Seems he was fired last night,released from his booking duties by Cary Silkin. Seems Silkin wants to take the company in a whole different direction, complete with a TV deal, video games, action figures etc. Look for a more cleaned up, less violent, family friendly, "entertainment" oriented ROH in the future. Truly the end of an era.
ROH was fine as they were which is why they have survived and thrived for 6 years. If they try to go national they will accumulate massive debt and go out of business quickly.
I'm completely stunned by this. ROH has many problems, but I don't think Gabe was one of them. If anything, Gabe is a big reason why ROH is in the position it is. So who books now??? The only one within the company currently that I could see doing it would be Prazak. They could do worse I suppose
What intrigues me more is where does Gabe go now?
From the Observer
"ROH owner Cary Silkin confirmed this morning that Gabe Sapolsky has been replaced as booker and is no longer with the company.
Silkin categorized it as change the company had decided to make and it wasn't the result of any single incident that took place over the weekend. The parting of the ways took place at some point last night at the ROH house show in Edison, NJ.
At this point Silkin and others in ROH have been closed mouthed about who will be put in charge or what they were unhappy about.
Silkin, who said he didn't want to comment on the change right now, said it would be business as usual with the 11/7 and 11/8 shows in Toronto (Markham, ONT) and Montreal going on as scheduled with the current crew of talent.
Last night's show featured CHIKARA Pro talent including Brodie Lee, Cheech & Cloudy and the Osiran Portal, who had never been featured on ROH shows in the past.
Sapolsky has been booker of ROH since its inception six years ago. The company has had its financial ups and downs during that period, but for the most part, as been the third largest pro wrestling company in North America, largely relying on sales of DVDs as its primary source of income.
Sapolsky had won the Booker of the Year award the past four years in Observer balloting and ROH was known for producing the best in-ring product.
The live crowds have been steady in recent months, but DVD sales had declined. Economic problems in North America would have likely affected ROH more than TNA or WWE because they don't have the kind of economic backing to get through rough times.
Silkin said it was too early to discuss what would happen next. He said there wouldn't be significant changes, but that over the next several weeks the new direction would be evident. He wouldn't comment on who would take over as booker.
Silkin is close friends with Luke Williams of the Bushwhackers, who has extensive booking experience, particularly in Puerto Rico and has appeared a few times at ROH events."
from Bill Behrens at Wrestlezone.com:
"ROH is financed by Cary Silken. Several years ago the decision was made to begin PPVs. The hope was it would grow the company, add fans, and revenue. It has not.
It has been suggested ROH needs TV. They do not unless they are paid to provide their show and at least break even. ROH had TV briefly in Philadelphia on WGTW-TV, payiong for the time slot weekly, and canceled that deal after a few months. The TV was not helping them draw and was cutting nto DVD sales. They had been warned going in that they would lose money, but too many see TV as a holy grail. It usually is not. It's usually just another expense.
ROH house shows are down in attendance, and several planned shows in Florida were cancelled then rescheduled to next year.
Only NYC & Chicago have really been drawing the crowds ROH needs and expects.
After last month's Philadephia show Silkin was close to shutting down ROH altogether. Too much money was being spent, and too little was coming in.
Other ROH Management convinced Silkin to keep the company running, and to let Gabe Saposky go, and in the process make changes beyond the booking alone.
Card budgets need to be cut. Towns need to be booked to run at a profit regardless of draw even if it means reducing pay to some talent or reeducing the number of wrestlers booked p[er show, particularly fly-ins.
Whether PPV will continue is unknown. I'd recommend no. ROH needs to focus on events and DVDs, and story telling, alnost go back to the beginning in some ways. Their press release suggested that direction.
The current booking plan is to use a committee. Exactly who is on the committee has not been announced. For this group, whoever they turn out to be, to be sucessful, they first need to meet with Cary Silkin and find out exacting what he wants. It is his money after all. If they plan to repackage ROH, I'd focus on NE dates and run fewer shows, and go to the mid-west only once every two-three months. I'd cancel any new market unless indications are good for ticket sales, and regardless I'd underbook the cards. I'd try to sell ROH Shows to buildings for a guaranteed fee.
There will be no quick fix, but if the bleeding can be stopped, Cary Silkin & ROH can survive."
I wonder if the changes are at all related to the upcoming release of "The Wrestler"(w/ Mickey Roarke). The movie was filmed at a few ROH shows last year. Its been getting GREAT reviews at film festivals. It paints a picture of workers as heroes, but overall a negative look at the business. The press is likely to cast some light on ROH. I wonder if Silkin believes some degree of cleanup is needed?
I think it had more to do with Cary wanting to get a TV deal and Gabe being completely against it
ROH will be gone within a year if they seriously try to pursue a tv deal. They don't have the larger than life personalities or style of wrestling that will appeal to the crowds that keeps WWE on top. This has bad news written all over it.
TV is what brought down ECW and will do the same to ROH if they aren't careful.
If cary is left in charge of ROH then ROH is truly on its last legs
mind you, (and contrary to popular belief) ROH has been running on borrowed time for awhile now.
Also, I think most of you guys don't know this but Rob is STILL making money off of ROH. Their is a gag order in place about it but it is a well known fact that RF gets a cut from ROH and now with Gabe gone, it is safe to say that Cary's butt boy (rob) may be pulling the strings at ROH because it is a known fact that Cary is a money mark/gay guy who bought into the business just so he can get close to Larry Sweeney and knows nothing about booking pro wrestling- he just likes the boys.
From a previous ROH newswire:
"check back Monday for a star returning to ROH"
"October 26 2008 Sunday update. RF VIDEO to have huge announcement tomorrow!!!"
btw, I know that these are somewhat of a non sequitor points but i think they are somewhat relevent to this thread
a) I think ROH dropped the ball BIG TIME by not continuing the Jerry Lynn as their "Rocky Balboa" angle- it was starting to, slowly, get over
b) I have forgiven Rob Feinstein- have you?
a) What exactly do you mean?
grizz632 - a) What exactly do you mean?
they (ROH) were, slowly, building Jerry Lynn back up as a contender making a final run for it all ala the last Rocky movie.
He was playing the veteran babyface who was fighting with everything he had for what looked like his final shot
I don't think losing to Black really kills that. He had a big win over Claudio on Friday and is a full time member of the roster now. Plenty of opportunity to continue the push, provided the next booker decides to
grizz632 - I don't think losing to Black really kills that.
for me, I think that loss did kill the momentum of that particular type of push.
but that's just me.
if rob is the next booker (which I still doubt despite gabe leaving) then I could see JL being used more in a mentor capacity with the younger talent. Also, Rob respects JL enough not to bury him however, I wouldn't expect a huge push for Jerry either
back to the subject at hand, Rob (like I said) won't be booker (imho), he will however be able to have more of gay cary's ear in the running of ROH and will suggest a booker. With that being said I wouldn't be shocked if Rob suggests Raven to be the next ROH booker
Raven is an interesting idea. As long as he stays out of the ring I'd be excited to see him get a shot at it
The latest buzz is that the new ROH booker will be Adam Pearce, and the new direction will be "70's style with less ridiculous moves, shorter shows, clearer heel/face dynamics, etc."
I'll give it a shot, but I'm not optimistic. Also, the "Star returning to ROH" that was mentioned above turned out to be Samoa Joe. At least one good thing has happened in ROH in the last couple days...
It will be interesting to see how the changes actually work.
Samoa Joe is back? What's up with that? Just a couple of shows, I'm guessing...?