Ring of Honor (ROH) is an
American 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
Kingdom, Japan and Canada.
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
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
, airing shows every week. 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.
, 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 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
The Ayatollah (played by Ernest "The Cat"
). 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
wanted a new promotion to
lead its video sales after its best-seller Extreme Championship
(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
, took place on February 23, 2002. It featured nine
matches, including a match between Eddy
and Super Crazy
for the IWA
Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship, and a triple
, Bryan Danielson
, 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
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
pulled its contracted wrestlers (including A.J. Styles
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
with wrestlers and managers, along with
wrestling-related merchandise of other companies, including some
On January 23, 2007, ROH announced plans for a Japanese
tour,resulting in a July 16 show in Tokyo co-promoted
with Pro Wrestling Noah and a
July 17 show in Osaka co-promoted with
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
held the ROH World Tag Team
while at the same time their fellow-countryman,
Pro Wrestling Noah star Takeshi
, held the ROH World
On May 2, 2007, Ring of Honor announced the signing of a PPV
with G-Funk Sports & Entertainment to bring ROH into homes with
, 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
) from ROH shows, although TNA
performers have since returned to the company. The first
pay-per-view, titled "Respect
, taped on May 12, first aired on July 1 on Dish
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. It had plans for
shows in St. Louis,
Missouri, Nashville, Tennessee, and Montreal 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
weekly television program.The first tapings for Ring of Honor Wrestling took
place on February 28 and March 1, 2009 at The
Arena 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):
- You must shake hands before and after every match
- No outside interference: no interfering in others' matches or
having others interfere on your behalf
- No sneak attacks
- No harming the officials
- Any action resulting in a disqualification violates the Code of
The Code of Honor (especially its first three rules) served
principally to help heels "get over"
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
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,
, 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:
- Shake hands before and after the match—if you respect your
- Keep the playing-field level
- 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
, 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
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
. Despite the petition system, ROH officials retained the
ability to determine number-one contenders.
Upon the naming of Jim Cornette
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
, 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
from Pro Wrestling
. 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
- 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
- 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
promotion also runs a professional wrestling
school, the "ROH Wrestling Academy" in Bristol,
and Daizee Haze
operate as head trainers of the
school; previous head trainers of the academy include former
ROH World Champions
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"
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
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
6. A.J. Styles beat Kaz Hayashi.
7. Satoshi Kojima beat Homicide.
8. The Great Muta & Arashi beat Christopher Daniels & Dan
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
6. Jay Lethal beat The Weapon Of Mask Destruction #2.
7. Steve Corino & C.M. Punk beat Alex Shelley & Roderick
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
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
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.
4. Jay & Mark Briscoe beat Chris Hero & Claudio
5. Jimmy Rave beat Nigel McGuinness.
6. Cima, Shingo, & Matt Sydal (Evan Bourne) beat Austin Aries,
Roderick Strong, & Delirious in a Dragon Gate Rules
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
6. Austin Aries beat Tyler Black in a #1 Contender's Match.
7. Nigel McGuinness beat Naomichi Marufiji to retain the World
8. Bryan Danielson beat Takeshi Morishima in a Fight Without
ROH Supercard of Honor Results
Supercard of Honor Chicago Ridge, IL 3/31/06
1. Ricky Reyes beat Delirious, Flash Flanagan, and Shane
2. Jimmy Rave & Alex Shelley beat Claudio Castagnoli &
3. Ace Steele beat Chad Collyer in a First Blood Match.
4. A.J. Styles & Matt Sydal beat Austin Aries & Jack
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
9. Bryan Danielson beat Roderick Strong to retain the World
Supercard of Honor II Detroit, MI 3/31/07
1. Jay Briscoe & Delirious beat Christopher Daniels & Matt
2. Claudio Casatgnoli beat Yamato.
3. Erick Stevens beat Mitch Franklin.
4. Jack Evans & Naruki Doi beat Rocky Romero & Davey
5. Homicide & Colt Cabana beat Brent Albright & Adam
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
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
10. Jerry Lynn beat Nigel McGuinness to win the World Title.