Last night at TNA iMPACT Wrestling
's annual Destination X pay-per-view, Austin Aries
defeated Bobby Roode to win the TNA Heavyweight Title
. Meanwhile, in the WWE
, CM Punk (previously
on the blue) is currently the WWE champion and feuding with Daniel Bryan
(seen here wrestling Sheamus for the World Heavyweight Title prior to his feud with Punk). And wrestling news sites today were abuzz with the news that the WWE has offered a developmental contract to Sara Del Rey
, the "Queen of Wrestling," who has made a name for herself by wrestling men on equal terms
What do Aries, Punk, Bryan and Del Rey all have in common? They're all alumni of Ring of Honor
Ring of Honor, over the years, has become something of a feeding ground for larger promotions. In recent months the WWE has signed away Seth Rollins (formerly known as Tyler Black
in RoH and other indies), Antonio Cesaro (Claudio Castagnoli
), Kassius Ohno (Chris Hero
) and PAC, "the man gravity forgot."
Meanwhile, many of TNA's mainstays over the years - such as Christopher Daniels
, A.J. Styles
, Sonjay Dutt
and Samoa Joe
- all wrestled contemporaneously for RoH in TNA's early years.
How has RoH managed to thrive in an industry where getting television exposure - the lifeblood of independent and regional promoters in eras past - is increasingly difficult? The answer, unsurprisingly, is The Internet: the company's success with internet-based pay-per-views
led to an online TV deal with HDNet for two years, and then a syndication deal with the Sinclair Broadcasting Group's fleet of local TV stations. RoH's business model has been taken as gospel by many other small indie wrestling companies, such as Dragon Gate USA
Pro Wrestling, the latter of which features the Colony
, which is a team of three wrestlers who believe that they are giant ants.