A familiar face turned up in Ring of Honor at their Survival of the Fittest tournament late last year. PJ Black, who was known as Justin Gabriel in WWE, made his ROH debut and would challenge for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship shortly thereafter.
“Yes, obviously,” Black responded when asked if he sees more of an opportunity in front of him with so much ROH talent departing for AEW. “But even if those guys were there, it would have been exactly the same for me.
“I think it’s a fantastic time in wrestling right now, because that happened, because a lot of people had to step up their game. A lot of people are trying to get signed by AEW. WWE upped a lot of the guys’ contracts because they don’t want to lose them because there’s a lot of money being thrown around. Even ROH, they signed me, they signed Rush, they signed PCO, they signed Bandido, which I think is fantastic. WWE’s been trying to sign him for the longest time. So was AEW, and ROH snatched him up. So that means a lot.”
AEW has been aggressively signing talent since they officially launched earlier this year. Black admitted that he had spoken to AEW, but that he didn’t want to wait until they started running shows regularly.
“One of the main guys kind of in charge of talent relations [at AEW], if you will, he was the guy who got me into ROH, and I’m not sure if he thought I wasn’t gonna get the deal or what, he thought I was gonna be left open,” Black said. “Obviously, it was in that transition year where they signed one or two people, but now they’re going all out trying to get a roster together. But again, they don’t have a TV deal yet, they don’t have anything yet, which I know they will get, and it will be super successful. I know that. But it takes time? and I wasn’t gonna wait around. Plus it’s only a year. Anything can happy in a year. A lot can happen in a year, in fact.”
As for possibly working for AEW, Black noted that he can “always revisit that in December.”