In some curious news that was revealed today, it appears that Tony Khan has filed an application for a new trademark for his newly-purchased Ring of Honor. The filing has been made under the applicant name of ROH Acquisition Co., LLC, which is registered at the Jacksonville Jaguars stadium TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Florida (Khan co-owns the team, of course).
The filing appears to be pretty standard, focussing on its use for various entertainment services. However, one thing that has caught a lot of fans’ eyes is the new logo for ROH that was logged as part of the filing. Check it out for yourselves:
Wow. Ok. There’s a lot of thoughts to unpack here. Firstly, this is just a mock-up that was submitted with the trademark filing—there’s nothing to say that this is how the final logo will look in the end. Also, the grey and white colour scheme is standard on new logos included on filings and as such, it is likely that the colours will be completely different if this is the logo Tony Khan and company choose to make official.
Now that the sensible things have been said, let’s turn to the irrational and passionate.
Plain and simple, this is an awful logo. Awful. I’m usually quite balanced in my opinions, but I really had a visceral reaction to this logo. It just doesn’t look like a wrestling logo at all. The font looks cheap, the kind of thing you might see for a company selling cheap storage lockers or something. It certainly doesn’t look especially professional and well thought out, and it doesn’t look like the AEW logo, which pops on the screen and really does look representative of a sporting endeavour. This, by comparison, looks like someone spent five minutes making it on Microsoft Paint.
The question suggests itself: why “fix” what wasn’t broke? The last ROH logo (see above) was beautiful. It looked professional and well-made but suggested aggression and combat in its use of points on the edges of letters, particularly making a feature out of this in the ‘O’ in the centre, which I always found reminiscent of a barbed wire-wrapped fist. It’s the curve of the lines and the grey colouring, which is made to stand out by the use of red and yellow edging.
I can understand Tony Khan is looking to give ROH a fresh new feel, to suggest a relaunch and bring it in line with his branding, but this logo isn’t it. I can only hope it’s a first draft and that online reaction to it will force a rethink. ROH is almost like the Fugazi or The Clash of wrestling: it’s name inspires great passion in the hearts of the devoted. And with that in mind, Tony Khan could do worse than go back to the past and use what is considered the classic logo. He already has several wrestlers on his books that made ROH’s golden period. Why not evoke the period and suggest that the new ROH will aspire to reach those great heights again?
Remember: Honor is real…