Discussion in 'ROH Feed' started by ROHNEWS, Feb 9, 2016.

    As Bryan Danielson delivered an emotional retirement speech last night, he stressed that he “loved [pro wrestling] in a way that I have never loved anything else.”

    When reflecting on Danielson’s amazing career, there’s no denying that “The American Dragon’s” passion for competing in the ring was fueled in Ring of Honor, where he first rose to prominence and earned a reputation as the best wrestler in the world.

    Danielson, who is walking away from the sport at the age of 34 because of concussion issues, was a perfect fit for ROH right from the start.

    In 2002, a 20-year-old Danielson was looking for a place to showcase his technical wrestling and submission skills, and he found it in the fledgling company that emphasized in-ring ability and athleticism.

    Regarded as a founding father of ROH, Danielson participated in the promotion’s first main event, a triple threat match against Low Ki and Christopher Daniels.

    A little over two years later, he won the inaugural Survival of the Fittest Tournament by defeating Austin Aries in a six-way elimination match that also included Samoa Joe, Mark Briscoe, Homicide and Colt Cabana.

    Two months after the tournament, Danielson and Aries met in a two-out-of-three falls match that went nearly 80 minutes and was among the best matches of 2004.

    Also that year, Danielson scored one of the biggest victories of his career to that point when he forced CM Punk to tap out.

    He reached the pinnacle of the sport in 2005 when he won the ROH World Championship from James Gibson. Danielson held the title for 462 days, the third-longest reign in company history, and he made 38 successful title defenses, a record he shares with current ROH matchmaker Nigel McGuinness.

    Some of the challengers that Danielson defeated were: AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Aries, KENTA, Daniels, Roderick Strong, Steve Corino, Chris Sabin, Naomichi Marufuji, Cabana and Homicide (who ultimately ended Danielson’s reign). Danielson also defeated ROH Pure Champion McGuinness to unify the titles.

    Danielson was once again part of history in 2007, when he wrestled in the main event of ROH’s first pay-per-view, Respect is Earned. He and Morishima defeated McGuinness and KENTA.

    Throughout his tenure in ROH, Danielson proved that his wrestling ability was matched only by his toughness.

    During an ROH World Title defense against Cabana in 2006, Danielson suffered a separated shoulder early in the match, but he fought through the pain and ended up going to a 60-minute draw.

    Just three weeks later, Danielson returned to the ring and successfully defended the championship against KENTA in a classic encounter.

    In a match against then-ROH World Champion Morishima in 2007, Danielson suffered a detached retina from a punch to his eye, but he competed for another 15 minutes before he was defeated.

    Danielson’s spectacular run in ROH came to an end on Sept. 26, 2009, when he beat McGuinness at Glory by Honor VIII: The Final Countdown in New York City.

    After the match, Danielson thanked the crowd at the Manhattan Center and exchanged hugs and handshakes with fans at ringside as his theme music, “The Final Countdown” played.

    Danielson then got back in the ring and urged the fans to keep supporting the company. He asked that they chant “ROH” as he walked through the curtain one last time.

    As much as Danielson left an indelible mark on ROH, it was obvious that ROH also left an indelible mark on Bryan.

    These classic Bryan Danielson moments and more can be seen in's Ringside Area or on ROH DVD releases : BRYAN DANIELSON: The Final Countdown and BRYAN DANIELSON: World Champion.

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