ROH Executive Producer Jim Cornette was a guest on The LAW this past week promoting this Saturday’s Glory By Honor XI event in Mississauga, Ontario at the International Centre. In addition to Glory By Honor Cornette covered a number of topics regarding ROH and the full 30-minute interview can be heard at this link. Here are the highlights… (NOTE: the interview was taped prior to the news of his job title change):
On iPPV Problems: This is the truth; I’m not gonna lie to the people, and this is probably the first time this whole story has been told in public from somebody on the inside of it, instead of just reading about things or hearing second-hand information. In Ft. Lauderdale, the problem was GoFightLive. The first night, they hadn’t done their due diligence; they didn’t sync up the audio with the video, there was a lot of complaints. I watched the head guy actually going behind the table trying to find out what was going on and he stepped on a power strip and knocked us off the air for 30 seconds, just with his own clumsiness. The next day, of course, mother nature decided to chime in by some way or another, even though it was bright sunny skies in Ft. Lauderdale, one of the power transformers got hit down the block, and everything from Starbucks to my hotel a mile and a half away lost power for a little while. The building blinked, and then the emergency generators came on, but then as a result, all the computers and systems had to reboot and we got knocked off the air again. Then we decided to take things in-house, and we contracted with a fine company in Toronto, which matter of fact is going to be doing this coming even as well, and the production from a production standpoint was seamless. But since it was the first time it had been taken in-house on ROHwrestling.com, and tests had been made and our IT people had assured us that everything was fine, they didn’t do the specific test as a layman understands it, and all of those people logging in and trying to buy and doing something…BOOM. It was a great production that went down and people didn’t see it. So then we made up for that by going to New York at Best In The World and having probably the best produced Internet pay-per-view that any wrestling company has done to date; it delivered perfectly on ROHwrestling.com, the stream looked good, it had great production value, we were working out kinks with the graphics. And we did the same thing at Boiling Point in Providence, and we were set to do three in a row in Chicago. And I know you’re gonna think this is a rib, but it’s that border again, the same company that did the Border Wars production, we contracted with to come down to Chicago to do that. On Friday afternoon at about 1:00, we got word that they had been turned back at the Canadian border because they had their equipment paperwork, but they didn’t have their proper personal paperwork. There was nothing that we could do and nothing that they could do to rectify that situation in time to get them back across the border. So with 24 hours notice our technical producer Dan Bynum, who is tremendous and resourceful, actually got on the phone and within 24 hours in Chicago, starting with nothing, not a video camera, nothing, got the equipment put together to do the show in Chicago, because Joe Koff elsewise would have had to maybe call to cancel the pay-per-view. And we didn’t want to disappoint the fans after all that had happened thus far. So with a 24 hour turnaround, we got everything put back together and got it there, and guess what? Some of the kinks weren’t worked out. It’s amazing that we were able to get that much equipment there in that building to begin with in 24 hours notice, and some people had a problem with getting the stream. We didn’t know that, because it was working for some of the people as well, including us in the back.
On Kenny King leaving: Kenny was a great part of Ring Of Honor for a long period of time. We thought we had an arrangement, a deal with him that would benefit both sides and allow both sides to do what they wanted, which didn’t come to fruition. One of the things that we were trying to protect Kenny from was, well, “what if it doesn’t work out?” As far as would be be welcome back, you never say never in professional wrestling. I don’t know if he wants to come back, because part of the issue to begin with was was he wanting to continue his Ring Of Honor or his wrestling career in general. He would have signed for a longer period of time than he did originally, but he told us when he was 30, he was thinking about whether or not he was going to continue wrestling. If things don’t work out with TNA, there’s the possibility that Kenny will decide to do other things.
On Gabe Sapolsky negotiations: We had called Gabe. I’ve never had a problem with Gabe, neither has Hunter Johnston (Delirious), and neither has the new ownership of ROH. We called Gabe because we were doing our anniversary event last March in New York City, and thought that the fans would, at the very least, like to see Gabe again. Would he want to shake hands with Cary Silkin, or would he not? Who knows? I don’t know whether they would want to or not. The point is, it was a simple friendly phone call to say, “Hey, would you want to be a part of this? And if you want to bring some of your guys, maybe we can work out a situation where we can book some of your guys and you can book some of our guys, and everybody can get more work.” It was tossing ideas up in the air. Gabe was not at all receptive, he came up with about 15 or 16 reasons why none of this would work, and so I said “Well, okay. If you change your mind, Gabe, there’s no heat.” And that’s the way we left it.
Transcribed by Chris Maffei
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