David Starr, who is set to face Jay Lethal at IWPA’s event in Israel, sent the following statement to PWTorch.com in response to IWPA promoter Gery Roif’s statement to PWTorch on the controversy surrounding the match this weekend and his thoughts on ROH’s involvement in the match.
Starr’s entire statement can be read below:
Gery Roif is a wonderful man. Period. He is principled. He has openly said that his only desire is to put on the best possible show for the Israeli wrestling fans. He’s openly said that he doesn’t necessarily agree with my opinions, but he backs my right to freedom of speech and expression.
Gery had told me I would be wrestling Jay Lethal on his April 21st Passover Bash show for his independent promotion Israeli Pro Wrestling Association. Needless to say, I was excited to return to Israel and to wrestle undoubtedly one of the best in the world and someone with whom I have a good report.
Ring of Honor went on to announce on February 21st that the match against Jay would be for the ROH World Championship. They further stated that regardless of who was champion on April 21st, the title would be defended on the IPWA show.
After I released my promo for my match ROH World Title against Jay, ROH and Sinclair officials seemingly freaked out. They contacted Gery to demand that my video and message against ROH’s parent company – extremist propaganda machine Sinclair Broadcasting Group – be taken down. At no point during this entire ordeal have I been in contact with ROH. Gery was under the impression that ROH would pull Jay from the show if it wasn’t removed. Out of respect to Gery and IPWA, who had already independently paid the expenses to have Jay in Netanya on April 21st, I removed the video from my social media pages.
Gery has expressed the desire to further work with ROH. I have stated, on multiple occasions, that my views expressed are completely independent from IPWA and Gery Roif. My actions should have no impact on Gery’s relationship ROH unless ROH chooses for it to be that way.
I am not arrogant enough to legitimately believe that ROH changed their booking decisions because of my promo. I understand that freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequence. I understand that I’m not entitled to a match for the ROH World Championship. However, ROH had stated, on their own accord, that their championship would be represented on the April 21st IPWA show. If they had known in advance that their championship would change hands prior to the IPWA show, they should have met their obligation and sent the new champion to Israel to defend the title. He had said that he attempted to get the new champion, Matt Taven, last minute but ran out of funds. Gery should not have been made responsible to ensure that ROH fulfills its obligations.
ROH didn’t have to lie about this.
Joe Koff didn’t have to defend Sinclair’s extremist behavior on multiple occasions. He didn’t need to sell his soul for whatever profits he enjoys.
I have no personal animosity towards Jay whatever, other than the initial idea of him portraying what I felt was his lighthearted character Black Machismo (only to later find out that this was requested). He’s an excellent performer and a hard worker. We are going to have a great match on Sunday.