Rep – Daniels signs exclusive ROH deal; how NXT is forcing ROH to adjust


PWTorch editor Wade Keller presents a special Thursday Flagship edition of the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast featuring a WrestleMania 36 Preview with ex-WWE Creative Team member and professional stand-up comedian Matt McCarthy.

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Ring of Honor is looking to look up top wrestlers to exclusive contracts as the independent wrestling scene continues to shift in a significant way.

The latest to add to the list is Christopher Daniels. Daniels, along with ROH World champion Jay Lethal and the Young Bucks, have signed with ROH and are “no longer available for U.S. and Toronto-area independent bookings but are still available for international bookings (U.K., Mexico, Japan, Europe)” through their representative, Bill Behrens at

Interestingly, Daniels’s tag partner, Kazarian, is available for all bookings, as he has not signed a deal with a promotion at this time, making his status a work in progress. (Kazarian is also following Chris Jericho’s path by leading a rock band called “Vex Temper” in California.)

ROH stars Moose and Matt Sydal also fall into Kazarian’s category of being available for all bookings through Behrens.

ROH’s current list of wrestlers signed to exclusive deals includes:

ROH champion Jay Lethal
ROH TV champion Roderick Strong
The Briscoes (Jay & Mark Briscoe)
The Young Bucks (Nick & Matt Jackson)
ReDragon (Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish)
Adam Cole
Christopher Daniels

In a shifting landscape where WWE’s NXT brand is competing on the same level, it means ROH has to lock up talent in order to know which wrestlers they have available to them over the long haul.

It’s to protect against something like a freelance wrestler working a TV taping, then not being available for the next taping if that person were to sign with NXT. Or, if ROH advertises wrestlers in advance of a show, then has to remove them because they signed elsewhere, which was the case with A.J. Styles, Doc Gallows & Karl Anderson, and Shinsuke Nakamura.

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ROH is having to adjust their procedures by knowing which stars they are guaranteed to have access to over a period of time to maintain storyline continuity and promote matches in advance.

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