Wrestling 102: Ring of Honor
Despite claims to the contrary, WWE is not the only game in town when it comes to professional wrestling, they may be the most visible in a lot of places, but there are undoubtedly alternatives to the wrestling, excuse me, "sports entertainment" giant. Looking just within the United States, which is where I am based out of, we have two more at the national level: TNA and Ring of Honor. While RoH may not be a household name, if you watch the current WWE product you are already familiar with the level of talent that the company produces, as WWE superstars Kevin Owens, Alberto Del Rio, Kevin Owens, Cesaro, Daniel Bryan and CM Punk are all alumni of Ring of Honor. With Ring of Honor coverage beginning here at Kulture Shocked after their final pay-per-view of the year, I felt it only natural to introduce you to Ring of Honor Wrestling by way of it's current champions. However, the best way to start off any introduction to RoH is by familiarizing you with the "Code of Honor", three rules that all performers in Ring of Honor abide by:
The "Code of Honor" is something that I feel is a very interesting aspect of Ring of Honor, because it is three rules that are typically never violated, unlike WWE who have no real iron clad rules.
Ring of Honor World Championship Jay Lethal
The current RoH World Champion and member of the House of Truth, Jay Lethal is the real deal when it comes to RoH. If you were at all familiar with his time in TNA, than you have some idea of what Lethal is about. Lethal is a treat to watch in the ring and to hear on the mic, besides any guy who can sell a knee or back brace to someone who doesn't even need one is a hell of a talker in my book.
As for his championship, the history of the belt is a veritable who's who of RoH's biggest stars, and many of the guys you know from WWE today. The other think I love about the RoH World Championship is that in its thirteen year history only two men, Jay Briscoe and Austin Aries have held the title more than once.
Ring of Honor Television Champion Roderick Strong
"Mr. RoH" Roderick Strong has been with Ring of Honor since its early days, way back in 2003, and despite his long tenure with the company he doesn't sport a John Cena or Randy Orton like record with the titles, having only one reign with the world title and only two reigns with the television title. Strong is the elder statesman on the RoH roster, being one of the company's longest tenured stars, he knows his way aroung the ring and on the mic and puts on a damn fine show.
The Ring of Honor Television title has a much shorter history than the world title, with its inception in 2010, alongside the Ring of Honor Wrestling television show, and has only been held by nine men with Jay Lethal having both the longest reign and the most reigns with two.
Ring of Honor Tag Team Champions The Kingdom
The Kingdom isn't a tag team I know a lot about, honestly. I can tell you that the stable has been togther since the middle or 2014, but that's about it. I've seen Taven and Bennet, along with their valet Maria Kanellis, a few times, but I don't know quite as much about them as the others on this list. They're capable performers, to be sure, but here are other tag teams I like a little bit better when it comes to RoH's tag division.
The Ring of Honor Tag Team Championship was introduced alongside the world titles back when the company got its start in 2002, and was originally a trophy and not a title belt. The title has been upgraded to a pair of actual belts over the years, and has been held by some of the best tag teams in the modern age, with guys like Cesaro, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Seth Rollins, and Daniel Bryan all being former RoH Tag Team champions. If nothing else, I can say with absolute certainty that Ring of Honor's tag division is much healthier than the current division in the WWE.
Ring of Honor Top Prospect Donovan Dijak
The Top Prospect Tournament is probably one of the most intriguing things that Ring of Honor offers to talent. The annual tournament is held in January each year and gives the winner a guaranteed contract with Ring of Honor and shot at either the RoH World Championship or Television Championship. Outside of kayfabe, it's obvious that the point of the Top Prospect is to push midcard talent to see if they're ready for the upper card, much like the original purpose of WWE's King of the Ring tournament. The 2015 Top Prospect winner, Donovan Dijak, had only been with the for a few months when he won and quickly became a member of one of the top factions in RoH, The House of Truth. Dijak is also a great performer in his own right and quickly became one of my favorites to watch on Ring of Honor Wrestling.
Well, I hope you all enjoyed this crash course into Ring of Honor Wrestliing with a look at each of its champions. Ring of Honor coverage will begin here on Kulture Shocked's Three Count starting with the Ring of Honor Wrestling episode after Final Battle 2015 on December 18th, so look forward to our coverage of Ring of Honor in 2016 right here on Kulture Shocked.