Various: ROH Announces Women’s TV Title Tournament, El Phantasmo NJPW Contract Expiring Next Month, Indies

ROH Women’s TV Title Tournament Announced at Thursday’s ROH TV Show

Thursday’s ROH TV show for Ring of Honor featured the official announcement of a new tournament to crown the inaugural ROH Women’s World Television Champion.

In a video promo segment during the show, Leyla Hirsch, Kiera Hogan, Lady Frost, Rachael Ellering, and Billie Starkz all declared themselves for this upcoming tournament and each gave their reasons why they will become its first champion.

Current field for ROH Women’s World Championship tournament:

  • Leyla Hirsch
  • Kiera Hogan
  • Lady Frost
  • Rachael Ellering
  • Billie Starkz

El Phantasmo’s NJPW Contract Set to Expire At End of January 2024

El Phantasmo’s contract with New Japan Pro Wrestling reportedly is currently set to expire at the end of January of 2024, according to Fightful Select.

Sean Ross Sapp reported that when contacted for an interview, El Phantasmo had heavily hinted to him that his current contract with NJPW is set to expire on January 31, 2024. Sapp reported that this is something that his sources within NJPW have yet to confirm but El Phantasmo had hinted that he was currently pointing in the direction of not signing a new deal with the company.

In regards to El Phantasmo’s tag team partner and current one half of the NJPW Strong Openweight Tag Team Champion Hilukleo, Sapp reported that Hikuleo’s contract status with NJPW is currently not known. Sapp also reported that WWE has maintained interested in Hikuleo over this past year.

Misc. Wrestling News & Notes

During Thursday’s Impact! show, Impact Wrestling announced that next week’s show on January 4, 2024 will be a “Best of TNA Wrestling” special on AXS TV.

TrillerTV, former FITE TV, recently announced that they signed a deal with All Japan Pro Wrestling to air their upcoming MANIAx event live on their service on December 31st.

Game Changer Wrestling recently announced that Zilla Fatu will be making his official debut for the company at their Look At Me event on January 26, 2024 in Tampa, Florida.

In a recent episode of the Foley Is Pod podcast, WWE Hall of Famer and co-host Mick Foley announced that his podcast series will be officially ending next month following the release of one final episode titled “Mick-A-Mania.”

Insane Championship Wrestling founder Mark Dallas recently confirmed on Instagram that he had left the company and wrestling industry this past Summer due to a family-related issue. Dallas stated6 months ago I decided to leave pro wrestling to look after a family member who had a major operation and to pursue other avenues of entertainment that I never had time to explore whilst involved in wrestling full time. When ICWs 6 year long WWE deal ran out I endeavoured to make sure the company found a new streaming deal and sponsor before calling it a day to ensure it would continue on. I then left Scott Reid in charge knowing he was the right man to lead the charge for ICWs future. I started the company to be an artistic release from my lifeguard job, wanting to run four shows a year in the Maryhill Community Central Halls back in 2006. What followed was a snowball effect that led to me and a group of friends achieving our wildest dreams and then some. The memories will always hold a special place in my heart and I look forward to what ICW does next, rejuvenated with Scott at the helm. I still own the ICW brand so I will always in some way be attached to the company but I also look forward to what’s next in my life. I’m closing I want to say LONG LIVE IC FUCKIN’ W!

In a recent interview with Cultaholic’s Desert Island Graps podcast, David Finlay gave his thoughts about Bullet Club War Dogs being who he considers to be the current actual members of his Bullet Club faction in New Japan Pro Wrestling. Finlay stated “I would really like to un-muddy the waters. Like I said, my Bullet Club that I see is the Bullet Club War Dogs. That’s the only one I really care about. The rest is whatever, it is what it is. So if there’s a way where we all duke it out, and War Dogs come out on top, as they would, that’s where I’d like to see it go. But when I created the Bullet Club War Dogs, the mantra was, ‘Bring bodies, bring gold.’ So we’re gonna mess a whole lot of people up, and we’re gonna have a whole lot of championships. That’s the goal. That’s always gonna be the goal.” (Transcript h/t:

In a recent interview with NJPW’s official website, El Desperado provided an update on the recovery of his vision from eye surgery this past November. El Desperado stated “Still off. If I look up with my eyes, then my right and left eyes move different distances, so I get double vision. Straight ahead I’m OK though.” El Desperado also gave his thoughts about Hiromu Takahashi choosing him to be his opponent for his IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship at Wrestle Kingdom 18. El Desperado stated “Honestly I did think the timing sucked. My surgery date was set, so I was thinking of taking the time off if all I had at Wrestle Kingdom was the Ranbo. With all the people in that thing, you never know what could happen, especially with bad eyesight, so I was thinking that would be my chance to take more time off. It would look pretty bad if I turned it down right before the main event. It would have made Hiromu look bad too- and in all honesty it was my bad for not communicating with the company well enough- I told them about the surgery but not how much time I was thinking of taking off.

As noted before, WWE is currently very interested in potentially signing Giulia once her current contract with Stardom expires at the end of March of 2024. In a recent interview with BunShun, Giulia gave her thoughts about her current desire to wrestle overseas and her goal of wanting to raise the profile of women’s wrestling in Japan. Giulia stated “Japan is the place to be when it comes to ease of living and life. It’s safe, the prices are somewhat low, there’s delicious food, and the toilets are clean. I think Japan is amazing. Which one is better? I know the good and bad things about overseas countries, and that of Japan too. It’s hard to decide. The STRONG Women’s is the belt that changed me. A belt that will change you. From the beginning, I had a desire to compete overseas, but I thought, “Wouldn’t it be better to raise the profile of women’s pro-wrestling in Japan first?”. Overseas is good too, but I want to do it in Japan. But the world is big, isn’t it? You can have experiences that you cannot get only in Japan. Knowledge too. I learned that by going to America to defend the title. When you’re absorbing new things like now, everything is a learning experience. I want to learn more. I want to level up more. Ultimately, I hope to be able to utilize my overseas experience in order to pass it on to my juniors in women’s pro-wrestling and preserve the history.” (English translation via @HDSubs)

Major League Wrestling recently announced one new match for the card of their Kings of Colosseum 2024 event on January 6, 2024 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania:

  • Wasted Youth (Marcus Mathers & Dyln McKay) & Alec Price vs. Tony Deppen, TJ Crawford, & Griffin McCoy