— Well folks, it comes down to this: I’ve been having some massive problems with my internet provider regarding speed, and until I figure out where the problem is coming from or find alternate means, I’m gonna have to suspend ROH TV recaps. Since that’s my only means of watching the show, and I’ve been getting it up maybe a day sooner than most people view the following week’s episode, I don’t want to end up being completely behind the times when it comes to the show. Fortunately, I can make more-regular my semi-regular news & opinions recap about the world of independent wrestling and developmental, Inside the Indies! Plus I can still cover the big angles in ROH and yet never have to recap another fucking Mike Mondo match. Win-win. So join me while I go over the upcoming ROH Best in the World iPPV, reveal which ROH talents will not be featured for at least a few months and which one is considering retiring before the end of next year, some more about which former ECW talents will be attempting to show up sober for Extreme Rising, and a brief piece about the ongoing future of the former FCW, now known as NXT….
–To start off, word hit the net this week that Ring of Honor has decided not to use The Young Bucks or TJ Perkins for, quote, a few months. This is because all three men live in California, and ROH can’t really afford to fly them out for every show. This is a sucky situation all around. Sucky for ROH because the Bucks have a little bit of star power from their time in TNA as Generation Me, and they were some of the more interesting people in the tag division, and Perkins was just starting to build a name for himself and could have been a big star for them. It sucks for Perkins & the Bucks, because the indie scene in California is still not as vibrant as the scene on the East coast, with NWA Hollywood featuring regional TV and PWG barely being able to afford to run shows. And because, obviously, they aren’t making quite enough in ROH that they could afford to move East, and it’s somewhat inconvenient for them to work the Northeast indie scene (most of which is locked up with people in the DGUSA/EVOLVE/CHIKARA/PWS circuit anyway) and then also do ROH shows in relatively-out-of-the-way Baltimore. And it sucks for ROH fans because that’s one less guy in the singles division and one less tag team, and they’ll likely be replaced by castoffs from the Baltimore area. I guess another option for these guys is Mexico, though in Perkins’ case he’s already moved on from Lucha Libre USA/AAA and sold his Sydistiko gimmick to Paul London. It’s hard to say what lies in the future for any of these guys, but it’s ROH’s loss.
–Speaking of possible ROH departures, Davey Richards told Inside Wrestling magazine that he plans on retiring when his ROH contract is up sometime before the end of next year. Richards has made these claims before, planning to retire from ROH and become an EMT in 2010. The word is, that was mainly due to his wife at the time begging him to get out of the business, and when they divorced he reconsidered. Now it seems as though Davey is really ready to retire. In some ways, it makes sense: he’s wrestled for a number of years and had large amounts of success in the indie scene and in Japan, and he’s been considered one of the best in the world by a number of people. I doubt he’d ever make sense as a WWE wrestler and who knows whether he could make a go of it in TNA. He’s pretty much achieved all there is to achieve as an independent wrestler, the same position Bryan Danielson was once in before he went to WWE. The problem is, Davey is cut from the same mold as D-Bry but he doesn’t have the political clout that Bryan’s association with Shawn Michaels has brought him. In the end it’d probably be best for Davey to go out on his own terms and find a life outside wrestling where he can keep his health in check. But knowing him, he’s just likely to end up doing MMA.
–On a last ROH note, here’s the current updated card for next Sunday’s Best in the World iPPV:
* Kevin Steen vs. Davey Richards for the ROH Title
* Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin vs. The All Night Express for the ROH Tag Titles (If Hass and Benjamin get DQ’d they can lose the titles)
* Fit Finlay vs. Michael Elgin
* Roderick Strong vs. Jay Lethal vs. Tommaso Ciampa in a three-way for the ROH Title
* Eddie Edwards vs. Homicide
* Adam Cole vs. Kyle O’Reilly
Call me negative, but that doesn’t sound to be a very enticing card. Most of those matches are rematches, and of course many people are still fishy about ordering an ROH iPPV after the Border Wars fiasco. My initial plan was to be at CHIKARA’s “Smack In The Middle” event in Syracuse, NY that day, but that’s up in the air right now. I still don’t think there’s really enough on that card to make me want to order it. Glad to see Homicide back, though.
–Not that it’s really ever truly been “independent”, per say, but the new NXT that has risen from the ashes of FCW has more of a WWE footprint on it: the first 4 episodes will all feature matches involving Smackdown semi-regulars such as Antonio Cesaro, the Prime Time Players, Drew McIntyre, and Justin Gabriel. No appearance by Kassius “Chris Hero” Ohno, since he’s still out from an injury suffered at the hands of, ironically, his former partner Antonio Cesaro. You will see the awesomeness that is Bray Wyatt (and word is, his flunky Eli Cottonwood has been granted his release from developmental), as well as Bo Dallas (aka Wyatt’s brother Taylor Rotunda), Richie Steamboat, Leo Kruger, The Ascension and Racquel Diaz, aka Eddie & Vickie Guerrero’s daughter. Also, Seth Rollins, who is involved in something I don’t want to see involving someone else with long hair. It’s good to see that a lot of this crop of talent have basically been grandfathered into being WWE superstars, because I would not be surprised if, in 5-10 years time, this developmental crop mirrors the OVW class of 2000-2002 in terms of future star talent.
–Since apparently Shane Douglas is hell bent on making sure Johnny Ace doesn’t outdo him in terms of being Dynamic Dudes involved in Wrestlecrap-waiting-to-happen this year, Sabu is likely going to be a part of Extreme Rising, the sequel to Extreme Reunion, if he is out of rehab in time. Sabu, if you’ll remember, was so fucked up he had to be rushed to the hospital at the last event, and Justin Credible was tweeting pictures of Sabu passed out in a hotel room before being thrown out of the show himself. So now Sabu gets try number two at making lemonade with Douglas’s group. Also, Raven is not as of now booked for the upcoming shows, although it was initially expected that he would be there to follow up on the angle from the first show where he trashed it and didn’t wrestle despite being advertised. I had quite the hunch that there was more shoot to that than let on, if only because it doesn’t make a whole ton of sense for a heel to get heat by saying a show sucks when that show hasn’t even established any fans yet. I can’t really blame Raven for not wanting to get involved, but on the other hand, who else is booking him? I don’t think one match a year at Gathering of the Juggalos is going to keep the bills paid while he attempts to get his stand up comedy career off the ground.
–One last quick note: Billy Corgan claims he’s in the process of launching a reality show for his Resistance Pro Wrestling group out of Chicago. Some of the bigger music sites were mocking him for this, since it seems weird if you don’t know Billy’s involvement with wrestling. I think it could be a really cool show though. Like them or not, stupid shit like the Hogan wrestling-reality shows and Half Pint Brawlers found some kind of audience, and this show would have one thing that neither of those shows did: Corgan himself. Corgan himself is a compelling figure to watch, and also a complete anal retentive psycho. Seeing him chew out his former band members and Chicago music critic Jim DeRogatis was one thing, seeing him pull his controlling routine on a group of pro wrestlers whose own egos might get bruised when they butt heads with Billy could be top-quality trash TV. Get it on Sundance or IFC and you can add at least a veneer of hipster-cool to it and confuse people into thinking the show is classier than it is. I swear, if reality TV had been around at the time that Smashing Pumpkins broke out, Corgan would have Tommy Lee’s career.
Well folks, that’s it for now. Until I figure out whether I can watch ROH weekly again or whether I really want to, I’ll be seeing you again with this one. Remember, go out and support your local indie wrestling scene.