ROH Wrestling: Death Coming Sooner Than Anticipated?

Joe Burgett Senior Writer IIIMarch 6, 2010

Sometimes it lasts, sometimes it doesn't.

This is something we all should know. Every wrestling promotion out there does not succeed. This isn't breaking news to anyone. However, many have stayed afloat, some even exceeded all expectations.

We could easily call Ring of Honor the best independent promotion in America, but we forget that, even though they are a success, they aren't a major one like many want to believe.

ROH has financial issues like many indie promotions and, with the loss of key wrestlers, they cannot keep throwing out great wrestler after great wrestler without a great financial backing.

This is why I feel ROH won't last another 10 years. In fact, I feel it won't last half of that.

Am I breaking some news here? No. There is no rumor of ROH going out of business tomorrow or anything, but it doesn't look like they can go on too much longer.

In 2009 alone, there has been both success and mini-strokes for them. And how many people know that success is good, but when you get a stroke, you are never the same again?

Sooner or later, one of those strokes is gonna kill ya.

They lost both Nigel McGuiness and Bryan Danielson in 2009, as well as the genius Gabe Sapolsky.

So while they made it on HDNet, the loss of these people was huge for them. And they'll potentially lose more.

There are a ton of people who the WWE and of course TNA have an interest in there and, because of that, ROH can't stay around too much longer.

It is said that if ROH loses Austin Aries alone, they could go down.

In fact, Danielson feels the same. He has mentioned in the past that he doesn't want Aries to leave ROH because, if he does, the WWE will buy them up and make them a developmental territory.

Danielson would be all right with them doing that, but he wants the same people to partially own and operate ROH. He knows that if the WWE buys them up, that won't happen.

Some would say that the WWE would do like they did with FCW, where they have Steve Kiern (former full FCW owner) still own part of the company.

The problem people aren't seeing is that in two years, the WWE can buy his stock and fully own FCW. Meaning his ownership would disappear. The same would ultimately happen to ROH if made into a developmental territory.

This is why Danielson probably feels that while it is okay the WWE makes ROH a developmental territory, he really doesn't want it to happen either, because he knows the outcome.

The owners he'd want there wouldn't be, and even if they were at the start they would eventually be gone. It is thought that they could still operate ROH, but no ownership would be there.

The way to stop this is to keep Aries in ROH, which is why Danielson or anyone who loves ROH for that matter, doesn't want to see Aries taking physicals with the WWE anytime soon. Because, if he gets in the WWE, ROH will go down to the WWE giant.

Some would say the loss of one individual couldn't effect ROH, but those people would be wrong.

See, when Aries left for TNA a while back, ROH lost 15 audience members.

Some would say that's not too big, but here's another number: They lost $4,000 of revenue due to his departure. When he came back, more money came into ROH.

So case in point: Aries = Money.

It is said now that if he leaves, people within the company would follow, such as Roderick Strong.

But since Aries is a bigger name and is now known even more so than he was before, the revenue would leave them exponentially. The $4,000 would be doubled to $8,000, or even $10,000.

This would mean that the only one really carrying the company would be Tyler Black, and you may be able to add Colt Cabana and Davey Richards to that, too. And unless a big name decides to leave the WWE or TNA and go back to ROH, they aren't going to last with only Black, Richards, and Cabana.

Then you also add in the fact that the Briscoes could be leaving for the WWE when their deals are up and Black may be when his deal is up too, and things aren't looking up.

ROH owners don't have a father who can pump money into their company when they constantly need it like TNA does. And they are not nearly the pop culture phenomenon like the WWE. They are a small indie fed who did make big stars, but had the money to do so.

With the economy being the way it is, a lot of businesses are going down, and you cannot just make brand new stars out of nowhere if you don't have the time to properly develop them.

That HDNet deal is really the only thing keeping them around, because attendance is down from recent years. And left and right, other stars are leaving them.

It's hard to stay around when everyone around you is leaving. Eventually, you gotta start wondering, "Who's gonna wrestle???"

If Aries leaves, I see a chain reaction of departures. We know eventually the Briscoes are going to the WWE, then you also have the fact that Black is heavily wanted and will be paid highly well to go to either TNA or the WWE.

I'm just saying that if certain people go, ROH will NOT last long. I see the death of ROH as it's own stand-alone promotion in the near future. My time-clock for them to last is maybe two more years, if that.

But what do you think? Will ROH stay afloat and eventually be at the same level as the WWE or even TNA?


On a side note, I was going to write a news article today. We were unable to get everything confirmed and, because I don't want another "issue" with the news, I want to make sure the news we have for this specific article was good and "ok" to speak of. There are a lot of very "interesting" things in it but, until certain things are signed, sealed, and delivered, I can't talk about it publicly, sadly. I apologize for not getting it out like I personally wanted to.