The group of wrestlers who took a curtain call at the end of ALL IN on Sept. 1 - Cody Rhodes, Kenny Omega, Matt & Nick Jackson of the Young Bucks and Adam “Hangman” Page - have been open about their contract statuses with Ring of Honor (ROH) and New Japan Pro Wrestling.
It’s smart business, as their 2019 free agency is already a hot topic (pun intended) among wrestling fans and a frequent subject of rumors & articles posted on sites like this one.
With a ROH pay-per-view (PPV) event tonight (Sept. 28) and a televised New Japan show from California on Sunday (Sept. 30), expect it be addressed often this weekend. Page got a headstart in his interview with CBS’ Chuck Carroll:
“I think as a collective, as a group, we have been able to change wrestling. We were able to … I mean this wasn’t my money. I didn’t self-finance All-In, but my friends were able to self-finance and sell out a show that had over 11,000 people in attendance. I don’t even know what the numbers were who watched it from home. It is something that’s just absolutely unheard of. And it’s something that we all did together.
I think, as a group, we are really on to something, and I think we wanna continue this. It would be a real disservice to everyone who has supported us and got us to this point if we were to abandon what we’ve built. It certainly doesn’t mean it can’t evolve and change, and it should, and it will. But I feel like we have too much of a good thing going to try to abandon it.
And we all know that collectively we have more leverage than we ever had. More than anyone else has had in a very long time.”
Asked if they plan to use that leverage to get and accept a big offer from WWE, or even if they’re leaning toward one promotion or another, Page continued to play coy. But he reinforced the notion it’s a process they’re working on together, even if they end up making different decisions:
“I think what we’ve built is not necessarily bound to where we work. A lot of what we built, and really, I feel like the most feedback that I get is from doing stuff with Being The Elite. Which could conceivably happen anywhere. It could happen … You catch my drift. So I don’t want to, at any point, rule anything out. If you kinda catch my drift on that one.
I think right now we’ve still got some time, and we’re all just kind of weighing options together. You know, there are things that maybe sound more intriguing or less intriguing than other options, and those options have changed and will continue to change and evolve in the coming months.
So what we end up doing, whether it still is as a group, as I kind of expect it and hope it to be, or whether it’s something different, I think, at the end of the day, when it comes time, it’s gonna the best thing for us and I think for our fans.”
Hangman won’t put a timetable on the process (Rhodes, Omega and the Bucks have all said their current deals expire in or around January 2019). He also can’t say when exactly they decided to stick together, and emphasizes it’s not a “blood pact” between the five. But he can tell us this:
“... it was in a TGI Fridays.”
My money was on Cracker Barrel, but a sponsor’s a sponsor.
Always business with these guys. We’ll see where the business takes them next this weekend. Beyond that? Stay tuned...
Check out Page’s full interview with Carroll here.