By Ryan Clark on July 8, 2012
Ring of Honor posted the following statement on their Facebook page about Kenny King. The promotion noted that as previously reported, King verbally agreed to an extension of his contract. The deal would allow him to negotiate with, but not wrestle for, another organization without ROH’s permission. The statement also states that when ROH was informed of his intent to wrestle on Impact that they said it would violate his agreement, which he said he felt wasn’t fair and he would not honor. They added they won’t be doing business with King going forward. The full statement is below:
The appearance of ROH wrestler Kenny King on another television wrestling program tonight has raised speculation on his future as well as how this appearance could occur.
The contract Kenny King signed in June 2011 expired 11 days ago. Before that expiration, 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 and any potential interest in him elsewhere. When that short extension concluded he would then be free to accept an offer elsewhere, or sign another long term contract with ROH. Under this agreement, Kenny was free to negotiate but not to wrestle for another organization without ROH’s permission.
When Kenny was presented with the written extension reflecting this verbal and handshake agreement, he informed ROH he was unsure if other promotions would accept the negotiation clause. He was told he could take the document to be examined by his attorney or other interested parties before executing it to be reassured any other offers would not be viewed as contract tampering. He also informed ROH that he would keep us apprised of any developments.
He contacted ROH on Tuesday July 3 to inform us that he had a meeting in Orlando on Thursday, July 5, which was within the scope of the agreement he had made. Then, early morning on July 5, he contacted an ROH official to say he would be wrestling on the Orlando event that night. He was told he did not have permission to appear live on television as it violated the agreement that had been made. His response was that the deal he had shaken hands on and agreed to in principle “seemed fair at the time”, but “others” had told him it was not, so he did not intend to honor it.
Ring of Honor is disappointed that Kenny has chosen to make this decision, after the company had agreed to and followed through on everything he had asked for at the time of our negotiation. However, 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.
A statement from ROH will be forthcoming regarding the future of the ROH World Tag Team Championship. Co-holder Rhett Titus remains on the active ROH roster.
UPDATE: Much of the ROH roster feels negative about Kenny King leaving for TNA because King did have a handshake deal with the company. Some felt that King breaking his handshake deal was worse than ditching his contract offer. Many also pointed to how King leaving the way he did also hurt Rhett Titus. King knew he was leaving but still pushed for a finish at the Best in the World where he and Titus would win the ROH Tag Team Titles strongly, as opposed to the original finish where they won after coming back.
Mike Mondo, in particular, was very outspoken about what King did.
King’s side of the story is that ROH wasn’t offering him a raise or extension that would have prevented him from talking to other companies. King’s camp is denying that he agreed to sign anything with ROH, though ROH sources says he did give them a verbal agreement. ROH believes King knew he wasn’t going to sign a new deal but made it seem like he would. Dave Lagana was apparently instrumental in getting King back into TNA.
UPDATE x 2: Kenny King posted the following via Twitlonger regarding his jump from ROH to TNA, as well as his response to Ring of Honor’s accusation that he breached a verbal agreement when he appeared on iMPACT! Wrestling on Thursday:
First and foremost to all of my friends, Family and everyone riding with me on this one thank you. The love and support has been unreal. It doesn’t matter if your’e a new Kenny King fan or you’ve been with your boy since tough enough. My passion for this sport reflects yours, and I will continue to bust my ass to give back the love you have shown me.
Second I would like to thank @ringofhonor for the opportunity To master my craft against some of the best wrestlers in the world. The last 4 years have been invaluable to my career. I have nothing but love and respect for the company that allowed me to find myself and grow as a wrestler.
Next, since the content of my character has been called into question, just ask about me. My integrity and HONOR has always been above reproach. But since they wanna talk bad about your boy, consider this…
I was offered a contract extension, I had reservations about the parameters of the extension and effective my “free agent” option would be.
I gave a handshake agreement that I wouldn’t do anything “screwy” with the belts. A la medusa.
I gave ROH information about every move that I made regarding working for @impactwrestling. Realistically they could have just found out when they saw my black ass walking down to the ring.
I was given a physical contact extension by ROH, which I respectfully declined to sign due to the reasons I stated above.
If I declined to sign an actual contract extension, how could anyone think there was a verbal agreement?
I took the biggest gamble of my career this weekend. So going into destination X tomorrow night I am prepared to put it all on the line. I am especially grateful to @tnadixie and @impactwrestling for giving me the opportunity to showcase my skills on a bigger stage. I was given an amazing opening and I took it. Ask Eminem how many chances you get to blow up. The world will watch tomorrow, and I got a bag full of fireworks. Tomorrow is coronation day.
Partial Source: Pwinsider.com
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