When it comes to measuring success, it is always open for discussion. For some, success is measured in wins and losses, while for others, success is measured in the number of championships they have won. For a number of men and women in the WWE, they earned their notoriety competing all over the world before the came to the WWE.
In particular, a number of today's talent called Ring of Honor their home. It was while they were there that they blazed a trail that many fans still discuss today. In ROH, they either competed in the main event, capturing championships or participating in legendary feuds with a number of today's contemporaries.
It would be easy to simply rest on their laurels with that they achieved there, but they left ROH to use the experience to help further their careers. Who are they and what are they doing today? These are some of the biggest names in the WWE today that once called ROH home.
Here are five current WWE superstars that were successful after leaving Ring of Honor.
As one-half of the current RAW tag team champions, Cesaro has continued to excel in WWE after leaving Ring of Honor. While he was with ROH, he competed under his real name, Claudio Castagnoli, and was one-half of the tag team Kings of Wrestling alongside Chris Hero, who now competes as Kassius Ohno in NXT.
Castagnoli and Hero captured the ROH tag team championship on two separate occasions.
Since his switch to the WWE, Cesaro has captured the United States Championship and is a three-time WWE tag team champion. While many anticipate what may be in store for Cesaro moving forward, there is no denying that he has managed to carve out a tremendous niche for himself.
His strength and technique continue to amaze fans around the world. He continues to thrive when given an opportunity and is among the most successful wrestlers to transition from Ring of Honor to WWE.
#4 Samoa Joe
The Samoan Submission Machine may be known as the destroyer now, but he had to start somewhere.
When ROH first opened its doors in 2002, it had always said that it was all about its code of honour. However, as Christopher Daniels’ hired gun, his role was simply to take out the competition. It isn't unlike what he did when he was doing the bidding of Triple H when he took out Seth Rollins. As a former ROH Pure and World champion, Joe was among the most dominant men in the promotion.
Since then Joe has competed for Impact Wrestling and captured their X-division and World championship. Joe's career has continued to evolve to where he is today. One of the most notable things about Joe is that before he made his main roster debut, he was part of WWE's NXT brand and was a two-time NXT champion.
As a current contender for the WWE Universal championship, Joe continues to show not only his relevance but his scathing and intense nature, never backing down from a challenge regardless of whom they are, big and small.
#3 Seth Rollins
Whether he is The Architect, or the Kingslayer, Seth Rollins’ career has come along way in ten years of competition. Before he captured the WWE championship, United States, and tag team championship, Rollins was busy earning his way in the WWE's NXT brand.
As the inaugural NXT champion, Rollins set the bar for those that came after him he had to follow. Rollins began in Ring of Honor in 2007 and competed under the name of Tyler Black. It was while he was there that Rollins captured the ROH World championship. While he was the ROH champion, Rollins held the title for 210 days.
After departing ROH, Rollins came to what was first known as Florida Championship Wrestling and began to re-establish himself while he was there. His ascent to the top wasn't an easy one, but his past achievements gave him the confidence to carry it forward.
Today, Rollins is among the top contenders for the WWE's Universal championship and appears to be that for years to come.
#2 Kevin Owens
As the former face of America, Kevin Owens has had work pretty hard to achieve that status. His success hasn’t come easy as the former United States champion has had to sacrifice his body, time and time again simply to reach a status that has made him a primary focus of a brand.
Owens has come in and provided fans with a great deal of entertainment with several moments. His time in the WWE has been impactful immediately. From the moment he was being promoted to debuting with the brand, to his time turning on Sami Zayn and immediately competing for the NXT championship, Owens has turned a number of heads.
Before he came to the WWE, Owens simply competed under his real name Kevin Steen, throughout the independents, but most particularly in Ring of Honor.
While there, Steen captured the Ring of Honor world championship, was part of memorable feuds and alliances and left an impression that still is talked about today. He didn't rest on his laurels and after achieving a winning attitude in ROH, Owens captured the NXT, Intercontinental, United States and the Universal championship.
Owens is among the most decorated former ROH stars with the WWE today.
#1 AJ Styles
To call yourself The Phenomenal One has to be pretty confident in their abilities. For AJ Styles, his career has seen him blaze a trail that was initially prominent in TNA's Impact/GFW Wrestling. Styles was considered the face of the promotion when he was in TNA, however, Styles was a prominent part of Ring of Honor for a couple of years.
As part of Ring of Honor, Styles was actively part of the Bullet Club as well. Styles competed against the likes of Jay Lethal and Roderick Strong while he was there. Despite not capturing any championships in Ring of Honor, Styles was still considered a perennial main event challenger because of whom he was and what he has achieved in the past.
After leaving Ring of Honor and after years of speculation and hope, Styles signed with the WWE. In the one and a half years he’s been with the company, he has been WWE champion and only appears to continue to be a threat in the future. He continues to be phenomenal regardless of where he competes.