Memo To ROH: Fix Your Problems

Mark Madden

Ring of HonorI thought my last column was fair and balanced. I discussed Ring of Honor’s good and bad, its strengths and flaws. Talked about the problems a No. 3 promotion always faces, and the inevitability of a bad end. As Jim Ross tweeted, I pointed out “some hard truths.” No name-calling.

I have a lot of respect for Davey Richards. He’s a good worker, but he knows he’s going nowhere, and his promotion is going nowhere. So he’s getting out. Richards is pursuing an alternate career.

Wise move. It’s what I did. You can’t sit around forever waiting for that phone to ring. It won’t. Vince isn’t calling. There’s life outside wrestling. Only a precious few never get forced to leave the sandbox behind.

When I was a kid, I loved baseball. Had passion for it. Worked hard at it. But the Yankees never signed me. I wasn’t any good. You can sweat blood and ooze passion, but you have to be good enough.

That’s what ROH wrestlers and ROH fans don’t get. Hard work isn’t a panacea. You need look, charisma, intelligence, luck, athleticism – you need so much that goes beyond mere hard work. Hard work is important, but it can’t make up for everything. It can be its own reward, certainly.

My last column was certainly its own reward. I got involved in Twitter wars with a sizeable percentage of ROH’s roster and literally half the company's fan base, I mean, I’m talking DOZENS. Mike Mondo, Brutal Bob Evans, Mike Bennett, even the lovely Maria Kanellis took exception.

The common themes:

1) You never made it.

2) We work hard.

And that’s it. That’s the entirety of their defense of ROH.

Oh, wait – they also argue that, if I love the business, I should cheerlead on their behalf. I feel that cold, hard analysis of the biz speaks volumes for that love. I want ROH to work. But it’s not. The crowds are passionate, but they’re too small. The bottom line hemorrhages red ink. The original ROH fans are getting bored. ROH’s top stars ever are gone. All their wrestlers look the same. No one can cut a promo to save his life.

What did I write, just now, that was wrong? What, ROH is too good to be criticized? That’s Truth Martini, not Freddie Blassie. That’s Kevin Steen, not Lou Thesz. That’s Rostraver Ice Gardens, not Consol Energy Center. Don’t get mad at me. FIX YOUR PROBLEMS.

As for never making it, no, I wasn’t Gordon Solie or Bobby Heenan. But, for a year, I co-hosted one of the biggest wrestling TV shows in history. I was far from brilliant, but I had my moments. More people saw me on a Monday night than will see, say, Mike Bennett over the whole of his career. I made more money in a month than Mike Mondo does in six.

It is not incorrect to say that I was A BIGGER WRESTLING STAR than almost everybody in ROH is. I can out-talk ‘em all, that’s for sure.

ROH doesn’t need cheerleaders. They already got a failed one in Mondo. What they need is MORE FANS. Instead of indulging Twitter wars with a guy who “never made it,” why not channel some of that fabled hard work into a positive direction and come up with a MORE MARKETABLE PRODUCT instead of a secret-handshake best-kept secret?

What’s that? Two ROH shows in the Carolinas got cancelled? If you can’t hear the clock ticking, you’re just not listening.

Mark Madden hosts a radio show 3-6 p.m.weekdays on WXDX-FM, Pittsburgh, PA(105.9). Check out his web page at Contact Mark by emailing FOLLOW MARK ON TWITTER: @MarkMaddenX

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