AS I SEE IT 2/1: TNA screws Ring of Honor fans again

Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets

"I'd like to start this off by saying thank you. Thank you to the Ring of Honor fans. Thank you to the Ring of Honor loyalists. For all those who helped make this grow and become what it is today and for those that will continue to help this grow and become bigger and better in the days to come.

It has come to light that my tenure here in Ring of Honor will soon be coming to an end. As most of you know, a great deal of my heart, a great deal of my soul, a great of who I am as a wrestler, as a person is linked to this promotion and what I've done in it.

I started out in Southern California and did my best to hone my skills, but Ring of Honor was the place where I go to display that. It was the place where I got to go out and be Joe and that's all I had to be. The past three years, three plus years, hell, damn near four now, I've called this place home. I have proudly carried its banner and I've proudly displayed my work here to all those who would see it.

So, in light of that, I am making an announcement that the Samoa Joe Farewell Tour will begin on February 16th and will end in Liverpool, England. I will have my final match as a regular part of the Ring of Honor as a wrestler. I've made a lot of promises and I've said a lot of things, especially into this camera, but I promise you this, I came into this company to do a mission - to wrestle my ass off, to give my best at all times for the best fans in the world. I promise you this Ring of Honor fans, in my final run here, my final string of matches that I will leave with this promotion, I will give you my best. I will give you my greatest. I promise you. I will give you my all.

Unfortunately, circumstances and time move on, and so must I. Ring of Honor's always been a promotion about new talent, new people, a new breed of wrestling. Trends aren't followed here, trends are made and now I leave the trends, the edginess, the realness of pro wrestling for those here on this roster. Ring of Honor was a huge part of my life and always will be. I hope you will join me and the rest here as I'm forced to say farewell to a company that I love. Thank you. I am Samoa Joe. I love pro wrestling and I leave it all here, in Ring of Honor."

When the statement Samoa Joe made says that he was "forced" to go; there's not much else to do but to put the blame exactly where it lies...toward a cold-blooded and deliberate attempt by TNA to muscle its talent, with the effect to screw ROH fans...particularly just after the announcement of the Ring of Honor Japan shows.

There can be no other reason. Either he was outright pulled from shows by TNA or booking fees were jacked up to an extent that Ring of Honor can't feasibly book Samoa Joe regularly. Mike Johnson's article on the subject yesterday implies that TNA wants Samoa Joe for shows where they will make their booking fees.

Now before I say what I'm going to say below...and get dozens of e-mails screaming that I'm an ROHbot, and that I hate TNA...perhaps you could check out the e-mails I get claiming I'm on Vince McMahon's payroll when I've defended WWE against the Parents Television Council (which I had to disprove after receiving a subpoena from a PTC lawyer); or that I'm some sort of drooling, blood-soaked hardcore throwback when I defend CZW against the periodic interferencet of the Pennsylvania State Athletic aware that none of those things are true.

I simply believe that being a wrestling fan doesn't just mean you sit on your ass in front of your TV or computer...or in the stands at a show. It means that you rise hell when people screw with your favorite form of entertainment.

So, along those lines....if you're a Ring of Honor fan, instead of acting like nothing's changed...instead, think of why, as an ROH fan, that under the circumstances; you would possibly continue to:

1) Spend money on TNA PPVs
2) Spend two hours of your time watching their prime-time special.
3) Spend an hour of your week watching their regular TV show

Instead, use one of the phone numbers or e-mail addresses below, and let TNA know that you'll no longer be spending the money you used to spend on TNA products; will now be spending that money on Ring of Honor DVDs, live shows, and other revenue sources for that company; and may well decide to even give up watching their free TV program on Spike TV...starting with their much-ballyhooed two hour special against the Westminster Dog Show.

Several options are available to contact TNA to express your thoughts on this matter at this link. Make clear to them that you will also be contacting Spike TV and Universal Studios.

  • Debra Fazio/Spike TV - 212/767-8649

  • Salil Gulati/Spike TV - 212/767-8705

  • Steven Godfrey/TNA Wrestling - 615/244-5557

    Point out to them as has been said before NWA-TNA needs Ring Of Honor's fan base to survive, those online and smart mark fans that have kept them alive until they were supported by their current backers. Without that fan base, they may well not survive.

    You can also contact NWA-TNA via snail mail at TNA Wrestling, 209 10th Avenue South - Suite 302 Nashville, TN 37203 .

    If you use the snail mail method, send TNA copies of your recent cable bills that show you are now ordering their PPVs. Remind them that they will be losing a customer...and let them know you'll be contacting various individuals within Spike TV as well to express your displeasure, as well as Panda Energy, and Universal Studios Florida.

    Additionally, readers may wish to directly contact Jeff Jarrett directly at this address, an address which was made public by Jarrett during a online chat back in 2004.

    Back in April 2004, when TNA tried this very thing (claiming the Rob Feinstein incident was the cause). After these issues became public... late last week, in a campaign started by Ring of Honor fan Paul Sosnowski and this writer almost concurrently, many wrestling fans expressed their concern late last week about this potential drain of ROH talent by contacting NWA-TNA, and owner and then NWA-TNA Director of Administration and Talent Relations Bob Ryder to threaten a boycott of NWA-TNA PPV events if the company continued their attempts to get TNA talent to stop working for Ring of Honor. Fans also let NWA-TNA know that they would be contacting Fox Sports (then their television outlet) to express their displeasure.

    Within 24 hours of contacts made to Fox Sports, TNA was frantically calling Ring of Honor to beg them to get their fans to back off.

    Sounds like its time to do it again.

    Act in support of a company you say you support.

    Put your money where your mouth is.

    And tell a company that's made a business decision to screw with your favorite form of entertainment...that you made a business decision of sorts; and you'll no longer support them because of the business decision they've made.

    Until next time...

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