January Random Thoughts

ring of honorI work for Ring of Honor. I used to work for World Wrestling Entertainment. I know what’s going on in ROH, have a pretty good idea what’s going on in WWE but I don’t have a clue about TNA. I watched most of the debut on Destination America. I liked some, didn’t like most and at the end of it, I felt like they wasted an opportunity, with a main event that felt like “same old, same old”.

Would any live event show (awards show, sporting event, etc.) spend one second on some guy wearing a headset sitting behind a table? That’s what I saw more than once with shots of John Gaburick. Sure “Big” is a nice guy but seriously, what’s the point of the shot? Is that going to tickle the “smart fan”? Like “ooh, they’re showing me something I’m not supposed to see”. Give me a break.

I love the way they shoot their locker room vignettes with the voyeur camera and a film-like look. One that stood out to me as a positive was a scene with MVP and Kenny King.

I did like the announce team of Taz and Josh Matthews. Josh is a huge upgrade over Mike Tenay and Taz is great. I don’t get those that knock Taz. He has a great deal to offer but in my opinion, Taz has difficulty, historically, hiding his lack of enthusiasm when the show isn’t good. Motivation is key for him.

What is it about TNA main events that always wind up overbooked? In the end, nothing means anything.

Earlier in the month, New Japan Pro Wrestling showed what Professional Wrestling in 2015 is all about with their “Wrestle Kingdom 9” event. The perfect blend of pageantry, drama and athleticism showcased exactly what separates NJPW from everyone else. On the big stage, Tanahashi, Okada and Nakamura were introduced to (hopefully) many for the first time. AJ Styles continued to build on his amazing 2014 and the show, from top to bottom, was amazing.

Why is WWE struggling? Are they struggling? Ticket sales were good for live events for the historically robust Christmas week so what’s the problem? Is there a problem? Right now, I think the brand is strong enough to hold up until they get things turned around. I still believe there will come a time where either Vince or Triple H will say, in the words of Owen Hart “enough is enough and it’s time for a change”.

NXT is a great show and as I’ve written before, should be the pattern for Raw going forward but it doesn’t need to happen today or tomorrow… but soon. I believe that the big advantage for WWE is they have marketed beautifully to kids and those kids drive ticket sales. Don’t look for them to get away from the “PG” rating any time soon.

alberto del rioRing of Honor had a great January TV taping in Nashville where we got to work with Alberto El Patron for the first time. I can see why WWE fired him. What an egotistical jerk! Just kidding… just the opposite. The word that came to mind was “gentleman”. Alberto is a true class act but I didn’t know if he knew what he was in for.

He came through the curtain for an in-ring interview I conducted with him and to me, standing there next to him, I can honestly say that he was shocked with the positive response he received. Alberto took a moment before answering my question but was interrupted, mid-thought, by huge chants and cheers. You’ll see it this week on Ring of Honor Television.

Alberto’s match later in the night against Christopher Daniels also was eye-opening. Talking to Daniels after the match, we both agreed the Alberto can go in the ring and felt free in the ROH environment to be the wrestler he wants to be. Alberto’s ROH in ring debut is in two weeks. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

And there’s nothing better than the NFL. The playoffs have been amazing and I think we’ll have a Seattle/New England Super Bowl. Look for the Seahawks to retain their title.

Thoughts? Share them on Twitter @RealKevinKelly