ROH had seemingly gained so momentum recently after being in a transitional period for a while. But they, and everyone else, received bad news when the coronavirus became a pandemic and shut down many businesses.
That includes ROH who announced that they are cancelling all events through May 31. ROH COO Joe Koff talked about ROH taking this punch just as they were gaining momentum when he joined The Wrestling Inc Daily.
"I think we're on pause. I'm not sure it won't pick up that minute it changes," admitted Koff. "The guys are still there and we're encouraging fans to reach out and talk to them on social and for them to reach out to the fans."
He added that he isn't as concerned with ROH being on pause at the moment because it's the whole world that is struggling. He then noted that the auto industry shut down because of COVID-19.
"Not having Supercard is big to us but it doesn't have the bigness of an auto industry shutting down or restaurants closing. I really hope all wrestlers take a cue from the entertainment world and use social media to fill some of the time. People need that contact and if we do our jobs properly, we stand a good chance to pick up where we left off," said Koff. "I don't expect people to run to arenas once we get the GO sign as people will naturally be nervous. But I do have faith in wrestling fans because we've always been a hardened and loyal community. I see our return maybe a little quicker than other industries but maybe that's Joe Koff the optimist."
2020 had been off to a good start for ROH following a tough 2019 in which they had many departures. Koff discussed the positive light that fans held ROH in before this pandemic.
"A lot goes into those decisions and we know that 2019 wasn't an easy year. Any business that's in business for a long period of time is going to go through ups and downs. That was really the first valley that we faced since we bought the company in 2011," revealed Koff. "We have a strong company and belief in our brand and people. We got through it and not it's anyone guess. We're ROH Strong and our goal is to continue to bring the best wrestling on the planet and we'll be there sooner than later."
While ROH said they cancelled all events through May 31, there is still a good chance that they have to remain dark beyond that date. Koff was asked if they are prepared to do that.
"If we have to, we have to. We're gonna focus on what we can control and make sure we're adhering to the right standards for humanity. We're all living through a movie that we're processing in real time. Even though we're a 24/7 world and have pundits who can talk about it, I don't think anyone's really schooled enough right now to have an answer," said Koff. "So every day becomes a new challenge and a new question. So, we can only focus on what we can control.
"We have to be honest about this unpredictability. I'm hoping, and based on what I've seen in the media, it seems to be abating in countries where it started about 6-8 weeks ago. So, we're looking at that 6-8 week timeline. But a lot of hard decisions aren't only made by us, they're made by jurisdictions. If that's indeed the case, then we will book it at that time and deal with it at that time."
For the latest information regarding Ring of Honor and their future events please visit www.ROHWrestling.com. Joe's full interview with Wrestling Inc aired as part of a recent episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it's released Monday - Friday afternoon by clicking here.