AEW Owner Tony Khan Buys Ring Of Honor
By Mick Robson
Tony Khan promised a huge announcement for this week's edition of AEW Dynamite. The owner and president of All Elite Wrestling is often guilty of over-promoting, but in this case, the announcement was genuinely a big one. Opening the Dynamite broadcast alongside Tony Schiavone, Khan wasted little time in announcing that he had purchased Ring of Honor.
Ring of Honor (ROH) was founded in 2002. It was the launching pad for many top wrestling stars over the last 20 years, boasting a roster that included the likes of CM Punk, Samoa Joe, Bryan Danielson, Christopher Daniels, Tyler Black (Seth Rollins), Claudio Castagnoli (Cesaro), Kevin Steen (Kevin Owens), the Young Bucks, Adam Cole & Hangman Page. It was also a place which saw Cody Rhodes reinvent himself post-WWE. ROH had an innovative style in the early 2000s, with fast-paced, highly athletic wrestling much like what we see today in AEW and what we saw in the old version of NXT.
ROH fell on financial hard times and is currently in a self-imposed hiatus, ceasing operations at the end of last year with the Final Battle 2021 event. They released all talent from contracts and are set to resume on April 1, 2022 with the Supercard of Honor event.
This purchase allows AEW full rights to all ROH intellectual property, including its vast video library. Notably amongst the classic events is the 2018 independent show All In, which was the pre-cursor to the official launch of AEW in 2019.
Thoughts: Genuinely huge news. Yet to be formally announced what Tony Khan will do with ROH- the press release does indicate "the potential for new content under the ROH banner", and at a minimum I expect the Supercard of Honor show to go ahead. Khan could run ROH as a second promotion or developmental league for AEW going forward, but even if he chooses to dissolve the company and just utilise the video library, that's a hell of a lot of content for a new and exciting wrestling streaming service.
I feel like the wrestling fan in Khan will see him completely revive ROH, and in doing so will give more opportunities to more wrestlers- those currently struggling to find a foothold on AEW Dark or Elevation may find more success over in a Tony Khan-funded ROH. Exciting times!