That ROH Column Some Of You Have Asked Me About!
So I know you have heard. Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards, two guys who have been mainstays in Ring of Honor as The American Wolves, two guys who have held tag team gold together, two guys who have been Ring of Honor World Champion at some point, appeared at an NXT show as The American Pitbulls having a non-title match against NXT tag team champions The Ascension. So what could this possibly mean? These two could be the next guys from ROH who were top stars on the indie scene may get their chance to being under contract with the greatest wrestling empire of all time. Sure if they sign the contract, they will have to go to NXT and learn the WWE way of doing things but that “dems the brakes”. Davey Richards is 30 while Eddie Edwards isn’t too far behind, and I am sure they both want to see if he can get that WWE run in before he decides to call it a day. WWE is a goal for all wrestlers at the end of the day. WWE has scooped up former ROH stars such as Bryan Danielson (Daniel Bryan), CM Punk, Claudio Castagnoli (Antonio Cesaro), and Tyler Black (Seth Rollins) and we have seen all of them hold a championship of some form in WWE. We have also seen them all get a lot of airtime of WWE television whether it be on Raw or SmackDown. Even when you look at TNA, two of their top guys are former ROH champions Austin Aries and Samoa Joe who have both done it all during their time in TNA Wrestling. And you have other guys like TNA World Champion AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels who both competed in Ring of Honor when it was in its embryonic stages. My point is that so many guys who have had some experience in Ring of Honor have made it in what is considered “mainstream professional wrestling”. What do I find the most interesting in all of this? That the big company up north WWE, is more interested in guys who got their exposure either through DVDs and local Indy shows or through channels that happen to be Sinclair broadcasting affiliates on local TV across the United States in ROH than they are TNA guys. WWE isn’t interested in the TNA guys at all. TNA is cool and all, but they are just considered a joke in the wrestling world to so many fans out there with the stupid story-lines and trying to be like WWE so much. Then you have those folks such as me who actually get the chance to watch Ring of Honor on MyPittsburghTV (where I live) or some other Sinclair broadcasting affiliate. When you watch it, it actually reminds you of old episodes of NWA Wrestling back in the 1980s. ROH, like the NWA during that time, uses the simple tools that make profession wrestling work! Those tools are great wrestling inside the ring and logical storylines outside the ring. Something that is lost in pro wrestling today under all of the pyro, product placement and repetitive story-lines that we have been seeing since the late 90s. In the end it is still about two guys not liking each other duking it out in the squared circle trying to see who the better man is. Let’s be honest, WWE has such a strong monopoly on the business to the point where this is no true number two company in professional wrestling today because #2 just doesn’t seem to be viable. When WCW was totally buried by WWE, they tried doing brand extension with Raw & SmackDown where they basically tried to compete with themselves. While some people may have enjoyed the concept (which I felt was dead back in 2007), but to me it was like choosing between Coke and Pepsi. Give some some Dr. Pepper or Sprite please! We all know that no one can compete with WWE in terms of presentation and production values. TNA is on Spike TV, but TNA still looks minor league in comparison to WWE especially with the fact that TNA is back to doing iMPACT tapings in Orlando. Ring of Honor also looks minor league, but is it really any more minor league than TNA when the big leagues are more interested in the people who compete for ROH? I can get down with Ring of Honor being considered the #2 organization in professional wrestling because it doesn’t matter regardless! #2 to WWE is like how the 1989 Denver Broncos was #2 to the 1989 San Francisco 49ers. There is no comparison! That doesn’t mean that you can’t at least be profitable and carve out a fan-base. Sinclair Broadcasting owning the company gives Ring of Honor a chance to be a major playing on network TV is Sinclair broadcasting can just get into some more local markets. And let’s be honest, you can also watch Ring of Honor wrestling online on their site by simply becoming a member! I mean it’s free to see the episodes the Thursday after they air. Who cares if they are a few days old? It will still be new someone who lives in an area that doesn’t have a Sinclair Broadcasting affiliate yet, right? It also kills the excuse of “it’s not available in all areas” because you will all sit down and watch a movie you have seen on Netflix hundreds of times because it isn’t readily available on TV! Why should wrestling be any different with all of the technology we have out there? You all complain about wanting something different, right? Maybe there is a chance years from now that ROH be finally become that viable #2 promotion. It may not be today, 5 months from now, or even 5 years from now! But there is always that chance. Then people will finally know about a product that a small group of people will have known about since 2002. Shout out to my freshman RA at The University of Pittsburgh, Rich Fann! He was the one who put me onto ROH when I was pissed off at WWE for doing the Katie Vick angle and I asked if he knew of an alternative wrestling promotion. FLOOR 7 REPRESENT! Here we are 11 years later, and Ring of Honor is still standing. What do you think? Can you buy into Ring of Honor replacing TNA (which has been treated like a sinking ship) as the distant #2 promotion in North America? Give me your thoughts! As always, you can follow me on Twitter @whosantcox, and I can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. See you next time, wrestling fans!