Ken Gelman, the man who brought Ring of Honor to Pay Per View, was the special guest on the 10/9 edition of In Your Head available at http://www.inyourheadonline.com , with hosts Jack, One Inch Biceps, and Barbie Richards.
Before the interview started, fans were reminded to visit http://www.ROHwrestling.com , as well as check out the 2nd ROH PPV, Driven, airing all month long.
Â Gelman first joined up with ROH a year and a half ago. During his last days with the WWE, Gelman was looking to branch out on his own. He was introduced to ROH employee Cary Silken. He had never seen the ROH product before, but after watching 30 seconds of it, was hooked, and saw that ROH had potential beyond its current scope. Gelman felt that a relationship between himself and ROH could be mutually beneficial, due to ROH’s dynamic product, and his own experience in TV and marketing.
Gelman says that the goals of the PPV’s are to expand the audience, and are the first step towards exposing the product to the masses.
Jack asks about how much the fans add to the product. When working for the WWE, Gelman realized that fans come and go, but the emotional attachments fans feel towards wrestlers can last a lifetime. ROH has done well because the wrestlers have connected with the fans. It is easy to see how passionate those fans are.
Gelman thinks the PPV’s have done a good job of appealing to longtime ROH fans, as well as first time viewers. He gives all the credit for this to booker, Gabe Sapolsky.
A caller asks which stars will carry ROH into the future. Gelman notes that one year ago, most of the ROH stars were also wrestlers associated with TNA, and feels that since then, the ROH roster has really stepped up. He mentions Nigel McGuinness, The Brisco Bros., Steen, Generico, Age of the Fall, and Bryan Danielson, but feels that many others in the locker room can become breakout stars as well.
Gelman then described his duties in ROH. He is involved with anything business development related that goes on in the company. He deals with distribution, sponsorship, PPV, TV, marketing, etc. There are plans for additional distribution on the product. Begining in 2008, ROH DVD’s will be available in retail stores through Koch media. Gelman was asked about filming in High Definition. It is a long term goal, but he doesn’t feel that they are close to it at present.
Cohost Barbie asks about PPV numbers. Gelman responded that the response to the PPV’s have been overwhelming, and the buyrates have exceeded their expectations.
Jack brings up the fact that recent events have hurt the perception of the wrestling business in as far as public opinion. Has this affected ROH? Gelman says that the negative attention has hurt everyone involved in wrestling, but feels that ROH is different enough to separate itself from the other wrestling companies, and can market itself based on the in ring product and the athleticism.
Gelman feels that the 2 hour length of the PPV’s is perfect because it keeps the show at a quicker pace, allows for more replays, and creates more flexibility in the schedule.
The interview concluded with Gelman telling fans who have never seen ROH before, to order the PPV’s, “Form your own opinion, but don’t be left out!” Once you see ROH, according to Gelman, there is no turning back.
ROH’s 2nd PPV, “Driven”, is airing all month long, and their 3rd PPV, “Man Up” will begin airing November 30.
Visit www.inyourheadonline.com to hear this interview in its entirety. Next Tuesday the In Your Head Crew will be joined by Missy Hyatt.
Special thanks to IYH Fan Hunter Shull for the recap.