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 411mania » Wrestling » Columns

My Take On 12.28.13: Looking at ROH on iPPV in 2013
Posted by Larry Csonka on 12.28.2013

Welcome back to the latest edition of My Take On. It is that time of year when I use the column to take a look back at the year that was. Much like last year, I will be looking back on PPV and iPPV I have watched during the year 2013. I will give the listing of PPVs/iPPVs by the score, the top matches from the company's PPV/iPPV, a quick look at the shows and the best wrestlers on the shows before looking at an overall verdict for the year. I hope that this is something you will enjoy. This year the breakdown columns will include…

  • Ring of Honor
  • EVOLVE/Dragon Gate USA
  • TNA
  • New Japan Pro Wrestling
  • WWE
  • Top 15 PPV Performers of 2013
  • 2013 PPV Overview

    AND NOW….

    LOOKING at ROH on iPPV in 2013

  • ROH Supercard of Honor VII iPPV8.8
  • ROH 11th Anniversary iPPV - 8.5
  • ROH Death Before Dishonor XI iPPV - 8.1
  • ROH Border Wars iPPV7.4
  • ROH Best in the World iPPV7.0

    As a reminder, this is not a basic "how good was the show" number like a TV show, as I have always felt that a PPV is very different from a regular show. I have always judged PPV on how they built to a match, the match quality, crowd reactions to matches and angles, the overall booking, how the PPV leads into the future, PPV price and so on and so forth. I have added this in here for an explanation since so many have asked, and I have previously discussed it on podcasts. I understand that this may seem different, but that is how I grade. Obviously your criteria may be different.

  • From ROH Supercard of Honor VII iPPV – Jay Lethal vs. Michael Elgin [****½]

  • From the ROH Border Wars iPPV – Eddie Edwards vs. Taiji Ishimori [****¼]
  • From The ROH Death Before Dishonor XI iPPV – Adam Cole vs. Michael Elgin [****¼]

  • From the ROH 11th Anniversary iPPV - The American Wolves vs. Forever Hooligans [****]
  • From the ROH 11th Anniversary iPPV – Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly vs. The Briscoes [****]
  • From the ROH 11th Anniversary iPPV – Kevin Steen vs. Jay Lethal [****]
  • From ROH Supercard of Honor VII iPPV – Kyle O'Reilly & Bobby Fish vs. The American Wolves [****]
  • From ROH Supercard of Honor VII iPPV –Kevin Steen vs. Jay Briscoe [****]
  • From The ROH Death Before Dishonor XI iPPV – Michael Elgin vs. Kevin Steen [****]

  • From The ROH Death Before Dishonor XI iPPV - Adam Cole vs. Tommaso Ciampa [***¾]
  • From the ROH Best in the World iPPV – Michael Elgin vs. Tomasso Chiampa [***¾]
  • From the ROH 11th Anniversary iPPV – No Holds Barred Match: BJ Whitmer vs. Charlie Haas [***¾]
  • From ROH Supercard of Honor VII iPPV – Roderick Strong vs. Karl Anderson [***¾]


    Once again, it was an up and down year for ROH iPPV, and unfortunately it was more down than up. While they held quality events (from a wrestling standpoint) they once again had the iPPV issues come into play. I watched five ROH iPPV events during the year, and that is all that will be reviewed since they have changed their business plan. This is why Final Battle is not included in the standings. They will be recording the events from now on, and will be then selling them as VOD. The other thing is that they are also using them a lot to fill their TV, which to some is great because they don't have to buy ROH VOD, but I do hate that they cannot build to the big events as much as they could with their iPPVs in the past. And they did well; especially with Final Battle as far as live attendance and iPPV buys went. That is a draw back in my opinion. Unfortunately with their change of businesses plan, that is all the events they ran as a iPPV. On one hand I do commend them from pulling away from the iPPV model, because they are damaging their relationship with fans every time that they have an event that doesn't come off well. They damage the relationship due to poor technology and due to their poor customer service they displayed when they had these issues. To say that the ROH customer service was not good during these issues is an understatement. They angered the loyal fans that actually paid for their product. They made a smart decision, and hopefully when the technology gets better, ROH can get back into the iPPV market.

    As for the wrestling on the shows, overall there was a lot of good wrestling. While there may not be as many on the year-end list as usual, there were a lot of matches that just missed the cut. But the one thing that I will say is that I do not feel that ROH had that big "Match of the Year" on their iPPV this time around. Part of that is the fact that the roster is weaker, but part of that is also booking. The company's booking has been up and down all year, going from one thing to another, and never properly culminating at times if at all.

    I mentioned that ROH didn't give us some of those signature matches that they have in the past, but they did deliver the Jay Briscoe moment during the biggest weekend on the year. Some people will take the huge moment in a good match over the "match of the year contender" that others strive for. Unfortunately, that moment was ruined when the iPPV cut out during the final minutes of that match. This was a huge moment with Steen losing and Jay "Since Day One" Briscoe winning the title in what should have been an unforgettable moment, unfortunately the moment is unforgettable for all of the wrong reasons.

    In closing, I liked a lot of ROH on iPPV for the year; in fact I do not think that they put on a bad show out of the five I covered. Unfortunately technology was against them, and in many ways, it damaged the company in regards to the relationship that they had with their fans.

     photo 2807f605-3e66-455e-999c-30aee008972f_zpsfc4a78f3.jpg


    For 2013, the best performer for ROH on iPPV was Michael Elgin. Elgin is a guy that ROH fans seem to love and also a guy that they thought should have won the ROH Title. Whether you believe that or not, the fact is that the guy was damn good on their iPPV events. Elgin delivered in four singles matches with four very different opponents. They were as follows…
  • From ROH Supercard of Honor VII iPPV – Jay Lethal vs. Michael Elgin [****½]
  • From The ROH Death Before Dishonor XI iPPV – Adam Cole vs. Michael Elgin [****¼]
  • From The ROH Death Before Dishonor XI iPPV – Michael Elgin vs. Kevin Steen [****]
  • From the ROH Best in the World iPPV – Michael Elgin vs. Tomasso Ciampa [***¾]

  • You look at the list; Elgin makes the list working with Ciampa, Steen, Cole and Lethal. Four very different opponents, yet Elgin was able to deliver in each environment. The Ciampa match was good, with Elgin bringing out the best in his opponent. I am not the biggest fan of Ciampa, but I enjoyed what they did in the match. Death Before Dishonor XI is a breakout night for Elgin in some ways, yes he had delivered before and he has had some tremendous matches around the US in other companies, but the fact that he worked two tremendous matches against two very different opponents in the same night is a credit to him as a performer. While some feel Elgin should have won the title that night, and in some ways I cannot argue, but his work on that night really made the semifinals and finals of the tournament feel special. I know some didn't like it as much, but I really loved the Supercard of Honor VII match with Jay Lethal. Both guys looked good, both guys looked like title contenders, and both guys treated the match as if it meant everything. And many top contenders matches lack that these days. All too many feel like "just a match," with no sense of urgency. These guys left it all out there and I thoroughly enjoyed what they brought to the match. Elgin was easily the guy that delivered the most, in my eyes, on ROH iPPV this year. This is likely not a surprise to many, ROH has a lot of guys that put on good matches, but for the last two years, Elgin has been delivering everywhere he goes.

    BEST PERFORMERS: While I did name my overall best performer, I do want to make mention of the overall best performers for the promotion. These men are the ones that have consistently delivered when appearing on iPPV.

  • Kevin Steen
  • Eddie Edwards
  • Davey Richards
  • Jay Lethal


    AVERAGE PPV SCORE: 7.96 {Based on 5 Events} According to the 411 scale, which is what I use for grading the PPVs, that means for the year that gives Ring of Honor a very high "good" score, bordering on very good for the year.

    Final Thoughts: When the iPPVs worked, the shows were easily worth it for 2013. There was a lot of good wrestling, and at times, the company felt as if they had finally figured things out and that they had a solid direction. Unfortunately the technology just didn't work for them (for one reason or another) and they have made that decision to go to taped shows and onto VOD. With that being the case, until ROH heads back to either live iPPV or traditional PPV, this will be the last year that the ROH PPV product is evaluated. I set an insane schedule for PPV watching in 2013, but for 2014 I plan to cut back, and ROH made the choice easy for me with their change in business. When the shows worked, they had a very good 2013, but unfortunately too many people were left upset when the shows did not properly work. And when you're the number three company, and a distant one at that, you cannot alienate that loyal fanbase that has kept you in business. Better luck in 2014 ROH.

  • Wrestler Of The Year: Michael Elgin
  • Tag Team Of The Year: reDRagon
  • Show Of The Year: ROH Supercard of Honor VII iPPV
  • Match Of The Year: From ROH Supercard of Honor VII iPPV – Jay Lethal vs. Michael Elgin

    Have you checked out the Csonka Podcasting Network? If you haven't, you should We run anywhere from 15-20 shows a month, discussing pro wrestling, the world of MMA, the NBA, general sports, popular TV series of the past, bad movies, battle rap, interviews, MMA & Wrestling conference calls and more! Around 10 different personalities take part in the various shows, which all have a different feel; so you'll likely find something you like. All of the broadcasts are free, so go ahead and give a show a try and share the link with your friends on the Twitter Machine and other social media outlets! Running since May of 2011, there are currently over 450 shows in the archive for you to listen to.

    Listen to internet radio with Larry Csonka on BlogTalkRadio

    Larry Csonka is a Pisces and enjoys rolling at jiu jitsu class with Hotty McBrownbelt, cooking, long walks on the beach, Slingo and the occasional trip to Jack in the Box. He is married to a soulless ginger and has two beautiful daughters who are thankfully not soulless gingers; and is legally allowed to marry people in 35 states. He has been a wrestling fan since 1982 and has been writing for 411 since May 24th, 2004; contributing over 3,000 columns, TV reports and video reviews to the site.

    Your heart is free. Have the courage to follow it…TO CSONKA'S TWITTER!



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