WWE TLC 2012 was on December 16th, 2012 at 8pm est. live from the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, New York. Ring of Honor Final Battle 2012 was on December 16th, 2012 at 2pm est. live from the Manhattan Center in New York, New York. As a resident of the Big Apple, I considered it my duty to attend both events. Both events had a theme involving tables, ladders and chairs. Here I will compare the two events in terms of fan interactions, style of wrestling and overall experience. It should be noted that I grew up strictly a WWE fan and Final Battle 2012 was the first Ring of Honor live event I have attended.
[adinserter block=”1″]The first thing noticeably different between WWE and Ring of Honor is the style of wrestling from each promotion’s superstars. WWE trains their superstars with a certain type of style, one that could be characterized as American. Ring of Honor superstars, on the other hand, are mainly independent wrestlers, some of whom were trained in Japan. ROH’s style of wrestling involves more uses with the legs. If you think about superstars such as Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, Alberto Del Rio and Sin Cara, you may notice that they also wrestle in this style. Bryan and Punk are former ROH superstars, while Del Rio and Sin Cara learned the style in Mexico. It was clear throughout the day the difference in the move sets between WWE and Ring of Honor.
Continuing with style of wrestling, one must consider how the tables, ladders and chairs were used in both WWE and Ring of Honor. For Ring of Honor, they use TLC as weapons. You must win by pinfall or submission making multiple tables, ladders and chairs inevitable in their matches. On the other hand, when tables, ladders or chairs are used in WWE, many times it is a signal that the match is over. During Team Rhodes Scholars’ tables match at WWE TLC, only one table was used when Rhodes pushed Sin Cara into the table. Also, when Big Show defeated Sheamus in a chairs match, it was with a big chair. That is what WWE came up with. Were we supposed to be impressed? Big Show was unable to defeat Sheamus with multiple regular sized chairs, but he is able to defeat Sheamus with one oversized chair? At Ring of Honor Final Battle, Kevin Steen completed his signature move on El Generico on a ladder which was on top of another ladder in between two more ladders! Chairs seemed to be legal in every ROH match. Every match was a TLC match. WWE and ROH wrestling style and use of objects are different and personally, I prefer Ring of Honor in this area.
Wrestling Style Winner: Ring of Honor
When you consider fan interaction at both WWE and Ring of Honor, there are many differences. In terms of Ring of Honor, it is an independent wrestling promotion and allows more vulgarity and interaction with the wrestlers. Fans were chanting profanity at the wrestlers and believe it or not, the wrestlers were being just as vulgar back to the fans. Also, just like many other independent wrestling promotions, there were opportunities before the show to take a picture with or purchase an autograph with the wrestlers. I took a picture with Rhino this time, but I have met many wrestlers over the years, which are featured on my own blog, GuTTWrenchPowerBlog.com.
In terms of WWE, the promotion is more mainstream and lacks the level of profanity that the indy promotions allow. WWE has to answer to advertisers and corporate sponsors who seem to be more interested in a family friendly environment. The cost to meet WWE superstars is also much greater than the cost to meet the same superstars at an indy event. I recently met Goldust, Honky Tonk Man, Brutus Beefcake and Tito Santana at a Pro Wrestling Syndicate show. Each picture costs within twenty dollars. If these wrestlers were still employed by WWE, I would expect the cost to have been double. Once again, fan interaction is a lot more interesting and for a lack of a better word, interactive at Ring of Honor than WWE.
Fan Interaction Winner: Ring of Honor
The overall experience at WWE versus Ring of Honor is also different because of the venues in which you see both promotions. Ring of Honor Final Battle took place at the Manhattan Center in New York City. If you recall, this is the same place where WWE Monday Night Raw used to be when the show first began. Obviously WWE has grown and now Raw is in a different city each week. However, with a smaller venue, you can see the action much closer. When I attend Pro Wrestling Syndicate each month, I sit in the front row because it is affordable. Although I certainly enjoyed my seats at WWE TLC, I could hear and feel the bumps taken more so at Final Battle.
[adinserter block=”2″]The one area where, in my opinion, WWE wins in this category is their ringside chairs from their pay-per-views. In addition to my pictures I have taken with wrestlers I’ve met, you can also find pictures of my collection of ringside chairs on my blog. If you sit within the first five rows of a WWE pay-per-view, you sit on a folding chair with the event’s logo on the seat cushion. By purchasing this seat (approximately $500), you can take the seat home with you. I have never purchased this seat, but I do find someone willing to sell theirs at a reasonable price after the show is over. This is obviously not an option for independent wrestling shows such as Ring of Honor.
The overall experience depends on your preference. Would you rather sit really close in a smaller venue? Or sit farther away in a larger venue with more pyrotechnics and aesthetically pleasing visuals? They both have their advantages and disadvantages.
Overall Experience Winner:????
So what do you prefer? Would you have preferred to be at WWE TLC 2012 or ROH Final Battle 2012? As I’ve said, I enjoy both for different reasons. However, since I began attending independent wrestling shows just two months ago, I am hooked. To me, it is like asking if you like wrestling or wrestling. I love wrestling.
Seth M. Guttenplan is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report, writer for CamelClutchBlog.com and host of OH YOU DIDN’T KNOW!? PWPRadio’s weekly radio show covering all wrestling news and rumors. To read more from Seth follow him on Twitter (@sethgutt) and check out guttwrenchpowerblog.com.
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