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Ring Of Honor management upset with both Michael Elgin and ACH

Reports suggest that ROH management decided to prematurely end Michael Elgin's World Heavyweight title run because they were unhappy with him for a variety of reasons. Meanwhile, ACH missed his flight to Toronto, leaving ROH higher-ups fuming at him too.

Michael Elgin: In the ROH doghouse for rather playing baseball than wrestling?
Michael Elgin: In the ROH doghouse for rather playing baseball than wrestling?
Photo by Tabercil of Flickr via Wikimedia Commons.

Last night, Jay Briscoe shocked the world by becoming only the second two-time ROH World Heavyweight Champion in the company's 12 year history by defeating Michael Elgin on the All-Star Extravaganza VI iPPV in Toronto, Canada. No-one saw that one coming, apparently for good reason.

According to Dave Meltzer on today's Wrestling Observer Radio show, the decision for Elgin to lose the title was made either the night before or on the morning of the show itself. This he claimed was in reaction to an interview Elgin did with wrestling journalist Brian Fritz for the Between The Ropes podcast where he claimed that he wanted to do a tryout next year for Major League Baseball and that he was already in training for it.

Apparently Ring Of Honor's management was "furious" when they found out about this and decided to prematurely end Elgin's World title run over his desire to pursue his baseball dreams. Indeed, Elgin was supposed to beat Briscoe and was scheduled to hold the belt until December's Final Battle event. So mad were ROH with Elgin that his position with the company is believed to be "tenuous" at this present time.

From Elgin's perspective, the speculation is that he's become frustrated that winning the ROH World Title hasn't been a springboard to bigger and better things, given that it took him ten years to achieve that goal. In particular, New Japan Pro Wrestling, who has a talent sharing agreement with ROH, decided against using Elgin on the undercard of this year's G-1 Climax finals, instead bringing in Adam Cole, Michael Bennett, Maria Kanellis, Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly, and they haven't shown any interest in his services going forward either. He also doesn't seem to currently be on WWE's radar screen as a potential developmental prospect.

However, other websites disagree with Meltzer over the importance of Michael Elgin's Between The Ropes interview in leading to his ROH Title loss. believe that tension between the two sides had been brewing behind-the-scenes long before Elgin made his comments about wanting to try out for professional baseball in 2015. Their story suggests that may have been a bone of contention, but that other factors were much more important.

Firstly, ROH management believed that Elgin hadn't proven to be a draw as champion and that despite giving him a series of big victories, he was losing steam in the role, rather than building momentum, and that the time was right to go in a different direction on top.

Secondly, there were rumours that Elgin was butting heads with ROH higher-ups and had made a series of demands that they were no longer willing to tolerate because he wasn't holding up his end of the bargain at the box office or outside the promotion. In particular, Elgin had agreed not to lose outside of ROH whilst he was their World champion, yet he had reneged on that agreement by losing to Trevor Lee in the quarter-finals of PWG's talent laden Battle Of Los Angeles tournament last weekend.

Finally, ROH's hand may have also been forced by Michael Elgin currently being unable to leave Canada over problems with his United States work visa.

Mike Johnson's report on the matter was much closer to the Torch's story than Meltzer's audio discussion, although he placed much greater emphasis on the visa issues than ROH being unhappy over Elgin's failure to protect their belt on the independent scene. Johnson claimed that Elgin's U.S. work visa had expired, wasn't renewed and it would take at least 90 days for the required paperwork to be sorted out. Clearly, if that is indeed the case, then ROH had no choice other than booking Elgin to drop the strap to Briscoe in Toronto and their anger towards him would be fully justifiable, if his visa problems were self inflicted, which depends upon who you believe.

That's because have added yet another rumour to the crazy gossip mongering that is going on about Michael Elgin's ROH status. They reported that Elgin was detained at the Canadian border when he tried to reenter the United States late last night after the show, due to his expired visa. Apparently his visa issues cropped up because he's in the process of moving to America and is still waiting for a green card (which should be a formality as he's married to American wrestler Rachel Frobel, aka MsChif). According to their follow up story, Elgin was very upset with ROH management, as he holds them personally responsible for the fiasco.

At least Michael Elgin turned up to wrestle! ACH missed his flight and no-showed the iPPV as a consequence, which led to him being buried on the broadcast by his scheduled opponent Jay Lethal who claimed that ACH stood for "A Crack Head". According to Dave Meltzer, ROH higher-ups were understandably not happy with him either and his future with the promotion is also up in the air.

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