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The Cubed Circle Newsletter
We have another pretty big issue for you this week, including a review of ROH on SBG from this past week and part II of the WON award coverage. For more information on the awards and next weeks awards, check out the award section and next week’s preview. As always you can find a full PDF above and if you haven’t downloaded it already, I urge you to do so.
Wrestling Observer Awards 2011 Part II
This week we are going to dive into the second part of our WON Awards 2011 ballot, at this time we have covered just about every award in Category A and B. But, next week we are going to go in depth, when it comes to match of the year as well as the top 100 matches of 2011.
Lou Thesz /Ric Flair Award
3. John Cena
2. CM Punk
1. Hiroshi Tanahashi
This award basically goes to the wrestler in terms of contribution to combined business and match quality. John Cena has been in limbo for the past 5 years, but that seems to be good enough, for the most part he puts on good main event matches and he is obviously the biggest full time drawing that the WWE has right now. CM Punk sparked the interest of an audience, sold a lot of merchandise and could overtake Cena and Orton in the coming years, he puts on better matches than Cena. But, Hiroshi Tanahashi was definitely the biggest star that Japan had to offer this year, not only that but he put on phenomenal matches and carried New Japan practically on his back and for that he is the is the best all round wrestler and draw in wrestling today.
Most Outstanding Wrestler
3. El Generico
2. Eddie Edwards
1. Davey Richards
Workrate is one of the cornerstones of this business, three men displayed extraordinary workrate this year. El Generico put on great matches with the use of flying and great facials, Edwards put on arguably the most four star matches of 2011 through his technical prowess. But, one man stands a cut above, that man is Davey Richards. He is not only the best technical wrestler of 2011 but he is also the best wrestler of 2011 and that is why he is the most outstanding wrestler of 2011.
Best Box Office Draw
3. John Cena
2. George St-Pierre
1. The Rock
Even if you don’t follow MMA you can not deny the drawing power of GSP, so it just wouldn’t make sense to put Cena over him. With that being said the Rock trumped pretty much anyone else this year, he saved WrestleMania and the first quarter for the WWE, he meant the most to the company this year than basically anyone and he stopped the WWE from having a very bad year. He looks to continue this in 2012 and that is why he is the Box Office Draw of 2011.
Feud of the Year
3. Davey Richards vs. Eddie Edwards
2. Kevin Steen vs. ROH
1. CM Punk vs. John Cena
From two friends battling over the top prize in their promotion, to a man that was forced to leave and declared war on his promotion, 2011 was a year of interesting feuds. But, one feud and pretty much one promo lit the wrestling world on fire and although it fizzled out in a way, no feud in 2011 was able to capture the attention of a group so much than Punk vs. Cena. Not only that, but it also produced the match of the year and for that it is the number one feud of 2011.
Tag Team of the Year
3. The Young Bucks
2. Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team
1. The Briscoe Brothers
Many people say that tag team wrestling is a lost art in 2011, but three teams exemplified tag team excellence this year and proved that tag team wrestling is not a lost art. The Young Bucks helped to carry the PWG tag team division and they were the hottest heels in the promotion, who constantly put on good matches. Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team played the roles of veterans on the ROH roster, holding the championships for a pretty long period of time, while putting on good matches, doing more with less, and filling the void left by the Kings of Wrestling. But the Briscoe Brothers produced some of the most entertaining promos and matches of 2011, turning their somewhat stale characters into very engaging ones. They operated the best as a team in the ring and out and because of that they are the best tag team of 2011.
Best on Interviews
3. Chael Sonnen
2. Kevin Steen
1. CM Punk
Interviews and promos are another important cornerstone of this business, the purpose of a promo is to promote interest in the product and angles, these three men executed their promos the best. Like I mentioned last week we don’t cover MMA, but there is no disputing the fact that Chael Sonnen cuts a great pro wrestling promo, he promoted a lot of interest in his feud with Anderson Silva. The reason he is number three on the list is simply, because he did not cut enough promos and it is not clear if his match with Anderson Silva will even take place. Kevin Steen cut many promos this year both at Ring of Honor events and on the internet, these promos were definitely some of the selling points of iPPVs and they continue to build on one another. Although Steen and Sonnen cut great promos this year, CM Punk stands above them due to the amount of quality promos cut and influence. His original 7 minute long promo in June, captured the heart of an audience. The promos that followed were also great and although the quality of his promos has dropped in recent months, the good out ways the bad and that is why he is the best interview of the year.
3. Zack Ryder
2. Kevin Steen
1. CM Punk
With charisma you are able to do more with less, by doing simple things either in the ring or on the mic. Zack Ryder never got much of a push until the end of this year, but he produced a YouTube series entitled “Z True Long Island Story” were he garnered somewhat of a cult following and now as a result he has transitioned into the mainstream audience. Kevin Steen was able to pull off run ins and promos with ease due to his natural charisma that people seem to gravitate to, when he stepped into a building or cut a promo there was not one person in the building who was not paying attention. CM Punk however was able to captivate crowds from his promo in late June and has been getting big reactions from everything he has said and done since, from some of the most minute things like small comments or small movements in the ring, to big promos, matches and entrances and that is why he is the most charismatic wrestler of the year.
Best Flying Wrestler
3. Kota Ibushi
2. El Generico
Flying in wrestling isn’t just about fancy flips and crazy dives, it’s about the use of high flying maneuvers in the context of a match, to put on the best matches, all three of these men did this. From Ibushi’s great flying in New Japan, to Generico’s unconventional movement and execution, these three men were able to put on great matches through flying. But, Richochet with a move set almost completely based on highflying moves, was able to put on great matches both in Dragon Gate and PWG, by executing innovative and unique maneuvers to put on good matches and for that he is the best flying wrestler of 2011.
3. Mason Ryan
2. Sin Cara
1. Triple H
Some wrestlers are pushed into a position that they do not deserve, because of politics or maybe because of appearance, or maybe even because of their position in the company, regardless these men should have never been the position they were in. Mason Ryan got relatively big wins over, wrestlers that were better than him in every way possible, because of his gigantic physique, he was not ready for the push and shouldn’t have been put into that position. Sin Cara made mistake after mistake, he even violated the wellness policy, but he was kept in the same position and his vaults were blamed on other people, simply because he was Triple H’s first acquisition, this is no way to decide who to push and who not to push. But, Triple H over shadowed one of the hottest angles in a long time, ruined Raw for weeks and was put into mainevents without any build, there is no way that this would have happened if he wasn’t part of the inner circle and for that he is the most, overrated wrestler of the year.
Promotion of the Year
2. New Japan Pro Wrestling
Logical booking, quality wrestling and just pure fun, are all things that are missing in major promotions in North America today, but these three promotions proved that these things are still possible in 2011. Chikara showed that pro wrestling can still be fun and characters can still be engrossing. New Japan showed quality booking that could even bypass the language barrier, it also showcased great wrestling and it was at the top of the Japanese wrestling scene this year. But, ROH had the best combination, it had great wrestling, great booking and a great TV show. They showed that wrestling can still be logical in 2011 and they showcased what you look for in a wrestling promotion, wrestling.
Best Non-Wrestler Performer
3. Truth Martini
2. RD Evans
1. Ricardo Rodriguez
Non-Wrestling performers play an important role, this was shown by Martini, Evans and Rodriguez. Martini entertained while offering a new dimension to a faction that wouldn’t be quite the same without him. Evans was arguably one of the most entertaining performers of 2011 both as a wrestler and a manager. But, Ricardo added so much to Del Rio that otherwise wouldn’t have been there and that’s why is the non-wrestler performer of 2011.
Best Major Show
3. ROH Best in the World on June 26th in New York, New York
2. Chikara High Noon on November 13th in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1. WWE Money in the Bank on July 17th in Rosemont, Illinois
Both Chikara and ROH put on great shows in 2011, but they honestly don’t own a candle to WWE’s Money in the Bank. From the build to the mainevent this show was spectacular, it featured the match of the year and an incredible crowd, a hot angle, and unpredictability. It wasn’t just the best show of 2011, but it was one of the best shows WWE has ever put on and that is why without a shadow of a doubt, it is the best show of 2011.
Worst Major Show of the Year
TNA Victory Road on March 13th in Orlando Florida
A show that sums up just about everything that TNA was at it’s worst, horrific booking, terrible matches and idiotic decisions from management. This show featured one of the worst matches of the year and had no redeeming qualities, it is the show that put many off TNA, this was Victory Road 2011.
Best Wrestling Maneuver
Daniel Bryan's LeBell Lock
This move is not flashy, it doesn’t feature a man jumping off the top rope and doing a hundred flips, but what it does have going for it is it’s execution. Daniel Bryan executes the move and teases it through out the match in such a way, that makes the move seem like a big deal and when it’s finally executed it is satisfying. This is the way that a professional wrestling maneuver should be executed and that is why it is the best wrestling maneuver of 2011.
Has TNA improved yes, but for a large portion of the year it was the epitome of bad wrestling, both on PPV and TV. And although the WWE has been bad this year and TNA has been better the past few months, the positives on the side of the WWE for the year outweigh the ones on the side of TNA. Could this change next year, possibly, but for 2011 TNA was the worst promotion.
ROH on SBG 2011/12/03 Review
The show opened with the usual recap, Kelly and Nigel then previewed the main event and then went to a segment with Tommaso Ciampa. They showed him lifting ridiculous weights, swinging hammer and other feats of strength. He came off looking really strong.
1. Shiloh Jonze vs. Tommaso Ciampa
Jonze was featured once again since he is from OVW and he served his purpose well, he got a bit of offence in, in the typical ROH squash. Ciampa hit big exposed knees in the corner, Jonze sold really well. Ciampa then hit Project Ciampa for the win.
A recap of the Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team Briscoes brawl was shown, with a short new Briscoes promo hyping Final Battle. ANX was interviewed, they said that they were still being overlooked, King said that they will smack the Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team in the face, in the proving ground match, because his mother said that if someone overlooks you punch them in the face.
Cornette, Nigel, Corino, Kelly and Jacobs were in the ring, they brought out Steen. He came out with music, but it was still presented in an outsider style manner. Cornette, said that Steen is a great wrestler and that the fans can chant for him and that he would love to have him in ROH, the only problem was that he is nuts. He said he has more petty minor issues than anyone in ROH and that he is afraid that he will appear on TMZ with numbers across his chest. Steen replied to this by saying, the only number across his chest will be the date that Cornette dies. They swore it was bleeped out, Cornette said that he is a hypocrite and that he hates Steen because he didn’t kiss up to Cornette and he didn’t need Cornette’s help. He then wanted Cornette’s offer, Cornette said that he wouldn’t do it Corino would. Corino said he started all of it and that he was the one that turned Steen into a monster, Corino said he was the source of the problem and it wasn’t to late. Steen said that it was sad that they (ROH) cut his ***** off (I assume he was referring to his genitals), he said that Jacobs and Corino are just as pathetic as Cornette. Cornette said that Steen lost people that cared about him and that he was a stupid bastard. Corino said that at Final Battle it would be Steen vs. Corino, if Steen won he could return to ROH. But, he said it wouldn’t be the Corino that is on a losing streak, because he is trying to do the right thing, he said that on December 23rd for one last time Steve Corino will be an evil person. Cornette then said that the referee for the match will be Jimmy Jacobs, Steen said that it would be fine because he wants to see the look on his face when he has to count to three. Steen also said that he wants Cornette at ringside, Cornette agreed. Steen then said that when he wins it will be his ROH and in his ROH there is no room for b****’s like him. He then spat in the face of Cornette and they cut to a commercial.
This segment was executed very well, my only problem with it however was the fact that the crowd was burnt out. At this point of the taping they had sat through hours of segments and so at some points they didn’t react as well as they should have. Also with an angle like this it is difficult for the crowd to suspend their disbelieve, when one episode is taped after another. I understand that this is done out of necessity, but the amount of episodes that were taped in Kentucky was a bit over the top, leading to a burnt out crowd
After the break we had this week’s edition of Inside Ring of Honor, highlighting the TV title match at Final Battle, Eddie Edwards and Roderick Strong. The TV title match was changed to a triple threat match due to the interference from Bennett. Another Severn/Edwards sit down interview, he said that in combat sports all great rivalries are trilogies, such as Ali vs. Frazier. Severn said that he could identify with Edwards, because there was no Severn Shamrock III and therefore Shamrock and Severn would never know who the true winner was. He said that if Edwards wins the ROH championship, he will know that he has done his job. Edwards said that he wants to step out of the shadow of Richards and that the only way he can do that is with ROH championship. Richards was then interviewed, there was no camp footage because there was no camera footage allowed into the facility. He said that he doesn’t know who he will be fighting at Final Battle, he said that since Severn came into the picture there is a dark side to Edwards and that he is a changed person, but he said that he hopes that he is still the same man underneath. Edwards delivery was a little dry, but it was fine for the segment.
Roderick Strong was interviewed again, there were the same women in the background. He said that no one excepted his challenge, he said that he would have to sit in the back and watch Richards and Edwards at Final Battle. He then said that if someone doesn’t die at Final Battle, he will come down to the ring and kick them both in what I can only assume was testicles. Strong came off really strong again, he was entertaining and funny, but still came off tough, I am interested to see where this goes. Another good segment that built well to Final Battle.
The Young Bucks were interviewed, they said that they don’t need to respect the veterans they need to be respected. They said that they don’t want to be seen as opening match level guys and if they did they would wrestle at a retirement home wrestling promotion (TNA). They said that they are in ROH for the competition, but they don’t need to respect anybody. They said that they will only shake hands with people that are their equals and there is nobody that is equal to them. This gimmick is a really good insider gimmick, it’s funny to those who know the story behind it, but it makes sense to those who don’t.
2. Future Shock vs. The Young Bucks
The Young Bucks hit their signature head scissors drop kick combo on O’ Reilly, which sent him to the outside. Once he was back in the ring they worked on O’ Reilly, they cut to a commercial break and when they returned O’ Reilly was still being worked on. O’ Reilly hit a belly to belly suplex on Matt and got the knees up on a dive from Nick. He then got the hot tag to Cole, who ran wild. Matt went for a dive on Cole, but he was caught and driven into the ring apron. O’ Reilly hit the butterfly suplex combo on Matt Jackson, Nick Jackson ran in, but he got butterfly suplexed and double teamed. Future Shock went for Ride the Lightning on Matt Jackson, but he ducked it, Matt then hit two powerbombs and a buckle bomb, but Cole kicked out. The Bucks went for More Bang for Your Buck on Cole, but he moved out of the way and O’ Reilly locked in the front chancery on Matt Jackson. Nick Jackson threw Cole into the ring post, O’ Reilly and Matt Jackson made it to their feet were O’Reilly still had the chancery locked in, he was superkicked by Nick Jackson, but he held on. Nick Jackson was pulled out of the ring by Cole and O’ Reilly brought Matt Jackson back to the ground, but Matt powered out. The Young Bucks then hit More Bang for Your Buck for the win.
Overall Show Thoughts
Overall this was a very good show, with more great, strong build to Final Battle. We had the great Steen segment and a very good TV main event. The only downside of the show was that the crowd was pretty burnt out at this point and it is something that ROH is going to have to change moving forward.
Next Weeks Issue
Next week’s issue will feature the final part of the WON Award 2011 ballot, Top 100 matches of 2011, ROH on SBG and so much more. For more updates check out cubedcirclewrestling.blogspot.com.
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