By Kevin Eck
In an effort to reemphasize the principles of the Code of Honor, the Ring of Honor Board of Directors has announced new directives aimed at stricter enforcement of the rules.
The Code of Honor, which was implemented when ROH began and differentiated the company from other pro wrestling promotions, is about more than the competitors shaking hands before and after the match. It stresses that rules will be followed, referees will be respected and outside interference will not be tolerated. In recent years, strict adherence to those elements of the Code of Honor has been relaxed.
The Board of Directors has now empowered referees to enforce a zero-tolerance policy with regard to competitors putting their hands on them and blatantly breaking the rules.
“I think the directives that the Board of Directors has given us referees going into 2019 is a perfect balance of ensuring that things are fair, while still allowing the wrestlers to use their skills and athleticism to show who is better inside that ring,” ROH senior referee Todd Sinclair said.
As part of the effort to crack down on outside interference, the Board of Directors also announced that anyone wishing to act as a manager or second for a competitor must apply for a license with ROH in order to be allowed at ringside.
If a manager or second is caught interfering in a match in any manner, the referee is encouraged to immediately eject the offender from ringside or disqualify the competitor the offender is managing/seconding. Depending on the severity of the infraction, a fine can be levied on the offender and he or she can have their license revoked.
“For me, it all comes down to the Code of Honor,” said Sinclair, who has been with ROH for more than 15 years. “It’s what Ring of Honor was founded on, and it has always been at the very core of everything that we do. Sure, there have been periods where the focus seems to have strayed from the Code of Honor, but history has shown that things will eventually come full circle. I feel that here in 2019, we’re back to that full circle point, and that makes me happy. I’m a huge, huge proponent of the Code of Honor."