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More WWE Superstars Wrestled In Ring Of Honor Than You May Remember

EXPERT COLUMNIST
Feature
2.54K   //    23 May 2018, 11:46 IST

Kevin Steen (now Kevin Owens) and El Generico (now Sami Zayn) during their time in Ring Of Honor
Kevin Steen (now Kevin Owens) and El Generico (now Sami Zayn) during their time in Ring Of Honor

One of the great things about WWE in 2018 is that the current roster is full of talented people who succeeded with other wrestling promotions. There are people who succeeded in New Japan Pro Wrestling, like Finn Balor, A.J. Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson.

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There are people who hold the world title in TNA/Impact, including Bobby Roode, Drew McIntyre, Samoa Joe, EC3 (currently in NXT) and the aforementioned A.J. Styles. There are also plenty of former Ring Of Honor champions, thanks to Kevin Owens, Seth Rollins, and Daniel Bryan. All in all, WWE has come a long way from pretending like no other wrestling companies mattered, let alone existed.

When people think of WWE Superstars who made it over from Ring Of Honor, they likely think about the aforementioned Owens, Rollins and Bryan. Owens had a long-term feud in ROH with Sami Zayn, who was El Generico. Cesaro, during his time in ROH, was Claudio Castagnoli.

In recent years, ROH has been a frequent collaborator with New Japan, so odds are that current ROH fans may recall appearances from former Bullet Club members in ROH, including Balor, Styles, Gallows and Anderson.

But there are a lot of other current WWE Superstars who had appeared on ROH shows over the years. Dean Ambrose had a handful of matches before signing with WWE. Rhyno was also in the company between 2011 and 2013. Maria Kanellis spent time in ROH between 2011 and 2015, earning the nickname "The First Lady Of ROH" as she worked alongside now-husband Mike Bennett who goes by the name "Mike Kanellis" in WWE.

Matt Hardy worked for ROH in 2005, after leaving WWE, then again between 2012 and 2014 as a member of S.C.U.M, and again prior to re-joining WWE in 2017. Jeff Hardy had an ROH tag team title reign in 2017, alongside brother Matt, beyond a 2003 run.

Shelton Benjamin was part of the ROH fold between 2010 and 2013, often teaming with his WWE partner Charlie Haas. Even Luke Harper -- now just "Harper" as part of The Bludgeon Brothers -- passed through ROH, working as Brodie Lee in 2008 and 2009.

Within the cruiserweight division -- or the talent regularly featured on 205 Live -- many of the competitors had also wrestled for Ring Of Honor. Hideo Itami followed by Kenta, often appeared at ROH events between 2005 and 2009.

Brian Kendrick had ROH runs before and after time spent in WWE. T.J. Perkins (now known as "TJP") was not exclusive to ROH, but he was part of matches between 2003 and 2012. Cedric Alexander was a staple of ROH live events between 2011 and 2016.

The current NXT roster is also full of recent Ring Of Honor alums. These include Adam Cole, Bobby Fish, War Machine, Kassius Ohno (then known as Chris Hero), Roderick Strong, Kyle O'Reilly, and Tommaso Ciampa. In turn, the NXT North American Championship (held by Adam Cole) and the NXT Tag Team Championship (held by The Undisputed Era) both belong to wrestlers that had cut their teeth in ROH.

Ultimately, this says a lot about Ring Of Honor. It shines a light on Ring Of Honor's ability to spot talent. It also suggests that when you go see independent wrestling, you could very well be seeing a future WWE world champion. So credit goes to ROH for fighting the good fight for over 15 years, continually developing great talents from all over the world.


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EXPERT COLUMNIST
Darren Paltrowitz is a New York resident with over 15 years of entertainment industry experience. He began working around the music business as a teenager, interning for the manager of his then-favorite band Superdrag. In the years following, he has worked with a wide array of artists including OK Go, They Might Be Giants, Mike Viola, Tracy Bonham, Loudness, Rachael Yamagata, and Amanda Palmer. Darren's writing has appeared in dozens of outlets including the New York Daily News, Inquisitr, The Daily Meal, The Hype Magazine, All Music Guide, Downtown Magazine, Guitar World, TheStreet.com, Format Magazine, Businessweek, The Improper, the L.A. Times, and the Jewish Journal. He is a member of the SATW and the IFWTWA organizations as a food and travel writer. Darren is also the host the recently-launched "Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz" podcast, as co-produced with PureGrainAudio.
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