AEW’s Chris Jericho is new Ring of Honor champion


Chris Jericho wins his eighth world title, this time it's the Ring of Honor belt

The Ocho!
Screenshot: All Elite Wrestling

There was this web pipe dream again in 2007. This little firm with a cult unbiased following known as Ring of Honor lastly turned widespread sufficient to look on tv. It occurred to be within the type of a taped pay-per-view known as Respect is Earned, a dwell occasion held in New York Metropolis in Could coming to your small display screen in the course of the summer season. That model of publicity wouldn’t work in right now’s skilled wrestling scene, however ROH did this for practically two years earlier than getting a TV take care of HDNet, now referred to as AXS TV.

The famed Briscoe Brothers vs. Kevin Steen and El Generico (now Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn) ladder match? From a taped PPV. The now-Seth Rollins’ breakout efficiency as Tyler Black from 2008 was too. Respect is Earned signaled a brand new frontier for ROH in reaching a wider viewers. It created the notion that the corporate wanted a champion who was recognizable to each wrestling fan. It was all the time a pipe dream, as ROH was very a lot nonetheless working glorified bingo halls on the time, however the largest free agent in professional wrestling 15 years in the past was Chris Jericho. That very same “Demo God” simply gained the ROH World Championship this week.

Jericho, in an upset, beat Claudio Castagnoli to win the title and hand the previous Cesaro his first post-WWE loss. It was a little bit of a shock to see Jericho win as a result of he doesn’t match the mildew of what Ring of Honor normally chooses as its champion. He’s solely the third ROH champion since being below the identical umbrella as All Elite Wrestling, however firm CEO Tony Khan solely purchased the famed unbiased promotion due to its wealthy historical past and longtime success. From Ring of Honor’s two exhibits since Khan’s buy, the fashion of wrestling harkened again to the message-board-enthusiast days.

Ring of Honor began as a proving floor for the perfect unbiased wrestlers hoping to be plucked by larger corporations. When Bryan Danielson left for WWE in 2009, even two years into ROH’s enterprise into broadcast media, he said there’d be no motive to depart if he could possibly be financially profitable for all times by staying. Earlier than their probability within the limelight, Samoa Joe held the ROH title for 21 months. Others like Danielson, CM Punk, Austin Aries, Black, Steen, and Adam Cole — BAYBAY — held the corporate’s prime prize.

By my rely, together with Jericho, solely 4 wrestlers held the ROH title previous their prime. Every took the spot by having a higher that means to their reign, as an alternative of simply taking the glory away from an up-and-comer. ECW legend Jerry Lynn nearly needed to be the champion, taking the title from Nigel McGuinness when the Brit was falling aside resulting from accidents. Lynn solely held the title for 2 months. Christopher Daniels was subsequent and his three-month reign made true on a 15-year promise to win the belt as one among ROH’s founding fathers. PCO held the strap for lower than three months as nicely proper earlier than the onset of the coronavirus pandemic when the search to compete with AEW and WWE turned oversaturated and Ring of Honor wanted to do one thing unusual to face out.

Jericho is fourth along with his most athletic days behind him. One frequent trait amongst that quartet is on the time of every reign, all of them may nonetheless placed on nice matches. Fozzy’s lead singer isn’t in man-of-1,004-holds kind now however he’s greater than able to entertaining at a excessive degree. Jericho’s additionally the primary super-veteran to be a heel with the title. Lynn, Daniels, and PCO have been beloved underdogs maintaining with these whippersnappers. Jericho kicked Castagnoli within the balls proper earlier than profitable the strap. His villainous persona works due to the long-term plans for ROH.

A New ROH World Champion is Topped As Jericho Celebrates OCHOx | AEW Dynamite: Grand Slam, 9/21/22

Ring of Honor will run extra common exhibits quickly. And Jericho is the most important applicable identify to be on the helm for that launch. Who did Tony Khan make the primary AEW Champion? Jericho. It’s straightforward to grasp why he’d need “Le Champion” to carry that position once more with the ROH belt. Jericho can deliver eyes to the product and be unbearable till the corporate has time to construct up a authentic challenger who can knock him down a number of rungs.

It makes all of the sense on the earth that the following ROH Champion is Eddie Kingston. Their feud by no means really concluded, it performs into the long-term storytelling with Castagnoli and Kingston’s by no means been the highest man for a televised promotion, solely doing so with Fight Zone Wrestling and being CHIKARA’s first Grand Champion. It is likely to be 15 years later, however that 2007 dream has come to fruition, simply with a bit of extra seasoning to Jericho. His reign will probably be so tantalizing to observe.

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