Isn’t it about time Ring of Honor’s booking team had a shakeup?
The current unit of Jim Cornette and Hunter ‘Delirious’ Johnston have been in place since summer 2010, after previous penman Adam Pearce was relieved of his duties by Cary Silkin. Cornette wasn’t officially involved at first. Even now he is only acknowledged as an ‘executive producer’, but comments made by former ROH employees (such as Austin Aries) have made it clear that he has a lot of input.
In the two years since Delirious and Cornette started running the show they’ve done some good stuff and some bad stuff. That’s to be expected, nobody gets things right all the time. Ultimately their booking reign has be viewed as a disappointment. There are very few bankable stars at the top of the card and a lacklustre job has been done of elevating talent. As the men responsible for the direction of the product that is ultimately their fault.
Davey Richards was well on his way to the top long before the current booking team was installed. Eddie Edwards, Kevin Steen and Roderick Strong have all had their positions in the league solidified but none were exactly plucked from obscurity.
While some good work has been done to establish Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly as stars of the future a lot more is needed before it can be said that they’re ready to replace the likes of Richards and Steen on top. Meanwhile the decision to not use TJ Perkins, the Bravados and the Young Bucks for extended periods was inexcusable.
Only Michael Elgin has been introduced to the roster and pushed successfully by the combo. He’s ready to take up a top spot, but establishing one guy is not much of an endorsement in the booking in my opinion.
It could be argued that the two years (particularly the two since Delirious took over) has not been enough time to make all the changes necessary to make ROH the company it should be at this point in its development. For a few months at the beginning of Johnston’s run as booker no shows were promoted at all, and there was a lengthy buyout process by SBG that’s bound to have placed extra limitations on the bookers.
While Gabe Sapolsky was permitted to book Ring of Honor for over six years, Adam Pearce was not granted that same courtesy: it was less than two years before he was given the boot in favour of the current team. It’s not unprecedented for ROH to cut a booking team’s run short if they’re not delivering.
Cornette and Delirious aren’t. Nothing about their current storylines, booking style, or the talent they’re bringing into the company indicates this will change any time soon. As such I think someone else should be tried in the position. Preferably someone familiar with the product, its fans and its talent who is keen to try something new.