Ian Riccaboni On ROH’s Place In A Competitive Wrestling Market, The Long Term Plan & More

ROH announcer Ian Riccaboni was a recent guest on WINCLY. During the appearance, he discussed the current competitiveness of the wrestling landscape, what ROH can do to keep up and their long term plan. Here are the highlights:

On The Opportunities That He Has Been Afforded:

All these opportunities that come up have been amazing. I think back to when the Young Bucks were here and guys like Colt Cabana. He and I talk about this a lot. That there is a finite of amount of opportunity, whether it’s time or money to do what you love to do. My days are long and packed tight, but I’m so thankful for the opportunities to be able to do everything I’m able to do.

Honestly, I’m just trying to live my life to the fullest right now. Really, every person that can dictate that, I value the opinion of my wife. If she tells me I need to be home more, then I’m going to be home more. If she says I need to have more time with the kids, that’s whose opinion I’m going to take seriously. It’s a fun and thrilling challenge. With all the new developments [in Ring of Honor] like new markets like Seattle and Portland, new television markets, Madison Square Garden and the NWA Crockett Cup. It’s all good right now. It really is.

On His Role With World Armwrestling League & Their Partnership With ROH:

I think back to a time period when I first started getting into Ring of Honor and remember watching the original events on VHS and seeing the crowds form the Armory and just the passion. I think the passion is the same. There are intense bursts in the World ArmWrestling League when they are live, there is nothing quite like it. When you understand the strategy and some of the physics behind it, it’s a pretty awesome experience. It’s not unlike Ring of Honor where you can become a fan very quickly. There is a low learning curve. Their personalities are big, the stars are big. There is just this awesome energy when you are at World Armwrestling League event.

It’s pretty neat having Ring of Honor partner with the World Armwrestling League. I know PCO is the inaugural Ring of Honor-WAL co-champion. He won that at the Festival of Honor at the Madison Square Garden [Hulu] Theater…The live experience is more intimate just because when the arm wrestlers are competing, it’s a very small stage and setup when they are competing and pulling to ensure everybody has the best view possible. There is a limited amount number of tickets and availability. Just a hair more intimate, but I say the energy and intensity is very comparable. Some of the athletes are larger-than-life as well like wrestlers they have personalities. A lot of them have day jobs, are firefighters, mechanics, farmers, dads and moms. It’s a really cool atmosphere.

On ROH’s Place In The Current Wrestling Landscape:

Ring of Honor not only survives but thrives because of the leadership we’ve had that has built a steady progression where decisions were made at a rate that allowed us to grow naturally and expand our audience naturally,” he said. “When the right talent became available to be able to open the checkbook and showcase that great talent. I think of the great talent we got this year, which I think is one of the biggest hauls we’ve ever had in one calendar year where we acquired PCO, Rush, PJ Black, Tracy Williams, Mark Haskins, Bandido, David Finlay, Juice Robinson, all of that talent because ROH talent throughout 2019. For me, we’ve done the right thing in terms of replacing great athletes and great people that have left with the best available from the market.

Some people are calling it a rebuilding phase. I think it’s a continuation of Ring of Honor doing the right thing of continuing to build incrementally on what we’ve had. That strategy allowed us to do G1 Supercard at Madison Square Garden, allows us to do the Summer Supercard with CMLL, New Japan, NWA … That’s the kind of strategy and thinking that allowed us to do these cool events and expand our audience. It’s interesting with the competition, a lot of us including myself are very happy for the stars who have left. We wish them continued success, but at the same time we know the eyes of the wrestling world are going to be a little bit more divided and we have to work especially hard to not only keep but expand our share of the pie.

On The Long Term Plan For ROH:

Do I hope we do more live HonorClub matches? Absolutely. That’s one great way to keep our fans involved. Do I hope some of the recent acquisitions by Sinclair Broadcasting with the regional sports networks can help us and potentially allow us to broadcast on those? I hope so. I don’t have any involvement in the office. I don’t know. So that’s me speculating as a fan.

That might help us get more eyes on Ring of Honor. So, there are opportunities coming up with more succinct partnership with Stadium, which is a great sports channel that we already broadcast on. These are things are little steps in grand scheme of things, but when you add them all together that will give us the greatest potential to grow with the talent, we acquired in 2019.

You can listen to the podcast below:

Credit: WINCLY.

80s Wrestling Con takes place on Saturday, October 26th in Freehold, NJ at iPlay America. The event features Ted DiBiase, Sgt. Slaughter, Bob Backlund, Paul Orndorff, Demolition, Brutus Beefcake, and more! For Superstars, Attractions, and Ticket information go to 80sWrestlingCon.com.

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