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As Ring of Honor heads into 2016, there is sure to be turn-over on the roster with several contracts coming due. Some will be renewed, while other wrestlers will walk.
Reporting by PWTorch columnist Sean Radican and Prowrestling.net.
– ROH World champion Jay Lethal. Lethal’s contract expires in the first part of 2016. Lethal has not re-signed yet. Lethal recently said in a Reddit AMA that he has not received an offer from WWE, but NXT would be an option if he does not re-sign with ROH.
ROH is currently advertising Lethal for their first show of 2016 on January 9 in Concord, N.C., then Jan. 22 in Asheville, N.C. and Jan. 23 in Duluth, Georgia.
Notably, Lethal is advertised for the 14th Anniversary PPV Weekend in February in Las Vegas and ROH’s Supercard of Honor show in April in Dallas, Texas.
– Mike Bennett & Maria. The married couple finished up with ROH over Final Battle Weekend coinciding with the expiration of their deals. They are set for TNA at the beginning of 2016.
– Matt Taven. The former ROH tag champion with Bennett is not signed past March. It remains to be seen if Taven re-signs to begin a singles run without Bennett.
– ReDragon (Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly). The former ROH tag champions are free agents at the beginning of 2016. It remains to be seen if one, both, or neither re-signs.
UPDATE: ReDragon and ROH are scheduled to re-negotiate a deal after the former tag champs felt they were lowballed during initial talks, reports former TMZ producer Ryan Satin. WWE’s NXT brand and TNA do not appear to be options.
– Steve Corino. Corino is not currently under contract with ROH and has not been since September 2013. Corino is negotiating a deal with the company to continue as an announcer. The negotiations are said to be going well right now between Corino and ROH management. ROH even released a new DVD on Steve Corino this week.
With that many stars in limbo, or exiting, ROH is building their first tour of 2016, “Winter Warriors,” around the following stars:
– A.J. Styles. Styles is a free agent, but is booked for four ROH events in the first five weeks of the year. Styles’s representative, Bill Behrens, noted Tuesday that Styles is booked for the ROH TV tapings on January 9 in Charlotte and February 6 in Nashville, plus ROH shows on Jan. 22 in Asheville and Jan. 23 in Atlanta.
– The Young Bucks. ROH and the Bucks agreed to a new contract that will make the Bucks a centerpiece act throughout 2016.
– The Briscoes. The Briscoes also have exclusive deals with ROH.
– Adam Cole. Cole also has an exclusive deal with ROH. He is the centerpiece of ROH’s Jan. 15 show in Indianapolis.
– Roderick Strong. Strong has a version of ROH’s exclusive deal that allows him to wrestle for PWG, similar to the Young Bucks. Strong is advertised for most of the Winter Warriors shows.
– The Addiction (Christopher Daniels & Kazarian). The Addiction are advertised for a handful of the Winter Warriors shows. The duo have a working agreement with ROH, while also taking independent dates locally in California to reduce travel.
– Chris Sabin. Sabin is not advertised for upcoming shows. However, Sabin’s role is expected to increase after returning to the ring at Final Battle. He was injured during the first part of his ROH return.
I would love to see the re-unification of Sabin and Shelly as the Motor City Madmen ( not the Machine Guns ) and perhaps have them become the main threat to reDragon, The Brisco’s, The Young Punks ( Bucks, I guess ) maybe try and bring a guy like Christian York or Petey Williams around to either be the nominal manager, or, where the red Mask of CRUD.