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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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AEW Coverage

Mitchell’s AEW Continental Classic Update! (11/27/23)

What a start to the tournament!



Did your picks win points?

The AEW Continental Classic is underway, with almost everyone competing. Check in here if you haven’t seen the winners and losers of week 1!

Here are your Gold League standings!

  • Jon Moxley: 1-0, 3 points
  • Swerve Strickland: 1-0, 3 points
  • Jay White: 1-0, 3 points
  • Rush: 0-1, 0 points
  • Mark Briscoe: 0-1, 0 points.
  • Jay Lethal: 0-1, 0 points


Here are your Blue League standings!

  • Brody King: 1-0, 3 points
  • Claudio Castagnoli: 1-0, 3 points
  • Daniel Garcia: 0-1, 0 points
  • Eddie Kingston: 0-1, 0 points
  • Bryan Danielson: Yet to Compete
  • Andrade El Idolo: Yet to Compete


My Thoughts:

Nothing too crazy, nothing too wild, this tournament only just got started. The only disappointing point is that they could not get Bryan “cleared to compete” Saturday night. Not sure how much of that is shoot given the bad eye, but this was kinda the problem of wanting him in the tournament over tons of other choices. Bryan wants to face Okada for WrestleKingdom 18, how is Bryan supposed to do that at his best if he’s also gonna be in a round robin, doing five top level matches in about as many weeks? And it takes away from Andrade being able to do something. Also a little surprised we didn’t even hear from Andrade on Saturday.

Now as we heard on Saturday, round two’s matches are set. Gold League will see Mark Briscoe VS Rush, White VS Swerve, and of course, Moxley VS Lethal. Nice variety there, a couple 0-1 guys facing off, as well as two 1-0 guys, and then 1-0 VS 0-1. No offense to Lethal, but he feels like an 0-2 going up against Moxley. Hard to call the other ones but that’s the fun of it. Meanwhile, Blue League sees Brody VS Claudio in a showdown to be 2-0, then Bryan and Andrade finally jump in, Bryan against Eddie and Andrade against Garcia. Sadly, feels like Eddie and Garcia are going 0-2, no way Tony Khan is booking Bryan and Andrade to lose their first shots.

In fact, that could be half the reason they did wait on those two, that’s almost too good for just a first round opener. But I still would’ve done it, same as NJPW does stuff like that for round robins, which this is all modeled after anyway.

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AEW Coverage

AEW announces Continental Classic entrants

The C2 is set!



Tony Khan Reveals the Blue and Gold “Leagues!”

Originally livestreamed, Tony Khan and Tony Schiavone officially announced the twelve total entrants and divided them into the two round robin blocks known as the “Blue League” and “Gold League.” If you don’t feel like sifting through the almost 30 minute video, the groups are:

Blue League

  • Bryan Danielson
  • Andrade El Idolo
  • Brody King
  • Claudio Castagnoli
  • Daniel Garcia
  • Eddie Kingston

Gold League

  • Jon Moxley
  • Swerve Strickland
  • Rush
  • Mark Briscoe
  • Jay Lethal
  • Jay White


Tony Khan also explains the rules for the Continental Classic:

  • Every match has a 20 minute time limit
  • The winner of each match earns 3 points, losers earn 0, 1 point for a draw
  • EVERYONE ELSE is banned from ringside for true 1v1 action


Eddie Kingston also joined the selection special as his “life’s work” is on the line in this tournament, both the ROH World Championship and NJPW Strong Openweight Championship on the line as part of the modern day North American Triple Crown Eddie, Tony Khan, AEW, ROH and NJPW are looking to create together. Gold League competes tonight on Dynamite while Blue League will have their start this Saturday on Collision. Look for more articles like this one to keep up with the Continental Classic standings over the next six weeks of tournament action!

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