05-19-2011, 11:13 AM
RING OF HONOR RUMORS ABOUND...HERE'S WHAT WE KNOW
By Mike Johnson on 2011-05-19 10:20:23
In regard to a number of rumors and emails we've received surrounding Ring of Honor in the last week stemming from the company not announcing return dates in different markets, here is where things stand:
*No, the company is not closing down or going out of business.
*No former booker is returning to the company in any position.
*A roster meeting is set for this Saturday in Chicago Ridge, IL prior to their live event to discuss plans for the company.
*Everyone within the company's braintrust are holding their cards close to the vest but have intimated to the wrestlers who have asked that something major is about to break for the company. In speaking to ROH President Cary Silkin a few days ago I was told, "When there is something to talk about, we will talk about it."
*ROH has been teasing a "proclamation" for this Saturday on their website, while ROH President Cary Silkin wrote on his Facebook account, "Keep an eye on the main site something interesting to go down." There have been other hints over the last several days via ROH articles and social media outlets, if you look between the line for them.
*While there has been chatter about a new investor and/or a television partner coming in to work with ROH among wrestlers, no one has been specifically told that is actually the case.
So, to say there are a lot of people working for the company excited to see what Cary Silkin and the other ROH officials have up their sleeve is a massive understatement. We'll know more Saturday.
ROH's Supercard of Honor card this Saturday will feature:
Ring of Honor will present Supercard of Honor this Saturday in Chicago Ridge, IL with the following:
*ROH champion Eddie Edwards vs. Roderick Strong with Truth Martini
*Chicago Street Fight: Jay and Mark Briscoe vs. The All Night Express
*Claudio Castagnoli with Shane Hagadorn vs. Shelton Benjamin
*Davey Richards vs. Charlie Haas
*Chris Hero with Shane Hagadorn vs. El Generico
*Steve Corino vs. “The Prodigy” Mike Bennett with Brutal Bob Evans banned from the building.
*ROH TV champion Christopher Daniels vs. Colt Cabana. *Homicide vs. Michael Elgin with Truth Martini
Saturday will reveal the truth and while fans are excited to hear what's in store for the company, the wrestlers within the company are as well. We'll let you know what transpires this weekend as soon as the information becomes available.
05-19-2011, 11:14 AM
i hope ring of honor get a tv deal and starts competing with wwe and tna :) wwe needs competition badly :)
05-21-2011, 09:56 PM
COMPLETE DETAILS ON ROH SALE AND RETURN TO TELEVISION
By Mike Johnson on 2011-05-21 16:00:09
ROH issued the following press release:
RING OF HONOR ANNOUNCES SALE TO SINCLAIR BROADCAST GROUP
BRISTOL, PA. (MAY 21, 2011)--Ring of Honor Wrestling owner, Cary Silkin, announced today the sale of the promotion to Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc., one of the largest television broadcasters in the country and which owns and operates, programs, or provides sales services to 58 television stations in 35 markets across the United States.
ROH, currently the third largest wrestling promotion in the country, just celebrated its ninth anniversary, and Mr. Silkin is excited about taking the next step towards increasing the company's visibility and expanding its operations.
"We have been waiting for and working for this opportunity for quite some time", he said, "and of our 9 years in business, there has been no better roster of wrestlers than this one to expose the ROH product to the masses. With Sinclair's resources and many avenues of distribution, we believe many new fans around the world will be as captivated as those who have followed Ring of Honor over the years."
The month of September will see the debut of the new Ring of Honor television program which will be syndicated across the Sinclair network of stations, and with it, ROH will become the only wrestling promotion in the United States with a major, multi-market presence on broadcast TV. But if you don't live in a market with a Sinclair station, fear not, says Mr. Silkin. "Through our revamped website we will be able to make the TV show available to anyone in the world with internet access."
Sinclair officials are enthused about the project as well.
"We are very excited about this acquisition," commented Steve Marks, COO of Sinclair's Television Group. "Television and professional wrestling have a long history of successful partnerships and driving viewership. Unfortunately, the broadcast networks have not protected that relationship, allowing professional wrestling to migrate to cable network distribution. We believe that the powerful promotional platform that our TV stations provide, coupled with our 22% share of the U.S. TV households, will allow ROH to achieve name brand recognition and grow its share of the wrestling market. When you consider the makeup of our station mix and the number of CW, MYTV and FOX affiliates we operate, this is a perfect fit for our viewer demographics." Mr. Marks also noted, "Longer-term, we can envision syndicating ROH wrestling to broadcasters in markets where Sinclair does not have a presence, and even internationally."
Mr. Silkin assures the ROH fans worldwide that they will be seeing the same exciting, hard-hitting style of pro wrestling that they have become accustomed to. "We have established the name Ring of Honor as synonymous with the best in-ring action in the sport. The only thing that will change is that it will now be easier for fans around the world to follow. Our visibility will increase greatly--our production will be upgraded--but the work ethic of our incredible talent roster and our athletic style of wrestling will remain the same. This is what our fans have told us they want, and we will continue to give it to them."
The current front office staff, including Cary Silkin, Syd Eick, and Ross Abrams, will remain with ROH going forward. Hunter Johnston, a favorite of ROH fans for years as the masked grappler Delirious, will still handle matchmaking, Jim Cornette will remain as executive producer, and other familiar faces like ring announcer Bobby Cruise and senior referee Todd Sinclair will be in place."
Additionally, longtime wrestling broadcaster Kevin Kelly, already the voice of ROH internet pay-per-views, will assume the TV play-by-play chair this fall. Veteran NWA and WCW promoter Gary Juster will come aboard to be in charge of live event operations, which are planned to continue in current ROH markets as well as expanding into new locations concurrent with the increased TV exposure.
Mr. Cornette, who along with Mr. Johnston, will be in charge of talent and matchmaking, sees this as a new beginning for pro wrestling. "This is not old-school wrestling, and it's not sports entertainment," said Mr. Cornette. "This is wrestling for the 21st century, a new style developed by fresh, young stars that incorporates wrestling, mixed martial arts and high-flying, high-risk action with unique personalities, and it's showcased by a sports-based presentation completely different from any other product out there. In my 30 years in the sport, it's the most exciting live-event wrestling experience I've seen, and I'm thrilled to help bring it to broadcast TV."
A major press conference, open to wrestling press and mainstream media alike, is being planned for Baltimore on Friday, June 24th. This event will feature a number of the ROH staff and wrestlers both announcing news about ROH's future and answering questions. The media event will be presided over by new ROH COO, Joe Koff. Mr. Koff, a longtime Sinclair executive with an extensive background in TV sales and management, also has experience in pro wrestling television production and syndication. Most visible of his projects may have been the first-ever live, prime time syndicated pro wrestling events, the Battle of the Belts, which aired from 1985 to 1987. These Championship Wrestling from Florida-based cards were broadcast live to a syndicated network of stations and may be best-remembered for the classic Ric Flair vs. Barry Windham NWA World Title contest from St. Petersburg.
The press event will kick off a weekend which includes ROH's next internet pay-per-view event, "Best In The World 2011," live from the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City on Sunday, June 26th at 4PM EST. In addition to all the top stars on the ROH roster, this event will feature the return of some favorite stars from Ring of Honor's past, and can be ordered by anyone in the world with internet access through Gofightlive.tv for only $14.95. More information about Ring of Honor can be obtained through their website, ROH Wrestling | www.rohwrestling.com (http://www.rohwrestling.com). MORE ON THE SALE OF RING OF HONOR, WHAT THIS MEANS AND WHERE THEY STAND
By Mike Johnson on 2011-05-21 18:07:42
Obviously, the big news for Ring of Honor is the announcement that Sinclair Broadcasting has purchased the company. This actually almost happened about 18 months ago, as there were early discussions then but they didn't progress far enough. There had been at least two other suitors who had made overtures towards buying the company from Cary Silkin in the last year as well.
Sinlair is a broadcasting company with connections to markets in 22% of the United States, particularly the Southern region. The plan is to hold monthly TV Tapings, similar to what ROH did during their run on HDNet with the series likely airing on Saturday evenings. They will attempt to syndicate the series in additional markets both domestic and international, if possible as well.
In terms of the markets the company has been running, ROH will continue in those markets as well as new markets that the TV series reaches. The series will debut in September as part of the new Fall Season. The plan is to also put the series online as a way for markets that they don't reach via traditional broadcast means. ROH had been holding off on announcing new dates for some of their existing markets since those shows would be held under the new regime.
ROH will still release their house shows via DVD and they will hold Internet PPVs, although traditional PPV, including live broadcasts, are not out of the question down the line should everything fall into place. There is absolutely no timetable for returning to traditional PPV as it's not something on the radar as much as something they are open to if there is a call or need for it.
We've been asked what this might mean for the library of ROH on HDNet matches. I am told that HDNet retains the rights to the content for high definition broadcasting but ROH would have access and rights to the material if it is used in standard definition, which is probably why we haven't seen those matches released via the Blu-Ray format.
The ROH staff and roster will remain intact, although I would be shocked if there aren't changes made as time goes on, as is common when any company undergoes a regime change.
The sale means an increase in power for Jim Cornette, although Hunter Johnston will remain booker. Cornette had been consulting on the booking and will be working full-time for the company going forward, which explains why he hasn't been working with OVW in recent weeks. I believe Cornette may have been the initial point person between Cary Silkin and Sinclair, but I don't know that for sure.
Joe Koff of Sinclair will be the Chief Operating Officer of the company while former WCW Promoter Gary Juster will be Vice President and will oversee all of the live event aspects of the company. There will be upgrades for production, lighting, etc. as well.
As noted earlier, all of the previous braintrust for the company will be remaining in place, although I don't know what their new positions of power will be.
The majority of the ROH roster are signed to deals. I would assume the remaining members who aren't signed will be offered deals or will be replaced by talents that will.
In terms of the ROH product, I am told that there will be no major overhauls to the style but we may see some additional WWE level names that would have name recognition (and who could work the style) plugged into the roster, similar to the way Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas have over the last year.