JR's Blog Reviews ROH Final Battle & WWE TLC Events, AJ Styles-Dean Ambrose MOTY?, Chael Sonnen to The Ross Report, River City Wrestling

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ROH Final Battle ppv Thoughts:

Thoroughly enjoyed the broadcast that I watched on the FITE App sitting in my living room via my Apple TV and the audio and video were impeccable. If you are a fan of wrestling, boxing or MMA and you haven't downloaded the FITE App, for free nonetheless, I'm scratching my head here. If you have a smart device and WiFi you are in business with the FITE App from anywhere in the world.

I'm of the mindset that one of the toughest challenges in the business might well be closing the show at a ROH PPV which is what Adam Cole and Kyle O'Reilly were booked to do Friday night. When one is in a ROH Main Event they are forced to follow EVERYTHING under the sun that precedes them on the show. That's no small feat. Cole and O'Reilly delivered as the top pros that they are by telling a realistic story that was not overthought with high spots and stunts. Their selling helped me to ride along with them on their journey which I still embrace.  

Loved the ROH TV Title match as did the live audience who, by the way was a hotter crowd that we saw Sunday night in Dallas at TLC, helped make this show more fun to watch. Marty Scurll, Will Ospreay, and Dragon Lee were terrific in their outing on the PPV.

All three are excellent "gets" for ROH and should have an impactful 2017 for ROH.

ROH's strength especially on PPV is their emphasis of quality bell to bell minutes from their talents who hold nothing back to protect the latter bouts on the card, or so it seems. It creates a pressurized, competitive environment for ROH to fuel what they do on their big shows.

WWE TLC Thoughts:

This was, at the end of the day, a two match PPV event on the WWE Network that I enjoyed for the most part from start to finish. The IC and WWE Titles bouts were the stars of the show IMO.

AJ Styles and Dean Ambrose was,arguably, as strong a bout as WWE has had in 2016 and the two, skilled performers ability to utilize all the toys of a TLC match were incredible. The two sold extremely well which helped me to 'feel' what they were experiencing which is always imperative for the talents and the broadcasters to embrace with the viewers. When talents are selling properly it allows the announcers to better 'get the talents over.'   

Athletically, AJ is the second coming of the great Shawn Michaels and they both possess natural, innate timing that can't be taught.

AJ Styles, for my money, is the best in ring talent in the business today. He's the type of athlete that WWE can build a brand around. 

 I can see Ambrose turning heel sooner than later when the proper hand has been dealt creatively in order for him to run with it on a main event level.

Hopefully, Styles and Ambrose will get a nice bonus for the above and beyond performance in the TLC main event.

WWE is obviously enamored with the James Ellsworth persona and presentation. I hope that Ellsworth is fully aware of what a break that he is receiving as they don't come along like this that often. 

Getting WWE fans to boo AJ and Ellsworth might not be so easy.  

Impressive outing for Miz and Dolph Ziggler in their IC Title Ladder Match.  Easy now to flip the switch with Ziggler having a major change in attitude and perhaps even aligning with a 'heater'  or a 'manager' etc to better repackage him.  

WWE smartly putting Maryse with MIz is a great example of not over thinking a pro wrestling storyline and organically accommodating creative. Will Miz and Maryse become this generations's Macho Man and Elizabeth? Stranger things have happened.

Kalisto and Baron Corbin exceeded my expectations in a tough hand dealt them in the chair match. Good strategic booking here with simple creative that enhanced the presentation and did not detract from it.

Thought the live audience in Dallas could have brought it a bit better. When the crowd is flat or disconnected it can be credited to multiple reasons but often times it's what the fans are seeing that isn't moving their needle.

Curious to see how WWE battles to keep Wyatt, Orton and Harper from becoming character baby faces. That likely won't be easy. They are unique, rugged, defiant and unapologetic which are all traits that it seems that today's vocal, male fans gravitates toward. 

Our podcast with Matt Hardy and Bill Apter has recorded impressive numbers and I'm thinking that once fans hear what Chael Sonnen has to say this week about Brock Lesnar, Goldberg, Conor McGregor, Ronda Rousey, the pro wrestling biz, the MMA landscape and his incessant battle to find our the 'truth ' as top why Mark Bagwell was released from WWE, which was unexpected but entertaining and somewhat controversial, you will enjoy another good one.  Give this one a listen and I think that you will enjoy it.

For the record  regarding Mark Bagwell, I was instructed to sever WWE's business relationship with him and it just happened to be in Atlanta. I had no issues with Marcus including since he first got in the business on day one in WCW. But when one's Boss makes a decree, its a matter of doing one's job even when that aspect of the job is challenging and unpleasant. 

Looking forward to making an appearance in San Antonio Royal Rumble weekend, in addition to doing my RINGSIDE Show at the Improv at River Center on Royal Rumble Sunday January 29 at 2;30, as I will also be a part of River City Wrestling's big Friday night January 27 event at the Turner Club in Kirby Texas. Our meet and greet there starts at 6:30 pm before the loaded show. Ticket info for this Friday night event is at www.rivercitywresling.net.

Excited to be playing Phoenix with or RINGSIDE Show for the first time on Thursday January 12 at Stand Up Live and tickets are on sale now at www.standuplive.com starting at only $25.

I suggest that you go VIP for our RINGSIDE Shows if you can and enjoy early entry to the venue and the meet and greet, photo op personalized autograph opportunities that you get with a VIP ticket.

Recorded a conversation Sunday night late with Lance Storm and Don Callis for next week's podcast and it went great. Two, highly intelligent guests who are now hosting their own podcast on www.podcastone.com entitled 'Killing the Town' that drops every Tuesday.

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Boomer Sooner!

J.R.   @JRsBBQ