ROH Wrestling has been the home to several top wrestlers who have gone on to have excellent careers with either WWE or TNA. Some have even enjoyed success in Japan and other organizations. Whether it is Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, Samoa Joe, AJ Styles, Austin Aries, Seth Rollins, and more, ROH has had its finger on the pulse of the wrestling scene for quite some time. They have found and helped groom the top stars of today and tomorrow.
It should come as no surprise that WWE is trying to bring in more ROH talent. They went after former ROH World Champion Adam Cole in early 2015, but he ended up re-signing with ROH right before they landed a television deal with Destination America. Now WWE is targeting ROH top star Jay Lethal as well as former ROH Tag Team Champions reDRagon, made up of Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly.
Both Fish and O’Reilly have been a huge part of the tag team world since forming the team of reDRagon in 2012. Like other teams before them, such as the American Wolves, reDragon decided to form a team and not split up even as they worked some singles material. Since forming, they won the ROH Tag Team Titles three times as well as the ROH Tag Team War Tournament in 2014.
They have had a great deal of success in Japan as well. They won the 2014 Super Jr. Tag Team Tournament in NJPW and won the IWGP Tag Team Championship twice, and they currently hold the titles today.
They really began getting a chance to shine in Japan when ROH and NJPW formed a talent exchange program where talent would work in both places. This helped both promotions out and brought a great deal of attention to both brands. NJPW may have benefited more in it all, seeing as they have never truly had a presence in the United States, whereas many people in ROH have worked all over the world and brought eyeballs to ROH for years.
NJPW has kept most of its stars under exclusive deals or limited deals with few appearances outside the promotion. This has kept some of their top talent out of American eyes for the most part, which caused a problem for them outside Japan. In Japan, they are the top of the heap. They are the best of the best there among several promotions.
While WWE is king across the entire world, NJPW is considered bigger than WWE in Japan. NJPW has made a lot of money as well, and ownership has no problem paying talent to come in and stay for a while. They offer a great deal of money that few ever truly turn down. This has helped many out and kept them away from signing with WWE. Fish and O’Reilly may be experiencing this now.
According to the Wrestling Observer, both Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly may be leaning toward re-signing with ROH over signing with WWE. While it seemed that the duo would end up working with WWE through the NXT brand after WrestleMania 32, that may be in doubt. They have been approached by TNA as well, which is trying to load up on new talent for their Pop TV debut very soon. Former ROH talent Mike Bennett and Maria have decided to be part of TNA for the upcoming year already.
Due to the offer from WWE being so big to get these days, especially with the rise of WWE NXT, it makes sense to think that outside of ROH they would not sign anywhere else but WWE. ROH may be offering them more money, but regardless talks are said to be “progressing” with both sides. However, there is an issue if they do not sign with WWE now.
While the 28-year-old Kyle O’Reilly could end up signing with WWE down the line, Bobby Fish is 39-years-old and at the tail end of his career compared to most. He probably has a much higher chance of getting in now rather than waiting and hoping he can get into WWE down the line. WWE hires very few wrestlers at age 40 and beyond unless they have worked with WWE in the past.
That said, Bobby Fish’s age means that reDRagon needs to sign now or Fish will never get signed by them at another point most likely. It would be a shame to see he and Kyle O’Reilly split up down the line before they ever worked in WWE together as part of NXT’s impressive tag team division. ROH does seem to be ahead of the game with them, but we will have to wait and see what they decide on soon, as they will have to make a decision before too long.
[Image via ROH Wrestling]