Ring of Honor announced on Thursday that they will cease doing business with Kenny King after King made a surprise appearance for TNA Wrestling.
TNA President Dixie Carter announced King as one of four X-Division wrestlers vying for a spot on Sunday’s Destination X show from Orlando, Fl on her Twitter about an hour before Impact went live on Spike TV. King worked on the show with Lars Only (Johnny Yuma from Pro Wrestling Guerrilla) and surprisingly went over in the match, thereby securing him a spot on Sunday’s pay-per-view.
King’s win led to tons of speculation, since many found it illogical for Ring of Honor to allow one of its top performers to work on a rival company’s pay-per-view. But King’s Ring of Honor contract expired some time last week, according to a statement the company released on its web site about two hours after Impact went off the air.
“An agreement was reached between Kenny and ROH management for an extension of that contract, with a provision to allow him to negotiate with any other promotions so that he could evaluate his options,” the company wrote. “Under this agreement, Kenny was free to negotiate but not to wrestle for another organization without ROH’s permission.”
“Though he was presented with a written agreement, King opted to have the agreement evaluated by attorneys and those close to him before signing, a condition to which Ring of Honor acquiesced.”
“Up through Thursday morning, King adhered to the verbal agreement despite not putting pen to paper. He contacted ROH on Tuesday July 3 to inform them that he had a meeting in Orlando on Thursday, July 5, which was within the scope of the agreement he had made,” the company wrote. “Then, early morning on July 5, he contacted an ROH official to say he would be wrestling on the Orlando event that night.”
Apparently someone close to King felt that the verbal agreement King had with Ring of Honor was unfair, which is why he had not signed the extension. “we consider this breach of his verbal agreement unacceptable, and regardless of his future employment status with any other wrestling company, ROH will not be doing business with Kenny King going forward,” the statement continued.
King had just recently captured the Ring of Honor tag team championships alongside Rhett Titus in Manhattan, NY at the Best in the World IPPV. The status of the championships now that King is out of the fray is unknown, but ROH promised to issue a future statement regarding the title situation.
To read ROH’s statement in its entirety, click here.
“Sometimes you just have to stand back and watch as sh*t hits the fan,” Titus wrote as part of a cryptic tweet Thursday afternoon.
Since King never signed the deal ROH had in place, there shouldn’t be any legal repercussions. But he did violate a verbal agreement, which in professional wrestling is a notoriously a cause for serious heat.
Verbal or handshake agreements have a rich history in professional wrestling, the most notorious of which resulted in the 1997 “Montreal screwjob” after Bret Hart and Vince McMahon had verbally agreed to a disqualification finish.