Ring of Honor has been broadcast nationally on Sinclair Broadcasting syndicated affiliates for almost five years. On Wednesday, the company will air its first national television broadcast on Destination America as it begins the first of a 26-week agreement as the one-hour lead-in for TNA’s Impact Wrestling.
Ring of Honor is pro wrestling done as pro wrestling. It’s unique in its presentation and will deliver some of the most athletic action you’ll see on a national broadcast in the U.S.
Sinclair Broadcasting is a giant conglomerate, but it doesn’t have clearance in many top markets, including Boston, for example. New England is also home to make of ROH’s top stars.
ROH premieres at 8 p.m. on Destination America. Thus, here’s eight things a new ROH viewer should know about the promotion …
1. ROH World Champion Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe
Jay Briscoe is not only the current and two-time ROH World Champion, he’s a former eight-time ROH World Tag Team Champion with his brother, Mark Briscoe. Briscoe has been with ROH since the beginning, and is one of the most physical, outspoken and decorated wrestlers in its history, as is Mark.
The Briscoes epitomize Ring of Honor.
2. ROH World Television Champion Jay Lethal
Recognize that name? Lethal has had a decorated ROH career since leaving TNA. He’s currently the Television Champion, a title he’s held for more than one year. He began his ROH career in the mid-2000s and returned in 2011, quickly rising to become one of the company’s top stars.
3. Briscoe vs. Lethal will headline ROH’s Best in the World pay-per-view later this month
Titles will collide when Briscoe and Lethal wrestle in a Title vs. Title match at Best in the World, a pay-per-view scheduled for June 19 in New York. Just this past weekend at live events in Texas and Oklahoma City, Briscoe and Lethal defended their titles for the final time before the pay-per-view main event.
With good reason, this is one of the most hyped matches ROH will book all year.
4. AJ Styles is on a quest
AJ Styles has captured World Titles around the globe, but despite a long career in ROH both before and now after his run in TNA, the ROH World Title has always escaped him. He returned to ROH in 2014 and has been on a series of dream matches, including wrestling Roderick Strong, Lethal and Michael Elgin. He’s not always around, with his bookings in Japan keeping him busy, but when Styles appears for ROH, it’s can’t miss.
5. Moose is a new mold for ROH
Moose isn’t your typical ROH signing. A former NFL lineman, Moose was recruited to ROH and has reportedly turned down inquiries from both TNA and WWE. He’s a super athlete, with tremendous agility for a guy who is 6-foot-5 and nearly, if not over, 300 pounds. He was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in 2006 and also played for the New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts, and St. Louis Rams.
6. Hanson is a future star
Hanson, who also goes by War Beard, is sure to standout almost immediately. He’s currently teaming with Raymond Rowe to form the “War Machine” tag team, but Hanson has a future as a top singles star. He’s honed his craft on the New England independent scene for almost 10 years and finally got his big break last year, when he won ROH’s Top Prospect Tournament, and later signed an ROH deal.
Hanson is big, he’s physical, he’s agile, and he has one of the fiercest beards you’ll ever see.
7. ROH has an international partnership with New Japan Pro Wrestling
ROH has a talent-exchange with New Japan, which annually produces some of the best shows of the year. Last month, New Japan came to the U.S. and Canada for a week’s worth of shows, Global Wars and War of the Worlds. The matches are slated to be released on either video on demand or DVD, and according to reports from those in attendance live, featured some of the best matches of the year across all promotions.
8. There will be streamers
In Japan, more All Japan than New Japan, fans would throw streamers at wrestlers they respected the most. Most of the time, this was reserved for top guys or legacy stars. Ring of Honor fans tend to do the same, and at some point, if you watch ROH, you’ll see the ring littered with streamers draping the ropes and the wrestlers themselves during introductions to a big match. Basically, it’s a way for the fans to show appreciation to a wrestler.
Other things you should know …
Kevin Kelly and Steve Corino are the best commentating team in wrestling. Why? Because they treat it seriously. They call the action, including — how about this — WRESTLING MOVES! What an amazing concept.
Corino brings legitimacy to the booth as a former World Champion and Kelly is a throwback to Jim Ross in many ways, in the way he both puts over the talent and also calls the match as if it were sport. You’ll notice differences in the way they call the action immediately, and it’s so well done.
Michael Elgin is the Taz of a new generation. He is a house of a man, despite only standing 5-foot-11. He’s 245 pounds, and is unquestionably one of the strongest wrestlers on the entire roster. The former ROH World Champion is as unique a talent in the game today, and has shown the ability to have great matches of varying styles. Elgin, Moose and Roderick Strong will wrestle in a three-way match at Best in the World to determine the No. 1 contender for the ROH World Title. The title shot will come at Death Before Dishonor XIII, which is scheduled for July 24 in Baltimore.