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ROH YEAR THREE ARCHIVE: LOOKING BACK AT RING OF HONOR'S MOST CONTROVERSIAL YEAR

By Mike Johnson on 2004-12-28 20:40:00
SETTLEMENT OF RING OF HONOR-RF VIDEO SPLIT FINALIZED; SIGNING EXPECTED MONDAY
By Mike Johnson
June 26, 2004

Sources close to both sides of the Ring of Honor-RF Video split confirmed that the negotiations regarding the settlement appear to be finalized, and it is expected that both sides will sign the agreement this Monday 6/28. One source noted, "It's 98.5% finalized" while another stated, "I am done talking about the situation, as legally I can't from this point on."

Although the details of the contract are confidential and both sides declined to discuss them, it is believed that Ring of Honor has agreed it will not sell any independent wrestling videos that are currently filmed by RF Video. That was a major point of contention from Rob Feinstein's side as it would have placed them as a direct competitor to RF Video. In exchange, I believe RF Video has agreed to a no compete in regard to promoting live wrestling events for the term of at least one year.

The agreement includes a gag order, which means that no one involved will be able to discuss the terms of the agreement. In other words, until someone decides to violate the settlement, this should be the end of all the internal issues for ROH, publicly and will finally mark the end of Rob Feinstein's involvement once and for all within the promotion.

Ring of Honor was formed in early 2002 by RF Video, then owned by Rob Feinstein. Current RF Video President Doug Gentry took over Feinstein's positions in March 2004 after Feinstein was implicated during a Philadelphia NBC affiliate's sting on online pedophiles and stepped down from his positions. Cary Silkin became majority investor for ROH earlier this year and has been investing in the company since March 2003.

RF Video was founded by Feinstein in 1995 and remains open for business. Although Feinstein is not back in any official capacity, he returned to work at the RF Video offices after the split took place earlier this month. He has told many within the wrestling industry that he is in the process of pursuing legal recourse against the NBC affiliate that set up the sting in conjunction with website Perverted-Justice.com.

The Ring of Honor website is currently down as the promotion is switching servers for the site. They have acquired a new webmaster and I would expect are re-tuning the website as well to accommodate their new in-house merchandise systems. The new ROH office is expected to open for business within the next week.

THE DEAL IS SIGNED: RING OF HONOR OFFICIALLY SPLITS FROM RF VIDEO
by Mike Johnson
June 28, 2004

Late this afternoon, Ring of Honor and RF Video officials completed negotiations and signed a settlement agreement in regard to severing the professional relationship between their respective companies. The 45% shares of the ROH promotion owned by Rob Feinstein/Doug Gentry are now controlled by Cary Silkin, who is 100% owner of Ring of Honor from this point forward.

Although the confidentiality clause in the settlement will prevent each side from discussing the situation (or each other), Ring of Honor is expected to issue an official statement to announce the opening of their new office, which they are moving into today and is expected to open for business within the week. ROH's website should return shortly as well. Any merchandise stock that remained in RF Video's possession after their split in early June was returned to ROH over the weekend.

Ring of Honor was formed in early 2002 by RF Video, then owned by Rob Feinstein. RF Video President Doug Gentry took over Feinstein's positions in March 2004 after Feinstein was implicated during a Philadelphia NBC affiliate's sting on online pedophiles and stepped down from his positions. Cary Silkin became majority investor for ROH in January 2004 and had been investing in the company since March 2003. ROH employees Gabe Sapolsky, Sid Eick, and Ross Abrams were laid off by RF Video in early June and were immediately hired by Silkin for ROH. They will make up the nucleus of the promotion's braintrust from this point forward. The promotion's next scheduled event is 7/17 in Elizabeth, New Jersey. ROH gave up the rights to film and/or sell a number of independent promotions that currently hold relationships with RF Video as part of the settlement agreement.

RF Video was founded by Feinstein in 1995 (although he was bootlegging and selling videos for years before that point) and remains open for business. Although Feinstein is not back in any official capacity, he returned to work at the RF Video offices after the split took place earlier this month. He has told many within the wrestling industry that he is in the process of pursuing legal recourse against the NBC affiliate that set up the sting in conjunction with website Perverted-Justice.com. RF Video's current staff (Doug Gentry and Joe Ferrara) will continue to film and sell videos of different promotions past and present including ECW (which they own a large library of shows they filmed during that promotion's run), the ECWA, CZW, IWA Mid-South, and different independent and Japanese wrestling promotions. RF Video is expected to begin promoting live events in a year, once a no compete clause that was negotiated in the settlement that was signed today, runs out.

One promotion that will no longer be filmed by either entity, however, is Frank Goodman's USA Pro Wrestling, who announced today on his website that RF Video would no longer be welcome to film at his shows due to Rob Feinstein's involvement with the company. ROH would not be able to tape the events either due to their signed no-compete agreement with RF Video. At this point, only Harrington Video (which USA Pro pays to produce their own releases) will be taping the New York-based live events. [Note from Mike Johnson: RF Video later returned to filming the shows.]

For those wondering if all parties will indeed keep quiet and not discuss the terms of the agreement, I have heard there is a liability of $5000 that would be forfeited by the first side that openly discusses the settlement or the other side from this point forward. So, if someone wants to talk about the situation, they will have to pony up the funds.

RING OF HONOR ISSUES PRESS RELEASE REGARDING OWNERSHIP OF PROMOTION
by Mike Johnson
June 29, 2004

Ring of Honor issued the following statement in regard to their ownership following the settlement between the Cary Silkin/Ring of Honor faction and the Rob Feinstein/Doug Gentry/RF Video faction late Monday. The complete release reads as follows:

Cary Silkin Now 100% Owner & President Of Ring Of Honor

PHILADELPHIA- Ring of Honor is proud to announce Cary Silkin as President and 100% owner of the company. From this point forward the company will do business as Ring of Honor Wrestling Inc.

The new company will retain the old website at www.rohwrestling.com. The site will be relaunched later this week with the ability for customers to order products online next week.

In the meantime, Ring of Honor Wrestling is now taking merchandise and ticket orders over the phone at (215) 781-2500. Product is available for immediate shipping starting Tuesday.

If you have any questions please e-mail us at ROHHelp@aol.com.

Silkin's ownership of the company puts many of the previous issues involving ROH to rest, although the company obviously has a lot of work to do to regain the status they held before the downward spiral that began with the Rob Feinstein incident in March.

Silkin's ownership should also theoretically open the doors to discussions about ROH using NWA:TNA talent, but obviously nothing has happened in that regard yet.


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