Wednesday night (Sept. 20) was big for Eddie Kingston. Not only did he beat his rival Claudio Castagnoli to add the Ring of Honor World title to the NJPW Strong Openweight belt he already held, he got to do it at AEW Dynamite Grand Slam in front of thousands of his fellow New Yorkers.
Kingston is taking the responsibility of being champion seriously, and doesn’t want to miss any of his New Japan or AEW/ROH dates while he represents those companies. That’s why he announced via Instagram that he’s pressing pause on is indie career, since he knows he has to be careful while working with a lingering back injury:
Due to being NJPW Strong Openweight And ROH Champion I have to come to the hard decision that I will have to stop doing Independents. Dealing with a lower back injury right now that I need to get fixed (and will ) so I can be ready for all NJPW strong shows and all three AEW shows. When my responsibilities as NJPW and ROH champion is over I will hopefully be able to do Independents again. I apologize to all but I just need to focus and my body needs to be ready for those shows.
I love the Independents but times have changed. I am truly sorry for not being able to do them right now. But I am truly no bullshit trying to be the best Champion for both NJPW strong and ROH and must put that above anything else right now. This sucks.
Undoubtedly disappointing for anyone who’d been hoping to see him at an upcoming show from their local fed (an Oct. 6 match with Bryan Keith for Warrior Wrestling seems to be the only announced booking impacted by Eddie’s announcement, but the promotion hasn’t commented yet). But an understandable move from a 41 year old veteran getting a high profile spot from two of the bigger wrestling companies in the world.
UPDATE: Defy Wrestling announced that Kingston won’t be working his planned NJPW Strong Openweight title defense against Rocky Romero at their show tonight in Seattle, and say they found out via Eddie’s post:
Yep. Eddie is out. He will not be defending his NJPW Strong Openweight Championship tonight. He’s won’t be at Washington Hall.
We just found out like you all did. We’ll figure something out like we always do but we are so sorry that this happened again. Apologies to Rocky, and NJPW too. We tried.