Ring of Honor CALDWELL'S ROH TV REPORT 9/24: ROH Tag Title match headlines debut episode on Sinclair Broadcasting
Sep 24, 2011 - 10:00:21 PM
PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO BOOKMARK US & VISIT US DAILY
Ring of Honor Wrestling TV report
September 24, 2011
Taped 8/13 in Chicago
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
Due to coincidental timing being in San Antonio this weekend, I was able to review the debut episode of ROH's syndicated TV series under the Sinclair Broadcasting banner. ROH TV airs at 9:00 p.m. CST on Saturday nights on the MyNetworkTV affiliate in S.A.
The debut episode opened with a video package showing various clips of wrestlers warming up in the locker room interspersed with crowd and arena shots from past ROH events. Very professional introduction.
In-ring: Kevin Kelly stood center-ring to introduce the debut show. Kelly promoted an ROH Tag Title match in the main event pitting Haas & Benjamin against Hero & Claudio. The graphics were very sharp and professional-looking. Kelly then introduced his broadcasting partner, Nigel McGuinness. Tight shot of Kelly and Nigel in the ring introducing the show and discussing Nigel's return to ROH. Nigel said when he heard about ROH returning to broadcast TV, he knew he had to be part of it. Nigel said he's not the focus of the show, but the wrestlers in the back. Kelly then fed to a video package.
Sit-down promos: Adam Cole and Kyle O'Reilly talked about their role in ROH as an upstart tag team. Harlem and Lancelot Bravado talked themselves up in a separate sit-down interview to promote the opening match.
1 -- FUTURE SHOCK (KYLE O'REILLY & ADAM COLE) vs. THE BRAVADO BROTHERS
After ring introductions and a look at the Tale of the Tape to add more color to the match-up, Nigel discussed each team's background and what they bring to the table. The match started with some multiple-man spots trying to get the crowd involved early on. Kelly noted the audience will learn a little more about ROH each week with various "Inside ROH" features. Mid-match, Kelly introduced a "Tweet of the Week" that was obviously selected to brand ROH as the 2011 version of pro wrestling, not 1990s mainstream wrestling. A professional-looking graphic accompanied the Twitter reference, as well.
The crowd quieted down as the teams went through a sequence of overly-choreographed moves. They reinvested when Future Shock "won" the sequence before splashing the Bravados on the floor. Back in the ring, Future Shock executed a double-team sequence for the pin and the win. They went to a replay of the finish before showing the two team adhering to the Code of Honor with a post-match handshake.
WINNERS: Future Shock at 7:25. Good opening match to begin the Sinclair Era and establish Future Shock as a top tag team in the promotion.
Live Event plug: Standing in front of a black backdrop in a studio setting, Kelly plugged upcoming live events before bringing in ROH World champion Davey Richards to discuss competition in ROH. Okay spot. It was better than a local car dealership spot, but not as professional as other items on the show thus far.
ROH Best In the World report: Kelly narrated footage of ROH touring New York City on June 26 when Richards captured the ROH World Title from Eddie Edwards. The video included soundbytes from ROH fans waiting in line to get inside the building. When Kelly's report got to Richards-Edwards, ROH included sit-down interview comments from Richards on his mindset going into the ROH Title match. Edwards also commented on the match, noting Richards KO'ed him and he doesn't remember losing the match. They showed Richards's emotional post-match victory speech to conclude the video package.
[Commercial Break. The break included back-to-back promotional spots for ROH's new website set to launch this weekend. Other spots were for MyNet's syndicated shows and some local ads.]
Voice-Over: Kelly and Nigel set up this week's "Inside ROH" feature on the Code of Honor. Kelly provided an explanation of the Code of Honor before Jim Cornette added more color on the wrestlers showing respect to each other and the sport of pro wrestling. Cornette said it's not mandatory, but those who do not adhere to the Code are usually not popular in the locker room.
Kelly plugged El Generico vs. Jay Lethal for the TV Title on next week's show before they went to a sit-down interview with Lethal. He said he was just a young pup the last time he was in ROH and he's returned to be himself after trying to be someone else for six years somewhere else. Lethal put over ROH's focus on wrestling, not "nostalgia," before plugging his match against El Generico next week. Lethal vowed to put Generico down by "Lethal Injection" next week.
The second-half of the show started with clips from Best in the World 2011 showcasing a four-team elimination match for the ROH Tag Titles that concluded with Haas & Benjamin retaining the ROH Tag Titles with a final pinfall over Kings of Wrestling. This was followed by the Briscoes KO'ing the tag champions as the Kings just watched.
Ringside: After the video package aired, Nigel interviewed a ringside fan on who's winning tonight - Kings of Wrestling or Haas & Benjamin.
In-ring: A bit of a jumpcut to ring introductions for the main event, starting with the Kings, who were accompanied by Shane Hagadorn and Sara Del Rey. Rock music the crowd didn't seem to recognize brought out the ROH tag champions. Once the parties were assembled, Bobby Cruise handled formal ring introductions, noting a 45-minute time limit. The two teams jawed before Kelly fed to another break.
Live Event plug: Standing in front of the black backdrop in a studio setting, Kelly brought in the Briscoes to plug upcoming live events and their ROH Tag Title quest. Classic Briscoes. Not exactly the "faces of ROH on Sinclair," but such great characters.
2 -- ROH tag champions CHARLIE HAAS & SHELTON BENJAMIN vs. KINGS OF WRESTLING (CHRIS HERO & CLAUDIO CASTAGNOLI w/Shane Hagadorn and Sara Del Rey) -- ROH Tag Title match
Back from break, Kelly noted there was no Code of Honor since the teams dislike each other so much. After the bell sounded, they cut to a Tale of the Tape to compare the two teams. Basic feeling-out process to begin the match, then a stalemate leading to the final commercial break. Kelly did a solid job stressing the importance of staying tuned after a two-minute commercial.
Back from break, the Kings worked over Shelton to frustrate Haas, who begged for a tag. Haas eventually took a hot tag and scored a nearfall on Claudio. Nigel called for Haas to finish off Claudio, but a big boot couldn't put Claudio away. The two teams went back to trading offense before Haas and Shelton finished off Hero with World's Greatest Finisher. After a replay, Kelly said the Briscoes await the tag champs. The show concluded with the champs celebrating the victory.
WINNERS: Haas & Benjamin at 15:28 to retain the ROH Tag Titles. Solid main event not trying to be a five-star match, but giving newer viewers a very nice sample of what ROH offers in the ring and in their tag division, which was stressed this week.
Next week: TV champion El Generico vs. Jay Lethal.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Good debut show for ROH with heavy focus on wrestling - not necessarily quantity in the ring this week, but promoting the sport and telling good, wrestling-focused stories. The introductory features were well-done and the overall presentation was very professional. The next thing that needs to be upgraded is the quality of production in the arena for the wrestling presentation. The hard camera shots looked grainy from a distance and some of the ringside cameras picked up too much darkness in the arena to wash out the wrestlers.
THE TORCH REACHES MORE COMBAT ENTERTAINMENT FANS THAN ANY OTHER SOURCE
PWTorch editor Wade Keller has covered pro wrestling full time since 1987 starting with the Pro Wrestling Torch print newsletter. PWTorch.com launched in 1999 and the PWTorch Apps launched in 2008.
He has conducted "Torch Talk" insider interviews with Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Steve Austin, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Eric Bischoff, Jesse Ventura, Lou Thesz, Jerry Lawler, Mick Foley, Jim Ross, Paul Heyman, Bruno Sammartino, Goldberg, more.
He has interviewed big-name players in person incluiding Vince McMahon (at WWE Headquarters), Dana White (in Las Vegas), Eric Bischoff (at the first Nitro at Mall of America), Brock Lesnar (after his first UFC win).
He hosted the weekly Pro Wrestling Focus radio show on KFAN in the early 1990s and hosted the Ultimate Insiders DVD series distributed in retail stories internationally in the mid-2000s including interviews filmed in Los Angeles with Vince Russo & Ed Ferrara and Matt & Jeff Hardy. He currently hosts the most listened to pro wrestling audio show in the world, (the PWTorch Livecast, top ranked in iTunes)
REACHING 1 MILLION+ UNIQUE USERS PER MONTH
500 MILLION CLICKS & LISTENS PER YEAR
MILLIONS OF PWTORCH NEWSLETTERS SOLD
PWTorch offers a VIP membership for $10 a month (or less with an annual sub). It includes nearly 25 years worth of archives from our coverage of pro wrestling dating back to PWTorch Newsletters from the late-'80s filled with insider secrets from every era that are available to VIPers in digital PDF format and Keller's radio show from the early 1990s.
Also, new exclusive top-shelf content every day including a new VIP-exclusive weekly 16 page digital magazine-style (PC and iPad compatible) PDF newsletter packed with exclusive articles and news.
The following features come with a VIP membership which tens of thousands of fans worldwide have enjoyed for many years...
-New Digital PWTorch Newsletter every week
-3 New Digital PDF Back Issues from 5, 10, 20 years ago
-Over 60 new VIP Audio Shows each week
-Ad-free access to all PWTorch.com free articles
-VIP Forum access with daily interaction with PWTorch staff and well-informed fellow wrestling fans
-Tons of archived audio and text articles
-Decades of Torch Talk insider interviews in transcript and audio formats with big name stars. **SIGN UP FOR VIP ACCESS HERE**