The history of Ring of Honor goes back twenty years to Philadelphia when RF Video needed a promotion to fill the void of ECW being sold. Ring of Honor was born as shows were all taped for VHS and DVD release distributed through RF Video. After changing hands through ownership a few times Cary Silkin eventually became the long-time owner of ROH and responsible for much of its worldwide success. This includes the earlier PPV and On Demand days into the HDNet airing of Ring of Honor Wrestling for two years. In 2011, Sinclair Broadcasting came into the fold and purchased ROH where it would then air on the CW network and other affiliates until eventually announcing a hiatus after Final Battle this past December.
In came the announcement from Tony Khan on the March 2nd episode of Dynamite that he had purchased Ring of Honor from the Sinclair Broadcasting Group. This sale included all ROH’s brand assets, intellectual property & video library. Since the announcement, there’s been a lot of speculation on what the future of ROH will be. Of course, we’ve seen some championship matches on AEW events featuring ROH personnel, but nothing solid has been announced in terms of a long-term plan for ROH.
I believe when we sit back and look at the current layout of the AEW product there’s a simple answer to accommodate for ROH… Get rid of Dark. While the concept seemed cool in the beginning, AEW’s Dark series on YouTube has become nothing but squash matches for AEW talent that’s honestly not exciting or intriguing to watch. Most matches feature successful independent talent barely getting a counter spot in on AEW talent throughout meaningless matches.
Cancel Dark, bring in Ring of Honor. Tape it at Universal Studios just like Dark is now in the same manner TNA was back in the day. This is what I believe needs to happen. I don’t think AEW will have an “oversized roster” where too many pointless YouTube shows are needed to get some small value out of talent. I believe Elevation is enough for AEW on YouTube. Some contracts will expire while simultaneously signing some former ROH talent. It’ll then become the new ROH talent along with the lower card, generally unused AEW talent, moving to Ring of Honor which I believe will be replacing Dark.
The new WarnerMedia-Discovery merger (Warner Bros. Discovery) also opens opportunities to take the ROH show and have a possible cable network to air it on. This would be a big win for ROH as well as Universal Studios getting the coverage of their location being broadcast to the masses on cable. TruTV would be a possible network considering they already air overflow NHL games, so it seems they’re looking to introduce sports type programming to that network.
To sum it all up, it’s my belief that Tony Khan should replace Dark with ROH and use Universal Studios in the same manner as TNA did when it was in business. Use a mix of old and new ROH talent along with transitioning some current AEW talent to the ROH roster. Get this show on one of the Warner Bros. Discovery network channels so ROH can be return with a fresh facelift and hopefully have years of success airing on cable tv.
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