Ring Of Honor COO Joe Koff Offers More Details On Hiatus Announcement
The announcement was made earlier this week
Ring Of Honor's Chief Operating Officer Joe Koff has explained how the COVID-19 Pandemic ultimately led to the decision to put the promotion on hiatus in the first quarter of 2022.
ROH announced this week that all contracted wrestlers will be released from their contracts at the end of the year as the promotion takes time in early 2022 to reconsider the future of the brand.
Speaking with Mike Johnson of PWInsider, Koff has now gone into the details regarding the moments that led to the devastating announcement from ROH earlier this week.
Koff said: "We had to move forward, with a great roster and a strategy, and our strategy was to go weekly and everybody knew that. It was going to be part of that July, I think we’re in 2020 now … Again, we were relying on resources that we had to create. We didn’t have the luxury of point of destination television viewing, but we used our own resources and our own creative abilities to try and deliver that weekly product to the fan.
“Then what hit after that? I don’t have to tell everybody’s aware of it, was COVID. I remember the time. We talked, I think Mike, when we cancelled that show. You and I have talked a lot about COVID and I will tell you this, there are some crowning moments. If you hear my voice cracking, Mike, it’s just because obviously it’s very emotional day, but when I speak of the responsibility and the care that we have taken for our wrestlers and our staff, it’s not a fan’s necessarily crowning achievement, but it’s a personal crowning achievement to what we accomplished.
"We were able to keep everyone safe and contracted through the duration. We did well, and probably did the best with the hopes that we would prevail and get back to our pre COVID plan. Unfortunately, that’s what really makes today really hard. We weren’t able to do it. Again, we’re an operating unit of a large company, held to the same standards as other operating units in our company, and we just had to make a decision that due to everything else that’s going on, we had to make a pivot."
Koff also offered some more context around the hiatus that ROH is taking, assuring fans that the promotion is still planning to utilise content while the company reimagines what the product looks like.
"After Final Battle, which is on December 11th, we are going to take the first quarter off and we are going to reimagine a new Ring of Honor product. So Ring of Honor’s not going away, it’s just going to have a different look. We are going to use that first quarter. We have amazing archival footage. Our programs will all be original. They’ll all be new.
"We have a couple of surprises that we can talk about later on that I think the fans will really like, but the fans have always been the most important part of our business, Mike, you know that, and we want to move to a much more fan engaged promotion. We value the fans. We are looking and we think it’s important to all fans say, “We need to have this guy.” You know what? I’m going to listen because they’re the fans. Look to book creatively with Hunter [Johnston] and our team, the best talent that makes sense for a storyline, for an arc, for a show like Supercard and just bring wrestling, just great wrestling to our fans."