PWTorch.com reported that Jay Lethal signed a two-year contract with Ring Of Honor, extending his deal to 2019. The report by PWTorch also stated that he was given a ‘low-ball’ offer by WWE, who were interested in the former ROH World Champion. He has also signed an ROH-exclusive deal.
Lethal is expected to remain a main-event talent on ROH, and he will continue his feud with Cody Rhodes. He was ROH World Champion for a whopping 427 days, being the fourth longest reigning Champion in the Championship’s history.
Things may have turned out different if WWE offered Lethal a higher price, but he chose to stick with the better deal at ROH. This is big for the promotion, especially with rumours of their roster being raided by WWE early next year, when many of their talents’ contracts expire.
ROH signs their talents to deals which all expire at similar periods of time. Due to this, Ring Of Honor likely has to offer high-ball deals to their talent to stick around. If they are not able to do that, it is more than likely that those offered contracts by WWE will jump ship.
The issue that ROH faces is that they won’t be able to offer higher priced contracts to all of their talents. So it is expected that a few will jump ship.
Lethal, The Young Bucks, and Adam Cole were said to be WWE’s top priority signings from ROH. Now that The Young Bucks and Lethal have re-signed with ROH, Adam Cole will still be on WWE’s radar.
While some reports have stated that Cole too is fully expected to renew his deal with ROH, Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter said that he would be “surprised” if Adam Cole doesn’t go to WWE.
Cole, along with Lethal and The Young Bucks are potential main event talent, which is why it is surprising that WWE did not offer higher for Lethal. The Young Bucks chose to stay with ROH because they earn “WWE-level money” working lesser dates, and enjoying more creative control and a higher cut of merchandise sales.
There is no doubt that WWE will pursue Lethal for a contract after his contract with ROH expires. As for Cole, it will be interesting to see if he chooses to jump ship to WWE or not.
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