Ring of Honor: Wikis


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Ring of Honor
Type Privately Held
Founded 2002
Headquarters Bristol, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Key people Cary Silkin - President and Owner
Sydney Eick - Vice President
Industry Professional wrestling
Website Official Site

Ring of Honor (ROH) is an American professional wrestling promotion, founded in 2002 by Rob Feinstein, and as of 2009 owned by Cary Silkin. ROH currently runs several shows each month throughout the midwest and on the east coast of North America. It has also held shows on the west coast, in the United Kingdom, Japan and Canada. Annual shows include the "Anniversary Show(s)", "Supercard of Honor", "Death Before Dishonor", "Glory by Honor", "Survival of the Fittest", and "Final Battle" (the last show of the calendar year).

ROH records the majority of its shows and sells them on DVD through mail order and through its online store, which has developed a fanbase for the promotion in the United States and beyond. In 2009, ROH signed a long-term television deal with HDNet, airing shows every week.[1] Ring of Honor matches also broadcast on The Fight Network in Canada (and also did so in the United Kingdom and Ireland until the channel stopped broadcasting in those markets on December 8, 2008), and on Samurai TV in Japan. On Youtube, user ROHBrazil reached a deal with HDNet to post episodes three days after each show's broadcast. Select shows also go on pay-per-view online on Go Fight Live in the United States.

Ring of Honor features in the 2008 film The Wrestler, where it promotes the final bout of the film between Randy "The Ram" Robinson (played by Mickey Rourke) and The Ayatollah (played by Ernest "The Cat" Miller). Several wrestlers, including Nigel McGuinness, Claudio Castagnoli and Bobby Dempsey appear on film during the ROH scenes.



In April 2001 the professional-wrestling video-distribution company RF Video wanted a new promotion to lead its video sales after its best-seller Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) went out of business. At the time RF Video also filmed events held by other, less-popular, regional wrestling promotions; it sold these through its catalog and website. The owner of RF Video, Rob Feinstein, decided to fill the ECW void by starting his own promotion, then distributing its made-for-DVD and VHS productions exclusively through RF Video. The first event, titled The Era of Honor Begins, took place on February 23, 2002 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It featured nine matches, including a match between Eddy Guerrero and Super Crazy for the IWA Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship, and a triple threat match between Christopher Daniels, Bryan Danielson and Low Ki, who would become known as the "founding fathers of ROH". In its first year of operation, ROH confined itself to a limited number of venues and cities (in the northeastern U.S.). Ten shows were run in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; two in Wakefield, Massachusetts; one in metro Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and, one in Queens, New York. In 2003, ROH expanded to other areas of the United States, including Ohio, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Maryland. It also began to build its international identity by co-promoting an event with Frontier Wrestling Alliance in London, England.

In 2004 a sting operation (in which he allegedly tried to solicit sex from an adult posing as a minor) trapped Feinstein; as a result he left the company in June 2004.[2][3] In the aftermath of the scandal Total Nonstop Action Wrestling pulled its contracted wrestlers (including A.J. Styles and Christopher Daniels) from all Ring of Honor shows.[4] Doug Gentry eventually bought Feinstein's stake; he later sold it to Cary Silkin.[5] ROH then started its own mail-order and online store, which sells DVDs of its live events and shoot interviews with wrestlers and managers, along with wrestling-related merchandise of other companies, including some competing promotions.

On January 23, 2007, ROH announced plans for a Japanese tour,[6] resulting in a July 16 show in Tokyo co-promoted with Pro Wrestling Noah and a July 17 show in Osaka co-promoted with Dragon Gate. Shortly after, ROH became the first U.S.-based promotion to have its titles held entirely by non-American wrestlers: the Dragon Gate team of Naruki Doi and Shingo held the ROH World Tag Team Championship while at the same time their fellow-countryman, Pro Wrestling Noah star Takeshi Morishima, held the ROH World Championship.

On May 2, 2007, Ring of Honor announced the signing of a PPV and VOD deal with G-Funk Sports & Entertainment to bring ROH into homes with In Demand Networks, TVN, and the Dish Network. The deal called for six taped pay-per-view events to air every 60 days.[7] Because of the move to pay-per-view, TNA Wrestling immediately pulled its contracted stars (Austin Aries and Homicide) from ROH shows,[8] although TNA performers have since returned to the company. The first pay-per-view, titled "Respect is Earned", taped on May 12, first aired on July 1 on Dish Network.[9]

Ring of Honor continued to expand throughout 2008, debuting in Orlando, Florida on March 28, in Manassas, Virginia on May 9 and in Toronto, Ontario on July 25. On May 10, 2008, Ring of Honor set an attendance record in its debut show from the Hammerstein Ballroom in the Manhattan Center in New York City.[10] It had plans for shows in St. Louis, Missouri, Nashville, Tennessee, and Montreal before the end of 2008.[11] On October 26, 2008, the company announced the departure of head booker Gabe Sapolsky, and his replacement by Adam Pearce.[12]

On January 26, 2009, Ring of Honor announced that it had signed an agreement with HDNet Fights for a weekly television program.[1][13] The first tapings for Ring of Honor Wrestling took place on February 28 and March 1, 2009 at The Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[14] After nearly a year of producing weekly television on January 20, 2010, it was announced by ROH that they would commission a new title, the ROH World Television Championship, to be decided in a eight man tournament beginning February 5, 2010 and ending February 6, 2010 on their Ring of Honor Wrestling program.[15] However due to a North American blizzard the second half of the tournament was pushed back to March 5, 2010 where Eddie Edwards defeated Davey Richards in the finals.[16][17]

Code of Honor

ROH distinguished its image from other wrestling promotions through the "Code of Honor", a set of rules dictating how wrestlers should conduct themselves during matches. The Code of Honor aimed to infuse Ring of Honor's matches with a feel similar to Japanese professional wrestling. Initially, the Code of Honor included five "Laws", mentioned at some point during each ROH home release. ROH considered it a "moral requirement" to follow these rules. They usually appeared in the following order:

  1. You must shake hands before and after every match
  2. No outside interference: no interfering in others' matches or having others interfere on your behalf
  3. No sneak attacks
  4. No harming the officials
  5. Any action resulting in a disqualification violates the Code of Honor

The Code of Honor (especially its first three rules) served principally to help heels "get over" quickly. The first rule applied especially to Christopher Daniels, whom the promotion pushed as its first major heel. Daniels and his faction, The Prophecy, did not believe in the Code of Honor, refusing to shake anyone's hand. The fourth and fifth rules emphasized ROH's match finishes, the vast majority of which resulted in 'honest' pins, submissions, or knockouts. On the rare occasion that a match did end with outside interference, with a "ref bump", or with some other traditional heel scenario, a much more visceral (negative) fan reaction occurred than would happen elsewhere in the wrestling world. In the early days of the promotion, commentators even suggested (within kayfabe) that getting disqualified in a match may result in that wrestler never appearing in ROH again.

In early 2004, ROH's booker at the time, Gabe Sapolsky, began to feel that the Code of Honor had run its course.[18] As a result, wrestlers no longer had to follow it. The Code of Honor eventually re-appeared — revamped — as three rules:

  1. Shake hands before and after the match—if you respect your opponent
  2. Keep the playing-field level
  3. Respect the officials

Contenders for championships

Originally, Ring of Honor had no formal way to determine challengers for its World Championship. When Xavier, a heel champion, began to avoid challengers, Ring of Honor set up a "Top Five Ranking" system to establish contenders to the title. It ranked wrestlers based on their general win-loss record, and on their win-loss record against other ranked competitors. The top contender held the Number One Contender's Trophy, which the company treated as a second championship at the time, and defended as such.

ROH abolished the ranking-system with the appearance of the new Code of Honor. The ranking system disappeared, replaced by the "Contenders Ring", a more complex polling system whereby ROH officials would submit rankings after each show. Wrestlers who appeared on more than 75% of the ballots were considered to be in the Contenders Ring, which earned them title shots for both the World and Pure Championships.

In January 2005 Ring of Honor did away with the Contenders Ring. Instead, wrestlers who wanted a title shot had to submit a petition to ROH officials. After receiving such a petition, ROH officials kept track of the petitioner's record, quality of opposition, respect shown towards the Code of Honor, and inherent skill. These factors determined who would receive a title shot. Despite the petition system, ROH officials retained the ability to determine number-one contenders.

Upon the naming of Jim Cornette as ROH Commissioner in October 2005, Ring of Honor management confirmed the return of the "Top Five Ranking" system. Cornette and other ROH officials voted on the "Top 5" only during the first week of every month. Selection depended on won/lost record and quality of opposition, with a heavy emphasis on the previous month.

In July 2006 Ring of Honor again dropped the "Top 5" concept, as it had not consistently determined ROH World Title challengers. The champion at the time, Bryan Danielson, had instead sent open contracts to wrestlers in other promotions around the world, with ROH officials also choosing contenders from within the company. Subsequent champion Homicide would continue Danielson's policy, eventually losing the title to Takeshi Morishima from Pro Wrestling Noah. After Morishima won the belt, it seemed that he could choose his challengers, as he defended it (with ROH and Noah approval) at Noah's show on March 4, 2007, at Budoukan Hall against KENTA.[19]


Championship Champion(s) Previous champion(s) Date Won Location Event
ROH World Championship Tyler Black Austin Aries February 13, 2010 Manhattan, New York 8th Anniversary Show
ROH World Television Championship Eddie Edwards N/A March 5, 2010 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Ring of Honor Wrestling
ROH World Tag Team Championship The Briscoe Brothers (Jay and Mark Briscoe) The American Wolves (Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards) December 19, 2009 Manhattan, New York Final Battle 2009

Previous championships

Championship Final Champion(s) Defeated Date Won Location Event
ROH Pure Championship Bryan Danielson Nigel McGuinness August 12, 2006 Liverpool, England Unified
ROH Number One Contender's Trophy Matt Stryker vacant March 13, 2004 Elizabeth, New Jersey At Our Best
ROH Top of the Class Trophy Rhett Titus Ernie Osiris June 7, 2008 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Respect Is Earned II

Specialty matches

This match does not require participants to adhere to the Code of Honor and usually involves no disqualifications and the use of weapons. The more violent feuds in ROH typically end up with this match.
  • Field Of Honor
This round-robin style tournament took place from August 2003-December 2003. It featured 8 wrestlers divided into two blocks. Block A featured Xavier, Matt Stryker, Chris Sabin and John Walters while Block B had BJ Whitmer, Colt Cabana, Dan Maff and Jimmy Rave.
  • Round Robin Challenge
Three wrestlers/tag teams compete with each other in a round-robin tournament. They each wrestle two different matches (making a total of three matches), with the one(s) with the most victories winning the challenge. Only Christopher Daniels has ever won a Round Robin Challenge, as all others have ended in a draw with each of the participants winning one match and losing the other. (Many sports use round-robin tournaments as a common league system, such as soccer and ice hockey. All Japan Pro Wrestling popularized the format in wrestling with its Champion Carnival.)

ROH Wrestling Academy

The ROH promotion also runs a professional wrestling school, the "ROH Wrestling Academy" in Bristol, Pennsylvania. As of 2009 Delirious and Daizee Haze operate as head trainers of the school; previous head trainers of the academy include former ROH World Champions CM Punk, Austin Aries, and Bryan Danielson. As of 2009 three classes of students had already graduated and started wrestling on the US independent circuit, including in preliminary and exhibition matches at Ring of Honor events. ROH has a "Top of the Class" trophy to promote the students on the main show; while wrestlers win and lose the Trophy in matches, the School's head trainer chooses the winners.

See also


  1. ^ a b Clevett, Jason (2009-01-26). "Ring of Honor signs deal with HDNET". SLAM! Sports. http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/2009/01/26/8152601.html. Retrieved 2009-01-26. 
  2. ^ "Crisis rocks ROH". 2004-03-04. http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/2004/03/04/370237.html. "Robert Feinstein announced today that he is leaving Ring Of Honor Inc. and RF Video Inc." 
  3. ^ "Rob Feinstein: Five Years Later". 2009-03-07. http://indywrestlingnews.com/columns/5078-rob-feinstein-five-years-later.html. 
  4. ^ "2004 a year of triumph for Ring of Honor". 2005-02-16. http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/2005/02/12/929388.html. "The company took another setback when TNA pulled their contracted talent off of all ROH shows." 
  5. ^ "2004 a year of triumph for Ring of Honor". 2005-02-16. http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/2005/02/12/929388.html. ""Fortunately, Cary Silkin, who is now the 100% owner of ROH, was saving us at that point," Sapolsky said." 
  6. ^ "Newswire for the week of January 21st". 2007-01-23. http://www.rohwrestling.com/news/article.aspx?id=1108. "Ring of Honor will be headed to Japan in July for two shows" 
  7. ^ "ROHwrestling.com". 2007-05-03. http://rohwrestling.com/news/Article.aspx?id=1314. "International Wrestling Phenomenon Ring of Honor Inks Stateside Television Deals" 
  8. ^ "Wrestling Observer". 2007-05-03. http://www.wrestlingobserver.com/wo/news/headlines/default.asp?aID=19431. "TNA has pulled all talent from both ROH and PWG" 
  9. ^ "International Wrestling Phenomenon Ring of Honor Inks Stateside Television Deals". 2007-05-02. http://www.rohwrestling.com/news/article.aspx?id=1314. 
  10. ^ Goozie, John (July 5, 2008). "Death by Midwest: Ring of Honor". 411mania. http://www.411mania.com/wrestling/video_reviews/79406. Retrieved 2009-06-21. 
  11. ^ "Nigel McGuinness is Genuine". 2008-11-07. http://www.prowrestlingarena.com/nigel.html. 
  12. ^ "Ring of Honor Announcement: October 26, 2008". 2008-10-26. http://rohwrestling.com/news/article.aspx?id=1999. "Ring of Honor is announcing that Gabe Sapolsky will be leaving the company effective immediately. Everybody at ROH would like to thank him for his contributions and wish him well in all future endeavors." 
  13. ^ "HDNet Fights Announces Partnership with Ring of Honor". 2009-01-26. http://rohwrestling.com/news/article.aspx?id=2524. 
  14. ^ http://rohwrestling.com/news/article.aspx?id=2566
  15. ^ "Ring of Honor To Introduce World Television Championship". rohwrestling.com. 2010-01-20. http://www.rohwrestling.com/news/article.aspx?id=3193. Retrieved 2010-01-20. 
  16. ^ "Newswire For The Week of February 7th". Ring of Honor. 2010-02-10. http://rohwrestling.com/news/Article.aspx?id=3224. Retrieved 2010-03-17. "Night two of the taping wasn’t as fortunate, as nearly 29 inches of snow in an 18-hour period and power outages shut us down, but we will return to the Arena on March 5th and 6th to tape once again." 
  17. ^ Caldwell, James (2010-03-05). "ROH News: Ring of Honor determines first ROH TV champion tonight, A look at the new title belt". PWTorch.com. http://pwtorch.com/artman2/publish/ROH_News_29/article_39606.shtml. Retrieved 2010-03-17. 
  18. ^ "2004 a year of triumph for Ring of Honor". 2005-02-16. http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/2005/02/12/929388.html. "At the time I was really hating the 'Code of Honor'." 
  19. ^ noah-usa.cc (2007-03-05). "Pro Wrestling NOAH News Archive". http://www.noah-usa.cc/newsarchive1.html. "Takeshi MORISHIMA successfully defended his ROH World Title by defeating Kenta at Budokan Show in Tokyo Japan. Several months after Takeshi MORISHIMA's rain of Terror ON the PPV tapping of Undeniable, Nigel McGuinness took down Takeshi MORISHIMA winning the Ring of Honor World Title for the first time." 

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