The Women of Honor Champion has been let go from ROH.
AEW's BJ Whitmer posted a tweet indicating that his wife, and current Women of Honor Champion Kelly Klein, had been let go by the company, confirming a tweet posted by Joey Mercury.
Now that the cat is out of the bag. Yes, my wife @RealKellyKlein was fired by @ringofhonor COO Joe Koff, via email Tuesday evening. Not a phone call, an EMAIL. Kelly is still very much suffering from Post Concussion Syndrome and was fired while still injured. https://t.co/0Otra5aq4j— BJ Whitmer (@BJ_Whitmer) November 21, 2019
ROH issued a statement to PWInsider in regards to Klein, saying "We don’t generally discuss personal issues but they seem to have made it public – we didn’t fire [Kelly Klein], we just notified her that we would not be renewing her contract."
Joey Mercury had also posted the emails in which Klein's deal was terminated.
How dare she!?!? The nerve. That’s what you get, @RealKellyKlein - hey I wonder who else you sent that nice email to? What if Tomorrow’s Summit was actually the resignation of GG & JK!?!? If it isn’t- I’m more than prepared to get LOUD & specific. Talent deserve this treatment. pic.twitter.com/RY2hPdfyX0— mercury in retrograde (@JOEYnRetrograde) November 21, 2019
Kelly Klein has been sidelined for several weeks with concussion-related issues, that have kept her away from Ring of Honor, and a tour of South Africa. Speaking with Fightful this week, she confirmed she's been averaging about three doctor's visits a week.
On Thursday, Klein issued a series of tweets related to her injury and the termination.
I was right to be afraid. But there is no courage without fear.— Kelly Klein (@RealKellyKlein) November 21, 2019
It was worth it for the chance to finally force some positive change. https://t.co/u4ZKUPycb7
Thank you for asking. I am working with an amazing team of medical professionals to heal properly.— Kelly Klein (@RealKellyKlein) November 21, 2019
Though symptoms are improving, they are still present.
I will keep listening to my PT and neurologist. And I will keep you guys updated periodically. https://t.co/9mtxsRPkhR
I hope so too. I wish I had been invited. I trust some of the guys there to take care of it. I have already presented many of my thoughts and ideas in person over the years, and most recently on November 7th when I drove 8 hours to Baltimore for a meeting requested by ME. https://t.co/KyTQvFECPe— Kelly Klein (@RealKellyKlein) November 21, 2019
I hope so too. https://t.co/WqKduxmRxy— Kelly Klein (@RealKellyKlein) November 21, 2019
This is so sad. I guess it’s all about the bottom line. But I’m no one’s bottom line.— Kelly Klein (@RealKellyKlein) November 21, 2019
Time to open the gate... https://t.co/5jXOsw6mdk
I want it to be good for them too. I still want that. I want it to be safe and fair for everyone. https://t.co/Jf4k4f2Tic— Kelly Klein (@RealKellyKlein) November 22, 2019
Thank you. I am working diligently to recover properly and fully under the care of an amazing team of medical professionals.— Kelly Klein (@RealKellyKlein) November 22, 2019
Fightful reached out to Ring of Honor in recent weeks in regards to their official concussion protocol, but haven't heard back thus far.
Klein has also been involved in criticisms levied against Ring of Honor by Mercury, who also spoke out on her behalf earlier this month.
Fightful Select has additional details on this situation, posting the following.
There is a huge mess associated with Kelly Klein, ROH Women of Honor Champion. She was informed Tuesday that her deal would expire without renewal, as she's dealing with a concussion.
Fightful has spent the evening speaking with several in Ring of Honor talent, who seem to unanimously (at least based on who we spoke to) sympathize with Klein's position. Klein had been making $20,000 per year, and was rejected a raise to $24,000 initially. There were also several on the roster who mentioned the talent summit, implying they would speak out there, though no one specifically said they would.
The two sides had been in negotiations that would have resulted in some back pay to the summer and a possible three-year deal higher than the raise she sought out, but there were snags along the way involving hotel room reimbursement and the like that we're told neither side would budge on. One ROH talent told us that Klein should have had a raise well before this, and knew of other talents who used the same negotiating tactics as her and prevailed, whereas she didn't initially.
A lot of the women's deals have been constructed similarly in the past, to where they either make $500 per date or $20,000 per year. Initially a lot of the women's deals were for $12,000 per year when the division started before being bumped up. There were frustrations expressed among some talent that ROH officials actually put in writing that all the women on the roster made the same amount of money, with no wiggle room, and it was significantly less than their male counterparts.
While negotiations had been ongoing, we're told ROH backed out of things. After the tweets earlier this month from Klein, BJ Whitmer and Joey Mercury emerged criticizing the company, the decision was made to not renew the deal. ROH was obviously unhappy about how all of the tweets unfolded and information was disclosed publicly.
We're told that as of now, Klein remains Women of Honor Champion and no word has been sent to her from ROH about the status of that.
Fightful reached out to ROH two weeks ago for information on their concussion protocol and did not hear back, but they issued a comment to Newsweek, stating. the following.
"When an injury occurs during one of our events, Ring of Honor covers the costs of treatment for that event-related injury. At times, certain performers see a medical professional outside of the event, which they are entitled to do. When this occurs, the performer is reimbursed."
Newsweek also spoke to Joey Mercury and Klein about a plethora of issues that Mercury spoke with Fightful about several weeks ago.