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What ROH gets Wrong

Rating: 5 votes, 3.80 average.
Recently I have read some comments on the internet saying that ROH is the best wrestling promotion in the world, or at least in the United States. I was curious and began to search videos of the program on YouTube. What I saw definitely didn't impress me. However I thought "Well this must be the older footage. It's probably much better now." Regrettably I was wrong. I tried to watch their weekly show on their website about three times now, and each time I cannot take it seriously. Let me explain.

The Setting/Presentation
The first distraction with ROH is the actual setting, not to be confused with production values. I realize that ROH does not have the financial backing that WWE or TNA has and therefore I do not expect them to have the lighting or the fireworks or the set-up that those companies have. But for Pete's sake would it hurt to choose a few more brightful colors for the arena set-up ? Everything is so dark and depressing looking. The ropes are dark red, the ring apron is black, the canvas is also black, the ring side is mostly black, I mean holy crap. Couple all this blackness with the insufficient lighting (due to financial limitations) and you get a very unappealing picture. I'm not saying that they should repaint everything in rainbow colors, but they should make the show more appealing to the eye.

Another issue is their backstage interviews and promos. They try to make them realistic and UFC-like, however they just come off looking cheap. It damages the credibility of the product when it looks as though the interview was shot with a smartphone. Would it hurt to have a wrestling themed background behind the wrestlers as they do their promos ? This was always done in the territories and even early on in the WWF.

Inside the Ring
Now ironically this is one of ROH's biggest problems. You'd think that a show which puts all of its emphasis on the wrestling itself would certainly lack issues in this department. ROH without a doubt puts on more actual wrestling than WWE and TNA, however this is not great wrestling. It is what is known as spot wrestling. Everytime I watch a ROH match I just can't get into it. It looks too choreographed, you can tell that the wrestlers talked over the entire match backstage, and that simply takes me out of the match. They do too many moves. That is to say, that many of the moves that we have come to expect as FINISHERS, such as a sit-down powerbomb for instance, is just another move in ROH. It's TOO much. Instead of looking realistic, which is what ROH is going for, they end up looking more questionable than WWE. Another thing is that the matches last WAY too damn long. Sure every now and then you need a long match, HBK vs Bret Hart at WM12 is one of my favorites, however that match was not spot heavy. It was wonderfully paced and never got boring. On the other hand, ROH has spot heavy matches that also last a decade, making it unwatchable at times.

The Wrestlers Themselves
I'll try to keep this one short because i'm not about to go over each wrestler. But just in general these guys have the personality of a baked potato. Some are better, some worse, but the majority cannot pull off a convincing promo. I watched them stutter, constantly blink and look around. Nobody captured my attention. Again, I don't expect them to pull off a Jake Roberts, Randy Savage, or a Dusty Rhodes like promo, but Jesus.

Unfortunately like the look of the ringside area and arena, the wrestlers themselves look so generic and ununique. Everyone has either short hair or an almost shaved head. Please can they add some color to their ring gear. We want exciting personalities that look and act differently from eachother.

Philosophy of the Promotion
This is the last thing and arguable the most important. ROH tries so damn hard to be like the UFC and I just can't understand why they would want to. In this day and age, practically everyone knows that wrestling is not a real contest. So why try to convince us it is ? I have known that wrestling wasn't a real sport since the first match I saw when I was about 9 years old, my dad just flat out told me. But that didn't make even the slightest difference to me, in fact it made it even more fascinating to me. By trying to be like the UFC so much, ROH is straying away from what makes wrestling great. You won't be able to simulate the excitement of MMA because it is a completely different thing so stop trying.

Anyway thanks for reading this 3 volume novel of a blog that I just purged out. I don't dislike ROH, I just wish it was a bit different .

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  1. wwe=awesome's Avatar
    i agree with you man, its insane for someone to call this the best promotion in the US, i mean it could be later on, but as for now its way, way, way to early for it to even come close to wwe or tna.
  2. wrestlingfan66513's Avatar
    they did just get on tv but tna's production values when it got on weren't this bad when it started. I say give it a little time then we will see where it goes.
  3. Wrestlinfan608's Avatar
    roh looks like it was taped in the mid 90's
  4. TheThief91's Avatar
    I know that everyone is entitled to their opinion, so of course I won't bash you on yours, but i do wholeheartedly disagree. Their promos aren't good, that's for sure but I don't think people watch ROH for promos or too much story development. A lot of the matches kind of create a story for themselves, depending on how each match goes and what goes on in them. All wrestling is planned out, ROHs is just more fast paced and much more fluid than anything TNA and WWE can do.
  5. Big Ron's Avatar
    The problem with ROH is Paul Heyman and ECW raised the bar so high for smaller promotions. I do my best to get into it now that its on TV but its hard at times. You make very good points and I agree 99% with you but here's what I think. The dark settings are done to make the arena look bigger, making it appear like there are more than one hundred people there. In comparison to UFC its not that its about being UFC but its about being a sport opposed to entertainment. ROH is trying to make it more believable by everybody going after gold. Really who joins a sport without the intention of being the best.
    What I think hurts them a lot is lack of common sense. DO NOT have your biggest guys in the ring next to a 6ft tall Jim Cornette when he is almost twice their size.
    I want nothing but success for ROH but comparing them now to what they were 5 years ago ain't good. 5 years ago ROH was off the hook!
  6. Bagg's Avatar
    I do not understand your last comment, you like ROH but you just shat on EVERYTHING about the company. Every single thing up there is what makes ROH different from sports entertainment. As an ROH supporter, I dont want big colorful tv shows, I dont want people cheering for big stupid entrances, I dont want big sets, I dont want stupid gimmicks, I want GD wrestling and by god, thats what ROH gives me. And all the ROH supporters that have kept it alive for all this time, dont want any of that either. Remember ECW and how it just couldnt translate to TV? Neither can this company but bless their hearts, they keep trying. The only thing ill agree with you on is personalities, with cabana and claudio gone, theres not alot of character right now. But i dunno man, i think you need to stick with Sports Entertainment because if you cant appreciate ROH matches for what they are, that being the whole premise of the company, dont bother continuing to watch because its not for you.
  7. dub's Avatar
    Slickman I have to disagree with you. I mean you are spot on with the quality and the promos but I gotta disagree with the wrestling aspect. I have seen sooooooooooooooooo many great matches from ROH. Have you seen the Steen/Generico, American Wolves table match? Have you seen the Bryan Danielson vs Tyler Black Match? Have you seen Eddie Edwards vs Davey Richards match? Have you seen the Aries/Mcguiness match? Have you seen Tag Team 4 corners match between KOW, Bricoes, WGTT, and All Night Express? The list goes on and on and on and on and the thing is... I just started watching ROH?!?!?!? I mean you can't deny the talent they currently have either(In the ring). Jay Lethal, Eddie Edwards, Nigel Mcguiness, WGTT, Briscoes, Davey Richards, Kevin Steen, El Generico, All night Express, Roderick Strong, TJ Perkins, O'Riley, T.Ciampa....THESE GUYS CAN FLAT OUT GO! And "Bagg" hit it right on the nail. ROH is WRESTLING therefore it is a breath of fresh air from WWE & TNA. Their primary concern is getting "actors" and developing characters and in the process wrestling is put on the back burner. ROH is the exact opposite they look for "wrestlers". Jay Lethal doesn't have to be a macho man knockoff anymore he can just go in the ring and perform. Shelton doesn't have to have a "Gold Standard"/"mama's boy" gimmick anymore(what was dat about WWE?!?!?!) he can just go in the ring and perform. When you think about it that's when he was at his best in the WWE WHEN THEY JUST LET HIM WRESTLE! That is why it is going to be so hard for Tyler Black to make it, thats why its going to be hard for Hero to make it, thats why it WAS hard for Kaval to make it... because the WWE wants gimmicks and characters first not wrestling. None the less good blog its always cool to see other wrestling fans veiws on different Promotions
    Updated 11-07-2011 at 11:21 AM by dub
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