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Marty Scurll: It’s not worth putting ‘lives at risk’ to run a pro wrestling show

Ring of Honor has not run any pro wrestling events since the shutdowns began due to the coronavirus pandemic. Marty Scurll appeared on the debut episode of the ROHStrong podcast to explain what happened on the weekend when the lockdowns began, in the middle of March when ROH was set to run a pay-per-view event:

“At first I think everyone was like, ‘Oh no, we should still run the shows. We’ve got a lot of fans coming from far and all the wrestlers are traveling and whatnot.’ But as the events unfolded for the day, and more and more stuff kept coming out, quickly the idea sort of changed to, ‘Actually, maybe this isn’t a good idea to run this show.’ When they said, ‘Ok, we’re going on lockdown,’ I was just like, ‘Guys, it breaks my heart, but we can’t run these shows.’

This is way bigger than pro wrestling. That would be so irresponsible for us to run a wrestling show and put our fans’ health at risk, and our talent and our staff’s health at risk. Ultimately, the decision was made that it really wouldn’t be a good idea to run these shows. Obviously that disappointed a lot of people, but I can promise you this, no one was more heartbroken than myself.”

WWE and AEW have pursued a completely different strategy of running empty arena pro wrestling events, but there’s zero doubt in Scurll’s mind that ROH made the right call:

“I had a lot of surprises in store for that weekend, a lot of new and exciting things. I wanted so badly for those shows to happen. But ultimately, it wasn’t worth putting people’s lives at risk. We’ve got to be responsible, we’ve got to make smart decisions...I know some fans were disappointed, but ultimately we 100% made the right decision.”

Minimizing unnecessary health risk is really what it all comes down to. The notion that pro wrestling is an essential business that needs to run during a global pandemic is so nonsensical that it’s perfect fodder for comedians like Conan O’Brien.

There is understandably no timetable for when Ring of Honor might be running events again, and based on what Scurll is saying, ROH will prioritize the health of fans and wrestlers as they figure out the best way to proceed.

You can check out Marty Scurll’s full thoughts on Ring of Honor’s official podcast here.

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