Ring of Honor, despite being only the third largest wrestling promotion in the United States, features (arguably) the best wrestling available on American weekly television. There are several reasons for this, but one of the biggest reasons is the fact that they embrace the concept of cross-promotion. RoH never shies away from the opportunity to bring in someone from another wrestling company in and give them the platform to apply their trade. This May, Ring of Honor will once again do so in grand fashion.
New Japan Pro Wrestling stars Jushin “Thunder” Liger, “Rainmaker” Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi and Tetsuya Naito will be appearing at four shows. On May 12 & 13, War of the Worlds will be live at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia, PA. On May 15 & 16, Global Wars will take place at the Ted Reeve Arena in Toronto, Ontario. These four men are living legends and Hall of Famers in the making. Liger alone has probably been the most duplicated in ring competitor of the modern era. This slate of events will definitely give NJPW a higher profile here in the States, while keeping things fresh for the Ring of Honor competitors by giving them some fresh competition. Though a shrewd business move, it does have its detractors.
There are some who feel that RoH should be doing all it can to keep pushing towards that number two spot in the U.S. and that by giving precious screen time to another promotion isn’t the best way to do so. The Unbreakable Michael Elgins, the ReDragons and the Jay Lethals of the company could very well get lost in the shuffle. But, in my humble opinion, the pros far outweigh the cons.
Ring of Honor right now has some of the most talented wrestlers in the world, but you’d be hard pressed to find them on television at a decent or even regular timeslot outside of most major cities. Many of their wrestlers aren’t household names. They don’t have the production budget of a WWE or even a TNA. In this sense, they are very much in the position that ECW was in the mid 1990s. They can’t compete with the big two, so they need to do what the other companies can’t or won’t. Take the risks that Vince McMahon or Dixie Carter can’t or won’t.
How much more success do you think bringing in the talent of New Japan Pro Wrestling will bring to Ring of Honor?