On Wednesday afternoon, the wrestling world was stunned to learn that Ring of Honor would be ending in 2021 after the Final Battle pay-per-view. They were the only company to pay it’s talent and employees while running no shows during a majority of the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, ROH made no cuts during this time (unlike WWE, who has had eight rounds of cuts since April 2020).
While that was the right thing to do, in the end, ROH seems to be placing the blame on their doors closing on this reason. The statement the promotion put on social media reads in part: “We now find ourselves at a time where we need to make changes to our business operations and are planning a pivot for Ring of Honor with a new mission and strategy.”
While Final Battle is their final show for the foreseeable future, ROH says they do plan to come back next April for Super Card of Honor. At this time, it appears that releases will go into effect at the end of the year. Talent with deals beyond that will be paid until March 31, 2022.
Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful reports that ROH COO, Joe Koff tried to keep the company going. Ultimately, Sinclair Broadcasting, who owns the promotion made the call to pull the plug.
Sadly, I have had to write multiple reaction pieces after WWE had multiple talent cuts. Unfortunately, I am doing the same for ROH.
ROH talent reacts
Much of ROH talent have spoken out about the devastating news on social media. Some have posted reflections of what ROH has meant to them. Other have simply posted how to contact them to book them (with a few insisting on no interview/podcast requests).
Former owner and current ROH ambassador, Cary Silkin:
Maria penned a heartfelt note to fellow ROH talent:
Maria previously wrestled in Ring of Honor before going to WWE. Most recently, she was head of the Women of Honor division. She had been working tirelessly to shine a spotlight of some of today’s best talent.
They had just had a successful #QuestForGold tournament to crown the ROH Women’s Champion that aired weekly on YouTube. Just weeks ago, Rok-C was crowned the company’s youngest champion. ROH had also recently signed one of wrestling’s hottest free agents, Trish Adora, at the end of September.
Former ROH Pure champion, Jonathan Gresham has yet to release a statement, but has made his profile avi and header photos are black. Gresham brought Pure wrestling back to ROH and is one of the world’s finest technicians. He was Pure champion for 317 days. During that stretch, he also held the tag team titles with Jay Lethal for 441 days.
Only three weeks ago, a video was posted to the company’s YouTube channel where Gresham declared his intentions to become the ROH World Champion. In the past, he has spoken about wanting to stay with ROH instead of going elsewhere. Hopefully, if the company returns, Gresham will be able to achieve his goal.
Danhausen was one of ROH’s recent signings. His signing was gratifying for fans, particularly because it played out on Twitter. Danhausen regularly asked “Dave Honor” for lots of human dollars and for things like a blimp. Earlier this year, all the tweets paid off as Danhausen was given a contract. Often relegated to pay-per-view pre-shows, he was still an instant fan favorite.
Should the company make its planned comeback in April, it may do so without Danhausen. He tweeted this the same day of the announcement. AEW EVP and wrestler, Cody seemingly replied to him. Danhausen has also tweeted “Chris Judas” (Jericho) about helping him defeat “a gaggle of menaces in the middle of the ocean.” He’s also had exchanges with MJF, Matt Hardy, and Jade Cargill. Perhaps he will be in AEW sooner rather than later.
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It’s very sad to hear that ROH is shutting down, even if temporarily. Competition is good for everyone. There are only so many places for talent to work in wrestling, especially on television. We at Daily DDT wish everyone involved the best. Stay tuned to Daily DDT for the latest info on ROH.