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Is Ring Of Honor ready for broadcast television?

Jim Cornette ROHSo this weekend the little independent engine that could, Ring of Honor wrestling comes to broadcast television when it joins forces with new partner Sinclair Broadcasting Group. Finally a wrestling company that focuses on of all things *gasp* WRESTLING!!!!

This isn’t your grandparents wrestling but a more physical style seen mainly overseas in Japan. Ring of Honor blends a combination of high flying aerial moves as well as hard-hitting action the likes of which isn’t currently seen on free TV period. But the question remains…is ROH ready for broadcast television??? This is the question that we’ll tackle this week.

No doubt ROH has the in-ring talent to compete with the big two, WWE & TNA but do they possess the resources to present a product that can compete with the big two. As you know there is no competing with Vince McMahon’s wallet and WWE and TNA has deeper pockets as well so there is budget issues that Cary Silkin will have to handle.

From a visual standpoint I don’t expect to see all the pyro and laser lights that I’m accustomed to seeing when I tune in on Monday and Thursday nights but has ROH ever really been all about that anyway. Forget all the pageantry and just give me some hard hitting action in the ring like ROH has been producing since it’s inception in 2002.

I hope that ROH is able to convey the emotion of their rabid fans who have no doubt gotten them to this point but walk that fine line and not cut their legs out of under them by censoring what they have to say. Here’s to hoping that the fans who are lucky enough to be a part of history and attend the 1st TV taping understand how important this night is to the company and conduct themselves in a proper fashion. If you’ve ever been to a ROH show you know they’re not all about signs like the WWE and are very vocal.

I look forward to seeing company workhorses like Davey Richards and Roderick Strong finally showing the masses what they are capable of. I look forward to the wrestling masses becoming re-acquianted with Steve Corino and his brilliance on the mic that we haven’t seen since his ECW days. I also can’t wait to feel like a kid again when I see the Louisville slugger himself, company mouthpiece Jim Cornette in the ring.

Anyone familiar with the in-ring talent knows that these guys can work and let’s just hope and pray that no one let’s the opening night jitters of being on TV get to them and god forbid have an off night. As you know the viewing public can be unforgiving and you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression especially with so much other wrestling content on TV albeit not nearly as exciting but nonetheless these guys need to grab the brass ring and step their game up!!! I really hope that everyone treats this night much like the night of the first Ultimate Fighter finale and calls their friends who may not know about it and tells them to switch the channel and check out this style of wrestling.

Another question arises has a smaller company like ROH done enough promotion at their shows as well as their street team in making sure that the public knows about this new wrestling alternative to have people actually tune in this weekend. ROH has a night to themselves so they won’t be competing with football as it’s coming on later at night, which can be seen as a blessing and a curse, no their isn’t competion but it also isn’t prime time but you have to learn to crawl before you walk and no doubt the ROH office as well as the brass at Sinclair Broadcast Group will want to see what kind of numbers the inaugural episode puts up.

Will the product feature enough action to satisfy the fans who will no doubt want to finally get to see their favorite ROH star in the ring? How well will they balance the time allotted to feature vignettes to bring everyone up to speed on storylines as well as give a glimpse of the backstage action? We know we won’t have to worry about time wasted on diva matches so that’s a plus. What about the visual aspect of the product, how will the lighting look and will there be any sound issues. I have heard rumors that the company now has a new set and new ring. I truly believe that the wrestling world needs the ROH product and would benefit from this shot in the arm.

So do yourself a favor and check your local listings for Ring of Honor wrestling and give it a shot. Set your DVR and make sure that you don’t miss the first episode of the best pure wrestling on the planet since 2002 and now the best pure wrestling on broadcast television.

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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