Ring of Honor has done very well for itself since 2002 despite limited television exposure. I was excited last September when my cable provider added HDNet, and I was finally able to watch this promotion everyone was talking about.
Being a small promotion with not a ton of money behind them, I was very impressed with the presentation of the product, athleticism of the talent, and the action I witnessed coming across my television screen. There was no fluff, no fancy pyro’s and no elaborate ring entrances.
With WWE now dropping the word wrestling, adding more emphasis on the ‘entertainment’ and Total Non-Stop Action Wrestling still trying to live in the past of the old WWF attitude era, cable TV needs ROH for those fans who want pure wrestling action without all the added extra entertainment stuff that wrestling was never intended to have.
ROH does have a very loyal fan base, but in order to gain new fans who don’t want to shell out the very inexpensive $14.99 for their iPPV’s. But I do believe that in order to gain to fans and grow their product to new heights, and making their product that much more valuable, having cable television exposure is important. Just ask Eric Bischoff when Turner Network Television told him in 2001 that they were canceling WCW Nitro in the midst of Bischoff and a group of his investors attempting to buy the promotion.
I think ROH should still, if they have not already done so, still consider shopping around to different cable channels to air their product. With increasing internet pay-per view buys and sold out shows, I do believe that ROH has enough to show that they can succeed on cable TV. ROH can be successful longer than two years on cable television without adding all the ‘fluff and stuff’ you see in WWE and TNA to their product. ROH just needs the right network do get behind them and give them a good solid primetime slot.
For more from Jerome Wilen check out his website, Pro Wrestling Ringside – http://prowrestlingringside.blogspot.com
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