Ahead of this weekend's NJPW Strong tapings for Capital Collision in Washington D.C and Collision in Pennsylvania, I spoke with Brody King who takes on Minoru Suzuki Saturday and Jake Something on Sunday.
King had been signed exclusively to Ring of Honor since 2018. But in October 2021, they announced that following last December's Final Battle, they would be taking a hiatus. They then released everyone from their contracts, including King.
Then on January 12th of this year, King made his AEW debut, joining Malakai Black in what would become known as the House of Black.
In our 32-minute talk you can watch above, we touched on the changes in ROH, why he signed with AEW and plenty more.
The writing on the wall with ROH
"I kinda saw the writing on the wall. They weren't renewing any contract that were coming up and they weren't discussing it with anybody. My contract was going to be renegotiated in December and it was about October and they hadn't said anything to me and I know a few others that they hadn't said anything to. I was like, 'That seems strange that they have all these big players that they would probably want to keep with their deals coming and nobody is discussing it with them, so...'
I feel like maybe a lot of people wanted to pretend like that wasn't the case, but if you look at it from a business standpoint, that's probably not a good sign, especially since we were doing shows with crowds again. The crowds weren't great and there's only so much you can do with a big roster with a lot of money and not a lot of people in the crowd."
The seeds of House of Black idea planted prior to AEW
"When the news for Ring of Honor broke, I feel like Malakai and I had already been discussing this House of Black dream scenario like 'If it could happen...' I think we were already discussing possibly trying to set the groundwork for it, so it was very much in the works already. We had already been discussing the what ifs and balancing ideas.
I talked to Tony (Khan) very shortly after the news from Ring of Honor broke and he invited me out to a couple of the shows. We discussed things and that's when the whole House of Black idea really came into fruition. It seemed like a good fit and everything fell into place, so I was very fortunate that I kind of had a plan already and it was just an easier decision."
Dealing with jealousy not being in AEW
"My perception was that (AEW) was a good alternative to something like WWE and it was an alternative that I liked a lot more. It fit much more to my style and to my beliefs in wrestling and everything in between. A lot of my friends were some of the people that started it like MJF, Jungle Boy, Darby Allin. All these guys were starting the company while I was starting in Ring of Honor. I would be lying if there wasn't a little bit of jealousy once I started seeing that blow up. And it was just like 'Man, I wish I was over there with those guys.' I kept in contact with them throughout the years and they welcomed me with open arms."
Creative collaboration for the House of Black
"Everything with the House of Black is pretty much a collaboration. Usually one of us will come to the table with an idea and we all kinda just riff off of that and kinda make something out of that. Everyone kinda gives what they think they should do and we kinda take pieces from all of it and make the whole thing. It's really cool, because it doesn't feel like one person is in control of the whole thing. Obviously Malakai has a lot more experience and he has years in wrestling to guide all of our ideas and I feel like without him, it might not be as polished as it would be."
The future of the new Ring of Honor
"I would like to see it become what it once was. It just needs the diehard fans back. It needs people to give their energy to the performers in the ring. If it's a super indie, that's awesome -- like, if it travels around to different cities when there's pay-per-views or whatever. That's cool. If it's just a traveling show or if it's a TV product, that's awesome as well. But I think it's a good opportunity to give a lot of younger talent a look that's just not only Dark or Dark Elevation. They can really go out there and show what they have or if there are some undercard guys on AEW that need to really get out in front of a crowd and test some stuff out, then maybe Ring of Honor is a good opportunity for that as well. I feel there is a lot to be done with it. "