For an honest guy like me, wrestling can be a very expensive hobby, although there are guys who most likely have spent way more money than I have on my hobby. I’m not a pirater. I buy CDs, DVDs, original videogames, etc. My opinion is that if the publisher makes the effort, they should get the money (although for reasons beyond my control, you will see that is not 100% possible, and you will also see contradictions in this article). Also, money makes the world go around. Part of the economic crisis can be related to piracy. But that’s a topic for another article and/or website. Not only do I have the tendency to buy originals of everything (although, I admit it, I have an iPod with illegal mp3s), I have systems of purchasing and watching stuff. So in this article, I will talk about my R.O.H. and general wrestling collection along with TV Series, along with my watching habits. Bare with me, it’s very complicated when you read it, but when I practice it, it’s pretty simple.
I have been subscribed to an internet “smark” on YouTube, for a few years. He started talking about this promotion called “Ring of Honor”, so I decided to look into it. This was around 2008 or 2009. From what I saw, the promotion was based on wrestling as a sport, lack of storylines and based on athleticism. Now I admit, I grew up a W.W. E. man mostly, but I also loved Stampede Wrestling. Then during the Monday Night Wars I started getting into W.C.W. I didn’t watch anything else, but still I was always attracted more to the in-ring action than storylines.
So from what I read about R.O.H., the promotion really interested me, so I decided to buy every single show from the first to current show (something I’ve mentioned many times). So the start of the “Era of Honor Begins” search….begins. I was lucky at first. The first few shows were available on R.O.H.’s website; however, in very little time I was to find out how hard it can be to find Out of Print R.O.H. shows.
As I said, the first couple of shows were available on the R.O.H. site, however I expected it to be a recurrent thing throughout, however, about the fourth show, R.O.H. did not have it. I emailed the R.O.H. shop, and they said they did not plan to restock any time soon (back then). So I checked Amazon and they weren’t in stock. I hadn’t been a big fan of EBay, because I figured it was a “Buyer Beware” site, while Amazon had a “guarantee”. However I checked, and I found that show on EBay and I received the DVD without any problems.
For the following shows I noticed that many were not on the R.O.H. site, and I did see on the R.O.H. forums that the best chance is to try EBay, where there are various shows available and that’s what I did. I bought 99% of R.O.H. shows on EBay until….. “Revenge of the Prophecy”.
For months I searched EBay and no luck. I re-wrote R.O.H. and again they said no restock in the future. There was no way to find this D.V.D., I was stuck, with no R.O.H. and I’m a stubborn man with my systems, and there was no way I would skip this show. So I was insistent. FINALLY after about six or months I found a guy who was selling it, but he would only ship to the U.K. and not Spain. I asked him about shipping to Spain and he said, he doesn’t want to work with other European countries at the moment. However, I had a friend in the U.K. who agreed to send me the DVD from the U.K. to Spain. So I bid, and the seller cancelled my bid, I was like NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!. I asked the guy and he said, “I told you I don’t ship to Spain” I said, I’m going to get it shipped to the UK and then here. He said, ok, you’d better be sure.
I won the DVD finally, and waited a good three months for it (long story I don’t need to get into). Once I received it, I literally “Marked-Out”. However, the show was not worth the wait, but at least I could continue collecting shows.
Since Revenge of the Prophecy, the amount of DVDs I could find is more consistent and complete. I have bought about 10 DVDs on the R.O.H. Site, while the rest I’ve bought off of Amazon and EBay. It’s a good thing but it’s also a shame. I want to support R.O.H. and give them money, so I think it’s a shame that they don’t restock old DVDs which I could directly purchase to them, because the money doesn’t go to the promotion. Why doesn’t R.O.H. re-stock D.V.D.s? According to the forums there’s demand for them. They seem to sell well on EBay. With a corporation behind them, they should have more financial help to be able to. I guess it’s not my decision. At this time, the oldest DVD they have is from 2008, and there’s only one from that year.
During the time I couldn’t find Revenge on the Prophecy, I started looking into Chikara, C.Z.W. and Dragon Gate. So since I couldn’t buy this DVD I bought the first CZW show, which was horrible, and the first two Chikara shows (which I haven’t watched yet). I haven’t bought any Dragon Gate USA which I hope to, and I’m trying to look into Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, but its first show is not available. It’s a hassle, gonna take a lot of money and take a lot of time, but I have the following system, because I’m not the richest guy in the world.
My priority right now is Ring of Honor. At the current time, I’m in the middle of “Third Anniversary Celebration Part 1” however I own all the DVDs up to “Back to Basics”. My intention is to buy all the R.O.H. DVDs I physically can (I buy when I have time to check around). So while I can I will watch and buy R.O.H. in orders. At the moment I watch all the R.O.H. DVDs I possess and can’t buy the next R.O.H. DVD, I will watch some T.V. Series DVDs I have, and during this time If I can’t find the next R.O.H. DVD and I finish the T.V. Series DVDs I will FINALLY watch the Chikara DVD I have pending. When I finish this Chikara DVD and still can’t find the next R.O.H. I will buy the next Chikara, CZW or Dragon Gate DVD I can find, taking turns with the promotions I purchase, until I finally can get the next R.O.H. DVD. There are exceptions however.
Thanks to YouTube, there are many wrestling shows uploaded. Therefore, for CZW if I can find them on YouTube (and I have found the 2nd show), I’m really getting into the need to watch Japanese pro wrestling, and so I was able to find the first ever New Japan Pro Wrestling show on YouTube, and I hope to find more on YouTube, including most Japanese promotion shows (there are lots of Japanese wrestling shows on YouTube).
It’s not as complicated as it might be described by me, but oh man, my love for wrestling in the past years has gone up and I find this the best way to give an equal opportunity to all of them. The only promotion that doesn’t enter this system is W.W.E. which I have no need to collect or watch old matches I’ve grew up with.
— Jose Perez