When it comes to mainstays in the world of Professional Wrestling, not many companies hold a candle to the power that the WWE has over the market. When a competitor for the crown comes along worthy of competing with the WWE, a product like Ring of Honor Wrestling, rest assured that product is nothing short of TOO SWEET!
Enter ROH Wrestling
Ring of Honor has been around since 2002. In fact, many of the household names in the WWE today were once honing their craft and solidifying their legacy in ROH Wrestling. Wrestlers such as Daniel Bryan, who went by his actual name of Bryan Danielson in ROH, now hold prominent position in the WWE. Daniel Bryan being the GM of the Smackdown Brand. CM Punk came up through ROH Wrestling, long before having a HUGELY successful run as the WWE Champion, before moving on to a not so lackluster UFC career. Just recently, past ROH stars, Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly, and Bobby Fish, made their debut on the development brand of the WWE, called NXT. Having already built a cult fan following, the transfer to WWE comes much smoother for a lot of these stars. Some of them skip development altogether, and have even made debuts in huge WWE Pay Per View events. A.J. Styles, formerly of TNA Impact, and then later joining the elusive ROH faction, The Bullet Club(Finn Balor actually helped form Bullet Club, known then as Prince Devitt), debuted in the 2016 WWE Royal Rumble match.
Enough about WWE though, we came here to discuss ROH Wrestling. Obviously the WWE realized their potential, as they are consistently signing talent from the company. I also want to discuss that elusive faction I just mentioned. You might be familiar with them?
The Bullet Club
Not since the NWO, has a faction come around that with such a presence and cult-like following than The Bullet Club. Formed in New Japan Pro Wrestling by Prince Devitt, Karl Anderson, Bad Luck Fale, and Tama Tonga, The Bullet Club, much like the NWO, are a faction of heels.(That’s wrestle-talk for bad guys) Also in pure NWO form, Bullet Club has had many revolving members from cross organizations throughout the years, and has even adapted the NWO’s trademark “TOO SWEET” wolf hand gesture as their own, along with their own finger-gun hand gesture. Much of the content Bullet Club produces pays homage to the great faction that used to rule over WCW.
The Bullet Club Brand migrates back and forth between ROH and NJPW, with key wrestlers that cross over often, and others that stay mainly on their respective shows. Some key members, Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks, formed their own “club within a club” and call themselves The Elite. Kenny Omega is a huge star in NJPW, while the Young Bucks often bound back and forth between the two promotions, often decked with Tag Team Championship gold from both. To be a part of this club, you’re required to be the Best of the Best.
It’s not too unfamiliar to see WWE stars go back to ROH, as the actual wrestling product that exists in ROH Wrestling is generally a much more high risk and fast paced style than the mostly protective form of wrestling product the WWE puts on for their audiences. Sure, WWE still gets pretty insane at times, but this is usually reserved for events such as Tables, Ladders, and Chairs or Hell In a Cell. Often, move sets wrestlers are able to perform are limited for safety reasons, and sometimes, wrestlers themselves seem to be limited. This is more often than not, (Unless you’re Ryback or Adam Rose)in part to the very crowded roster and often creative blunders of the WWE. When that happens to talented superstars, however, you may see the affected superstar turning away from the WWE in search of a platform to better showcase their specific talents. That’s where one nightmare ends, and another Nightmare begins.
Welcome to The American Nightmare
Cody Rhodes, who goes by Cody due to copyright reasons and not owning the Rhodes name made famous by his father, decided to become a free agent in 2016 after wanting more creative control over his character and ultimately his destiny as a Professional Wrestler. His father, The American Dream, Dusty Rhodes, was a huge Superstar in the WWE as well as many other promotions. The Rhodes Family, whose actual last name is Runnels, are a huge name in the Profesional Wrestling industry, and Cody’s brother Dustin still wrestling in the WWE as Goldust. Cody, who last wrestled in the WWE as Stardust, decided that the WWE was not where he belonged.
As a free agent, Cody would do battle in multiple promotions upon his departure from WWE. He compiled a list of his dream matches with wrestlers from other organizations, and was actually able to accomplish what he set out to do. Two of the most notable organizations he wrestled for during his time as a free agent, would be TNA Impact Wrestling, as well as Ring of Honor, where he would come to cross superstars off his list.
Wrestling the past several months as a free agent, Cody dawned a new persona. While still a free agent, Cody would join The Bullet Club and become, The American Nightmare. The name paying homage to his late father. Cody, never short of athletic talent and character, has been a huge success ever since leaving becoming a free agent. Joining the Bullet Club solidified his popularity and soon he was battling for the top prize, the ROH World Title. He feuded with then Champion, and veteran wrestler, Christopher Daniels, before ultimately winning the title at the ROH Pay Per View, Best in the World. Now a free agent with the title in his hands, what was he going to do?
The RING of Honor
One of the first memorable things Cody did as the free agent champion of ROH Wrestling, was to have an actual ring created to represent the World Championship. This is a first in wrestling, aside from Hall of Fame rings, and further adds to the innovations and success that keeps ROH a top organization. The question still remained though, would he walk away from the company with the belt? He could do so whenever he wanted. He was a free agent after all. On top of the world as a part of the infamous Bullet Club, Cody decided to eventually sign a contract with ROH Wrestling as of yesterday, 9/23/2017. As of today, 9/24/2017, here I am. Hooked to Ring of Honor, and a huge fan of The Bullet Club and Cody. ROH Wrestling holds so much more talent than just The Bullet Club, which is why you should definitely tune in to see their stars battle week in and week out.
If you are an avid fan of Professional Wrestling, it is still common to not have seen multiple promotions outside of the WWE aside from the occasional tour coming through town. The WWE is a great company, and still the place most wrestlers dream of making it to. However, the fact remains, it is not the only company out there. Sometime WWE, much like any sport, can be down right boring. It’s nice to know there is a wrestling organization out there that offers a solid alternative, with a style that is unique of the one presented in World Wrestling Entertainment. While some wrestling organizations can leave me bored or falling asleep from time to time, Ring of Honor and the stars of ROH Wrestling put on a spectacle that could give the average human being insomnia.
As always with WrestleManiacs, please chime in and tell us what you think about The Bullet Club, and ROH Wrestling. Are you a fan? Does Ring of Honor have what it takes to Super Kick Vince McMahon and his WWE into second place any time in the future? Thanks for reading and we hope you enjoy your time with WrestleManiacs.