Originally, I was planning on releasing the third volume of my Honor Club Hidden Gems series today. Instead, I want to provide an update on Honor Club, because it actually underwent some changes over the last week or so. ROH put out an article a few days ago detailing these changes, but I thought it would be best to provide a further breakdown with this piece.
The first bit of news is that they’ve changed how you can order ROH PPV events through Honor Club. Up until recently, the only way that you could get the ROH PPVs for free was if you paid for the $119.99 VIP Membership tier (that was a yearly payment). If you were on the monthly or yearly subscription plans ($9.99 and $99.99 respectively), you would still have to pay for the PPVs, but at a reduced price. Now, all ROH PPVs will be included at all subscription levels, which means that subscribing to the lowest tier will get you unlimited access to all ROH live events (no matter the size) going forward.
Secondly (and this is a big one), we’ve finally started to see more of the archives going up on Honor Club!
They recently put up sixteen shows from 2010 (not all of the shows from that year, but a good amount of them), and while that isn’t the stuff from the golden years that everyone is waiting for, it’s still exciting news. 2010 was an underrated year for ROH, and there are plenty of great matches to check out.
Before I go through the shows that were added, I want to make note of a format change with Honor Club, specifically with regards to these 2010 shows. Since the streaming service got started, the way they uploaded the shows was that they uploaded them as one complete video. The way they’ve handled these 2010 shows (and presumably, how they will handle all of the other classic ROH events from the 2000s) is much different. Instead of uploading the events as one video, the matches are broken up into their own, individual videos.
I’ve included a picture of what this looks like, but essentially, when you go to 2010, you will see the event title listed on the left, and then all of the individual match videos listed below the event title. There are aspects of this new format that I like, after playing around with it for a little bit, but I also noticed some things that could be fixed. If you’re someone who enjoys going back and watching specific matches, then this new layout works perfectly for you. For instance, if you wanted to watch Tyler Black vs. Davey Richards from Death Before Dishonor VIII (a fantastic match, by the way), you can go right to Death Before Dishonor VIII, pick out the match, and watch it without having to skip through one long video file until you get to the main event. So in that sense, it’s pretty cool. That being said, there were aspects that I noticed that need to be looked at for improvements, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. This is a new format for Honor Club, and there will always be bugs when trying out a new system like this.
The first thing that jumped out at me was that the shows weren’t listed in any sort of order. As you could tell by the picture I provided, the first two events listed are clearly not listed by date, and in general, the events they did add from 2010 are presented in a jumbled order. Now, I will fully admit to being someone that’s very OCD when it comes to organizing, and listing things in some sort of order. As a whole, however, I do believe that listing the shows in some sort of organized fashion would certainly make things easier for the user to navigate.
Before I go into my next point, I’m going to list off the shows from 2010 that were added to Honor Club, because that’s important when I make my next point:
- Phoenix Rising (3/27/10)
- Bitter Friends, Stiffer Enemies 2 (4/24/10)*
- Civil Warfare (5/7/10)*
- Supercard Of Honor V (5/8/10)*
- Buffalo Stampede II (6/18/10)*
- Death Before Dishonor VIII (6/19/10)
- Hate: Chapter II (7/23/10)
- Salvation (7/24/10)*
- Champion’s Challenge (8/27/10)
- Tag Wars 2010 (8/28/10)*
- Fade To Black (9/10/10)*
- Glory By Honor IX (9/11/10)
- Richards vs. Daniels (10/16/10)
- Survival Of The Fittest 2010 (11/12/10)
- Fate Of An Angel (11/13/10)
- Tag Title Classic II (12/17/10)
You’ll notice that some of those shows have an asterisk next to them. That’s because those shows are missing one or more matches from the show.
Now that’s not necessarily the end of the world, depending on the show. For instance, I don’t think anyone is going to cry over the fact that the Bob Evans vs. Grizzly Redwood match from Fade To Black wasn’t uploaded. However, there are instances where more important bouts just weren’t added, for whatever reason. As an example, the ROH World Title Match between Tyler Black and Chis Hero from Bitter Friends, Stiffer Enemies 2 hasn’t been uploaded. In another instance, the Tag Wars 2010 event is missing the actual Tag Wars 2010 Finals!
A few missing matches here and there wasn’t the only issue I noticed. In some cases, match files were uploaded without the complete match. This is most notable with Supercard Of Honor V, as The King Of Wrestling vs. The Motor City Machine Guns and Christopher Daniels vs. Eddie Edwards are both missing sizable chunks of the actual matches (The former is joined in progress, the latter is missing the closing minutes). There was also an instance of a match being uploaded under the wrong show. As you might’ve seen from the picture I provided, the Double Chain Match from Glory By Honor IX was uploaded under Death Before Dishonor VIII, for some reason.
To go along with that, there were also some weird things that I noticed which, while not major issues, were a bit annoying.
Firstly, the gauntlet match from Death Before Dishonor VIII was uploaded as three separate videos (again, for unknown reasons). So if you’re wondering why one of the videos for that show is Tyson Dux vs. Shawn Daivari, it’s part of the gauntlet match that took place at that event. Another weird thing to keep an eye out for in the 2010 section is the infamous “Paul Heyman Special”, where one match bleeds into another match. While poking around the Civil Warfare event, I noticed that the Chris Hero vs. Mark Briscoe match wasn’t listed. That’s because it’s included in the Jay Briscoe vs. Claudio Castagnoli video file, as it was an instance of the Paul Heyman Special. I’m not sure if that’s the case with other shows, but it’s something to keep an eye on.
Outside of the pros and cons that come with the 2010 events, there was another big feature that was announced concerning Honor Club. Eventually, all ROH events from 2016 onward will have a match menu function added to the video file. Located in the lower right-hand corner (in the same area as the quality level, playback rate, and full-screen functions), this will allow the user to skip around to certain matches on the show. So if you are looking to find a certain match from a particular show, this feature makes it easier to do so (the article that ROH put out detailing these changes has a good picture showing off what this looks like). Now as of this moment, only the 2020 live events have this feature, but as already mentioned, it appears that all shows dating back to 2016 will eventually have this function.
Those are the first wave of additions and changes that have come to Honor Club in the last week or so.
Now, as ROH themselves noted, this was just the first wave of upgrades, and more can be expected in the future. While this first wave of upgrades definitely has a few bugs that need to be sorted out, you can’t deny that they’re promising changes. This does give me hope that, over the next few months, Honor Club will finally fulfill the potential that we all knew the streaming service had when it first launched in 2018.