With Kevin Kelly leaving the post of being Ring of Honor's top play-by-play broadcaster earlier this year, Ian Riccaboni has filled that role and has gotten the full support of the company and from Kelly.
Riccaboni appeared on Fightful's "The List & Ya Boy" podcast to talk about his new role as the main broadcaster for Ring of Honor television. Riccaboni said he was surprised and excited when he got the call. Riccaboni recounts the story of how he found out about getting the position and had nothing but compliments to give to Kelly, whom Riccaboni called a mentor and a father figure.
"It just about knocked my socks off. I remember being in a taxi heading to an airport and I knew I was going to work in Texas. It was interesting because I had heard some things, but then I received a call from one of my producers who had filled me in on what was going on and said Kevin would no longer be our full-time announcer. He asked me if I was interested in assuming being the host of Ring of Honor wrestling. In my head, I thought it would take me maybe five or 10 years and I really hold Kevin in high regard. He's a friend, he's a mentor. He's somebody that has been a combination of a father figure and big brother to me. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I said yes immediately because I felt like I could get comfortable, grow into the role," Riccaboni said.
Even though Riccaboni was ecstatic about being the main broadcaster for one of the biggest wrestling companies in the world, Riccaboni admitted that he had some doubts over whether or not he could fill Kelly's shoes.
"Of course, when you accept something that big, a little bit of doubt starts to creep into you. Can I really do this? Those types of things started to run through my head, but I got pretty confident pretty quickly.I think I had something like 16 different partners on television. It's been fun," Riccaboni said.
But the new voice of Ring of Honor got a major endorsement from Kelly in one of the biggest events for the company of the year. Riccaboni even recalled one story before he was set to commentate on ROH's 15th Anniversary show. Riccaboni said the original set up has Riccaboni on one side of the broadcast table. Kelly then interjected and insisted that Riccaboni sit in the middle of the trio of broadcasters, in between Kelly and Colt Cabana, so that Riccaboni can be viewed as the main broadcaster and the one running the ship.
Riccaboni has been with ROH since 2014, tasked with hosting the company's Women of Honor shows. Now he's calling the main show and pay-per-view events, in addition to many ROH update videos.
"The List & Ya Boy," hosted by Fightful owner Sean Ross Sapp and Fightful owner Jimmy Van, can be seen live on YouTube and on Fightful every Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET. Riccaboni's comments can be seen in the video above. Fightful has weekend coverage of three ROH Global Wars shows this weekend. You can find more information on them over at ROHWrestling.com.