Age of the Stall

Bleacher ReportCorrespondent ISeptember 6, 2008

Wrestling has seen many factions come and go throughout the years.  Very few are actually memorable and have any kind of lasting impact (The Four Horsemen, Degeneration-X, The nWo), others just seem to fall to the way side and are quickly forgotten (the Cabinet, Three Live Crew, Right to Censor).  But sometimes, and it's very rare, a wrestling promotion can come across something that is actually bigger than anything they ever predicted.  Enter: The Age of the Fall.

Lead by Jimmy Jacobs, with devoted followers Tyler Black, The Necrobutcher, and Lacey, the Age of the Fall stood for something that today's society can agree with: change.  They would make their videos on youtube that would advocate how quickly society is falling and how no one will stand up and make a change.  They advocated that the only way to change the world is to change yourself.  They brought forward all the problems of society and demanded that everyone stand up and make a change.  The Age of the Fall was a gimmick that inspired many people, if you choose to believe Jacobs rants online, to better themselves.  The Age of the Fall was a new revolution that had the ability to break through the wrestling community and reach a wider audience.

But something happened.  It seems that Ring of Honor didn't really know how to push or market the Age of the Fall properly.  Sure, we saw the four come out and mock society; they brutally attacked The Briscoe Brothers, and effectively became one of the biggest heel factions the company has seen in a while.  But what was their motivation?  Why would the Age of the Fall, who at this point have been advocating the change this country needs, desire the ROH World Tag Team Titles?  Doesn't this come across as materialistic; one of the things that they claimed was ruining this country?  Wouldn't it have made more sense for the Age of the Fall to just randomly attack people, faces and heels, to prove their point that they don't need help? 

Eventually, they should have won the tag titles, but they should have treated it like it was nothing.  After successfully retaining the straps, they should have walked out of the ring without the belts.  A referee should chase them down and give it back to them.  A huge story could be built on this, with the entire locker room gunning for the Age of the Fall because they don't respect "the business".  But no.  They win the titles pretty early on from their formation just to quickly lose it less than a month later.

Then things started to change within the group.  More members started to be added on that really didn't seem to fit the original casting of the Age of the Fall.  People like Zach Gowen who claimed he never had a fair shot in the wrestling world yet had an opening storyline with Hulk Hogan at the age of 20 when he entered the WWE.  People like Joey Matthews who said that society looked down on him and no one wanted to help him while he was down, yet the WWE paid in full for his rehab while he was in the company.  We then get people like Allison Wonderland, MsChif, and Rain who felt like they were added on to help them get better reactions from live crowds in FIP or ROH.  Then Delirious is added to the mix with a crazy storyline that love drove him to the edge.  A storyline, really? 

The Age of the Fall started off as an off shoot political movement and somehow became nothing more than a storyline device to draw heat on some of the bigger named talent in ROH.  Then there was the whole story with Jacobs killing Lacey, or at least mortally wounding her (I think), to get her out of the group.  Sadly, Lacey decided to retire a few months after this idea and now it seems like Jacobs did kill her.

The Age of the Fall could have been the driving force to bring in new viewers to ROH and possibly making it surpass TNA in popularity amongst the main stream audience.  Here's how:  The Age of the Fall always talked about change and how America was crumbling before us.  They were making all of these announcements months before the Presidential Primaries.  They could have continued preaching their word and actually showed up to protest outside of the areas holding the Primaries. 

If they got enough supporters to come out and protest under the Age of the Fall flag, then they could have begun preaching to everyone around them about what they stand for.  They should have gone to every debate and every public speech with their flag.  Eventually, start getting the media's attention and begin to preach change.  Encourage everyone to visit the Age of the Fall website, where they could watch first hand what they are all about.  Continue this trend until it picks up.  If enough people see it, they will begin to demand change.  Use the ring time that the Age of the Fall has for promos on what's wrong with the country and get more people to watch ROH.  Keep with this plan all the way to the inauguration of the new President in January. 

If they would have followed this tactic, they possibly could have had so much more of an impact with all the new viewers to ROH and all the people in America believing what they believe; to change the world, you change yourself.  But instead, ROH officials decided to work it like a normal storyline and have it only revolve around the ring.  It wouldn't have been hard to pull this off either.  The best story lines come when the wrestler is just playing an extension of themselves.  From the videos on their websites, you could tell that Jimmy Jacobs, Tyler Black, and Lacey believed in what they were saying.  It would have been simple to have them try and start a political movement that would also have helped ROH becoming a dominating force in the Pro Wrestling world.  It just seems that ROH officials didn't see any of this potential or were scared of it.  Which is sad really, because the Age of the Fall still claims that they want to change the world, it's just that they're moving very slow with their promises.