A Modest Response


So we did the Top 10 Puro Stars in ROH last week, this week it’s time for The Top 10 ROH Regulars Ever. Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!

News of Honor

Check ROHWrestling.com TODAY November 23, 2007 for a huge Sale and huge News

Don’t forget. If you’re picking up new DVDs, here’s some recommendations: Driven, Manhattan Mayhem 2, Glory by Honor VI Night 2 if it’s out, Fifth Year Festival: Finale, Supercard of Honor 2, Good Times Great Memories, Death Before Dishonor V Night 1, Live in Tokyo, and Respect is Earned or Fighting Spirit. That’s the best of this year.

The Briscoes will team with Claudio at the Trios Tournament

That’s a very good team, should be fun, and are likely kayfabe favorites.

Aries vs. Strong on 11/30 will be a 30 minute Iron Man Match

I really prefer longer for Iron Man matches since both have done more than 50 minutes prior, but this will be, at worst, very good.

Check out the new Video Wire

The promos are okay, but this one is all about the highlights from the awesome Glory by Honor VI weekend.

This Week on Inside Pulse

Ditch discusses Misawa and talks to Corino. If you like Puro at all, Ditch is the best. Make sure to read him.

Mark Allen is thankful and I agree with him, so give it a read. Also, Mark, get aim or something and I’ll make sure you experience “what the cool kids are talking about.”

Brashear sees Luger join the Corporation. Can we induct all Luger after like.. 1992 into Wrestlecrap.?

More Top 100 Wrestlers including a favorite or two of mine.

A Modest Response: The Top 10 ROH Regulars Ever

Last week we did the Top 10 Puro Stars in ROH, rated by impact, legacy and match quality. Everyone counts by what they primarily are, whether a singles or tag wrestler, so don’t look for singles matches on the Briscoes list, or tag matches on the Homicide or Low Ki list, though Unforgettable would be at or near the top of each. The only exception is Austin Aries because he was simply too important to both to just choose one.

10. The Briscoes

Why they made the list: They are the iconic team in ROH history. When the titles are on the Briscoes, they main event major shows. When was the last time straight tag matches with regular teams main evented a PPV? Well, at Man Up that happens. They’ve also pioneered a controversial, stiff, mutli-layered story style that de-emphasizes selling and tag formula. They’re the first tag team in a long time to be considered for Wrestler of the Year awards. Jay Briscoe wrestled and Mark appeared on the very first show.

Top 5 Matches in ROH: Since they are on the list as a team, only team matches count, though Jay vs. Mark from Fifth Year Festival: Finale would otherwise make it.

5. Fifth Year Festival: Liverpool: Briscoes vs. Shingo and Naruki Doi (**** ½)

4. Death Before Dishonor 2 Night 1: Briscoes vs. Second City Saints 2 out of 3 falls (**** ½)

3. Unified: Briscoes vs. Aries and Strong (**** ½ – **** ¾)

2. Good Times, Great Memories: Briscoes vs. Murder City Machine Guns (**** ½ – **** ¾)

1. Man Up: Briscoes vs. Steen and Generico Ladder War (**** ¾) (Trusting Sephy)

9. Paul London

Why he made the list: Paul London was the first star made by ROH. When the company was in a fledgling state, London was someone the crowd picked up and made a star. He caused the debut of “Please Don’t Die” and put on a series of matches near unmatched in ROH’s history. Great matches and new stars make people take notice of a company. London did that. Then he signed with the WWE making it seem like the top of ROH’s card was worthy of the big leagues, which time only proved they were, but still, London was the first and in ring, maybe better than anyone but one person on the list.

Why he’s above The Briscoes: London made the crowd care in a way the Briscoes are only just getting to and he did it in practically no time. London was our guy, adopted before anyone else except maybe Low Ki. The crowd cared enough about London in practically no time to invent the “Please Don’t Die” chant for him. He’s a special talent who’s better in the ring than Jay and Mark and made people take notice. Jay and Mark have longevity and quality, so this is the least objective placement on the list, but London was the first of our guys and the first to make it big.

Top 5 Matches in ROH:

5. Night of the Butcher: Paul London vs. Bryan Danielson (**** ½)

4. First Year Anniversary: Paul London vs. AJ Styles vs. Low Ki (**** ½)

3. Unscripted: Paul London vs. Michael Shane in a Streetfight (**** ½)

2. Night of Grudges: Paul London vs. AJ Styles (**** ¾)

1. The Epic Encounter: Paul London vs. Bryan Danielson (*****)

8. Nigel McGuinness:

Why he made the list: Nigel has been the main face of ROH since Joe left, perhaps the only man other than Joe and Ki to fill that role. Nigel slowly worked from promising undercarder, to cheating heel, to a dominant face, earning crowd respect each spot. He is the only man to make the Pure Title mean anything, elevating it to damn near the World Title during its greatest run and thus was involved in the only unification match ever. He’s the only man to pin Joe during his farewell and the only man to ever pin Morishima in ROH, which he has done twice now, the second time, becoming the ROH World Champion. Lastly, Nigel has perhaps the most memorable rivalry in ROH history with Bryan Danielson.

Why he’s above London: He was around longer and did more. He filled more roles and his very best matches are on par with London’s, so all London has on him is meaning to the company, but without longevity, the title reigns, the unification and the rest, Nigel is just more important.

Top 5 Matches in ROH:

5. Weekend of Champions Night 2: Nigel McGuinness vs. Bryan Danielson (**** ½)

4. Fifth Year Festival: Finale: Nigel McGuinness vs. Jimmy Rave in Fight without Honor (**** ½)

3. Fighting Spirit: Nigel McGuinness vs. Takeshi Morishima (**** ½)

2. Unified: Nigel McGuinness vs. Bryan Danielson (**** ¾)

1. Driven: Nigel McGuinness vs. Bryan Danielson (**** ¾)

7. Austin Aries

Why he made the list: Austin Aries has done at least three huge achievements in ROH: 1. He dethroned Samoa Joe and had a great run as champion, 2. He and Strong made the Tag Titles World Titles that could main event any show, 3. He led Generation Next to their greatest success and essentially won the first stable wars. Add in the crazy schedule he took on as champion and the quality of matches he produces, plus that he chose ROH over TNA and you have a no brainer on the list.

Why he’s above Nigel: He’s done more. Nigel spent a good chunk of time in ROH as lower card fodder. Even early on in ROH Aries was having classics with Dragon and was a major player. When Aries stepped up, he stepped up just as big as Nigel, matching Nigel’s two major accomplishments, the Pure Title Run and beating Morishima, and raising it to leading a major stable. In time this might change, and it’s close, but Aries is ahead at this point.

Top 5 Matches in ROH: Tag and singles matches will count for Aries since he was so integral to both.

5. Better than Our Best: Aries and Strong vs. CIMA and Naruki Doi (**** ½)

4. Stalemate: Austin Aries vs. James Gibson (**** ½)

3. Unified: Briscoes vs. Aries and Strong (**** ½ – **** ¾)

2. Final Battle 04: Austin Aries vs. Samoa Joe (**** ½ – **** ¾)

1. Death Before Dishonor 3: Austin Aries vs. CM Punk (**** ½ – **** ¾)

6. AJ Styles

Why he made the list: AJ was in ROH on and off, but really, is on here mostly for his work in the early days. He’s a huge name that drew a huge number of fans to the company. It’s amazing how many ROH fans will say they found the company through Styles.

Why he’s above Aries: Perception has a large bearing on reality and pretty much everything AJ did was perceived as a big deal. He was wildly over and the entire indies were pretty much built on him for awhile. He’s the influence that caused much of the flying, high spot, low selling style seen today, and he’s probably responsible for more old fans giving ROH a try than anyone else. It’s close and I don’t like it, but for influence on fans and ring style, AJ had to be this high.

Top 5 Matches in ROH:

5. War of the Wire: AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe (**** ¼ – **** ½)

4. Night of Appreciation: AJ Styles vs. Low Ki (**** ¼ – **** ½)

3. First Year Anniversary: AJ Styles vs. Paul London vs. Low Ki (**** ½)

2. Main Event Spectacles: AJ Styles vs. Bryan Danielson (**** ½)

1. Night of Grudges: AJ Styles vs. Paul London (**** ¾)

5. Low Ki

Why he made the list: Low Ki was the original ace of ROH and put on possibly the best series of matches in ROH history in the company’s first group of shows. He’d never again achieve that prominence in ROH, but as a member of the Rottweilers was a major force for far longer. He rarely lost and was the first ROH Icon as well as the first Champion.

Why he’s above AJ: Both had their heyday at the same time, but Ki stayed relevant longer, had the title, had better matches, and got ROH nearly as noticed as AJ for all the initial MOTYC’s. The Top 5 are all the ROH Icons.

Top 5 Matches in ROH:

5. A Night of Appreciation: Low Ki vs. AJ Styles (**** ¼ – **** ½)

4. First Year Anniversary: Low Ki vs. AJ Styles vs. Paul London (**** ½)

3. Glory by Honor: Low Ki vs. Samoa Joe (**** ½)

2. The Era of Honor Begins: Low Ki vs. Bryan Danielson vs. Christopher Daniels (**** ½ – **** ¾)

1. Round Robin Challenge: Low Ki vs. Bryan Danielson (*****)

4. Homicide

Why he made the list: He’s a ROH icon, the MVP of 2003 and involved in more major storylines than anyone else in ROH ever. First was the fight to prove himself when he was 2003’s MVP, then he moved on to trying to kill Joe because he couldn’t beat him. The Rottweiler’s era was mostly fighting Joe and disrespecting ROH. He then had his memorable best of 5 against Bryan Danielson, tortured Joe and Lethal some more with the Rottweilers, before moving on to trying to kill Colt Cabana. After Cabana earned his respect after an insane feud, he was the CZW war savior and finally a face again. That lead to friction with Cornette and his World Title chase to get Danielson, finally even winning the belt that had so eluded him. Ask any ROH fan about the fireball, the Cage of Death, or the pop at Final Battle 06. For every great moment and every great match, ‘Cide is a ROH Icon.

Why he’s above Low Ki: Longevity and the moments. After the first group of great shows, Ki was second fiddle to the man who trained him, Homicide. ‘Cide was consistently very good for the entirety of ROH’s history up until earlier this year and constantly was in the most interesting events on the card.

Top 5 Matches in ROH:

5. Final Battle 06: Homicide vs. Bryan Danielson (**** ¼)

4. Better than our Best: Homicide vs. Colt Cabana Street Fight (**** ¼)

3. Reborn Stage 2: Homicide vs. Bryan Danielson (**** ¼ – **** ½)

2. Bitter Friends, Stiffer Enemies: Homicide vs. Steve Corino (**** ½)

1. Death Before Dishonor IV: Cage of Death ROH vs. CZW (**** ¾)

3. Samoa Joe

Why he made the list: Joe spent from 2003 to 2005 at least as the Ace of ROH, having the longest title run and numerous great matches. As champion, he made ‘Cide, Aries and Punk into stars. His emergence in TNA shined an even greater light on ROH and he was in arguably the two single best matches in company history.

Why he’s above Homicide: The real major difference between Joe and ‘Cide is match quality. Homicide was in numerous very good matches and a few great ones. Joe was around almost as long, even higher up the card, and had consistently great matches, even touching transcendent sometimes.

Top 5 Matches in ROH:

5. All Star Extravaganza 2: Samoa Joe vs. CM Punk (**** ½)

4. Final Battle 04: Samoa Joe vs. Austin Aries (**** ½ – **** ¾)

3. Midnight Express Reunion: Samoa Joe vs. Bryan Danielson (**** ¾)

2. Joe vs. Punk 2: Samoa Joe vs. CM Punk (*****)

1. Joe vs. Kobashi: Samoa Joe vs. Kenta Kobashi (*****)

2. CM Punk

Why he made the list: Punk was in huge, memorable moments and had amazingly great matches. He’s responsible for a ton of talent making it’s way into ROH, is arguably the best talker in company history, a dominant tag and singles wrestler, a smart worker who doesn’t overdo it Punk is simply phenomenal at every aspect of his job. He got ROH noticed with the Raven feud that was reminiscent of ECW, he had the classic trilogy with Samoa Joe, the tag wars with the Briscoes and Prophecy, the Steamboat and Generation Next battles that lead to his face turn, the violent Rave feud and, of course, the best angle in ROH possibly ever, the Summer of Punk.

Why he’s above Joe: The top three are all damn near interchangeable. Joe had the greatest matches, ‘Cide had the best angles, but Punk is nearly their match in each. His ECW work gets ROH more noticed than Joe’s TNA due to the size of each company and Punk was the patriarch of the locker room, seemingly adding more behind the scenes than Joe. Joe was the ace, but Punk was just enough better at everything else to make it above Joe.

Top 5 Matches in ROH:

5. Manhattan Mayhem 2: CM Punk vs. Jimmy Rave in a Dog Collar Match (**** ½)

4. Redemption: CM Punk vs. Samoa Joe vs. Chris Daniels vs. James Gibson (**** ½)

3. All Star Extravaganza 2: CM Punk vs. Samoa Joe (**** ½ – **** ¾)

2. Death Before Dishonor 3: CM Punk vs. Austin Aries (**** ½ – **** ¾)

1. Joe vs. Punk 2: Samoa Joe vs. CM Punk (*****)

1. Bryan Danielson

Why he made the list: We can begin with the fact that he may just be the best wrestler in the world. He’s the only guy ROH has ever had with a claim to that title. He had the best title run in company history with the most defenses. He was involve din the only unification match in ROH, a classic he won. Danielson was in three five star matches and numerous borderline matches. Constantly developing his character and in ring style, he’s become a great promo with a totally different in ring style than he debuted with. He’s the clear ace in the PPV era, making him the most known as a ROH star.

Why he’s above Punk: This was essentially a toss up. That Danielson can be called the best in the world, is never really sloppy like Punk sometimes is, and is the Ace of the PPV era and thus the most associated with ROH of anyone put him over the top. Plus his match quality blows everyone away. There is at least two more **** ¾ matches that didn’t make the list as well as more **** ½ stuff with guys all over this list from Aries to Nigel to AJ and more.

Top 5 Matches in ROH:

5. Unified: Bryan Danielson vs. Nigel McGuinness (**** ¾)

4. Driven: Bryan Danielson vs. Nigel McGuinness (**** ¾)

3. Round Robin Challenge: Bryan Danielson vs. Low Ki (*****)

2. The Epic Encounter: Bryan Danielson vs. Paul London in a 2/3 Falls Match (*****)

1. Glory by Honor V Night 2: Bryan Danielson vs. KENTA (*****)

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Be safe and check back both here and ROHWrestling.com.

Glazer is a former senior editor at Pulse Wrestling and editor and reviewer at The Comics Nexus.