Re: The 2012 MOTYC thread
Haven't really watched ROH for quite a few months but, last I heard, the champion was a hardcore/gimmick/comedy wrestler. The Pancrase-influenced main-event style that brought ROH to the dance has, largely, been lost - along with the wrestling/writing talents that understood that sub-genre...and, seemingly, the fans that were educated to what the intentions of the company's output were.
As for Davey's Jiu-Jitsu persona, it's exactly the kind of socially-reflective booking that tends to get lost on fans that are stuck in the wrestling bubble.
In my estimation, Davey has been one of the only valuable players in recent wrestling history. That shows in his proven ability to give excellent financial returns on any given company's investment in him, and in the level of critical acclaim that he's achieved. Those are the kind of tangible, factual things, that can be converted into money/fan engagement/storytelling/branding deliciousness...in the real world.
I don't see any similar attributes in the "typical PWG match". PWG, as a whole, is largely devoid of the kind of deep-rooted, consistent mythology, or (relative) social relevance, that makes any good fiction work.
I'd agree that ROH has lost a large amount of it's depth and it's brand identity, and has fallen into the trap of only appealing to, what Billy Corgan recently referred to as, 'the boys in black t-shirts'. Personally, I preferred ROH when the booker was smarter than me (Gabe).
Back on topic...
With a couple of exceptions, I've never really enjoyed a PWG show because the promotion just doesn't have any substantial culture around it. This shows in "typical PWG matches" that don't increase the company's drawing power, don't develop marketable personas/angles for wrestlers and, artistically, don't influence anything or anyone. The fact that teenagers can parody the traditional ROH "kickpads" style, on message boards, is proof enough that ROH has/had a wider meaning.
By the way, if I remember rightly, 2012's most needle-moving match to date was Davey vs. Elgin in a throwback "lolstiffmma" match. Was it not?