ROH News: WWE Stars Lose Crowd, Foley Disappoints

Brian Cantor

In what has to be viewed as one of ROH’s more disappointing recent offerings, returning WWE stars Spanky and James Gibson lost the crowd on multiple occasions at the 8/20 Morristown show.

During the scheduled Gibson vs. Spanky vs. Homicide title match, questionable booking led to outrage from the audience. After the referee disqualified Homicide who was the most over of the three wrestlers, the match ended when Spanky claimed to be suffering from a knee injury. A brawl had simultaneously ensued, which only furthered the feeling that the match had been a letdown. Because of the way the title was retained, James Gibson lost a great deal of support.

Such a loss of support became evident minutes later, when Gibson cleaned house during an impromptu Heartbreak Express vs. Lacey’s Angels match and received almost no response from the crowd (the mere fact that he ended that particular match should have scored a huge pop). The subsequent announcement that Spanky was “cleared” to wrestle James Gibson later in the show was actually met with serious disappointment.

When Gibson and Spanky later went to the ring for the second attempt at a World Title match, they did so with almost no reaction from the crowd. Only one name was chanted during the early parts of the match; that name was Homicide. The two worked a match that was completely devoid of crowd heat, aside from a few fans throwing in jokes about this being a sample of an upcoming episode of WWE Velocity. Gibson did receive a solid pop for his win, but it was certainly not a “champion’s reaction.” And, the section of fans that was most vocal in its support of Gibson appeared to be doing so merely as a way of firing back at the section of the fans that spent the match putting over Homicide. Homicide’s run-in after the match received a far larger pop than Gibson’s win.

– Fans were also very upset with the fact that Mick Foley’s heavily promoted appearance was largely an opportunity to plug his new book and upcoming autograph signing. The storyline explanation for Foley’s appearance was that he wanted to confront Prince Nana for his abusive treatment of Jade Chung, which, while accurately predicted by a number of people, was certainly not groundbreaking.

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