The future of Ring of Honor has been a source of great discussion amongst professional wrestling fans, especially in a world where the business is so oversaturated right now. With WWE, AEW, NJPW and more all making a push for the top spot, ROH chief executive officer Joe Koff recently took part in an interview with TSN to reflect on his current position, as well as the company.
Check out highlights below:
On what got him into wrestling:
I remember being at the old Madison Square Garden. This would be the 8th Avenue Madison Square Garden – and they had four ring lights that crisscrossed in like an ‘X’ and when the house lights went down and those lights went up, there was an electricity that flowed through me – and I’m sure it flowed through a lot of fans at the time…it was just magic to me. I just couldn’t believe what I was watching. I couldn’t believe the art and I couldn’t believe the athleticism.
On G1 Supercard at Madison Square Garden:
It was an organic moment. It happened the way it happened because of what was going on at the time. I know that sounds like a lot of gobbledygook, but I don’t mean it to be. But there was a reason for that show and that show stood by itself, which is so, so important. I think it has to live by itself. It deserves its own space. It was a moment for the guys, it was a moment for me to think about going to the old Garden with my father and then to be there with my sons watching a show that I’m responsible for. It was really, really special. And almost surrealistic in that moment because it was the kind of show that we don’t normally do. So it had a lot of its own pressures on it, but we sure delivered on product. I was really proud of that.
On ROH possibly doing live TV:
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,” Koff said. “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 ROH being able to replace their top stars:
We’ve always been able to replace star power. I think the stars became stars after they left Ring of Honor. I think they were forging their names and marks in Ring of Honor and then they went on to bigger places or other places where their stock value in name and recognition grew. There’s always plenty of people who can wrestle the Ring of Honor style and they, too, will be future names and will be big stars. So they can either have that in Ring of Honor or if they choose, because I would never stop anyone from leaving, they’ll find it somewhere else. But there will always be someone who will wrestle the Ring of Honor brand and Ring of Honor style.