Ring of Honor

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Ring of Honor is arguably the third major professional wrestling company in North America (after WWE and TNA).

Born in February 2002, ROH began as a company to take the place of ECW for RF Video - the supplier's main stream of revenue. In 2004, thanks to dramatic Real Life happenings, RF Video and ROH went through a messy divorce, leaving the company with Cary Silkin as owner but leaving Gabe Sapolsky as booker/writer. In October 2008 Sapolsky was replaced by former ROH in-ring wrestler Adam Pearce. Pearce was later replaced by a team led by the wrestler Delirious and longtime wrestling booker Jim Cornette. In 2011, ROH was acquired ... but not by a another promotion. They were instead, acquired by Sinclair Broadcast Group, who intends to air a weekly ROH show on Saturday nights on its chain of The CW and My Network TV stations.

Placing more importance on in-ring action than promos or storylines until recently, ROH is the alternative to TNA's alternative. It is also a breeding ground for new talent for TNA and WWE - World Champions Samoa Joe (TNA) and CM Punk (WWE) both initially found fame in ROH, and a host of other names did the same. A number of ROH wrestlers have done tours in Japan with other promotions as well as vice versa; 2005 had the famous Joe vs. Kenta Kobashi match, which led to Kobashi's home company Pro Wrestling NOAH working with ROH for over three years, some ROH wrestler tours in NOAH, and eventually even a few ROH shows in Japan.

The dedicated Internet fanbase are either affectionately or mockingly named ROHbots.

ROH's former sister promotion, by way of sharing a booker, was Full Impact Pro, based in Florida. The FIP title has been brought to and defended on ROH events. As Gabe Sapolsky, the booker for each promotion, left both companies in October 2008, the relationship wound down, and FIP is now running pretty much on its own.

As of 2011, ROH has been bought by Sinclair Broadcasting and now has a weekly TV show, which is then broadcast online a few days later.

The all-women promotion SHIMMER is featured off and on as ROH's play-by-play announcer Dave Prazak is SHIMMER's founder.

Ring of Honor recognizes the following championships, all of which have been defended on ROH shows:

Ring of Honor World Champion - Kevin Steen - since May 12, 2012

Ring of Honor World Television Champion - Roderick Strong - since March 31st, 2012

Ring of Honor Tag Team Champions - The World's Greatest Tag Team - since May 12, 2012

SHIMMER Championship - Saraya Knight - since March 18, 2012

SHIMMER Tag Team Championship - The Queens of Winning (Courtney Rush and Sara Del Rey) - since March 18, 2012

As an addendum, Ring of Honor was prominently featured in The Wrestler as the promotion for Randy "The Ram" Robinson's 20th Anniversary rematch with The Ayatollah, and the match itself was filmed at a Ring of Honor show.


Ring of Honor provides examples of the following tropes:
  • Aborted Arc: The Pick Six contenders' series. Kevin Steen and Steve Corino's attempts to lure Tyler Black to their side. The latter got dropped when Black left the company.
  • Ascended Meme: Between Glory By Honor VIII and Supercard of Honor V, Austin Aries's matches included a "TWINKIES!" chant. At SCOH V, what would Aries give Delirious a peace offering? Well, Twin.. err, Golden Snack Cakes! The fans even responded with a "Golden Snack Cakes" chant, prompting a fitting quote from Aries:

Aries: "Oh, to be the puppeteer! Oh, to be the puppets!"

  • Ax Crazy: Kevin Steen. Or until El Generico sent him packing.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: The Age of The Fall at Final Battle 2007, Roderick Strong at Final Battle 2010.
  • Berserk Button: Total Nonstop Action, for the live crowds. TNA let ROH share some of its wrestlers back when both were starting out, but when TNA stopped the fans took it badly. Even years later, merely alluding to TNA's existence at an ROH show is guaranteed to start loud "Fuck TNA!" chants.
  • Boring Invincible Hero: A complaint frequently directed toward the Briscoe Brothers.
  • Breakout Character: Jimmy Jacobs had spent a few years as a comedy Jobber and underwhelming tag wrestler on the indies, and was on the verge of being cut from the roster going into 2006. Then he became a Wangsty Emo Teen Stalker with a Crush who sang hilarious Narmy songs and worshiped his Defrosting Ice Queen manager, Lacey. He quickly Took a Level in Badass and became a major player involved in some of the promotion's most intense feuds.
  • Breakup Breakout: Always common in wrestling, but special mention goes to Jimmy Jacobs and BJ Whitmer. After a run as tag champions, the two engaged in a hot year-long feud with each other - and while Jacobs reinvented himself with a fresh and innovative Emo Teen gimmick, Whitmer relied on bloodbath wrestling to keep his popularity up during their feud. While Whitmer seemed poised for greater things, especially during the feud with CZW, he completely lost his momentum and direction after taking a definitive loss to Jacobs - who went on to be successful as the leader of Age of the Fall.
    • Also seen with Age of the Fall in Jacobs' feud with Tyler Black- it propelled Black into the main event picture, while Jimmy's momentum was stunted.
  • Butt Monkey: Davey Richards was the Butt Monkey of the No Remorse Corps stable. Roderick Strong and Rocky Romero would frequently task him with watching their bags while they went bar-hopping, resulting in a particularly funny promo where Davey, at their urging, tried to ask out a girl with this oh-so-tempting offer:

Davey Richards: "Wanna watch bags with me?"

    • Even worse: Bobby Dempsey for Sweet 'n' Sour, Inc. Entire segments would be devoted to Larry Sweeney, Chris Hero, and Tank Toland abusing him in every way possible.
      • Senior referee Todd Sinclair will always be at the top of the Butt Monkey food chain.
  • Coconut Superpowers: More like Coconut Wealth. Prince Nana would constantly talk up the luxuries he was providing for his wrestlers and claiming that they had just flown in by helicopter; none of this was actually shown.
  • The Comically Serious: A role frequently taken by anyone feuding with Colt Cabana, such as Homicide and Nigel McGuinness.
  • Commuting on a Bus: Ricky Reyes is a former Tag Team Champion along with Rocky Romero, but he has made sporadic appearances in the promotion since 2007.
  • Cool Old Guy: PAPA BRISCOE~!
  • Deadpan Snarker: CM Punk and Bryan Danielson had many moments, but Austin Aries has always been the chief snarker. That title now goes to Steve Corino.
  • Determinator: Fighting Spirit is all over the place, but Nigel McGuinness's face character was nothing but this. (This would end up being part of the reason for his character sliding into becoming less popular and eventually turning heel).
  • Deep South: The Briscoe Brothers embody just about every nasty Southern stereotype in the book: they're drunkards, loud, reckless, ugly (Mark even lost two teeth, which fit in phenomenally well with their image), implied to be a little stupid, clad in Confederate flags, and they constantly brag about their exploits in bar brawls. Ironically, they're from Delaware and announced as such. They don't call it Slower Lower Delaware for nothing.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Homicide tried to murder Colt Cabana in the ring three or four times over a few insensitive and borderline racist comments. You'd think the original parking lot beating would have been enough.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: BJ Whitmer was written out of ROH after objecting to Sweet 'n' Sour Inc.'s takeover of the Hangm3n. The angle aired in clip form during a short highlight package on ROH PPV.
    • This also happened to The Resilience as a group. They lost most of their matches against the No Remorse Corps, most notably one where the loser of the fall was banned from ROH for 60 days. Not only did Matt Cross drop the fall, but Davey Richards injured Erick Stevens's arm in the post-match. At Glory By Honor VI: Night 2, Austin Aries quietly disbanded the group to put the final nail in.
  • Estrogen Brigade Bait: Jack Evans, Tyler Black, Adam Cole.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Not even Tyler Black or Joey Matthews could contend with Jimmy Jacobs's harassment of Lacey.
    • After having blood feuds with Austin Aries and Delirious within that year, Roderick Strong stood right beside them (along with Kevin Steen) at the Sixth Anniversary Show when Nigel McGuinness attempted to get out of his title defense against Bryan Danielson by getting himself disqualified. This was the same Roderick Strong who won the FIP World Heavyweight Championship a week prior via countout, which was the same exact way Nigel would retain the Pure Championship.
  • Evil Feels Good: The reason for the 2012 Face Heel Turn of Jimmy Jacobs.
  • Evil Foreigner: Subverted, as the foreign talent are usually the most popular wrestlers on a show. Played straight with "Very European" Claudio Castagnoli.
  • Fun with Acronyms: When Roderick Strong turned fully heel in 2010, it was largely because he had chosen to make Truth Martini his manager despite several faces telling him that Truth was just using him and manipulating him. Truth Martini, by the way, describes himself as a "Life Intervention Expert".
  • Gambit Pileup: This is the Jimmy Jacobs-Austin Aries feud in a nutshell.
  • Genre Savvy: BJ Whitmer earned himself the title of "smartest man in wrestling" by actually referring to an on-screen insult that Lacey made in his absence, defying the usual required Genre Blindness whereby wrestlers have no knowledge of segments in which they were not on screen.
    • Samoa Joe frequently got a big reaction by casually walking out of the way of a missile dropkick, and Colt Cabana similarly pulls off various tricks simply by taking advantage of his Genre Savviness.
  • Heroic BSOD: Delirious got one after Daizee Haze turned him down with the Rhett Titus sex allegation still up in the air. Jimmy Jacobs almost immediately recruited him into the Age of the Fall. Delirious joined.
    • Homicide BSO Ded frequently due to his frustration over being unable to win a championship in ROH.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Jimmy Jacobs's last ROH appearance saw him getting hanged in the rafters by his legs; he debuted the Age of the Fall by doing the exact same thing to Jay Briscoe. Bonus points for both incidents being held in Chicago.
    • Kevin Steen began his feud with El Generico with a chair shot to the head. A year later, El Generico would send Kevin Steen packing from ROH with a chair shot to the head.
  • Karmic Trickster: Colt Cabana. He will wrestle rings around opponents with a combination of trickery, Obfuscating Stupidity, and technical skill. Not that he can't pull out the hardcore skills when he needs them...
  • Jerkass: Probably the best way to describe CM Punk's color commentary. He took the opportunity to be an insufferable, arrogant asshole who made fun of absolutely everybody and used frequent Hypocritical Humor.
    • With Punk's departure, Austin Aries is probably the biggest Jerkass in ROH as of this writing.
  • Large Ham: Required in any wrestling organization, but Bryan Danielson probably deserves the most credit for his absolutely convincing Narm Charm "Best in the World" persona.
    • Prince Nana lives on in Memetic Mutation to this day. "WHAT YOU KNOW ABOUT SHRIMP COCKTAIL, HANH?" Matt Striker even got into this on Smack Down.
    • The entirety of the original Sweet 'n' Sour, Inc. ensemble, with leading ham Larry Sweeney backed up by the showboating Chris Hero and "All-Natural Superior Athlete" Tank Toland, with Butt Monkey Bobby Dempsey sticking around as a target for their combined ham.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Former ROH champions Samoa Joe and Takeshi Morishima. Also the towering Swiss luchadore Claudio Castagnoli and the beer-gutted high flier Kevin Steen.
  • Morality Pet: El Generico for Kevin Steen; Jimmy Jacobs played this for Lacey, with the two eventually reversing roles.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Colt Cabana
  • Pretty Fly for a White Guy: Jack Evans
  • Put on a Bus: ROH sent Alex "Sugarfoot" Payne for more seasoning in the Pro Wrestling NOAH dojo.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Especially when main eventers up and leave for WWE. CM Punk's departure was probably the most dramatic, as he won the title in the match that was scheduled to be his last - unknown to the fans, Punk was actually still available for a half-dozen or so more appearances, and his performance as a Dirty Coward Smug Snake champion threatening to steal the belt and break the title's line of succession for his own ego has reached legendary status.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Christopher Daniels's promo at "Good Times, Great Memories." He saved his sharpest jabs for the ROH fans.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: El Generico against Kevin Steen and Steve Corino. Culminated with Generico knocking Steen out of Ring of Honor.
    • Homicide's "Road of Homicide" in 2006 against Adam Pearce (for serving Jim Cornette), the Briscoe Brothers (rivals since 2004), and Steve Corino (stemming from Homicide slapping Corino so hard, he caused Corino to go deaf in that ear) came before challenging Bryan Danielson at Final Battle '06.
  • Romantic False Lead: Colt Cabana to the Jimmy Jacobs -- Lacey romance. Cabana was actually the face despite being a textbook Jerk Jock who was very condescending toward Jacobs...at least at first. Cabana eventually took a liking to Jacobs and encouraged him to ditch the manipulative Lacey, but Jacobs sided with Lacey anyway to cement himself as a true heel (whereas before that he was more like a face working for a heel).
  • Serious Business: Aside from the near-mandatory use of the trope in pro wrestling, ROH is known for bragging about being far more Serious than WWE and TNA.
  • Shout-Out: This is a direct reference to the "mother of all TNA rants," according to F4Wonline/Wrestling Observer co-owner Bryan Alvarez.
  • Smug Snake: CM Punk and Nigel McGuinness as World Champion. Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli filled this role as tag champions, but Hero quickly became far too lovable in his Large Ham role after breaking up with Claudio to fulfill his Smug duties.
  • Spot Monkey: If someone is picking on ROH without ever seeing it, expect them to accuse the promotion of being nothing but Spot Monkeys. As is, ROH was home to the Special K stable, which served as a Lampshade Hanging on the concept - their gimmick was that they were a bunch of barely-trained and coked out kids who could do nothing but fancy flips.
    • There was also an incident involving Teddy Hart showing off everything wrong with the style - see the Spot Monkey page for details.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Tank Toland, notable for being a dwarf of a wrestler with an outrageously muscular physique that everybody knew was steroid-enhanced, turned the "Ste-roids!" chants into an Insult Backfire by proclaiming himself an "All-Natural Superior Athlete!"
  • Title Drop: On ROH's traditional pay-per-views, there was never a show where Prazak and Leonard did this. Joe Dombrowski reprised this during "Salvation."
  • Three Month Rule: Shockingly, ROH does not use this rule, at least regarding feuds. Continuity is surprisingly strong for professional wrestling, and Evil Is One Big Happy Family nearly never comes into play.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Afer being the Butt Monkey of the No Remorse Corps and experiencing Badass Decay as a result, Davey Richards is not to be fucked with in 2010.
    • Can also apply to his tag partner, Eddie Edwards. Existing mainly as a jobber in 2007 and 2008, Eddie joined up with Davey as the American Wolves in early 2009. He quickly went from bland nobody to total badass, culminating in a legendary weekend where he broke his elbow on Friday, then wrestled a ladder match the next night. The ROH fanbase were completely won over by that, and Edwards has had an amazing 2010, becoming the first Television Champion.
      • This culminated with Edwards winning his first ROH World Championship on March 19, 2011, also becoming the first ever recognized Triple Crown Champion in Ring of Honor.
        • On June 26, 2011, both men met in the main event of Best in the World 2011 for the World Title. It was an epic, 36 minute Match of the Year candidate that showed just how effective that level they took was.
  • Torch The Territory And Run: Edison had been marked by crowds who were erratic at best, and downright disrespectful at worst. Adam Pearce decided to put on Injustice II in January of 2009, which saw the combination of Austin Aries outright calling Edison a "B-market," and the infamous 48-minute "time limit" draw between Nigel McGuinness and Tyler Black. They would run two more nondescript Edison shows later in 2009 before dropping it permanently in the spring of 2010.
  • The Unintelligible: Delirious
  • Weak but Skilled: How many of the wrestlers are billed due to the fact that the roster is much smaller, on average, than WWE's. Bryan Danielson and Jimmy Jacobs were probably the epitome of the trope, both being average (Danielson) or tiny (Jacobs) but eschewing the high-flying tactics of most wrestlers their size.
  • Wham Show: 5/22/2004 - Generation Next: Alex Shelley, Austin Aries, Jack Evans, and Roderick Strong all made their debuts by destroying Special K, The Christopher Street Connection, The Ring Crew Express, John Walters, and Jimmy Rave. They also had enough in them to beat Special K in a trios match, and then the team of the Briscoes, Walters, and Rave in an eight-man tag later on.
    • 2/17/2007 - Fifth Year Festival: Philadelphia - Takeshi Morishima unseats Homicide to become the new ROH World Champion less than two months after Homicide's title win at Final Battle 2006.
    • The Unscripted shows fall into this - Unscripted: The Prophecy wins all of the belts on ROH with Xavier defeating Low Ki for the World Title, and Christopher Daniels and Donovan Morgan defeating Michael Modest and Bryan Danielson to become the first ever Tag Champions. Unscripted II has the one night return of CM Punk. Unscripted 3: Jimmy Jacobs scores a clean win over Bryan Danielson.
  • Wham! Line: "I AM THE DEVIL HIMSELF, AND ALL YOU STUPID, MINDLESS PEOPLE FELL FOR IT!"
  • Wrestling Psychology: This is really the only part where ROH struggles a little bit, mostly because it's biggest strength, showcasing a bunch of new young athletic talent, also happens to be its biggest weakness, in that they don't necessarily have a good grasp of psychology yet due to inexperience. It's one of those things that has to be learned first hand in the ring, and most of these guys are either fresh out of wrestling academies or close to it.
    • Not necessarily. At the time of this edit, the main ROH roster includes plenty of guys who have been wrestling since the mid-2000s or earlier, e.g. Chris Hero, Claudio Castagnoli, Davey Richards, Eddie Edwards, Colt Cabana, Christopher Daniels, Roderick Strong, Homicide, El Generico, Kenny King, Rhett Titus, Steve Corino, Shelton Benjamin, Charlie Haas, and the Briscoes.
      • However, Dave Meltzer has long maintained that all ROH main events are "one or two kick outs too many" from a great match. In that there tends to be a ludicrous series of near falls before the final pin.