For most of its existence, fans have often pointed out the stark contrast between Ring of Honor from WWE. As a company that prides itself on pure wrestling, ROH has often been labelled as an alternative to the mainstream product WWE offers.
In a recent appearance on the ROHStrong Podcast, the company’s chief operating officer, Joe Koff agreed that ROH and WWE are quite different, but he shared his perspective on the matter. Koff offered an analogy to the aging process by calling WWE a middle-aged adult and ROH a teenager that’s still growing.
“I’m not gonna take away, but they’re also 50 years old,” said Koff. “We’re celebrating our 19th anniversary. We’re a teenager still. We’re coming out of the teenage years, and I don’t have to tell you, you know what teenage years are like. You go through a gamut of just all kinds or hormonal changes as a teenager.
“And we’re coming out of it into, we’re maturing. We’re maturing into that young adult, still a teen, still a little rebellious, let’s just do our thing, as opposed to being a 50-year-old adult. You just behave differently.”
Koff continued to explain how the two companies are disparate in many ways. He pointed to WWE’s identity as “sports entertainment,” a style that is often viewed as one that is essentially dissimilar to pure wrestling.
“Is it sports entertainment, or is it an entertaining sport?’ said Koff. “And that’s where you draw the line. We’re an entertaining sport, we consider ourselves a sport. We treat ourselves as a sport. Our wrestlers consider themselves as athletes. [WWE has] done an unbelievable job, for not only the industry, but for their shareholders, for their investors, for everybody.”
“I think that we’ve always offered a different kind of product. When I hear the word ‘alternative’, I sometimes feel like it’s like settling for second, or settling for something that wasn’t really the original product. So I have a tendency to hear that word and not really feel that….Certainly something I’ve felt about Ring of Honor was its authenticity. And I think if anything, we were the authentic wrestling promotion. Our wrestling is real, our honor is real. We dare to be different, and I think that’s why we are great.”
The full episode is available here: