By Kevin Eck
Coming off her huge victory at Final Battle last month to capture the Women of Honor World Championship, Kelly Klein has signed a new contract with Ring of Honor.
With both the title belt and a lucrative contract now in her possession, Klein unquestionably is the face of WOH.
“The truth is that I have been leading this division since the day I walked into the dojo and left over 50 other wrestlers in my dust,” Klein told ROHWrestling.com. “I was the leader with or without the championship. And that’s exactly why it is only fitting that I officially lead the company as the face and the cornerstone of Women of Honor.”
Klein, who made her WOH debut in October 2015 and did not suffer a loss by pinfall or submission in WOH competition until April 2018, became the second WOH World Champion by defeating defending champion Sumie Sakai, Madison Rayne and Karen Q in a Four Corner Survival elimination match. It was a dominant performance for “The Gatekeeper,” who eliminated all three of her opponents.
“You don’t demand respect. You earn respect,” Klein said. “Time and again I have earned respect. You don’t have to like me. But you’re lying if you say you don’t respect me.
“People can say they were the first or they were the champion or whatever other claims I have heard to try to explain why someone thinks they are important. But with me, I don’t have to explain it.”
Klein is so confident in her abilities that she recently declared that her title will be at stake every time she has a one-on-one match in WOH.
“I approach every match as an opportunity to stake my claim one more time,” she said. “In case anyone thought there was a chance they could get in the ring with me and I would take it easier on them, I’ve just raised the stakes to ensure that will never happen.”
As good as Klein is, she undoubtedly will face a stiff test when she puts her title on the line against arch rival Jenny Rose at Honor Reigns Supreme in Concord, N.C., on Jan. 13 (the event will stream LIVE worldwide for HonorClub). Rose upped the ante by proposing that the match be a street fight, and Klein did not hesitate to agree to the stipulation.
“Jenny Rose made a fatal mistake,” Klein said. “Her ambition and her hubris caused her to say something she couldn’t take back. She knows me better than to think I would back down from a challenge. I am thrilled that she has handed me this opportunity to give her every bit of what is coming to her.”
As to whether the street fight in Concord will be the final chapter in her intense rivalry with Rose, Klein said: “I can’t say it will be the final chapter, because she has a way of showing up in places she shouldn’t. To be honest, I might actually be impressed if she shows her face again after the beatdown I am about to hand her.”