The idea behind the Women of Honor title started roughly one year ago.
Speaking to Mandy Leon and ROH COO Joe Koff, CBS Local Sports laid out the scenario of how the Women of Honor title came into fruition. The story goes that about a year ago, ROH officials approached the division and told them to sculpt their future. They gave them creative control over their storylines.
“This is their division, and I think that they have to have a part in it, and I think they have to have a buy-in in it,” said Koff. “By allowing them to articulate their viewpoints and to show us what they think of how the division should operate allows us to have an all-in kind of buy-in.”
Ring of Honor's creative team started to draft plans while the women's in-ring product and presentation largely remained the same.
“We would sit behind the computer and type up documents, graphs and all of that,” competitor Mandy Leon said. “After the calls, we had folders full of paperwork that we would, at the next show, literally hand over to Joe Koff and Greg and say, ‘hey, this is what we came up with.’ The next telephone call would be, ‘okay, I read over the documents here’s my ideas.’ Then we had some more of our own ideas, and it would go from there. Literally what you imagine as a business meeting, it was.”
After all the pitches and ideas were accounted for, they decided on a sixteen woman tournament, with the winner becoming the first Women of Honor champion. For Leon, who was for years one of the only female trainees in the Ring of Honor dojo, it was definitely a sight to see.
“To see it transform and become what it is just from me simply asking for one match and now it’s just becoming this huge 16-women tournament to crown the first ever Women of Honor champion. It’s a huge deal,” she said.
The tournament starts on January 20 in Nashville, Tennessee.