The recent flood of bad publicity for TNA caused by Dixie Carter's incompetent handling of urgent cost cutting measures to pay for the recently added expense of taping Impact on the road has deflected attention away from the fact that Ring Of Honor (ROH) are quietly undergoing similar difficulties, struggling to retain the services of their top talent.
So it's about time we caught up on all the latest news and rumours from the third largest American wrestling promotion, courtesy of Dave Meltzer's Wrestling Observer Newsletter:
- Despite The American Wolves, Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards, winning the ROH World Tag Team titles from The Forever Hooligans, Alex Koslov and Rocky Romero, last weekend, the duo have only signed a very short term contract extension that allows them to continue to negotiate with WWE and TNA at the same time as working for the company. Them winning the belts for a second time was planned long ago and the decision was made to stick with that idea rather than change plans immediately based on the uncertainty surrounding their futures. Their title defence against former champions reDRagon, Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly, at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom on Aug. 17th may turn out to be their last ever ROH match, as they aren't advertised for any other future dates at this point.
- Speaking of Manhattan Mayhem V, The Young Bucks vs. The Forever Hooligans has recently been added in a "First Time Ever Dream Tag Team Match" to support the ROH World Tag Team title match and the remaining ROH World Championship Tournament Quarter Final bouts.
- Where The Briscoes end up will be decided within the next two months. Apparently they have an offer from TNA on the table, but they are also in talks about re-signing with ROH, which are believed to be going well.
- With all the uncertainty currently surrounding TNA, ROH wrestlers don't see them as a good option to progress their careers with. There's the fear that signing with TNA is the kiss of death to eventually being signed by WWE, which is everyone's ultimate goal. Even the TNA stars like Chris Harris, Monty Brown and Frankie Kazarian that eventually made it to WWE, didn't last long and were never given a proper shot, so you can't blame the ROH talent for feeling the way they do about TNA.
- An ROH produced Kevin Steen shoot interview was quickly pulled from sale after it was released due to complaints by Jim Cornette to both ROH COO Joe Koff and their booker Hunter Johnston. In the DVD, Steen buried Cornette's creative direction of the company and this went against an agreement that Cornette had made with Koff that neither side would disparage the other when he left the promotion. Cornette was particularly pissed with Steen as he did not book him to lose a match during his reign in charge and made him the ROH World Champion, despite not losing weight as asked and playing to the fans when he was supposed to be the heel in his return program as an outside rebel.
- Joe Koff took the heat for pulling the DVD, agreeing with Jim Cornette's out of date logic that ROH wrestlers shouldn't talk about the inner workings of the company's storylines on their own DVDs, likening it to a magician giving away their tricks, and wouldn't have allowed the DVD to be released for that reason if he had known about it earlier.
- ROH's business manager Greg Gilleland, who Jim Cornette is believed to have hated working with, along with many others, is leaving the company for another position with Sinclair Broadcasting. Joe Koff, however, was sad to see him go, blaming his heat on the office being almost always the heel in conflicts with the wrestlers and wrestling staff, even if they are bright and talented and doing the best they can in their job.