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Ring of Honor (ROH) is an Americanmarker professional wrestling promotion, founded in 2002 by Rob Feinstein, and owned by Cary Silkin. ROH usually holds 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 Kingdommarker, Japanmarker and Canadamarker. Annual shows include the "Anniversary Show(s)", "Supercard of Honor", "Death before Dishonor", "Glory by Honor", 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. Ring of Honor matches also broadcast on The Fight Network in Canadamarker (and also did so in the United Kingdommarker and Irelandmarker until the channel stopped broadcasting in those markets on December 8, 2008), and on Samurai TV in Japanmarker. On Youtube, user ROHBrazil has reached a deal with HDNet to post ROH two days after each show's broadcast. Select shows also go on pay-per-view in the United Statesmarker.

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, 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. 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, Pennsylvaniamarker; two in Wakefield, Massachusettsmarker,; one in metro Pittsburgh, Pennsylvaniamarker; and, one in Queens, New Yorkmarker. In 2003, ROH expanded to other areas of the United States, including Ohiomarker, New Jerseymarker, Connecticutmarker, and Marylandmarker. It also began to build its international identity by co-promoting an event with Frontier Wrestling Alliance in London, Englandmarker.

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.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. Doug Gentry eventually bought Feinstein's stake; he later sold it to Cary Silkin. 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,resulting in a July 16 show in Tokyomarker 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. Because of the move to pay-per-view, TNA Wrestling immediately pulled its contracted stars (Austin Aries and Homicide) from ROH shows, 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.

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

On January 26, 2009, Ring of Honor announced that it had signed an agreement with HDNet Fights for a weekly television program.The first tapings for Ring of Honor Wrestling took place on February 28 and March 1, 2009 at The Arenamarker in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Code of Honor

ROH distinguished its image from other 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 were (usually in this 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, it was even suggested by commentators, 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.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.


Championship Champion(s) Previous champion(s) Date Won Location Event
ROH World Championship Austin Aries Jerry Lynn June 13, 2009 Manhattan, New Yorkmarker Manhattan Mayhem III
ROH World Tag Team Championship The American Wolves (Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards) Kevin Steen and El Generico April 10, 2009 Philadelphia, Pennsylvaniamarker Ring of Honor Wrestling

Previous championships

Championship Final Champion(s) Defeated Date Won Location Event
ROH Pure Championship Bryan Danielson Nigel McGuinness August 12, 2006 Liverpool, Englandmarker Unified
ROH Number One Contender's Trophy Matt Stryker vacant March 13, 2004 Elizabeth, New Jerseymarker At Our Best
ROH Top of the Class Trophy Rhett Titus Ernie Osiris June 7, 2008 Philadelphia, Pennsylvaniamarker 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.
  • 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 tournament.

ROH Wrestling Academy

The ROH promotion also runs a professional wrestling school, the "ROH Wrestling Academy" in Bristol, Pennsylvaniamarker. 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. three classes of students have already graduated and wrestle 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.

ROH Final Battle Results

Final Battle 2002 Philadelphia, PA 12/28/02

1. C.M. Punk beat Colt Cabana to win an ROH contract.

2. Simply Lucious beat Alexis Laree (Mickie James).

3. Special K (Angel Dust & Deranged) beat Da Hit Squad (Monsta Mack & Dan Maff) and The Backseat Boyz (Trent Acid & Johnny Kashmere) in a Tag Team Scramble.

4. Christopher Daniels & Donovan Morgan beat The SAT (Joel & Jose Maximo) in a 2 out of 3 falls match to retain the tag team titles.

5. The Christopher Street Connection (Japanese Pool Boy & Mase) beat The Carnage Crew (Loc & Devito) by DQ.

6. Jody Fleish beat The Amazing Red.

7. Xavier beat Paul London to retain the World Title.

8. Steve Corino, Low Ki, Samoa Joe, and Bryan Danielson went to a time limit draw.

Final Battle 2003 Philadelphia, PA 12/27/03

1. Bryan Danielson beat Jay Briscoe.

2. John Walters beat Xavier in a Fight Without Honor.

3. Matt Stryker beat B.J. Whitmer to win the Field of Honor.

4. Samoa Joe beat Mark Briscoe to retain the World Title.

5. C.M. Punk & Colt Cabana beat Tomoaki Honma & Kazushi Miyamoto.

6. A.J. Styles beat Kaz Hayashi.

7. Satoshi Kojima beat Homicide.

8. The Great Muta & Arashi beat Christopher Daniels & Dan Maff.

Final Battle 2004 Philadelphia, PA 12/26/04

1. Jimmy Jacobs beat Trent Acid.

2. Deranged & Lacey beat Angel Dust & Becky.

3. Homicide beat Josh Daniels.

4. John Walters beat Jimmy Rave to retain the Pure Title.

5. Dan Maff & B.J. Whitmer beat Loc & Devito in a Fight Without Honor.

6. Jay Lethal beat The Weapon Of Mask Destruction #2.

7. Steve Corino & C.M. Punk beat Alex Shelley & Roderick Strong.

8. Bryan Danielson beat Low Ki by DQ.

9. Austin Aries beat Samoa Joe to win the World Title.

Final Battle 2005 Edison, NJ 12/17/05

1. Jimmy Rave beat Milano Collection AT.

2. Colt Cabana beat Azriel.

3. Nigel McGuinness beat Claudio Castagnoli by DQ to retain the Pure Title.

4. Alex Shelley beat Steve Corino.

5. Jay Lethal beat Samoa Joe, Christopher Daniels, and B.J. Whitmer in a Four Corners Survival.

6. Ricky Reyes beat Davey Andrews.

7. Austin Aries & Roderick Strong beat Sal Rinauro & Tony Mamaluke to win the Tag Team Titles.

8. Bryan Danielson beat Naomichi Marufuji to retain the World Title.

9. Kenta beat Low Ki to retain the GHC Jr. Title.

Final Battle 2006 New York, NY 12/23/06

1. Jimmy Rave beat El Generico, Christopher Daniels, and Davey Richards in a Four Corners Survival.

2. Adam Pearce beat Ricky Reyes.

3. Jimmy Jacobs & Brent Albright beat Colt Cabana & B.J. Whitmer.

4. Jay & Mark Briscoe beat Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli.

5. Jimmy Rave beat Nigel McGuinness.

6. Cima, Shingo, & Matt Sydal (Evan Bourne) beat Austin Aries, Roderick Strong, & Delirious in a Dragon Gate Rules Match.

7. Homicide beat Bryan Danielson to win the World Title.

Final Battle 2007 New York, NY 12/30/07

1. Ruckus & Jigsaw beat Matt Cross & Bobby Fish.

2. Larry Sweeney beat Claudio Castagnoli.

3. Jack Evans beat Necro Butcher in a No DQ Match.

4. Naomichi Marufiji beat Davey Richards.

5. Adam Pearce, Brent Albright, & B.J. Whitmer beat Delirious, Kevin Steen, & El Generico in a Tables are Legal Match.

6. Rocky Romero beat Ernie Osiris.

7. Erick Stevens beat Roderick Strong to win the FIP Title.

8. Bryan Danielson beat Takeshi Morishima, Chris Hero, and Austin Aries in a #1 Contender's Elimination Match.

9. Jimmy Jacobs & Tyler Black beat Jay & Mark Briscoe to win the Tag Team Titles.

Final Battle 2008 New York, NY 12/27/08

1. Kenny Omega beat Claudio Castagnoli.

2. Jerry Lynn beat Rhett Titus, Chris Hero, and Necro Butcher in a Four Corners Survival.

3. Kevin Steen & El Generico beat Jimmy Rave & Delirious to retain the Tag Team Titles.

4. Brent Albright, Roderick Strong, & Erick Stevens beat The American Wolves (Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards) & Go Shiozaki in a New York City Street Fight.

5. Jay & Mark Briscoe beat Kensuki Sasaki & Katsuhiko Nakajima.

6. Austin Aries beat Tyler Black in a #1 Contender's Match.

7. Nigel McGuinness beat Naomichi Marufiji to retain the World Title.

8. Bryan Danielson beat Takeshi Morishima in a Fight Without Honor.

ROH Supercard of Honor Results

Supercard of Honor Chicago Ridge, IL 3/31/06

1. Ricky Reyes beat Delirious, Flash Flanagan, and Shane Hagadorn.

2. Jimmy Rave & Alex Shelley beat Claudio Castagnoli & Jimmy Yang.

3. Ace Steele beat Chad Collyer in a First Blood Match.

4. A.J. Styles & Matt Sydal beat Austin Aries & Jack Evans.

5. Do Fixer (Dragon Kid, Genki Horiguchi,& Ryo Saito) beat Blood Generation (Cima, Naruki Doi,& Masato Yoshino).

6. MsChif beat Cheerleader Melissa, Allison Danger, Daizee Haize, Lacey, and Rain in a SHIMMER 6 Way.

7. Homicide beat Mitch Franklin.

8. Samoa Joe beat Christopher Daniels and Jimmy Jacobs in a 3 Way.

9. Bryan Danielson beat Roderick Strong to retain the World Title.

Supercard of Honor II Detroit, MI 3/31/07

1. Jay Briscoe & Delirious beat Christopher Daniels & Matt Sydal.

2. Claudio Casatgnoli beat Yamato.

3. Erick Stevens beat Mitch Franklin.

4. Jack Evans & Naruki Doi beat Rocky Romero & Davey Richards.

5. Homicide & Colt Cabana beat Brent Albright & Adam Pearce.

6. Nigel McGuinness beat Chris Hero.

7. Jimmy Jacobs beat B.J. Whitmer in a Steel Cage Match.

8. Roderick Strong beat Austin Aries to retain the FIP Title.

9. Cima, Susumu Yokosuka, & Shingo beat Dragon Kid, Ryo Saito, & Masaaki Mochizuki.

Supercard of Honor III Orlando, FL 3/26/08

1. Go Shiozaki beat Delirious.

2. Kenny King, Sal Rinauro, & Chaysn Rance beat Bushwacker Luke, Alex Payne, & Dingo.

3. Rocky Romero & Davey Richards beat Ruckus & Jigsaw to retain the World Tag Team Titles.

4. Roderick Strong and Erick Stevens went to a no contest.

5. Jimmy Jacobs & Tyler Black beat Jay & Mark Briscoe in a Relaxed Rules Match.

6. BxB Hulk & Shingo beat El Generico & Kevin Steen.

7. Nigel McGuinness beat Austin Aries to retain the World Title.

8. Muscle Outlaws (Naruki Doi, Masato Yoshino, & Genki Horiguchi) beat Typhoon (Cima, Dragon Kid, & Ryo Saito)

Supercard of Honor IV Houston, TX 4/3/09

1. Erick Stevens beat Rhett Titus.

2. Chris Hero, Eddie Edwards, & Incognito beat Kevin Steen, Jay Briscoe, & Magno.

3. Roderick Strong beat Katsuhiko Nakajima.

4. Bobby Dempsey and Kamala went to a no contest.

5. Claudio Castagnoli beat El Generico, Brent Albright, and Blue Demon Jr. in a Four Corners Survival.

6. Bryan Danielson beat Alex Koslov.

7. D-Lo Brown beat Colt Cabana.

8. Kenta beat Davey Richards to retain the GHC Jr Title.

9. Austin Aries & Jimmy Jacob beat Tyler Black & Necro Butcher.

10. Jerry Lynn beat Nigel McGuinness to win the World Title.

See also



External links

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