After failing to defeat former Ring of Honor Champion Austin Aires, “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson left ROH, saying that he had not achieved his goal, and that he was done. On September 17th, Danielson returned, fulfilling his dream of becoming ROH Champion.

New ROH champion Bryan Danielson Photo by Mary-Kate Grosso, courtesy

In front of a packed house at the Sports Plus Entertainment Complex in Lake Grove, NY, “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson forced former champion James Gibson to submit to a Crossface Chicken Wing, thus becoming the seventh champion in ROH history. After a dramatic speech, Danielson stated, “I am not going to WWE, I am not going to TNA, I am staying right here and defending this championship like a man.”

The classic bout — which was part of a double main event — featured one of the last ROH appearances of James Gibson, before he returns to WWE. Disappointed at Gibson’s decision, fans screamed, “Sellout.” Danielson quickly defended Gibson, telling the fans, “If you call what you just saw in this ring a sellout, then I’m a sellout too.”

Emotion was the fuel for the fire — once the bell sounded, fans rose to their feet and with one loud roar, solidifying the ROH Championship as one of the most pretigous championships on the independent scene today. On July 27, 2002, Low Ki became the first ROH Champion, and from there things took off like a rocket.

Samoa Joe brought worldwide attention to the championship, holding it for 20 months, defending it successfully for a record 29 times. Joe’s reign was brought to end, thus beginning the era of Austin Aries. Aries dominated the scene, earning recognition for being the man who dethroned the most dominant champion the Independent scene had seen in quite some time.

CM Punk, James Gibson and now, Bryan Danielson, would follow in their footsteps, bringing more prestige and honor to the championship with each defense. ROH has proved that a championship is more than just a leather strap with metal plates on it; it can be a symbol of greatness.

Although the championship match was a highlight, the Main Event would feature none other than Long Island’s own “The Hardcore Legend” Mick Foley. In his final ROH appearance, Foley helped lead “The Phenomenal” AJ Styles to victory over Jimmy Rave, earning Styles the right to use the Styles Clash in ROH. During the match, Foley spoiled the attempts of three masked man to interfere on behalf of Rave.

After the match, Foley disposed of Prince Nana, even dropping an elbow off the ring apron ala Cactus Jack. Foley cut a promo, saying how he almost signed a TNA contract, but instead opted to sign with WWE. He promised fans that he would continue to rave about ROH, because of how much it meant to him. He said that he hoped he made an impact with the company, and could be remembered for his participation with them, the fans reaction was enough to determine that he had.



– Smash Bradley and Antonio Banks defeated The Dempsey Brothers

– Shane Hagadorn defeated Pele Primo


– Low Ki w/ Julius Smokes┬ádefeated Jay Lethal in an Anything Goes Match

– Austin Aries defeated Azrieal in a Special Challenge Match

– Nigel McGuiness defeated Roderick Strong to retain the ROH Pure Championship

– “Classic” Colt Cabana defeated Homicide w/ Julius Smokes via DQ

– Jay Lethal w/ Samoa Joe defeated Low Ki w/ Julius Smokes and Homicide

– Eric Matlock defeated Davey Andrews

– Samoa Joe defeated “Scrap Iron” Adam Pearce, Ricky Reyes and BJ Whitmer in a Four Corners Survival Match, by making Whitmer submit

– “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson defeated James Gibson via submission to capture the ROH Championship

– “The Phenomenal” AJ Styles w/ “The Hardcore Legend” Mick Foley defeated Jimmy Rave w/ Prince Nana in a Finishers Match to earn the rights to use the Styles Clash in ROH

ROH will return to Sports Plus in Lake Grove, NY on Saturday, November 19, 2005.