Ring of Honor Focus: "Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels Rises Once Again

Ken DrabekCorrespondent IIJuly 18, 2010

When "The Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels made his surprise return to Ring of Honor at "The Big Bang" Internet pay-per-view, he vowed that he would prove why he was the best wrestler in the world.

Daniels' appearance on the iPPV shocked the wrestling world. Most fans did not know that he had been released from TNA wrestling and no one expected to see him between the ropes in ROH once again.

After spending over seven years as a member of the TNA roster, the Hogan/Bischoff regime took control of the company and unfortunately relegated Daniels to a mid-card role despite his popularity among TNA fans. One of his final matches with the company was a PPV loss to Sean "Val Venis" Morley at "Genesis."

It is easy to understand why Daniels would choose to return to ROH, even if it means being a big fish in a small pond when comparing the burgeoning company to the much larger TNA promotion.

His release from TNA left a lot of die-hard fans upset. How could they let go of a performer who, along with AJ Styles and Samoa Joe, helped put the promotion on the map? How could Hogan and Bischoff fail to see the talent they had in Daniels?

This is a wrestler who helped define the X Division Championship and held the title longer than anyone else. He was a part of what many fans still call the best match in TNA history, a three-way-dance with the previously mentioned Styles and Samoa Joe at "Unbreakable" in 2005.

For whatever reason, the new powers that be at TNA failed to see what Daniels could bring to the table. Fortunately for "The Fallen Angel," he has landed back in ROH, a promotion he also helped put on the map during their early days.

Longtime ROH fans remember Daniels as the leader of The Prophecy and as the man who originally disrespected the code of honor by refusing to shake his opponent's hand.

Despite much success in the ranks of ROH during his first two stints with the company, Daniels was never able to claim the top prize, the World Heavyweight Championship. This time around, he has made it clear that the belt is in his sights.

He defeated Kevin Steen in his first match back with the promotion and by doing so took Steen's number two spot in the "Pick Six" contenders’ rankings. This has put Daniels in prime position to take a shot at the current champion, Tyler Black.

Daniels has been nearly unstoppable since his return, chalking up victories over the likes of Eddie Edwards and Kenny Omega. He is still holding down the number two spot in the "Pick Six" and he has a non-title match against Black lined up at this weekend's television tapings.

The World title picture in ROH is a bit crowded these days.

Kevin Steen has his shot at the belt in Chicago next weekend. He has grown increasingly dangerous over the last several months and will put Black to the test in the Windy City.

 Roderick Strong has the No. 1 contender spot after winning the Toronto Gauntlet at "Death Before Dishonor VIII" last month. He will surely be looking for his rematch against Black very soon.

Davey Richards nearly escaped Toronto with the championship last month. Despite rumors of him retiring after this year, he remains a fan favorite to be the next man to wear that title around his waist.

Daniels number two spot in the rankings and his impressive record have put him in the right position to get his title opportunity. With the competition at the top of the rankings as fierce as it has been in years, Daniels will have to make the most out of it.

If "The Fallen Angel" is going to prove that he is still the best, he has his work cut out for him. Unfortunately for the ROH roster, it appears that he wouldn't have it any other way.

Photo courtesy of Scott Finkelstein

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