I've been going back and forth with this one for a while now, is Ring of Honor still considered an Independent Organization or is it in the big leagues?
I mean, what exactly classifies a wrestling promotion as an independent anyways?
Most fans would agree that ROH is an unchallenged number three, but there's a bigger gap between two and three than there is one and two.
While ROH has steered away from the old school big names for the most part, or vice versa, TNA has used them to catapult the organization to the national spotlight.
But it's strange to me how ROH could even be confused with an independent promotion when they share such a similar start as TNA.
Both organizations got their start back in 2002; TNA on weekly PPVs while ROH focused on live shows and DVD sales.
Similarly TNA and ROH both focused on the talented stars of the Indy scene, but that's where the similarities stop.
TNA brought in big names like Ken Shamrock, Ricky Steamboat, Harley Race and the NWA to attract more casual fans. Then they lured in Sting to help them jump from a mid-day broadcast on Fox Sports to Spike TV. From there on they were considered a legit number two.
ROH on the other hand took the slow and steady route.
They had big names like Eddie Guerrero here and there, but there focus till this day remains on making stars out of those on the Indy circuit.
And despite having a roster filled with stars who currently reside in the big two like CM Punk, Christopher Daniels, AJ Styles, Samoa Joe and Homicide to name a few, they were always the underground promotion.
But things finally changed in their favor when the signed a deal earlier this year to bring ROH into millions of homes by the way of HDNet. ROH now has access to state of the art camera equipment and they are broadcasted all over the country, if not the world.
Unfortunately for ROH, because more homes don't have Dish than do, ROH is still only on the lips of hardcore fans who find themselves savoring the darkest corners on the net looking for the next big thing.
We've just recently seen a surge of ROH related articles on Bleacher Report thanks to JLB (who started months ago), Ray and a few others. But when I did an interview with then ROH Champ Nigel McGuiness back in January, it barely got 200 reads. But what was worse was many folks had never heard of the guy and definitely hadn't seen an ROH show.
Fast forward seven months and nothing much has changed. There was an ROH breakthrough as ROH has its own community, but Ray wrote several informative articles and they barely garnered a buck fifty views. What's up with that?
So back to my original question, is Ring of Honor still an Indy promotion despite being considered a part of the big three? If so, what makes them big leagues?
There are other promotions that have TV deals on the local level with rock solid talent, but you might not even have heard of them. Vanguard Championship Wrestling comes to mind. They've had Flair and Raven on their program and they've got Sid Vicious scheduled next month. They have a 1 a.m. local TV deal, but they are definitely are considered Indy.
So is it the national TV deal, being promitely covered by media outlets (we've got ROH owner on HTR tonight), or does it take big name stars like former ambassador Ric Flair and Bret Hart?
Does anyone know, if so do share. I consider them a big boy despite the gap between them and TNA because of the above mentioned reasons, what about you?