Thursday, April 1, 2010

Gabe's Book of ROH Secrets

The Good
Gabe Sapolsky is a well-spoken, well-educated person who can be an excellent spokesperson for pro-wrestling.  Brought into the sport through ECW, Gabe learned booking from Eddie Gilbert and Paul Heyman and rose to prominence by booking Ring of Honor (ROH) from its first show in 2002 until October of 2008.  He innovated a different brand of pro-wrestling and developed different strategies and ultimately was the brains that turned ROH into a winner.  Here, he shares how he would have finished out 2008 and what directions he might have taken the company in the following year.  Gabe literally brings a book and goes through his tricks and methodology to booking.  This is a like a spin-off of the Guest Booker series as he is largely explaining what he was planning to do, rather than take an alternative scenario and figure things out.  Therefore, this is very thoughtful, very realistic and very detailed.  I stopped following ROH month-by-month in 2006, but I'm familiar enough with the talent and style that I could follow this and recognize its quality.  This is a great lesson in indy-level booking that this series has not approached.

The Bad
If you don't really know Gabe Sapolsky, if you've never seen Ring of Honor and if you don't know the talent, this would be confusing and probably boring.  Even if you were familiar with all those, you might find this boring.  Gabe comes across as a detail-oriented fast-talker who is not as charismatic or funny as other guest bookers.  I can't fault him for the potential ignorance of the audience, but I can fault him (at least at little) for being boring.

The Rating: ***3/4

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