Thursday Afternoon Backlash on the Ring of Honor Sale

JZ Says: The big wrestling news over the weekend was the sale of Ring of Honor to the Sinclair (not Todd) Broadcast Group. This follows rumors of the company’s demise, which has been reported off and on for at least two years. Initially I was really hopeful that this meant Cary Silkin would no longer be with the company. But check out his comments on a recent radio interview –

Will Cary still be working with ROH?
“Yes I will be with ROH. I’m remaining with the company. I have interests in the new Ring of Honor and I will be visible and contributing to the company and that makes the deal even better”

What can fans expect from the “new” Ring of Honor
“The new ROH is just the business. It’s new management. But it’s the old ROH ethic. Nobody can steal the Ring of Honor style – the quality of wrestling we have been proud to present for the last 9 and a half years. That’s not gonna change at all. That’s one of the things I was attracted to about this deal. The Sinclair people like the ethic of ROH and they weren’t looking to come in and “reinvent the wheel” as far as the product. But they will be adding (and can add) so much that I just was not able to do. And this is a very good and very big company. They’re in 35 strong markets with long-standing ties in those communities and with television – and people know those stations.”

How many ROH live events will be done in the next year or 2
“You probably won’t like the answer but it’s the truthful answer. It’s to be determined. There’s gonna be a press conference on June 24th in Baltimore Maryland at the Sinclair broadcasting center. A lot of the questions will be answered then. When will the show be on? In which markets? And we will have the answers then but right now we don’t have those answers.”

So really, what is changing in Ring of Honor? Cary is still around. Hunter “Delirious” Johnson and Jim Cornette are still in creative control. So what exactly will SBG bring to the table? A press conference is scheduled for June 24 and more should be known then. Here’s a few things I would like to see –
– Better production values. The sound on some ROH releases is so bad that live promos can barely be heard. Also, promos cut outside, or in a bathroom, or something like that, just looks bush-league. A more professional approach and appearance is paramount to ROH’s growth.
– TV Specials. Something like “Clash of the Champions,” a two-hour live program on whatever channels the SBG owns would be awesome and a great way to showcase talent. I’d also love to see a live, traditional pay-per-view. iPPV is a good idea and has worked really well for them, so the next step would be doing it the way WWE and TNA do it.
– More national awareness. ROH has flirted with this in the past, with some retail DVDs and their 12-PPV run in 2007-2009. Right now ROH is a niche product, but if they can get their name out there in a positive fashion, that would be ideal.
What do you want to see from ROH? Before we get to you, let’s ask Brad Garoon first:

BG Says: I’m nervous about holding out hope that the sale of ROH to Sinclair Broadcast Group will bring anything to the product that will revitalize my interest in it. My independent wrestling passions have skewed more toward PWG and DGUSA in the last few years and away from ROH, a company that used to have me as a feverishly loyal fan. The shake up here is on the business side, not the creative side, which is the piece that has me feeling lukewarm to ROH.

I went to Final Battle 2010 when it came through New York. It was convenient and a buddy of mine was interested in the show. I enjoyed a lot of what I saw, especially the culmination of a long, drama-rich feud in El Generico vs. Kevin Steen. Another long feud was also ending that night; The Briscoe Brothers vs. The Kings of Wrestling. That feud carried with it less drama and engaging storyline. The ROH title match between Roderick Strong and Davey Richards was equally devoid of an engaging angle. I sincerely hope that with the possibility of more eyes now watching the product that Cornette and Delirious make an effort to bring back the kind of engaging angles that made 2003-2006 such a great time to be a ROH fan.

I think the talent in ROH is still top-notch, and they deserve more recognition. Granted I don’t know who a lot of them are now, but guys like the Kings of Wrestling, the Briscoe Brothers, Davey Richards, Roderick Strong, El Generico, the All Night Express, Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly are on my radar and definitely worth watching. The bland Eddie Edwards needs to lose that title before ROH reaches this potential new audience. At the very least he needs to be taken down during the premier of ROH’s new show. I can think of no better person to do this than Davey Richards. Let’s hope this happens…

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