Cary Silkin talks future for Ring of Honor
I just posted an interview with ROH Owner Cary Silkin at http://www.newsday.com/steelcage
. In it he offers his first public comment about firing Gabe Sapolsky. Cary also talks about the company’s new creative direction, the need for a major production upgrade for ROH, what’s being done about it, and ROH’s involvement in “The Wrestler.” Here are some excerpts:
On firing Gabe:
“A lot of it boiled down to simple business and as a company there needed to be some changes. Gabe was a very successful booker for most of his run. I think historically, six years-plus as a booker might be a record. And, you know, things just weren’t working. And it was the right time to make a change. It’s pretty much as simple as that. He did a tremendous amount of good things in his time, but it had sort of run its course and the change was important.”
On what was wrong with the product:
“I think the product had become more wrestling move oriented than wrestling oriented. And we have such talented guys and I think there was a lot of redundancy in the matches. You know, it’s funny to think about it because we had so many good shows during his run. But it comes down to dollars to and how we’re drawing and how the DVDs are selling, so we needed to make a change… It was just a lot of excess. Too many guys. Too many matches. You’ve experienced it yourself. You’re burned out sometimes by the intermission. And there’s a way, whether there’s a concert or any kind of performance, to be arranged so you don’t get that kind of feeling. And I know in my experience with these shows that we’ve been doing, they’re much more palatable for the fans, and I think they’re better.”
On the criticism that ROH’s production is below par:
“Not only do I agree with it, we’ve officially done something about it… As of this upcoming weekend, we have a fully upgraded system on our own. They’re the equivalent of the [professional production crew] cameras used for the last pay per view. They’re being used by our staff under strict training, so starting with the Final Battle weekend, the Philadelphia show, the New York show, and every show further on, we’re going with an incredible upgrade – the same as you can get on the pay per view. We were well aware of the need for that, but it just comes down to – everything is money. But we’re able to do it now, so we’ve done it.”
On ROH’s current financial situation:
“We’re definitely on safe ground. It’s nice to know that the fans are so worried. But, yeah, we’re doing fine. We wouldn’t have done this expensive production upgrade if we weren’t on safe ground. It would be the last thing we’d be doing. So yeah, everything is on target business-wise.”
On ROH’s involvement in “The Wrestler.”
“I think this has gone beyond anybody’s wildest expectations about how this would be received. So our participation in it – which would be exciting even if it wasn’t a hit – is very exciting now. And I think it’s just the tip of the iceberg. I mean, it’s really amazing. I saw the movie also. I went to New York Film Festival. And it’s great to see us as the pay off, so to speak. And the guys who have bit parts of the movie, and guys who had some major parts, such as Necro, it’s great. I’m just really pleased. I think this is certainly a catalyst for us to get our name out there to some people who do not know Ring of Honor. That’s the key to the whole thing. We know we have the people who know about us. That’s a small world.”
There’s a lot more in the interview about Sapolsky’s departure, the production upgrade, his thoughts on C.M. Punk’s last year in WWE, ROH’s new DVD subscription service, an update on the TV situation, and the prospects of the new deal with Direct TV.
Alfonso A. Castillo
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