Former WWE Superstar Justin Gabriel Says He Turned Down NXT Offer Before Joining Ring of Honor

PJ Black, known in his WWE days as Justin Gabriel, officially signed wit Ring of Honor back in Feb. 2 as part of a new wave of talent the company has recently brought in.

But according to Black, there was an offer on the table for him to come back to the WWE for the first time since January 2015.

"Right before Ring of Honor, I actually got an offer from NXT," Black said in a recent interview with Chris Van Vliet. "They wanted me to go back there. There were a couple of other offers too, from TNA and stuff, and I chose Ring of Honor because they give me freedom and it's a great deal financially. It's only for 12 months too. After that, it becomes like a 30-day notice deal. I have a feeling it's gonna be like two or three years, but let's see what happens."

Black made his professional wrestling debut in 1997 and was finally signed to a WWE developmental deal in 2008 after making a name for himself in the United Kingdom and in his home country of South Africa. After spending some time in Florida Championship Wrestling, Black debuted as a cast member on the first season of NXT, back when the brand was a competition show for new potential WWE Superstars. In July 2010 he made his main roster debut as part of The Nexus, alongside Wade Barrett, David Otunga, Heath Slater, Skip Sheffield (later Ryback), Michael Tarver and Daniel Bryan. His high-flying ability and 450 Splash finisher made him a standout in the faction, but he was relegated to the midcard and tag team wrestler throughout his tenure with the company.

After asking for his release in January 2015, Black revealed in an interview with Chris Jericho that he was The Bunny in Adam Rose's Exotic Express entourage.

Black went on to have a short run in TNA Wrestling before joining Lucha Underground in 2015 during the show's second season. He worked primarily as a heel as part of Johnny Mundo's Worldwide Underground faction and held the Lucha Underground Trios Championships once alongside Mundo and Jack Evans.


Since joining Ring of Honor Black has competed in the Survival of the Fittest tournament, challenged Nick Aldis for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship, and defeated fellow newcomer Bandido at the ROH Honor Reigns Surpreme event in January.

Black's official start date in his exclusive contract with ROH is reportedly set for March 16. ROH will host its 17th Anniversary Show on pay-per-view on March 15.