ROH Ringside: ROH’s 1st TV Contract
By Jose Perez
The news is out; Ring of Honor gets a second television deal. I say second, because the owners of Ring of Honor, Sinclair Broadcasting, already broadcast the TV Show on their syndicated channels all over the U.S. Destination America is receiving Ring of Honor. I’m not sure how extended Destination America is, but I’m sure if will help cover those places that do not have any of the Sinclair channels in their area for further ROH exposure. Does that mean this article will be about the deal itself, what it means, etc? Hell no. This article is going to further expand an article I wrote a while back.
With this TV Deal, I see people on the internet trying to promote Ring of Honor, and for people to tune into it. However, I hear stuff that I disagree upon, which I touched on before. Why do people insist that Ring of Honor does not have storylines? Although it’s true that Ring of Honor will slap on matches out of nowhere on each show I repeat, each Ring of Honor show has two or three main storylines going, which the rest of the matches, will have wrestlers who have wrestlers with certain goals or “gimmicks”. Therefore, as I did last time I will comment on some more ROH Storylines that were important to the evolution of Ring of Honor as a promotion. In ROH Ringside #16, I revisited all the storylines I could think of until the show “Nowhere To Run”. Since then, I have caught up to “The Night of Tribute” from 2005. Therefore, I want to cover the storylines between both shows.
Alex Shelley vs. Generation Next
Generation Next was originally composed of Alex Shelley, Austin Aries, Roderick Strong and Jack Evans. For a time, Alex Shelley was absent from many ROH shows. Upon his return, Generation Next turned on him, because they did not see him tied to the Generation Next cause. So for some shows, Alex Shelley had two objectives. First he wanted to get back the respect of the Ring of Honor locker room and the fans for what he did as the leader of Generation Next, and second he wanted to get revenge on Generation Next. Therefore he faced all the members, one on one or in tag team affairs. The final result? Alex Shelley tricked the fans and the locker room by joining The Embassy.
Ringcrew Express vs. Carnage Crew
Ring of Honor celebrated a Scramble Cage Match which included some of promotion’s tag teams. The team that got pinned had to stay away from Ring of Honor for 90 days (the reason, I’m not really sure). The Ringcrew Express pinned the Carnage Crew. During the 90 days, if I’m not mistaken Loc, dressed as masked superstars and competed in some singles matches. Once the ninety days had passed the Carnage Crew returned as themselves (with Loc weighing about twenty pounds more than the last time he showed up as himself) and they set their eyes on the Ringcrew Express for making the Carnage Crew stay home with their fat wives and nagging kids, and Loc would even bring a bottle of whiskey to the ring, because being at home got him to drink. For some months, they had a series of hardcore matches. Finally at the Night of Grudges II match between both teams, the Ringcrew Express won, and after the show the Carnage Crew went up to the Ringcrew Express and showed their respect for the team.
Ring of Honor’s Summer of Punk
Most WWE fans will not know that the Summer of Punk was originally a storyline that happened first in Ring of Honor. It’s a given that WWE lately have been scouting Ring of Honor more frequently, I’m not sure if Vince does it, or if it’s others. However, I’m sure C.M. Punk had to be the person who suggested to Vince the Summer of Punk storyline. Vince is known not to copy other ideas from other promotions, and I’m certain that Vince didn’t know this storyline happened before.
The storyline was similar to the WWEs version, with slight differences. Ring of Honor had announced that C.M. Punk had signed with the World Wrestling Federation and that he had few dates left on this Ring of Honor Contract. They predicted that “Death Before Dishonor III” would be his last show, and when C.M. Punk went to face James Gibson he said it would be his last show. When C.M. Punk won the title, he started giving an emotional speech, until he turned it into a heel speech saying it was his last night, that he would take the title to the WWE.
The following show, “Cult of Personality” played and he came out with the title. C.M. Punk kept coming to the following shows and kept claiming that each one was his last show, however it kept being a lie. Finally at his real last show, he lost the title to James Gibson, and he cried his way out of Ring of Honor. As you can see, there were some slight differences with the WWE’s version, but the main plot was similar.
James Gibson’s Title Reign
After James Gibson won the title from C.M. Punk it was announced that he would leave for the WWE however he was dedicated to not go to the WWE until he lost the ROH World Title, and he was going to defend it for the longest time possible. I forget if it was the same night, or a show after winning the title, Spanky congratulated James Gibson on winning the title (due to the fact that they were friends) and turned on him. Later Spanky explained his actions by stating that he was sick of wrestlers who were leaving for WWE getting a title shot except for him. This led to James Gibson accepting a match in a three way that included Spanky (which Spanky didn’t win).
Nigel McGuiness vs. Colt Cabana
Nigel McGuiness was becoming a popular pure wrestler in Ring of Honor. He decided to have a match with Colt Cabana, to see who was the best pure wrestler. They were friends at this point and time. However in their first match Nigel McGuiness cheated to win, however it was so subtle, that it could be considered that Nigel McGuiness did it inadvertently. Therefore, a rematch was made, and this time Nigel McGuiness was more blatant in his cheating, thus turning Nigel heel. I believe they had one more match which Colt Cabana lost, until Colt supposedly went to Europe to train in the European Style of wrestling. Upon his return he was able to defeat Nigel at his own game.
Brian Danielson’s Title Reign
I guess you can call this more of a “gimmick” than a storyline, but it can be intertwined. Brian Danielson’s goal in Ring of Honor was to win the ROH World Title. He had his last shot against James Gibson. He got the chance to face James Gibson, and he did it listening to the fans. When he faced James Gibson he said if he didn’t win he would never return to ROH again. He won. During his reign he got sick of the fans for asking him to do certain moves, so he stopped doing popular moves, like the airplane spin and surfboard. He would tell the fans off, and he would yell at the ref after four counts saying “I Have until five, referee”. And at the moment I am in the middle of his reign.
These are just some examples of many storylines happening in Ring of Honor. There’s more like Homicide and Colt Cabana’s feud, Samoa Joe’s quest for the Triple Crown and B.J. Whitmer and Jimmy Jacob’s alliance with Daizee, Nigel McGuiness vs. Claudio Costagnoli and so on. So when ignorants’ talk about Ring of Honor, and say that Ring of Honor doesn’t have storylines and it’s just wrestling, I’ll just say this. Ring of Honor is more based on pure wrestling and it is true that lots of matches are thrown together out of nowhere; However, there is storylines, there are characters/gimmicks and some of these thrown together matches to convert into future storylines at times.
— Jose Perez