For every company things have changed over the years with roster turnover happening for every company. At one point Ring of Honor included names like AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, CM Punk, and various other future World Champions. One feud that I'm sure a lot of fans may not know about is the major feud during the early days of Ring of Honor with Punk and Raven. I knew that these two did feud but I really didn't know that these two actually fought in a dog collar match because this type of match is really rare.
Early on in the company's history they were really tryin to find their footing as a promotion using many types of veteran talent that were available on the Indies at the time. I think this feud is also one of the top early feuds and showed how positively viewed certain talent were at the time. Fact of the matter is time hasn't been kind to Punk's wrestling career, but that doesn't change the impact that CM Punk had on the wrestling world during his career.
One of the reasons that Ring of Honor has always stayed ahead of the curve as far as being able to find new talent to replace those who have left for other companies. Though things seem to have slowed in recent years with very few names walking away from Ring of Honor that hasn't stopped the company from keeping the fresh talent coming. A name that has really seen his stock rise is former Army National Guard combat engineer Flip Gordon. I remember writing about Flip signing with Ring of Honor back in 2017 and thinking that his status as veteran makes him a unique case especially factoring his age into the mix.
For those who may not be aware Flip served as a member of the Army National Guard for six years before receiving his honorable discharged in May of 2018. Keeping that in mind it does fit the point I made above with Flip being a unique talent considering him being an active member of the National Guard while competing in the world of wrestling is something special. But now with Flip discharged from the army he can focus on wrestling and continue become a more well rounded competitor.
Overall his match at All In wasn't the best but it did do its job as a solid match in the middle of the show. Plus it was the culmination of months of build with him begging to be booked on the show and earning his way on to All In. Though it was clear that he wasn't going to win they definitely had him put in a good showing against Lethal and I think a few years down the road the match could've gone differently. In my opinion the one thing that Flip showed in the match at All In is that he could have a bright future ahead of him in wrestling if he continues to grow and be booked the way he was at the event.
Let the post All In discussion begin as in my opinion one of the highlights of the show was Jay Lethal vs Flip Gordon. To get something out of the way first with the match at All In it became clear that Ring of Honor has high hopes for Flip Gordon and I think that Flip has a bright future in not ROH, but wrestling in general. Fact is though it is too early for Flip to be considered a top contender for the World Title, because much like Jay White in Japan they are both very early in their young careers.
With that out of the way let's shift our focus the main idea of this article and that the talent of Jay Lethal. Early on in his career we really didn't see much potential in Jay as someone who would be able to lead a company as World Champion, but that really changed for me early in his second run with ROH. Upon his return to Ring of Honor it seemed like Jay had something to prove almost like he wanted to prove critics or nay sayers wrong that he was the total package. Don't get me wrong we did get a glimpse of his entertainment value when he and Flair had a back n forth the only problem was that push went nowhere.
For those who missed the match Jay went back in time to his "Black Machismo" days and spent some parts of the match imitating the "Macho Man." With Lanny in his corner Jay & Flip had one of the top matches on a really show and I think that Jay should be given a lot of credit for getting big match feel out of the unproven Gordon. This event was the first step for ROH and the Indies to usher in a new era for the promotions and the next step will happen in MSG next year. But I don't think there is someone better in the company currently to lead the charge into ROH's new era, because All In Jay Lethal showed exactly why he is the leader of Ring of Honor.
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