Tony Khan’s acquisition of Ring of Honor was positively received, as it seemed like a way to save the iconic brand, greatly increase TK’s tape library for a possible streaming deal, and provide new stages for AEW’s growing roster to perform on.
But since the announcement back in March, the only one of those things that’s come to pass is preserving the ROH name. There’s been no streaming deal, and no new television deal for Ring of Honor. Worst of all, rather than giving the AEW roster more outlets, ROH storylines have taken up space on Dynamite and especially Rampage. In a year filled with challenges for AEW, that’s become one of the most frequent criticisms of Khan’s booking.
On the pre-Final Battle media call today (Dec. 7), TK said that won’t be as big a problem after this week. There will be less ROH content on AEW television after the Dec. 10 PPV, and the implication seemed to be there would be an announcement about ROH TV after Saturday’s show.
That and his in-depth discussion of the William Regal/WWE situation were the big takeaways from the call, but other notes included:
• We should expect a “big card” for this Friday’s Rampage, and it will be “all hands on deck” for booking strong matches on that show moving forward after last week’s record-low ratings.
• AEW & ROH’s relationship with New Japan is also something Khan indicated he’d be able to talk about more in-depth after Final Battle.
• Asked about Shane Taylor’s contract status, TK wouldn’t get into details, but said Keith Lee pitched his involvement and their Final Battle angle.
• Regarding FTR, Khan spoke about how much he appreciates Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler, both because of the flexibility they’ve demonstrated this year (mentioned that months of story had to be scrapped after CM Punk broke his foot after Double or Nothing) and because of how supportive they were while his mother was dealing with health issues this fall. He said their AEW Tag title match on Dynamite this week makes tonight “a really important night for AEW,” and hinted it might play a role in what if anything they do at Final Battle.