WWE | Pro Wrestling

Ring of Honor Needs Cable TV

Ring of Honor on HDNetRing 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.

I set my DVR each week and looked forward to watching ROH every Monday evening. With a combination of the pure wrestling action and the excitement of the fans in that small arena, ROH on HDNet took me back to what I call the old days of wrestling, which for me was Jim Crockett’s National Wrestling Alliance that I watched Saturday mornings on TBS. Early this year, when I learned that HDNet was not renewing their television contract with ROH due to what HDNet said was because of low ratings, I was disappointed.

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.

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ROH has been the only major player that has done well with attracting fans to their events despite a short term television deal and has continued to do well so far on pay-per-view. I know that there are major networks who would be interested in ROH. They have the ability to and need to put together edgy and innovative video to present to potential cable outlets.

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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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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