A View From Ringside – Philly and Toronto

Discussion in 'ROH Feed' started by ROHNEWS, May 21, 2015.

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  1. By Kevin Kelly
    Four events worth of “A View From Ringside” is overwhelming.

    I’ve never been a part of anything like this in my life.

    To put it in perspective, this is my 25th year in Professional Wrestling and I have never called four full events in five days. Not only that but these cards were mind-blowing awesome from start to finish. Each and every athlete went above and beyond in every second of every match.

    I have proximity to be envied, thanks to my spot next to King Corino alongside the ring. But I’m having a hard time fully expressing my appreciation for the action I saw and the admiration I have for the athletes from Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling. It’s boring to say “I loved everything”, even though I did. But I can’t quite put it all into words so I’ll do my best. Here we go…

    - One surprise for me was that Shinsuke Nakamura got a louder reaction all four nights than anyone. I knew the enigmatic star was popular but he is at another level.

    - Bobby Fish took a relatively quiet World Championship opportunity and made it the center of everyone’s collective attention on Night 2. I had more than one ROH wrestler approach me after the event on Wednesday and say that they were unaware that Bobby had this World Title shot but all were impressed with his execution.

    - Michael Elgin works hard all the time but his recent change in mental approach to not be so hyper-focused on every single detail of his career is paying off. He is relaxed and has a calm and clarity I’ve never seen from him.

    - I tried to pace myself so I would have a voice by the end of the TV Taping on Saturday night. While I accomplished my goal, the Roderick Strong/Hiroshi Tanahashi match on Wednesday nearly took it from me. When the blood began to pour from a cut on Roddy, the match took on another dimension. Both competitors stepped up and the match became about more than winning and losing. Truly amazing stuff.

    - Don’t ask me to pick a MVP from the tour but Kushida is in the conversation. So is The Addiction.

    - What Maria Kanellis did to Jushin Thunder Liger on Friday at “Global Wars” needs to be seen to be believed. The Kingdom had a tough first night but were on point the rest of the tour.

    - Mark Briscoe looked at me on Wednesday just before the bell for his Four Corner Survival Match against ROH World Television Champion Jay Lethal, Nakamura and Liger and said “Wow”. Even an all-time great like Mark was in awe of the amazing talent he was about to face.

    - Speaking of Briscoe and Lethal, there isn’t hatred between Jay Briscoe and Jay Lethal, in my opinion. I believe that Lethal feels slighted and wants to be the man. Briscoe views anyone who steps up to him as an adversary but welcomes the challenge. They both have strong family backgrounds and have hard-working fathers who raised them properly. They have more in common than either would admit at this point, as the physicality and rhetoric has stepped up with the announcement of their match at “Best in the World”.

    - Bullet Club is awesome and dominant but “Machine Gun” Karl Anderson may be my favorite wrestler. He’s got an infatuation with Maria Kanellis that has gotten him in trouble but his aggression and ability is a big-time winning formula in any spot. Just when you think you’ve seen it all from the Bullet Club, you see the main event Friday and realize the best is yet to come.

    - The war between New Japan’s CHAOS and Bullet Club has gotten more interesting and the sides are now even. I said during the broadcasts that, in my opinion, Kazuchika Okada is the smoothest, most graceful wrestler I have ever seen. Effortless and always in an offensive position, Okada can’t wait until July 5th.

    - King Corino knows his son Colby is an adult and can do what he wants but it hurts him to see his son in harm’s way. Steve knows this is what his son wants to do but he’s scared for Colby’s future. I write this in hopes that Colby reads it and reaches out to his dad. Let him know you are ok, please

    - AJ Styles keeps getting better and better. Can you believe that the IWGP Heavyweight Champion was better at the end of the tour than at the beginning? Same for the Young Bucks. In fact, there were no serious injuries out of this tour, which is a miracle when you think about how physical the action was for all four events

    I guess I should wrap things up and get my bags packed for the Road to Best in the World Tour, kicking off in Amarillo, TX on May 29th and then in Oklahoma City on May 30th. The tour winds through the St. Louis area in Collinsville, IL on June 5th and Nashville, TN on June 6th. Friday June 19th will be here before we know it.

    The best is yet to come for Ring of Honor and I want to extend a huge thank you to everyone from New Japan Pro Wrestling from the Chairman, Mr. Sugabayashi and the great Tiger Hattori to all staff, personnel and amazing roster of athletes from New Japan. You make my job easy and I look forward to seeing you again soon!

    Yours in Sport,

    Kevin Kelly

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