On February 23rd, 2002 a revolution in professional wrestling began in Philadelphia. The first ever ROH show was titled “The Era of Honor Begins” and new life was given to pro wrestling. A year after the fall of WCW and ECW wrestling fans were looking for alternatives to the WWE juggernaut. Their first show featured talent such as Eddie Guerrero, Bryan Danielson (Daniel Bryan) and Christopher Daniels.
Founded by Paul Heyman protégés Gabe Sapolsky and Rob Feinstein vision of wrestling that concentrated on the sport took off. Seen as an independent the company now stands as the number 3 major organization in the United States and may not be far off at becoming number 2. It takes a lot for a company to survive in this day and age but the organization not only thrived but helped change the game.
Ring of Honor has shaped the current state of the wrestling business and has been doing for the past few years. This is the organization that introduced America to Samoa Joe, CM Punk and Tyler Black (Seth Rollins). Their style of high energy matches that has fans on the edge of their seat can be seen all through TNA and the WWE today.
The company has been through a lot to survive this long. Largely distributed via the internet in the early going the company is now owned by Sinclair Broadcasting and it nationally syndicated in various markets. The group has survived losing its deal with HDNet and was able to bounce back and last long enough for Sinclair to pick up the programming. They have outlasted numerous talent raids from the WWE and TNA despite losing the Punks, Cesaro, Austin Aries and more recently Kevin Steen (Kevin Owens) they still find a way to reload. Hopefully they keep finding a way stay rolling.
Keith B. Holt
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