Since Austin Aries won the ROH World Title in June, he had been acting like a major-league dickhead, as is his wont, and had introduced a system called the "A Double L Double" or Austin Aries Lethal Lottery. This was basically a classic heel tactic wherein Aries would pull names and locations out of a hat and claim to defend the title against someone in Poland at a future date, or would pull some scrub's name out of the hat in order to claim he'd had a title match. This was an especially simple way to get heat in Ring of Honor, since at the time, there was no actual ranking or contender system. Basically anyone who wanted to challenge for the belt more or less would be able to eventually after they had fulfilled some vague semblance of "momentum" or had won some "winner gets a title match" match.
It now appears that the L Double was merely a gimmick to set up the new ranking system, which is...unique, I suppose. Hold onto your hats:
To begin, twelve competitors have been selected by ROH on HDNet Executive Producer Jim Cornette to compete in six singles matches with the winners being seeded by ROH officials from one-to-six. Once the initial ranking is established, the “Pick 6” Contenders Series will function as follows:
- Only wrestlers ranked in the “Pick 6” are eligible to challenge for the ROH World Championship.
- The higher a wrestler is seeded, the more leverage he has in determining the scheduling of championship matches.
- Wrestlers securing victories in “Pick 6” matchups earn a match bonus.
- Once the rankings are set, wrestlers can only enter the “Pick 6” Standings by defeating a ranked wrestler.
- An unranked wrestler that defeats a “Pick 6” Contender assumes that wrestler’s spot, and everyone lower slides down one rank. The lower a wrestler is ranked, the more they have to lose.
It strikes me that the people who have the most to lose are anyone in the "Pick 6" (ugh that is not what that means) who are dumb enough to take a match with an unranked wrestler, as if they lose, they're out of the ... sigh ... "Pick 6" altogether.
I think this is the real kicker, though:
ROH officials are encouraged by the simplicity offered by this system and look forward to a establishing a new level of competition around the greatest prize in our sport – The Ring of Honor World Championship.
I do have to admit, it is miles more simple than...I don't know... "Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal" or TNA's famous "Reverse Battle Royal" or that other TNA match where there are five people and four briefcases and one of the briefcases has a pink slip in it so you are better off not going for a briefcase at all since the briefcases themselves can be defended in later matches (except for the one with the pink slip in it, of course; no one wants to try for a chance at being fired OH SO WHY ARE YOU IN THIS MATCH IN THE FIRST PLACE ARGH).
It's a stupid idea but I suppose it's better than not having a ranking system at all. I guess it makes a bit more sense than the "Field of Honor" they used to use back in the day. Good luck, guys.