By Ethan Renner and Joseph Currier
Throughout Ring of Honor's "End of an Era" Final Battle pay-per-view earlier this month, video messages played from former ROH talent now working in other companies. Most notably, AEW stars CM Punk and Bryan Danielson sent messages wishing ROH well before its impending hiatus.
According to Kevin Owens, ROH did not ask any WWE talent to send in videos.
Appearing on Pat Laprade's les Anti-Pods de la Lutte podcast, Owens said that ROH did not ask the WWE office or any individual talent to send in videos. Owens said he thinks WWE would have allowed them to if ROH asked.
"The answer is quite simple: Ring of Honor didn’t ask any wrestlers from WWE to do that, nor contacted anyone at WWE," Owens said (interview conducted in French). "I knew it was going to be their last show, but I didn’t think to send a video so they could play it at the show. I’ve watched it. I was at a WWE show, and I was watching it on my phone, so it was not something I simply ignored. I’ve read some people on the internet saying that probably WWE didn’t let us do it, but that’s incorrect. It’s just ROH who didn’t ask us, and I bet that if they had, we could have done it, but that wasn’t the case."
In his weekly column on ROH's website last Friday, Kevin Eck wrote: "It was very classy of AEW and Impact Wrestling to allow their talent to appear at Final Battle and send in video tributes. If only every major wrestling company was as classy."
Also on les Anti-Pods de la Lutte, Owens spoke about the importance of ROH to his career:
It’s funny cause I often ask myself that same question. Of course, it gave me a very important platform in the United States. But at the end of the day, William Regal saw me at a PWG show. And even before I started full time with ROH in 2007, I had a good name on the indies because of PWG. So sometimes I wonder if things would have not become what they became with ROH, if I would have made it to WWE anyway. Maybe, maybe not, I don’t know. But at the same time, there was a point in my career where I thought ROH would be where I would spend my whole career. Even if my goal was always to go with WWE, [there] was a point in my life where I had my son and my wife, and I was thinking that traveling so much like I would have had to do in WWE was not the best thing for me, so I was thinking that the more time I can make a living working ROH, that’s what I would do. However, with time, my priorities changed a little, my family’s priorities changed a little, and that’s when WWE became my goal again. So ROH was a big influence and a huge part of my career, but I often wonder if ROH would have not been part of my career, if I would have made it to WWE anyway. A huge part of me thinks so. That said, I have plenty of good and fun memories with ROH, and I’m very happy to have been apart of ROH for all those years.
It was revealed last week that Owens has signed a new multi-year contract with WWE. Big E will defend his WWE Championship against Owens, Seth Rollins, and Bobby Lashley in a fatal four-way match at WWE's Day 1 PPV on Saturday, January 1.