One week after WWE’s headline Pay-Per-View WrestleMania 26, Ring of Honor will put on a pro-wrestling first. On Saturday April 3rd, ROH (as it is affectionately referred to as) will put on the first ever internet only Pay-Per-View event. Entitled “The Big Bang”, the event will emanate live from the Grady Cole Center in Charlotte, NC for a live audience and be streamed live over ROH’s partners at Gofightlive.TV.
It is actually a surprise that ROH is the first company to try this. WWE has been streaming Pay-Per-View events simultaneously with on-air broadcasts for years and had internet interactivity for years but has never dedicated itself to an online only Pay-Per-View.
Total Nonstop Action tried a Pay-Per-View only format for the company in its infancy but eventually made their way to Spike TV where their show Impact competes weekly now against WWE’s Monday Night Raw. Ring of Honor has experimented with various Pay-Per-View models in the past to varying success and now resides alongside its big brothers on Monday nights. ROH doesn’t directly compete with WWE and TNA though as they have an hour broadcast from 8 to 9 PM on HDNet which ends safely before Raw or Impact.
Jim Cornette, executive producer of Ring of Honor and legendary manager in professional wrestling has said, “Pro wrestling will explode into the 21st century on April 3rd… This event will showcase the emergence of ROH as the most exciting, athletic, hard-hitting and competitive style of pro wrestling in this country, with the youngest talent roster in the sport and a more serious sports approach than either WWE or TNA, the current industry leaders.” Cornette is no stranger to the production side of things as he had backstage roles as well as his on screen ones in both WWE and TNA.
It will be interesting to see the kind of numbers this event draws. Without the marketing budget or even TV exposure that WWE and TNA are privy to, ROH has been using grassroots marketing to spread the word. If it does pan out for them, expect to see both WWE and TNA examining their own business plans for future events.
Check out Ring of Honor’s website for more information on “The Big Bang” event. If you are still unsure how you feel about a third company trying to play with the big boys in the professional wrestling industry, take a look at these thoughts from Jim Cornette. “Just as the original Big Bang was the catalyst to life in the universe, ROH is presenting ‘The Big Bang!’ on April 3rd as the starting point when wrestling joins the new millenium.
The other national promotions have gotten out of touch with what today’s younger fans, as well as the disenfranchised fan of the 80’s and 90’s wants—new stars, competitive action, a more serious approach—not a bunch of grey-haired men yelling at each other about what took place 15 years ago, silly comedy skits with midgets and matches lasting three minutes. ‘The Big Bang!’ will change the face of wrestling and show that ROH is on the cutting edge of the new style.”