Is Ring Of Honor Fake?

Wrestling: that ancient Roman contest of tactics, technique, and brawn still practiced in the modern day at the Olympics by world-class athletes. Yes, wrestling, that total tangle of ... oh, you mean the "fake" kind of wrestling? Yes, folks, we're diving elbow-first from the top turnbuckle into the ring of perpetual controversy surrounding sports' most often-asked, but rarely-answered question (at least not directly): Is wrestling "real"? Specifically, is the Ring of Honor (ROH) as honorably authentic as its name implies? 

The answer is ... no. But also yes. As The Ringer puts it in their headline when speaking of the WWE, "wrestling is fake, but its injuries are real." The same applies for all professional wrestling leagues, including the ROH. As BoardGamesTips plainly, but somewhat evasively, states, wrestlers in the ROH "take part in scripted feuds and storylines. Wrestlers are portrayed as either villains or heroes in the scripted events that build tension and culminate in a wrestling match." In other words, the overall narrative and each wrestler's "character" is drafted ahead of time and scripted. Each line of dialogue? No, that's sometimes ad-libbed, per Digital Spy

As for the fights? They're choreographed to keep everyone safe. Wrestlers are athletes who are also actors doing all their own stunts. Think of it all as performative art — a show, in other words. And like a ballerina in Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker," or a singer in Mozart's opera "Don Giovanni," their skill depends on physical training.

Taking a break to rethink the league

On October 27, 2021, the Ring of Honor announced that they'd be taking a hiatus in 2022. Judging by the official statement on F4WOnline, financial concerns are at play that cropped up as a result of COVID-19: "Throughout the pandemic, our top priority was to keep everyone healthy and safe, and despite not producing any live events over 18 months, we were able to keep everyone fully contracted. We now find ourselves at a time where we need to make changes to our new business operations and are planning a pivot for Ring of Honor, with a new mission and strategy." After December's "Final Battle," the announcement went on to say, the ROH stated that they'd be back in April for the Super Card of Honor. In the interim, they'll be looking to "reconceptualize" the organization and reward fans' "loyalty and patience" by providing "a unique experience."

All in all, it seems like the ROH wants to distinguish itself from its fellow leagues. Wrestler Matt Taven, one of the ROH's most decorated wrestlers and winner of its Grand Slam Championship, ROH World Title, Television Title, Tag Team Titles, and more (per ROH Wrestling), has said of the ROH, "In a world of professional wrestling where people like to think that they're in on the gag, this is a real as it gets." Regardless of how "real" or "fake" the ROH might be, the dedication of its members definitely seems legit.