The signing of Sledge's first Ring of Honor contract came at the best and worst time.
Speaking with Fightful's Sean Ross Sapp (full interview in the video above), Sledge was asked how he first got involved with the promotion. He explained how he travelled to Las Vegas where ROH was having a show and worked hard helping them set up the ring. From there, a crew member passed his name along to a producer and they subsequently got in touch. Sledge was offered some cash and a spot to train at the ROH dojo but consulted his family before electing to take the chance on himself and relocate as an unsigned talent. Here is what he said about making the decision:
"That’s kind of the way I looked at it, too. If they’re asking me to do this, you got guys like Josh Woods, you got the ‘Mile High Magnum’ Dak Draper, you got all these other guys that have come through the Ring of Honor system, the Ring of Honor system dojo system that are making stars out of themselves. Why would I not do this?
So, I called them back, I want to say within, probably, about 48 hours. I was like, ‘Yeah, let’s do this,’ and they said, ‘Well report in September,’ and I said, ‘Okay.’ Then they signed me, my official deal went into effect March 1stof 2020. Yeah, dude. The pandemic shut everything down like March 7th or 8th."
Although the pandemic delayed his official debut in the company, Sledge is grateful to have been employed during that time. Furthermore, he noted how a lot of people don't believe he deserves to be in ROH because of his past, but that he's now showing everyone that he does in fact belong. He said the following:
"Yes. Yes. It was thanking my lucky stars. It really was. But, I also make a joke out of it, like the world crashed because Sledge signed a contract. So, because I had a number amount of people that believe that I don’t belong in Ring of Honor because of my past and my addictions and me dealing with alcoholism and stuff like that. A lot of people don’t believe that I belong in Ring of Honor. Ring of Honor thought different. They believe that I belong to be here and I'm showing the world right now that I do belong to be here."
Ring of Honor announced that Sledge had re-signed with them for another year on February 4, 2021. He acknowledges that the past year has been nerve-wracking because, although he's worked a lot over the course of his career, a lot of fans are still unfamiliar with him as a performer. He credits the promotion for taking care of him during the shutdown when they could have easily cut ties went their separate ways. That said, things are finally starting to look up. Here is what he said:
"This last year of 2020 has been so nerve-wracking for me because, number one, Ring of Honor fans have no idea who I am. Yes, they’ve rolled out a couple of vignettes about me from the Dojo. I’ve done a couple of interviews here and there. But, no one knows who I am. So, knowing that is Ring of Honor could have very easily just cut ties with me and was like, ‘Hey, you know we haven’t really invested a whole lot into you.’ It was, ‘I’m sorry the way it went down. But, maybe we’ll take a look at it at a later time.’ But, what’s been so good about Ring of Honor, man, is they’ve taken care of us through the whole pandemic.
Right and then resigning a bunch of indie guys. Go figure. Anyway. When I was having talks with Ring of Honor going into the new 2021 year, it’s great to have good bosses. The bottom line is I have great bosses. They both told me, ‘Dude, we see a future with you. Stick with us. We’re going to make something. You’re a hell of a talent. Just stick with us.’ When the bosses say that why would I want to go anywhere else, you know? So, I resigned for another year and we’re going to see how 2021 looks and it's already looking way better than 2020 right now. ‘Cause I’m sitting here with you, you know? I just debuted. I’ve done the Ring of Honor pod. I’ve done a number amount of podcasts and videocasts and all this fun stuff. It’s all looking up from here, so."
Sledge's Ring of Honor debut came on an episode of Week By Week, where he fought to a time-limit draw with O'Shay Edwards.
If you use any of the quotes above, please credit Fightful with a link back to the article.