It’s very rare when I feel the need to insult other people’s writing. We’re all wrestling fans and as someone who works with struggling writers on daily basis, I make every effort not to call out writers in a public fashion. The process of writing is not easy, and I see the struggle every day. Sometimes though, something really anger inducing appears. Then that gets combined with one person’s own professional frustrations, and you have the making of a bonus column where the writer (me) decides to take on the challenge of responding to a column line-by-line and paragraph by paragraph. I have no idea who the author is really except the name. My problem ultimately isn’t with him except for the fact that he attached his names to one of the most insulting wrestling articles I’ve read in years. My problem is with Ring of Honor. They deemed this an appropriate response to the weekend. Oh, you want to know what I’m talking about. Let’s see what our writer has to say.
I hope this finds you all and that you are doing well.
Nigerian princes start out e-mails to me the same way. Doesn’t work out well for them either.
This past Saturday the “Death Before Dishonor X” iPPV took place LIVE from Chicago and albeit there being some issues at the start of the broadcast, everything came together quickly which end resulted in an awesome night of ROH wrestling action.
So the start of the show compromises the first hour? Maybe the whole show? Because in reading the Twitter and the Facebook, there were people having trouble THE ENTIRE SHOW! Oh, and Ring of Honor was in Chicago Ridge, not Chicago. This is a pet peeve of mine. You’re either from Chicago or you’re not. Rosemont, Berwyn, Chicago Heights, and any other suburb are not Chicago. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt on awesome action since I haven’t seen the show, but a Mike Mondo match leaves me with a raised eyebrow at minimum.
I must admit that I’m very impressed at how ROH has made the bold choice to take their live stream iPPV events into their own hands by producing it themselves at all costs in order to deliver a significantly better end product to the fans.
When you publicly bury Go Fight Live and look at Gabe Sapolsky like a wart, you don’t have much choice but to strike out on your own. Considering how the iPPVs have gone though, I guess you could say it was a bold choice. The end product may be better, but it’s the process that seems to make everyone just a little bit frustrated. More on this later.
It speaks volumes that ROH strives to and pulls out all the stops, caring about the fans to bring us the very best wrestling product possible. When you produce a live show, it’s never perfect and there is always a margin for unexpected production concern, but ROH proves loyal to produce a quality, consistent broadcast for the fans.
Why did ROH not address their problems until 24 hours after the iPPV? Why did they not believe the fans as they were bombarding their Facebook and Twitter? I grant you that live shows are not without problems. Even CBS and FOX make occasional mistakes in their football products. No one has the expectation that everything is going to go perfectly. Live production is difficult. But at the very least, when I pay 15 dollars, I should at least be able to see and hear the show the whole 3-4 hours. This is an absolutely fair expectation because I’m paying, not pirating on a stream or going to a torrent site. When I pay for something, I expect the service. Period. This is how American capitalism is supposed to work. When it doesn’t work, I expect a prompt response (easy to do considering social media and e-mail), a refund (easy to do with PayPal and credit cards), and an apology (easy to do considering “We’re sorry” is a three syllable phrase). If these cannot be achieved, I expect an explanation as to why. The last five words of this section are pure lip service, corporate PR, junk.
As a fan, it’s nice to see that ROH remains committed to not let the fans down and will always do right by the fans as in this case by providing free copies of the “Death Before Dishonor X” event DVD or the right to a full refund even though the majority of the show was perfectly streamed.
Thanks for giving customers 24 hours to make this decision by the way. I know everyone at Ring of Honor really had to struggle with that one. Imagine if someone didn’t check their e-mail or they had this thing called a job. See, because Ring of Honor took their sweet time on this, people probably didn’t hear about this offer until Monday morning or evening. This short amount of time was extremely inconvenient given the circumstances and the delayed response by the promotion. Ring of Honor should have given their customer at least a week to make this decision and considered including some additional items to make up for their mistake. Remember folks, in this case, the customer is indeed right.
By understanding this, let’s turn the page and ignore negative columnists out there with an axe to grind that make their living by “eh hmm, slamming” everything in their path. Instead, take a positive approach and don’t let a few setbacks or gossip publications alter your opinion of ROH.
This isn’t a hippy world where we sing songs and love each other. Ring of Honor is a business. We are consumers. When we don’t get what we paid for, we’re going to be pissed off. People gave up hours of their Saturday night with the expectation they could watch a PPV they paid for. Instead of watching college football, going out drinking, or watching a movie, they decided to watch Ring of Honor wrestling on their computer screen. They don’t even have the option of a Roku box because of the split with GFL. Also, whatever flaws there might be with certain wrestling websites, there was no gossip being spread. FANS COULD NOT WATCH THE SHOW THEY PAID FOR! Whether it’s one or 500, wouldn’t want to assume ROH had any more buy their shows based on the screw-up in Toronto, oh that’s right. This is now the second time this has happened. ROH is batting .500 in PPVs. If this were a batting average, that would be amazing. If this were a free throw percentage, then at least Shaquille O’Neal was a hall of fame basketball player. But this is people spending money to watch a wrestling show. The percentage must be 100% or the company has an obligation to placate their customers. Oh, and the wrestling websites have an obligation to report facts… at least once in a while.
There will be more fantastic PPVs and the ROH product is the best around. If something goes wrong, they take care of the fans and then strive to continue delivering to as many fans as possible. Not all columnists’ comments are negative, some of these folks do a great job at reporting and being proactive, but the reality for most writers is that “stirring the pot” sells.
Of course stirring the pot sells. But again, go to the Facebook page. Read Twitter. People who actually bought the show were the ones who started all this. Dave Meltzer and Bryan Alvarez were not on top of this. I’m sure they were bombarded with e-mails about what was happening. Could they really ignore it? Mike Johnson wrote a perfectly legitimate piece about Ring of Honor and their issues on Monday. I thought he was overly fair in his assessment. Was he trying to stir the pot? Perhaps. People are always going to stir the pot, but in this case, these three men were doing their jobs as wrestling journalists and fulfilling the expectations of their own customers who pay for the right to read special columns and hear special podcasts. But at least with PWInsider and the Wrestling Observer site, sites you have to pay for to get full access, I know I’m getting exactly what I pay for almost without fail.
Leading up to “Death Before Dishonor X”, ROH had 2 other iPPV events, “Best In The World” and “Boiling Point” that were both top notch in streaming quality and production throughout.
Ring of Honor does not get a gold star for this. They should be thankful fans bothered to buy these shows at all after the problems at Border Wars. What’s said here is expected, not something worth being patted on the back for.
They were better than any previous iPPVs and Death Before Dishonor X would have been the same without the technical difficulties. Look at it this way, how many times has your smart phone just turned itself off and rebooted for no reason? Does this happening change your opinion of the phone that now has 100 more features than your last phone? Do you stop using smart phones? No, you wait for the fix and appreciate the technology that belongs to your phone. Technology isn’t perfect but it does continuously improve.
In the English business, this is what would be referred to as a logical fallacy. There is a minimal correlation between owning a cell phone and buying a live wrestling iPPV. Most of the appeal of watching an iPPV is the idea that you’re seeing the show live. No spoilers. You are experiencing the show similarly to the people who are at the show. This is half the reason people accept lesser quality video and quality, because they can see Kevin Steen win the world title instead of hearing about it, waiting two months for the DVD, and then buying the DVD.
My cell phone is an integral part of my life. Of course it goes without saying I appreciate the technology. However, I expect to get the services I pay for through AT&T. If I didn’t, I’d be as livid if not moreso at them. The difference is I have an outlet to go to that isn’t Facebook. I can send an e-mail, make a phone call, or go to a physical store. With Ring of Honor, I can’t call them and expect a customer service representative. I can’t e-mail them during the show. Unlike WWN, I can’t even chat with someone. For all the crap Gabe Sapolsky takes, at least he is asking how the feed is and tries to improve the experience when there is a problem. When no one was able to see DG USA’s second anniversary show, I was offered the replay of the show and another additional show . And on that night, WWN was acknowledging the problem and at least were aware of what was going on. They also didn’t have a writer defend the actions in a press release blog. Speaking of that…
In fact, you’ll be able to witness for yourself sooner than later how it improves as ROH returns to iPPV on Saturday, October 13, 2012 when “Glory By Honor XI” comes to you LIVE from Mississauga, Ontario. Matches for the event are rounding out as we speak and will feature a main event where fans will see the ROH Champion Kevin Steen (or whoever is the champion at this time) vs. “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin as well as the newly crowned ROH Tag Team Champions, Jimmy Jacobs and Steve Corino aka S.C.U.M. defend against Jay and Mark, The Briscoes. Great seats are on sale now for this event by clicking HERE in addition to iPPV ordering information. Make plans to join us on October 13th, you won’t want to miss this.
It’s incredible to me that someone can go from talking about a real negative PR situation into then shilling for the upcoming show. This is the very definition of corporate speak and BS treatment many of us are used to from bigger companies. But now an indy wrestling company is reducing themselves to this. Great seats may be available, but people better take advantage otherwise they’ll have to consider the iPPV option. Also, I may not want to miss this, but the question is will Ring of Honor allow me to see Glory by Honor?
I’m skipping the next three paragraphs because it’s just more schilling.
I have my utmost confidence in ROH that they are working to improve the quality and consistency of the stream for upcoming ROH iPPV events that fans will no doubt enjoy the highest quality, error free events.
To be honest, I was waiting for Joe Koff’s voice to magically be heard and saying, “I’m Joe Koff and I approve this message.” We hit the main point once again as Ring of Honor is going to improve the quality and consistency. Blah blah blah. Everything is going to be done to make sure Ring of Honor puts on the bestest and most awesome iPPV experience in the history of iPPV. This despite the fact that two of the four iPPVs have been disasters. This despite the fact that Ring of Honor disrespected their customers by waiting over 24 hours to inform of their options as a consumer when through no fault of their own they weren’t able to enjoy a Ring of Honor iPPV they wanted to see.
To be honest, I was considering a Ring of Honor piece before this blog appeared. It was going to be a long letter illustrating my frustrations and issues with the company. However, this blog illustrates so much of what is wrong with the promotion I loved when I first became a fan of indy wrestling. The corporate mentality has left WWE a bland shell of its former self. They are afraid to take risks and be patient with talent. They want to generate profits now. TNA is only alive because of a corporation, but I can’t really comment on that influence. It is ironic that Jim Cornette essentially runs ROH now because he used to rail on the very model Ring of Honor has adopted. Corporate. Wrestling. Sinclair Broadcasting has become an albatross on indy wrestling.
It’s nice to have a television show, but it’s hard to see its value when 60% of the country can’t see it, and those that can have to be able to find it on different stations. If you are able to find the station and actually watch the show, you have to deal with poor video quality and it not being available in high definition. This in a world where I can watch high school football games on my computer in HD.
It is flat out embarrassing that Smart Mark Video was able to edit together and release three different ways to get King of Trios while Ring of Honor hadn’t even released a statement about their one iPPV. It is especially embarrassing given by the fact that they are owned by the broadcasting station that iPPVs have been such an issue (that is to say nothing about the poor directing and editing on the shows when you are able to see them) and the television show looks like garbage. Most of all, it is embarrassing that I as a fan cannot sit back and watch Ring of Honor without questioning why I’m doing it and whether the last six years have been worth trying to support the current incarnation of Ring of Honor. I will think long and hard before even sending them a single dollar.
My advice to you the wrestling is to make an independent decision. You as a consumer have the right to spend your money as you see fit. My purpose here is not to bash Ring of Honor. It is defend you the wrestling fan, the jilted lover who continues coming back to despite all common sense, family members, and even friends telling you what an idiot you are. I would encourage everyone to think about their decisions as wrestling fans. Can you trust Ring of Honor? How much do you want to deal with before giving up? There are so many wonderful independent wrestling promotions that do deserve your money and will value you as a customer.
I have the utmost confidence in wrestling fans. I don’t in Ring of Honor.
Jerome Cusson has been a professional wrestling fan since late 1994. Having started out as a fan of WWF, he eventually expanded his horizons into WCW and ECW. After the unfortunate deaths of these two companies, Jerome's interest in wrestling nearly came to an end before he discovered independent wrestling. Let the love/hate relationship with wrestling continue.
We are a collection of fans who just decided to start a website. We all have our favorite INDY promotion, but we also want to bring more attention to those indies you may not have heard of and may enjoy.