As someone who started covering wrestling when Ring Of Honor last fall, the recent news of hiatus and wrestler releases has hit me pretty hard. I’ve done my best to portray the ROH product as an excellent one for F4W over the past year, as I think it has been, and I hope that I was able to bring some new or past eyeballs to the show.
In watching the show week in and week out I’ve seen some of the best independent wrestlers in the world get a chance to hone their craft. I’ve seen some people reach levels of stardom that I thought couldn’t be achieved. I’ve seen some go from dojo trainees to meaningful characters with meaningful feuds.
With all of these recent releases, I’m more than sure that all of the wrestlers will land on their feet and find other places to show why they’re some of the best wrestlers in the world today.
I waited a few days to do this article in honor of the people that just lost their job, but now it’s time to look at where I think some of the companies biggest stars should end up residing when the time comes.
Jonathan Gresham: Freelance
Gresham is a very specific person about the way he’s presented and how much control he has over his character and such. Although many companies would probably give Gresham the “keys to the kingdom” and let him run with whatever he wanted, I personally feel that Gresham was set to be a Ring Of Honor lifer. For now, I see Gresham still working ROH dates (but not being under contract) while tearing up the independents.
I immediately drew the comparison to the way Bryan Danielson “ran” the indies back in 2007–2009. He was widely considered as the best independent talent on the market, but still went out there every night and could give a great match with ease. Jonathan Gresham is currently easily one of the best, if not the best, independent talent on the market and could easily go on a run like Danielson did back then.
Although this won’t be the long term option for the “Octopus,” I could see it happening to solely bolster his legacy.
Shane Taylor Promotions: AEW
Shane Taylor Promotions (Shane Taylor, Moses, Kaun, and O’Shay Edwards) was my favorite act as a whole in ROH. Between the young and hungry O’Shay Edwards, the improving every day team of Moses and Kaun, and the fantastically well-rounded Shane Taylor, they could make a huge splash in AEW.
AEW is a faction heavy company, so STP would fit right in the upper tier of factions alongside The Elite, The Pinnacle, etc. There’s a clear lack of diversity in the Dynamite-led product, so seeing these four extremely talented guys in that spot would be a treat for everybody.
Also, if the company ever introduces the six-man titles – STP should be in line for the first crack at them due to their current dominant reign with the ROH six-man belts.
The Righteous (Vincent, Bateman, Dutch, Vita Von Starr): IMPACT
The Righteous was around in ROH for almost two years, but never really hit their full stride. With Vincent’s cult leader-like gimmick and the stable’s overall demeanor, I could see them fitting like a glove in IMPACT Wrestling.
All four of the members, especially Bateman, are well-rounded in-ring workers but specialize in the character aspect of pro wrestling. IMPACT, while not the best at it, can represent some good character work if given the proper time and storyline development.
I’d like to see the group get a run where they’re treated as an important part of a said company’s programming.
Although there’s a ton of other talent to dive into, we’ll save that for a part two article that will be coming soon.