What Ring of Honor needs is a monster.
For a promotion than has been in existence for over a decade ROH has seen surprisingly few monsters. I’d say Samoa Joe and Takeshi Morishima are the only two traditional monsters that have left their mark. Big, beefy, and unstoppable, both men were built up as epic challenges for anyone else on the roster to conquer. Coincidentally both men were booked by Gabe Sapolsky and both won the ROH World Championship.
The monster push works so well in wrestling because it’s so simple for writers to execute and fans to follow. For those who don’t know the general premise of a monster in wrestling is someone who dominates their opponents and builds up a winning streak over the company’s top title contenders, before either winning the top title or being defeated by the lead (valiant) babyface (depending on the booker’s preference). The monster will usually be large and imposing and the majority of their wins will usually be squashes. Ring of Honor being a promotion based on athleticism meant that Joe and Morishima were more athletic than most big men who have received similar treatment.
Had a different approach been taken Michael Elgin could have gotten over in this role. Unfortunately because the company held off going all the way with his push the chance is gone. ‘Unbreakable’ would still make a fine world champion but he’s lost too often and wrestled far too many competitive matches to be a monster.
Introducing such a figure to the ROH landscape would shake things up considerably. Having someone plough through the likes of Davey Richards, Eddie Edwards, Roderick Strong, Jay Lethal and the rest of the ROH regulars could create a new star (something that is desperately needed) and allow for a different sort of rise to the top of the company. If this newcomer were to blast their way through Kevin Steen and become champion then a number of fresh storylines and rivalries would be presented.
This being ROH a standard giant wouldn’t necessarily cut the mustard. The newcomer would need to be something special or look like someone who could grow into the role. There should be no rush for such a performer to be found, but if Hunter Johnston should happen to come across a beast-like wrestler then a monster push is certainly worth considering.