Ian Riccaboni is still subbing for Quinn McKay, who is now recovering from her match last week. He expects her to be back next week.
WACKY RANKINGS BATTLE ROYALE- 0.5/10
This match included all of the wrestlers not currently ranked in a singles division. They had a battle royale down to two, and those two will face off on a future show, with the winner then getting inserted into the top five of the division of his choosing. That seems a lot more complicated than it needs to be, but just winning a battle royale feels like it’s too little to instantly get yourself ranked. I think a better way to do this would have been to have the you are going to put over in the end just WIN SOME MATCHES.
The one of the only two guys who got his entrance shown was PCO, and they’re little graphic for him seemed designed to remind you that he’s old as f*ck. I get that the gimmick is that he’s old but big and strong and does crazy stuff and becomes impervious to pain, but that doesn’t mean you need to rub the “old” part in our faces by reminding us that he eliminated Randy Savage from a battle royale in 1993, and you should never ever remind anyone that any wrestler who didn’t win one of those awful things was in a World War 3 match, because those things were awful and f*ckers that regular WCW viewers had never even heard of before were in them, so having just been in them isn’t really a big deal.
The other guy to get his entrance shown was Mike Bennett. He never quite made it into the ring, as he was brawling with someone on the outside and then got attacked by Vincent’s large friend Dutch. Dutch and Bateman tried to drag Bennett away but security came out and stopped them… and they actually listened to security! I didn’t see that one coming. They were then… ejected, or something (even though Bateman was still in the match)? I don’t know. We were told that security took them away during a commercial break. Matt Taven came out to tend to Bennett and help him to the back as well.
This match was mostly populated with nobodies. I think the person in the ring with the sixth-most notoriety was LSG (after Mark Briscoe, PCO, Dorkhausen, Bennett, and Bateman… and those last two were barely in the match). This was going to happen by necessity of the stipulation (cutting out all champions and ranked singles wrestlers means you’re already cutting out your top eighteen guys, plus Vincent is on a leave of absence, and Dalton Castle wasn’t in the match for Dalton Castle reasons and was on commentary instead)… which feels like yet another reason why doing this battle royale wasn’t the best idea.
At one point Dorkhausen put on an El Generico match in an idiotic attempt to disguise himself. He thought disguising himself would help because… um…
At another point, PCO did his dumb “I’m malfunctioning” spot. This served no purpose for the match… but it did remind me that he ASSAULTED AN ANNOUNCER last week and has not been punished in any way. In fact, he’s being rewarded with this opportunity to crack the top five rankings in the division of his choice.
The part here was that they put some good focus on Joe Keys, as he got to eliminate Mark Briscoe and also helped LSG to eliminate PCO at the end, making them the final two, but that’s pretty much the only positives here. I explained above why I didn’t think this was a good idea, but I was well aware that if they had some angle they wanted to do involving some people in this match that required a battle royale or these stipulations then it would have made doing this battle royale necessary (as opposed to just giving the Keys vs. LSG winner some wins to have him get ranked). At this point, they appear to have done nothing that needed the battle royale format.
PRIMAL FEAR PROMO- okay
QUINN MCKAY INTERVIEWS SHANE TAYLOR PROMOTIONS- fine
Taylor did all the talking, as you would expect. He says that his mission is to give opportunities to the talent that ROH has that you don’t get to see. This… is not a gimmick that ROH needs right now. As I’ve said several times recently, ROH doesn’t have very much TV time in which to feature people, and they’re already trying to feature a lot of people that they shouldn’t be (Danhausen, LSG, Brian Johnson, Danhausen, World Famous CB, Danhausen, Eli Isom, Danhausen, etc.) Any time given to these Primal Fear guys comes at the expense of someone else. Taylor himself is a featured star who hasn’t even been on TV since Kenny King betrayed him in a world title match… and that was THREE MONTHS AGO!
This “giving opportunities to underutilized talent” gimmick also doesn’t make much sense to me. Taylor shouldn’t want to be giving these guys opportunities against himself and his faction. He shouldn’t really even be wanting to give them much exposure at all. He should be scouting them and signing the best ones to his group and THEN he should be trying to feature them because they’d be part of his group.
Also, is Taylor supposed to be a babyface or a heel? He’s been acting like a babyface, but he still doesn’t get along with anyone outside of his group and he never really did anything to turn babyface. I guess Kenny King turning on him was supposed to be the turn? I prefer my babyface turns to involve the person turning to change his ways, but Taylor had been acting like and kind of presented as a babyface even before Kenny King turned on him.
Anyway, Taylor is a very good talker and was able to come up with good way to frame himself as being reasonably angry with these people who he has decided to be nice and give a title shot to.
Quinn made another of her little post-interview comments, which continue to be extremely annoying. This comes across as someone (be it Quinn herself or someone instructing her to do this) as trying to get the interviewer over. The goal is not to get the interviewer over. The goal is to get the wrestlers over.
ROH WORLD SIX-MAN TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH: Shane Taylor Promotions(c) vs. Primal Fear- 6/10
These nobodies are getting a title shot because Shane Taylor wants to give an opportunity to some young wrestlers who haven’t had a break yet. We’ve only had the current rankings and rules system in place for a few months at this point, and this is already the second time management has agreed to put the rules aside because one of the champions wants to give some youngsters an opportunity. That’s too many in too short a time.
Ian had a little Freudian slip when he referred to the artist of Shane Taylor Promotion’s entrance music as “Michael Tarver” instead of Monster Tarver. That made me laugh.
The match was perfectly fine, but nothing that made me take much notice of anyone, either.
SILAS YOUNG VIDEO PACKAGE/PROMO- good
JOSH WOODS INTERVIEW- meh
He was asked for his thoughts on Silas Young. He couldn’t and answer. Instead he just paced and contemplated and then walked out. This certainly fits in with what I would expect from Woods’ happy-go-lucky character being betrayed by his mentor, but the problem is that the turned happened almost two months ago at this point, and Woods should have had time to process things by now.
SILAS YOUNG vs. JOSH WOODS- 6.25/10
Silas jumped Woods from behind on his way to the ring. They had a match that just didn’t hit the mark for me. I think the lack of crowd hurt it, which is a feeling I mostly haven’ been having watching these ROH shows. They had the right intensity, the action was fine and the finish (Silas reversed an armbar into a pin with illegal leverage) was perfect for this spot in the feud, but the match just didn’t click. It felt like it was less than the sum of its parts.
This a bad show from ROH. The opener just was a lot of the stuff ROH needs to stay away from, and the last two matches were the sort of thing that makes the company feel like it lacks direction. It shouldn’t take months for principal players to be on TV after a big happening at PPV, and a guy like Taylor should be going somewhere, not having a random match for the most pointless titles in the company against a bunch of nobodies who did nothing to earn the shot.
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