This past Wednesday Ring Of Honor shared the news that the company had decided to release all contracted personnel effective at the end of the year following the Final Battle PPV, this means there will be a wave of free agents soon to be available for other companies. ROH will then take a hiatus until SuperCard of Honor in April of 2022. The news came as a huge surprise to wrestling fans around the world as they had shown no signs of making such a drastic move, with some already speculating the promotion might not even make a return and close its doors for good.
While it is still early to speculate about the medium and long term future of the Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned company, it was also announced the promotion would be working with all talent so they can work elsewhere as soon as possible which essentially means it just became fair game to fantasy book all ROH talent in any other promotion. With this out of the way, we present a list of some of whom we consider to have the most potential to be a major asset in any other wrestling promotion around the world today.
The Must-Have Free Agents Following ROH’s Releases
Firstly, a man who needs no introduction; a few years ago Danhausen became one of the most popular independent wrestlers thanks to his unmatched charisma and the comedic timing applied to his wrestling and his overall presence in the indie wrestling world.
Ring of Honor became Danhausen’s home just a few months before the pandemic struck the world. This meant we only got to see Danhausen a handful of times in an ROH ring before the eventual return of the promotion in December of last year.
Danhausen didn’t make the biggest impact or work the biggest programs during his stay in ROH but truth be told he rapidly became one of the best-received parts of the show. This came at a time when it was heavily criticized by fans in arguably the worst period of time in company history in terms of creative and fan reception.
We don’t have to explain to anybody what makes Danhausen special as his in-ring and social media work speaks for itself and would be a great addition to any pro wrestling company from the big names like IMPACT and AEW to the smaller promotions like Black Label Pro or Game Changer Wrestling.
BANDIDO is coming to GCW!
December 3: HOUSTON
December 4: DALLAS
December 17: LA
Tickets for all 3 events go on Sale this Friday (10/29) at 3PM Est! pic.twitter.com/sk5hPiucnc
— GameChangerWrestling (@GCWrestling_) October 27, 2021
We have sung Bandido’s praises before and for good reason as he has been on fire for a good couple of years now and a big part of that has been the spotlight Ring of Honor has provided him. He was spotlighted from the moment he debuted which culminated with him winning the Survival of the Fittest tournament and later on the ROH World Championship ending Rush’s historic 498-day reign.
During his time with ROH, Bandido also had the opportunity to debut for New Japan Pro-Wrestling and Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre while also continuing to tear the house down consistently for Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, where he would win their World Championship in late 2019, a title which he still holds to this day.
Much like Danhausen’s case you don’t need us to tell you how good or how talented Bandido is. His performances worldwide have made him a hot commodity for any promotion regardless of language, location, or style.
Another major point in favor of Bandido is his Lucha Libre style, which he arguably does better than anyone at the moment. Historically we know this style can work in any of the current major wrestling promotions, further improving his chances of getting picked up following his release.
We go from the World Champion to the World Women’s Champion. The 19-year old Rok-C made her in-ring debut close to 5 years ago and made her Ring of Honor debut in April of this year just five months before she became the World Champion and the most exciting wrestler on the women’s roster at the same time.
Trained by Booker T’s Reality of Wrestling, the Texas native has impressed everyone she has come across as especially Booker and the current head of the ROH women’s division Maria Kanellis-Bennett have taken a liking to her with both going as far as saying she is the future of the industry.
One final advantage for Rok-C is the experience she has been able to acquire in her very young career. Other than her training with ROW and 6 month-long run with ROH she has kept herself pretty busy working around the Texas area and making appearances for major indies like GCW and Warrior Wrestling.
The final wrestler on our list is Jonathan Gresham a man who possesses 16 years of professional wrestling experience with a resume that includes wrestling all over the U.S. independent scene with CZW, Chikara, PWG, and EVOLVE. Gresham has also competed for major promotions like IMPACT Wrestling, New Japan Pro-Wrestling, and most notably for Ring of Honor over the last 4 years.
While we’re talking about the most experienced wrestler on our list, Gresham is still only 33 years old. Considering his recent extraordinary matches against Alex Shelley for PWG, against Mike Bennett for ROH, and his match against Minoru Suzuki for NJPW we can safely assume Gresham still has a lot left in the tank for the coming years.
There is an argument to be made about Gresham having the best year of his career thus far this year since he won the ROH Pure Title around this time last year and defended it successfully a total of 7 times over 317 days. This run went a long way to making him number 20 on the Pro Wrestling Illustrated PWI 500 this year.
Jonathan Gresham is a free agent with over 15 years of in-ring experience that is performing at the highest level he ever has and any company big or small that decides to not hire Gresham is making a mistake. We can confidently say Jonathan Gresham will be a major player in the pro wrestling industry in the near future.