Credit to Ring of Honor, the professional wrestling promotion, for embracing the Internet era. The promotion has launched a new download store that makes its extensive video library only a $10 download away. A legal download, mind you. It’s all a fan could ever ask for.
The process is pretty easy. You visit the Web site, add the video of your choice—I selected Joe vs. Punk II, from October, 2004 (which received a 5-star rating from The Wrestling Observer newsletter)—then buy via PayPal. A link then appears in the Account area of the Web site. In there is a link to a plain ol’ ISO that you then download at your leisure. The servers don’t seem to be too beefy since the download is running only at around 300 KB/s right now (6:30pm). Still, it’s quite a bit faster than waiting for a plastic disc to arrive in the mail.
It should also be noted that Ring of Honor regularly hosts Internet pay-per-view events, including one on April 3. So, “figures out the Internet” may be a bit harsh.
Companies like Ring of Honor have been fighting piracy for quite some time. There’s a couple fairly high profile BitTorrent sites that specialize in professional wrestling, and their DVDs are often ripped and posted and as soon as they’re released. It’s one thing to download a WWE DVD rip, where the company makes millions of dollars every year, but smaller guys like Ring of Honor truly do get hurt every time you fire up uTorrent. (Not to justify downloading WWE DVDs, of course.) But giving people an easy-to-use, inexpensive, and legal method to access their video library is to be commend, and it probably should have happened sooner.
I’d much rather be given the option of paying $10 for an ISO than having to sift my way through this or that torrent site, worrying about whether or not there’s a seeder in the swarm.