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Falls Count Anywhere #1 - Wrestleview.com

Falls Count Anywhere #1

Falls Count Anywhere
Should ROH be on TV right now?
By: Jose Marrero and Matt O?Brien

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Have you ever had a heated discussion with your friends about wrestling? Of course you have. It ranges f rom anything f rom a storyline direction to who you think is the best wrestler to which promotion you enjoy the best. Well we here at WrestleView.com are no different except when the staff here at WrestleView.com disagrees rest assured ?Falls Count Anywhere?.
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Why ROH SHOULD be on TV right now
By Matt O?Brien

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When I first read Jose's idea to do a point/counterpoint debate on WrestleView I loved the idea and was happy to be selected to participate in the first installment, which will focus on whether or not Ring of Honor should be on TV. I want to send a thank you to Jose for inviting me to be a part of this debate as well as suggest to those who haven?t to read Jose's first column at http://www.wrestleview.com/news2009/1234053761.php
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Alright, let's do it!

Ring of Honor has had a cult following since its inception. Since the demise of ECW, hardcore fans began looking for that next promotion that will take wrestling to the limit. While ROH is certainly not what ECW was, it still has arguably become the #3 promotion in the United States and has its own aura that a stale WWE and a confusing TNA cannot capture. ROH fans have craved a TV deal for the promotion since it was born. Now the time has come, Ring of Honor will be featured on ?HDNet?
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Okay, so it isn?t ideal, but it's something. Sure, a timeslot on FOX on Wednesdays at 9pm would have been ideal, but we as wrestling fans know that our wet dreams don?t always soak in.? The point is that ROH now has TV. After running pay per views, this is the next step for the promotion to take in its quest to flourish. A televised broadcast will get ROH more exposure and provide many fans the chance to finally enjoy a promotion that for years they have only been able to read about.
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There are plenty of fair criticisms out there and I look forward to reading Jose's view on this subject. Some may be worried that HDNet is not a big enough station to really help ROH. There is the concern that ROH could suffer the same fate the ECW did on TNN. There is also worry that in these tough economic times a wrestling promotion should not take any big risks. If you look at WWE they have kept it pretty safe in the last few months by keeping John Cena as their main champion, leaving behind the experimental days of CM Punk. What if trying to grow only hurts ROH?
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I?ll admit that I am concerned that ROH may be hurt in the long run. Many companies expand too fast and collapse. However, this is no reason to hold back. Ring of Honor must forge ahead if it is to continue its expansion. The worst may happen and ROH may go under, but that is part of the risk. All wrestling promotions take risks and ROH is TV ready.
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Some may argue that the production value of ROH is too inferior for it to succeed on a national level. While their shows are no Monday night show, their production values are not embarrassing. The stripped down feel that ROH carries gives it a real and raw feel to their shows. We don?t need pyrotechnics and video packages for every entrance theme.
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Final point: Wrestling needs to have ROH on TV. Like wrestling needed ECW to come to a national level to fully influence the rest of the industry, ROH can boost the quality of TNA and WWE. Remember when it seemed like WCW and WWE seemed more afraid of ECW than each other? Both companies became better because of competition and WWE and TNA desperately need competition to light a fire both creatively and physically. Imagine a wrestling world where Raw, ECW, Impact, ROH, and Smackdown fed off each other four nights a week to create a wrestling war that would surpass the Monday night wars. It may be far off, but we may just be on our way.
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In closing, I want to say I look forward to hearing not only Jose's counterpoint but yours as well. Regardless of what we all think about ROH being on TV I think we can all agree that we want it to succeed in the long run because of our love for the sport. Let me know what you think my sending me your feedback at obrien.matt@live.com

(Want to read more of Matt O?Brien's opinions? Be sure to check out ?Notes f rom the Nosebleeds? every week here on WrestleView.com)

We have had one side of the argument but everyone knows a good debate needs two so without further ado?
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Why ROH?SHOULD NOT?be on TV right now
By Jose Marrero

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ROH on TV? It is something that many thought would never happen and now we are just weeks away f rom that reality as the first TV tapings are literally just a couple of weeks away.? With this groundbreaking announcement the landscape of wrestling has definitely changed but has it changed for the better? My colleague Matt O?Brien would argue that it has and it is a great move not just for ROH but for wrestling in general.? I recognize in writing this piece that this would be the more popular opinion and why wouldn?t it be? What wrestling fan would say no to another 1 to 2 hour show per week? What fan would turn down the opportunity to have another strong competing promotion trying to attain their attention and perhaps spark another ratings boom? Not many, if any at all and I don?t blame them really. However in writing this piece I can?t be as rejoiceful as the rest of you because I can?t think of this situation in terms of being a fan I have to think of this as what it really is?a strong and perhaps risky business move.
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I often find it funny how you can hear a few details on anything in life and instantly be on board. Whether it is politics, your place of work, even when dealing with your love life as difficult as people can be sometimes t hey can also be easy to please I think Cary Silkin is no different. Just because ROH is not losing any money upfront on the cost of TV does not mean they don?t have something to lose. In fact they have everything to lose. After all one thing is certain in business and that's once you take a step forward you can?t really afford to take a step back. After all that would be a perceived sign of weakness and weakness equals a loss of money. So although the good folks at HD Net are putting up the cost of filming these shows ROH does indeed have a lot to lose.? Let's evaluate how that can happen.
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For ROH to be successful on TV they have to put on a show that can not only entice their main fanbase to tune in but one that can also snag a casual audience as well. There is a reason ECW as memorable as it was for most people never rose beyond being the number 3 company and that's because it was not for everyone and if you think about it ECW never went out of their way to change and the reason for that was they didn?t want to erode the fanbase they already had. How do you strike that balance? How many fans is ROH willing to sacrifice as they try to gain new fans? You have to remember not every fan out there is a consumer. Some people just watch TV. They don?t go to shows, they don?t buy merchandise, and they don?t order PPV's. It's a statistical fact that WWE during its hottest period had anywhere f rom 7 to 8 million homes in American watching wrestling every week and still did only a fraction of that in PPV buys. Granted a fraction of that was good enough to get things going for WWE and why wouldn?t it be? WWE after all had sponsors and well they are marketing geniuses. I can?t say the same for ROH. ROH would be lucky enough to get a 1 rating for its premiere out of that 1 rating it would probably get maybe 10,000 PPV buys and I am being generous here. That is literally 1% of your audience and I have news for you the way the PPV business works if you don?t generate X amount of buys you don?t really make a profit. Of course that leaves DVD sales which if you can?t get anyone to watch it on PPV how are you going to get them to watch it on DVD and if you can?t get them to watch the PPV you are promoting on TV for free why would they watch a match that they know nothing about on another DVD? Answer? They won?t.
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So maybe ROH knows this and doesn?t figure to set the world on fire with DVD and PPV sales overnight right? They want to take a chance and expand their perception and get there promotion enough attention where it can be perceived as a major company. After all there are some who argue that you have to take a step back every now and then to take many more forward. So your PPV audience and DVD sales don?t increase but you still have your regular audience right? Well let me ask you this much why do you order a PPV? The short answer is you order a PPV because it is an event of importance. It is something that is above your regular shows; it is in fact a supershow. The only problem with that as far as ROH is concerned is that under their current model ROH fans have been conditioned to treat every show as an event of importance. If you can?t mimic that in a TV show how will you hold their interest? It is my strongest opinion that one reason no one attends WWE house shows as much as they used to is because you can determine almost every outcome in a house show match because you know that everything is going to be saved for TV. ROH gets no money off of TV so it is not to their benefit to save anything for TV but on the flip side if you want someone to pay for something in the future it is not to your benefit to save everything for the other shows either. So if ROH beefs up there TV to give that special feeling you get for a TV show it takes away f rom their other shows and of course if it takes away f rom them it makes them less special and if it makes them less special people don?t buy them and if people don?t buy them well then BINGO you have it you don?t make money. See the big problem there?

Before everyone says I am all gloom and doom and that I am not giving ROH a chance because I haven?t even seen their show yet let me give you a scenario here that could very well play out and if it does well then ROH as we know it will cease to exist. Let's say ROH on TV is a success, ratings are good, PPV buy rates are strong and of course merchandise and DVD sales show significant improvement. Do you know what happened here? You just caught WWE's and TNA's attention and that is not what you want to do if you are ROH? ROH has been allowed to get this big because it was not on WWE's radar. You see you can cite examples that regardless of what WWE executives say they do see TNA as completion and because of that they sometimes go out of their way to hurt TNA and well when WWE makes those moves it works because they are WWE they are the big bully and all you can do is be bullied by them. ROH has never been seen by the WWE as competition because it was catering to what they felt was a different audience. With ROH now on TV you would have to feel that WWE and TNA would feel they are after a audience that is already much smaller than what either of those companies would hope for. Do you think they are going to give it up without a fight? TNA has already raided ROH's talent once. WWE has picked at it here and there also. How many more do you think are going to defect if ROH gains recognition? Bryan Danielson? Hey he was there once and it's no secret he would love to go back. Nigel McGuinness, Claudio Castignolli, Jimmy Jacobs, Austin Aries? Do you think any of these men would turn down a big money offer to stay in ROH? I know many of you will say ?Oh they won?t go to WWE or TNA because they will make fools out of them and ruin their career? To those of you that say that I will say that with all due respect there is a reason you are not in the wrestling business and that is because you are marks because the wrestling business isn?t about hearing ?This is awesome? chanted at you in a building of 1000 fans. It is not about reading that you had a ?five star match? in the sheets it's about one thing and that is making money. If any of those guys spouted a line like that and meant it well then they are bigger marks than the fans that pay to see them. ROH cannot compete with WWE or TNA's wallets and just like that the battle is done. Sure I suppose Mark Cuban can swoop in and try to be a Ted Turner with ROH but well we all saw how that has worked out in the past and I have no reason to believe it will be that way in the future.
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Don?t misunderstand me people as a fan of the business I want just as much as any of you for me to be wrong and for ROH to be successful beyond anyone's dreams after all I can?t write about wrestling if there are no successful or interesting promotions to write about. However given the reasons I have just stated I remain unconvinced that it is the way to go.
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(To read more of Jose Marrero's opinions on everything in wrestling check out ?Wrestling Rumblings? his weekly feature here on WrestleView.com)
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We have two strong arguments f rom two very opinionated columnists. Whose side are you on? There will be polls set up on WrestleView.com where you can cast your vote and be sure to keep reading for future debates f rom some of WrestleView's finest columnists.