What ROH gets Wrong
by, 11-06-2011 at 07:06 PM (2395 Views)
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 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 .