Ring of Honor General Manager Greg Gilleland recently spoke with Chuck Carroll of CBS Sports. The full interview is at this link and below are highlights sent to us by Chuck:
I wanted to pass along an interview I did with Ring of Honor GM Greg Gilleland for CBS where we talked about the state of the company following the departures of Cody, The Young Bucks, Hangman Page and others.
Despite the roster churn, he said that 2019 is not a rebuilding year and the company is still targeting significant growth for its HonorClub streaming service. Gilleland also said attempts to re-sign the group were the most aggressive efforts they've ever extended to talent. But he added "you really can't negotiate against dreams" and said the company knew early on that The Elite would not be returning once their contracts expired.
That doesn't mean ROH isn't open to working with AEW in the future as everyone parted ways amicably. Gilleland said the door was open for such a partnership if it made sense from a business standpoint. When asked who ROH would be elevating to fill the void at the top of the roster, he said fans should "keep an eye on everybody" and also specifically mentioned Jeff Cobb, Dalton Castle, Rush, Zack Sabre Jr. and current champion Jay Lethal.
As for the upcoming Madison Square Garden show, Gilleland is promising that it will be huge and hinted that something major would happen that night. "I can't wait until everybody sees the Garden and the outcomes," he said. During the interview we also talked about when the card will start coming together for MSG and when it will be announced as well as locker room morale and plans for Marty Scurll.
Below are a few quotes from the interview:
Whether 2019 is a rebuilding year for ROH.
I don't think I would classify it as a rebuilding year. I think, if you look at the past five years, each year has been a growth year. I don't think 2019 is any different. All those guys leaving had been something that was rumored about and talked about, either behind the scenes or even by some media outlets, for a significant amount of time. So, I wouldn't say that it caught us by surprise. If you look at some of our new signings, you can see that we had been planning in case of such a thing.
Attempts to re-sign Cody, The Young Bucks and others who left for AEW.
We definitely made aggressive attempts, more aggressive than we've had with anybody in the past. Sometimes people have a dream, and you really can't negotiate against dreams. That's what these guys are doing. … I know Tony Kahn is involved. That probably brings significant dollars to those, and I heard some figures. That's probably part of the dream.
Whether ROH would be open to partnering with AEW.
Everything definitely ended amicably. We've talked to [The Young Bucks] since. Right now, there's nothing to explore. There are three events, potentially, and there's the rumored potential of the TV deal. We would have to know what we're exploring, to answer that.
Whether Jeff Cobb can become the face of ROH.
He's a World Television Champion right now for a reason… He definitely has that opportunity to grow into the face of the company. I think everybody does. I think the sky's the limit. That's why, if you look over the years and you talk about all these former Ring of Honor stars that have moved on and how the brand keeps continuing to grow, and how we get new stars or we create new stars, or we bring in great performers and they become stars, I don't think that chain stops. Right now, Jeff Cobb is definitely poised to be at the top of that pile.
Source: CBS Sports