4.20.2009

Running Up That Hill: Why ROH’s Death Knell has already been sounded


 

Perhaps, if you were not the sort who followed the indies, you'd assume that the ROH championship around Jerry Lynn would be a positive development, something that would be necessary to make their belt have more mass appeal. And you'd be wrong.


 

See the ROH title was the thing that developed the men who held it, not the other way around. Who knew anything about Samoa Joe? He was, at first blush, a chubby guy with a terribly bad blond dye job. But the belt made him a killer, made him this walking embodiment of a champion who attacked his challengers at his peak, and then near the end, showed heart and fire in continuing to go on driven perhaps only by the desire to hold on to what was his.

Austin Aries was made by defeating Joe. 21 months, 31 challengers, and it was Aries who finally put him away. And then Aries, the explosive dynamo, made his own reign stand out by wrestling everyone everywhere.


 

And so it went, through the Summer of Punk, James Gibson's resurrection, Bryan Danielson's ascendancy, and so on. The point is that the belt made the man.


 

Now…. With Gabe Sapolsky out the front door, and Adam Pearce in, we are stuck with this. Jerry Lynn. A 45-year-old veteran whose best days, such as they were, exist when he was being carried by Rob Van Dam. He is a spot monkey. No matter what the match, no matter the opponent, Jerry gets his spots in.


 

He is the champion of what was a workrate company. And it means that that company is just about dead.

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