get-go.
Inside, things get worse. Much, much worse. We've now time-warped approximately 25-years into the past, to the mid-'80s NWA. A grimy, dark arena, full of hideously ugly people, and orange and yellow lights. As I said, it's eerily reminiscent of mid-'80s NWA. I'm not a long-time ROH viewer, so tell me: Has the promotion always looked this way, or is it the product of that dinosaur Jim Cornette?
In the ring, WWE reject Kevin Kelly (rumored hermaphrodite) introduces TNA reject Desmond Wolfe/Nigel McGuinness (rumored to be diseased). He enters the ring, with the fans covering him in streamers (surely purchased at the Dollar Tree). Jesus... could this promotion be any more pathetic?
We now get brief pre-match sitdown interviews with the two tag teams involved in our opening match. Future Shock look half-way decent and cut an acceptable promo, but The Bravados are cringe-worthy. The shorter-haired Bravado (Harlem?) is creepy looking.
Overall, a decent match with a few good double-team moves from Future Shock. They'd be a good lower-card tag team in TNA, albeit with a much less generic sounding name (Future Shock? Did EWR suggest that name?). The Bravados? The less said, the better. Not an impressive team at all.
We now have WWE reject Kevin Kelly interviewing ROH Champion Davey Richards. Richards gets dwarfed Kelly while cutting a boring, cookie cutter promo. It's always nice when your champion is significantly smaller than your hack announcer.
Kevin Kelly is now outside, interviewing New Yorkers about Ring of Honor. More hideous fans. I didn't even know people like this left their grandparents' basements.
Some highlights are shown. Actually, highlights would probably be a misnomer. Let's call them notquiteaslowasthefirst17minutesoftheshowlights. Another Davey Richards interview. He has that off in the head look that Chris Benoit had. I hope he doesn't have a wife or kids. Anyways, Richards is shown winning ROH's title from Eddy(sp) Edwards.
ROH advertises their website, ROHWrestling.com, a blatant ripoff of TNAWrestling.com (now ImpactWrestling.com).
Wow! Look at that! It's Kevin Kelly again! I never get tired of seeing that guy, and apparently neither do the bookers/producers, as he's dominated the show thus far.
We're now being introduced to the "Code of Honor," some incredibly hokey respect thing. There's Jim Cornette (both a WWE and TNA reject. Impressive.), looking about 50-pounds heavier than when he was last stinking up my TV screen, back in TNA probably, what, two-years-ago? Note to ROH's owner(s): Cornette is a proven loser. Everything he touches fails. The mighty WWE nearly went bankrupt while he was heading the booking team in the mid-'90s. If you want to succeed, get him the hell away from your product.
Hey, another TNA reject! It's "Black Machismo" Jay Lethal, and he's here to cut a crappy promo and take some subtle cheap shots at TNA. A nice way to show appreciation for a company that gave you a job and lots of TV time for the past five-years, Jay. I guess that whole "Code of Honor" thing doesn't apply to companies who are no longer signing your paychecks. Anyways, Jay's promo was ho-hum, as anyone who's seen him before should've already guessed, and it was all made worse by the fact that Lethal has an incredibly annoying, nasally voice.
More "high"lights, and more rejects: WWE rejects The World's Greatest Tag Team - Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas. Shelton is, of course, notorious for being unable to get even remotely over despite years
of strong pushes in WWE.
The ROH acronym just doesn't sound right. TNA may be cheesy, but it flows. ROH? No. Another complaint: McGuinness is a terrible color commentator with a rough English accent. He's still new to this, to my knowledge, but the early indicators are he'll fail just like he failed as a wrestler in the leagues.
Main event: ROH Tag Team Champions Wrestling's Greatest Tag Team (nice name
) vs. The Kings of Wrestling.
Claudio Cwhatever has a solid look, but someone needs to tell Chris Hero to spend less time washing his hair and more time in the gym. He's flabby. He also has a horse face, but I digress.
Anyways, this match doesn't interest me much, and the program has 18-minutes left, so I'm gonna fast forward a bit. By a bit, I mean pretty much to the finish. The WWE Rejects won the match with a Hart Attack (dubbed "Wrestling's Greatest Finisher"
), predictably so given that the KOW are on their way to the big time. The match was probably decent, but I had no reason to care enough to watch it.
Mercifully, that's the end of the show.
I'm not impressed at all. For all the talk about ROH finally having some impressive finances behind it, this show was maybe two-steps up the ladder from a backyard fed. Low-budget, an absence of any meaningful storylines to add intrigue and drama to the matches, rejects galore, annoying host (Kelly), poor promos...
I'd grade it a D
, with the only saving grace being a few somewhat interesting prospects (Future Shock, Claudio Cwhatever) for TNA/WWE, and decent in-ring stuff, although that was limited due to poor/no storylines, as previously mentioned.
I'll give it a few more tries in the upcoming weeks just because I'm incredibly fair-minded, but my expectations have plummeted after watching the debut show.