RETRO: PWTorch Livecast Interview – Pat McNeill with Steve Corino, Ian Riccaboni (Aug. 19, 2015)

DATE: AUGUST 19, 2015


Report by Joel Tesch, PWPodcasts reporter


-Preview of ROH’s Field of Honor show

-Great discussion of new talent development and the future of ROH

-VIP Aftershow w/ James Caldwell


– Paul Heyman Sings (yes): 0:18

– “Hello You People”/Introduction : 2:14

– Pat Introduces Ian Riccaboni and Steve Corino: 3:19

– Overview of ROH Field of Honor show begins: 5:25

– Discussion of Tommy Rich: 8:25

– Riccaboni talks about Mandy Leon: 13:04

– Conversation about ROH as the new #2 promotion and relationship with WWE 15:25

– New talent outlook for ROH: 26:13

– Corino talks about his early WWF matches: 37:20

– Riccaboni gives in-depth preview of matchups in the upcoming ROH weekend shows: 39:41

– Discussion of “Best wrestler from ROH Dojo not yet to appear on TV”: 53:06

– Corino and Riccaboni goodbyes and plugs: 58:00

– VIP Aftershow with James Caldwell begins: 1:01:15

– Discussion of Tough Enough odds: 1:07:00

– Overview of Triple H Conference Call: 1:09:03

– Sign off: 1:38:08


Corino was very excited about New Japan’s continued participation in ROH and their upcoming role in the Field of Honor event and the rematch of Roderick Strong vs Jay Lethal. Loves the themed combination of wrestling and baseball.

Riccaboni described the variety of roles he plays for ROH: in-arena host, calling matches (with Matt Ryan) Women of Honor and other Youtube ROH wrestling,  and local “we’re coming to your town!” promos

Corino was asked about Tommy Rich (now 59).  He said in the last year, Rich has gotten his personal life in order, looks fresh, is working out (no longer the partying Tommy Rich of yore) and is making a big impression on the younger wrestlers in the locker room.  Rich has been a class act and has drawn well for them. “I can’t sing his praises enough.”

On Mandy Leon: Riccaboni said she is one of the “most wonderful people I’ve even met.” He thinks she can do just “about anything” and is happy to see her progress in her role and profile as she’s been training very hard. He looks forward to seeing a lot more of her. Talked about her early days selling merchandise for ROH.  Corino joked about her having a restraining order against Bobby Cruise and so he doesn’t get to interact with her much. He agreed about her progress in the ring, and looks forward to seeing more from her.

Riccaboni doesn’t really dwell on who the #2 promotion because things are so different than they were during the Attitude Era. WWE is by far the #1 brand and most recognized. ROH has its niche and is owned by a TV company, which gives it a different business structure. He believes that the upcoming head-to-head competition with NXT is a great thing, and serves to build up both brands. Said both companies are delivering great shows and the fans are the winners. Corino said it’s a sign of validation that WWE is putting NXT up against ROH and it’s also an extra spotlight on them.

Both are very excited about upcoming exclusive content on the ROH YouTube channel.

Responding to a caller question, Corino said he’d love to see Austin Aries make a return. He said there are so many previous stars that have been through ROH that would be great if they returned…but is really now focused on future stars making an impact. Riccaboni pointed out that New England has recently proved to be a hotbed for new talent (Corino specifically praised the Monster Factory and Brian Fury’s dojo for turning out some great new talent that are “TV ready”).

As for getting back in the ring in ROH, Corino said his plan is to sit on the “other side of the table.” While he would enjoy getting back in the ring (to maybe rough up BJ Whitmer), he thinks that would be a step backward as he wants to really get to know the business aspects.

Corino talked about his Dark match in 1996 two years into his WWE career. Said it was an awesome experience. He remembered doing a lot of WWF Shotgun Saturday Nights, in particular one when Crush pulled him out of the crowd and “beat the piss out of him.”

In response to a question about whether there will ever be an ROH Network, he said right now the ROH web site, YouTube station and broadcast television are sufficient for the content they are providing.

Chatroom question: Who is the best wrestler from the ROH Dojo we haven’t seen on TV yet? Both Corino and Riccaboni loved this question. Corino said Shaheem Ali is “the total package” who can wrestle, can entertain, looks good and has good size. Riccaboni mentioned Punisher Martinez, a promising big man at 6’7” who actually trimmed down to 270.


8 out of 10: A fun and informative interview with two very enthusiastic guests. Corino and Riccaboni played well off of one another and Pat kept the interview going consistently at a nice pace. The listener and mail bag questions were mostly all on-topic as well, which led to some really good answers from the guests. If you’re an ROH fan, you will definitely want to catch this as they provide some great insights into the multimedia content production of the promotion and how it fits in with the televised product, as well as ROH building towards the future with new talent development and some in-depth overviews of current matchups.  Corino and Riccaboni’s enthusiasm and positivity for the product was infectious and this really enhanced the discussion. Even if you are not an ROH fan, you will still appreciate the “inside look” at the inner workings of a growing wrestling promotion, and you will enjoy Corino’s stories of past wrestling escapades (I particularly enjoyed him reminiscing about past WWF Shotgun Saturday matches). The aftershow with Pat and James was enjoyable enough with their thoughts on Tough Enough, Triple H’s conference call, the upcoming SummerSlam event and, yes,  football. All in all, a very entertaining wrestling conversation.

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