As we've spoke about many times in the last few days and weeks all of Ring of Honor's contracted wrestlers will be free and clear of their contracts following Final Battle in December. Ring of Honor will be taking a brief hiatus from being an active promotion for the first part of 2022 schedule to return in April 2022 for Supercard of Honor.
Taken from a report on f4wonline.com it is noted that Sinclair hasn't cancelled the ROH TV show as the company does have another TV Taping set for the year which will take them to Final Battle. Once the footage from the November tapings are used up, they will use old footage for their weekly TV product until their presumed return in April.
A quote taken directly from the previously referenced f4wonline.com article "Assuming they return, Meltzer said the plan will be to "essentially be an indie promotion" where they book top available talent on nights they have shows and TV tapings, leaving themselves open to issues if a champion gets signed to a deal elsewhere." Also some talent will be under contract until early 2022 specifically the end of March and will be paid in full until their contracts expire. However, outside of the expected commitments to Ring of Honor those being the final round of TV tapings and Final Battle any and all talent is free to work elsewhere in the meantime.
Due to ongoing issues for Sinclair after a recent ransomware attack a few weeks ago Ring of Honor's Halloween episode was aired on the promotion's YouTube channel. For more information on the ransomware attack click here!
It is unquestionable that there has been a lot to unpack here with everything that has happened recently in the proceeding days and weeks since the announcement about the hiatus. I did research and tried to put together as accurate of a story as I possibly could on this very delicate situation. The last two articles have been a mixture of information from a variety of sources and my opinion on the situation. I put aside sharing exclusively my opinion on the matter to make sure the facts were given the spotlight and not just my opinion.
In my opinion, this is still a delicate situation as we don't have all the information and will not likely have everything in front of us until after Final Battle or early next year. Either way though we can all collectively hope the best for all of those wrestlers that have been let go from their contracts. It doesn't matter if ROH is or isn't coming back, because either way a high number of extremely talented pro-wrestlers are now with a job. I wish the best for all Ring of Honor employees and know that they will catch somewhere and at some point.
For the full write up from Dave Meltzer click here
In May 2011, the wrestling world changed when the announcement came down the pike that Ring of Honor had been sold to Sinclair Broadcasting Group:
"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."
Click here for the full article!!
Prior to being sold to Sinclair the promotion was back to running monthly events as their once weekly program ended in April 2011 after the contract with HDNET had come to an end. HDNET was the embodiment of a regional broadcasting network only available in certain areas of the country. In September 2011, Ring of Honor returned to weekly television with a brand new program and a lot more exposure. For most in the world of wrestling the period between 2009-2012 was a very weak time for any major promotion in the United States excluding Ring of Honor.
At Final Battle 2009, Kevin Steen turned on his best friend El Generico sparking the hottest rivalry in wrestling, a rivalry that still burns to this day. Steen was turned off by failing over and over and then decided to align with Steve Corino against Generico and Colt Cabana which paved the way for the most violent feud in wrestling at the time. The feud would last two years culminating at Final Battle 2012 in a Ladder Match between Steen and Generico. Alongside The Briscoes, American Wolves, Kings of Wrestling, World's Greatest Tag Team, the list goes on and on Ring of Honor had hit their golden era. Think about the talent Shelton Benjamin, Kevin Steen, El Generico, Claudio Castanogli, Chris Hero, Eddie Edwards, Bryan Danielson, Adam Cole, and various others all called Ring of Honor home during this period of time. Slowly though that foundation would be chipped away and every single name mentioned above would be gone within five years.
Fast forward to 2018, rumors are flying about a mass exodus from Ring of Honor including Kenny Omega, Cody, Adam Page, Young Bucks, and others. This exodus would leave a gaping whole within the ROH roster that even the working agreement with New Japan wouldn't be able to fill. Those men would leave in early 2019 to form All Elite Wrestling. Ring of Honor tried to fill the void left by those men, but well it's hard to fill such a tremendous void. Think about this: ROH and Impact Wrestling have been around since 2002. The same amount of time give or take a few months. Now think about the history of ROH and the history of Impact Wrestling. Totally different histories for two companies that have been both around 19 years.
Impact struggled to find an identity for the better part of fifteen years and has just recently found stable ground in the last few years. Ring of Honor has been fortunate they haven't had a tough go for the most part in the last 19 years, but hard times come for us all it's how you bounce back that matters. In my opinion, if Sinclair is still committed to Ring of Honor then seriously take the time and invest in a direction and come back bigger and better than ever in April 2022 to show this was worth it or sell the promotion to the highest bidder and move on. I don't want this to be the end of Ring of Honor and I want to see them return in April 2022, but the main question is does Sinclair want them to return in April 2022.
It is hard to believe that I haven't posted in this section in two years, but it's like I mentioned previously it was hard at the time to cover each promotion and give all companies proper time in the spotlight. Unfortunately, I do wish it was under better circumstances that we would get back to talking about Ring of Honor then these circumstances. Right now there is still news and conversations happening with more information appearing to come out about this subject matter and I'm sure more information will appear this is what we know so far thought.
In the research I've been doing about this matter I noticed that the Ring of Honor Tape Library had been getting shopped around in privacy for the last year and now it is not private anymore. A lot of information about this subject is still unknown though with a lot of questions still remaining. For example, last fall Ring of Honor announced the "Best on the Planet Network." In quote taken the wrestlinginc.com article talking about the launch about the new streaming service it read "the new digital-first 24/7 linear network will allow fans to view ROH content around the clock. New and past episodes of ROH TV will air, as well past On Tour and pay-per-view events."
This gave ROH it's first access to the steaming market which further expanded the possibilities for the promotion to regain exposure in a market where wrestling fans are seemingly always craving more wrestling. The question I wonder is how does the streaming service fit into the tape library sale and why have this service start-up if you were shopping around the tape library at the time.
According to my research it is unclear if the entire ROH tape library is up for sale or just the archives from the time the promotion was under Sinclair control which would only go back to 2012. This would still include current stars like Adam Cole, Kenny Omega, Young Bucks, Keith Lee, Tomasso Ciampa, and various others early days in wrestling. Though it seems likely the entire 19 year history of ROH would be included if the tape library does end up being sold it is just another question.
I will not be jumping to a conclusion about these events and will be researching each piece of this subject before expressing my opinion on these matters. A number of former Ring of Honor stars are under contract with All Elite Wrestling at this point and with rumors of a streaming service in the works it is possible that AEW could be suitors. Currently, the asking price is well above market price which is another question as who values what a tape library is worth especially one with nearly 20 years of programming.
For the article from the quote mentioned above click here
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