|Ring of Honor|
|Founded||February 23, 2002Philadelphia, Pennsylvaniain|
|Headquarters||2000 West 41st Street, Baltimore, Maryland|
(chairman/CEO - Sinclair Broadcast Group)
(COO - Ring of Honor/VP of training and Development - ROH)
(CFO - Sinclair Broadcast Group)
(ambassador, former owner)
(VP of operations)
(head of television production + senior director)
|Products||Television, pay-per-view, merchandise, home video, video-on-demand, Streaming network service|
Sinclair Broadcast Group
Ring of Honor Wrestling Entertainment, LLC, known simply as Ring of Honor (ROH), is an American professional wrestling promotion based in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a subsidiary of the Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBG) telecommunication conglomerate.
ROH was privately owned by founder Rob Feinstein until 2004. The promotion was under the ownership of Cary Silkin from 2004 to 2011, before being sold to Sinclair. ROH holds live events, television tapings, and pay-per-views primarily in the United States. Annual PPV events include Best in the World (the fifth event - held on June 22, 2014 - was also the promotion's first live PPV broadcast), the Anniversary Show, Supercard of Honor (held during WrestleMania weekend) and, its biggest event, Final Battle.
In 2009, the promotion signed a TV deal with HDNet, which aired shows weekly until 2011. Since September 2011, the promotion's flagship television show, Ring of Honor Wrestling, is syndicated weekly in the U.S. on Sinclair-owned, local TV stations. Reruns currently air on Sinclair-owned diginets, such as Charge! and Stadium. As of June 27, 2016, ROH weekly shows began streaming on FITE TV.
Ring of Honor has been considered a major wrestling promotion in the United States (alongside WWE, All Elite Wrestling and Impact Wrestling). By mid-2017, ROH was viewed to have surpassed Impact through its talent-sharing deals with wrestling companies based outside the U.S; expanded TV visibility through Sinclair; and the eventual establishment of its own, competing streaming service in 2018. ROH is nonetheless seen as a smaller promotion in comparison, due to WWE and AEW's large financial backing and U.S television deals.
In April 2001, the pro wrestling video-distribution company RF Video needed a new promotion to lead its video sales when its best-seller - Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) - went out of business and WWE purchased its assets. RF Video also videotaped events held by other, less-popular, regional wrestling promotions; it sold these through its catalog and website. After months of trying to join Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW), RF Video's owner, Rob Feinstein, decided to fill the ECW void by starting his own pro wrestling promotion, and distributing its made-for-DVD/VHS productions exclusively through RF Video. The first event, titled The Era of Honor Begins, took place on February 23, 2002, in Philadelphia, the former home area of ECW. It featured nine matches, including a match between Eddy Guerrero and Super Crazy for the IWA Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship and a triple threat match between Christopher Daniels, Bryan Danielson, and Low Ki (who would become known as the "founding fathers of ROH"). In its first year of operation, Ring of Honor confined itself to staging live events in a limited number of venues and cities - primarily in the northeastern United States. Ten shows ran in Philadelphia, 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. In Florida, ROH supported Full Impact Pro, which would serve as a sister promotion until 2009. It also began to build its international identity by co-promoting an event with Frontier Wrestling Alliance in London, England on May 17, 2003.
In 2004, Feinstein was caught in an internet-based sting operation, in which he allegedly tried to solicit sex on the internet from a person that he thought to be an underage boy (but was actually an adult, posing as a minor). After this was publicized by some news outlets, Feinstein resigned from ROH in March 2004. In the aftermath of the scandal, Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) ended its talent-sharing agreement with Ring of Honor, abruptly withdrawing all of its contracted wrestlers from their prior commitments to perform in ROH shows--including major ROH draws A.J. Styles and Christopher Daniels, who each either held or were about to hold ROH championships. Doug Gentry eventually bought Feinstein's stake in ROH, and later sold it to Cary Silkin. ROH then started its own mail-order and online store operations, which sold DVDs of its live events, plus shoot interviews (dubbed The Straight Shootin' Series) with wrestlers and managers, DVDs of SHIMMER (which would serve as a second sister promotion from 2005 to 2010) and even some merchandise from competitors, such as Pro Wrestling Guerrilla. Under Silkin, ROH branched out across the world.
On January 23, 2007, ROH announced plans for a Japanese tour, resulting in a show on July 16 in Tokyo called "Live In Tokyo", co-promoted with Pro Wrestling Noah and a show on July 17 called "Live In Osaka" in Osaka co-promoted with Dragon Gate. Shortly before this, in March 2007, ROH had become the first U.S.-based promotion to have its titles held entirely by non-American wrestlers: the Dragon Gate team of Naruki Doi and Shingo held the ROH World Tag Team Championship while at the same time their fellow-countryman, Pro Wrestling Noah star Takeshi Morishima, held the ROH World Championship.
On May 2, 2007, Ring of Honor announced the signing of a PPV and VOD deal with G-Funk Sports & Entertainment to bring ROH into homes with In Demand Networks, TVN, 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 (Austin Aries, Christopher Daniels, and Homicide) from ROH shows, although TNA performers have since returned to the company. The first pay-per-view, titled "Respect is Earned", taped on May 12, first aired on July 1 on Dish Network.
Ring of Honor continued to expand throughout 2008, debuting in Orlando, Florida on March 28 for Dragon Gate Challenge II, in Manassas, Virginia on May 9 for Southern Navigation and in Toronto, Ontario on July 25 for Northern Navigation. On May 10, 2008, Ring of Honor set an attendance record in its debut show, A New Level, 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 for a 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. After nearly a year of producing weekly television broadcasts, RoH announced on January 20, 2010, that it would commission a new title, the RoH World Television Championship, to be decided in an eight-man tournament beginning February 5, 2010, and ending February 6, 2010, on its Ring of Honor Wrestling program. Due to a blizzard, however, the second half of the tournament did not take place until March 5, 2010, when Eddie Edwards defeated Davey Richards in the finals.
On August 15, 2010, Ring of Honor fired head booker Adam Pearce and replaced him with Hunter Johnston, who wrestles for the company under the ring name Delirious. On September 8, 2010, Ring of Honor and Ohio Valley Wrestling announced a working relationship between the two companies.
On January 11, 2011, Ring of Honor announced the ending of Ring of Honor Wrestling, after the completion of the promotion's two-year contract with HDNet. The final tapings of the show would be taking place on January 21 and 22, with the final episode airing on April 4, 2011.
On May 21, 2011, Ring of Honor and Sinclair Broadcast Group announced that the broadcast carrier had purchased ROH, with former owner Cary Silkin remaining with the company in an executive role. The promotion's programming began airing the weekend of September 24, 2011, with a weekly hour-long program airing on several Sinclair owned-or-operated stations; the show airs primarily on Saturday or Sunday afternoons or late nights, or on prime time on some of Sinclair's CW and MyNetworkTV affiliates (as those networks do not run programming on weekend evenings).
Ring of Honor began 2014 by announcing the return of AJ Styles after a seven-year absence. Styles returned at ROH's first TV taping of the year from Nashville, Tennessee. On February 22, before their 12th Anniversary Weekend TV taping, ROH announced a partnership with number one Japanese professional wrestling promotion, New Japan Pro Wrestling. The announcement included a promotional video and words from NJPW chairman Naoki Sugabayashi. ROH and NJPW held their first co-promoted show, Global Wars, on May 10 from the Ted Reeve Arena in Toronto, Canada. One week later from the sold-out Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City, they held their second, War of the Worlds.
On June 22, Ring of Honor held their first live pay-per-view event,Best in the World, from the Nashville State Fairgrounds in Nashville, Tennessee. The event was well received and marked the first time that a live ROH broadcast was accessible to over 60% of American homes. In September, Sinclair began syndicating ROH to other stations; the first deal was reached with WATL, a Gannett-owned Atlanta station, which began airing ROH on September 13, 2014.
On October 27, ROH announced a toy licensing deal with Figures Co. toy company, which would see the distribution of action figures based on the Ring of Honor wrestlers, replica title belts and more. On November 27, Ring of Honor made its first official appearance in the United Kingdom in over seven years when it co-promoted a weekend of shows with UK based promotion Preston City Wrestling. Also in November, Ring of Honor announced its return to live pay-per-view with that year's Final Battle event, plus their debut in music venue Terminal 5 in New York City.
Final Battle 2014 was held on December 7. ROH World Champion Jay Briscoe retained in the main event by defeating Adam Cole in a Fight Without Honor. On December 12, it was announced through their website that ROH had signed former WWE Champion Alberto Del Rio to a short-term deal. He made his debut at ROH's first TV taping of 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee. On March 1, 2015, ROH held its third traditional PPV, the ROH 13th Anniversary Show live from Las Vegas, Nevada. The main event, officially announced on January 22, was a four-corner survival match for the ROH Championship featuring Jay Briscoe, Tommaso Ciampa, Hanson, and Michael Elgin. On May 27, 2015, ROH announced a 26-week television deal with Destination America, beginning on June 3.
On December 13, 2015, ROH announced a partnership with Southern California promotion Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG), which would allow ROH contracted wrestlers to continue working for PWG. On August 30, 2016, ROH announced the creation of a new title, the ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Championship. The inaugural champions were crowned in December.
This section needs to be updated. The reason given is: Has nothing on the COVID pandemic effects on the promotion..January 2021)(
On November 9, 2017, ROH COO Joe Koff announced that ROH would be developing an OTT streaming service similar to WWE Network and Impact Wrestling's Global Wrestling Network. The service, Honor Club, would be unveiled on February 2, 2018 and launch on February 19. At Final Battle 2017, on December 15, 2017, ROH announced the creation of the Women of Honor Championship, adding its fifth championship and the first for its female roster.
In 2018, ROH and longtime partner New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) announced a joint event at Madison Square Garden in New York City called G1 Supercard, which was held on April 6, 2019. The event quickly sold out, and became the biggest and most attended event in ROH history. On September 1, 2018, ROH wrestlers Cody Rhodes and The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson) promoted and wrestled at All In - an event that was produced in collaboration with ROH, featuring wrestlers from numerous promotions that drew over 11,000 fans in suburban Chicago. This was the first U.S. pro wrestling event not promoted by WWE or the defunct World Championship Wrestling (WCW) to reach the 10,000 attendance mark since the 1990s. Following this, Rhodes, the Bucks, and several other main event level ROH wrestlers left the company to start their own promotion - All Elite Wrestling (AEW).
The departure of Ring of Honor's top talent for AEW was viewed by many wrestling journalists and commenters as the beginning of a decline for the promotion in 2019. Much of the criticism focused on the reign of then-ROH World Champion Matt Taven. ROH had fewer PPV buys and a reduced live show attendance that year. According to Dave Meltzer, ROH's average live show attendance in 2019 was 1,082 -- lower than its averages in 2018 and 2017. In October 2019, ROH producer/road agent Joey Mercury resigned in protest, criticizing ROH for a lack of creative direction as well as having no concussion protocol for wrestlers. Mercury would reveal that ROH allowed then-Women of Honor champion Kelly Klein to wrestle after suffering a concussion during an October 26, 2019 event. Klein sought medical treatment after suffering post-concussion-syndrome symptoms. She would not be booked for the rest of the year and her contract would expire in December.
In January 2020, Ring of Honor re-signed Marty Scurll; the deal was said to be the most lucrative in ROH history. In addition to being a wrestler, Scurll was also made head booker, working with longtime booker Hunter "Delirious" Johnston. Scurll's deal allowed him to continue to make appearances in New Japan Pro Wrestling and the National Wrestling Alliance, where he began a cross-promotional feud with NWA World Heavyweight Champion Nick Aldis. However, during the Speaking Out Movement, Scurll was accused of taking advantage of a 16-year-old girl who was inebriated. Scurll would release two statements in which he did not deny the allegations, but claimed the encounter was consensual. On 25 June, the promotion announced that they launched an investigation concerning the allegations, and was removed from his position as booker. In January 2021, Ring of Honor announced that Marty Scurll was no longer under contract after the two parties mutually agreed to part ways. 
In the beginning, Ring of Honor would hold one show a month, originally from the Murphy Recreation Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the original home of ROH before the purchase by the Sinclair Broadcast Group in 2011. However, by the end of 2002, ROH began running multiple shows a month, and in 2003, multiple shows in a weekend, referred to as "double-shots". The first time ROH left Philadelphia was August 24, 2002, for Honor Invades Boston from the American Civic Center in Wakefield, Massachusetts. Although primarily focusing on the Northeast of America, ROH began expanding in 2005, both domestically and internationally. 2006 saw the first ROH show from Orlando, Florida, and the first overseas tour of the United Kingdom. In 2007, ROH toured both the United Kingdom and Japan. At this point, they were running on average five shows a month, mostly across the northeastern United States.
In 2008, ROH debuted in Canada with Northern Navigation, from the Ted Reeve Arena, which they have run since. In the same year, they attempted to expand into Montreal with a double-shot weekend but both shows failed to impress. On February 22, 2009, ROH held their first TV taping for their ROH on HDNet show from the former ECW Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This would be the home for the ROH on HDNet TV tapings until arena officials decided to shut it down. Ring of Honor's final ROH on HDNet TV taping took place from the Davis Arena in Louisville, Kentucky. All 100 episodes of ROH on HDNet were hosted by Dave Prazak and Mike Hogewood.
After Ring of Honor was purchased by the Sinclair Broadcast Group in June 2011, ROH's touring pattern changed drastically. Instead of running regular shows in (mostly northeastern) cities where the company had a traditional following, ROH shifted to primarily touring (mostly southern) cities with Sinclair-owned TV stations airing its weekly, Sinclair-produced TV show. For instance, in 2011, ROH began running shows regularly in North Carolina and South Carolina. In 2012, on the Road to Greatness weekend double-shot, ROH debuted in Alabama and Tennessee. In 2013, ROH debuted in San Antonio, Texas, with Honor in the Heart of Texas. In 2014, ROH debuted in Louisiana, Minnesota, and returned to Florida for a TV taping in Lakeland. In 2015, ROH debuted in Redwood City, California for Supercard of Honor, and returned to Atlanta for the first time in three years (on February 21). ROH has regularly returned to Atlanta -- one of the Sinclair's highest-population markets -- since then.
Since debuting on Sinclair Broadcasting stations, Ring of Honor Wrestling has been taped in numerous locations and continues to tour. Kevin Kelly hosted the Sinclair-era ROH television broadcasts from its first episode on September 24, 2011, until February 20, 2017. On February 27, 2017, Ian Riccaboni became the Ring of Honor Wrestling show's lead announcer and host. In mid-2019, wrestler/actor/model Quinn McKay joined ROH in a backstage 'reporter'/'interviewer' role; in late-2019, she became Riccaboni's in-studio co-host, as well. In early 2020 Quinn McKay became Ring of Honor Wrestling's host, in addition to her backstage interviewer role; Ian Riccaboni remained the lead play-by-play announcer.
In its formation, Ring of Honor was classified as a "super indy", meaning that it would bring together all the top talent from the then bustling independent wrestling circuit for one show a month. As time moved on, gradually then ROH booker Gabe Sapolsky began introducing contracts as the promotion began to grow. Performers began signing unofficial contracts to do "x" amounts of dates for "x" amount of money, but the contracts were never official. This saw a dispute after Ric Flair, who had agreed to work several dates for the promotion, took the money and failed to show up to a scheduled show without notice. After this ROH began introducing more professional contracts for its performers, but also included more incentives such as cuts in merchandise sales from T-shirts and DVDs.
In 2011, after the purchase by Sinclair Broadcasting, Ring of Honor signed some talent to exclusive contracts which prevented them from appearing on any other televised wrestling show, internet pay-per-view or pay-per-view. It also gave ROH power over the performers' dates. This caused controversy due to the few dates ROH were running and would eventually be discontinued in-favor of more open contracts which just saw talent not be allowed to appear on television, iPPV or PPV. In 2014, ROH re-introduced the exclusivity clause and introduced other clauses into their contracts, which a handful of performers signed; certain deals also included a salary, which some such as Michael Elgin have praised. These contracts give ROH as much power over their roster as a WWE contract would, but does allow them to take outside independent dates with ROH management's approval.
Throughout its history, Ring of Honor has had various working agreements with various domestic and international wrestling promotions. ROH shows have had outside championships defended on them and on some occasions, wrestlers have held both ROH and outside championships simultaneously.
In February 2014, ROH and NJPW announced a working relationship which would see talent exchanges and dual events between the two promotions. The first co-promoted shows Global Wars and War of the Worlds, took place in May 2014, in Toronto and New York City respectively, with the two companies again co-promoting these events in May 2015 - with the War of the Worlds '15 taking place at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia on the 12th and 13th, and the Global Wars '15 event in Toronto on the 15th and 16th. As part of the relationship with NJPW, ROH announced it would promote two shows, entitled Honor Rising: Japan 2016, in Tokyo in February 2016.
On August 10, 2016, Mexican promotion Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL) officially announced a working relationship with ROH. The two promotions were linked through their separate partnerships with NJPW.
In 2018, ROH entered into partnerships with the independent promotion Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG).
On February 24, 2019, ROH and FITE announced that fans could access their Honor Club and Honor Club VIP memberships via the FITE platform. This provides access to the library of ROH content as well as 50% or 100% off their PPV events, depending on which subscription package was ordered.
In 2018, ROH and the National Wrestling Alliance began a partnership that would see their world champion Nick Aldis, and fellow NWA affiliated wrestlers appear on ROH programming and Pay-Per-Views. In 2019, NWA and ROH parted ways, when NWA were successful in setting up their own shows. Following the re-signing of Marty Scurll, the partnership was re-established in 2020.
ROH distinguished its image from other wrestling 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 production. ROH considered it a moral requirement to follow these rules, which usually appeared in the following order:
The Code of Honor (especially its first three rules) helped heels get over more quickly than in other promotions. The first rule applied especially to Christopher Daniels, whom the promotion pushed as its first major heel. Daniels and his faction, The Prophecy, rejected the Code of Honor and refused to shake anyone's hand. The fourth and fifth rules emphasized the finishes of ROH matches - the vast majority of which ended decisively (with clean pinfalls, submissions, or knockouts) - unlike what most rival promotions at the time did. On the rare occasion that a match did end with outside interference, with a "ref bump", or with some other traditional heel scenario, the live audiences reacted much more negatively than rival promotions' live audiences. In ROH's early days, on-air commentators even suggested (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, Gabe Sapolsky, 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:
|Championship||Current champion(s)||Reign||Date won||Location||Event||Previous champion(s)||Days|
|ROH World Championship||Rush||2||February 29, 2020||St. Charles, Missouri||Gateway to Honor||PCO||321+|
|ROH World Tag Team Championship||The Foundation
(Jay Lethal and Jonathan Gresham)
||December 13, 2019||Baltimore, Maryland||Final Battle||The Briscoe Brothers
(Jay Briscoe and Mark Briscoe)
|ROH World Television Championship||Dragon Lee||1||December 13, 2019||Baltimore, Maryland||Final Battle||Shane Taylor||399+|
|ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Championship||MexiSquad
(Bandido, Flamita and Rey Horus)
||January 11, 2020||Atlanta, Georgia||Saturday Night at Center Stage||Villain Enterprises
(Marty Scurll, Brody King and PCO)
|ROH Pure Championship||Jonathan Gresham||1||August 23, 2020
(aired October 31, 2020)
|Baltimore, Maryland||ROH Pure Tournament Final||Retired
(Won a 16-man tournament to crown a new champion of the revived title, last defeating Tracy Williams in the finals)
|ROH Women's World Championship||TBD||TBD||TBA||TBA||TBA||Inaugural|
|Championship||Final champion(s)||Date won||Date retired||Days held||Notes|
|Women of Honor World Championship||Kelly Klein||October 12, 2019||January 1, 2020||81||Retired after the champion Kelly Klein was fired. The title will be replaced by the new ROH Women's World Championship.|
|Accomplishment||Current winner(s)||Date won||Location||Event|
|Survival of the Fittest||Marty Scurll||November 4, 2018||Columbus, Ohio||Survival of the Fittest|
|Top Prospect Tournament||Dak Draper||September 28, 2019||Sunrise Manor, Nevada||Death Before Dishonor XVII|
|Honor Rumble||Kenny King||April 6, 2019||New York City, New York||G1 Supercard|
|Tag Wars||Villain Enterprises
(PCO and Brody King)
|January 26, 2019||San Antonio, Texas||Road to G1 Supercard|
ROH also runs a professional wrestling school. Originally named the "ROH Wrestling Academy", and based in Bristol, Pennsylvania, ROH announced in July 2016 that the following month it was re-opening the school as the "ROH Dojo" in Baltimore, Maryland.Delirious operates as the head trainer of the school with Cheeseburger and Will Ferrara as his assistants. Previous head trainers of the academy include former ROH World Champions CM Punk, Austin Aries, and Bryan Danielson. From 2005 to 2008, RoH used a "Top of the Class" trophy 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.
The ROH athletes put it all on the line at the biggest event of the year. Replays of the iPPV broadcast of "Final Battle 2011" are available here.
Ring of Honor closes out 2012 with the biggest event of the year...
In 2007, the third-largest U.S. wrestling promotion (behind market leader World Wrestling Entertainment and TNA)
Ring of Honor is considered the number three wrestling promotion in the United States
Before Ring of Honor the "number three promotion" in North America was the Philadelphia-based Extreme Championship Wrestling
Okada's next title defense will be on 7/1 in Long Beach against Cody ... There is a very good chance that Cody will be winning the ROH title from Christopher Daniels ... If he does ... that creates the unique situation of the world champion of Japan's No. 1 organization against the world champion of the (very distant) No. 2 organization in the U.S.
Ring of Honor is undeniably WWE's chief competitor.
Although there aren't comparable metrics, at some point since TNA Impact Wrestling left Spike TV and ROH continued to stabilize itself with the Sinclair partnership and New Japan relationship, ROH easily became the no. 2 pro wrestling company based in North America, behind only WWE - although by a big distance.
Robert Feinstein announced today that he is leaving Ring of Honor Inc.
The company took another setback when TNA pulled their contracted talent off of all RoH shows.
"Fortunately, Cary Silkin, who is now the 100% owner of ROH, was saving us at that point," Sapolsky said.
Ring of Honor will be headed to Japan in July for two shows
International Wrestling Phenomenon Ring of Honor Inks Stateside Television Deals
TNA has pulled all talent from both RoH and PWG
Ring of Honor is announcing that Gabe Sapolsky will be leaving the company effective immediately. Everybody at RoH would like to thank him for his contributions and wish him well in all future endeavors.
Night two of the taping wasn't as fortunate, as nearly 29 inches of snow in an 18-hour period and power outages shut us down, but we will return to the Arena on March 5 and 6 to tape once again.
At the time I was really hating the 'Code of Honor'.