ROH’s Premiere: The Good, The Bad (And Not So Much Ugly)

Nick Paglino

I also liked the segments explaining ROH, such as the Code of Honor. ROH needs to explain what makes their product unique.

I enjoy the emphasis on tag-team wrestling, too. WWE and TNA don’t do it. So ROH does. Again, something different.

I wasn’t crazy about the first match. Good work, but those guys aren’t stars, not even within the context of ROH. The Kings of Wrestling vs. WGTT was good – but those in the know realize the Kings are headed to WWE, and see WGTT as WWE castoffs. That’s always going to be a problem with a low-rung company.

Sidebar: Hero and Castagnoli have ZERO CHANCE to make it in WWE. Castagnoli might be good enough; Hero isn’t. But neither strikes me as having what WWE looks for. It’s not the backdrop of ROH, either. Even in ROH, you knew Punk had what it takes.

The worst thing about ROH, of course, is the production. I’m sure everyone does the best they can with what they’ve got. But it looks dark, and dank, and just one step above cable access. I cringed when two wrestlers stepped out of the ring lighting during the main event and were nearly invisible. ECW had subpar production, too, but found a way to make it cool. Can ROH do that?

ROH just doesn’t have stars. But, like ECW, if the presentation is good enough, they’ll create stars. But, to be brutally honest: Nobody jumped off the screen during ROH’s premier. Not anyone involved in the matches, nor anyone involved in the highlights. Not Davey Richards, not Eddie Edwards. The Briscoe Brothers’ promo was reminiscent of two street kids playing wrestler, and the Kings of Wrestling’s valet and manager looked so small-time.

But it’s early days yet. ROH’s premiere was a good, solid, televised wrestling show. How many times has Impact produced one of those during its nearly 10-year history?

Mark Madden hosts a radio show 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WXDX-FM, Pittsburgh, PA (105.9). Check out his web page at Contact Mark by emailing

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