SLAM! Sports SLAM! Wrestling
   Fri, July 20, 2007



News & Rumours
Bios
Obits
Canadian Hall of Fame
WrestleMania 30
WrestleMania 30 photos
Video
Movie Database
Minority Mat Report
Columnists
Features
Results Archive
PPV Reviews
SLAM! Wrestling store
On Facebook
On Twitter
Send Feedback




Photo Galleries

SHIMMER taping


The Ultimate Warrior


Raw in New Orleans


WrestleMania XXX Main Events


WrestleMania XXX Opening Half


WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony
WWE Hall of Fame Red Carpet


Make-A-Wish party







SCOREBOARD
PHOTO GALLERY
VIDEO GALLERY
COMMENT




RECENT PHOTO GALLERIES: SHIMMER taping
Ultimate Warrior | Raw in New Orleans | ROH Supercard of Honor VIII
WRESTLEMANIA XXX: Section | Photos

THE SCOOP: Visit our News & Rumours page.


SLAM! Speaks: RoH to PPV
By SLAM! Wrestling Staff


For many years, professional wrestling fans had the opportunity to choose between three promotions to spend their pay-per-view dollars on. In the 1980s, this was the WWF, NWA and, briefly, the AWA. In the late-1990s, this was the WWF, WCW and ECW.

Now, approximately 10 years after 1990s fans had their PPV universe expanded to the trifecta of premium entertainment, as Ring of Honor will debut on Canadian systems tonight with "Respect is Earned," having been on U.S. PPV for the last month.

Much like ECW, RoH grew out of the northeastern U.S., catching on with hardcore fans who traded video tapes and followed the promotion via the Internet. The promotion grew a stunning array of talent that hadn't yet hit the national scene, such as BJ Whitmer, while also bringing on cast-offs from the top two, like Brent Albright. Also similarly, RoH offers something different than the other top-tiered entities. In ECW, that was hardcore wrestling; in RoH, it's a commitment to long matches that has separated it from the pack.

Mere hours before Canada gets its PPV wrestling ring expanded, the SLAM! Wrestling staff met once again at the Speaks roundtable to discuss the move by RoH, with the simple topic of whether the move is good or not for the company. Here's what the boys had to say.


Matt Mackinder

I think RoH's move to pay-per-view is a good move and a move that had to be done. While RoH has nowhere near the exposure that WWE and TNA have, getting into the PPV mainstream is a move that in itself has RoH on par at least with TNA. Many of the RoH stars are unknowns to the casual wrestling fan, but from just seeing RoH once, I became hooked. The promotion is straight-up wrestling with no fancy-schmancy storylines that are more suited for All My Children.

My only hope is that RoH will get a lot of buys for their PPV shows and the company will keep on going onward and upward. I think PPV is a logical step, but I hope it's not a step backwards.

Greg Oliver

Given the current situation WWE finds itself in with the Chris Benoit double murder suicide and the furor over steroids, Ring of Honor is poised to be the right promotion at the right time. The performers look like athletes, the wrestling is pure and crisp, and in general, they avoid the Vince Russo booking style of gimmicks and run-ins. Avoid the hardcore and gimmick matches, promote the wrestlers as people, and maybe they have a shot at capturing the disillusioned. Will they ever be as big as WWE? No, but they don't have to be.

Jason Clevett

RoH's venture into pay per view continues their growth as the little company that could. Yes, we've raved about their DVDs and live events on this website and the company has a definite buzz, but unless you live in the Northeast and Midwest, it's hard to access RoH shows. We live in a society of instant gratification - it is far easier to hit a button and order a WWE or TNA pay-per-view or be in the store to pick up a DVD then to go online. While online shopping is a great revenue generator, it is still a small portion of the overall market. I know plenty of people who have heard a lot about RoH, even borrowed a DVD or two and loved it, but haven't made purchases themselves simply because of cost and convenience - although the rising Canadian dollar may help that.

So now, that instant gratification is there. Hit a button and there's your RoH sample. Once again, RoH is doing what they have always done - slow growth. Instead of airing a money-losing live product, they pre-taped the event, edited it, and now we have the finished product. The curious and the hardcore fans will both order this show, and from all accounts be thoroughly impressed. No, they aren't going to make millions of dollars at it, but it's not about that. It's about gaining RoH exposure, and that is precisely what it will succeed in doing.

Jon Waldman

While I'd like to believe that pay-per-view will be a success for Ring of Honor, I'm a bit hesitant to give the move my full endorsement. When you expand into the cable universe, you have the potential to grow your company, but you also open yourself up to the general wrestling world and say, "Hey, we're not just a regional promotion anymore."

Whether it was the AWA or ECW, PPV can be the start of the end. When you're a cult hit you can put on show after show, doing the same thing you always do and keep running with a loyal crowd that gradually grows. When you go "public" though, the mass community, with their varying expectations, you have to expand rapidly, including national touring and live PPV events.

I wish RoH the best, but tread carefully, because once you open a door, it's hard to close.


Visit the SLAM! Wrestling store!


  • Lots of Ring of Honor goodies!
    What are your thoughts on Ring of Honor's move to pay-per-view? E-mail Jon Waldman with your opinion.