In an appearance on the Wrestling Perspective Podcast, ROH announcer Ian Riccaboni spilled some beans on what the plans were if Ring of Honor had stayed under the umbrella of Sinclair Broadcasting. According to Ian Riccaboni, there were plans for new merch and a new logo, which Riccaboni liked, but not as much as previous ROH’s logos.
“I’ll give you a scoop that was kind of out there but it kind of unintentionally faded away on purpose,” Riccaboni said. “This event was intended to rebrand and relaunch before being purchased by Tony Khan. There was a logo that I have seen, that I like, but I don’t like it as much as the logo we have now and I don’t like it as much as the logo that I have on my shirt here. But there’s a new logo out there that was intended to launch at the new Supercard. That didn’t happen. And there was some merchandise that went with it. So those are interesting. I’ve asked the previous owner if I can get some of that merch before they donate it or whatever they do with it. I’ve been told that I cannot have it, so I’m a little disappointed. It is one of the rare pieces of merch. So that’s just a scoop there. That was the intent before the sale.
“After the sale, one of the most comforting pieces of news was that, allegedly, and I’m getting my news from Dave Meltzer I think here which may or may not be accurate, he’s usually on the money though, that Tony Khan’s group bought all of the equipment, including the padding around the ring, including the barricades. And when we were doing those pandemic era empty arena shows, for me, one of the major upgrades was the stuff like the barricades and the padding and that sort of thing. And I really like the look and feel of it, and we hadn’t gotten to get it out in front of a new crowd at that point. So I thought it was true to the old aesthetic, and it was enough of an upgrade to kind of still make us feel a little darker, a little dirtier than what you might see for national TV.
“But it was still appropriate and still kind of sellable to be on a TV network. That was honestly a strange comfort to know, when I read that, that ‘okay, they bought all the equiptment. They included the guardrails, the mats, the padding, everything. So this is probably going to look similiar. This going to look and feel kind of the way it always has, in a good way.”
Ian Riccaboni also talked about some of the past stars of Ring of Honor and their impact on the promotion, including former AEW star turned WWE star Cody Rhodes. Riccaboni believes Cody’s run in ROH, from 2017 through 2018, helped legitamize Ring of Honor as a destination promotion.
“Cody made Ring of Honor a destination,” Riccaboni said. “Cody was a guy that came in and when everybody said he couldn’t do it or that he was too big for this company or that company and ‘why are you bringing Cody in?’, Cody popped our highest buyrate to that point ever. Cody came in and he got people interested and he made the connection with Bullet Club. It helped Ring of Honor take off. So to see him succeed too, to hear that massive ovation that he got and the masterful job of the commentary of just letting everybody hear it at WrestleMania, just letting everybody feel it, that’s pretty neat.
“Cody might be an exception, but think about the WrestleMania. A Ring of Honor guy wrestled Steve Austin in the main event of Night One. A Ring of Honor guy on Night Two had maybe one of the most fun matches I’ve ever seen against the guy from Jackass. Up and down the card, AJ Styles, Damian Priest, you name it, they most likely have come from Ring of Honor.
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