“We don’t consider ourselves sports entertainment” – Joe Koff on ROH

4 years ago by Pete Quinnell

“We don’t consider ourselves sports entertainment” – Joe Koff on ROH

Ring of Honor (ROH) COO Joe Koff recently spoke with Newsweek about a variety of topics about his company, including its growth, appeal, and how he views it.

When speaking about the company’s growth, Koff stated:

“We wrestle a style and brand. We don’t wrestle specific people, because since I’ve been here we’ve had many stars who were major ROH personalities move on to other promotions yet ROH has never been bigger or better. We’re growing out of our teenage years and heading into young adulthood, so there’s a bit of rambunctiousness and a little bit of disruptor in that. But at the same time we’re getting older, getting more responsibility, more disciplines and we’re seeing that right now with ROH.”

 

Related: Kevin Owens SHOOTS on Ring of Honor Selling Out Madison Square Garden

On top of their growth, it seems Koff is determined to make ROH not just an “alternative” option for fans:

“When I hear the word alternate or alternative, it means it’s not your first choice. And I don’t feel that way about Ring of Honor at all and that’s proven by the MSG sell out that ROH is their first choice. These are our fans who pay to have our product and early-access to tickets. I don’t think they’d like to be considered to an alternate to another fan, they are real fans.”

Of course one of WWE’s favorite buzzwords is calling their product “sports entertainment” as opposed to “professional wrestling”, but it seems Koff’s ROH is very much the latter:

“Why is Ring of Honor so exciting right now? It’s because of the quality, the artistry, the integrity and the athleticism of our wrestlers both men and women. They take this sport very seriously and as such we are an entertaining sport we don’t consider ourselves sports entertainment, which is an opposite to some of the other wrestling promotions.”

An entertaining sport rather than sports entertainment says it all. The emphasis with Koff is on the sport, not the entertainment, and that’s what makes it entertaining. It’s a very interesting perspective, and one that undoubtedly has shaped ROH as a solid wrestling promotion in its own right. Not just as an alternative to WWE.

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