Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Elgin and ROH Keep Getting Weird with Each Other

Michael Elgin either has quit ROH or he's part of the most hilariously surreal worked shoot ever
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
The continuing story of Michael Elgin continues to get weirder and weirder. When I previously left off, he was busy losing the Ring of Honor World Championship to Jay Briscoe of all people before being told backstage his visa was expiring. However, his title loss wasn't because of the work visa situation but because he didn't protect the belt's status on a recent excursion into Pro Wrestling Guerrilla and was making desperate overtures to baseball teams on Twitter for a tryout. He spent his hiatus from the States wrestling in local Canadian promotions, biding his time until he could get back to ROH and presumably make a story out of his debacles, because that's what wrestling companies do.

Chicagoland promotion AAW was the first American company to announce his return October 17 as part of a Tag Team Championship tournament for the belts he and Ethan Page vacated. Then, ROH announced his return to the company, which was to be expected, except Elgin had other thoughts about the whole ordeal.
On one hand, Elgin seems like he's a special kind of aloof that he would go about quitting the third highest-profile company in the US on Twitter in response to a hype piece announcing his return. On the other, in the new kayfabe, this is entirely how you build an angle nowadays, especially for a company with limited television distribution and independent ethos (even if its corporate ownership makes its affiliation with indie wrestling a bit disingenuous). I would be totally shocked if Elgin didn't show up to a ROH show, specifically the one he was originally scheduled for this Saturday in Kalamazoo, MI. If it is a work, then everyone's dedicating themselves to preserving the lie. Elgin changed his Twitter handle, the announcement on ROH's page has been taken down, and the company's Twitter account is retweeting people talking shit on Elgin.

Then again, for as much as it would be dumb for all this to be playing out for real, ROH has proven itself to be just as thick-headed and prone to bad public relations as the two companies ahead of it on the bankroll scale at times. Head muckety-muck Joe Koff has alienated fans on more than one occasion (ask Black Cat of the Old School Wrestling Podcast about his experiences with the dude), and as documented in the past, the company has a difficult time (shows active negligence towards?) policing the safety of its women performers. Basically, for as much as I wanna say this is an angle, for all anyone knows, Elgin could be on a plane to China when Gabe Sapolsky brings EVOLVE over there, or even better, biding his time until he can get down to Dunedin, FL for Toronto Blue Jays Spring Training in February.

For as boring as I find him in the ring, Elgin has been the gift that keeps on giving in terms of out of character stories lately. Again, the guy has a wife and kid that he needs to help support (MsChif can't do it all by herself, even if she has a sweet non-wrestling job), so I hope for the best for him. But his arc in the last couple of months has been so strange that I can't help but sit back and chuckle at the absurdity of it all.