ROH in Milwaukee

rohthI made my debut writing for Milwaukee Record last week writing a preview for the Ring of Honor show at Turner Hall. I got a few good jokes in and I got to gush over Samoa Joe so I would call it a success.

As for the show itself it was… alright. There’s indie wrestling that I like and legitimately think is better than the “WWE sytle” and there are things that I think aren’t. (Although this style line is constantly being blurred with NXT doing a hybrid NWA/ROH type of thing.) This show had more of what I don’t than what I do. I sound like Jim Ross when I say this, but the Japan inspired “fighting spirit” stuff that just turns into nobody selling anything is not for me. It just doesn’t feel earned like it does in an All-Japan match. It just feels like guys taking turns doing moves. I don’t know, it’s just not for me.

Also, driving me nuts (and this makes me feel like the oldest man in the world) is people not blocking punches. Dudes are just letting themselves get jacked in the face like eight times in a row. Early in the match too! It’s ridiculous because you can clearly tell so many of those guys watch UFC and study Jiu-Jitsu, but somehow they don’t think that you should block punches? Punches fucking hurt. Punches can bruise your face and knock you out. A couple jabs is one thing, eight or nine is ridiculous. All I ask of this fake sport is that they make it seem real.

Other observations from ROH in Milwaukee:

  • Beer City Bruiser is the worst. Seriously, what is he even doing here?
  • I have always found Roderick Strong boring and it really feels like he’s trying to put in more effort to bring more personality to his matches, but it still just isn’t working for me.
  • The show could’ve really used Matt Sydal. He was hurt and forced to miss the show, but you could feel his presence missing. There was no real flying match and the show suffered from it. It all started to feel the same after awhile.
  • This show could’ve used some women on it. Does ROH even still do women’s matches? Because they should.
  • We were sitting about five rows back and when Silas Young came out I stood up and was immediately pegged in the back of the head with a streamer. This was pretty funny, not just because I got smoked in the head, but because of just how bad the throw was. There is no way it would’ve made it to the ring. Are streamers really that hard to throw?

Overall, I was happy I went. I decided to go to this show because I wanted to see Samoa Joe vs. ACH and it delivered. Despite being my favorite for many years, this was the first time I’d ever seen Joe live and it was pretty awesome. You could just tell that Joe’s experience was so far ahead of everyone else here and he was able to craft the best match of the night by far. In my preview I said that he wanted to prove himself as one of the best in the world and I think he accomplished that.

The real star was ACH who revealed himself to be my favorite independent wrestler on the scene right now. Who knew? Maybe it’s because one time he danced with my girlfriend at a Chikara after-party or maybe it’s because he’s just really, really awesome. I don’t know, but apparently he is my favorite wrestler and I really wanted him to beat Joe here.


People get upset about Carlos Gomez

People are so dumb. Anyone who does anything remotely controversial is a thug. Athletes are only here for our entertainment and should be personality robots. Carlos Gomez is the thuggiest thug who ever thugged.

Let’s tackle this whole “thug” thing right off the bat. What is a thug? defines thug as “a cruel or vicious ruffian, robber, or murderer.” As far as I know he hasn’t killed anyone (that was Braun, right?), nobody says ruffian anymore and the only thing Carlos Gomez steals is bases (yeah buddy, HIGH FIVE), so I think that this definition is out the window.

Miller Park Drunk is back, kids.

Wrestlemania was amazing and it took me this long to recover

I actually wrote about my trip 12 days ago, but forgot to post it here. It’s all been a haze since I got back.

I am still feeling the ultimate high of Wrestlemania XXX. I wish I could do it all over. I wish I could go back in time and spend hundreds more dollars to sit a few rows closer. To be a bigger part of it, so I could feel even more of what I already do. Wrestlemania XXX is a drug that I wish I could do every day for the rest of my life.

I seriously wish it was still Wrestlemania today. It was the best trip of my life and the best anything I’ve ever been to. I love it so much.

Okay, MPD is really back now (with a season preview)

Go baseball.

Like let’s say it’s the eighth inning and the Brewers are down with Gomez at the plate. Hank appears on the big screen, everyone instantly cheers and goes crazy, but then he starts talking! A TALKING DOG! LOL! And he’s like “Hey Gomez, get a hit buddy. Let’s “ruff” these guys up!” Gomez will have to take a timeout in the batters box just to laugh and smile and high five some fans, but then he’ll hit a 3-run homer with no one on base and we’ll all party in the streets like Mardi Gras. They could do this in EVERY GAME. It would be awesome.

I love Paul London

Paul London is a professional wrestler who was my absolute favorite back in the day. He was signed by the WWE at 22 and then ended up leaving. He’s been bouncing in and out of the indies ever since, but lately he has been back and doing some great work. He’s also, apparently, been working on this project where he is transported to another planet to fight an evil wizard as part of an ancient prophecy. I wrote about it at Ole.

There is a lot going on in the wrestling world right now – Chikara is back, WWE Network, Wrestlemania season, an indies renaissance, Cesaro taking over the world and releasing the greatest shirt in professional wrestling history – but few things have been as exciting and original as PAUL LONDON: HERO OF THE PROPHECY.

It’s my favorite kind of ridiculous and I can’t wait.

More talk about Daniel Bryan

I wrote more about Daniel Bryan and WWE’s failed storytelling because I’m obsessed with it and it is ruining my life.

This was a classic “all is lost” moment for a hero. The moment that it seems like it’d be impossible for him to win which creates the need for him to win in the future. They set up a scenario in which the only satisfying ending would be for Daniel Bryan to get his revenge on these bad guys and win back his title. That’s how this HAS to end and we’ve reached a point in fandom where we won’t except anything else.

I bought my tickets to Wrestlemania in like July. I’ve been obsessed with the trip for months and for the last month I have just been dreading it and that is all because of WWE’s storytelling. They are ruining something that could have been a great time and I just don’t know what to do about it. It makes me sad.

Chikara is back

I did a guest post at Voices of Wrestling about the Chikara comeback.

The events of National Pro Wrestling Day were probably the most well done thing I’ve seen in wrestling in a long time and are everything that I love about Chikara, but they should only be the groundwork for what is to come. After taking our thing away for so long Chikara needs to come back bigger and better than ever before. I hope they will. I believe they will.

When I was writing it I was saying a lot of things about the business of Chikara that maybe I shouldn’t have. Maybe I didn’t think about them deep enough or maybe I should’ve just kept them to myself. Chikara isn’t like WWE. It isn’t a corporation and they don’t really print money. If I write something negative about them the odds are that the people I am writing about will read it. (Especially when, in my humble opinion, I’m writing some of the best Chikara stuff on the internet.) It’s weird because I’m not trying to attack them, but it almost is. I mean, that’s why I did a guest post because I didn’t want to put something so critical on my own site. It was dumb. Because Chikara is one guy or it’s a few guys and I’ve met them and they’re cool guys so I feel bad. I want the best for them.

Anyway, since I posted that I’ve shared some emails with someone important in Chikara. They respected my opinions, but challenged me on them and clarified things that I misread. They also added some notes that made me think and now I need to write a whole new post.

CM Punk has left the building

In one of the crazier wrestling stories in recent memory CM Punk quit WWE right in the middle of the lead up to Wrestlemania. I covered this at Ole!, but I’ll say it again here: we really should have seen this coming. The guy in the Best in the World documentary and the guy who has been on TV the last few months share very little. The guy we’ve been seeing is nowhere near as cool and world beating as the guy in that documentary, this guy was just broken.

Yet despite his heart being anywhere but there, Punk was entrenched and so the build to Wrestlemania began with him in a big spot. In my opinion he didn’t deserve the story he was getting, Bryan did, but he was entrenched. He was the guy who used to be The Guy and thus he was a big enough star to need a big match on the big show. All this while not giving it his all which sort of made CM Punk into everything he was raging against once upon a time.

It’s easy to see why he quit, but it’s also kind of amazing that he did. He was set for a big Wrestlemania match which is a lot of money to leave on the table. I’m thinking he was telling the truth when he said that it wasn’t about the money. It’s just too bad that WWE couldn’t get out of their own way long enough to save one of the best talents they have.

Of course, with that being said there is a lot of great talent right behind him ready to take his place. Daniel Bryan, the Shield, Cesaro, Sami Zayn, the list goes on. WWE will be fine and the fans will be fine, but there will still be a CM Punk shaped hole in all of our hearts.

Royal Rumble Thoughts

The Royal Rumble was tonight and I had a LOT OF THOUGHTS about it.

This is what WWE wanted. They wanted you to think Daniel Bryan would be in the match and then be mad when he wasn’t. The WWE creative team didn’t leave Daniel Bryan out of the Rumble match, “The Authority” did and if “The Authority” did it then whatever happened was part of the story. Did they want you to be mad? Yes. Did they want everyone to hate the Rumble and hate Rey Mysterio and hate Batista? No, at least I hope not, and here is where the problem lies: WWE did too good of a job of pissing you off.

I try really hard not to be Mr. Internet Wrestling Fan, but WWE seriously fucks with my heart when it comes to Daniel Bryan. He’s everything that is right about your company so why do you always have to make me hate your company in order to love him? Just let me love him.