Ring of Honor commentator Ian Riccaboni joined the Wrestling Perspective Podcast to talk about his recent experience calling Ring of Honor’s Supercard of Honor event. When asked what new Ring of Honor owner Tony Khan told him before the show, Ian Riccaboni said Khan merely told him to be himself, something he’s always tried to do throughout his career.
“Tony Khan just said ‘hey, be yourself,'” Riccabani said. “That’s been neat. New Japan, it was the same kind of thing. Stylistically, it’s been helpful that Kevin Kelly has been my mentor over the years, it’s been helpful that he’s brought me in. He’s kind of helped craft what I do. What’s neat about that is that he’s a descendant of Jim Ross, and Jim Ross is the descendant of Bill Watts.
“So there’s this long learning tree that, while I went to school for broadcasting, there’s a good chance it was actually refined or kind of pushed into me by Kevin Kelly, who probably got it from Jim Ross. So there’s this cool kind of learning tree all along the way. I’ve only been asked to be myself, which I’ve been really fortunate because I’m a bad actor and it would be very difficult to be anybody else.”
As for his future with ROH, Ian Riccaboni revealed that he hadn’t spoken with Tony Khan in that regard. He is hopeful, however, that he will be able to continue calling Ring of Honor shows and has done his best to show his interest.
“I haven’t talked to the man himself, I’ll say that,” Riccaboni said. “I think there’s one guy that knows what’s going on. And aside from ‘How you doing? Very nice to meet you. Appreciate what you’re doing, excited to see where it’s going,’ I haven’t had the opportunity to sit down with him. One of the weird quirks of everything is I’m the last person to be under Ring of Honor contract with Sinclair Broadcast. And I still am. So no one knows kind of what my contract entails. If it comes with the sale. It hasn’t been established yet if Sinclair is going to buy me out; if they cancel it; if Tony Khan gets it if he wants to take it as is. To be very clear, it’s a contract that’s performer friendly and it’s company friendly. There’s some easy outs. So I don’t anticipate getting essentially money for nothing for too much longer.
“But that being said, I’ve talked to folks in Tony Khan’s orbit and I’ve let them know my phone is on and that I’d love to be a part of what’s going on. I’ve done my best to put that bug in their ear, as much as I can without being annoying and without being a pain in the butt. But I know the squeaky wheel gets the grease. So you’ve got to make sure they know you’re out there and that you want to do it, and that there’s no weird feelings or anything like that. For me, I’m just keeping my voice in the ears of what I think might be the right people at this point, and they told me to keep my phone on too. There looks to be some sort of mutual, at least on a small level, maybe a mutual interest to see where it goes.”
As for what he knows of the future plans for ROH, Ian Riccaboni stated all he knew was what Tony Khan said about the promotion at the press conference. For Riccaboni himself, he hopes the new ROH keeps a similar schedule to the old ROH.
“In terms of plans? I only know what Tony Khan has said at the press conferences, that he does intend it to be a continuation of the program, that the storylines and the history of Ring of Honor is going to continue, kind of where it left off,” Riccaboni said. “We saw that Supercard, there were stories that continued and the titles continued as is. It’ll be interesting to see where it picks up. Personally, I’m hoping that it’s a weekly TV show. For me, selfishly, it’d be really cool if it taped once a month, so I get as much time with my kids as possible. But I’m willing to listen on just about anything.
“Ring of Honor, like I said, half my adult life has been with specifically Ring of Honor. It’s the first company that ever gave me a break, it’s the first company that truly put me on national TV. I’d love to continue. There seems to be a lot of people that put a lot of effort into it in less than favorable circumstances. I’m just hoping all of those people, myself included, get a shot with an ownership that cares about it, that is willing to sink some money into it, that is able to maybe appreciate it in different ways than the previous group had.”
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