Welcome to Taking over the Book, our fantasy booking feature here on Sports Obsessive. If you aren’t familiar with the concept, this isn’t “predictions” or what I necessarily believe will happen. This is a fantasy booking scenario on how an AEW vs ROH promotion vs promotion war could look. So sit back, enjoy, and let me know what you think in the comments!
AEW Dynamite 3/9
FTR is in the opening match of the show, taking on Santana and Ortiz in a hard-hitting battle between two teams who both want to be the next top contenders for the AEW tag team championships. The back and forth battle is several minutes in when, out of nowhere, Mark and Jay Briscoe hop the guardrail and layout FTR while Santana and Ortiz watch in disbelief. The Briscoes are both wearing ROH shirts, and as they leave they tell the camera that “Tony Khan might own ROH now but ROH is about to own AEW”.
Later in the show, Tony Khan announces that ROH world champion Jonathan Gresham will be coming to AEW next week and that Mark and Jay Briscoe will have their opportunity but next week, they aren’t invited and should stay home.
AEW Dynamite 3/16
Tony Khan brings out ROH World Champion Jonathan Gresham to start the second hour of the show and it’s treated as a major deal. Khan tells Gresham that he is truly one of the best in the world and he belongs here in AEW. Out comes Jay Lethal. Lethal says that what Khan says is true—Gresham does belong. He is one of the best in the world. But so is he. He’s been in the ring with the best of the best all over the world and beat them one by one. So where was his middle-of-the-ring segment with the owner of AEW? How come he’s reduced to fighting for matches on the B and C shows when his resume is more impressive than Gresham’s?
Before anything can happen, FTR comes out on the ramp. Dax says this public display of professional jealousy is cute and all but nobody gives a damn. They can call themselves “pure wrestlers” but FTR are wrestlers in the purest sense and they’re also tough as nails. Don’t believe us? Ask The Briscoes. They showed up this week when they weren’t supposed to and we left them lying in the parking lot. Cameras cut to the parking lot with Mark and Jay laid out cold, being attended to. We’re done with them. We want you two. FTR vs Gresham and Lethal. AEW vs ROH, next week. It won’t be “pure wrestling” but it will be a pure ass whooping.
Rhett Titus is seen backstage, talking to Daniel Garcia and 2.0. We don’t hear what is said except for Titus saying “think about it”.
Before the FTR vs Gresham and Lethal/AEW vs ROH main event, several AEW wrestlers are seen backstage, telling the camera that if the Briscoes try to interfere, it won’t end well for them.
During the main event, the Briscoes are seen entering through the crowd and several AEW wrestlers hit the ringside area. A giant brawl breaks out. Rhett Titus hits the ring to help Team ROH. Daniel Garcia and 2.0 hit the ring and turn on the AEW crew, joining sides with Team ROH. The Young Bucks hit the ring and try to calm everyone down, taking the mic and saying AEW vs ROH doesn’t need to be a thing. These two companies started the revolution and they should be fighting side by side, not against each other. It’s out of character for the Bucks, who seem to be acting more as VPs instead of their on-screen characters, adding to a sense of realness here.
The ring is full and Tony Khan comes out. He’s put a lot of thought into this and ROH deserves to live, to be free of the restraints they previously had under previous ownership. He wants to bring back ROH and run it as its own promotion. Wrestlers can go back and forth between the two promotions. We can have super cards between the two promotions. What’s most important is giving wrestling fans what they want and that’s what they’ll always do.
Enter Cody Rhodes. “Surprised to see me?” Cody says this isn’t some wrestling angle. Yeah, he planned to leave. No, he isn’t under contract with anyone. No, he isn’t the secret leader of ROH in some wrestling angle. What he is, is a man who got burned out. It’s not the first time. The last time he got burned out, he went to a place called Ring of Honor to get that passion back. Now, he’s standing before a ring full of wrestlers and Tony Khan, asking to be welcomed back to Ring of Honor so he can get his honor back. Get his passion back. To prove to himself that he still belongs among the best. Make me an offer Tony and this time, I will sign. The show ends with Khan shaking his head yes.
ROH is granted their own shows, their own hour on TBS Saturday nights, and a promise from Tony Khan that they can be themselves. AEW will be AEW and ROH will be ROH. But, a familiar show to ROH fans, Final Battle, is also going to be coming back at the end of the year. Only now, each December, Final Battle will be the annual AEW vs ROH showdown.
But because AEW prides itself on being more like a sports league than a typical wrestling promotion, things will be handled like they would in sports leagues. Khan himself will continue to be the AEW General Manager and ROH will have their own GM, someone who is very familiar with the promotion and its rich history. The two GMs will sign wrestlers to their promotions and when their deals are up, they’re free to sign wherever they want. That mystery ROH GM turns out to be original booker Gabe Sapolsky, who vows to not be an on-screen personality but would give ROH his all behind the scenes.
Most AEW wrestlers pledge their allegiance to their home promotion quickly. Cody is officially signed by ROH, as is Christopher Daniels, Daniel Garcia, and 2.0. Jonathan Gresham, the World Champion, is signed to return as are The Briscoe Brothers. Rhett Titus is announced to be joining the relaunching ROH and Jay Lethal begins teasing whether he will “go home” or sign with AEW.
Tony Khan tells all wrestlers that they have until 5/29, Double or Nothing, to make their decisions. Anyone who hasn’t signed by the end of the PPV won’t appear on TV for either promotion. Since FTR and The Briscoes will be on separate promotions, Double or Nothing will feature the long-awaited dream match between the two.
The Dynamite before Double or Nothing, Tony Khan and Gabe Sapolsky hold a meeting with the final 20 members of the roster and tell them that they only have a few days to make up their minds. Ruby Soho stands up and says she is signing with ROH, the first female wrestler to deflect. Tony Neese said he is signing with ROH too. Men of the Year say they will give their decision at the PPV and Christian Cage says that as much as he hates those guys, he is doing the same. Kazarian says he is staying with AEW. He has unfinished business here.
Double Or Nothing
* Kenny Omega’s return is ruined by The House of Black, who lay out Omega and announce that they are going to ROH.
* Christian Cage sees Cody backstage and tells him that he understands him, probably better than most. He’s also going to join him in ROH because he too has honor he needs to regain.
* Men of the Year sign with ROH and tell Cody to watch his back.
*FTR and The Briscoes go to a 30-minute draw and ends with a staredown. The AEW vs ROH tensions are still high.
Ring of Honor begins its relaunch with champion Jonathan Gresham, Jay Lethal, Cody Rhodes, The Briscoes, Christian Cage, Daniel Garcia and 2.0, The House of Black, Men of the Year, Ruby Soho, Tony Neese, Christopher Daniels, and Rhett Titus. Lengths of contracts aren’t disclosed so hypothetically speaking, wrestlers could be leaving either promotion for the other at any time.
Ring of Honor will have one hour of TV each week, 3 major shows a year on PPV, as well as one house show a month. Then, of course, Final Battle each year will be the annual super card, AEW vs ROH. The roster will grow with additional independent wrestlers, the types who might have started on AEW: Dark previously. The door is open for additional previous ROH talents to join as well. More wrestlers have steady work, AEW can feature more of their talent on TV by having some wrestlers move to ROH, and Ring of Honor gets to carry on, with its original booker now back in place.
So what do you think of this fantasy-booked, AEW vs ROH scenario? Drop us a line in the comments and thanks as always for your support of Sports Obsessive!