|Photo Credit: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Site|
The sad thing is, his target, Ring of Honor Wrestling, does deserve criticism, a lot of criticism. The problem is, either Madden is making wrong critiques or he's making his point using such specious logic that he's almost right by accident. And even if he is right and sound, he does it in such a haughty way that I would find myself rallying to the side of Jim Cornette and his company, and I fucking hate Corny (although I do still like ROH and its roster). So, here goes after the jump:
ROH came to Pittsburgh. I didn’t go.
"Yes, being above wrestling and its mouth-breathing fans, I had a prior engagement!"
/ordering 5 double meat sandwiches at Primanti Bros.
Most people didn’t.
Well, actually, "most" people don't go to Steelers' games either, since Heinz Field seats 70,000 and the Pittsburgh metro area has 1.7M people. I know that's a disingenuous comparison, but still, saying "most" people don't go to anything is hardly a gauge as whether it's a success or not. But hey, don't let that get in the way of a narrative, folks!
Attendance was estimated at 500.
Indie wrestling in even the best markets for it tops out at 1,000 or so. Pittsburgh isn't a traditionally strong market, so I'd say that was pretty good.
How that can be rated a success on any level, I’ve got no idea. But they’ll try.
Oh, okay. Sorry Mark, what do you have to back your claim up? Attendance data for Pittsburgh historically for International Wrestling Cartel, Impact Wrestling or other wrestling promotions that aren't WWE? ROH historical attendance? Market studies?
It’s nice to know Bruno Sammartino’s audience has finally died out.
Why would you be happy to see a veritable legend's fanbase dry up? What did Sammartino ever do to you?
ROH did a mini-angle in Pittsburgh involving Arena Football players. Free advice: Don’t mix bush-league genres. It’s like blending rotgut scotch with mud. Bad goes to worse.
Oh, he means like mixing a terrible, worst-of-the-worst copy and paste page with the Skip Bayless of the wrestling commentary world?
Checked out ROH TV again. Crap production aside, it’s good. Episodic. Action-packed. Identifiable storylines. Subtle threads intermingled to make you think.
It obviously makes "you" think because Madden is incapable of thinking.
Kevin Kelly excellent on PbP.
This is the least surprising sentence fragment in the history of sentence fragments. Of course Madden will stick up for his fellow WrestleZone blowhard. Birds of a feather flock together and other cliches of the same sort.
ROH has arrived as a legit third promotion.
I dunno, if Madden's chiding them for attendance numbers, I'm not sure he should want to be throwing around the word "legit", but that's just me.
Thing is, you can’t be third.
Sure you can if you think regionally rather than nationally. If the independent circuit is the new regional system, then ROH is actually in a great position.
When was the last time a third promotion survived for any length of time? We tend to think ECW was around longer than it actually was because WWE absorbed it as a brand. But the Extreme version of ECW existed from 1994-2001. Not that long.
Actually, seven years is a damn long time in wrestling, and they might have still been around if Paul Heyman wasn't the wrestling world's shittiest accountant.
Not enough trickles down to No. 3. Casual fans and the mainstream media just never find out.
Madden talks here like it's magic that fans be attracted to fans. Mainstream media doesn't find out about ROH because ROH does a shitty job of marketing itself to mainstream media. Sara del Rey went onto the FOX 29 morning show in Philadelphia to advertise for King of Trios one year. Anarchy Championship Wrestling draws like an art school student who can't sleep, and they do it via local and social media. It can happen on a local level, which again, is where independent promotions make their bones. Madden actually dances around the point, bringing up the connection to Arena Football, but doesn't make the correlation. He'd rather take potshots, which is alright, because I'm taking potshots at him. That being said, I write a blog for free analyzing wrestling companies and seeing what they could do better. Madden only wants to put himself over.
No. 3 can fit into a marketable niche, but not a profitable niche.
I wonder if Madden is privy to ROH's book to see what the bottom line is. My guess is no, especially since I'm pretty damn sure that the most successful promotions do turn enough of a profit that they're able to grow.
As good as ECW under Paul Heyman was, it went broke. Bankrupt. For a No. 3 promotion, there simply aren’t enough dollars to go around.
Oh, okay, I see. Madden is toeing the "never criticize Paul Heyman for anything ever" line and dodging around putting the blame on him for, I don't know, being a shitty accountant. Of course there aren't enough dollars to go around when Heyman forgets (neglects?) to carry the one.
The word is that Jim Cornette sees the end coming, and is brooding because of it.
The word is, this is how Jim Cornette broods:
Hey, no one knows better what the end looks like. Cornette knows that a small promotion can only exist so long without turning a corner. Then returns quickly diminish. You lose top talent, you get desperate, you compromise. Bad goes to worse. It happened in Smoky Mountain. It would have happened in OVW without WWE (now TNA) backing.
If only there were top guys out there that Jim Cornette could book to offset the loss of guys like Tyler Black and the Kings of Wrestling...
|Photo Credit: Texas Anarchy|
|Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein|
|Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein|
Man, if only there were people Cornette could replace those wrestlers with. IF ONLY.
ROH has lost top talent. Right now, there’s little talent worth poaching.
Spoken like an impatient blowhard whose only experience being a part of a wrestling promotion was announcing for a company in its dying days.
ROH does some dumb stuff - like involving local DJs in feuds for house-show purposes; the ‘70s are over! - but nothing crippling.
From a guy who claimed he'd be the second-biggest draw in the building after Kurt Angle at an Impact house show in Pittsburgh.
There doesn’t seem to be a relationship with WWE or TNA, so there’s no temptation to bring in wrestlers from those companies to be “the real stars” on selected shows. Cornette damaged Smoky Mountain by going that route.
While I can't argue with this in principle, it could be stated that Jerry Lawler helped put ECW on the map.
Right now ROH seems set to slowly peter out. Fade away. Never mind the product. Nothing about the business model suggests ROH is going in the right direction.
Nothing? The third paragraph was praising their television show.
Note to ROH fans: I understand how much you love ROH. I appreciate the product, too. It’s relatively pure. It’s wrestling the way you like it. Wrestling the way it used to be. (Now where have I heard that before?)
Wait, I thought nothing was good about the company?
The loyalty of the fans is impressive.
"Impressive for a BUNCH OF LOSERS AHAHAHAAH"
But there just aren’t enough of you.
Yes, ROH fans, you're not breeding fast enough! FUCK! FUCK LIKE THE WIND!
If/when ROH folds, does it damage Cornette’s legacy?
Yes, because the folding of a major wrestling company in America is all about a fat Southerner who thinks he's smarter than he really is.
He’s one of the best managers and talkers ever. He’s supposed to be this great wrestling mind. But whenever that great wrestling mind gets in charge of something, it goes belly-up.
So, what Madden is saying is that a guy who was a great performer in his field didn't turn out to be all that great in the administrative side of things? GET. OUT.
Cornette has long been stuck in a time warp, though several of his innovations in ROH have served the promotion well, like using graphics to educate fans about wrestlers and rules.
Just think when he introduces indoor plumbing, sliced bread and the combustion engine!
That gives ROH more of an MMA/“real sports” feel than most fake wrestling.
Yes, because when I want to watch MMA, I tune into wrestling. BUT ONLY IF IT'S NOT FAKE-SEEMING.
Cornette needs ROH, that’s for sure. His behavior has made him totally unemployable by a big company. You can’t slap an employee or beat up a Burger King and expect to work for a major corporation.
Oh shit, you can't? Dammit.
That’s what WWE & TNA are, major corporations – though Vince and Dixie certainly do their best to compromise that credibility behind the scenes. But owners can do what they want.
Is it national columnist code that they have to be fucking pedantic to the point of obnoxiousness to their audience? At some point, Peter King has to realize that his audience knows something about football. At some point, Madden needs to know that people who read his column know wrestling. But then again, he is above wrestling fans, did you know that?
It would be a shame to see Cornette disappear into the indy scene, and I mean that sincerely. At this point in his life, he should be booking WWE, not scrambling for $50. But Cornette is one bankruptcy away from that happening.
Should be booking WWE? Man, imagine that interview.
"Jim, tell me why I should give you your job back. What plan do you have?"
"Well Vince, I plan on bringing back the Midnight Express and the Rock 'n Roll Express to feud for the right to face off against The World's Greatest Tag Team for the titles. Davey Richards will feud with Sid for the Championship. Santino Marella will be fired. Vince... Vince, you still there?"
With ROH in danger – and it is; anytime you draw a “crowd” of 500, your promotion is in danger
Impact draws similar crowds to their house shows. Again, what's the perspective here? If Madden is comparing everything to WWE, of course everything else is going to seem small potatoes.
– it’s time to look back through the annals of ROH and pick the company’s No. 1 wrestler ever.
Oh, this should be good.
You can make an argument for Samoa Joe. He was ROH’s longest-reigning champ, and his attitude and style gave ROH a different look, a nastiness, a perverse credibility. Nigel McGuinness and Bryan Danielson (bka Daniel Bryan) each had 38 title defenses. Their in-ring work was impeccable and Danielson, in particular, set a new standard. His reputation has been further burnished by what he’s done in WWE, tough turf for a guy his size. Same thing with CM Punk: His character development carried ROH, and his feud with Joe might be the company’s most memorable. Three words: FIVE-STAR MATCH.
I still think Kevin Steen looks like a fan who won a contest, and he’ll never make the big time, but I include him out of respect to current ROH fans.
So, a fat, ugly, abrasive radio commentator would be the #2 company's second best draw in Pittsburgh, but a fat wrestler "who looks like a fan who won a contest" has his looks working against him for the #3 despite the fact that he's probably the most charismatic guy they have and their best brawler, a style which resonates with these "casual" fans Madden is obsessed with. Okay.
But my pick for ROH’s top wrestler of all-time is DAVEY RICHARDS. Richards, you see, knows when to get out.
Davey Richards is the best ROH wrestler because he knows when to get out? WHAT THE FUCK KIND OF EARTH DOES SOMEONE HAVE TO LIVE ON FOR THAT TO MAKE SENSE?
Davey sees the end of days coming, so he’s looking for other work. He’s going to be a fireman, I’m told.
Jesus tittyfucking Christ, if Madden's going to write a fucking article about wrestling on the Internet, maybe he could use the fucking INTERNET to look up what Richards is going to do if/when he retires. Oh yeah, and good job of him getting out of the business, since he's already postponed his long-awaited retirement at least a year.
But hey, didn't Madden just chide ROH for losing stars, and now Richards is the man for leaving?
Escaping a burning building, escaping a dying promotion/business: both heroic acts. If he’s not ROH’s best wrestler, he’s certainly its smartest.
How the fuck is escaping a dying business heroic?
This is the worst kind of reactionary opinion writing. He makes nebulous claims attacking the company, but he doesn't blame the people who really need it like Sinclair Broadcasting (whom he doesn't even mention, way to be informed), Jim Cornette or the Cary Silkin/Adam Pearce/Hunter Johnston combined regime in the last few years that saw that their top guys were leaving and didn't do enough to replace them. He's setting up the worst kind of straw man - the kind that doesn't look for what is really wrong but just says that the company's gonna die because it's not WWE.
This is why Madden fails. He's coasting off his spot in WCW and writing lazy shit that gets page hits because he's saying stuff to get a rise. You know what? Don't click on it. You read the entire article here with annotations. Don't visit WrestleZone. Don't support Madden.
Instead, let me and others who are worth reading mock the shit out of this waste of space.