ROH commentator Ian Riccaboni was a guest on the Wrestling Perspective podcast, where he spoke about his history with Ring of Honor.
“I’m 35 so for about half of my adult life I’ve been with Ring of Honor. As a lifelong pro wrestling fan, I was 15 years old when Ring of Honor started.”
“I followed them from the beginning, and it was really the only place I wanted to be. It started in Philadelphia. I’m from up the road in Allentown and it was kind of the home promotion. So to be able to land in my dream spot and kind of take the reins from a guy that I grew up watching, Kevin Kelly, and follow in his footsteps was something really special.”
“So when I got the news, I thought maybe I had sort of, I don’t want to say stench, but maybe I was branded. Maybe I’d be the Ring of Honor guy forever, for better or worse. But I was pleasantly surprised. The first person who reached out was actually Kevin Kelly, who said, ‘Hey, I’m going to be in Japan. Would you like to do these New Japan USA shows?’ I said, ‘Sure’. Scott D’Amore reached out. He said ‘We’re going to have Jonathan Gresham in Impact. Would you like to call those matches?’ I said, ‘Sure’. Then Brett over at GCW, same thing.”
“It’s been one of these cool things where I had been kind of in a shell. I had been kind of protected, for better or worse. But you know, I’ve got to meet a whole new group of people. I think I accidentally joined the gang. I think I joined Nick Gage’s gang by accident a couple of weeks ago at the GCW show (he laughs). So it’s been neat. It’s been very cool.”
“It led to Tony Khan buying Ring of Honor. Now I kind of want that branding and that stench (he laughs) of being the Ring of Honor guy, because I see a lot of growth opportunities. It was never for effort or talent that Ring of Honor didn’t get bigger. I think Tony Khan has the resources. I think he has the love for Ring of Honor and the appreciation for the history to really see it through and to grow it, at least, you know, appreciate the back catalog and whatnot, and hopefully, with a future vision as well.”
Riccaboni also spoke about Tom Hannifan approaching him and how it's tied into all his other appearances in other promotions.
“Tom Hannifan, who is also from the Philadelphia area and one of the guys that I look up to are about the same age. He had started the same day that I was guesting. He was Tom Phillips in WWE. He pulled me aside and said, ‘Hey, we were bringing you in for you. We’re bringing you in because this is the Ring of Honor title match, you’re the Ring of Honor announcer, do nothing different. Just take the lead on this. I will get us in and out of the graphics. I’ll get us in and out of the introductions, but be you. We’re paying you to be you in Impact.’ Tony Khan just said, ‘Hey, be yourself.’ New Japan, same kind of thing.”
Riccaboni wants to make sure he's still a part of ROH's future under Tony Khan's umbrella.
“I’ve talked to folks in Tony Khan’s orbit. I’ve let them know my phone is on and that I’d love to be a part of what’s going on. I’ve done my best to put that bug in their ear as much as I can without being annoying and without being a pain in the butt.”
“But I know that the squeaky wheel gets the grease, so you have to make sure that they know you’re out there and that you want to do it, and that there’s no weird feelings or anything like that. For me, I’m just keeping my voice and my ears of what I think might be the right people at this point. They told me to keep my phone on too, so there looks to be some sort of mutual interest, at least on a small level, maybe a mutual interest to see where it goes.”
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