Former Ring of Honor Champion Reportedly Under Contract With AEW

All Elite Wrestling has another Ring of Honor talent under contract. According to Fightful Select, former ROH Pure Champion Josh Woods is under a "tiered contract" with AEW and ROH, which is believed to have been signed about a month ago. Woods most recently appeared on this week's AEW Dynamite, attacking AEW Tag Team Champion Keith Lee in a backstage segment. This seemingly aligned Woods with Tony Nese and Mark Sterling, who had just lost to Lee's tag partner, Swerve Strickland, in a handicap match. Woods would put his hands on Lee's title, indicating that he has his sights set on tag gold.

Woods also appeared at last weekend's ROH Death Before Dishonor pay-per-view as a judge for the Pure Title bout between champion Wheeler Yuta and challenger Daniel Garcia. The report also noted that not everyone who appeared on Death Before Dishonor is under contract, as some are still free agents.

Woods is coming up on a decade in the professional wrestling industry. He was first signed to WWE NXT in 2014, competing on various house shows and sporadically appearing on NXT TV. Even though he never officially locked up with him in the ring, one of Woods' WWE highlights came during a sparring session with Bryan Danielson.

"When I was in NXT, Bryan was coming back from a neck injury and they do a lot of rehab for the WWE guys there and he was coming in and rolling around," Woods recalled. "I don't remember how this conversation got started, but Matt Bloom was the coach or my coach at the time, and I was like, 'Yeah, I'll get in and I'll go with them,' as I have like a jujitsu background because Bryan's a really big jujitsu guy and he's pretty good. So I'm like, 'All right, cool. Yeah, I'm taking my shoes off,' because you don't wear shoes and Matt goes, 'Hey, man, he's coming off a neck injury. If you hurt him, you're fired.' I'm just like, I don't want to get in there anymore because I'm scared because like, I'm a little bit bigger than Bryan. I'm like, Oh shit, this is Bryan Danielson. Like, Well, oh god, I'm like, shit. It's like, I get in there and it was pretty cool and It was so fun."

He would be released in 2016, debut in ROH later that fall, and did not look back since. Woods would win the 2017 ROH Top Prospect Tournament, defeating the likes of Chris LeRusso, Brian Milonas, and John Skyler. He would capture his first ROH gold in 2021, ending Jonathan Gresham's 317-day reign with the Pure Title.

Before his appearance on Dynamite, Woods had been competing on AEW Dark, where he has picked up two victories.