Ring of Honor turned 6 in New York City and on their official birthday in 2008. This show was really the beginning measure of Nigel McGuinness as ROH World Champion, as he met his long-time rival Bryan Danielson. Fans were rabid in their hopes of Danielson regaining the ROH World Title and McGuinness stepped closer to being a man the fans hated. In another great match, Austin Aries battled Go Shiozaki in what still should be considered one of the all-time, underrated matches held on an Anniversary Show.
By the time the 7th Anniversary Show came around, Nigel McGuinness had solidified himself as an incredible ROH World Champion. At this show, a dream match of sorts for many fans against Pro Wrestling NOAH star KENTA, was scheduled and proved to be a fantastic international challenge for Nigel. There is no doubt that this match added to the legacy of McGuinness' reign. Also at this show, Kevin Steen & El Generico battled The American Wolves. The war between these teams in 2009 was captured here in this match and gave fans a peek into what was to come the rest of the year.
The 8th Anniversary Show marked the third consecutive year that ROH exclusively celebrated in New York City at The Manhattan Center. This venue has been the location for so many memorable moments and this event was no different. Tyler Black was a man and wrestler who had heard "Next World Champ" chants at live ROH events beginning in August 2008. Despite many splintered opinions about everything that Black had faced and had overcome headed into this match, Black challenging Austin Aries - there was more than just an outcome of a title match on the line. Of course, Black finally overcame all of the odds that were placed before him and dethroned Aries for what will likely be the finally time. Interestingly as well, Black and Roderick Strong faced off, again offering the fantastic foreshadowing that ROH has always done - about 7 months before Strong would take the title from Black.
All of these moments and memories take us on the road to Chicago Rdige, Illinois this weekend. Again, on iPPV, a blossoming concept that ROH has seen bring them great exposure and success, will bring the 9th Anniversary Event. There has been so much discussion and debate on this card, especially at ROHWrestling.com and many of my opinions have been offered there. I know that I will be tuning in from my laptop and eager to see what transpires before my eyes. I am definitely looking forward to Jay & Mark Briscoe against Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas. Jay Briscoe has continually given so much of himself in ROH. Of course, he and Mark are a terrific tag team and the most decorated in ROH history, but Jay has answered the call so many times - I look for him to have a tremendous showing here. On the flipside, Shelton Benjamin is one of the more spectacular wrestlers out there. Recently, I've been re-watching WWE Money in the Bank Matches from WrestleMania and of course, there was Shelton, doing something amazing. I equally look to him, like Jay Briscoe, to have a great showing.
Hopefully you too find a way to enjoy this show on Saturday - whether live or via GoFightLive.tv - and I will look forward to some thoughts on this show in my next entry.