Ring of Honor COO Joe Koff recently spoke with Newsweek.
During the interview, Joe Koff spoke about the ROH World Champion Matt Taven, saying that he's at the top of his game.
"He's a little bit arrogant, maybe personality-wise," said Joe Koff. "He doesn't necessarily have the size, and he's not afraid to take on bigger men as evident by his championship defenses," said Jeff Koff. "Matt is a really good ring technician, and he's a really smart wrestler and a really good athlete. And he has good instincts, and that's what I think separates Ring of Honor from a lot of promotions. Just that tacit knowledge and the instincts that our wrestlers have inside the ring and how they respond and tell a story. Matt is really at the top of his game."
Koff was asked about how Ring of Honor plans to make their women's division stand out from other promotions. The ROH COO said that the talent will speak to that and explained why there is slow growth in their division.
"Talent will speak to that," said Koff. "And the reason you see a slower growth is because we have high standards for our talent. There's a lot of women's wrestling and good women's wrestling. To be a wrestler right now is an excellent time. To be a fan is an excellent time. The business right now, it's a cyclical business. If you've followed wrestling before, you've seen these cycles before. Maintaining, staying focused keeps you in the game to keep playing and playing on. Our women's division is strong, it's not huge. We are still looking for a stable of high-profile women, and that's not to say women who are wrestling aren't, but you need more than four, five, or six to have a robust division. And there's a lot of training and development going on, and we are a patient company, so I don't feel the need to rush that out. We've had some pretty good signings over the last couple of months in the women's division, and I think you'll see an uptick in that shortly."
He explained more about their exclusive contracts and how they determine who can wrestle for other promotions.
"[Exclusivity] is pretty standard in the industry right now, and there are different levels of contract," Joe Koff explained. "But you protect your top stars because it's your brand and you want them representing that brand. Journeymen wrestlers or guys breaking in who need work and want more work, we don't mind that. But it's at different levels."
Also during the interview, Joe Koff was asked about how Ring of Honor plans to bring in and keep talent, with so many promotions popping up.
"It's your culture, it's what you provide to that culture and what part they play in that culture," said Koff. "Ring of Honor has traditionally been a collaborative culture where input from its wrestlers is greatly appreciated and accepted. It really matters what you want as a lifestyle. Wrestling is a very hard business on the body. We don't wrestle 200 nights a year, and obviously we have big stars who are happy with that. And I'd imagine that the money is good for them to maintain that life and their bodies. We look for people who are interested in that, because that's what we provide. We provide a warm, stable atmosphere that's serious, athletic has a ton of integrity... But there are people who still want more, and there are other promotions that can offer that."
The ROH COO also spoke about HonorClub and ROH's partnerships with CMLL and NJPW. To read the whole interview, please click here.