Fact is this time of the year is all about reflection and looking back on a year that is now coming to a close. In 2018 the world of wrestling has had a very interesting up and down year, but it is has been a big year for growth especially for the smaller promotions. Ring of Honor has not only found stability, but they have also found a period of growth and finally finding there way into bigger arenas. Namely the biggest arena the promotion has ever gone to that being Madison Square Garden over Wrestlemania weekend. With this being the case it is fair to admit that the event in MSG has the makings to see 2019 become the most successful year in the history of ROH.
In my opinion every year since ROH and New Japan working agreement came together the company has grown and has been able to build on a stable foundation. The face of Ring of Honor has become a nationally known talent at this point due to his events in New Japan and All In. At this point Jay Lethal could become the longest reigning World Champion in history based on combined reigns; as 2018 comes to an end Jay could hold the record for the most days as World Champion ever which is a testament to Jay's position with ROH.
I have been a fan of Ring of Honor for around a decade at this point and I have enjoyed seeing the rise of the underrated promotion. Overall I do believe that 2019 will be the biggest year in the history of professional wrestling not just for this company, but I think this will be very interesting. Even though Ring of Honor will be losing certain talent due to contracts expiring the company has always found a way to rebuild. I do think I said this last year, but Ring of Honor has future stars still on the roster like Matt Taven, Flip Gordon, Jeff Cobb, and various others. The future is on the rise for Ring of Honor and it will be very interesting to see how 2019 goes for this wrestling secret.
The last six months have seen more news about Ring of Honor contracts then we have in the past probably six years. Names like Silas Young, Young Bucks, Cody Rhodes, and others are looking for new contracts with the company and though now some of those names won't be returning to ROH next year, but one top star will be. The current World Champion Jay Lethal officially resigned back with Ring of Honor a few weeks after regaining the title. Now the company seems to be on a sort off "seek and sign" attitude with new talent as a number of current talent seems to be heading for the door.
As I mentioned previously Adam Page & Cody will both be leaving ROH come 2019 which will leave a whole in the ROH that needs to be filled. However, being able to keep Jay Lethal allows the company to keep someone to build around for the future again. Adding Chris Daniels & Kazarian to likely names of leaving we could be seeing a brand new main event scene in ROH come 2019. Since his return to ROH we have seen Jay not only enter his prime, but becoming the franchise of Ring of Honor.
In my opinion, Jay Lethal helped kick off Cody's run in ROH on the right foot and in a way has always been the stable force in the ring. Honestly I don't think anyone truly saw this in Jay from when he was TNA wrestling, but could it be similar to what happened with Nick Alids just needing a different environment. Now I have said this before that I am not worried about Ring of Honor, because they have a incredible gift for finding unknown talent and building from within and having Jay Lethal still under contract only helps the company in their next rebuild.
We are now around a week away from the biggest event of Ring of Honor's calendar year that being Final Battle. For the last couple of years I have been extremely fortunate to attend a number of Final Battle events due to the consistent location for the event being in my backyard. However, of all the events that I have attended under the Final Battle banner is by far the end of the Kevin Steen & El Generico ROH feud which took place at Final Battle 2012. Around this time it became clear that the future Sami Zayn was on his way out of Ring of Honor and heading to the WWE; there was no better way for him to leave ROH then having his top rival seeing him off.
This match didn't really go exactly like I thought it would and I remember very vividly how one sided the match was at that point. In reality I think that the match went the way it did, because they wanted to make Kevin look very strong due to him sticking around in the company and Genrico wasn't. However, the one thing that really made the match for me was how they built to the match as the build was amazing in my opinion for a match that defied expectations.
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