I like Ring of Honor. I watch it. I praise it.
But that’s not enough for most ROH performers. Most want to be recognized as part of some grand revolution, or at the very least for their hard work. But, when WWE calls, they can’t escape the grand revolution fast enough, and when they get to WWE, they learn that mere hard work isn’t nearly enough.
Most ROH performers are marks.
Memo to ROH: YOU’RE NOT ECW. Not even close.
I enjoy dueling with ROH’s finest on Twitter, though.
I was bantering on Twitter with Matt Hardy, and somehow Matt Taven became involved. He quickly went to the outdated Jim Cornette-level third-grade jokebook and made fun of my weight and appearance. There was a ***t joke in there, too.
I quickly won using my favorite finisher: I APPEARED ON MONDAY NIGHT TV, AND YOU HAVEN’T. Wins every time. The ultimate trump card. More people saw me on a single Nitro than have witnessed Taven’s entire career. I can cut a better promo than Taven (or 95 percent of ROH) could dream of.
Yo, Matt: Don’t forget our differing pay scales, either. ROH can’t afford me. You can’t afford rent.
Taven’s actually pretty good. But he’s just another ROH clone. They have too many guys that can’t be distinguished from each other.
That’s why Kevin Steen stood out. He looks like a fan who won a contest, but he’s different. He can brawl. He’s got charisma. After a while, he grows on you.
Speaking of Steen, he’s headed to WWE developmental, where they’ll ruin him.
Steen won the Wrestling Observer Newsletter’s Best Brawler award three times, from 2010-12. That’s his value. He’s this maniacal fat ***k who beats people down with no regard for his own safety, and looks convincing when he does it. He can come off as evil or earnest. I used to think Steen sucked. But he makes you keep watching. Now, I think he’s useful. In that role.
WWE will try to reinvent him. Problem is, I’m not sure Steen can do anything else. When he fails, it will be his fault. Except it won’t be.
Same goes for KENTA. (Why is his name in all caps?) He’s a great worker. But WWE will turn him into a child, like they do every Japanese wrestler. Can’t speak the language. Can’t function. A weirdo. But he probably won’t throw salt. He’ll become a cliché, and his work will be muted. Can’t make the stars look bad.
Just let Steen go out there and brawl. Just let KENTA go out there and have a four-star match.
But that’s not good enough. You’ve got to be a WWE creation. WWE will only hire people to whom they have taught the wrestling business. That goes for talent, for creative, for administrative, for everybody. You can’t be different, or have a different idea. It’s why the product is so cookie-cutter and bland. Every promo in the same voice. And they won’t ever fix it.
Follow Mark on Twitter: @MarkMaddenX