SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
-ROH continues to bolster their roster by signing talent, as they’ve signed CMLL star Rush to a one year deal that is exclusive to the U.S. and Canada. PWTorch sources have confirmed that ROH worked with CMLL to make the deal happen. Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer is reporting that Rush’s contract will pay him $155,000 for 2019. Rush is expected to start with ROH once his work visa is issued.
Meltzer also reported that MLW tried to sign Rush, but ultimately CMLL was pressured to push him towards ROH given the joint partnership between NJPW, ROH, and CMLL. According to Meltzer, MLW was offering Rush more money and was also willing to use his brothers Dragon Lee and Mistico as part of contract negotiations. MLW also reportedly was going to put their world title on Rush as well. Rush’s deal with CMLL lasts through 2020, so any new deal for Rush next year in the U.S./Canada is going to have to be negotiated through CMLL. Meltzer’s report also stated that Andrade of WWE warned Rush and his brother Dragon Lee to stay away from WWE.
MLW announced on their website that Rush had been pulled from his announced match against L.A. Park during WrestleMania weekend by a third party, but did not mention Ring of Honor. Park will now face Pentagon Jr. on April 4 in NYC.
Radican’s Analysis: Rush is a great singing for ROH. He is a pure star in every sense of the word, but the real work is going to have to be done by ROH’s creative team in terms of getting him over. ROH’s audience likely isn’t familiar with Rush, but if he can be introduced and pushed as the great heel that he is to ROH’s TV audience, he could be a difference maker for the company in 2019.
If Rush is brought in and is treated as just another addition to the roster and not something special, it will be hard for fans to get behind his act. ROH has used CMLL stars in the past, but they’ve been treated like side attractions and not something special, although Dragon Lee has had some spectacular matches with the promotion.
Hopefully ROH can get some footage from CMLL to use and really put together some great video packages to introduce him to a new fan base once he starts regularly with the company this year.
-Tracy Williams and P.J. Black have also signed with ROH according to Dave Meltzer of The Wrestling Observer. PWTorch has confirmed independently that Williams has signed a deal with the company. There is no word yet on whether or not either deal is exclusive or non-exclusive.
-Shaheem Ali announced on Twitter that he has signed a deal with ROH as well:
Shaheem Ali is signing a ROH Contract this weekend! #signed
— SHAHEEM ALI (@ShaheemAli85) January 17, 2019
Brent and Brandon known as The Boy’s also signed new deals with ROH back in November: Brandon announced their signing with ROH on Twitter:
Brent and I just signed our second contract with @ringofhonor
— The Boy's Brandon (@Twin_Thing_One) November 19, 2018