Following the end of both Extreme Championship Wrestling & World Championship Wrestling in the Spring of 2001 wrestling changed. The free agent pool and the independent circuit became a lot more populated and for the next year wrestling would be very different. Then in early 2002 both Ring of Honor and NWA-Total Non-Stop Action Wrestling would be founded. The best way to compare the companies, TNA went for the more known stars & ROH went for the lesser known and fresh talent. Names like Bryan Danielson, Homicide, Chris Daniels, and Low-Ki would make ROH home.
One other name that would help lead the early years of ROH is the man who would be the longest reigning ROH Pure Champion Nigel McGuinness. Nigel would become a household name for the company and would actually the lead company following the early departures of talent that would become famous for being in TNA. His title reign would actually land right behind Samoa Joe as the second longest reigning World Champion in the companies history.
Around 2009, Nigel would actually leave the company and head to TNA making his first attempt into a national company. However, an unfortunate medical condition would actually stop him from joining the WWE and it wasn't serious enough to stop him from joining TNA. Nigel would then flip his name to Desmond Wolfe and sadly his run wouldn't be for that long. But he would be the returning hero when he came back to ROH and took over the matchmaker duties from Jim Cornette.
Overall, I would say that the in-ring style that was common in ROH took its toll on Nigel especially after his World Title run. Now I am unsure if this did have anything to do with Nigel having to retire, but it would be very hard to believe if it didn't at least play a part. Either way in a way his arrival in TNA was sort of a little "Too little Too late."