LOCKPORT, NY – Ring of Honor brought its show to upstate New York on Saturday night for a television taping. Having attended a few ROH shows over the last few years has been enjoyable. The vibe that comes from the crowd and the wrestlers is that of nervous anticipation. Energetic performances highlighted the night and the crowd was certainly appreciative.
My ROH contact at each show has been Jeffrey Jones. His people skills are amazing. I watched as he ran the meet and great where the fans pay for pictures and autographs with their favourite ROH stars. Jeffrey was friendly and personable to each fan. His charm really set the path for an enjoyable experience for those in attendance. Not only that, the guy hustles. I think he power walked about 25 miles around the Kenan Center in Lockport last night, making sure all details were covered. From checking on the TV crew, helping wrestlers or talking to a fan, Jeffrey exuded patience and class. He is what you would want for an employee in any company.
Last night I took the time to examine the little things. These are the things that the fans might not notice. It really started with the folks who ran the door. When you go to some shows you are greeted by overanxious wrestling students who want to be tough guys and are not very nice as they take your ticket. Not so in ROH. The front door staff was polite, calm and easy to talk to.
As I watched the show I noticed the television crew had bottles of pop in their work area. It appeared that a little boy from the crowd asked them for a drink. The ROH TV crew didn’t even bat an eye and gave a drink to the youngster with a smile.
Later on Jeffrey Jones was able to set up an interview for me with ACH (watch for the article soon!). Here is a lesson for anyone who wants to be involved in the wrestling business in some way, be humble. Having been in a few locker rooms you must realize that this is the office for the mat men. It is no different than walking into your doctor’s office, you must be respectful. As I walked into the backstage area I passed Christopher Daniels who was sitting in the wings watching the show. He gave me a quick look and then focused back on the action. Daniels had participated in a three-way match earlier in the night against Chris Sabin and Matt Jackson. I had an enjoyable interview with a very enthusiastic ACH when I headed back to the arena. Still sitting in the wings was Daniels. He was studying the matches. That is what a good professional does in any field of business, they study and Daniels was clearly doing just that.
Jay Lethal is a wrestler that I have enjoyed watching for many years. Not only is he a champion inside the ring but, outside of it as well. I watched him earlier in the night at the fan meet and greet. First of all the way he dressed made him stand out from his peers. Clothed in dress pants, shoes and a colourful, fitted dress shirt it was easy to see that he had an air about him. His presentation made him look like a champion or professional athlete from any of the major sports. Lethal’s interactions with the fans were warm and caring. It was evident that he is all class.
On the wrestling side of things I was pleased to see Silas Young step up his game to another level. His match with Lethal was a wonderful back and forth encounter. Later, Lethal and Young were entered in the Honor Rumble with 23 other athletes. The winner of the match would get a shot at Adam Cole’s world championship. The final two contestants were Young and Lethal who had put on a great performance throughout the match. Young was able to win the contest. The two encounters with Lethal told the crowd that Young is a worthy opponent who is on a world championship level. I heard many fans remark that they really like Young’s look and hardworking style. A new guy is rising to the top and that is definitely Silas Young.
Ring of Honor is a top class promotion from the ticket takers to the main event wrestlers. I encourage you to watch ROH and to attend their shows where wrestling is alive and well.