Over the past few years, the Baltimore based wrestling promotion known as Ring of Honor has grown from a fiery upstart promotion, to the number two wrestling company in the United States. The hard work of the production crew, creative team and the men and women who put it all on the line in the ring each and every night should be proud of what they’ve accomplished in 2016. However one aspect that has always left me vexed with this company, it is the timing of the contract signings. As reported by PWTorch, ReDragon (Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly), the Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson), Adam Cole and Jay Lethal all have contracts expiring in less than 30 days. Many do not understand how disconcerting this news truly is for the landscape of ROH going into 2017.
The Young Bucks are the ROH Tag Team Champions. Fish is a former TV Title holder and O’Reilly is the current ROH World Champion. Cole and Lethal have both fought back and forth over the latter part of 2016 over said World Title. To say these men are main event players is to severely understate their value to Ring of Honor.
Rumors have already begun to surface that World Wrestling Entertainment is looking to swoop in and acquire much of this talent. The ROH roster already saw major losses to other companies as Cedric Alexander and Roderick Strong signed with WWE, Michael Elgin signed with New Japan Pro Wrestling and Moose moved on to TNA. The raid of the ROH roster could look as bad as the mid-1990s Extreme Championship Wrestling roster did after World Championship Wrestling allegedly raided theirs.
Just recently, it was reported by Dave Meltzer, of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, that the Young Bucks were offered multi-year deals by Ring of Honor. They would still be allowed to work dates for New Japan Pro Wrestling, which is a crucial part of the deal for them. The Bucks were rumored to be highly sought after by WWE.
It is with great trepidation that I will continue to keep a close eye on the contract renegotiations in ROH. If any of the other talent also decide to leave, will there even be a main event scene to speak of in Ring of Honor?
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