Ian Riccaboni Talks ROH Final Battle, Taking Over As Lead Announcer, If ROH Is The #2 Wrestling Promotion, Favorite Wrestling Memory

Bill Pritchard

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Ian Riccaboni recently spoke with Interactive Wrestling Radio; you can read a few highlights and listen to the interview below:

Ian Riccaboni comments on taking over for Kevin Kelly as lead announcer for Ring Of Honor: 

“Kevin is super talented. He’s been a friend and a mentor. He’s been somebody I’ve really looked up to. Sometimes he’d tell me to be quiet when I’d tell him how old I was when he was working with Brian Pillman and “Stone Cold.” He’s a pro’s pro. One of the only guys to participate in WrestleMania, Wrestle Kingdom, and Final Battle. I knew the stakes were pretty high when I accepted the position. I’m just glad that we have the support system that we have.”

Ian comments on his favorite memory with ROH so far: 

“I think my favorite memory would be my first time on pay per view. It was in 2016 and I called Steve Corino and BJ Whitmer’s Fight Without Honor. It was my first time live. I remember being backstage, I almsot couldn’t breathe. I felt like somebody stepped on my lungs. I was just so excited. I remember Kevin getting me through it. That was probably my favorite because it was my first and I remember the feeling and the excitement. More recently, there have been so many things… AJ Styles’ send off. Adam Cole’s last match (in Ring of Honor). Somebody who is so important. Calling Bobby Fish’s last match, Bobby is a good friend.”

Riccaboni comments on if Ring Of Honor is now the #2 wrestling company in the world:

“Number 2 in the world is tricky. With our partners New Japan Pro Wrestling and CMLL, CMLL being the world’s oldest wrestling promotion, they’re big as well and it is such a treat to be partnered with New Japan and CMLL. With all difference to them, I think New Japan has a little more reach. CMLL does it 7 nights a week when they do tours. Those organizations may be bigger. But, I think Ring of Honor has found a great groove in the United States. I think we might be the second largest in the United States. We got there because of smart management. We have gotten there from incrimental growth. We haven’t tried to rush anything. We haven’t tried to artificially grow faster. Although Cody has signed the largest deal in Ring of Honor history, it has been lucrative for us as well because of the merchandise he sells and the money he brings in. There have been others who mave made giant leaps before. The idea of going head to head with WWE… There is only one organization that has gone on cable TV and stayed there for 30 years. So, they deserve all the credit in the world. But, I think Ring of Honor, we provide something that is different. I liken it to music – I’m a big music fan. I’d much rather go see Elvis Costello than Justin Timberlake. Justin Timberlake is amazing. But, Elvis Costello has a little bit more soul, a little more passion, and a little more authenticity than some of the over-produced elements that someone like Justin Timberlake would have on his show.”

Ian comments on the upcoming Final Battle PPV:

“This Final Battle is going to be amazing and here is why. Over the course of the past year, a lot has been said about a lot of talent from Ring of Honor might be moving on and there were a lot of question marks about how we would replace that talent, where we would go, or what we might do. Over the course of this year, not only did RIng of Honor replace that talent but we’ve established some new stars through their hard work. This year’s Final Battle, it really is Ring of Honor’s signature event. THere is no better way to celebrate that than with some original ROH talent.” He continues, “The top of the card really says it all. We have Jay Lethal versus Marty Scurl and in the main event, Dalton Castle versus Cody. I couldn’t think of better representatives of what Ring of Honor is and where we’re going than those 4 men.”


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