It’s hard to criticize Ring of Honor.
At every turn, I want to cut ROH some slack. I want to focus on their positives instead of their negatives. I’d rather people pay a ticket to see a mediocre ROH show than a good WWE show. I want them to be competitive. I want the wrestlers to be paid. I love a lot of their wrestlers and I’ve purchased a half dozen ROH Internet PPVs, as well as tickets to a few of their shows. My next ROH live event will be in Toronto for Global Wars.
I’ve also been refunded for a bad ROH iPPV and am not the only Ring of Honor fan to be given a refund. A few months back, the company announced that from now on their cards would be pre-taped before iPPV. That way there wouldn’t be live broadcasting issues. That was a good decision to make in the wake of all of their well documented iPPV problems since Sinclair Broadcasting took over. But today, ROH delivered a press release to announce traditional live Pay-Per-View via satellite or cable for their Sunday, June 22 show Best In The World 2014.
It’s a considerably hard pill to swallow. ROH PPVs will be increasing in price around $10 just so you can watch the shows on cable or satellite. The difficulty of this price increase is that there doesn’t seem to be any word of ROH production values increasing. ROH recently ran some episodes of their weekly TV series where they had hit the road, meaning it was really just filming some live events for TV. They were absolutely embarrassing. Any time a wrestler went into the corner, you couldn’t see them due to shadow. The ramp was really just the ramp you’d pull out of a U-Haul truck when loading or unloading cargo from the back. It looked worse than amateur. Now, their usual TV and iPPV looks better than this, but when you’re willing to put that on TV, what confidence do I have that the extra $10 is going to a better polished ROH product?
I wish I could say it gets better but it gets worse. The show is being held in Nashville, Tennessee at the Nashville Fairgrounds. To those who might forget, this was the original home of the TNA Asylum. Looking at the poster for the show, it looks like ROH certainly doesn’t forget with their use of red and gold. The poster of random photos that were all clearly taken by different photographers with a Briscoe looking crazy between Maria’s legs evokes memories of some of the worst of NWA:TNA’s PPV posters. Heck half of the wrestlers look less Caucasian than they do purple.
This is ROH’s best foot forward? This is them trying to convince wrestling fans hearing about DirecTV dropping WWE PPV to instead order a Ring of Honor pay per view? The return of Matt Hardy? Pale face Elgin with tan arms? A website photo of Adam Cole which was clearly saved improperly in jpg so the photo quality is diminished? This is the number three promotion in North America?
This is all very, very frustrating. Going to traditional PPV wasn’t ever really a promotional goal for the company as far as I saw. I don’t think fans were clamouring for them to goto PPV. Was this a reaction to Jeff Jarrett and Global Force Wrestling? And the talent, Matt Hardy is the only person you add? He’s probably the most positive name to add for the casuals to buy the PPV but that’s all you have for this? And in your press release, your ROH World champion is fourth listed behind Hardy, Kevin Steen and the Briscoe Brothers? That’s not good. That’s not good at all.
Ring of Honor should have been focusing their time and effort in ensuring their show at least gets back into ROH on HDNet quality production levels, which they are not at and haven’t been at in years. This is less camera quality and how you light your shows. Ring of Honor should have been wasting less time on Q.T. Marshall and Matt Taven and more on finding talent that people would actually consider the best on the independent scene. Who is the future of ROH anymore? Is it still Mike Elgin? Is Michael Bennett still maybe leaving the company so they won’t push him beyond beating special guest veterans? What are they doing to do to make sure we’re no longer bored of Roderick Strong, the Briscoe Brothers or even their ROH World champion Adam Cole? What is ROH 2014 doing that’s better than ROH 2012? ROH 2008? ROH 2005 even?
I do not want to end this on a down note. In that case, if you’re in the Newville, PA area tomorrow night, Ring of Honor will present Future of Honor. The reason that’s positive? #AllEgo Ethan Page will be getting a one on one match on the card. I discussed Page as one of the wrestlers that should have been in ROH’s Top Prospects tournament. Since that article, Tyson Dux also got another tryout with the company for a few shows. Both men could be back for Global Wars in Toronto, or rather should be. I know a largely negative article on what’s going on in ROH is probably not the endorsement either man would want to come from, but I’m not going to give up on Ring of Honor. There’s a great base there. They just need to focus on the right things to improve and grow. I just don’t see traditional PPV being it.
Prove me wrong, ROH.
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