Just ahead of Ring Of Honor Final Battle on December 14, Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman was joined by ROH COO Joe Koff on the WINCLY podcast. Among many other things, Koff discussed ROH's relationship with parent company Sinclair Broadcast Group and Sinclair President and CEO Christopher Ripley calling ROH an "unpolished gem". Koff also talked about whether Sinclair officials will attend the sold out G-1 Supercard show from Madison Square Garden and ROH's current relationship with WWE.
On the subject of Ripley referring to ROH as an "unpolished gem" in a recent shareholders call, Koff described the statement as "very complementary" and went on to talk about Sinclair's belief in the ROH brand.
"I think that was very complementary. Basically, they give us all the support we need. This is, other than news producing content, which we do 1,400 hours a week, this is our only really consistent non-news producing content. They took a flyer back in 2011; they believed in me; they believed in what I said about the brand; and on April 6th, we're going to be sold out in Madison Square Garden! I think that's a great journey and it's part of the path. And I think they recognize that and they understand that. And they've seen the brand. They've see it's being asked about. People are constantly mentioning to them Ring Of Honor, which is nice. It's nice for me, certainly, because it validates a lot of what we're doing, but it's a product and it's a product that they own. And it's a brand that they own and it's a brand that they can be proud of. And it's originally produced and it's ours and it's homegrown." Koff added, "and it's all the right things that a company would want to have."
According to Koff, Sinclair officials attend all ROH shows and the G-1 Supercard should be no different. Koff said there is a standing invitation to Sinclair brass to attend ROH events.
"There [are] always Sinclair officials at our shows, Nick. They don't wear big badges that say it, but I think if the timing is right, I think it's a show everyone would want to be at, so I welcome them." Koff noted, "they are always welcome at our shows."
With respect to the relationship between ROH and WWE at the moment, Koff suggested that the relationship is no different today than it has been in the past.
"I don't think it's any different than it [has] been and I don't know if I would necessarily agree that they allow me to do what I do. I mean, they don't allow me to do anything and I don't mean it that way. I mean, they have their business to run. I have my business to run. If they cross paths positively, I think that's fantastic! But if they don't, and business is business, and I think that was evidenced in the Madison Square Garden scenario. And look, I grew up on the WWE. I think they're an amazing business. I've always said this and I will continue to say this, what they've done for the business is fantastic. They are the business. They are really, really good at it." Koff explained, "everything about it is first class, but they're not the only thing in the business." ?
In Koff's opinion, if WWE wants to take talent from ROH or anywhere, they should, and if the talent wants to go to WWE, they should go. Moreover, Koff stated that the that the pro wrestling industry is a large enough space to be occupied by many promotions.
"Not everyone needs to be at the WWE, they might aspire to be at the WWE, and if they can take them on, then they should." Koff said, "if the guys want to go there, they should. But I'd like to think I have a good relationship with all people in the business because they don't run my business, I don't run their business, and I just respect what they do. And I hope they have the same respect for Ring Of Honor. There's plenty of room in this space, Nick, for a lot of promotions and if we just all do our business and just concentrate on delivering the experience for the fan and delivering a good bottom line for our business, then everybody benefits."
Check out the podcast below. A special thanks to ROH for the video above. Don't forget to check out ROH Final Battle at Manhattan Center's Hammerstein Ballroom on Friday December 14, 2018. If you use any of the quotations from this article, please credit Wrestling Inc.
Source: Wrestling Inc.