The following is a new blog from Ring Of Honor’s David Lagana and IWantWrestling.com …
Surprises come in many forms and in pro wrestling they seem to be a staple of keeping the audience on the edge of their seat. This week saw three totally different surprises.
On Sunday, Matt Hardy debuted for TNA Wrestling. Every since Mattâ€™s departure from World Wrestling Entertainment, his landing in Orlando seemingly was only a matter of time. Matt spoke out to his audience via social media, keeping them engaged with teases of his future endeavors. That type of anticipation can lead to great results if itâ€™s capitalized in a moment that catches people by surprise. When reports of Matt Hardy being the mystery opponent of Rob Van Dam at TNAâ€™s Genesis PPV surfaced hours before on various blogs, word slowly spread via twitter. When Dixie Carter tweeted about a mystery person backstage (read here) but didnâ€™t name Hardy by name, people questioned if they wanted people to know why not simply promote he was going to be on the PPV to motivate buys? If you wanted it to be a secret, why not keep Hardy hidden so that when he walked out for the match, it would have caused a huge wave of momentum and discussion. Since it leaked early, it was like a slow release of air out of a balloon and so when it popped, no boom.
On Monday, WWE teased that they would announce the first inductee into the 2011 WWE Hall of Fame. A few subtle teases about it being one of the greatest of all time; speculation ran rampant. WWE needed a big name to headline the event the night before Wrestlemania to spur ticket sales. They announced Shawn Michaels as that inductee with another masterpiece video showing how truly special HBK was to the legacy of WWE. And then as a complete surprise, HBKâ€™s music played and he came out to the delight of the live audience. There was no report of Shawn being backstage and while there was speculation he would be inducted, no one truly knew he was there live in Nashville. While some might question if itâ€™s too early for Shawn to go into the Hall of Fame after finishing his in-ring career this past year at Wrestlemania, it was quite the moment.
Then on Tuesday, Ring of Honor announced that they had completed their two year contract with HDNet, bringing to an end the weekly show. It was a surprise to everyone and one that leaves a lot of questions about the future of ROH. HDNet was a great partner and honestly, without them, I donâ€™t know if my career in wrestling would have continued after my time in WWE. I was given the chance to really spread my wings and produce the ROH on HDNet show. It was that trust that really exemplified the spirit of ROH. Ring of Honor has always been a place for great talent to showcase their ability and I believe it will continue that same mission into the future. Things will obviously change, but doesnâ€™t progress require it?
If youâ€™re a fan of Ring of Honor, the promotion, the wrestlers â€“ we will continue to need your support. If you like a product, any product, support it, champion it. The biggest surprise might be the change you fans can cause by supporting the wrestling you want.