Up until two weeks ago, my typical week as it pertained to professional wrestling was as follows:
MONDAY: Watch WWE Monday Night Raw, get stomach cramps, and try preventing myself from shoving my fist through the screen every time we were graced with the presence of John Cena.
TUESDAY: Cramps return as I watch Vince continue to disgrace the letters ECW, come on, ABRAHAM WASHINGTON? I rest my case.
WEDNESDAY: Reading my fellow angry wrestling fans' articles on Bleacher Report, cheap plug, and asking myself over and over again what happened???
THURSDAY: Continue to watch the train wreck that is TNA. Hey, at its start, I loved it. The X-Division, Petey Williams' Canadian Destroyer, it was a welcomed alternative.
Now, all champions are over 40, with the exception of the great Samoa Joe, oh yeah and have to mention A.J., but its going down the same road as our once-beloved WCW.
FRIDAY: WWE SMACKDOWN impresses the hell out of me. The younger talent, the innovative bookings, it jump starts my love once again for professional wrestling and makes me ponder all the great memories I have of the WWE. It also heightens once again my anticipation for Monday Night Raw.
MONDAY: Once again, John Cena, cramps, clinched fist and the whole cycle starts all over again.
That was until two weeks ago when the best "PURE" wrestling made its debut on Monday nights: RING OF HONOR WRESTLING, also known as ROH, ROH, ROH, ROH.
Now, we all know ROH was formed about seven years ago. It finally got a television contract earlier this year, on HdNET.
Actually you can't really call it a cable channel when it has only 35 subscribers. I was number 36 until May of this year when my cable provider dropped the channel because Mark Cuban is a schmuck.
Anyway, it was a great thing for this organization who has in my opinion the hardest working athletes in professional wrestling today.
This week, for example on the familiar watch of Monday Night RAW what did we get?
For the first 29 minutes a much much toooooo long birthday celebration for the genius Vince, I give credit where its due, chock full of showgirls, men wearing really gay masks jumping around on pogo sticks, an Elvis impersonator who looked like he was on Meth and then to top it all off, fat thong-wearing oily guy jumping out of a cake.
Now, DX made me chuckle a bit, come on Shawn & Hunter are two of the best on the mic, but the rest of this charade was embarrassing.
Not just for the WWE, who brands itself as not just wrestling but sports entertainment, but an embarrassment to all professional wrestling.
If a non-wrestling fan tuned in to give pro-wrestling a chance and this is what they saw, do you think they would ever tune in again?
I can go on and on from here: the guest host shtick has got to go, Hunter won't let anyone get a decent push, don't get me started on John Cena.
I mean look at the main event this week. A 64 year old getting in the ring, Cena getting involved when he wasn't even part of the match.
I know, I know this stuff happens all the time, but there was not one memorable "WRESTLING" match, not one. Very rarely is there one.
The last great match I can remember on RAW was the match between Shawn and CENA from London. I think it was on New Year's or around New Year's. Now that was a match.
RING OF HONOR, speaking about just their two Monday night shows, have had two superb main events. This week especially was Roderick Strong vs Austin Aries. "A DOUBLE" Austin Aries is the ROH World Champion. The first two time ROH champion.
Aries and Strong were once part of the same faction known as Generation Next. They know each other very well in the ring. The match was over 20 minutes, no commercials, NONE, and they never rested for a minute. No 4 minute headlocks or chin locks on the mat to "wear down" your opponent.
I understand at times the wrestlers need a minute, it can add to the psychology and momentum of the contest, but most of the time they last way too long and ultimately ruin the match.
Austin's chest was blood red from Roderick's Ric Flair like chops. He hit Austin with about seven or eight of his backbreaker variations.
The mats were torn up and Austin received a front-face suplex on the cement. Like I said, back and forth for over 20 minutes; these athletes did NOT stop.
I won't spoil anything and give away any winners or losers, but at the end it was a four-star match on television once again from Ring Of Honor.
It's just really really great to see an organization focusing on "wrestling" again.
I miss, of course with all of us, Paul Heyman's brainchild that was ECW. Every week I would look forward, with child-like angst ,to that theme music that would signal that the most exciting hour of television was about to come on.
Unpredictable, loud, crazy, rude, crude, full of athletes who were giving it their all, week after week, for the fans and for the purpose of mastering their craft.
These are the things I see in Ring Of Honor. That's why, for me, Monday's are exciting again....
Thanks for reading and please comments and feedback are much appreciated.