Listen to ROH owner Tony Khan as he conducted a media call this Thursday ahead of this Saturday’s Death Before Dishonor.
He talked about a vast array of subjects, like the ROH roster, signing the Briscoes Brothers exclusively in ROH long-term, the possibility of a weekly TV show, his long-term vision for the company, his approach to this PPV and its card, the possibility of touring, being focused on 2 companies at the same time, the differences between AEW and ROH, Willow’s future in ROH, Colt Cabana, “reimagining” a company with a long legacy, and many more.
SteelChair Mag took part in the call we now can share with you above. We even had the chance to ask Tony Khan about keeping the tradition of ROH alive with talents that helped make it, like CM Punk, Samoa Joe or Claudio. Here was his answer:
I think it’s been tremendously important to the resurrection of Ring of Honor getting some of the key names involved. I think “Final Battle”, AEW had very little to do with the event, but I wanted to help out because, like I’ve shown with a lot of other wrestling companies, when the chips are down, if somebody needs help, if it’s not going to hurt AEW, and it’s going to help them but not hurt us, I’ll generally do it. We’ve done it for other wrestling companies before, and when Ring of Honor was going down, “Final Battle 2021” was going to be the last show under the previous ownership and it was looking to be the last Ring of Honor event for probably a while. And they came and reached out and we’re interested in having some of the legends of Ring Of Honor like CM Punk, Bryan Danielson, Adam Cole, who are 3 of the top stars in AEW.
Of course, all of them have been out injured and I’m optimistic we’ll get all 3 back, hopefully soon, and it’ll make a huge difference in AEW, that not to get totally sidetracked talking about AEW, but that there are 3 of the great legends of Ring of Honor. At the time of “Final Battle”, they were all on fire in AEW. I mean in December, that’s the stuff that was carrying us into the TBS era, the 3 programs that really got AEW through from TNT to TBS transition, I’m in my opinion, and really just looking at the data, were the CM Punk versus MJF, the Hangman Page versus Bryan Danielson and the Orange Cassidy versus Adam Cole programs, which all 3 did great every week.
Punk, Danielson, and Cole, at the time, were a huge part of AEW TV every week, but also 3 legends who had very different careers and had huge accomplishments, each of the three of them on Ring of Honor. And, of course, CM Punk and Bryan Danielson are two of the original four Ring of Honor Hall of Famers in the inaugural class. I was happy to have them do the video packages and I think it did add a lot to the presentation of “Final Battle” to see a lot of those stars talking about how Ring of Honor was important to them. As it happened so much in all sports, including pro wrestling, their show got disrupted by COVID. And they needed a replacement for a main match on the show. And so Jay Lethal is another one of the greatest wrestlers in Ring of Honor’s history. He had just started with us and I sent Jay Lethal to work that show, which is now very fitting because here’s Jay Lethal in the new Ring of Honor. We talk about one of the greatest wrestlers in the Ring of Honor history and the longest reigning television champion in ROH history.
So it’s very cool getting these wrestlers involved in Ring of Honor, I was happy to do it, honestly, before
we had anything to do with it, and there was a decent chance that we weren’t going to be the one that ended up buying this company. But that’s not why I did it, I thought it was the right thing to do. And they asked, and when I’ve asked people in wrestling for favours, people have helped me out but generally, to be honest, probably more so I get asked all the time for stuff and I mostly, when I can try, to accommodate it. That was one of those times where I’m glad we did.
So I think it’s been important to the relaunch and the New Ring of Honor to have this feel that some of the great stars are coming back. I think Ian (Riccaboni) summed it up in a thread he put together, probably better than I’ve seen anybody else say, it was last year and Ian would say our Samoa Joe, they’re now in this Ring of Honor. How was Claudio fare and this Ring of Honor. Well, this weekend you get to find out for yourself. You get to see a lot of the young stars that have come up in this Ring of Honor today and in recent years again, some of the greatest stars in the 20 year history of Ring of Honor who’ve gone on and had left and now are back because ROH is stronger, in my opinion, than it’s ever been before now after 20 years of history and it’s crazy it ended up here.
I believe it’s been a really big part of the success of the relaunch, bringing back some of the biggest stars of Ring of Honor while also keeping a lot of the people that kept bringing them on and going in recent years involved in the show.
ROH Death Before Dishonor Card (as of today)
- ROH World Championship match: Jonathan Gresham (c) (with Tully Blanchard) vs. Claudio Castagnoli
- ROH World Television Championship: Samoa Joe (c) vs. Jay Lethal (with Sonjay Dutt & Satnam Singh)
- Pure Wrestling Rules match for the ROH Pure Championship: Wheeler Yuta (c) vs. Daniel Garcia
- 2-out-of-3-falls match for the ROH World Tag Team Championship: FTR (Cash Wheeler & Dax Harwood) (c) vs. The Briscoe Brothers (Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe)
- ROH Women’s World Championship match: Mercedes Martinez (c) vs. Serena Deeb
- Six-man tag team match for the ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Championship: The Righteous (Vincent, Bateman & Dutch) (c) vs Dalton Castle & The Boys
- The Buy-In match: Allysin Kay vs Willow Nightingale
ROH Death Before Dishonor is live on Pay-Per-View this Saturday at 8 PM ET (1 AM GMT) from Lowell, Massachusetts. The Buy-In pre-show is available for free at 7 PM ET (midnight GMT) on Fite TV.
All pics, audio and videos courtesy of ROH