First of all, allow me to publicly give a huge congratulations to Ring of Honor Wrestling for their new television deal whereby Destination America will begin to carry their weekly syndicated show to a national market starting Wednesday June 3rd.
Upon hearing the announcement, I only looked at the positive upside this gives ROH going forward. They return to cable TV for the first time since April 2011 following their shortened on the much smaller HDNet when HDTV was still becoming a a regular thing.
Since then, Ring of Honor have made all the right changes in my opinion since they connected with the Sinclair Broadcast Group in late 2011. Through all of the new growing pains, they have broken into the traditional PPV business, they have arguably the best broadcast team in Kevin Kelley and King Corino, the best in-ring announcer in Bobby Cruise, and the second best talent roster of wrestlers in North America. I believe the current roster is a great accumulation of mid-sized and heavyweight wrestlers, along with some fascinating well-created characters.
ROH has one of the best bookers today in Hunter Johnston aka Delirious, and with all of these pieces and an increased production value (which I’m surprised when analysts still stay their production value has not improved tells me they have not watched the product since the 13th Anniversary show) they have earned their place back on the cable map as a viable wrestling product worthy of a national fan base.
Regardless of how the new time slot places ROH into a head to head matchup with WWE NXT on the WWE Network, ROH and NXT should have little issue co-existing when you have to watch easy to access cable content over live premium streaming content that is available as a replay or on-demand (of which I watch the latter) that I think a lot of fans probably already do.
Now, though I hate to see TNA get the shaft given this decision by Destination America, I don’t feel so bad for them as I did for when they lost their Spike TV deal. They’re running on a shoestring budget and the deal that they made with Destination America has left them in survival mode. They still had to prove themselves to a new broadcast partner and TNA simply has not done enough. I see Ring of Honor replacing TNA as the number two wrestling company in North America, and that still tells me that the wrestlers can still find a new home in Ring of Honor. Ring of Honor should consider looking at TNA talent like Kurt Angle, Bobby Roode and Jeff Hardy, while welcoming back former ROH stars like Davey Richards, Eddie Edwards and Austin Aries back into the Ring of Honor fold.
As for the remainder of the TNA roster, I could see them jumping on board with Jeff Jarrett in the hopes of Global Force Wrestling securing a TV deal if its own. At the end of the day, it’s time for a wrestling promoter like Dixie Carter to no longer be a player in the wrestling business, and I think this TV makes that possible. -KOP