Joe Koff, the COO of Ring Of Honor, described recent reports of WWE potentially buying the promotion as a non-story.
“It was not a story," Koff told The Baltimore Sun in an interview. "It was not a story when it came out. I think people want to make a story out of nothing. I’m very open in conversations with very many different wrestling promotions. And I think sometimes because I don’t share a lot of stuff, we’re very private about what we do. I think it raises speculation. I think this thing with the WWE really started because we were in conversations about content for Kevin Owens’ DVD. There was a lot of back and forth between the two companies. I think that was the seed that drove that story.”
Last month, it was reported that WWE was in talks to purchase ROH and its video library, with the ROH TV program starting to air on the WWE Network.
Koff also addressed the recent slew of roster moves that have taken place in the promotion. Since the start of 2017, several wrestlers have left or chosen not to renew their deals, including former ROH world and tag champion Kyle O'Reilly, the past two winners of the Top Prospect Tournament -- Donovan Dijak and Lio Rush -- and Keith Lee. Meanwhile, Adam Cole's current contract with the promotion expires in May.
“I think we currently have a fluid and a dynamic group," Koff said. "There’s a lot of egos involved in wrestling. There’s a lot of very young people in there. Young people have the same issues no matter what career they’re in. Sometimes they don’t have the patience, sometimes they don’t want to wait. Sometimes they think it’s better to do other things now in hope that they can advance their career. That will always be the case. So yes, it probably could end up being a good thing.”
Koff also pointed out recent debuts by longtime wrestling stars such as Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy, and Bully Ray. While the Hardys already have moved on to WWE, Bully Ray currently holds the ROH Six Man Tag Titles with the Briscoe Brothers.
"We've become a destination for a lot of people who want to have some of the artistic flexibilities, and not wrestle as many nights a week as other promotions do," he said. "We have a distribution, we're national in scope. We're able to compensate competitively. I think also, our locker room and our culture contributes to it. For Bully Ray to want to be part of it, or the Hardys to come in for a short period of time, it comes back to being a big compliment for the organization. There are lots of people who want to come in to Ring of Honor, and I don't blame them; it's a wonderful place to wrestle. Not everybody is going to get into ROH. It requires a certain understanding of the brand. It's more about the brand than the person. The person becomes the brand, and represents the brand. If you look at our past champions, they exemplified that brand and that style. The current roster exemplify the brand in that style. It's all about wrestling the Ring of Honor brand. I think Bully wanted to be part of that, and I don't blame him."
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