wrestling / Columns

Tony Khan Was Ring Of Honor’s Best Option For Its Past & Future Legacy

March 2, 2022 | Posted by Blake Lovell
AEW Dynamite Tony Khan ROH Image Credit: AEW

Tony Khan is the new owner of Ring of Honor. What it means for both ROH and AEW moving forward is still to be determined. But what we do know is ROH’s future is secure, unlike when the company essentially hit the reset button several months ago.

Here are some random thoughts on what it could mean for all parties.

The Purchase

This is one person’s opinion, but Khan was the best choice for both Ring of Honor’s past and future legacy.

ROH’s momentum came to a halt with the announcement of the hiatus back in October. There were more questions than answers, with a lot of quality talent seeking alternatives for ways to continue their wrestling careers.

So, for ROH to wind up in the hands of someone who cares about preserving both the past and future of professional wrestling is a huge win for ROH, AEW, and, well, professional wrestling fans.

ROH’s stock fell dramatically with the announcement of the hiatus. That’s not a knock on ROH, it was simply the reality of the situation.

However, there is now a clear, sustainable way forward for one of wrestling’s most beloved promotions. There also figures to be more opportunities for current and future talent to earn a living.

That is a good thing.

The Alternatives

Was there really another alternative that would’ve been as impactful given Ring of Honor’s pre-Dynamite status?

Sure, we could probably come up with some wild scenarios. WWE eventually buying ROH in the future? Would’ve been nuts. But would it really have been best for ROH’s past or future?

Of course not.

The most likely scenario would’ve been ROH ceasing to exist, with WWE doing nothing more than adding the ROH video library to its ever-growing library of stupendous content on Peacock and WWE Network.

Or let’s say ROH stayed on its current path, came back from its lengthy hiatus, and tried to rebuild the brand all over again.

The chances of successfully pulling that off with a limited roster and limited visibility, in addition to a crowded wrestling market, were going to be slim.

Khan’s purchase allows ROH to continue to be an active part of the wrestling business.

But speaking of that video library….

The Opportunities

There’s a reason why wrestling, media, and streaming companies want more content.

More content means more potential eyeballs, which means more potential customers, more potential advertisers, etc. AEW has built a quality library of content since its inception in 2019. But in the grand scheme of things, it’s still less than three full years of content.

With the purchase of Ring of Honor, Khan now has decades of content at his disposal.

That will undoubtedly play a key role in future negotiations for possible streaming deals on HBO Max or any other growing content platform. Khan has more opportunities to grow his business, and once again, that’s a good thing.

While the ROH tape library itself may not be the tipping point, the amount of content it has produced could very well be what Khan and company needed to move towards some type of streaming deal.

Acquiring that amount of content likely made this business deal a no-brainer for someone like Khan.

Also, it allows AEW to use past footage to produce documentaries, original series, and other similar content that would add more value for a potential streaming partner.

The Future

Spoiler alert: Khan has not been shy about signing talent.

It reached a point where it was a matter of when, and not if, he would need to explore opportunities to expand AEW’s programming.

Rather than think small and pursue an extra hour of Rampage or something similar, the man went out and bought another wrestling company.

And the question becomes, what will he do with it?

Khan does not need to look far for motivation. As noted in both his speech on Dynamite and the AEW press release, Khan’s roster is filled with stars who made their mark in ROH. That allows for no shortage of creative options for the future.

Maybe it becomes a full-blown second brand. Maybe it becomes AEW’s version of the original NXT. Or maybe it’s another idea no one has even thought of yet.

There is enough talent signed and available to pursue any of those ideas.

The bigger point is that there are indeed options for both ROH and AEW. Options that did not exist before Khan’s purchase.

He has the money and resources to give the ROH brand the push it needs to return to relevancy among past, present, and future wrestling fans. In turn, it could also prove to be a key resource in Khan’s ability to push AEW’s business into a new stratosphere.

It’s a win-win for everyone.

And to some, perhaps most importantly, it’s a win-win for the legacy of Ring of Honor, a company that was once fueled by the desire to change the wrestling landscape.

Khan’s latest move is another example of his goal to do the same.

article topics :

Ring of Honor, Tony Khan, Blake Lovell