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ROH | Survival of the Fittest

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Week 1, September 2019                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      


Sinclair Broadcast Group held a press conference this morning, with multiple representatives from the conglomerate present. It was announced that Ring of Honor would be going through drastic changes in the coming weeks in an effort to drive up interest in the promotion and compete within the ever growing business of wrestling. It was revealed that Delirious, a wrestler who had been heavily involved within the creative direction of the promotion over the past five years had been let go from the position, with Joey Matthews replacing him at the helm of the process. Furthermore they announced multiple other releases from the company, notable names such as Bully Ray, the Motor City Machine Guns and Eli Drake among the twenty-five strong list. The representatives also announced their television show, Ring of Honor Wrestling, would now be broadcast on Thursdays. It is believed this move was made so the promotion does not become an afterthought in the recently dubbed "Wednesday Night Wars" between AEW and NXT.

Joey Matthews and high-ranking members of the Sinclair Broadcast Group took questions from the journalists and other media personnel present at the press conference. Highlights can be found below for further reference.

Joey Matthews [On if ROH will be driving towards a "sports entertainment" approach in the coming months.] - The plan is to continue with the Code of Honor this company has had in place for well over a decade. We are thankful to have dedicated fans who love our product through thick and thin and we would prefer not to "buy in" to the sports entertainment approach. Ring of Honor presents wrestling as a sport, and we want to deliver something different and fun to the western market which otherwise would be difficult to find in other wrestling promotions.

Joey Matthews [On if ROH would be investing in the "Women of Honor" division.] - Yes, I think so. Women's wrestling is something which has taken a massive upswing in the past three years and we would be foolish not to attempt to capitalise on that. Not just for the sake of the promotion, but for the sake of the talented female performers who are looking for a stage to perform on where they'll be valued equally. Our division is depleted at the moment and the plan is to bring in a couple of new faces in the coming weeks.

Joey Matthews [On if he is worried about Ring of Honor's relationship with NJPW, CMLL and RevPro Wrestling.] - Unfortunately while most promotions have taken giant steps forward over the past year, we seem to have taken a step back. With the emergence of All Elite Wrestling it will be tough to compete in the current market and we're all aware that NJPW want to partner with the best promotions to help their expansion into the western market. I am confident we can produce an upswing in the next couple of months but they will be crucial for our relationship with the guys over there, yes.

Joey Matthews will take over the creative process immediately, with the first set of television tapings scheduled for this coming Thursday. ROH present Glory Before Dishonour in two weeks time, with names such as Matt Taven, Jay Lethal and The Briscoe Brothers expected to headline the card.

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Week 1, September 2019                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      


Joey Matthews reclines in his office chair, pulling out a folder from a desk drawer. Opening it up to reveal a revised list of the Ring of Honor roster, he pulls out an ink pen and begins adding notes and placing storyline ideas next to the names on the list.

Ring of Honor Roster - Fall 2019

Bandido - Great upper midcard talent with a "legendary" gimmick. Luchador, brilliant in-ring skills. Will be in the main event scene before the year is out.
Brandon Tate - Half of "The Boys" tag team with brother, Brent. Decent lower midcard talent, potential is limited.
Brent Tate - Other half of "The Boys" tag team. Nothing special but an alright hand to have, will continue with Dalton Castle for now.
Brian Gorie - Secondary referee behind Todd Sinclair, reliable and cheap, will be available for all shows.
Brody King - Member of the primary stable in Ring of Honor, Villain Enterprises. Good brawling capabilities. Current Six-Man Championship holder.
Caristico - Formally Sin Cara of WWE. On loan from CMLL, huge talent in-ring, with "legendary" gimmick. Negative influence holds him back.
Cary Silkin - Former ROH owner. Positive influence, potential authority figure and a good hand to have around.
Cheeseburger - Young talent, lower midcarder. Plays a comedy gimmick well, will be useful for "feel good" moments down the road.
Colt Cabana - Main event talent turned colour commentator. Has good colour skills, will be kept alongside Ian Riccaboni for now.
Dalton Castle - Charisma machine, underdeveloped in-ring. Current main event talent but will be phased into the midcard.
Dragon Lee - On loan from CMLL. Good in-ring talent but nothing to write home about, will be utilised with Rush as a tag team.
Eli Isom - Young lion. Has limited potential alongside more talented tag team partner, will be enhancement talent for a while.
Flip Gordon - Expected to be snapped up by AEW soon. Huge potential, future figurehead of any promotion not called WWE.
Ian Riccaboni - Primary announcer, is talented. Will be calling matches with Colt Cabana for a long time coming.
Jay Briscoe - ROH veteran, former World Champion, current Tag Team Champion, half of the biggest tag team in the company, Briscoe Brothers.
Jay Lethal - Arguably the biggest name and best wrestler in the company. Will be utilised outside of World Championship scene for a while, main event talent.
Jeff Cobb - Charismatic and talented in-ring. Perhaps not main event level but championship material in other divisions.
Joey Matthews - Head booker of the promotion, also a road agent. Good psychology skills, will be putting matches and stories together.
Jonathan Gresham - Talented babyface, good midcard hand. Alright in-ring skills and charisma. Future Television Champion.
Juice Robinson - Popular upper midcard talent, huge babyface material. May be utilised as a stepping stone between the midcard and main event.
Kelly Klein - Current WOH Champion. Talented wrestler with some potential, alright in-ring skills, best of a bad bunch.
Kenny King - Veteran of the promotion, multiple Television Championship reigns. Will be a useful hand, one of the better heels. Negative influence.
KENTA - Huge wrestling name, on loan from NJPW. Will draft between the main event and tag team division, maybe a NJPW Six-Man team on the way?
Leon St. Giovanni - Young lion with some potential, has great star quality but in-ring skills are left to be desired. Future Television Champion.
Maria Manic - Young WOH wrestler with limited potential. Has a "poor" gimmick and will be utilised as a secondary heel in the division.
Mark Briscoe - Other half of the current Tag Team Champions, The Briscoes. Slightly less talented than his brother, still a solid upper midcard talent.
Mark Haskins - Alright midcard talent. Good babyface potential, but popularity limited in America. Perhaps he'll find himself in the tag division at some point.
Marty Scurll - Main event talent with midcard popularity. "Great" gimmick will help elevate him. Current holder of Six-Man Championships.
Matt Taven - Current ROH World Champion. Good upper midcard wrestler, a gimmick change and a notable win will push him in the right direction.
Pat Kenney - Road agent, formally of IMPACT Wrestling. Has good psychology and knowledge of the business.
PCO - Good brawler but very much in decline. Potentially a manager of Marty Scurll down the road. Will be phased out when Six-Man Championships are dropped.
PJ Black - Good babyface on a roster with great babyfaces. Wrestling skills beginning to slip, might not last long in the midcard.
Rhett Titus - Midcard heel, limited potential and alright star quality. May be phased into tag team division or used as a stepping stone.
Rush - Hugely popular in Mexico, good in-ring skills. On loan from CMLL and does /not/ want to resign. Will be utilised as upper midcard talent.
Ryan Nova - Somewhat charismatic young lion with good potential. Beginning to realise huge babyface lean in roster. Will be utilised as enhancement.
Shaheem Ali - Lower midcard talent, nothing to write home about. Will either be used as a manager for Leon St. Giovanni or dropped in the next months.
Shane Taylor - Reliable, good midcard talent. Entertaining to a point, current Television Champion, may hold for some time.
Shotzi Blackheart - Only face female performer. Good in-ring abilities and some potential, may have the "it" factor about her.
Todd Sinclair - Primary, talented referee. Will be officiating the big matches, positive influence.
Tracy Williams - Entertaining midcard act. Good in-ring skills but something missing. May be useful in the Six-Man division.
Will Ferrara - Had potential a while ago, never began reaching it. May be a future midcarder but will be scrapped before given the chance.
Zack Sabre Jr. - On loan from RevPro. Main event talent, brilliant wrestler and entertaining. Fits the ROH brand perfectly, future World Champion?

[Current ROH wrestlers and championships are highlighted in bold. Backstage staff and on loan superstars are not highlighted.]

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Week 3, September 2019                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      


𝑅𝑂𝐻 𝐷𝑒𝑎𝑡𝘩 𝐵𝑒𝑓𝑜𝑟𝑒 𝐷𝑖𝑠𝘩𝑜𝑛𝑜𝑟 𝑅𝑒𝑐𝑎𝑝

Week 1, September 2019 | Tri State | 91,100 Viewers | 50 Show Rating

Week 2, September 2019 | Tri State | 131,900 Viewers | 44 Show Rating


Week 2, September 2019 | Tri State | 17,800 Buys | 54 Show Rating

Shane Taylor, the ROH Television Champion, opens the show. He runs down Mark Haskins, before claiming he's the "bully" of Ring of Honor, and he'll have no problem bullying Mark Haskins in the ring tonight, Mark Haskins' entrance music hits, and the match begins shortly afterwards.


Notes: Had no idea what to expect from this match. Shane Taylor was underwhelming, but with Mark Haskins working for three other companies in the game keeping the Television Championship with Shane Taylor was a safe bet.


Notes: Villain Enterprises are my only "legit" stable at the moment. The Boys are just not over enough to hold the Six-Man Tag Team Championships, furthermore, Marty Scurll is barely available due to his working schedule, so having Brody King and PCO do the heavy lifting in the build up and Marty carrying the matches on pay-per-view makes sense.

The match is over but Marty Scurll of Villain Enterprises isn't satisfied. He begins beating down Brandon and Brent Tate, but Dalton Castle recovers and takes the fight to Scurll. In the end Dalton Castle and The Boys are able to overpower Villain Enterprises, sending the stable over the ropes to close the segment.

Dragon Lee and Rush have an eccentric, over-the-top entrance for their ROH Tag Team Championships match against The Briscoe Brothers.


Notes: Dragon Lee and Rush are not over enough in America to even have a chance of winning this one, furthermore they're both on loan and their contracts have two appearances left each after this show. The Briscoe Brothers are "old reliable" though I was surprised to see Mark Briscoe outperform Jay Briscoe.


Notes: I wasn't aware of just how god awful Kelly Klein is. But, she has potential. I simply went with the Champion to retain as it seemed like a safe option.

Kelly Klein is celebrating in the ring when unfamiliar entrance music hits. Shotzi Blackheart debuts for ROH and she walks down the entrance ramp. She gets in Kelly Klein's face and makes it clear that she wants to fight for the WOH Championship.

Matt Taven vs. Jeff Cobb is next, but, a hype video package plays beforehand showing their brief feud and some highlights from their recent matches.


Notes: This is one of the results which was deliberate. Matt Taven I do believe could become a franchise player with a couple of notches on his belt, while Jeff Cobb although outperforming him here doesn't have the star quality or entertainment skills to be reliable as a world champion. Also, a lot of my roster are face dispositions (Jay Lethal, Caristico, Bandido, Dalton Castle) and Matt Taven is a good heel foil for future matches I feel.

Matt Taven and Jeff Cobb are face-to-face following their match. Cobb offers Taven a handshake and the champion accepts reluctantly.


Notes: Jay Lethal going over here is the right choice, both for ROH and for the storyline that I have in mind. Caristico was kept strong which hurt the match, but both competitors showed why they were the top two wrestlers on my franchise players.

Both wrestlers are down following a brutal match, when KENTA returns to ROH for the first time in a decade. He brutalises the two downed competitors, before hitting Jay Lethal with a GTS to end the show, posing over the ROH and CMLL superstars.


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Your diaries are always entertaining as hell Sheridan and this one is no different, can not wait to see how far you take this one and I am hoping there is some consistent uploads because so far the shows have been pretty good. I am sure you'll turn this company around and bring up the ratings in no time and its going to be cool to see that journey! What superstars are you planning to sign to ROH?

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This diary is coming to an incredibly early closing, due to another diary I'll be starting soon which has come about recently. This, along with doing /some/ mod work and running the Pokémon Showdown tournament means I won't have the time to give ROH the attention I wanted to. But, I had planned out this diary quite far ahead so I figured I'd share what I was going to do with the promotion and how I going to slowly phase them from a lackey to NJPW and Sinclair Broadcasting to a clean, no-nonsense wrestling promotion like they were in the middle of the 2000's. I'll cover what I had planned for each championship as well as other feuds going on at the time.

ROH Championship

Matt Taven was going to hold the ROH Championship until Starrcade. His reign would become more and more involved with the feud between Jay Lethal and KENTA. I had him slated to defeat Dalton Castle at the next PPV, before being a guest commentator throughout the Survival of the Fittest PPV. During this time, KENTA was planned to go over Jay Lethal and declare that NJPW didn't need ROH, that ROH was leeching off the promotion's success and rise in America throughout the past couple of years. Final Battle would have much on the line. I had seven slated matches, all being ROH vs. CMLL/NJPW/RevPro themed. If ROH were to win, they would remain in the IWGP alliance. The alliance were slated to win 4-3, with KENTA defeating Matt Taven and Jay Lethal in a triple threat match, with the ROH Championship vacated. This would devalue the promotion in the short term, but I feel like it'd present the chance to put the ROH Championship on a legitimate, full-time main event talent without having the implications of storylines or rematches. This would be done through a tournament format with Bandido winning the ROH Championship in the final. Bandido would hold the ROH Championship for three-four months, defending against the likes of Matt Taven, Jeff Cobb and The Briscoe Brothers. However, Sinclair Broadcast Group would be displeased with Bandido as ROH Champion, feeling he doesn't have the "presence" in the United States or the star quality to become the figurehead of ROH. They would get behind Villain Enterprises, more specifically Marty Scurll (who I would sign to a fat, large written deal with event bonuses and championship guarantees) to become the "new" face of Ring of Honor, Marty Scurll would defeat Bandido, and hold the ROH Championship all the way to Final Battle 2020, where Jay Lethal would best him with Sinclair Broadcast Group's ownership of Ring of Honor on the line.

ROH Tag Team Championships

Jay Briscoe and Mark Briscoe are solid ROH Tag Team Champions to begin with. To be honest, the tag team roster is somewhat depleted. Dragon Lee and Rush are alright but they're on a loan deal through CMLL. The All Night Express are not formed, Villain Enterprises hold the Six-Man Championships and The Boys are openers in the company. I would have The Briscoe Brothers hold them for six-seven months, defending against the teams listed above before bringing the Motor City Machine Guns back into the fold. Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin are fine upper midcard talents and would have a good series of matches with The Briscoes. I was also going to bring in Rocky Romero, and align him with El Hijo del Fantasma, whose name I would change to Jorge Bolly. He recently signed to NXT in real life, and in the game he works for AAA, not CMLL, so there wouldn't be a problem there.

ROH Television Championship

Although Shane Taylor is an alright midcard champion, he is not the best wrestler. I was going to put the ROH Television Championship on Dalton Castle on a television show sometime in October or November. Dalton would be a good midcard champion, while Bandido would represent the promotion in the main event as they're both faces. Dalton Castle would be champion for a couple of months, before I'd bring back the All Night Express and have Rhett Titus distract Dalton Castle during a match, to help Kenny King win the ROH Television Championship. Other names I had planned to win the title were Matt Taven, Rush and Cheeseburger.

WOH Championship

Outside of The Allure, ROH has three women under their employment. Kelly Klein, Maria Manic and Sumie Sakai. I released The Allure due to their allegiances with Bully Ray as well as Sumie Sakai as she was nine years into decline. I had plans to rebuild the division, utilising ROH's relationship with STARDOM which is not a part of the IWGP alliance. I would also bring in names such as Ivellise, Kimber Lee as well as a returning Tenille Dashwood, three names I think are some of the best on the independant scene at the moment. Shotzi Blackheart was listed as a next big thing in my save, so I would eventually utilise the division around her.

ROH Six-Man Championships

In truth I had zero interest in keeping the belts around for long. In terms of six-man teams ROH start with like three. As the plan was to leave the IWGP alliance, thus not being able to loan talent from NJPW, CMLL and RevPro, I feel like my roster would not be big enough to support Six-Man teams. I would have perhaps had Villain Enterprises drop them to Jeff Cobb and a face tag team, or even bring back Austin Aries and align him with the All Night Express, but in truth I don't think the belts would have lasted more than six months.

Other Storylines

Leaving the IWGP alliance was something I would use to create a six-month long storyline, where I could utilise NJPW and CMLL talent. In real life due to how poor ROH are doing at the moment as well as the prospect of AEW having a national television slot, I don't think NJPW leaving ROH for AEW is out of the question. In this diary I wanted ROH to have their own talent at the centrepiece of the promotion, not be a promotion who had to live off of the likes of Caristico, Rush and Zack Sabre Jr. to properly function. The plan was to sacrifice in the short-term so that long-term I could thrive, as having NJPW constantly offering tour and loan deals to my talent would have gotten tedious quickly.

Then I was going to have the "ROH faithful," guys like Bandido, Jay Lethal and the Briscoes, feud with the Sinclair Broadcast Group. This would be done do that within an eighteen month time frame I would be "free" of NJPW and Sinclair, two elements I think are holding the promotion back in both the mod and in a sense real life. Hopefully this answered some questions people might have had considering my long-term plans. I am sorry that this save has to end so soon but I have something in the pipeline which I think will be a better diary for me to do on a personal level as well as something more intriguing to the BrendenPlayz Forums.

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