ROH News: Former WWE announcer Kevin Kelly leaves Ring of Honor
Kelly would now be travelling to Asia to call the 2/5 New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) event in Sapporo.
What’s the story?
According to a report by Mike Johnson from PWInsider, professional wrestling announcer Kevin Kelly who served as the voice of Ring of Honor (ROH) since 2010, parted ways with the company this week. Kelly joined the promotion company as a full-time employee last year and had to juggle both announcing as well as logistical duties to ease the pressures on ROH booker, Hunter Johnston.
In case you did not know...
Kelly, who initially worked as a ring announcer for Eddie Mansfield's IWF in Florida, made his professional debut in 1991. He next signed with WWE and was with the company from 1993 to 2003. He also hosted the Lucha Libre USA series on MTV2, which ran for two seasons.
The 49-year-old announcer was first brought into ROH by Jim Cornette, with whom he had previously worked during their respective WWF runs. However, following Kelly’s exit, he would be the third announcer to leave ROH after Steve Corino and Nigel McGuinness.
Steve Corino joined WWE as a trainer after his ROH contract expired on 12/31. McGuinness, on the other hand, who worked with the company as their on-screen Matchmaker left to join WWE as an announcer. He will start next week as the colour commentator on WWE NXT.
The heart of the matter
Kelly completed all his duties at the office for the past week and has even given prior notice before departing the company. He did not have any announcing scheduled for this week’s ROH events and would be travelling to Asia to call the 2/5 New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) event in Sapporo.
Thus Kelly’s exit from ROH is confirmed and would not affect his duties at NJPW. Kelly joins the company alongside Don Callis to form the announcing team, as the company’s decision to expand their English language commentary for the New Japan World streaming service.
Following Kevin Kelly’s exit, it is rumoured that Ian Riccaboni, who handles announcing for the ROH Women of Honor brand, could step in as Kelly's replacement. However, ROH hasn’t confirmed anything yet.
Despite Kelly leaving the company, it is reported that ROH is planning to use him as a freelancer in between his NJPW announcing dates and supposedly also have plans to use him in an on-camera role in the future. Kelly had been an asset to ROH and it is pretty evident that the company does not want to lose him.
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