April 9, 2004
TNA talent pulled from Ring of Honor
By JASON CLEVETT -- SLAM! Wrestling
Independent wrestling fans were floored today at the announcement that TNA stars such as AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, Jerry Lynn, Raven and Chris Sabin among others would no longer be a part of the Ring of Honor roster, including upcoming shows in Chicago and St. Paul, Minnesota.
In a statement on the rohwrestling.com message boards, booker Gabe Sapolsky said the following:
“Unfortunately, ROH and TNA officials have reached an impasse in negotiations. TNA talent has been pulled from upcoming ROH shows. Communication will remain open between TNA and ROH and hopefully this issue can be resolved down the line."
He continued with his own personal thoughts.
"We understand TNA's position in this unfortunate circumstance. We are still trying our best to resolve this issue, but now we are looking forward to new lineups and new talent in ROH. We are going to have new lineups for all upcoming shows and we will announce these lineups early next week in what promises to be a huge week for news in ROH. Things are going to be very interesting in ROH and we urge you to focus your energies on what ROH will be doing on upcoming shows. ROH has always been about presenting the top, hungry wrestlers and now there will be new opportunities. You are sure to see some great talent giving everything they have to make the most of their opportunity in ROH and we urge you to focus on that. We will give you plenty to talk about in the next couple of days. Thank you for your support and you better believe we will still blow away St. Paul and Chicago with the best show in town."
The issue has been simmering for a few weeks, starting when TNA officials asked AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels to "distance" themselves from RoH due to TNA’s talks with Fox Sportsnet and the Rob Feinstien scandal. Both men initially refused, and in the wake of a massive e-mail campaign to TNA offices Sapolsky went to Nashville two weeks ago to meet with the Jarretts and other NWA officials. At that point seemed to have defused the situation, which is part of the reason why this has come as such a shock.
According to pwiinsider.com, the impasse reportedly stems from the inability between the sides to come to a signed agreement regarding Ring Of Honor's ownership. This has prompted debate as to whether Feinstien is still involved with the promotion.
Fans immediately flooded the RoH board with angry comments directed at TNA. Daniels is one of the men that RoH’s initial foundation was built on, while Styles is one of the promotion's most popular wrestlers and currently holds its Pure Wrestling Title.
It’s going to be another test for the battered promotion, which silenced critics after its record-setting March 13 "At Our Best" show in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Many feel that RoH currently has enough talent left on its roster in addition to drawing on other talent to replace the losses. Current stars like "American Dragon" Bryan Danielson, Jay and Mark Briscoe and RoH champion Samoa Joe are not involved with TNA and will remain a part of the roster.