Tony Khan’s purchase of Ring of Honor secures the past and future of wrestling

2019 TM & © Turner Entertainment Networks, Inc. A WarnerMedia Company
2019 TM & © Turner Entertainment Networks, Inc. A WarnerMedia Company /

By acquiring the Ring of Honor tape library and the Ring of Honor brand, Tony Khan has secured an important part of wrestling’s past and future. 

In just three years, Tony Khan has made a bigger impact on wrestling, especially in North America, than almost anyone not named McMahon ever has.

Even before Khan made his announcement on the March 2nd episode of AEW Dynamite, his impact on wrestling history was already significant. The founding and growth of AEW has changed how everything in wrestling works, from television contracts, to show production, to even how the mainstream audience views and talks about wrestling.

However, with the purchase of Ring of Honor and its assets, TK has secured a legacy only comparable to some of the greatest names in wrestling.

Ring of Honor is one of the most important promotions in modern wrestling, having not only produced some of the biggest non-WWE pay-per-views of the last twenty years but also has given some of the best wrestlers in the world right now a place to hone their craft and become who they are. Bryan Danielson, CM Punk, Tyler Black (Seth Rollins), Roderick Strong, Nigel McGuiness, Samoa Joe, Kevin Steen, Adam Cole, Homicide, Christopher Daniels, AJ Styles, El Generico (Sami Zayn), ReDragon, The Briscoes, Hangman Adam Page. You name a North American star and they likely came from ROH or had career-defining matches in ROH.

Because of many of the names listed above, one of the most valuable Ring of Honor assets is its extensive tape library. Pay-per-views, weekly programming, Supercards stretching back to the founding of the company, containing some of the best matches ever performed on North American soil. Accessing this library has been extremely difficult, if not outright impossible, up until now, meaning many fans have been unable to watch their favorite wrestlers’ early development and rise.

By partnering with a streaming service, Tony Khan can make the tape library easily accessible for the first time ever.

Although Khan did not mention the tape library in his announcement during Dynamite, his press release that he put out immediately afterward on Twitter is almost exclusively focused on it. “This deal adds thousands of hours of content to our rapidly growing library and creates new opportunities to expand our footprint on a national and global scale… I will immediately begin exploring opportunities to make ROH’s video library available to fans who’ll have the opportunity to witness the beginnings of the careers of some of AEW’s biggest stars.”

This deal and the imminent plan to make this video library available via streaming not only will help grow AEW’s brand but will also help protect the history of wrestling. The second-largest North American wrestling promotion during the mid to late 2000s plays a pivotal part in wrestling history and having those matches and narratives available for both current and future wrestling fans to see is extremely important.

The Ring of Honor brand will continue to function, with current reporting suggesting that it may become a “developmental” brand for AEW, comparable to NXT’s “Black and Gold” era. Certainly, many great future wrestlers will come out of the promotion or at least hone their craft there. However, by securing the tape library and making it available for fans to see, Tony Khan can secure the past, present, and future of professional wrestling.

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