David Lagana and Ring of Honor Ready To Wrestle With Monday Nights
Part one of a three part series, by Nick Paglino
Since his departure from World Wrestling Entertainment back in January of 2008, David Lagana has found a new creative address in Ring of Honor, and is primed to take the company to the next level when it debuts in its brand new time slot on HDNet tonight at 8pm. But before we spoke to Lagana concerning the Ring of Honor move to Monday night’s and what that means to the evolving company, he pointed out to us that he is in fact an employee of HDNet as opposed to Ring of Honor. "I technically don’t work for Ring of Honor, I work for HDNet," Lagana explained. "I’m a unique hybrid where I work for HDNet and make sure that Ring of Honor looks good for them."
David Lagana officially came on board with Ring of Honor back in February of 2009, following a November 2008 meeting with ROH booker Adam Pearce, when the two worked several NWA shows in Los Angeles together. "We formed a good relationship working most TV’s together, that when it came around to doing the ROH TV’s on HDNet, he [Pearce] asked me to come in and help and make sure they got off the ground right." At the time, Lagana explained, he was living in Los Angeles working on his writing and TV career and had little interest in working in professional wrestling full time, but he worked the initial ROH on HDNet taping as a favor to Pearce.
Lagana’s duties with ROH are similar to what he did for 6 years working on Smackdown and ECW in WWE, and they consist of producing announcers, handling voice over sessions, producing pre-taped segments and timing the show. WrestleZone asked Lagana how producing the announcers in Ring of Honor differs from WWE, and he noted the main difference in WWE Raw being live versus Ring of Honor’s taped nature. "One of the great things about working with WWE, is that you get to see how Vince operates," Lagana said. "He’s one of the most brilliant people you’ll probably ever work for in that he knows what he wants." Lagana credited Vince McMahon for teaching him the psychology of producing announcers and understanding that the producers job is to lead the conversation the two announcers are having and guide them through the storyline points within a given match or segment.
The conversation then shifted to Ring of Honor’s big move to Monday night’s and the overall goal of the company as it continues to move forward. "8pm on a Monday night is the perfect time, and we think we’re a perfect alternative to what’s currently on [TV]. WWE is sports entertainment and we’re looking to bring pro wrestling back to Monday nights." The current Ring of Honor model was done by design, Lagana informed us, and it was important to both him and Adam Pearce that the show be something different from what you see in either TNA or WWE. "People want to see new, fresh talent, and I think that’s what’s different about our show. Here are guys who haven’t been over exposed on TV. Names like Austin Aries, Claudio Castagnoli, Brent Albright, Eddie Kingston, Davey Richards, Eddie Edwards, Chris Hero, KENTA, Kenny King, Roderick Strong, Steen & Generico, Young Bucks, The Briscoes, Nigel McGuinness, and Tyler Black," Lagana declared. "The talents that are on these other shows, they’ve been on television 5 to 15 years, and you’ve seen the same thing – week after week – year after year." Lagana feels confident that the young talent in Ring of Honor will be the future of what people want in the pro wrestling business, and will follow the paths of breakout stars such as CM Punk or Samoa Joe.
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