KELLER & MARTIN FLAGSHIP (12/19)
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ROH has signed Marty Scurll to a new deal. Scurll, who became a free agent in November, has had the deal on the table for a long period of time. In addition to signing a new deal to wrestle, Scurll is also now the head booker of ROH. Sources tell PWTorch that Scurll has been involved intimately behind the scenes recently and working with talent on their angles and storylines.
The rest of the creative team is still in tact according to PWTorch sources, as Hunter Johnston, the former head booker, remains on the creative team. The other top power player on the creative team, Bully Ray, still has a role on the team as well.
According to PWTorch sources, Scurll has signed a two year deal that is worth seven figures per year making it the richest deal in ROH history. PWInsider originally reported Scurll had signed a new deal and had taken a lead role on ROH’s creative team. The deal also allows Scurll to work with the NWA, who appear to have entered back into a working relationship with ROH based on the angles that played out at ROH’s live event in Atlanta last night.
Radican Analysis: This signing and change in creative comes about two years late, as ROH has lost all of their top talent that was over with their audience. Essentially AEW took ROH’s space in the wrestling market and expanded into national cable on TNT in 2019, as ROH struggled to maintain an audience that saw attendance spiral downward after the company ran a joint show at Madison Square Garden with NJPW WrestleMania weekend. If this type of offer had been on the table for talent like The Young Bucks and Cody Rhodes, the current wrestling landscape in the U.S. could have been very different.
The main issue is that usually when a successful creative change is made the old regime isn’t kept in tact and unfortunately Hunter Johnston and Bully Ray remain on the creative team. When PWTorch sources first indicated this deal was imminent, one major concern about Scurll being installed as head booker was that eventually he would cede power to Johnston and Bully Ray after what was termed to be an initial honeymoon period.
With Johnston and Bully Ray still in positions of power, I have a hard time imagining Scurll having an easy time turning things around creatively for the company. Scurll has been heavily involved in the creative of both shows this weekend, as has Johnston according to sources. ROH’s event last night in Atlanta drew positive reviews from those that attended that event live and watched on Honor Club.
Scurll is a great talent that has been underutilized, so it will be interesting to see how he handles being in a position where he can push his own character. Scurll took a backseat for most of last year after losing in Triple Threat Ladder match at G1 Supercard during WrestleMania weekend.