Ring of Honor Focus: Tyler Black Promises to Bring ROH Gold to the WWE

Ken DrabekCorrespondent IIAugust 31, 2010

Earlier this month, reports surfaced all over the Internet stating that the Ring of Honor World Heavyweight Champion, Tyler Black, had signed a developmental deal with World Wrestling Entertainment.

Over the course of August, this news has been turned into one of the most intriguing storylines in ROH.

In a move strangely reminiscent of CM Punk, Black claims that he is going to leave the promotion as the champion and take the title with him to the “greener pastures” of the WWE.

While this move does come off a bit too much like Punk’s actions in 2005, when he won the ROH World Heavyweight Championship shortly after inking a WWE deal, it plays perfectly into Black’s departure.

This is a guy who has done nothing but fight for the respect of the ROH die-hards since becoming the champion. Despite his best efforts, Black has never really been able to win over the vocal fans who disapproved of his title reign.

Watch his match against Davey Richards at “Death Before Dishonor VIII,” and you will hear the boos and vulgarities bombarding Black throughout the majority of the contest. It took an epic performance by both men to seemingly earn Black a bit of respect from the rabid crowd in Toronto.

Just as it seemed that Black was finally beginning to come into his own and earn that respect as the champion, the news broke that he was leaving the company for his big break in the WWE.

Now the ROH faithful are voicing their disapproval louder than ever. Black has been greeted by an angry chorus of “you sold out” chants at each ROH appearance since the word got out that he was heading to Florida Championship Wrestling, the WWE’s developmental territory.

The battle for respect between Black and the ROH fans has been a vital part of his run as the top guy in the promotion. All it took was his departure to make him into one of the company’s most despised characters in recent memory.

Black has done a masterful job at embracing the heat directed towards him. The latest ROH Video Wire, from August 21, features the champion cutting perhaps his best promo to date, where he claims that he will be taking the title with him to the WWE.

He followed that up with another top notch heel promo during an in-ring interview with Jim Cornette on HDNet, once again bragging to the crowd that he will be taking the belt with him when he leaves ROH.

Unless ROH has some major swerve planned with the WWE, it is pretty much a given that Black will not be bringing that title belt anywhere. The odds of him dropping it at “Glory By Honor IX” are quite strong, pun fully intended.

Black will be defending the championship against longtime rival Roderick Strong at the upcoming iPPV. Terry Funk is rumored to be the “special guest enforcer” which, if true, would certainly add an unexpected element to the title match.

In just under one month, Black has gone from a champion fighting for respect to a cowardly heel who wants nothing more than to sneak out of ROH with that title still in his possession. He refused Cornette’s requests to put the belt on the line in matches against Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards over the weekend.

Black also has refused to put his title on the line against Christopher Daniels on September 10 in Plymouth, MA.

These developments have only furthered Black’s newfound cowardice and helped build up the anticipation of the night where he must finally put the title up against Strong.

Though it seems quite predictable that we will see the title change hands at GBH IX on September 11, the creative team of ROH has done an superb job of building up the importance of the main event by placing the weight of promotion on the shoulders of Strong.

Strong has never been able to achieve his goal of becoming the ROH World Heavyweight Champion. His record in title matches currently stands at a very dismal 0-15. He has come close to the gold so many times, but somehow he has always failed in becoming the champion.

As of right now, it appears as though he is the only person who can prevent Black from bringing the championship to the WWE. The stakes have never been higher for Strong.

Will the “Messiah of the Backbreaker” finally have what it takes to become the ROH World Heavyweight Champion?

With only a few weeks remaining until GBH IX, the twists and turns during this period of uncertainty in ROH should only make the impending showdown between Strong and Black that much more intriguing.

Photo courtesy of Scott Finkelstein