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Week of September 22, 2014
What’s the big deal about Michael Elgin? I mean, seriously.
Let’s be 100% honest here: there is probably interest and money to be made in Michael Elgin chasing a title because he puts on some pretty impressive matches. There is not, however, any money in Michael Elgin as a champion because he doesn’t bring anything else to the table.
Harsh words, I know, but I feel they’re accurate.
The guy can’t promo to save his life and his charisma is non-existent. I’m sure he’s a nice guy, but he’s just not ROH championship material. Now having said that, he’s absolutely your local indy fed’s championship material...but the ROH world title is a little more prestigious than that.
Of course, the big news is that Jay Briscoe is the current ROH world champion and only the second 2-time champion that ROH has ever had. Ring of Honor takes their champions very seriously, so I gotta be honest...it surprised me to see Elgin win the belt off of Adam Cole to begin with.
Some may argue that Briscoe is not a “proper” champion, but here’s what you need to know about Jay Briscoe: he has perfected his gimmick and is one of the best in-ring competitors on the indy circuit today. Briscoe can promo like few others. Sure, his promos are littered with the occasional curse...but that’s all part of the gimmick. The bottom line is that Briscoe can talk. With ROH, it’s important for the champion to do promotional appearances on local radio and television for shows. Briscoe can do that while being entertaining and engaging. Elgin? Meh...not so much.
To me, Briscoe was always the uncrowned champion...having lost the belt via forfeit due to injuries. Adam Cole did a fantastic job in his heel run in the meantime, but Briscoe was always “the man” in ROH. The fact that they protected him over the past two years (i.e. he was not pinned during that time) only went to show how much they believed in him as a singles star and potential future repeat champion. I personally think that Elgin’s situation, while unfortunate, was just speeding up the eventual end result. Jay Briscoe deserves to be ROH world champion.
As far as Michael Elgin goes, it’s too bad that he had these work visa issues derail his title reign but let’s face it: he shouldn’t have been champion to begin with. What does Elgin bring to the table other than the ability to put on a pretty decent match? Not much, really. He’s a bit on the boring side, when it comes to his personality. Heck, when setting up his title win, they had to manufacture a storyline involving his wife (wrestler Mischif) just to garner a bigger crowd reaction for him. Don’t get me wrong...people like him and think he’s a great wrestler who puts everything he’s got into his matches, but those guys are a dime a dozen on the indy circuit (Chris Hero or Joey Ryan, anyone?). In order to be a champion...somebody who really stands out above all the rest...you need something special. Elgin just doesn’t have “it”.
He’s just a big guy who had a mullet and could wrestle entertaining matches while occasionally doing big moves to pop the crowd. Without the mullet, he ended up just being a big guy. Meh.
Now to defend him a bit...there was apparently some online hullabaloo about how he went to a minor league baseball open tryout and/or was doing an interview and proclaimed his desire to play baseball. People were concerned that he’d just up and leave for baseball; much like Brock Lesnar did for football.
Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that this was true. SO WHAT?? If the guy wants to pursue a baseball dream, why not let him? Is there an unwritten rule that you can only do ONE THING in your life? If you’re a wrestler, you’re not allowed to be something else? I hate to break it to you, but the vast majority of independent wrestlers have part-time jobs that help them survive. Should we all ask them to quit those jobs just so that they can dedicate themselves full-time to entertaining us? No. Should we have crucified Michael Elgin if he had decided to join a minor-league baseball team? No...because that would be extremely selfish of us.
Elgin has every right to pursue whatever career he wants to pursue (his thoughts on the issue were written on his Facebook page). If wrestling is part time for him, then c’est la vie. It’s his life and his right to make that choice. Sure...he was the ROH champion and was telling the world all about baseball, but do you honestly think he would have done ROH wrong by just getting up and walking away without a word? And moreover, do you think he even stood a chance at making the team?
At the end of the day, who cares? Some fans just get so into the product that they forget that there is a “real world” outside of wrestling. Fans need to relax, kick their feet up, and just sit back and enjoy the product without having to know every tiny little behind-the-scenes detail.