The first defection from Ring of Honor was revealed on Saturday night at AEW Full Gear. Former ROH World Champion Jay Lethal declared himself “All Elite” in an interview with Tony Schiavone, and he challenged Sammy Guevara to a TNT Title match tonight on Dynamite.
Last month, ROH announced they’re going on hiatus after Final Battle on December 11. The promotion informed talent that the company wouldn’t have their contracts renewed and can immediately work wherever they want.
Lethal talked about singing with AEW at the Full Gear media scrum, stating, “It all happened so quickly, a few days ago.” Lethal also stated he had about a month left on his ROH deal and would not be at Final Battle pay-per-view.
Despite ROH’s hiatus announcement, many feel the promotion is closing for good. Sadly, it’s a safe assumption to make based on history. Many promotions, small and big alike, have had to cease operations with the hope of coming back, only to be never seen again.
It’s a tale as old as time in the wrestling business.
“We’re proud of you” – The Graphics Team on Adam Page’s nameplate as he made his entrance to the ring for the biggest match of his career encapsulated the importance of AEW’s Full Gear.
Full Gear started as a tongue-in-cheek joke with Cody Rhodes yelling at Adam Page on The Elite’s YouTube show, BTE. 2 years later, it all came full circle with Adam Page ending Kenny Omega’s near year-long reign as AEW World Champion.
While Jericho and Moxley held the title before Omega’s memorable run, it was always about Adam Page.
Ring of Honor (ROH) announced two weeks ago that their parent company, Sinclair Broadcasting, is shutting down the promotion after December’s Final Battle pay-per-view and will take the first quarter of 2022 to reimagine ROH. All talent will be released from the contracts at the end of the year but can work wherever they want immediately.
As a result, over 50 wrestlers are on the open market. Then, last Friday, WWE released 18 wrestlers, thus making the realm free agency a more competitive place. With approximately 70 talents vying for contracted work, the belief that ROH’s hiatus is a permanent vacation, and AEW and Impact signing many of WWE’s prior releases, there are not enough spots to go around.
Worse, for an elect few, their careers are irrevocably altered or over.
Everyone wonder going into AEW Dynamite if Kenny Omega and Bryan Danielson would deliver a “Grand Slam.” Fans didn’t have to wait long as AEW flipped the script and opened the show with the highly anticipated dream match. It was perfect booking on multiple fronts.
We’re on the cusp of witnessing a legitimate dream match in professional wrestling. For many diehard fans, Kenny Omega and Bryan Danielson are the absolute best wrestlers in the industry.
The two will lock horns on tonight’s episode of AEW Dynamite, ceremonially dubbed “Grand Slam.” New York’s Arthur Ashe Stadium will host the largest crowd in AEW’s 2 ½ year history, along with millions watching at home on TNT.
In the surprising news column today, AEW announced a partnership with The Owen Hart Foundation to honor Hart’s legacy. The partnership will include various merchandising opportunities, including video game appearances, apparel, and action figures from AEW Jazwares line.
AEW will also produce an annual Owen Hart Cup Tournament where the winner will receive a Cup called “The Owen.”
Next week, All Elite Wrestling will embark on one of the most important weeks in its two-year history. Dynamite and Rampage will emanate from Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, New York.
On Wednesday, Dynamite “Grand Slam” is headlined by World Champion Kenny Omega, taking on Bryan Danielson. Rampage on Friday is 2 hours instead of the usual 1-hour broadcast and is helmed by CM Punk’s first television match in 7-years as he takes on Powerhouse Hobbs.
Years from now, when fans look back at All Elite Wrestling’s 2021 edition of All Out, they won’t just remember one of the most incredible nights in professional wrestling. Still, they will gain a deep appreciation for the nonconformist storytelling that led the way.
AEW owner Tony Kahn did things on Sunday night that the rules of booking 101 prohibit. Every veteran, booker, and experienced hand worth their salt would not have debuted four new acts on one show, much less two of them in the same segment.
One on loan from Japan and the other three officially signed, sealed, and “All Elite.”
WWE releasing Bray Wyatt was the big news of this past weekend. Wyatt, whos been out since WrestleMania in a losing effort to Randy Orton, was expected to return at any moment. At the end of the match, Alexa Bliss turned on Wyatt while simultaneously taking over “The Fiend” character.
WWE has released over 33 wrestlers in 2021, with Wyatt as the latest casualty with “budget cuts” cited as the official reason. The company is reportedly trying to get the payroll down, and with such an initiative, a wrestler’s on-screen range as a performer means more than ever. What do I mean?
Yesterday morning, I told my wife, who doesn’t follow wrestling, about “Pizza Cutter Gate.” As I finished telling the story, her dog barking text notification went off. It was a message from Dominos about a new pizza deal. At that point, I knew I had to write about this.
Dominos issued a statement regarding a commercial that aired Wednesday night on AEW Dynamite playing juxtaposed to Nick Gage using a pizza cutter on Chris Jericho’s forehead. This bloody and hilarious coincidence has everyone but AEW laughing.