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News From Cook’s Corner 3.9.22: Requests of Honor

Tony Khan decides to “rescue” Ring Of Honor, and this prompts some requests from Steve Cook in his corner of the news world this week!

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Tony Khan decides to “rescue” Ring Of Honor, and this prompts some requests from Steve Cook in his corner of the news world this week!

Hi, hello & welcome to News From Cook’s Corner! I’m Steve Cook, and yeah I’m writing this thing on a Monday instead of over the weekend, but I was busy providing live coverage of wrestling shows for the masses. Did the Impact Wrestling Sacrifice show on Saturday & AEW Revolution on Sunday. No complaints here, I thought both shows were really solid and provided good entertainment for the fans. I can’t think of anything from either show that got me as mad as most of social media seems to be all the time.

There is one thing that became clear to me over the weekend. Well, I already kind of knew it, but it became more clear to me over the weekend while watching & reviewing all of this wrestling and seeing the thoughts & opinions of other wrestling fans. There’s another thing that became clear to me in relation to that, and it makes me wonder about one of the big news items that took place this past week.

Tony Khan buys Ring of Honor

It wasn’t Shane! Shane McMahon didn’t get so mad at WWE that he agreed to work an angle with AEW. Tony Khan bought Ring of Honor from the Sinclair Broadcasting Group. Let’s back up for a minute and talk about the personal meaning that Ring of Honor has to your humble correspondent. Back in the mid-2000s, we were looking at a landscape where the WWF had wiped out all of its possible competition. WCW & ECW got bought. There was one main wrestling promotion, that didn’t seem interested in being a wrestling promotion. WWE’s disinterest in actual pro wrestling is nothing new, in case you weren’t around back in the day. Almost nothing they’ve presented in the years I’ve been alive would be classified as actual pro wrestling. Some great stuff here & there, and a lot of great memories, but a lot of gaga too.

I know the natural state for a lot of wrestling fans is to flock to the worldwide leader and accept Vince McMahon as a godlike figure. They think that everything WWE has done and will ever do is the perfect thing. That’s never been me. I’ve always wanted to take in as many different presentations of pro wrestling as possible. One of my regrets is that I wasn’t alive during the days where one could get a satellite dish and view as many different wrestling shows as possible. Sure, it’s nice to be able to watch Mid-South Wrestling, classic AAA & countless other promotions on various streaming channels now. As far as watching old stuff goes, today is a nice time to be alive.

Then there’s the other side of wrestling fandom. The side that rejects the teachings of Vincent Kennedy McMahon and is happy with the indy rasslin. I would think this would be my home, but it isn’t. At least not in the Year of Our Lord 2022. There’s a lot of video game cosplay stuff that I’m not familiar with since the last system I had was a Nintendo 64. All these rich folks that could afford better systems and tons of games are marking out for all this cosplay stuff and I don’t know what’s going on. Then they want to blame me for not getting it since I didn’t play every video game that’s ever been played. Also, these people honestly believe that wrestlers “playing video games” isn’t code for “doing illegal shit”. I thought we all figured that out a long time ago.

So maybe I could find a home with old school wrestling fans, right? I mean, at one point in my life Jim Cornette seemed like he knew everything about the business. He still is very on point about certain things, but when he talks about other subjects he sounds completely insane. Not that it matters to his base that wants to accept everything he says like Gospel.

Or maybe I could just be a typical dirtsheet writer guy. Get all the scoops! Then again, it sure seems like all the scoops are wrong these days. The one that set me off was this insistence from the top guys in my business that Pat McAfee was going to wrestle Vince McMahon at WrestleMania. Never mind the fact that Vince is nearly 80 years old and wasn’t exactly a competent worker twenty years ago when he was nearly 60 years old. These people were staking their lives on the idea that Vince McMahon would wrestle, and that Steve Austin would wrestle, and Cody Rhodes would also be involved with the whole WrestleMania thing. They also told us to keep an eye on that MSG house show on Saturday night for “reasons”.

As it turns out, it looks like they’re wrong about Vince wrestling and wrong about Austin wrestling. Maybe Vince will take a bump at WM, and maybe Austin will show up for a “confrontation”. Who knows what the hell Cody will do, I’m not even sure that he knows at this point. As far as the MSG house show goes, they got a 5 minute Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins match and Reigns & Brock Lesnar doing some gory self-mutilation, so I’m sure that’ll get the NYC market back firmly under WWE control. Not that it really matters, because WWE’s gonna be making that money long after we’re all dead & gone. Maybe I should just celebrate them for that, but it’s not my style to celebrate people for making money when there’s no financial benefit for me. Call me selfish, but I am what I am.

Apparently I’m Popeye.

Which gets me back to the original point I was going to make about what I noticed this past weekend in relation to Tony Khan purchasing Ring of Honor. My first reaction was in line with what most of the old WCW/NWA/Jim Crockett Promotions folks say when they’re asked about Vince McMahon buying WCW. I was glad that a wrestling person bought it. It wouldn’t just fade into nothingness.

I went to many ROH shows at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds in Dayton, Ohio. I was at the Third Anniversary Celebration. I saw CM Punk lose the ROH World Championship to end the Summer of Punk live and in public. I went to the Fifth Year Festival and saw one of Samoa Joe’s last ROH matches. I went to the Final Countdown Tour and saw one of Bryan Danielson’s last ROH matches. The Briscoes did a double beal on Kevin Steen onto my chair. (Fortunately I was out of my chair at that point.) Even if Dayton was a “B” market in the eyes of Aries, Pearce & other folks associated with the company at the time, those memories hold a place in my heart and kept things going when times for pro wrestling fans were tough. Without those years with Ring of Honor live events, I doubt I’m still bothering with this whole thing in 2022.

I fell out of love with ROH during the Sinclair years. Things just weren’t the same. I watched things here & there, but wasn’t a regular viewer again until I picked up the ROH TV review for 411 after Larry’s passing. By that point, the world was in pandemic mode. ROH followed the rules more than any other company, and we know what happened from there. They put on some good shows, but didn’t make enough money off of them. At the same time, Sinclair Broadcasting Group’s investment in regional sports networks, among other things, caused serious financial problems. Many things were going to give, and one of them was ROH. The company went on hiatus after Final Battle, the wrestlers were released from their contracts, and nobody really knew what the future held.

We still don’t know for sure, but now the future apparently holds something. It’s fair to wonder whether or not continuing ROH as a separate brand is a wonderful idea. It’s definitely fair to wonder if Tony Khan needs to be booking another wrestling promotion when he’s already stretching himself pretty thin with what he’s been doing. Those of us that are ROH fans certainly hope that whatever gets produced is somewhat faithful to what the company has represented since 2002. Not all of it was perfect, certainly not. All I’d ask for is for the Code of Honor to keep being a gimmick, keep that Pure division around, and let the ROH Women’s division keep evolving since that was pretty fun for a minute. Beyond that, go nuts.

I am all about ROH continuing to exist. However, I realize that I might be in a distinct minority. I saw some random folks comment about it, but didn’t think about it too much until I was reviewing AEW’s Revolution event. CM Punk came out to his old AFI theme music in his old basketball shorts, reliving his ROH glory days. A throwback to his old self in order to find the bitterness needed to strike MJF down in his tracks. I loved it…but I’ll be damned if most of Orlando didn’t seem to have a clue of what was going on. Excalibur & Tony Schiavone explained it for the folks watching at home, but the live crowd didn’t have that luxury.

This all made me feel like a very old man that is out of touch with today’s wrestling fan. Even more so than reading the 411 comment sections.

Maybe it was just the wrong venue. Orlando’s more of a NXT/TNA town anyway, ROH didn’t get there until years after Punk left. Maybe if it happened in NYC, or Philly, or Chicago, or Dayton, it would have got that reaction folks like me would expect. Or…maybe it was a long time ago and kids these days just don’t care about it.

Sure, there are probably some kids out there that love to study wrestling history. Most of them? They probably know about CM Punk from WWE. Further back than that…probably not. It’d be like asking Crow Sting fans in the late 1990s if they remember his UWF run teaming with Rick Steiner & Eddie Gilbert. Most of them wouldn’t have had a damn clue, including me at the time. Sure, I studied enough wrestling history to know about it, but I wouldn’t have recognized whatever theme music they used.

My main takeaway from the whole thing? I hope Tony Khan didn’t listen to the Orlando crowd and decide to give up on this whole ROH thing. Vince McMahon listened to a crowd in Tacoma, Washington and gave up on the whole WCW thing, so it’s not like it would be unprecedented.

So as it turns out, I have two requests to make of Tony Khan this week.

One is to not give up on Ring of Honor. The other is to sign Session Moth Martina. For the record, the last time I asked AEW to sign somebody was when Eddie Kingston showed up to wrestle Cody Rhodes. I try to make these requests rare, as I feel like asking AEW to sign everybody that shows up on Dark or Dark: Elevation would make my words less prudent.

That being said, we all need more Martina in our lives. We need more Honor too, and as it turns out she worked there in the past. Make it happen, Tony!

Until next time, keep your stick on the ice.


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More From Japan

NOAH WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.178 ~ 28TH JUNE 2022

New challengers, reunited friendships and the usual Junior division shenanigans! Hisame brings all the NOAH updates!

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Hideki Suzuki & Timothy Thatcher challenge for the GHC Heavyweight Tag Titles

Masa Kitamiya had been saying for a long time that he and Michael Elgin, where looking for strong challengers, but lamented that none had come forward yet. The challengers they had been looking for came forward following Timothy Thatcher making Masa Kitamiya tap in Yokohama on the 24th June, and Hideki Suzuki challenged for the belts on their behalf. The title match will take place on the 16th July at the Nippon Budokan.

Go Shiozaki and Shuhei Taniguchi, reunited?

Following their singles match in Yokohama this past week, a fire seems to have been lit between Shuhei Taniguchi and Go Shiozaki. The match was never originally meant to happen, but the card was changed at the last moment. During the match, Taniguchi (the monster is yet to awaken fully), fought Shiozaki in a way that convinced Shiozaki that Taniguchi had finally returned. No doubt Taniguchi’s seniors were pleased too as Taniguchi was even throwing lariats. After the match, Shiozaki hinted about tagging with Taniguchi again and they will do this on NOAH’s next event on July 2nd.

Kenoh, Kojima, the time out draw and 1000 squats

Kenoh and Satoshi Kojima came to a time out draw in Yokohama, and then Kojima’s sense of humor and Kenoh’s hidden one (he’s kind of like Toshiaki Kawada in this) came to the fore when Kojima tried to close out the show. Kenoh snatched the mic and told him this wasn’t New Japan and those who didn’t win, don’t close out the show. The mention of New Japan, made Kojima tell Kenoh to run off home and do 1000 squats. After a few minutes of snatching the mic between them and bickering “You go home!”, “No, you go home!” , Kenoh stalked backstage and did squats very loudly. Yokohama is a small venue and so anything loud (such as the NOAH Juniors fighting) can be heard by the audience, and Kenoh knew this and so everyone could hear him doing squats and counting loudly. Kojima went backstage and confronted Kenoh. Kojima acknowledged that he couldn’t beat Kenoh in a verbal argument, and they got into a physical fight.

Then it went slightly off the rails again, when Kenoh pulled out the platform truck that held the folding chairs, to which Kojima told him that if he broke any equipment, then he would have to pay for it. Kenoh said he didn’t care, Kojima said he knew he did…Kenoh was a “cheap bastard”. Kenoh stamped off, telling Kojima to go back to New Japan.

Sickness bug hits NOAH

A sickness bug hit NOAH over the N-Innovation and Yokohama Radiant Hall events when Daisuke Harada (for whom it is very unusual to be ill) and Alejandro came down with fevers, and Rene Dupree came down with gastroenteritis. The result of this was that Daisuke Harada was replaced by Xtreme Tiger (see below for more), Shuhei Taniguchi moved from the opener to the singles with Go Shiozaki and Atsushi Kotoge and Satoshi Kojima filled in. Kojima happily took part in working the N-INNOVATION and the opening match at that, he even appeared without the GHC Heavyweight Championship. Kojima had a fight with Shuji Kondo, which was a continuation of a long dormant rivalry, while Atsushi Kotoge (who took part in the heavyweight Yokohama Night) and Kinya Okada managed to bruise the neck of Akitoshi Saito so much that he even put it on his official Twitter.

Seiki Yoshioka, Yuya Susumu & HAYATA

The Hiroshima Boys have fallen apart in a spectacular fashion.

Yuya Susumu attempted a reconciliation at the N-Innovation, but both before the match and after it, Seiki Yoshioka (who won the match) refused to shake hands. First time he attacked, the second time he just left the ring. Susumu (who I get the impression knows what both Yoshioka and HAYATA are like and how to handle them best) said that he would wait for Yoshioka to return, as he knew that he would eventually. This wasn’t Yoshioka’s last appearance of the evening, as when HAYATA defeated Hajime Ohara, in a match that HAYATA found Ohara had studied for, Yoshioka came to challenge for the GHC Junior. HAYATA, believing that he and Yoshioka were still friends, said he would be happy to put the belt on the line against him and went for a handshake. Yoshioka treated him the same way he had treated Susumu, with a swift kick.

Backstage, Yoshioka elaborated on his decision to leave STINGER. He had done this in order to challenge HAYATA. It was unavoidable, if he wanted to go to the top of the NOAH Juniors, then that road led through HAYATA. Title match has been set for the 16th July at the Nippon Budokan.

Open The TriangleGate update & GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Challenge

As ever in the NOAH Juniors, things can get a little complicated.

To explain from the beginning. With Daisuke Harada falling ill with a fever and being unable to compete, DragonGate GM Ryo Saito advised that the Open The TriangleGate would be vacated and Perros Del Mal De Japon (NOSAWA Rongai, Eita and Kotaro Suzuki) would face the NOAH Junior Regulars (Atsushi Kotoge, YO-HEY and Xtreme Tiger) for them. Perros won and once again became the champions. That same night, Yoshinari Ogawa crashed their backstage promo, and slapped Kotaro in the face. Ogawa was beaten down by all three and thrown in the ring, where Eita challenged Ogawa and Chris Ridgeway for the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag titles (Nippon Budokan, 16th July). Chris Ridgeway says that they will defend their titles and take their Open The Triangle Gate titles.

Despite Perros show of unity, and Eita challenging for the GHC Junior Tag titles with Kotaro Suzuki as his partner, there are cracks appearing in Perros. In particular between NOSAWA and Kotaro, as once again NOSAWA interrupted him backstage and treated him as if he did not know how to act like a heel (Kotaro has been winding up the NOAH Juniors since his debut, which he went straight back to when he returned to NOAH) and mocked him for sounding like a babyface. Kotaro did not turn up in Dragon Gate the next day (Ryu Saito asked where he was), but he did for the title defense against Natural Vibes. Following this, NOSAWA nominated YAMATO to be the next challenger. YAMATO will come to NOAH to challenge for the belts on the 21st July alongside DragonKid and Kagetora.

Haoh leaves NOAH…and vanishes 

Haoh lost the very first “Loser Leaves NOAH” match against Tadasuke and left NOAH. He has deleted his main Twitter account, but not that of his masked character, and has seemingly vanished. As far as I know he has not been booked anywhere else. Tadasuke is elated at Haoh’s departure saying he had no choice in kicking him out, but then again he didn’t care; Haoh stole his friends name and his hair, and had left Kongoh on his own accord. Tadasuke quipped that now Haoh wouldn’t have to see his face.

Fan Meeting 2022: Let’s enjoy the N-1 100 times

To promote the N-1, NOAH will be holding events in Nagoya, Sendai, Osaka and Hiroshima over the 23rd and 24th July. Kenoh, Katsuhiko Nakajima, Kaito Kiyomiya and Go Shiozaki will be taking part each partner alternating between talk shows and lotteries on one date and autographs and photo sessions on the other.

ELSEWHERE IN NOAH

– El Hijo Del Dr Wagner Junior defeated Manabu Soya, and then declared war on the rest of Kongoh who he said he would take out one by one.

– Naomichi Marufuji joked on Twitter that since he cannot drink currently, he will offer the prize money for the drinking challenge to the host who could out drink everyone and that he was looking for a powerful wrestler to host his YouTube show.

– Kai Fujimura made the mistake of trying to attack Yoshinari Ogawa the moment the bell rang. I need not elaborate on the outcome.

– YO-HEY says he is growing a beard.

– Takashi Sugiura will be back in ZERO1 on the 18th July when The Bullet Yankees reunite, to take on Koji Kanemoto & Tatsuhito Takaiwa.

– Katsuhiko Nakajima has posted a video of himself having his hair curled with the comment that he would be returning to something that “has been a year since then”.

– Seiki Yoshioka has returned to his pre STINGER ring clothes.

– Naomichi Marufuji is aiming to return to the ring in August.

– Yoshiki Inamura had a rough N-Innovation evening. First of all he had to very gently remove a chair from an angry Kaito Kiyomiya who was going to use it on Shuji Kondo, had to move fans for a move that Eita didn’t do in order to confuse YO-HEY, and was then used as a weapon by NOSAWA Rongai.

EVENT RECAPS & POST MATCH INTERVIEWS

  • N-Innovation – Thursday 23rd June 2022, Shinjuku FACE, Tokyo

Event recap

Post match interviews

  • Sunny Voyage 2022 – Friday 24th June, Yokohama Radiant Hall

Event recap

Post match interviews

CURRENT CHAMPIONS

  • GHC Heavyweight Champion: Satoshi Kojima
    Challenger: Kenoh, “ABEMA presents DESTINATION 2022”, Nippon Budokan, 16th July
  • GHC Junior Champion: HAYATA
    Challenger: Seiki Yoshioka, “ABEMA presents DESTINATION 2022”, Nippon Budokan, 16th July
  • GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: Masa Kitamiya & Michael Elgin
    Challengers: Hideki Suzuki & Timothy Thatcher, “ABEMA presents DESTINATION 2022”, Nippon Budokan, 16th July
  • GHC Junior Tag Champions: STINGER (Chris Ridgeway & Yoshinari Ogawa)
    Challengers: Eita & Kotaro Suzuki, “ABEMA presents DESTINATION 2022”, Nippon Budokan, 16th July
  • GHC National Champion: Masakatsu Funaki
    Challenger: TBA

THIS WEEK IN NOAH

(July 2022 schedule)

  • Saturday, July 2nd

Venue: Fukushima Big Palette, Fukushima

Time: 18:00 JST

Broadcast: WrestleUniverse (VOD)

  • Sunday, July 3rd

Venue: Yamagata Big Wing, Yamagata

Time: 17:00 JST

Broadcast: WrestleUniverse (VOD)

LINKS

Kaito Kiyomiya “Pro Wrestling Love” inheritance, Keiji Mutoh’s fight “Shaping the love I received”

The day before The Loser Leaves NOAH match, Tadasuke “I can’t quit, because I haven’t been a singles champion”. Haoh “Still dreaming”

“Rebellious Mui-Bien” Ohara can afford leeway, to HAYATA “Overturn everything” – GHC Junior Championship signing ceremony

BOOK CORNER

Donmai-Donmai (Mitsuharu Misawa’s diary)

– Mitsuharu Misawa said that Kotaro Suzuki and Go Shiozaki were a pair of nerds, and no matter how many times they asked him, the answer was “nope”, he would never be going on their “tour” of Akihabara.

With thanks to: Metal NOAH

GIF taken from WrestleUniverse. 


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Bandwagon Nerds

Bandwagon Nerds #137: A Little Debut

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After two weeks away, Patrick O’Dowd returns to the Bandwagon ready to talk all things Nerd…and he didn’t return alone.  After listening to the Nerds discuss the disappointing reviews surrounding Disney’s Lightyear, Patrick decided to invite a very special guest and Disney target audience member, the Little O’Dowd!  Making his podcasting debut, The Little O’Dowd shares his thoughts on Lightyear and Obi Wan Kenobi with Rey, PC Tunney, and Christopher Platt.  Did Disney meet the pint-sized critics expectations?  Plus, the Nerds discuss the much anticipated “Herogasim” episode of The Boys on Amazon.  Finally in News around the Nerdosphere, the guys give their thoughts regarding some Marvel Studios News, a Jon Snow Game of Thrones sequel series and major studios’ reactions to the recent Roe v. Wade decision.

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About Bandwagon Nerds

Join Patrick O’Dowd, David Ungar, PC Tunney and Rey Cash as they keep everyone up on all things nerd, and maybe add some new nerds along the way. It’s the Bandwagon Nerds Podcast!

About the Chairshot Radio Network

Created in 2017, the Chairshot Radio Network presents you with the best in wrestling and wrestling crossover podcasts, including POD is WAR, Women’s Wrestling Talk, The #Miranda Show, Badlands’ Wrestling Mount Rushmores, The Outsider’s Edge, DWI Podcast, Bandwagon Nerds, the Greg DeMarco Show, 3 Man Weave, Five Rounds, Turnbuckle Talk, Suwama’s Station, The Reaction and more! You can find these great shows each week at theChairshot.com and through our distribution partners, including podcasting’s most popular platforms.


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