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ROH GM Greg Gilleland has issued a followup statement to PWTorch regarding the incident between a fan named Josh Ketch and Bully Ray last Sunday in Portland, Oregon. A separate incident between Ketch and The Allure preceded Bully Ray having the head of the ring crew, Brian Johnson, escort Ketch backstage for a lecture about his behavior. Ketch was left alone with Bully Ray. Ketch alleged prior to being taken backstage for a lecture from Ray, Ketch claims that Mandy Leon spit on him and face palmed him.
In the statement, Gilleland says ROH fell short of their own standards over the weekend when Bully Ray had a fan left alone with him in the backstage area to be lectured, but he doesn’t mention Ray by name. Gilleland goes on to say that ROH is reviewing their security protocols going forward to ensure a safe environment for all fans and athletes. He also mentioned that the investigation into the matter is still ongoing as well.
Radican’s Analysis: I would think a suspension would be in order for Bully Ray, who is not only a talent, but also serves as a member of the booking team. He needs to set a better example than to have the head of ring crew bring Ketch backstage to get lectured after he allegedly heckled his girlfriend, Velvet Sky, during a segment with The Allure.
It’s refreshing to see ROH admit wrongdoing in this case, as I wasn’t expecting anything to come of their investigation, so kudos to the management team for stating publicly that they’re going to take measures that something like this won’t happen again. I would also think a suspension would be in order for Mandy Leon if the investigation does conclude that she spit on Ketch and face palmed him.
Several high profile wrestlers have stepped out publicly in support of Ketch with ROH announcer Colt Cabana most recently giving him a shout out on his podcast and AEW EVP Matt Jackson also sending him a supportive tweet recently as well.
You can read the entire statement from Gilleland below:
Ring of Honor prides itself on providing a fun and entertaining environment for both our fans and wrestlers to experience professional wrestling at the highest level.
Fans are encouraged to cheer, boo, and chant during the show while wrestlers interact both positively and in rivalry, as that is the engagement that makes the ROH experience what it is. Wrestlers interacting with fans is core to the experience, however, under no circumstance should any of our athletes or staff confront or engage fans outside the bounds of this entertainment experience or outside the bounds of the area that hosts this experience. We hold all of our athletes and staff members to the highest standards and, because of the actions over the weekend, we fell short of meeting those standards.
We are still in the process of investigating this matter as well as reviewing and assessing internal security protocols to ensure a safe environment for all fans and athletes. All of our athletes and staff will also be trained and reminded of our policies and protocols for fan interaction and appropriate behavior in all situations.
To our amazing and wonderful fans, we apologize for the matter that transpired this past weekend as it does not reflect who we are as an organization or how we hope to engage with our fans. ROH fans are known worldwide for their passion, admiration, and appreciation for our athletes, and we share this same admiration and appreciation for our fans. We encourage all of our fans to continue attending our events and supporting our amazing athletes in a respectful manner as they have done in the past, and we promise to continue delivering what the fans deserve – the best wrestling and the best fan experience on the planet.