The news came as a shock to the Ring of Honor fanbase. Gabe Sapolsky, the much-lauded booker of the ROH product since its inception under Rob Feinstein (who left the company after being caught by a DatelineNBC-type sting in Philadelphia pulling his new Lexus up to the house of an underage boy), has been released from his duties as booker by ROH owner Cary Silken.
It may come as a shock to several, but those inside the company are now saying they saw this coming for the past several months.
Sapolsky, whose multiple "Booker of the Year" awards are based on the strong ROH workrate, could never build the company into a real number three like his mentor, the legendary Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame booker Paul Heyman, who took the Original ECW from a promotion with one tv station and only running the bingo hall to a global phenomenom that revolutionized the wrestling industry.
Sapolsky couldn't break ROH out of the pattern of just appeasing its die hard fans, and DVD sales in the past few months, according to several sources, are way down. ROH, it seems, peaked and is on the downslide.
Silken, who was brought in to save the company in Feinstein's departure, has sustained big losses, and is trying a different formula to save the company. Silken told people Sapolsky was diffiicult to deal with and Silken needed someone more open to other people's ideas.
According to a report on a leading Independent Wrestling news board (http://www.declarationofindependents.net/doi/pages/roh1016more.html):
"According to one reliable wrestler, who wishes to remain anonymous, as that person was in the ROH locker room last night, the Gabe Sapolsky firing is true. This wrestler said Gabe was fired and it wasn't a quit/fired type of deal.
This source told the DOI that Cary was mumbling and upset about the crowd & the execution of the show last night. Cary was seen telling ROH office member Syd that he was 'sick of this shit' and something to the effect of that it was time to pull the plug.
At that point, Syd & Cary went to a room to talk. I'm assuming based on everything I'm hearing, that Gabe was fired after the show when the majority of the people left the building and would be safe from him throwing chairs & having one of his classic temper tantrums."
No word on any non-compete Sapolsky may have signed, although it may not matter. Sapolsky is not a TV writer, which is primarily the responsibility assigned to writers for WWE and TNA today.
We will continue to update this breaking story as it develops.