wrestling / News

Backstage Notes on Scrapped Women of Honor Plans in ROH, Britt Baker Getting Her Dates Cut After Signing With AEW

December 3, 2019 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
Women of Honor ROH

Fightful released a report on previous plans for the ROH Women of Honor division as well as various issues with the female talent roster, following the exit of reigning WOH champion Kelly Klein, after he publicly revealed various problems with ROH and the company’s management. The Fightful report also mentions some scrapped plans for the division.

Several people familiar with the booking plans stated that at one point, Deonna Purrazzo was going to win the Women of Honor title from Sumie Sakai. This would’ve led to Kelly Klein winning the title back at Final Battle 2018 or losing it to Deonna Purrazzo after they feuded for the belt. This plan was scrapped due to Purrazzo ultimately signing with WWE.

Per the report, several people in ROH were frustrated with Purrazzo’s exit from the tournament, and ROH higher-ups reportedly found the idea of Klein vs. Purazzo being the finals in the tournament to be “too predictable.” This resulted in things being switched up. One of the plans that didn’t pan out included Purrazzo working as a babyface in the tournament against Klein. Klein then would’ve ridiculed Purrazzo after she took an early exit from the tournament.

Also, the report states that ROH cut most of Britt Baker’s remaining dates with the promotion after she signed a contract with All Elite Wrestling (AEW). Baker is said to have had about half-dozen remaining dates with ROH when she signed her ROH deal. However, Joe Koff is rumored to have told officials that ROH didn’t owe Baker anything as it pertained to letting Baker fulfill the rest of their agreed upon dates. Others backstage then went to back just so Baker could have a five-minute match with Kelly Klein when Baker reportedly arrived at a venue for an ROH event, and apparently had no idea her remaining dates were cut and that she’d also been taken off the show.

The report also has more details on payouts for the Women of Honor wrestlers. The initial offerings for the division were $12,000 a year from the start of 2018. The deals were said to be “non-negotiable.” The number was lated increased to $20,000 a year. Multiple women claimed they tried to get across to the office of ROH that the women’s matches did well on the company’s digital platforms and tried to get more screen time. Before the $12,000 a year deal was established, the base rate for non-exclusive, non-contracted talent in the promotion was said to be $150 for male or female talent. Additionally, that number could be even lower for enhancement talents or one-offs.

As noted, Kelly Klein was let go from the company when she was on the injury shelf after suffering a concussion. ROH later released a statement saying, “We didn’t fire [Kelly Klein], we just notified her that we would not be renewing her contract.”