And why shouldn’t ring announcer Bobby do that? He’s been with ROH for so many years, beginning as Steve Corino’s personal ring announcer but he did so much more than that, particularly recently.
And this interview for Pro Wrestling Insider is so sweet, warm and enjoyable, it is incredibly good to spend time with.
There’s minimal woeing and hand wringing here about Ring Of Honor, Bobby is clear he doesnt want to get emotional, just a celebration of the opportunities and delight it gave him.
He’s interviewed here by Mike Johnson who knows him well and that takes us to areas we want to know now, dipping into the past a little but bringing things bang up to date.
Bobby talks about CM Punk’s last night with ROH being something special, but he’s also asked about favourite venues with Hammerstein Ballroom getting a nod, he understands why ROH needed to book larger halls as business picked up, but he clearly has a hankering for the small halls.
And then he’s asked which ROH wrestlers he thought were underrated. He picks 2, Eddie Edwards and Roderick Strong, the latter of whom he says could wrestle so many different matches and be solid each time, mentions also his happiness at Roddy’s NXT opportunity, watching it recently, I’m not sure congratulations are in order…
And now to the main part of the interview.
The Women’s Division
It’s been such a shining light in ROH programming and Bobby has been working with Maria Kanellis-Bennet to book it.
Shouldn’t be a shock as Bobby has booking experience, but he’s been so quiet, which is testament to his open nature and love of wrestling and wrestlers.
He professes happiness at the women’s division and rightly so, it’s been the highlight of recent ROH work along with the Pure Division.
He talks eloquently and with real care about three people in the Women’s Division :
Mandy Leon: Bobby is very keen to stress that this isn’t about her life outside of the ring. She clearly has the ROH experience, being there since 2014.
She’s a locker room leader and Cruise implies she has a big informal role in bringing on newer female wrestlers.
When he and Maria started the work on the Division. He’s clear they she has a big and very positive influence.
Rok – C : the current ROH Women’s Champ. Asked why it was her as Bobby accepts they had other options, Bobby tells Mike that she has a presence and if ROH was staying around in it’s current format, his idea was have her on the morning shows of Sinclair affiliates.
Great idea, ROH owner Sinclair Broadcast Group have the outlets to get the Rok-C character out there and cross over to a non-wrestling crowd.
Miranda Alize : Bobby has lovely words about her too, he feels she would have had the belt, just not now.
His consideration was that she had more of an abrasive character, the pointed out that she does call herself The Lucha Baddie. He seemed to make it clear that it was a title possibility down the line.
Maria Is Here!
And then, as a sweet surprise for Bobby, Maria Kanellis-Bennet arrives. And things get lovelier.
They have clearly enjoyed working together and delighted with the results. She particularly wants to let him know how good it was for him to do the work with her so quietly.
Bobby is very modest, Maria lets us know that they had faith in the wrestlers, so that even if they had a match which wasn’t what they were anticipating, that wouldn’t effect their place in ROH.
In fact they recount a match during a TV taping day, which could be 10 hour days, which just wasn’t gelling.
So they asked for more time the day after, which is a big ask and when that was granted, they produced a great match the day after – no names of course, this isn’t that kind of interview.
So Is It Worth A Listen?
God yes. It’s warm, welcoming and has real insight.
Taken with the final ROH PPV of their current run, the feeling here that they are celebrating because ROH will either never be again or never be the same again.
Find it at: https://t.co/fxxQDqXavH