The year of 2016 has been a trying one for fans of Ring Of Honor (ROH). There has been frustration with the company’s booking, particularly its New Japan-centric nature. Several key performers, like Roderick Strong, Moose and Cedric Alexander, have already left the company for better opportunities elsewhere. More may follow in their footsteps before the year is over.
One positive for ROH should have been their first tour of the UK since 2007, a sign of continued expansion despite their internal problems. However, the scheduling of the tour unfortunately reveals more questionable judgement by ROH management.
The problem is that their first show of the tour on Friday Nov. 18th at the Liverpool Olympia goes head to head with a Preston City Wrestling (PCW) event in the same city. This is controversial because PCW are ROH’s partner in the UK, having done combined events together in 2014 and 2015. This tradition will continue this year too with Supershow Of Honor III being held the following weekend (Nov. 25th-26th) in Preston’s Evoque nightclub.
Frankly, it’s an embarrassing oversight for this to happen. Without PCW paying to bring over much of the ROH roster to the UK for their combined supershow, it’s unlikely ROH’s tour of the country would be financially viable. Partners should work together in a spirit of cooperation to benefit both of their businesses. PCW have helped ROH in the UK market, so ROH should have done everything possible to ensure that their tour of the UK didn’t hurt PCW. The last thing ROH should have done is scheduling a show in the same market on the same night as PCW, making it much tougher for them to sellout. That’s just complete insanity.
How would ROH feel if New Japan booked an event in the United States to go head to head with one of their own shows? It’s hard to feel any sympathy for them getting “bullied by New Japan at every turn” when they commit a worse act of unintentional sabotage to their own smaller partner in the UK. These sort of blindingly obvious mistakes should never happen, but is sadly unsurprising at a time when ROH seems to be lurching from one PR disaster to another.