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Five Things ROH Needs To Do In 2012 To Improve
Being the top indie wrestling promotion, Ring of Honor has a lot to stand for. They are the pinnacle for American wrestling that isn’t WWE or TNA. ROH has been through a lot this past year with the main thing being the change in ownership from Cary Silkin to the Sinclair Broadcast Group. This brings back memories to when Time Warner owned WCW. Ring of Honor has been instrumental in bringing top tier talent to light for the big leagues to scout them. Even now there are many ROH-“alumni” currently in the developmental programs for WWE such as Seth Rollins (Tyler Black, ex-ROH champ). Residing in Pennsylvania, Ring of Honor produced many shows in Philadelphia (which is where I am, represent!) and it has been easy for me to see a few shows here and there. The action and dedication by the talent at ROH is exciting to watch. To reach this promotion, it is normal for a wrestler to go through his or her paces in the other indie promotions and gain a name for themselves. This ensures that Ring of Honor has a sort of prestige about it.
ROH has attracted a lot of talent and executive people to help the promotion grow including Jim Cornette who is their head producer. The promotion’s pay-per-view programs and DVD sales have garnered a large fan base in America. All this solidifies their rank as third largest wrestling company in the US. They could be bigger. With a few tweaks and differences, Ring of Honor could very compete with and possibly overtake TNA in ratings and brand awareness. Let’s see how.
1) Increase production value.
Make the shows more than just a mid-sized titantron and moving lights. Some flair and attitude to the program’s look would go far to making it looks like a professional and worthy force in the fight for wrestling dominance. The camera work is not too bad as it is and ROH has gone to lengths to make that better but something about it just doesn’t feel up to par.
2) Better airtime availability.
When the news broke that Sinclair has bought ROH and the HDNet contract was up, many thought that perhaps Ring of Honor would be featured on network television. This could have been a nightmare for TNA as they would have entered a two-front war. Instead, the availability for the show is very limited and it just seems that Sinclair doesn’t have the faith in ROH to produce. People love underdogs that try their best to overcome. ROH could very help overtake TNA given the chance and exposure.
3) Expand on the women’s wrestling.
Currently it seems that many of the women come and go at ROH. They aren’t featured or around enough to be considered ROH stars or on the roster. That said, Ring of Honor has seen some of the best indie women wrestle in their ring such as Sara Del Rey. It has been said that ROH is looking at a potential Women’s Division for the show and I truly believe this will help strengthen the product. I wrote an article about how women’s wrestling needs to change and if ROH can come out as a contender with a strong division filled with determined women, that will help big time.
4) Get rid of match time limits.
There is nothing worse than seeing a good match spoiled by a bad ending. Even worse is if it is because of a imposed time limit. If the match is booked to be a title match or just a good event, let the crowd soak it up and enjoy it. Ending it because of a DQ or something is a part of wrestling but time limits are for the dogs. This isn’t boxing or MMA, let the match roll.
5) Have more fan interaction.
Although this is considered the indies, some of the top stars in ROH go on to be big hits in WWE or TNA. Fans like interaction and when they get behind a champ or an exciting guy they want to see him up close and get the chance to talk. WWE Fan Axxess was a great way to get the fans ready for WWE’s biggest event of the year. ROH should bring the fans closer to the product and let the talent gain a fanbase by interaction.
The best thing about ROH’s list for 2012 is that it isn’t all about big product changes or turning a new leaf that TNA and WWE may/need to do. Ring of Honor just has to tweak their product a bit more to be a contender. Sinclair has to open their eyes to the bombshell they now have and unleash it. The main thing Ring of Honor needs to watch out for is to not let the limelight destroy what they are. They let wrestlers showcase their talent and allow budding superstars to gain a foothold on a relatively big stage. Out of all three companies in my 2012 reports, I hope ROH has the best year. They stand to make the most of it.