Reaction Zone - The case against fair weather fans

Ring of Honor would like you to think there was a double turn at the tapings the night after Best in the World. New champ Cody soaked in the adulation of the fans in Lowell, MA, while still trying to remain a heel by reminding that he hadn't signed a contract with ROH, and that being a free agent gave him a little extra, ah, leverage, eef yew weel. All the signs, though, point to Cody being part of the ROH roster going forward, and not Global Force. Wife Brandi was released by GFW recently, and has begun working ROH events as a Woman of Honor. Given Cody's standing as a member of Bullet Club (for now, anyway), and ROH's alliance with New Japan, you might as well say he actually has signed, but for the fact he's still taking other indie bookings.

Former champ Christopher Daniels and his partner, Frankie Kazarian, lashed out at the Lowell fans, stopping short of saying they were "fair weather" fans, but they might as well have gone ahead and done just that. Bullet Club has its fans, just as the nWo & DX did before them. It just happens that way, due to the Rat Pack-style charismatic charm that their members carry with them. Daniels vowed that the Addiction would never curry the fans' favor ever again.

Right, sure, and chickens have lips, Chris. A year from now, if you're still in ROH, they'll be cheering for you after another mea culpa from you. It just happens that way.

What the Lowell fans saw was that Cody, being younger and blessed with movie star looks, wasn't the usual pretty boy heel he had been presented as prior to Best in the World. Like Daniels before him, he got the chants of "You deserve it!" after winning the title, and he snarkily acknowledged it. Since the fans have embraced the Young Bucks' juvenile, DX-esque antics, well, they were willing to give Cody some love, too. Somewhere, papa Dusty is smiling.

Judging from the tape of the end of the match, both men were exhausted legit, or at least sold that perception so well. Daniels is crying the blues and his only gripe isn't with Cody, but with the fan base that he feels betrayed him in favor of a flavor of the month. As I said, that'll change in due course, because that's how wrestling works. The Addiction's latest face run was short-lived, perhaps by design, but they've turned heel twice now in as many years, and you know as well as I do that most folks are tired of the constant flip-flops in this business.

That said, ROH should be above that sort of thing. However, in order to remain on the mainstream radar and prove that they can be competitive with WWE, maybe they have to, just to survive.

Christopher Daniels decided to blame the fans for losing the title, for easy, cheap heat. The truth is, Chris, you'd turn on them regardless of who beat you for the title, whether if it was Cody, Jay Lethal, Bully Ray, the man on the moon, Colt Cabana, or even Kelly Klein. The people at Lowell watched a great match, and had hoped you'd acknowledge as much. You didn't, and you scapegoated them. Shame on you, Chris. After nearly a quarter-century in this business, you should've known better.

But, to be honest, from what I saw, the booing of the Addiction did feel a little forced, to try to get this narrative moving. Earlier Sunday, I'd watched three episodes of "GLOW" at my brother's apartment, and the vibe was almost the same. Maybe comparing ROH to the dramatization of a start-up promotion of the 80's isn't fair, but that's just how it felt.

For Cody, the challenge is this. If he can get through the rest of 2017 as champion, it would mean something, because he'd have surpassed his father's three NWA title reigns combined in terms of length. We still have more than 4 1/2 months in 2017 as of this writing, and a lot can happen.

Oh, and, of course, right about now, a certain former employer should be saying a few Novenas, Our Fathers, and Hail Mary's, and asking for forgiveness for letting Cody walk when he did, just because he would not give the youngest Rhodes the chance to have the brass ring and make history under his roof. It just happens that way.

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