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#1 Coffey

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 08:55 PM

So there is a lot of drama surrounding Ring of Honor lately, so I wanted to make this thread because I don't think we should clog up the "Comments" thread with it. Plus, honestly, I just find it all fascinating.

So, Kenny King, 1/2 of the ROH Tag Team Champions (with Rhett Titus) showed up on Impact Live on Thursday night. His ROH contract ran out but he had a "verbal and handshake" agreement with ROH to not work elsewhere (or some shit like that).

So ROH is mad and released a statement (which they have since pulled down):

The appearance of ROH wrestler Kenny King on another television wrestling program tonight has raised speculation on his future as well as how this appearance could occur.

The contract Kenny King signed in June 2011 expired 11 days ago. Before that expiration, an agreement was reached between Kenny and ROH management for an extension of that contract, with a provision to allow him to negotiate with any other promotions so that he could evaluate his options and any potential interest in him elsewhere. When that short extension concluded he would then be free to accept an offer elsewhere, or sign another long term contract with ROH. Under this agreement, Kenny was free to negotiate but not to wrestle for another organization without ROH's permission.

When Kenny was presented with the written extension reflecting this verbal and handshake agreement, he informed ROH he was unsure if other promotions would accept the negotiation clause. He was told he could take the document to be examined by his attorney or other interested parties before executing it to be reassured any other offers would not be viewed as contract tampering. He also informed ROH that he would keep us apprised of any developments.

He contacted ROH on Tuesday July 3 to inform us that he had a meeting in Orlando on Thursday, July 5, which was within the scope of the agreement he had made. Then, early morning on July 5, he contacted an ROH official to say he would be wrestling on the Orlando event that night. He was told he did not have permission to appear live on television as it violated the agreement that had been made. His response was that the deal he had shaken hands on and agreed to in principle "seemed fair at the time", but "others" had told him it was not, so he did not intend to honor it.

Ring of Honor is disappointed that Kenny has chosen to make this decision, after the company had agreed to and followed through on everything he had asked for at the time of our negotiation. However, we consider this breach of his verbal agreement unacceptable, and regardless of his future employment status with any other wrestling company, ROH will not be doing business with Kenny King going forward.

A statement from ROH will be forthcoming regarding the future of the ROH World Tag Team Championship. Co-holder Rhett Titus remains on the active ROH roster.


There is also this video from two months ago, with Kenny King expressing frustrations, so this wasn't out of the blue:

He seems to express a lot of disdain for the wrestling style and Sinclair as an owner.

On the PWTorchcast with Kyle O'Reilly he stated that Sinclair won't run ads during RAW in ROH markets because "Sinclair doesn't think any ROH fans watch RAW."

Mark Madden has written a few articles about ROH, one of which stirred up quite some shit (and got him lambasted on Twitter by ROH roster members): http://www.wrestlezo...ecline-and-fall

Dave Meltzer said this:

The reality is ROH has been a money loser from the start. It would have been dead, as Silkin had lost as much or more than he was willing to, but they kept it alive since Gary Juster was able to broker the deal with Sinclair to save the company with the idea the product itself was so good and it just needed exposure. It's a fun live event, or at least is in the cities where the fans don't come with the idea of turning on it.

The product is good, but it's at a time when, being No. 3, good isn't good enough considering the big two have plenty of good matches with bigger stars. This isn't TNA where somebody is willing to lose $50 million on the project. Ultimately, ROH is going to survive based on whether Sinclair believes the ratings the show delivers for its affiliates are worth whatever losses they are going to incur running shows and carrying a roster. Sinclair purchased it with the idea that they could make money drawing 750 fans paid per event, and with television, they could run all the markets a few times a year and draw that. That's not going to happen and it's nobody's fault. It's just where pro wrestling is today and presenting an action filled show with guys who work their asses off who aren't stars on a TV show that looks minor league compared to WWE and TNA isn't going to connect with 750 fans in each market on a consistent basis. On the flip side, in a highly competitive television environment, pro wrestling can at least draw a decent audience to watch on television. iPPV is a question mark. The theory behind them is solid, and the misfires at a time they were gaining ground was a sucker punch at a time the company could least afford it. But at best, it's a year or two away from being a significant game changer.


Kevin Kelly responded to the Mark Madden article: http://www.wrestlezo...onor-need-to-do

So that's where we're at. Sorry if I forgot anything.

If a mod wants to move the discussion from the comments thread to here, that would be cool too.

#2 Mad Dog

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 08:58 PM

Ring of Honor broke 2 of the cardinal rules with the Kenny King situation: 1. Never put a championship on someone that doesn't have a contract. 2. GET THAT SHIT IN WRITING. Number 2 is the cardinal rule in life. Ring of Honor can whine all they want that King done them wrong but if it's not in writing, it didn't happen. That's life.

#3 blueminister

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 09:30 PM

King being all "I agreed to it; then I thought about it, desired not to have agreed to it, and proceeded thus" is great.

#4 Coffey

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 09:50 PM

I would definitely disagree with Dave Meltzer saying "the product is good." I think the biggest problem with Ring of Honor is that the product is bad. If the product was good, people would pay to go and see it. I read they're drawing crowds of like 500? That's not a coincidence. The number of vocal ROH fans, even on the internet, has certainly dwindled over the last few years.

I agree with what Kenny King said in the YouTube shoot clip: ROH is deferring too far away from what pro-wrestling should be. It's not about kickpads and Super Dragonplexes for 2-counts.

A friend of mine asked me to explain what was wrong with Ring of Honor to him in layman's terms. I told him to imagine The Undertaker in a match and in the first five minutes, he hits the Walk-the-Ropes arm-wringer spot, his flying plancha spot, a Chokeslam, a Tombstone and the Hell's Gate and then has to go another 20 minutes.

I have purchased Ring of Honor DVDs in the past. For example, I own Joe Vs. Kobashi. I bought those DVDs because the wrestling was good. I bought tickets and traveled to shows with my friends too. In Dayton, OH & Chicago, IL. It wasn't flawless from top-to-bottom, but it was a good in-ring product. In made up for a lot of the flaws, like the bad production and the audio. But nowadays, ROH still has all of those problems with production and audio and they're still trying to get by on just having great wrestling, but to me, the wrestling isn't good anymore so it no longer masks the flaws. I don't want to see moves killed and the business basically exposed. Even if I know it's a work, how far can you raise the bar? It's like the hardcore bar only without the hardcore. Instead of going from tables to light tubes to fire we go from Package Piledrivers, to apron Half-Nelson suplexes to rolling Super Brainbusters.

And like Mark Madden said, there's no one in the company that can cut a promo to save their life, sans maybe Kevin Steen. Even the Briscoes, whom I like, get over in promos because of cussing and they're still really sloppy in the ring. So why buy into that?

I want a pro-wrestling show that makes sense from a continuity standpoint that doesn't insult my intelligence. I want matches that have a beginning, middle and end that build to the finish and give you a payoff. Not just guys seeing who can one-up the other with the most absurd shit.

I used to like ROH and I want to still like it but they pretty much do the exact opposite of what I want. Which this is the same company that used to do exactly what I wanted, so I don't understand the 180 and I certainly don't understand doing a 180 and then people trying to act like it's the same as it used to be. What the fuck show is Meltzer watching? Just the hour TV? Because the iPPVs have been fucking trainwrecks. I watched a mother-fucker do a superplex onto a guard rail that was propped up on two steel chairs and it was a 2-count. That's not what I want from wrestling...

And let's not even get into the fans that DO attend the shows still. My goodness. Even if the product was good, I would just order DVDs and not buy tickets just to avoid those dudes and their "me first" mentality.

#5 sek69

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 01:25 AM

TNA should just fuck with them at this point and have Kenny come out with one of Eric Young's old TV belts and say he's the Real World Tag Team Champion.

#6 Jingus

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 03:19 AM

A bunch of ROH wrestlers have shown discontent with Sinclair/ROH today on Twitter mostly in a cryptic or low key way.

Who said what?

#7 Mad Dog

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 06:11 AM

I find it interesting that King and Titus seem really disgruntled with the faux-MMA style that RoH is so fond of these days. If the fans don't like it and the wrestlers don't like it then who is so supportive of the style?

#8 FLIK

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 09:36 AM

Sinclair purchased it with the idea that they could make money drawing 750 fans paid per event, and with television, they could run all the markets a few times a year and draw that


Thinking about this, that's probably ROH's biggest mistake at the moment, trying to be bigger then they're really capable of being.

For the sake of argument, if the average show draws 400 fans and the ticket price is $20, that's only $8000, add in merch & concession and maybe round up to 10k or whatever.

That's pretty shitty money for a semi national promotion but it's awesome money for an indy.

If they weren't trying to fly guys all over the country and stuck to a local base and weren't trying to sign guys to exclusive contracts and instead just offered their wrestlers reasonably good pay days (more then they'd get working your typical no name indy running in a high school gym) they'd be doing OK.

#9 Bix

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 09:41 AM

Break even is apparently 750 tickets so most/all of the new markets have been failures.

#10 Matt D

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 10:09 AM

I want matches that have a beginning, middle and end that build to the finish and give you a payoff. Not just guys seeing who can one-up the other with the most absurd shit.
...

What the fuck show is Meltzer watching?


So when have you ever got the indication that what you want and what Meltzer wants are the same thing when it comes to this?

#11 Mad Dog

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 10:28 AM

I agree the written contracts are really hurting RoH and trying to be a national promotion. This is kind of what killed ECW at the end of the day. Trying to travel and be a national promotion. RoH seems like they would be much better off if they just scaled back and ran out of PA, NY, NJ, IL, IN and OH and drew upon the local talents that can drive to the shows. Drop all the written contracts and offer guys a payday that's a little better than what everyone else is offering. They seem to be convinced that they can beat TNA in an arms race with contracts and such and TNA is just bigger and has more resources. They're hopelessly outclassed there and TNA management (shocker) here seem much more competent.

#12 Victator

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 11:07 AM

Funny that Cornette even pointed that out about ECW. That if they had stuck to the northeast, they would of had it made. Is there a reason ROH can't scale back to being another indy? Stop trying national tours and ppv.

#13 Ryan Faulconer

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 11:09 AM

They started guys on contracts back when they started doing PPVs back in 2007. They really started to lock guys down when DGUSA/EVOLVE started up. I think the only competition with TNA is for various wrestlers that want to work exclusively for one or the other. If anyone in ROH's management thought they could compete with TNA's visibility they are doomed to fail. This ROH is nothing like it was from roughly 2003-2010. Almost the entire roster has changed in the last four years. Couple that with three different(ish) booking regimes since late 2008 and..this aint the ROH that people were always excited about. They would change the name if they didn't think they could squeeze any last bit of "credibility" with the old fanbase by trumping out the ROH name with pretty much only the Briscoes as wrestlers wrestling the way the old fanbase liked. There are a few others that seem to have caught on but this isn't the old ROH. It works the same towns with roughly five of the same wrestlers that were around when they peaked from 2005-2007. With all these numbers thrown around for attendances I always thought that 500 was a regular night for the "B" shows and non-Wrestlemania weekends. Detroit, Milwaukee, St. Paul, Pittsburgh, Long Island, Florida without Wrestlemania, Cleveland, Montreal and so on and so forth were always in the 500 range, if not always lower in some cases. It was only the New York, Toronto, Dayton sometimes, Chicago, Philadelphia (excluding TV tapings) that drew close to a thousand or more.

#14 goc

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 12:38 PM

The thing that wrestling will always have over MMA is that when worked correctly, matches tell a story. They can have a beginning, a middle, and an end that either leaves you satisfied or wanting more. Does RoH even do that anymore? Most of the stuff I have bothered to watch has just been dudes hitting a bunch of moves that should be finishers and then kicking out until you get to the actual finish and you go "really? After all that big shit, THAT is what finishes the match?" When you have a close to 10 minute section in each match where guys take turns hitting really big moves just to kick out, how can you follow that with a finish? I do not understand how Cornette of all people does not understand that.

#15 Coffey

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 01:24 PM

Most of the stuff I have bothered to watch has just been dudes hitting a bunch of moves that should be finishers and then kicking out until you get to the actual finish and you go "really? After all that big shit, THAT is what finishes the match?"

This is exactly what I was talking about!!!

#16 Jingus

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 01:36 PM

A bunch of ROH wrestlers have shown discontent with Sinclair/ROH today on Twitter mostly in a cryptic or low key way.

Who said what?

Well? Anyone?


I do not understand how Cornette of all people does not understand that.

Cornette certainly understands it. Just listening to him talk about the subject, he clearly understands it. Yet it still keeps happening in ROH. Ergo, Cornette either 1.has no real power in that company, or 2.is unwilling to change the status quo in their workrate for some other reason.

#17 Coffey

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 01:43 PM

Well? Anyone?

An example:

Posted Image

#18 Cox

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 03:03 PM

I think it's time people stopped talking about Cornette like he's a wrestling genius. Truth is, he's really not. Having watched a lot of SMW, his strengths as booker were rerunning old Mid South and Memphis stuff that did get over, and using a crew of strong workers. But he also did a LOT of stupid shit. Stipulations didn't mean anything because they were regularly broken (Bob Armstrong comes back under a mask, Ricky Morton doesn't get his hair cut, etc). Cornette felt that if he screwed the fans out of something they didn't want to see, they would think it was OK, but the truth is, eventually the fans got tired of being promised something and not delivering. He also didn't know how to book a top babyface to save his life. Brian Lee wasn't ideal as a top babyface to begin with, but Cornette did him no favors. Smothers was a great top babyface, and the booking constantly dicked around with him. Fact is, in four years, the only babyfaces that weren't hurt by the booking were the Dirty White Boy (and his turn was admittedly pretty great), the Rock 'n' Roll Express, and Bob Armstrong. Based on his track record, Cornette is not nearly as smart as people think he is. He is buying right into the Dave Meltzer "pro wrestling is MMA" talking point BS and trying to attract an MMA audience for pro wrestling. That's not going to work, because MMA fans don't want to watch a fake version of a real sport, when the real thing is already horribly overexposed in this country. The whole game plan just isn't going to work, and I'm sure five years from now, Cornette will have all sorts of excuses as to why it didn't work, but the fact is, it's not a good plan and the proof is right there in the open with ROH's poor gates outside of a few markets.

#19 rovert

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 03:47 PM

A bunch of ROH wrestlers have shown discontent with Sinclair/ROH today on Twitter mostly in a cryptic or low key way.

Who said what?


Elgin:

“@ROHMichaelElgin: Let's hope people will now make the changes necessary”

“@ROHMichaelElgin: Wake up call was needed”



I find it interesting that King and Titus seem really disgruntled with the faux-MMA style that RoH is so fond of these days. If the fans don't like it and the wrestlers don't like it then who is so supportive of the style?


Sinclair, Joe Koff and such like. They want the MMA dollar not the Wrestling one it seems.

#20 Cox

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 04:39 PM

To be fair, there's clearly wrestlers who are buying into that MMA garbage, like Richards and O'Reilly.




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