ROH World Championship
The ROH World Championship belt used since December 2017
Details
PromotionRing of Honor (ROH)
Date establishedJuly 27, 2002
Current champion(s)Jonathan Gresham
Date wonDecember 11, 2021
Other name(s)
ROH Championship (2002–2003)

The ROH World Championship is a professional wrestling world championship owned by the Ring of Honor (ROH) promotion, and is considered the most prestigious title in ROH.

The title has also been defended in other promotions through working agreements with ROH, and with ROH in hiatus as of late 2021, is currently defended as essentially a "traveling world championship" in various promotions around the country.[1]

The current champion is Jonathan Gresham who is in his first reign.

History

Low Ki defeated Spanky, Christopher Daniels, and Doug Williams in a 60-minute Iron Man match to become the inaugural ROH Champion at Crowning a Champion on July 27, 2002.

Samoa Joe had the longest title reign to date when he held the belt for 21 months and four days. During his reign, ROH held a cross-promotional show with Frontier Wrestling Alliance in the United Kingdom on May 17, 2003, called Frontiers of Honor. At that show, Joe turned the title into the ROH World Championship when he defended it against The Zebra Kid. Since then the title has been defended in Germany, Canada, Switzerland, Austria, Mexico, Japan, Ireland, Italy, and Spain.

On August 12, 2006, the ROH Pure Championship was unified with the ROH World Championship after the ROH Pure Champion Nigel McGuinness lost to the ROH World Champion Bryan Danielson in Liverpool, England in a title unification match.[2] The match was contested under pure wrestling rules, with the stipulation that both championships could be lost by disqualification or count out.

In 2010, the title belt, along with the ROH World Tag Team Championship belts, was redesigned.[3] The new belt has an eagle with its wings spread over a picture of the world with an ROH logo on the top. This design also includes various flags on different countries. In December 2012, a new design was introduced at the Final Battle iPPV.

On July 3, 2013, the ROH World Championship was declared vacant for the first time since its inception, when ROH Match Maker Nigel McGuinness stripped then-champion Jay Briscoe of the title after he was sidelined with a storyline injury and would be unable to compete for the foreseeable future.[4][5]

In December 2017, ROH unveiled another new design for the title belt, which debuted at Final Battle.[6]

In late 2021, ROH announced it would go on hiatus following Final Battle. Since then the ROH World Championship has been defended on cards promoted by other companies - such as the independent Game Changer Wrestling (GCW) and longtime ROH national rival Impact Wrestling.[7][8]

Inaugural tournament

On June 22, 2002, ROH held the first part of a tournament to crown the inaugural ROH Champion.[9] Sixteen wrestlers were divided into four blocks, with the winner of each block competing in a Four-Way Iron Man match on July 27, 2002 to determine the first champion.

Block A Finals
    
Paul London Pin
Spanky
Spanky
Jody Fleisch Pin
Jody Fleisch
Jonny Storm Pin
Block B Finals
    
Christopher Daniels
Scoot Andrews Pin
Christopher Daniels
AJ Styles Pin
AJ Styles
Jerry Lynn Pin
Block C Finals
    
American Dragon
Bio-Hazard Sub
American Dragon Pin
Doug Williams
Doug Williams
Jay Briscoe Pin
Block D Finals
    
Low Ki
Prince Nana TKO
Low Ki
Amazing Red Pin
Amazing Red
Xavier Pin

Finals: Low Ki (3) defeated Christopher Daniels (2), Doug Williams (-1) and Spanky (-1) in a Four-Way 60-minute Iron Man match to become the inaugural champion.

Reigns

Main article: List of ROH World Champions

Overall, there have been 32 ROH World Championship reigns and 27 total champions. The title has been vacated twice. The inaugural champion was Low Ki, who defeated Christopher Daniels, Spanky, and Doug Williams in a Four Way 60-minute Iron Man match at the Crowning A Champion event on July 27, 2002, to become champion. Kyle O'Reilly has the shortest reign at 33 days.

Jonathan Gresham is the current champion in his first reign. He won the vacant title by defeating Jay Lethal at Final Battle on December 11, 2021 in Baltimore, Maryland after previous champion Bandido was stripped of the championship after contracting COVID-19 and being unable to defend at Final Battle.

References

  1. ^ 2 Cold Scorpio challenging for the ROH World Title at GCW Say What You will - Fightful.com
  2. ^ Online World of Wrestling
  3. ^ "ROH Wrestling | www.rohwrestling.com". April 12, 2010. Archived from the original on April 12, 2010.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  4. ^ Johnson, Mike (July 3, 2013). "More on ROH Championship". PWInsider. Retrieved July 3, 2013.
  5. ^ "Nigel McGuinness Makes a Huge Announcement!". ROHwrestling.com. July 3, 2013. Retrieved July 3, 2013.
  6. ^ Jordan, Paul (December 14, 2017). "ROH unveils new World Heavyweight Championship belt". Pro Wrestling Insider. Retrieved December 14, 2017.
  7. ^ Jonathan Gresham to defend ROH World Title at GCW Say What You Will - 411 Mania.com
  8. ^ ROH World Title to be defended in Impact For first time ever - Impact Wrestling.com
  9. ^ "ROH Championship Tournament (2002) results".