I've been announcing independent wrestling (everything below the nationally televised groups) since 1994, and I wrote a book about my adventures called This Side of the Mic. Click on my profile to learn more about it.
I've noticed that most of the coverage here on Bleacher Report is about WWE and TNA, which is great. But now I've decided to start covering the independent groups.
Before I start dropping news updates on you, let's get familiar with the independent promotions, starting with...
Ring of Honor
Based out of Philadelphia, Ring of Honor has built an international reputation for realistic, athletically-based wrestling. ROH has storylines, but even they are realistic.
ROH began in 2002 and is clearly the No. 3 pro wrestling group in America, behind WWE and TNA. While ROH does not have a national TV contract, the group does produce pay-per-views every two months.
Nigel McGuiness is the ROH champion. The British heavyweight has excelled as a heel champion that fans don’t like, but must respect. He has held the title for nearly a year.
Jimmy Jacobs and Tyler Black are the two-time ROH tag team champs. They are members of The Age of the Fall—one of the top heel stables in the company.
Larry Sweeney, a loud-mouthed sports agent, leads another group of heels called Sweet & Sour, Inc.
Other top stars in ROH include “The American Dragon” Brian Danielson, Chris Hero, Claudio Castagnoli, Jack Evans, Roderick Strong, Austin Aries, The Necro Butcher, and Jay & Mark Briscoe.
ROH has graduated several stars to WWE (CM Punk, Paul London, Brian Kendrick, Evan Bourne, Scotty Goldman) and TNA (Homicide, Samoa Joe, Jimmy Rave, Jay Lethal, Alex Shelley).
The company has branched out from the East Coast, visiting San Francisco, Las Vegas, Chicago, Orlando, and Dayton. ROH will debut soon in St. Louis.
The company has also visited Japan, England, and Canada, and the next ROH shows are scheduled for Sept. 13 and 14 in Tokyo.