PJ Black Explains Why He Chose ROH Over AEW, Impact, & WWE
PJ Black did an interview with CBS LA, discussing multiple topics including why he signed with ROH over WWE.
On Whether WWE Pressured Him To Take Their Offer: “No pressure at all, because they kind of just remembered me from what I was doing when I was there. And while they did like me and stuff like that, they don’t know the stuff that I’m doing right now. I’ll give you an example, Drew McIntyre, he went back to the indies and just reinvented himself. He did fantastic, and they had to have him back. I was out for a year or two, three years due to a base jumping injury, so I feel like in wrestling, out of sight, out of mind.
So they kind of forgot about me, and while they did make a decent offer, it wasn’t strong enough for them and they didn’t force anything on it. Plus, I live in downtown LA, so Survivor Series was in Staples Center, and that’s a block away from my place. So I just walked over one day just to say hi to everyone, and that’s where it all happened. I ran into Vince McMahon, ran into [Triple H], and we started talking. It was never like they kind of reached out first. It was kind of like I was just being at the right place at the right time.
I never told them that I had other opportunities. Maybe that was my mistake. Maybe I should have, they would have pursued it more aggressively. But yeah, I did tell ROH I had another offer, and that’s maybe why they pursued it so hard. Which, again, they win.”
Turning Down WWE’s Offer To Join NXT: “They usually do three to five years, which is also very tough because a lot can happen in a year or two, and nothing’s guaranteed. In NXT, I don’t want to say too much about how they work, but they promise a lot of things, which 90% of the time they can’t keep to.
They’d be like ‘oh, you’ll be on the main roster in six months or seven months, or whatever it is, and even if you’re not, you’ll still get your pay increase or whatever it is.’ I know for a fact because I speak to guys on a daily basis. All my friends are still in the WWE and in NXT, and I speak to these guys all the time, and I know for a fact none of the stuff that they were promised happened. Obviously, there are exceptions here and there, small exceptions, but those guys are just happy to be around and still be making money and being on TV. While most of them are not happy with where they are, that’s what they wanted to do. That’s still their dream job.”
Why Some NXT Stars Fail To Get Over On The Main Roster: “I don’t know. I thought about this long and hard, too, and it’s tough. Let’s take one character, for example, like Adam Rose. The Adam Rose character was so hot in NXT. It was amazing. It was so over with the music and his entrance and everything. But somehow that just didn’t translate over to Smackdown TV. I don’t know if the set has anything to do with it. The set is so much bigger, so when Adam Rose came out on NXT on that stage, it was smaller. It was 10, 20 guys, it felt like a party. It felt like you were inside of a rave. The music was on point. Everyone was fired up. There was energy in the room. I don’t feel like that same energy translated to Smackdown TV because you had five, 10 people and you look at the stage and you’re like oh, wow. That’s a tiny little party when they showed the hard cam. That might be one of the reasons. I’m not sure.
There could be also a bunch of other things. Different visions, different writers. Like I said, WWE TV, there’s an agent, a producer, and a writer to your segment, and you have to follow their outline instead of sometimes I feel like I know better. I know exactly what should be done, but they’re like nope, this is the kind of script and you have to kind of stick to it.
That might be a problem. Who knows? Also then maybe someone else is in charge. Maybe there’s too many people in charge in WWE now. Like I said, you have the agent, the producer, and you have a bunch of writers and then a head writer, and then, ultimately, Vince has the last say and I feel like maybe Vince or Hunter, maybe they went back and forth. No, this is what I created in NXT. Vince is like ‘no, but this is what I want.’ Obviously, everyone’s gonna go with Vince, since he’s the boss. And Vince is a mad genius. I think he’s a mad, crazy genius. Maybe there’s just some conflict there. Who knows? It could be a million different things.”
The Elite Convinving Him To Join ROH Before They Started AEW: “The guys that I got the feedback from, they were very encouraging and telling me how I would fit in with that brand. It’s funny because all those guys jumped ship to AEW now. Which is hilarious to me. I was like ah, okay. What was the point of that? Maybe they couldn’t tell me that whole venture, but whatever it is, either way, I’m super happy with the deal I got and the schedule. There are some good plans for me this year, which I’m very excited about.
But even if those guys were there, it would have been exactly the same for me. I think it’s a fantastic time in wrestling right now, because that happened, because a lot of people had to step up their game. A lot of people are trying to get signed by AEW. WWE upped a lot of the guys’ contracts because they don’t want to lose them because there’s a lot of money being thrown around. Even ROH, they signed me, they signed Rush, they signed PCO, they signed Bandido, which I think is fantastic. WWE’s been trying to sign him for the longest time. So was AEW, and ROH snatched him up. So that means a lot.
When they got guys like that and me, it means that they’re trying really hard to build a better brand or trying to put some money into it all this year. By losing The Elite and all of the top guys, they had to do that. To be a wrestling fan right now is amazing. To be an actual wrestler is even better.”