The pro wrestling landscape has been as interesting as ever since All Elite Wrestling officially became a thing last month. That’s largely been about talent moving around, signing and re-signing with promotions. It’s also been about companies themselves partnering up and shifting alliances.
Considering how integral The Young Bucks were to the last several years of Ring of Honor’s success, and the support ROH provided to make ALL IN what it was last September, many have wondered if the Sinclair Broadcasting-owned promotion would look to work with AEW. Long-time Being The Elite cast member Marty Scurll is still with ROH, and getting a big push. Could stars like the Bucks, Cody Rhodes, or Hangman Page do one-off appearances at big Ring of Honor events, as All Elite’s Kenny Omega and Chris Jericho are rumored to be interested in doing with New Japan?
Perhaps down the line. But in a new interview with CBS’ Chuck Carroll, ROH General Manager Greg Gilleland says that while their departures as talent went very smoothly and there are no hard feelings, he and COO Joe Koff are taking a “wait and see” approach to doing business with AEW:
“Everything definitely ended amicably. We’ve talked to them [The Bucks] since. Right now, there’s nothing to explore. There are three events, potentially, and there’s the rumored potential of the TV deal. We would have to know what we’re exploring, to answer that. Joe and I are businessmen first. We would never turn down an opportunity, but the opportunity has to make sense for us and for our brand. I think probably the best answer I can give you is that we’ll explore every opportunity, and we’ll do what’s best for our brand and, more importantly, our fans.”
It’s a very diplomatic answer, and definitely leaves the door open to work with individuals, or Tony Khan’s new fed as a whole, in the future.
But for now, Gilleland and ROH are focused on their existing partners - and especially New Japan, with whom they’re doing the April 6 G1 Supercard show at Madison Square Garden. He says whether or not Cody and The Bucks would join them for that was never considered when booking the venue for WrestleMania week:
“Honestly, it wasn’t really a factor in the decision. Madison Square Garden is something that we firmly believed in. It was an opportunity that arose for us. We decided to include our partner, New Japan, into it, because we wanted to give the fans something really big, and really massive. Obviously, we wanted those guys to be in it, but if you go back and look at all of our marketing materials, we never marketed anybody that we didn’t know we had. We don’t market anything that we don’t have. And the notion of going into Madison Square Garden, making history, doing something that nobody’s done for 30-40 years? That was what we went in with. That was our dream, that was our goal… The show’s going to be huge. I can’t wait until everybody sees the Garden and the outcomes.”
They’d already sold the Garden out before it became clear The Elite were leaving them, but there remains a good deal of buzz about ROH thanks to recent additions like Jeff Cobb & PCO, and talent from partner promotions who’ll be doing more with Ring of Honor like Rush & Juice Robinson.
Exciting times for ROH, in an exciting time for the wrestling business. Should be interesting to see how it all shakes out.
Check out Carroll’s entire interview with Gilleland here.