ROH News: Joe Koff on Matt Hardy and Reby Sky domestic incident: "They're two wrestlers, they're probably two physical people", also comments on iPPV and production quality
Ring of Honor Joe Koff appeared on the Live Audio Wrestling show with John Pollack in an interview that aired on Sunday. The following are the highlights of the interview, which can be heard in full at Fightnetwork.com/news/45138:feb.-16-edition-of-the-law-w-damien-sandow-joe-koff/.
Koff on the Matt Hardy and Reby Sky incident: "It did appear on TMZ and it did happen. Of course, it happened so much earlier than it was finally reported. You know, I gotta tell you something, John, there was really not a lot about it. I saw the stuff on TMZ and I saw a couple of Facebook comments about Matt wrestling in Philadelphia. I think it was really not a big deal. I don't have a position on that. I think that charges were dropped.
"You never want to get involved in domestic spats and domestic relationship and domestic disputes, but if a court of law or the judicial system could find no fault with it, I don't feel that's something we necessarily have to take a stance on. I'm not sherking that. I think the fact that C.M. Punk said he wasn't going to wrestle for WWE or when that story came out right around that same time, I think it kind of overshadowed it... I think had the outcome had been different from a judicial standpoint or a charge standpoint, I can't say, but really it was a domestic battle that got... You know, they're two wrestlers, they're probably two physical people."
Koff on using Video On Demand compared to iPPV: "I think we're pretty good at that (VOD). From a fan's perspective, you know, it's not live, but considering how quickly we turn around VOD, I'm pretty impressed with that. You mention competition and what's one of my biggest competition, the internet. In the old days, you ran an event and you had to wait for TV the next week to find out. Now they are tweeting out and they are sending out the results at the event. The good thing about Ring of Honor and what I'm really proud of about our fans and our product is that I have not yet to see a Tweet at the event that says this is not a great show or this (not) is worth getting. There was no BS in any of that because the product is so pristine, so good, so strong that we do get those VOD sales.
"Am I disappointed about the pay-per-view? I'm only disappointed that I can't deliver an experience to the consumer that I think they deserve. While I'm not going to say why, who, what, there are so many elements in the technology including any user and how they receiving their stream that I can't control that part. I can't control what type of plan they have for their internet. I can't control how much usage is going on in their community for their internet. I know I can deliver a product to the screen, but we always seem to get caught up at the end user part. This is no excuses on my part... but there are so many variables that I can't control, it makes it frustrating for me. I don't ever want that tainted. I don't want a great night of wrestling to be tainted by technology like that."
Koff on ROH production quality issues: "If that [WWE] wrestling fan tunes in Ring of Honor, I can see why they might be a little bit disappointed. Our guys are athletes, our guys are physical, our guys are flying, our guys are well toned, well tuned, and they're not giants. They're just not giants. They're just well proportioned athletes that take their healthy very, very seriously, and we do everything in the ring, we do very little on the mic because I want to give our viewers and our fans wrestling, because that's why they're tuning in to watch when they watch Ring of Honor. When they tune in to watch WWE and even TNA to an effect, they're looking at those production values, but, quite frankly, I don't think you need to have production values if the quality of the work is there. It will not attract that person who that's kind of floating through with the remote and says, 'Oh, there's wrestling, I'll watch it for a bit.' I think maybe we miss that viewer, but the fans know what we're about and that's what we deliver to the fans."
Powell's POV: The Koff interview begins around the 1:07 mark of the show. For those who missed the Hardy and Sky story, they were arrested on January 1 for a domestic incident at a hotel. Koff's comments on the matter were downright embarrassing, particularly the part about how they are wrestlers and therefore are probably physical people. I'm downright stunned that he actually said that.
The rest of the interview is depressing, as he comes across like he's blowing off the biggest fan complaints about the product when it comes to the lack of functional iPPVs, and the production qualities of the weekly television show. No one in their right mind expects ROH to compete with WWE production values, but there are smaller indy groups with local television who offer a more professional looking television product. I thought Koff handled himself very well when he hosted a media conference call to address the iPPV issues last year, but I don't think he could have come off much worse in this interview.
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