We live in interesting times. Sinclair Broadcast Group, parent company of Ring of Honor, is currently under the national spotlight for the organization’s highly conservative views and filter when delivering news.
Concurrent with SBG emerging from the national spotlight has been the rise of Brett Giehl, playing the character of Dalton Castle in the spotlight of Ring of Honor. Castel defeated Cody (Rhodes) for the championship at the company’s annual Final Battle pay-per-view. In Channel Guide Magazine, Castle has been described as an Androgynous character. Miriam Webster defines this term in several ways including, “having the characteristics or nature of both male and female”; “neither specifically feminine nor masculine” and “having traditional male and female roles obscured or reversed”. Castle enters the ring with a peacock inspired outfit and his “boys” (two shirtless men). Castle is quite a progressive character in the world of professional wrestling, that is often far behind the times. For example, Cody’s brother plays a character named Goldust in the WWE , where fans would break out in chanting the vilest of words at him- beginning with an F- as late as the mid-1990’s.
Castle’s world championship success should be celebrated not only for his own accomplishments but his ability to break a barrier with ROH’s parent company. However, it is likely that is SBG board members and executives are just not watching Ring of Honor very closely. Outside of a TV deal that is announced in a quarterly report, or a lawsuit to defend, ROH is likely not very much on the radar of the executives. If the executives are watching, they may not understand Castle within the context of a business full of characters or perhaps they have no issue with it at all. SBG may have shown inclinations to change the broader landscape to a more conservative approach but a progressive character within their own brand may be no cause for concern. It may be that SBG is focused on the bottom line (which they should be as a corporation) and know that Castle’s Peacock green is the best way to draw more green ($$) for the organization.
Full disclosure: Lavie is a shareholder of Sinclair Broadcast Group.