Jay Lethal and Tony Deppen have been added to the ROH Pure Title tournament. The tournament is set to begin on Apr. 10.
Here is a look at the full field for the tournament: Ren Narita, Fred Yehi, Yuji Nagata, Joe Hendry, Marty Scurll, Tracy Williams, Slex, Mark Haskins, Alex Shelley, Jonathan Gresham, Rocky Romero, Doug Williams, Dalton Castle, Tony Deppen, Jay Lethal and Josh Woods.
ROH has been the breeding ground for talented mat grapplers since its inception. While some, like Josh Woods, are great amateur wrestlers that have limited pro experience but clearly have what it takes to jump into the pro ranks, others are experienced independent stars that have honed their striking and submissions before getting their opportunity to show it on an international stage like former ROH World Champion Kyle O’Reilly and Tracy Williams.
Tony Deppen falls into the latter category. A young man with many years experience, Deppen’s growth accelerated in 2019 and into 2020, competing in top independent organizations like Beyond, Game Changer Wrestling, PWG, and Chikara. Deppen has begun to compete internationally and is an amateur and submission expert.
Deppen’s ROH debut comes in this tournament and is one of the most highly-touted free agents in the world. Deppen could not only capture the Pure Championship but negotiate himself an even bigger money contract should he capture the title!
The 16th and final competitor in the tournament to crown the Pure Champion is the second entrant to have previously held the Championship previously, “The Franchise” Jay Lethal.
Lethal holds the records for most days as ROH World and Television Champion as well as the longest single reign of the ROH World Television Championship. As of press time, Lethal is one-half of the ROH World Tag Team Champions and will look to become a dual champion for the second time. Should Lethal win the tournament, he would become the first-ever two-time Pure Champion and would need 288 days as Champion in order to hold the record for most days held for every singles Championship in ROH history.
Lethal already has arguably the greatest resume in Ring of Honor history, but could put the Greatest Wrestler in Ring of Honor History discussion on ice with a win and a record-breaking reign.