ROH Wrestling Reportedly Will Release All Talent from Contracts at End of 2021

Photo credit should read Rob Brazier / Barcroft Media via Getty Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Ring of Honor announced Wednesday it’s “planning a pivot … with a new mission and strategy” that will require a brief hiatus for at least the first quarter of 2022.

The company said the break will begin following the Final Battle event on Dec. 11:

ROH Wrestling @ringofhonor

More than that, Fightful’s Sean Ross Sapp and the Wrestling Observer Newsletter‘s Dave Meltzer reported ROH is releasing all of its wrestlers from their contracts.

Bryan Alvarez of the Wrestling Observer provided more context:

Bryan Alvarez @bryanalvarez

ROH will do tapings in November and then run Final Battle on PPV. Nobody’s contract will be renewed, but everyone under contract will finish out the year. They are, however, able to work anywhere they want immediately. We are told rumors Sinclair canceled the show are not true.

Even though the promotion is looking to relaunch in the spring, Wednesday’s announcement is bound to raise questions about Ring of Honor’s overall viability moving forward.

ROH was once the top proving ground for rising stars on the independent scene. Almost every top name in the United States within the last decade competed in ROH at some point, with Bryan Danielson, CM Punk, Samoa Joe, Adam Cole and Seth Rollins among the notable examples.

But the growth of NXT helped put a dent in Ring of Honor’s popularity because it provided an alternative to WWE’s typical presentation within the WWE ecosystem.

The explosion of All Elite Wrestling dealt another blow to ROH. When Cody Rhodes and The Young Bucks announced the launch of AEW in 2019, it meant Ring of Honor had to brace for a wave of marquee wrestlers heading for the exit door.

The company could thrive when it was a main feeder system for WWE in the mid-to-late 2000s. Now, it’s getting crowded out of the wrestling landscape with other promotions replicating what made ROH successful.

It would be one thing if Ring of Honor went on a break while providing a firm idea of what to expect upon its return and who will be on the roster. Instead, it might be faced with rebooting in the aftermath of a total talent exodus, at which point any comeback will be doomed before it starts.

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