Moments Ago: What’s Right with the Wrestling Business or RoH for short
I am a fan of Ring of Honor, so it is no surprise that I frequently go to the well of praising RoH as a source of column fodder. The list of things to praise Ring of Honor about is no short one to be sure. In this time when almost every media outlet is pointing to all the bad things about the wrestling industry (read: WWE). I feel that some attention should be drawn to one of the few bright shining lights in wrestling and this is of course Ring of Honor.
There are a few wrestling companies out there run by wrestlers, for wrestlers. The two most prominent are Southern California’s Pro Wrestling Guerrilla and central Pennsylvania’s Chikara. Both are companies were a wrestler, current not former, calls the shots and despite drawing small crowds, the wrestlers seem to be having a blast working there. While Ring of Honor is not run by a wrestler (it is run by two huge wrestling fans in Gabe Sapolsky and Cary Silkin), it seems to be an ideal place for wrestlers to work, and not just because of the insanely high level and quality of competition.
Ring of Honor with their growth towards pay per view has actually made the environment better for their workers instead of making more demands of them. Ring of Honor has been called wrestling freedom and by all logic that is totally true. RoH has signed many of its wrestlers to contracts, and while many are upset over TNA or WWE locking workers into contracts it seems that every new contract signee with RoH is met with happiness from all around.
The first aspect of the contract is exclusivity. Ring of Honor realized many years ago that no wrestler was making a living solely off of RoH. Gabe Sapolsky said this himself in an interview on my old talk show Wrestle Radio. While Ring of Honor does run more dates by almost 50% than they did then, it is still safe to assume that no wrestler is supporting himself solely on RoH. They only work roughly 60 shows a year, and there are few jobs in the world that make enough money in 60 days to support a person for an entire year. I guarantee independent professional wrestler is not one of them.
Ring of Honor has made their athletes exclusive to Ring of Honor, but it seems only when WWE or TNA are concerned. So rather than an exclusive contract it is really more of a protection on investment. WWE and TNA cannot now steal any wrestler currently under Ring of Honor contract, but contracted talent still has the freedom to work for other independent companies and even be featured on said companies DVDs. RoH has transcended most other independent companies and wrestlers who have competed under the RoH banner are a sought after commodity on the indy scene. Ring of Honor is allowing their talent to make money and help out other companies in the process.
The best thing Ring of Honor has done, if it is indeed true, is providing health care for its employees. This would apparently be a first in the world of professional wrestling. To WWE’s credit they do foot the bill for many major surgeries and rehabilitations for its athletes, in most cases. Many wrestlers have received neck injuries that have required up to a year of healing time in addition to very expensive surgery. With the exception of Test, all of these wrestlers were still paid while the convalesced and welcomed back. Day to day health problems, however, it seems needed to be out of pocket purchases by the wrestlers.
This is one of the biggest problems in wrestling today, and it seems that RoH is taking some steps to fix it. If there was a more centralized healthcare system for WWE wrestlers then they may not go to crooked doctors for illegal prescriptions, or WWE may just hire crooked doctors to keep the boys on the gas. Who knows?
The short of it is that Ring of Honor seems to be everything that is right with “the businessÃ¢â‚¬Â these days. All the more reason they deserve your support as does your local indy. Support Ring of Honor, Support Indy wrestling, Support Inside Pulse with
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That’s all for this week.
I’ll see you next time
Tags: Other, ROH, TNA, WWE