Saturday, March 28, 2009
ROH's Bobby Cruise Interview
Hit The Ropes Radio:Mr. Bobby Cruise, how're ya doing?
Bobby Cruise: Good Daris.
HTR:Ring of Honor is blowing up as we speak. We just talked to Brent Albright a few weeks ago, and he said the locker room's excited. You just finished taping your first TV show on HDNet. How was that like and what are your expectations?
BC: Well it was a great atmosphere overall. This is what a lot of the guys have been working for a long time in the wrestling business. You have Brent Albright and Austin Aries, who've been to WWE and TNA, but for a lot of guys this is their first shot at national television.
So the vibe in the locker room is a very excited one and a very focused one. Everyone knows from me to everyone on up knows what's on the line here. We have a huge opportunity. I think it will be great. HDNet has been tremendous to work with. This will be a tremendous partnership between ROH and HDNet.
HTR:Now, I don't have HDNet and had to watch the first episode on YouTube. Did they tell ya'll, for those of us who don't have HDNet, how we can get a hold of HDNet.
BC:Yeah, I found out today that it was on YouTube, which I think at this point is a good thing. HDNet will be the first to admit that they're not in as many homes as they want to be. But that will progress as 2009goes on. I am very fortunate enough so I have Direct TV. People with the Dish Network and the HD package have access to it. I think it will slowly and surely get done as far as more cable systems in different areas picking it up.
I just found out that Comcast in the Boston area, which is a huge pickup for HDNet, just started carrying it in the last week or two. Like I said, as 2009 progress, you will see more and more availability of HDNet on individual cable systems.
HTR:Right, like I said, I did get to catch on YouTube and I was quite impressed. It wasn't the goofy wrestling. You saw some chain wrestling,and it gave exposure to a lot of guys that people probably never heard of before. Like the main event (Tyler Black vs Jimmy Jacobs)they had a feud that people weren't exposed to, but ya'll did a great job of recapping that for us.I think it was an excellent way to kick it off.
BC:Yeah, I agree. Overall I think we should be happy. I know there are things will change from our side and HDNets side of production as we learn. That was our first two nights of taping for the first 6 weeks. And we have our next set of tappings here in Philly in April 9th and 10th, which happens to be a Thursday and a Friday in a couple weeks.
We may do some things different as far as lighting and sound. I know there was some concern because there were 1,000 people there for the first three episodes, and you really couldn't tell that. People have told me that it didn't seem that many people were there. The crowd noise wasn't there. They were loud, but it didn't get picked up. So we might look at miking the crowd a little bit on these next sets.
So I agree with you, it was a great first entry. Anyone who's a Ring of Honor fan will obviously watch it. And anyone who's not will hopefully watch it and the first time get hooked over the next few weeks.
They did a great job with the Ring of Honor history like package. That gave a nice quick thorough recap, not just of Ring of Honor, but the stars that have through Ring of Honor and gone on to other place. People will recognize people like CM Punk, Samoa Joe and Homicide and go wow, I didn't know these guys wrestled for Ring of Honor, let me check this company out.
HTR:That's what I like about Ring of Honor, which a lot of fans will see. There's a movement in the making. A faster pace, chain wrestling, spot moves, all intertwine into one. And there's all reason behind it. And you have big things coming. I understand Ric Flair is visiting with you.
BC: Yes, he's doing several appearances with us as he was with us in St. Louis, he's got one coming up in Virginia, one in Detroit, and we just announced that he will be with us when we return to the Hammerstein Ballroom on June 13. He's got several appearances and we're really excited.
HTR: There's a lot of great wrestlers that have passed through ROH. In fact, we are already debating, how soon ya'll will be competing with TNA in the ratings war. Any thoughts?
BC: Oh obviously it would be great. They're a solid number 2 right now. There's no doubt about that and nobody can question that. Whether you agree with their program or don't agree, they're a solid number 2. And if you're number 3, as we are,then the next logical step would to try and be number 2.
They have the added of advantage of being on cable, yes it's basic cable, but that's a huge advantage. We'll kind of make up some ground as HDNet progress, as I said before, and get's in more and more available across the country.
I see nothing but great things. It's a great locker room. It's a focused locker room, as I said before. It's all up to us. We've been given the opportunity by our management Cary Silken and we've been given the opportunity by HDNet.
And there's no doubt that Ring of Honor knows wrestling and HDNet knows production. So let's see if we can make a winning team. And so far I think we have.
HTR:There's a lot of attention to wrestling lately, especially with the movie The Wrestler. Ring of Honor had a huge part in the move, as it was the set for the final scene. And you were in the movie, can you tell us a little bit about that?
BC:Yeah, it was obviously a great opportunity when we first had heard that Darren Aronofsky was interested in doing the movie The Wrestler and wanted to do something with Ring of Honor, it was an exciting opportunity.
When you start putting a movie out there that got the buzz that it did, and the awards that it did, and like I said Mickey Rourke is in it, it can do nothing but good for your company.
And for Ring of Honor to be featured in the main scene when other promotions were featured in the film, and no disrespect to them, you could see it was smaller arenas. And it built up to Randy the Ram and the Ayatollah. And it happen to happen in a Ring of Honor building, in a Ring of Honor ring, with Ring of Honor signage everywhere. It made Ring of Honor look great.
The publicity from it has been very good from the electronic media to the print media. Every town we go to they want to talk to about Ring of Honor's involvement in The Wrestler. So it's been great.
HTR: So were you the commentator for that scene? Tell us about that.
BC: Yeah, the taping of that scene actually took place in two Ring of Honor events over two different days in the same building. I did the ring announcing for the main event scene for Randy the Ram and the Ayatollah. I probably must of announced that match about 15 times as they kept trying shooting different angles.
It was really exciting to attend the premier in New York in October, and seeing myself on the big screen, I didn't thing that was going to happen.
HTR: Now going back to Ring of Honor, tell us how did you get your start in Ring of Honor?
BC:It started in 2003, when I was doing the Steve Corino intros that used to get quite a bit of a reaction. Steve was having a feud of Homicide back in 2003 and was making a big return to Ring of Honor. And he sent me a quick IM online one night and he said "hey, I'm going back to Ring of Honor and I'm thinking of having this quote unquote heel ring announcer and I want you to do it.
Plus I've heard of Ring of Honor and known people who've worked for Ring of Honor, but I've never seen a Ring of Honor. And I remember being there for that first match with Homicide and remember being blown away. The lighting, the athletisicm, the production, just a great thing.
After a while the Corino thing died down. And about a year later they contacted me, saying hey a ring announcer position has opened up, are interested in taking it? I said yes and that was back in Novemeber or 04. So it's been about 4 and 1/2 years at every taping, up and down the road.
HTR:Can you tell us about the Ring of Honor champ Nigel McGuiness?
BC:Fans are going to see a cocky arrogant, very stuck on himself personality. But there also going to see one of the best wrestlers in the world. There's no doubt about that. He can back up everything he says. His reign in Ring of Honor is pushing serious time here. He's battled everybody and defeated everybody, on numerous of occasions. It's been quite a run watching him come into his own, especially the last two years. And he totally deserves to be the world champion.
BR: Do you think of having the same buzz as ECW when it was the third option?
BC: Yeah, in a way. You have to have that third option, a strong alternative. Yeah you have to have that backstage stuff like that, but we'll focus on the wrestling. But we have the SmackTalk, as people are walking to the ring, cause that doesn't cost us any time.
We'll do more backstage stuff, because you have to have it for TV. But not to the level of the other two. Otherwise we'd be just like them and not an alternative. We don't say we're an entertainment company. We're a wrestling company.
HTR: If you haven't seen them before you need to. They've got tapings coming up April 9 & 10 in Philly, Montreal April 17, Toronto April 18 Dayton April 24, Chicago Ridge April 25. If you need more info, check out www.ROHwrestling.com. You're definitely on the right path Bobby. And I want to thank you for coming on.
BC:Thank you, any time guys.