Deonna Purrazzo returned to Ring of Honor at Final Battle, confronting ROH Women's Champion Rok-C to set up a bout between the two.
Purrazzo was one of many surprise appearances at Final Battle and completed Purrazzo's circle in the company as she was one of the faces of the ROH women's division in 2018 in the ROH Women of Honor tournament.
The ROH women's division had gone through its ups and downs over the years, but under the guidance of Cruise and Maria Kanellis began to thrive in 2021, working with various promotions.
Appearing on ROH Strong, Cruise and Kanellis discussed Purrazzo's appearance and how it was a year in the making.
"We never had any discussions with AEW. We did have discussions with NWA about something that we thought would be really good and mutually beneficial. Obviously, that did not happen," Cruise said when asked if ROH had plans with other companies. "Maria and I had been talking to IMPACT this past spring about Deonna, specifically. When you're booking something and writing something, any time you can have reality in a situation, it just adds to it that much more. Deonna having unfinished business in Ring of Honor is a shoot. She did not leave Ring of Honor under the best terms and she knows that. She had unfinished business. A year ago, I talked to her and was going to pitch IMPACT on getting her involved, whether it was the tournament or something to do with the tournament. We had a call in the spring and we thought we had something, we had an agreement, but at that time IMPACT also wanted some of the guys to crossover and Ring of Honor wasn't interested in that at the time, so it fell apart. Her appearing at Final Battle, we didn't work on that one for months."
Maria added, "Bobby was like, 'what about this' and I went, 'yes,' and it was literally all within a week. IMPACT has been fantastic with it. Everybody has been so helpful and it's been great. I can't wait to see what those women have been able to accomplish."
Cruise continued, detailing how Deonna's appearance at Final Battle was realized.
"It was Sunday night before Final Battle, I'm watching TV and I'm like...the big things with Final Battle was having moments. We saw several moments. My thought was, the women's division has been so good and so well received that why can't they have a moment as well? I didn't even text Maria first, which I usually do. I text Deonna and I said, 'Are you available on Saturday?' She had to move some stuff around, but she said, 'What are you thinking?' With her unfinished business in Ring of Honor, she loved it. Ran it by Maria, she said yes, I emailed Scott D'Amore and within ten minutes he got back to me and we got the ball rolling. After a few emails and one phone call with IMPACT, that Tuesday afternoon, we had it and we knew we had something special and a special moment for the women's division to go along with everything else," he said.
Purrazzo and Rok-C will clash for the ROH Women's Championship and AAA Reina de Reinas Championship on the January 13 episode of IMPACT.
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