Between The Turnbuckles
By Peter Hahn
I am quite sure that most readers of Missouri Wrestling Revival already know the great news, but for those that haven’t heard yet, Ring of Honor is going to debut in the St. Louis area on December 5, 2008! Seeing as the event was recently announced and is months away, we can only speculate on what Ring of Honor is going to give the fans of St. Louis. Hopefully, over the next several weeks, I will be able to give an idea of what we can expect at Ring of Honor’s St. Louis debut and more.
Part 1 – New Markets in 2008
So far in 2008, Ring of Honor has expanded into three new markets. I say “expanded” and not “debuted” because Ring of Honor has already returned or has announced returns to each of these markets. It should also be noted that Ring of Honor has announced debuts in several other markets as well, and if the trend continues Ring of Honor will be returning to these markets once again after several months.
As it would be when testing a new market, one would want to present a really good card with recognizable names (to bring in the fans) and follow through with great wrestling (to bring back the fans). We all know that’s how most independent wrestling shows are when we determine whether we will go to a show or return for another. What’s great about Ring of Honor is that it is a great mix of both, with more emphasis on the quality of wrestling compared to their television counterparts. Ring of Honor will definitely want to put their best foot forward in St. Louis, just as they have with debuts in the past.
We all know, or at least should, that Full Impact Pro (Ring of Honor’s sister company) is based in Florida and has been running shows since 2003. Many wrestlers that have appeared in Full Impact Pro have also appeared in Ring of Honor. Ring of Honor made their debut in Orlando, Florida in late March with two huge shows: “Supercard of Honor III” and “Dragon Gate Challenge II.” Both of these cards were highlighted with top stars from Ring of Honor taking on popular stars of Japanese promotion Dragon Gate. The fans were already familiar with many of the wrestlers, both from Ring of Honor and Dragon Gate, as many had previously been appearing in Full Impact Pro regularly.
In early May Ring of Honor made their way to Manassas, Virginia for a show titled “Southern Navigation.” While Manassas, Virginia may not be in the South, it is in the general direction compared to where Ring of Honor holds most of their shows. Several months later Ring of Honor tested out Toronto, Ontario and ended up with one of the largest attendance turnouts in Ring of Honor history! This show was titled “Northern Navigation” as it was their first venture into Canada. Could the debut in the St. Louis area be titled “Western Navigation?” It’s a good guess based upon past expansions this year.
The shows in Manassas and Toronto were filled with Ring of Honor’s top stars including: Chris Hero, Delirious, Brian Danielson, Claudio Castagnoli, Austin Aries, Jay & Mark Briscoe, Tyler Black, Jimmy Jacobs, Necro Butcher, Ring of Honor World Champion Nigel McGuinness, and appearances by Pro Wrestling NOAH’s Naomichi Marufuji and Go Shiozaki. Ring of Honor doesn’t let down when it comes to bringing together the best talent on the independent scene and from overseas. Based upon past shows, Ring of Honor’s debut in St. Louis is sure to be explosive!
Tune in next week as I speculate on what Ring of Honor will bring to the fans in St. Louis!