Cary Silkin is the former owner of ROH before shifting into a role as ambassador following the 2011 sale to Sinclair. Silkin talked about how it personally affected him when the ELITE and SCU guys left ROH for AEW when he joined The Wrestling Inc Daily.
"Business is business. Out of the crew that left, I was personally affected by The Bucks," admitted Silkin. "Those are like my West Coast sons and I'd say that to their faces. Their time in ROH since 2008 we became really close. They stayed at my house and I stayed at their house in California. We used to hang out together.
"Daniels has been a lifelong in-and-out ROH guy. Frankie Kazerian – good guy. Cody revived a lot of life in ROH prior his departure. Am I close with him? Not really, but we got to know each other."
Silkin said he was disappointed in losing them all. Before AEW became official there was a chance they may or may not say and Silkin insinuated that there may have been a deal done where ink had dried on one side already.
"God bless them. I'm happy to see The Bucks and everyone else doing well. Would I rather them stay in ROH? Of course, but that's the way it goes. Wrestling is very cyclical in that guys come and go from different companies and then come back. So, you never know what's gonna happen," stated Silkin. "But yeah, it was a huge blow and it hurt. I watch their show and it's good. It's cool to see them doing well and I'm looking forward to this year in ROH."
ROH's early success under Silkin didn't come easily as he had to fight and claw his way to just keep them above water. He talked about his hustler spirit while ROH was under his ownership for seven years.
"If it wasn't for the ticket business and for me getting my act together – I'm talking about drugs and alcohol addiction – I was able to fund Ring of Honor. I reference that in Episode 1 of Last Stop Penn Station," stated Silkin. "ROH was critically-acclaimed but a financial disaster even at its peak. People are like, 'Oh, Cary must be full of sh*t.' There were big crowds of some shows but there just wasn't enough.
"The good news Nick, is here we are in 2020. I kept ROH alive until 2011 and the sale with Sinclair. We're coming into 2020, 18 years later. For a wrestling company to be around for 18 years that doesn't have a W in front of its name is crazy."
Gabe Sapolsky was a co-founder of ROH and also served as its head booker for six years. Silkin talked about his relationship with Sapolsky.
"We don't hang out but I have seen Gabe a number of times over the years since I had to let him go which of course he wasn't happy about. But he's been very successful. I sent him over the first episode and a text saying, 'I think you're gonna enjoy this.' He got back to me and congratulated me. I know he's gonna get a kick out of it," said Silkin.
"As I mentioned in the first episode, I felt that I was in the role of a producer. I wasn't a booker or scouting the talent. Gabe so was integral in those early years of ROH. He would scour the internet and find which guys were hot. He had a really good eye for talent and he still does. So, I'm totally cordial with him and I'm gonna text him in a couple of days to see if he listened to it because I think he'll appreciate some of the things I said."
Cary Silkin's new podcast "Last Stop Penn Station" drops every Friday morning. Subscribe on iTunes to get it as soon as it drops here.
Silkin's full interview with Wrestling Inc. aired as part of a recent episode of our new podcast The Wrestling Inc Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as they are released Monday through Friday afternoon: https://apple.co/2NQnHuC. The full interview can be heard via the embedded audio player below: