Ring of Honor announced today that Roderick Strong - an ROH Triple Crown Champion who's been with the promotion for 13 years - will be leaving following Saturday's post-PPV television tapings. This comes after months of rumors that WWE has interest in the star, whose contract was known to be coming to an end.
Strong's tenure on the independents has seen him become one of the most consistent workers in the entire world. He joined ROH in 2003 and soon formed Generation Next with Austin Aries, Alex Shelley, and Jack Evans. Even after the stable disbanded, Strong and Aries remained together as a tandem, winning the ROH World Tag Team Titles.
Through frequent face and heel turns, Strong's ring work only improved. In 2010, he defeated Tyler Black (Seth Rollins) to win the ROH World Heavyweight Championship. His reign lasted for six months, and while he never recaptured the title, he would win the ROH Television Championship twice - including a victory last year that saw him end Jay Lethal's 567-day long reign.
With WWE's new brand split coming up, the company has reportedly been combing the independent scene for new talent. Whether they and Strong have mutual interest should be known shortly.
Scott Fried is a Slammy Award-winning* writer living and working in New York City. He has been following/writing about professional wrestling for many years and is a graduate of Lance Storm's Storm Wrestling Academy. Follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/scottfried.
*Best Crowd of the Year, 2013