Five matches to introduce fans to the legacy of Ring of Honor

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Ring of Honor was started back in 2002 and has been viewed as the wrestling company that helped pave the way for the professional wrestling that we watch today. When ECW closed, ROH filled the void that was missing for underground wrestling fans. The number of former ROH veterans who have ended up on the current WWE roster and in AEW is a true testament to how the indie company paved the way for the new generation of professional wrestling.

Ring of Honor has been the home of performers like Bryan Danielson, Tyler Black (Seth Rollins), and CM Punk, who all became WWE World Heavyweight Champions, but they cut their teeth in Ring Of Honor first. With Tony Khan’s purchase of the company now complete, the value of the archive will mean a lot more. In this article, I will be discussing Five matches to introduce fans to the legacy of Ring of Honor.

5. Austin Aries Vs. Bryan Danielson (Testing The Limit 2004)

In 2004 Austin Aries and Bryan Danielson were essential wrestlers in the independent wrestling scene. Both wrestlers were scheduled to main event the August 2004 show Testing the limit, which would be under 2-out-3 falls rules. The match would help put ROH on the map and show two future world champions battling it out in a 76-minute match that many fans consider one of the greatest matches ever. Austin Aries would win the match, but the match could have gone either way because of the pain both wrestlers delivered to each other.

4. Bryan Danielson Vs. Nigel McGuinness (Unified 2006)

Bryan Danielson has one of the most fantastic wrestling resumes that we have ever seen because he can wrestle so many different styles. Bryan Danielson vs. Nigel McGuinness was a unification title match, and it took place in the United Kingdom. ROH Pure Champion McGuinness would lose on his home soil, meaning ROH champion Danielson left with the two top championships. Danielson would beat McGuinness unconscious with brutal elbows at the end of the match. This is one that new fans should go back to watch to see how brutal Bryan Danielson could be inside of the ring.

3. Kevin Steen Vs. El Generico (Final Battle 2012)

Kevin Steen and El Generico will forever be rivals against each other, whether in the WWE or another wrestling company. As rivals, they have provided some of the most brutal moments in the history of ROH. The two ROH legends would be tag team partners before splitting up. The two would meet at Final Battle 2010 in a match that would be considered a classic, but what they were able to do next would change everything. In Generico’s last match before signing with WWE, he would be in a brutal ladder match with his real-life close friend Kevin Steen in a match that fans still talk about because Steen hit a brutal-looking package piledriver through a ladder. This match would help put Kevin Steen over as the top guy in ROH.

2. Samoa Joe Vs. Kenta Kobashi (2005)

When it comes to who had the most fantastic ROH title run Samoa, Joe is at the top of that list because he can play great matches with anybody. When we talk about wrestling matches with an aura, Samoa Joe vs. Kenta Kobashi had that. It was one of the most exciting matches in the history of Ring of Honor history, and it delivered big time. In Kobashi’s first match on American soil ever, the intensity in the match was super high. The Japanese wrestling legend hit a vicious series of chops to Joe’s chest in the match. The ending of the match felt like an honor for Joe to put over Kobashi.

1. Samoa Joe Vs. CM Punk (Joe Vs. Punk II, 2004)

When wrestling fans talk about the most excellent Ring of Honor match, Samoa Joe vs. CM Punk 2 is at the top of that list. In 2022 it has become standard for wrestling matches to go for 60 minutes, but in the early 2000s, wrestling companies had gotten away from it. CM Punk and Samoa Joe reminded fans that they could deliver an entertaining match that could go an entire hour. As the defending ROH world champion, Joe went into the match looking like the most dominating wrestler in the world at that time. CM Punk felt like the underdog in the match even though he had been booked to take the champion to the limit in the previous match before. In the end, CM Punk would take Joe to the limit, but once again, Joe would have Punk beat before the time limit expired.