There's plenty of roster turnover in Ring of Honor, and one of their bubbling under teams is keeping their options open moving forward.
Coast 2 Coast's Shaheem Ali has been with Ring of Honor for years, and gained traction alongside his partner LSG. With a revolving door of talent, Ali opened up to Fightful about their thought process when negotiating deals.
"To be honest, it’s always a fresh topic between me and LSG, I can say that because we, not to put our business out there, we like to do per year contracts because you never know what’s going to happen. God forbid there’s an injury. God forbid someone has to step away for a business or a family or whatever. ‘Cause I see it happen a lot. Not in Ring of Honor, but in wrestling in general. You never know what’s going to happen so you don’t want to lock yourself in just yet unless you know for sure everything’s gonna be alright. Not saying anything is bad. There’s no blood in the water. But, we speak a lot about Ring of Honor and where we want to go. We definitely want to be Ring of Honor World Tag Team Champions. That’s for damn sure. At the same time we don’t mind and would love to do singles matches and have singles goals, singles Championships and opportunities and things like that," said Ali.
The start of 2020 saw questions about the future of Colt Cabana, Marty Scurll, Shane Taylor and others. Ali seems to like ROH, but isn't opposed to traveling outside the company. If he had it his way, he'd be able to do a little bit of everything.
"As far as speaking outside of the Ring of Honor bubble—I’m not opposed to going anywhere else, but I would prefer to stay with Ring of Honor for as long as we can, as long as I can. I love wrestling. Period. I would love to wrestle everywhere and anywhere. But, you can’t cross certain lines because there’s certain barriers where wrestling doesn’t allow that just yet. Not to be Martin Luther King, but I do have a dream that one day wrestlers will be able wrestle in any and every company without any contractual, and I don’t know the word, without any restrictions. Because there’s a lot of dream matches I see, not just from super fans and things like that, but wrestlers. I know, personally, would love to wrestle so-and-so in other companies, but they can’t. And that’s why sometimes you’ll see certain people in different independent companies trying to get that dream match there or wherever the independent company might be," he said.
How would that work? Ali has doesn't necessarily have a plan in place for such a scenario, but thinks it would benefit fans to be able to see fresh matchups between promotions.
"Because wrestlers love wrestling," said Ali. "That’s the politics, the business itself always changes. There’s always a complaint. There’s always a problem or something. But, we try to find our way through all that in order to just give the fans exactly what they want. So, I do have a dream one day that, hopefully, that companies can do like a super-show where there’s no issues. It would be great to see, this is just me, it would be great to see—this is the fan part of me coming out, judge me if you want, I don’t care—it would be great to see Jay Lethal go up against someone from any of the stars that are up there right now in WWE or AEW or obviously, thank goodness we have got ties with New Japan so there’s always dream matches that can happen there.But, you know, I just would just love to see different stars be able to get in the ring just to see what would happen. I know a lot of fans out there, and wrestlers, will probably be too afraid to speak up. I like to speak my mind because that’s just who I am. A lot of people try to tell me to shush. I’m like, “Nah, nah, nah. Gotta speak up.” But, yeah. Going back to your question. Definitely want to be Ring of Honor Tag Team Champions. We’re trying to head that way now. And if there is a possibility to become a singles champion, I would love it. I would definitely dive in either way."
You can see Coast 2 Coast on Ring of Honor programming by subscribing to ROH HonorClub.