Question of the Week:
Your email address has Carol in it, so, whether that’s your first, last, or nickname, that’s how I’m addressing you. Carol, this is a very good question, and one that could well have a whole column devoted to it. The short answer is yes, I do feel that this is harming the product…CREATIVELY. Feuds are a lot more interesting to watch when they have time to pan out, and we don’t have to see the same crap over and over, as well as all the B.S. and unclean finishes that stretch a feud out to the next PPV. Ultimately, though, WWE sees a lot more money in the model that includes 12-15 pay-per-views a year, so I don’t expect it to stop anytime soon.
Last week’s column, admittedly, was a rare thing for me. Allow me to use wrestling metaphors to describe what happened.
After an atypically “phoned-in” performance, I made my way dejectedly to the back. I was almost up the ramp when I was attacked from behind. It was a chair to the back of the head, from reader, Ross, followed by this comment:
jesus. way to not talk about anything in your column and plug another
do you really want to do this?
Ross walked away while I rubbed the fresh egg on my head. Eventually, I got up, prepared to head to the locker room and lick my wounds. Then, it came – a kick to the gut, followed by the Chart Buster!
With his opponent already out cold, Disco Inferno grabbed a mic and spouted the following:
*Just read Kevin Macalgarkey’s column where he threatens to “open up the column a little more” by including a mailbag. Does Mr.Macluskeyvaney get paid to write for the site? I think he would even be the first to admit that his last installment was a weak effort, to say the least. I would comment on some things he said, but I can’t, because he didn’t really say anything. Spice it up a little Macalshmakel! Take a shot at me if you have to! Weren’t we supposded to be feuding??
Indeed, we were, Mr. Gilbertti. This was a wakeup call. I write for an excellent site and, I promise, we won’t be seeing a repeat of last week’s column. Also, I can’t very well take another verbal thrashing from the man who once led TNA’s dead-in-the-water S.E.X. stable. Jesus, what were they thinking with that?!
Still, there’s a lesson I learned from Chris Jericho’s book, and that’s to never completely bury your opponent in a promo. So, let’s give Disco his props. First off, kudos to him for his classy explanation of ECW’s ratings dip this week. I don’t happen to think that the NBA had quite that much of an impact on the ratings, but it was a classy move, nonetheless, for him to not gloat too much about TNA’s ratings victory this week.
Second, the Chart Buster is an excellent, hilarious name for a finisher. It’s good because it fits the gimmick, is humorous and, also, because it actually SOUNDS like a wrestling move. This brings me to my first topic.
FINISHING MOVE NAMES
The Chart Buster is a great name for a move. So is the Stone Cold Stunner. It stuns the opponent, of course, and it’s also a pun on the old “Stunning” Steve Austin name. The Rock Bottom…well, come on. It’s the end of the line for an opponent. The Tombstone Piledriver was a little hokey when it was monikered, and yet, it has become the generic name for the move previously known as the spike piledriver. Ditto for the Pedigree, which became synonymous with a wrestling move only through time and surprisingly transcended Triple H’s old gimmick.
Paul Burchill’s finishers have had some awful names. The moonsaulting STO which he formerly used as a finisher was originally called the C4. Great name, right? Well, then, with the regrettable pirate gimmick, the move became the Walk the Plank. Now, while this move signaled the end for an opponent, both in name and deed, I felt the name was a little TOO over the top. Furthermore, who would guess this was a wrestling move from its name?
That move isn’t used anymore, probably because it’s more than a little dangerous. Now, Burchill uses a modified neckbreaker as a finisher. The move is called the TWISTED SISTER. Really! The Twisted Sister! This is one of the worst finisher names I have ever heard, for two reasons. First, it sounds nothing at all like a wrestling move. Second, it’s a completely useless name for Burchill once he and Katie Lea split.
Now, to wrap up this topic…
Some Great Current Move Names:
The Olympic Slam (Angle)
Some Not So Great Move Names:
The Mic Check (Kennedy…Kennedy)
Conveniently, this brings us to our next major topic…
ROH DOES NOT DEFECATE GOLD BRICKS
I’ll admit that I have only watched a limited amount of Ring of Honor. I am by no means a diehard, though I have made it a point to follow the promotion and do own a couple of DVD’s. I followed the promotion back when it started and aired on Philly’s famed Channel 48. Since then, I’ve at least kept up with the goings and on, and caught matches when I could. I’ve, regrettably, only seen ROH live once, and that was the (mostly) excellent Final Battle 2003 event. Being as they’re based in nearby Bristol and perform in Philly all the time, I should certainly try to remedy this situation.
I purchased the mainstream-released Stars of Honor DVD sometime last month, and I was more than a bit disappointed. To be sure, there were some truly great matches on there, and it offered a ton of pure wrestling for the hardcore smark audience. That said, there were definitely a few stinkers on there.
Homicide took on a very green Alvin Burke – later to be known as MVP. I enjoy both wrestlers a ton at this point, and they’re both huge talents, but this match would’ve been better at helping my baby niece sleep than entertaining me. Burke wasn’t really a seasoned competitor at this point, and Homicide didn’t seem as into the match as he might’ve been. This one seemed to be on here for name recognition, but it definitely doesn’t fit the “great wrestling” mold that ROH has set for itself. Instead, it seemed like a watered down Sunday Night Heat match.
Then, I watched Bryan Danielson vs. Brian “Spanky” Kendrick. Now, I know what Bryan Danielson can do, and Kendrick also is an amazing talent. Why, then, was this match so excruciating to watch? I’m not a spot monkey, and I don’t mind watching a slow-paced bout, but where was the story? Simply put, there was none.
Danielson put restholds on the babyface Spanky for upwards of a half hour with little to no offense for Kendrick. How was the audience supposed to get behind Spanky without nearfalls or, really, ever expecting that he had the chance to win. Also, did I mention that this match was a round one bout in a tournament? Yeah, because it was. I had a similar reaction to this match as I did to watching the explicit scene at the end of The Brown Bunny – it was very hyped, and it was supposed to turn me on, but it just ended being long, drawn out, and awkward.
So, before I have dozens of Ring of Honor fans sending me hate mail, let me say that I have a ton of respect for what the promotion is trying to do, and that it has featured some of the best wrestlers and matches in the past ten years. Still, it bears saying that ROH, for all the good it does, does not crap gold bricks…instead, it craps dark, smelly turds.
That’ll do it for this week. I’m headed over to Bellmawr, NJ, where Old Time Wrestling holds its weekly shows. I’m going to watch an old friend of mine, “Pretty Boy” Brian Johnson, compete. He’ll be happy to know I gave him a plug on here.
‘Till next time…
Kevin McElvaney is a contributing writer for Pro Wrestling Illustrated and The Wrestler / Inside Wrestling. He offered to teach Dean Malenko six new holds but Dean, already having printed up his first batch of t-shirts, politely declined.