What Can ROH Do to Improve Business? Let’s find out. Plus Ollie’s Spoiler Free “Man Up” Preview.
News of Honor
The third ROH Pay Per View, Man Up, will premiere on all cable systems Friday, November 30 with replays throughout the month
Thereâ€™s one four star match here and one thatâ€™s either at or near *****. Be sure to check it out. Of all the shows, this one is best for a casual fan with the Briscoes vs. Steen and Generico in an epic Ladder War. Do not miss this for between $10 and $15. This is the first and last Ladder War in ROH and Meltzer says â€œI’d go out of my way to see the ROH PPV on Friday. I got a tape of it and it’s a strong candidate for best major show of the year.â€
The ROH Board has voted the Top 10 of the Year so far (voting ongoing), and so far
1. Bryan Danielson vs. Nigel McGuinness (Driven) [144-9]
2. Takeshi Morishima vs. Bryan Danielson (Manhattan Mayhem II) [138-11]
3. Briscoes vs. Shelley/Sabin(Good Times, Great Memories) [135-8]
4. KENTA vs. Bryan Danielson (Driven) [107-9]
5. BJ Whitmer vs. Jimmy Jacobs (Supercard of Honor II) [106-2]
6. Briscoes vs. Steenerico (Death Before Dishonor V Night 1) [78-3]
7. Briscoes vs. Steenerico (Man Up) [59-6]
8. Samoa Joe vs. Takeshi Morishima (Fifth Year Festival:NYC) [45-0]
9. Jay Briscoe vs. Mark Briscoe (Fifth Year Festival:Finale) [39-1]
10. Takeshi Morishima vs. Bryan Danielson (Glory By Honor VI Night 2) [38-5]
A bit surprising that the Man Up match made it so high before wide release, as did Dragon vs. Morishima 3 from GBH. The rest makes a good bit of sense and while I disagree with some, itâ€™s overall a very good list. Iâ€™m surprised that KENTA vs. Danielson from Driven is that high when Go vs. Dragon from Live in Tokyo (number 11) is one I consider a better match. Be sure to check back after Final Battle for my Top 50 of ROH with comments.
MMA Star and former Tough Enough Champion Daniel Puder will appear in ROH at Dec. 29 and 30 in NYC
Supposedly Puder is impressed with the product and will be around for much of 2008, but thatâ€™s unconfirmed at this point. What is known is that Puder made his name in Tough Enough by shooting on Kurt Angle and was a huge favorite of Paul Heyman. He has a lot of potential as a major heel and I canâ€™t wait to see what Gabe does with him.
A Modest Response: What ROH can do to Improve Business (besides TV)
1. Run Podcasts
The Video Wires are a good start, but they are infrequent and lack the continuity of a good podcast, like what Chikara does. Itâ€™s always amazing how many â€˜net savy fans wonâ€™t give ROH a chance. A free weekly or even bi-weekly podcast with original information, matches, and interviews would go a long way to opening peopleâ€™s eyes to ROH.
2. Accept PayPal
This is more for regular buyers than anything else. Paypal, is, for those who donâ€™t know, the online purchasing site associated with ebay. Since itâ€™s associated with ebay, itâ€™s the preferred means of impulse buying on the internet. I know of several times I would have immediately purchased something on ROHwrestling.com, but by the time my lazy self went to get a credit card I had lost the urge. Also, since so much of the internet community uses PayPal, itâ€™d be a fast and easy way to improve customer service at no, or next to no cost to the company. Oops, this was a bone-up on my part, sorry, ROH does now accept PayPal!
3. Do Live Commentary
ROH DVDs feel like they take forever to come out often. Shows almost always have a good amount of hype coming right off of them, but for all but the very best shows that hype dies down by the time DVDs are released a month to two months later. Shows are released so slowly due to a lack of commentary at events. Prazak appears to be at most major events anyway, so why not simply do commentary there? I like Lenny Leonard a good bit, but using wrestlers for commentary, particularly since they have several guys like Hero, Quackenbush and Sweeney who are well versed at this, wouldnâ€™t hurt the product, would save cost, and get DVDs out more quickly.
4. Open the Message Board
How frustrating must it be for a new ROH fan to attempt to join the message board and talk about their new fascination, but find it closed to them? I, personally, didnâ€™t get into ROH as soon as I might have because I found it difficult to immerse myself without a forum provided for questions and discussion. The message board being constantly closed only rewards diehards and drives away any interested casual fan who would be put off by ROH seemingly shunning their business.
5. Focus on getting into Retail Outlets
This is probably the biggest one here. Retail outlets serve the entirety of the nation and, as importantly, will interest casual fans who have heard of ROH yet donâ€™t care enough, or arenâ€™t â€˜net savvy enough to order DVDs on the internet. I still have friends and wrestling columnists I know who refuse to order anything off the internet for fear of security, regardless of how safe I assure them it is. This phenomenon is present in the young and those already on the internet, imagine how prevalent it is elsewhere. ROH being in stores would provide a way for these fans to try out ROH in a way they feel safe, as well as offering the casual buyer a chance to pick up a DVD or two conveniently.
6. Box Sets of DVDs
ROH runs shows in continuity with chapters. While commentary is present to explain the backstory and matches, this is not the same as being able to pick up a set of DVDs with all the prevalent information and matches. The Joe vs. Punk Trilogy, for example, would likely sell extremely well to new fans who have heard the hype about these matches. Also, many of ROHâ€™s fans are collector types or people filling out their back catalogue of DVDs. Sticking these in box sets for a slightly reduced price is a great way to get them to splurge on DVDs they would otherwise wait for. This would go particularly well with #5 on the list because being able to get a complete experience at once would appeal to many fans, old and new alike.
7. Use Alternate Commentary
Like #6 goes with #5, this goes with #6. A way to get fans that already have the DVDs, collectors and completers, to try out these new DVDs, Alternate Commentary by wrestlers on historic matches and other special features would help sell DVDs. Also, new fans might be more impressed with the quality and effort put into the DVDs were an extra such as Alternate Commentary offered. Think Aries at Final Battle 2004 as a good example of this.
8. Use Local Talent when in the area
ROH is regularly expanding into new areas. They have a set roster, which on the indies is rare, but to be taken seriously, a clear necessity. This is fine for the set locales ROH usually runs, but when new areas are opened up, running established ROH talent against local workers would be a good way to draw that areaâ€™s fans even if they might not otherwise be interested. These minor dream matches would help establish new locals and give ROH the inside track into finding any great new talents hidden in the rough.
9. Do Live Chats with Wrestlers and staff
ROH is seen by many as the real fanâ€™s alternative to WWE and TNA. They provide a far greater look at their inner working than WWE or TNA would dream of and treat their fans usually very well. They are always gracious in giving out interviews and keeping a connection with what the fans want. One way to further that and increase the connections ROH has with the fans, while intriguing new fans, is to do live chats a-la ESPN.com with wrestlers and booking staff. This would be intriguing and new, while offering fans a way to truly feel part of the ROH community, thus making them more likely to spend their hard earned money on the product.
10. Occasional free afternoon cards
This, particularly at big venues, would be a great way to introduce new fans to ROH. Many are simply not willing to shell out money for an unknown experience, but the ROH live experience is so impressive that once there they are easily hooked. Setting up these shows as a gateway into ROH proper, and I mean real shows, not just student matches, would impress anyone remotely on the fence about the company. People, even casual passers by, would have a chance to try something new out and get a flier with where to check for more live events and DVDs.
You will never see anything like the Ladder War at ROH “Man Up” again.
ROH Man Up will debut on pay-per-view this Friday, November 30th, on iN DEMAND, The DISH Network and TVN cable systems. Check your local listings for time, channel and the affordable price. The talk of the wrestling world on December 1st will be the first and only Ladder War for the ROH World Tag Team Titles pitting The Briscoes vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico.
The Ladder War is so innovative, so dangerous, so death-defying and so incredible that ROH officials have decided to ban this type of match. The thoughts among ROH officials is that any athlete competing in another Ladder War would have to take too many extreme risks in order to try to top the Man Up one. Live reports have this one at *****
“It is a spectacular match,” ROH President Cary Silkin said. “There is just no way the “Man Up” Ladder War can be topped and it would be too dangerous to put anyone in a position where they would have to top it. The Ladder War is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of match.”
Watch the debut of Man Up from Chicago, IL on November 30th on iN DEMAND, The DISH Network and TVN cable systems to see a loaded show of athletic, and at time brutal matches. Here is a look at this Friday’s pay-per-view card:
Main Event #1 – ROH World Tag Team Title Ladder War
Jay & Mark Briscoe defend vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico
These 2 teams have been feuding for 7 months now. Theyâ€™ve had normal matches, 2/3 falls, falls count anywhere and even Steel Cage matches, but this time theyâ€™re gonna try and end it once and for all in a ladder war. Kel Steenerico proved theyâ€™re the better fighters, defeating The Briscoes in a Boston Street Fight, but the Briscoes proved they were better wrestlers defeating Steenerico in a 2/3 falls match. I can assure you, this will be insane.
Main Event #2 – ROH World Title Match
Takeshi Morishima defends vs. Bryan Danielson
Back at Manhattan Mayhem 2 these 2 produced a classic, which saw the ROH fanâ€™s favorite, Danielson, coming ever so close to regaining the ROH World Title. For defeating Nigel McGuinness in another classic on the last PPV (Driven), Bryan has earned himself another title shot here. Danielson has an injured eye going into this, but will he be the one to finally dethrone Takeshi Morishima?
Faction Warfare Singles Series
The Resilience of Austin Aries, Erick Stevens & Matt Cross compete in singles matches vs. The No Remorse Corps of Roderick Strong, Rocky Romero & Davey Richards
These top 2 factions in ROH have been feuding for nearly 6 months now. It all started when Roderick Strong turned on his tag team partner, Austin Aries, and joined up with Davey Richards to form the NRC. Aries has always been looking for revenge, but heâ€™s never been able to get that elusive win over Strong. Hopefully here, on PPV, heâ€™ll be able to get that win. Be sure to keep an eye on Stevens and Cross too; 2 of ROHâ€™s strongest up and comers today showing what they can do on a stage like PPV.
Four Corner Survival
Naomichi Marufuji vs. Claudio Castagnoli vs. Nigel McGuinness vs. Chris Hero
This should have major implications on who will get a future ROH World Title shot. All 4 men are main event players that have a significant chance of dethroning Morishima. Nigel is looking to get another shot at the ROH title after failing his last chance against Danielson, Claudio has momentum defeating Sydal at the last PPV and is looking out for Hero here, Hero will be sure to hide from Claudio and try to sneak the win, and Marufuji, arguably one of the best Junior Heavyweights in the world today is always looking for an ROH World Title shot. This should be a frantic 4 way to say the least.
Plus more with: â€˜Super Agentâ€™ Larry Sweeney, Sara Del Rey, Tank Toland & Bobby Dempsey; Delirious; Brent Albright; Adam Pearce with Shane Hagadorn; BJ Whitmer and others!
Check your local listings and make sure to catch the debut of “Man Up” this Friday, November 30th, to see the Ladder War everyone will be talking about.