Joe Koff Says Live TV Is the Logical Next Step for Ring of Honor

Aug 9, 2019 - by James Walsh

ROH COO Joe Koff spoke with TSN and discussed the company’s next steps in the changing wrestling landscape, the possibility of live TV tapings and more. Highlights are below:

On the state of ROH: “Ring of Honor has always been subject to the other promotions. We develop a lot of talent that wrestle for Ring of Honor; that stay in Ring of Honor or choose to move on from Ring of Honor. The wrestling business is very good right now. If you’ve been watching it for a long time, it’s a very cyclical business and the cycle is good right now. It’s on a good path. So it’s very, very good for the fans and it’s very, very good for the talent. At the end of the day, you have to be strong and true to your brand and not get dissuaded and not get distracted by what others are doing and just continue to do what you were doing. That’s what we plan on doing. Ring of Honor is probably, and still now besides WWE, the really only true touring company with television distribution, with international licensing that does 40, 50 shows a year. We’re a bona fide promotion when it comes to that. And we’ll always continue to be because that’s what we do. So I welcome the competition. Competition makes for better businesses and if you can withstand it and survive it and grow from it, then you become a stronger entity.”

On the possibility of ROH going to live television: “I think that would be our next step to create a weekly show that is time-sensitive, so people are seeing it in real-time pretty much like we’re going to see from the other promotions. But we have to stand on our own. We’re not doing it because they are. I’m doing it because I think that’s what the consumer would rather have. They’re very satisfied with what they get. Our ratings over our TV stations and TV networks are fine and they’ve been good and haven’t really deteriorated to any degree that people might think. I think having appointment television, destination television in one solid place would make a big difference and that would be my goal.”

On the ROH/NWA partnership split: “I think everybody is making a bigger case [of the split] than what it was. I love the people at the NWA. We had an opportunity to work with them like we’ve worked with other promotions. I can’t speak for them – I can only tell you what we spoke about, but I think there was a lot of good that benefited both companies. When there is good benefit for both, then it’s a good thing. I think the NWA wants to have its own brand identity that is not associated with someone else and I think they should. They deserve that and maybe this is the right time to do that in the face of the popularity of the sport right now. So there was no big dissolution, there wasn’t any big anything. It was just time. It was their time and it was our time. They are more than welcome to be part of our company. They know that and I hope at some point we can do things together as we have in the past. I have no vitriol and I think that would be good for the business.”

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