With rumors of Ring of Honor Wrestling being bought by WWE, the COO of ROH came out in a recent interview and spoke about what led the rumors and if there is any truth behind them. WWE is trying their hardest to make the WWE Network a must-buy for wrestling fans, which is why there have been rumors and even solid reports that WWE is going after independent companies to add them to their network. This included many European companies such as ICW and Progress Wrestling.
All of this led to speculation that WWE might try to get Ring of Honor on the WWE Network, but most felt it would never occur, seeing as it would help add notoriety to another American pro-wrestling company. This is why many assumed WWE would never do this unless Sinclair Broadcasting was willing to sell ROH Wrestling to the WWE or at least add them in for an ownership stake.
Soon after, Pro Wrestling Sheet reported that WWE had talks with Sinclair to purchase ROH from them. Obviously, both sides denied the report, mainly due to New Japan Pro-Wrestling, who is a partner with ROH Wrestling and would either pull out of that with ROH if they partnered with WWE….or attempt to buy too. This would only lead to a higher bid for WWE to deal with. Due to all of this, keeping any talks they had quiet was good to do.
ROH COO Joe Koff came out to set the record straight on his end regarding a possible purchase of ROH and if the rumors were true regarding a possible sale. He told The Baltimore Sun the following.
“It was not a story. It was not a story when it came out. I think people want to make a story out of nothing. I’m very open in conversations with very many different wrestling promotions. And I think sometimes because I don’t share a lot of stuff, we’re very private about what we do. I think it raises speculation. I think this thing with the WWE really started because we were in conversations about content for Kevin Owens’ DVD. There was a lot of back and forth between the two companies. I think that was the seed that drove that story.”
WWE has worked with Ring of Honor in the past, usually regarding content for DVDs involving for ROH wrestlers like CM Punk. ROH was a huge focus of his DVD years ago, in fact. It is not surprising that WWE would talk with ROH about a Kevin Owens DVD, as they would have content the WWE could add to the DVD and make it a bigger buy for fans of the current WWE United States Champion.
ROH is doing fine, but it is not as if the company is making huge money. It is doing enough for the company to be okay. However, WWE and various others are still taking guys left and right from the company. ROH realizes that they are an indie business, but they could be more. A show on the WWE Network would certainly be useful. However, Joe Koff spoke about a possible television deal away from Sinclair TV properties, telling the Sun the following.
“It would be ideal. What the national cable channel allows me is to give the fans one point of destination for the entire country. But, we haven’t had Destination America in almost two years. Our company has never been stronger. I think our fans know how to find Ring of Honor. It’s readily available over the air television, it’s certainly available through our website. There isn’t anyone in the world who can’t get our weekly program if they want to. The weekly cable national distribution point would make it easier to get there. But, saying that, people in Columbus Ohio, know when it runs weekly. We’re a local broadcasting company. We’re much more concerned with our local market than necessarily going after the other. The other was nice. I would want it again. It’s something that I continually work on.”
It would be ideal for ROH to get a national television deal. They were with Destination America, opening for TNA Wrestling at one point. However, this did not last and the company went back to only being on Sinclair TV properties inside the United States. ROH does need mainstream attention and a big TV deal can do that. However, WWE would certainly have an interest in adding them to their WWE Network. Their main issue would just be that they would probably have to sell to make that happen ultimately.
[Featured Image by ROH Wrestling]