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ROH World Champion Kyle O’Reilly ROH contract expires on Dec. 31. He is currently scheduled to defend the ROH World Title against Adam Cole on Jan. 4 at NJPW’s Wrestling Kingdom PPV at the Tokyo Dome.
ROH recently announced that O’Reilly would team with Jay Lethal against The Bullet Club’s Cody Rhodes & Adam Cole at ROH’s upcoming TV tapings on Jan. 14 in Georgia. O’Reilly had not been previously advertised for any ROH dates.
According to multiple sources, O’Reilly has still not signed a new ROH deal and there has been no indication that a deal is close to being reached by both sides at the moment. According to one source, ROH management is operating under the assumption that O’Reilly will sign and a deal will get done.
The main issue here is that with no deal in place between both sides in terms of either a concrete new deal for O’Reilly or even a per-date agreement made between him and ROH to work the date as a freelance talent, what will happen if both sides don’t strike a per-date deal or come to an agreement on what would presumably be a new exclusive long-term deal? Nothing has changed in the negotiations since the match was announced over a week ago.
It is expected that headliner Jay Lethal will sign a new deal in the near future as he has been advertised for ROH dates in 2017, but it is still up in the air as to whether O’Reilly and his tag team partner Bobby Fish will sign new deals. One source familiar with the negotiations noted that ROH management needs to start getting things executed in terms of securing contracts and not operating under the assumption that these pending free agents will sign new deals.
Radican’s Analysis: If O’Reilly doesn’t sign a new deal, what will happen to his match that was announced for Jan. 14? According to sources, ROH management is operating as if O’Reilly will just re-sign and it’s a foregone conclusion, which is why they announced his match, but those close to O’Reilly noted that it’s not a sure thing that he will sign a new deal. ROH simply needs to step up and get a deal done with O’Reilly instead of expecting things to happen. He could be a big part of the company’s resurgence going forward. If ROH could bridge the gap between both sides, he’d be a big addition to the roster going forward. Multiple sources on the roster have told me they are hoping a deal gets done and O’Reilly stays around to be a big part of the company going forward. A separate issue is the match being billed as a dream match, as I haven’t seen or heard anyone begging for that match to take place. ROH needs to start booking matches that people want to see because of new storylines as opposed to thrown together “dream matches,” which have become a big cliche in wrestling.