For almost two weeks, we’ve been waiting for AEW head honcho Tony Khan to make his latest HUGE announcement. Indications were it wouldn’t not be a free agent signing, and Khan said the delays were in part due to legal teams being involved in finalizing a business deal he said would change the industry.
On the Mar. 2 episode of Dynamite, we got the news straight from TK. And it’s a pretty big deal, and one he made with a wink to the announcement WWE made when Vince McMahon bought WCW. Tony bought Ring of Honor!
It wasn’t the announcement many had predicted. Folks like Mat Men’s Andrew Zarian were saying earlier today they were hearing sources talk about a streaming deal with HBO Max. It was what ROH founder Cary Silkin had teased an hour before the show started though...
And getting the Ring of Honor tape library will make TK a more appealing partner for a streamer. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
To kick off the new era of ROH, Khan started tonight’s show with two men who wrestled on the first ever Ring of Honor show — Bryan Danielson & Christopher Daniels. And of course they adhered to the Code of Honor...
A presser was tweeted out shortly after the segment aired on television. It refers to the deal as a partnership, and specifically mentions the tap library.
TONY KHAN ANNOUNCES AGREEMENT TO ACQUIRE RING OF HONOR
— Video Library, Brand Assets, Intellectual Property from Independent Professional Wrestling’s Most Prestigious Promotion Purchased Under New Partnership with Tony Khan —
March 2, 2022 – Moments ago on AEW: Dynamite live on TBS, it was announced that Tony Khan has agreed to acquire the assets of Ring of Honor Wrestling Entertainment, LLC from Sinclair Broadcast Group, including the promotion’s extensive video library dating back to 2002, brand assets, intellectual property, production equipment and more.
Known widely as the independent promotion that birthed some of wrestling’s biggest stars of today, including AEW’s CM Punk and Bryan Danielson, and highlighted dozens of members of the AEW roster, Ring of Honor’s purchase signifies a new chapter in the future of professional wrestling as AEW’s meteoric rise continues to draw the youngest-skewing wrestling audience on television.
“Ring of Honor’s influence on modern professional wrestling is etched permanently in the history books, and this acquisition ensures that its legacy will be kept alive and treated with the utmost respect,” said Tony Khan, CEO of AEW, Chief Football Strategy Officer of the Jacksonville Jaguars and GM/Sporting Director of Fulham F.C. “This deal adds thousands of hours of content to our rapidly growing library and creates new opportunities to expand our footprint on a national and global scale, while having the potential to produce new content under the ROH banner. I will immediately begin exploring opportunities to make ROH’s video library available to fans, who’ll have the opportunity to witness the beginnings of the careers of some of AEW’s biggest stars.”
More than 40 members of the AEW roster have appeared in Ring of Honor during their careers.
The promotion launched the careers of numerous AEW superstars, including CM Punk, Bryan Danielson, Hangman Page, Dr. Britt Baker and Adam Cole. Additional members of the AEW roster have made their mark in ROH, including the late Brodie Lee, The Young Bucks, Kenny Omega, ReDragon (Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly), Best Friends (Chuck Taylor and Trent? Beretta), Jay Lethal, Christopher Daniels, Matt Sydal, Mercedes Martinez, Serena Deeb, Frankie Kazarian, Scorpio Sky, Keith Lee, Eddie Kingston, Evil Uno, Stu Grayson, QT Marshall, Danhausen, Lance Archer, Griff Garrison, Thunder Rosa, Wheeler Yuta, Luchasaurus, Orange Cassidy, Ethan Page, Austin Gunn, PAC, Kip Sabian, Jon Moxley, John Silver, Alex Reynolds, Jerry Lynn, BJ Whitmer and Sonjay Dutt.
“Ring of Honor has produced some of the best professional wrestlers over the past 20 years, but more importantly, it created a family. I will be forever grateful to everyone in the ROH family who has worked tirelessly for the past two decades to take ROH to levels previously unimagined,” said Joe Koff, Chief Operating Officer, Ring of Honor Wrestling. “Tony has the utmost appreciation and respect for Ring of Honor, and I’m truly excited to see how he continues the legacy.”
This acquisition will be completed through an entity that is wholly-owned by Tony Khan.
Further details about the extent of this acquisition will be announced in the coming weeks.
Ring of Honor has been on hiatus since December of last year, but are scheduled to return with their Supercard of Honor PPV in Dallas during WrestleMania weekend. Earlier today, announcer Ian Riccaboni also announced television tapings for April 10 in Philadelphia.
So there are still plenty of questions about how this will work in practice. But it’s exciting stuff.