Ian Riccaboni discusses Ring of Honor taking the proper precautions throughout the pandemic.
Ring of Honor is officially on hiatus from presenting live events since the conclusion of the Final Battle pay-per-view. The company has two more weeks left of new in-ring content to air on their weekly syndicated program.
Lead commentator for ROH, Ian Riccaboni is going to be on the call for the upcoming ROH TV shows and he’ll also be at the commentary table for an NJPW STRONG taping in January. Riccaboni broke that news while speaking with ‘Lehigh Valley of Love’. Also during that discussion, Riccaboni touched on how ROH took all the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of talent and staff when they started doing tapings again in 2020.
The company had rapid PCR testing and overnight delivery for the COVID results and Riccaboni recalls the estimate for the first round of those tests being “something close to quarter million to a half-a-million dollars”.
It’s interesting [how Ring of Honor got to this point]. Ring of Honor, throughout the pandemic did the right thing time after time after time. We were the first one to go with full PCR testing with overnight results and delivery. Ring of Honor paid extra for that. I think the estimate at the first one we did was something close to quarter million to a half-a-million dollars just to do that, because at that time, PCR testing, you weren’t able to do as rapid so if you wanted to get expedited, you needed to pay the big bucks and you needed to pay to cut in front of the line so, we were doing these bubble tapings where we needed to know if folks were negative. We’d do a pre-test five days beforehand. We’d do a test when we got to the bubble and then we do a test when — before we would compete or call the matches. So Ring of Honor took care of us.
There were points during Ian’s broadcast career where he could have either gone to or had discussions with WWE and/or AEW. Ultimately, he is happy with the decision he made and feels everything worked out for the best.
I had my chances to go to WWE, I had my chances to go to AEW or at least talk to them. Yeah, I know [it’s still early]. It’s weird though because it’s almost like there were certain points, there were certain forks in the road where I had to decide, ‘Do I do Ring of Honor and my day job career?’ Which is wonderful. You know, very blessed with that or, ‘Do I just kind of throw it all out the window and take my chance on a different path?’ And you know, I’m really happy with the path I took because I — everything kind of worked out for the best but, I do have a couple of things coming up.
The upcoming NJPW STRONG taping that Riccaboni will be on the call for is in Seattle, Washington. NJPW’s lead commentator Kevin Kelly is going to be on-site in Japan to call Wrestle Kingdom 16 and forthcoming NJPW events.
If the quotes in this article are used, please credit ‘Lehigh Valley with Love’ with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.