5 major takeaways from Ring of Honor's 'Honor United' tour in the UK
I was lucky enough to be able to go and see Ring of Honor during its recent 'Honor United' tour in the UK, with the prestigious wrestling company coming to England for three dates, London, Newport and Bolton.
I attended the Newport date and I was able to see almost all of ROH's top talent in action, including Flip Gordon, Marty Scurll, PCO, Jay Lethal, Kelly Klein, Shane Taylor, Matt Taven, Dalton Castle and The Briscoes.
One thing I will say straight away is that a lot has been said about Ring of Honor as a wrestling company and its place in the industry going forward, and a lot has been made out of the attendance of some of its live shows both across the pond in the US and in the UK - certainly the Newport show I attended could've had a bigger audience.
But all of those issues people are mentioning online, all of the talk of doom and gloom for the company, certainly does not reflect in Ring of Honor's live product. It certainly does not speak for the immense wealth of talent that they have and the quality of the show that I saw, because it was really, really good.
So what were my major takeaways from my Ring of Honor live event experience?
#5. Ring of Honor cares about its live experience
It becomes immediately clear as soon as you enter the arena that Ring of Honor cares about the live experience that it gives fans and how it presents itself professionally and as entertainment.
The ring set-up and stage are sleek and professional and the whole thing makes the show and the company look like a big deal. It certainly stands out from most independent promotions and informs you visually that Ring of Honor is a major company.
But it's also the little things. The seating for Ring of Honor was laid out with signs clearly telling people exactly what seats were where. This may not sound like a big deal, but it's important to point out that even though they're a major company they spent time making personalised seating plans for each venue and putting them up every x amount of chairs to make it really easy for people to find their seats.
Then there's the production value of everything. The Titantron video is great, the announcement at the start of the show is fun, full of humour and wit and really sets the scene for a different kind of wrestling show and they even have pyro (albeit limited pyro.) They had all of their champions on the show, so the audience could see every belt as well.
I'll admit that my expectations were low heading in, because I had seen all of the talk online, but I left Newport thoroughly impressed.