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Cody Rhodes being announced as the challenger to Jay Lethal’s ROH World Title at ROH’s Final Battle PPV next month could be the end of Cody in ROH and the end of an era in ROH in many ways.
Cody tweeted that it will be his last match in ROH and he will take the ROH World Title with him into free agency. Cody has vowed to wrestle at ROH’s “Final Battle” and NJPW’s “Wrestle Kingdom” despite suffering a knee injury last week at ROH’s “Global Wars: Buffalo.” Cody will be having his knee scoped for his damaged meniscus in the near future.
Yes. I am not missing dates. Matches may change, but I’ll still be doing all my international meet/greets while I rehab it. https://t.co/aIo4AKUGRL
— Cody Rhodes (@CodyRhodes) November 15, 2018
With the cast of “Being the Elite” entering free agency, ROH is at a crossroads as to what to do for the outcome of the main event at “Final Battle.” It doesn’t seem to be too big of a mystery as to the outcome of the Rhodes vs. Lethal ROH World Title match on the surface. Rhodes became a free agent at the end of October and The Young Bucks and Adam Page will be free agents on January 1 when their ROH contracts expire. The group has said they want to stay together, but there are a lot of moving parts in play before the cast of Being the Elite makes their plans clear. Kenny Omega’s contract with NJPW expires in late January.
Recently, there was a lot of tension between some members of the Being the Elite crew and the new office put in place by NJPW president Harold Meij, who put all of his own people in positions that didn’t have any previous experience in wrestling and their demeanor rubbed the Being the Elite crew the wrong way. Multiple sources tell PWTorch that there was hope the relationship between the Being the Elite crew and the NJPW office could be smoothed over in order to continue working together in the future. According to multiple PWTorch sources, it not seem at this time that any members of the Being the Elite crew outside of the ones under contract will be working with ROH in 2019
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Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer reported this week that Frankie Kazarian and Christopher Daniels turned down new contract offers from ROH, which leaves the door open for S.C.U. to depart ROH with The Young Bucks and Cody should they choose to do so.
The only cast members of “Being the Elite” under contract to ROH in 2019 are Flip Gordon, who has two years left on his deal and Marty Scurll. There has been confliciting information from PWTorch sources about exactly when Scurll’s contract expires in 2019, but it is believed that Scurll will also join the group when his contract expires with ROH.
It’s possible ROH could do a quick title switch and put the belt on Cody and then put take it off of him on the TV tapings the day after “Final Battle” in Philadelphia, but nothing like that has been discussed among sources close to the situation. PWTorch sources say creative for the TV tapings is in flux right now when it comes to Cody, but either way it’s going to be difficult to convince fans that Lethal isn’t leaving “Final Battle” as ROH World Champion given that Cody has made it clear with his tweets that his time with the company is coming to an end.
Radican’s Analysis: ROH has a marquee match in place for “Final Battle” in Cody vs. Lethal for the ROH World Title, but the company appears to be on the verge of undergoing a massive roster overhaul, as their hardest pushed acts in Cody and The Young Bucks are likely done with the company at the end of 2018. It’s going to be interesting to see how acts like The Young Bucks, S.C.U., and Hangman Page are booked at “Final Battle” and the TV tapings the day after in Philadelphia.
It seems a little late for ROH to use the group to get the wrestlers they have under contract over at this point, but with only a couple of matches announced for “Final Battle,” there’s still time for ROH to make the best out of the situation and built up new acts.