Additional Information On Gabe Sapolsky Leaving ROH

Bill Behrens

ROH is financed by Cary Silken. Several years ago the decision was made to begin PPVs. The hope was it would grow the company, add fans, and revenue. It has not.

It has been suggested ROH needs TV. They do not unless they are paid to provide their show and at least break even. ROH had TV briefly in Philadelphia on WGTW-TV, paying for the time slot weekly, and canceled that deal after a few months. The TV was not helping them draw and was cutting into DVD sales. They had been warned going in that they would lose money, but too many see TV as a holy grail. It usually is not. It’s usually just another expense.

ROH house shows are down in attendance, and several planned shows in Florida were canceled then rescheduled to next year.

Only NYC & Chicago have really been drawing the crowds ROH needs and expects.

After last month’s Philadelphia show Silkin was close to shutting down ROH altogether. Too much money was being spent, and too little was coming in.

Other ROH Management convinced Silkin to keep the company running, and to let Gabe Sapolsky go, and in the process make changes beyond the booking alone.

Card budgets need to be cut. Towns need to be booked to run at a profit regardless of draw even if it means reducing pay to some talent or reducing the number of wrestlers booked per show, particularly fly-ins.

Whether PPV will continue is unknown. I’d recommend no. ROH needs to focus on events and DVDs, and story telling, almost go back to the beginning in some ways. Their press release suggested that direction.

The likely current booking plan is for ROH to use a committee. Exactly who may end up on the committee has not been announced. For this group, whoever they turn out to be, to be successful, they first need to meet with Cary Silkin and find out exactly what he wants. It is his money after all. They also need to figure out how to make decisions so they have one direction, not several.

If they plan to repackage ROH, I’d focus on NE dates and run fewer shows, and go to the mid-west only once every two-three months. I’d cancel any new market unless indications are good for ticket sales, and regardless I’d underbook the cards. I’d try to sell ROH Shows to buildings for a guaranteed fee.

There will be no quick fix, but if the bleeding can be stopped, Cary Silkin & ROH can survive.

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