Ring of Honor COO Joe Koff recently spoke with Newsweek regarding ROH World Champion Matt Taven as well as ROH’s plans in attracting and securing future talent.
Referring to Taven as “a little bit arrogant,” Koff explained that despite not having a size advantage, the ROH World Champion isn’t afraid to take on bigger men.
“Matt is a really good ring technician, and he’s a really smart wrestler and a really good athlete,” Koff said. “[….] he has good instincts, and that’s what I think separates Ring of Honor from a lot of promotions. Just that tacit knowledge and the instincts that our wrestlers have inside the ring and how they respond and tell a story. Matt is really at the top of his game.”
A lot of ROH talent are signed to contracts that permit them to wrestle for different promotions. Koff explained how this mindset applies at different levels, depending on the wrestler.
“[Exclusivity] is pretty standard in the industry right now, and there are different levels of contract,” Koff said. “But you protect your top stars because it’s your brand and you want them representing that brand. Journeymen wrestlers or guys breaking in who need work and want more work, we don’t mind that. But it’s at different levels.”
Regarding ROH’s future plans to attract and keep talent, Koff pointed to the culture that ROH wants to provide and whether talent wants to be a part of that.
“It’s your culture, it’s what you provide to that culture and what part they play in that culture,” said Koff. “Ring of Honor has traditionally been a collaborative culture where input from its wrestlers is greatly appreciated and accepted. It really matters what you want as a lifestyle.”
He continued, “Wrestling is a very hard business on the body. We don’t wrestle 200 nights a year, and obviously we have big stars who are happy with that. And I’d imagine that the money is good for them to maintain that life and their bodies. We look for people who are interested in that, because that’s what we provide. We provide a warm, stable atmosphere that’s serious, athletic has a ton of integrity… But there are people who still want more, and there are other promotions that can offer that.”
ROH’s next pay-per-view, Death Before Dishonor, airs tonight. The show takes place from Sam’s Town Hotel and Gambling Hall in Las Vegas, Nevada.