Recent reports suggest that legendary manager and one of the most outspoken people in the wrestling business, Jim Cornette, will not continue to assist booking the Ring Of Honor promotion with the head trainer of the ROH, Delirious. The decision comes after much criticism towards ROH for the direction of the promotion and backlash because of technically problems for a recent Internet pay-per-view. So, what does this mean for Cornette and ROH?
Cornette has proved to be one of the most brilliant and insightful minds in the wrestling industry, while sounding bitter with an unrealistic view of what he thinks the wrestling business should be. His tirades against Vince Russo, TNA, and the WWE have been completely over done. His once informal interviews have become bitter rants towards some of his former employers and in some ways, I think it tarnishes his legacy, as he’s become more known for his hatred of main stream wrestling than his outstanding career. Yes, Russo is an idiot and yes, TNA booking can be ridiculous, (although it has improved drastically in recent months) but those statements from Cornette have been heard multiple times while he suggest an old school style should be used today. As far as that goes, wrestling has been exposed as entertainment and the bottom line is the wrestling that Cornette praise from the territory days does not translate to the main stream of today. Does that mean everything the WWE does to attempt to seem current works? Absolutely not, but wrestling evolves and judging from interviews, Cornette seems to think you can present an 80s product to an audience in 2012 and draw money. Proof of this not working is Cornette’s own Smokey Mountain Wrestling promotion from the early 90s that ran old school shows in small towns and only survived a few years. I’m not claiming to have the answer to ROH’s problems, even though much of their die hard fan base makes such claims, but obviously, SMW showed you have to stay current for a promotion to expand. Cornette’s dismissal from the ROH booking staff does not speak well of him, as even the promotion he claims uses his booking philosophy, seems to have realized Cornette is too far behind the times to know how to expand a fan base. However, Cornette will remain apart of the company in a production aspect, which is great considering they need a major production upgrade for the product. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t an attempt to bury Jim Cornette and I think he’s probably the second greatest manager all of time, just behind the legendary Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, who Cornette has said is the greatest manager in the history of wrestling. That being said, Cornette working on production, while not booking is probably a good decision for the promotion.
As far as what ROH needs going forward is really anyone’s guess. They have a tremendous talent roster, in terms of in ring action, but they don’t promote or book those stars effectively. For example, Eddie Kingston was brought in to challenge for the ROH title a few months ago and I think Kingston is one of the most underrated talents in wrestling today. His matches are good and his promos are great, but he was booked in the main event of an iPPV with almost no build up and he hadn’t wrestled in ROH for years so the match was actually minimized compared to what it could have been if it was given the chance to build to a decent storyline. It seems as though ROH just doesn’t know how to make stars and the lack of overall promotion for the company doesn’t help either. Sinclair Broadcasting, a TV network, owns ROH, yet there’s not many advertisements for the company during network shows. The iPPV debacles haven’t helped matters and again, how does such a thing happen when a TV network owns the promotion? Further more, how does ROH expect people to pay to watch the show online when there has been numerous incidents where fans that paid to watch the stream of the event couldn’t watch it because of technically difficulties? Hopefully, the shift in booking direction will help improve the ROH product, but considering they’ve struggled since WWE and TNA signed many of the wrestlers that helped built ROH, it seems like Sinclair Broadcasting will have to improve the production before fans will pay to watch another ROH Internet PPV.
Until next week
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