Ring of Honor: the federation that revolutionized independent wrestling

Ring of Honor: the federation that revolutionized independent wrestling

Ring of Honor

There are numerous Wrestling federations born in the last twenty years. While Vince McMahon's WWE continues to dominate the mainstream landscape, the industry is thriving than ever. A federation that revolutionized independent wrestling, shaping wrestlers who would later become stars from the ground up, was undoubtedly the Ring of Honor. Born a year after the failure of ECW and WCW, it was the first federation to offer American fans an alternative product: few storylines and a lot of struggle with a focus on athletes.

History and curiosities of the Ring of Honor, the federation that revolutionized independent Wrestling

The birth of the Ring of Honor The champions and titles of the Ring of Honor The new presidency of the Ring of Honor A hotbed of talent The first television deal of the Ring of Honor The making of “All In” The beginning of the end The rebirth of the Ring of Honor (under a new leader) Where to see the Ring of Honor in Italy

The birth of the Ring of Honor

23 February 2002 A date engraved in history that effectively marked the beginning of the Ring of Honor. With the first event, entitled “Era of Honor,” Rob Feinstein (owner of RF Video) gave several athletes on the independent circuit the opportunity to show their athletic skills to the world. The main event was a sensational three-way match between Bryan Danielson, Low Ki and Christopher Daniels, greeted by a standing ovation from the audience. Only a few hundred people inside a gym in Philadelphia, but the dice were now cast: something different was finally born with the Ring of Honor.| ); }
One of the peculiar traits of the Ring of Honor was the "Code of Honor", a set of rules that athletes must respect during matches . It starts with a handshake between opponents, before and after the match, continues with maintaining the quality standard of the match and continues with respect for the referee. The Code of Honor disappeared in 2004 and then reappeared in a revised version.

The champions and titles of the Ring of Honor

The first ROH World Champion was inaugurated on July 27, 2002 at the end of a 60 minute Fatal 4 Way Iron Man Match. The winner was Low Ki, who remained champion until September of the same year. Then there were several athletes who had the burden of wearing the belt around their waist: from Samoa Joe to Austin Aries, from CM Punk to Bryan Danielson, up to Tyler Black, Kevin Steen and Cody Rhodes. The current champion, Jonathan Gresham, was crowned at Final Battle 2021.

The new presidency of the Ring of Honor

In 2004 Rob Fenstein was forced to leave the Company due to a scandal which concerned him directly. An unfortunate scenario that saw TNA terminate its partnership with ROH and the two top athletes, Samoa Joe and AJ Styles, marry permanently at Jeff Jarrett's court. His post was succeeded by Carry Silkin, thanks to which ROH took a huge step in quality, expanding globally: there were close collaborations with Dragon Gate, Pro-Wrestling NOAH, New Japan Pro Wrestling, CMLL and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla. In short, the "forbidden door" before it became mainstream.

Many do not remember it, but the ROH world title was also defended in Italy, to be precise in Monza, in a match between the then champion Nigel McGuiness and Kaio, top wrestler of ICW (Italian Championship Wrestling).

The first televised Ring of Honor deal

In 2009 Ring of Honor finally got its first television contract with HD Net, bringing a weekly format to TV. Precisely for this reason the TV Championship (in full ECW style) was introduced, won by Eddie Edwards in the finals of a great tournament. The contract would last until January 11, 2021, when Ring of Honor announced the end of its broadcasts.

In that same year, ROH was acquired by the Sinclair Broadcasting Group, again with Carry Silkin in charge. Under this new leadership a partnership was announced with the Figures Toy Company, a television contract with Destination America and the creation of a streaming service similar to the WWE Network.

The making of “All In”

September 1st 2018 is another date that has gone down in history. Cody Rhodes and the Young Bucks, at the time under contract with ROH, decided to accept a bet made with journalist Dave Meltzer and create the greatest independent Wrestling show ever: All In. The event was an unprecedented success. : over 11 thousand paying fans flocked to Chicago: a real record for a show other than WWE and WCW, not seen since the 90s.

Rey Mysterio, Okada also took part in All In , Chris Jericho and actor Stephen Amell (who would later star in a TV series about Wrestling). Also in the same year, ROH announced a show combined with New Japan Pro Wrestling, which took place at Madison Square Garden in New York on April 6, 2019. To date, it has remained the event with the highest number of audiences in the history of the Company. .

The Beginning of the End

Before the pandemic rocked the world of wrestling, forcing the companies to put on shows behind closed doors, the Ring of Honor was beginning to falter and for many were already on the way to sunset. The departure of Cody Rhodes and the Young Bucks, who became vice presidents of All Elite Wrestling in 2019 following the great success of All In, and many other athletes marked a point of no return. To this was added the appointment of Marty Scurll as head booker of the Company, but the British wrestler ended up in the eye of the storm due to some sexual scandals.

In December 2021 what would be held for many was the last event of the Company, Final Battle. Through a statement posted on social media, the Ring of Honor announced a break period that would last at least until April 2022. Meanwhile, all the athletes, staff and referees have been released from their contracts and the main titles, including the world one and women, they were defended at Impact Wrestling and other federations.

The rebirth of the Ring of Honor (under a new leader)

When everything seemed lost and many had bet on failure of the Company, here comes the decisive "kickout". In the episode of Dynamite on March 2 this year, Tony Khan (founder of All Elite Wrestling) announces that he has acquired all the rights related to the Company: this is, in effect, the rebirth of the Ring of Honor. On April 1st, during the WrestleMania weekend, Supercard of Honor is staged where Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler (FTR), athletes under contract with AEW, appear.

The main champions at the moment, including Samoa Joe and Jonathan Gresham have appeared on the screens of AEW, but the goal is to create a new TV show, treating ROH as a true third brand. The next Ring of Honor event will be Death Before Dishonor, scheduled for Saturday 23 July. Among the matches already announced a clash between Samoa Joe and Jay Lethal, valid for the TV Championship, and a rematch between the FTR and the Briscoes, valid for the ROH duo titles.

Where to see the Ring of Honor in Italy

Unfortunately, no Italian broadcaster broadcasts the Ring of Honor. The next event, as already happened with Forbidden Door, will be visible exclusively on the streaming platform Fite.TV.

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