CHRISTOPHER DANIELS HAS LONG BEEN ONE OF THE STALWARTS OF RING OF HONOR. HAVING BEEN WITH THE COMPANY AT ITS INCEPTION, HE’S BEEN ONE OF THEIR PILLARS; AND THOUGH HIS WRESTLING CAREER HAS TAKEN HIM ELSEWHERE FROM TIME-TO-TIME, HE’S BEEN SOMEONE THE COMPANY HAS COUNTED ON TIME AND AGAIN.
So it may come as a shock to many that when Daniels defeated Adam Cole to become the new ROH Champion, it was the beginning of his very first reign with the top title.
Having traveled the world many times over, Daniels is as worthy as ever to carry the crown for the company. And despite the fact he’s the oldest champion in the history of the brand, he’s proven to be ready for any and all challengers during this improbable run.
But perhaps more than any other company, Ring Of Honor is about the evolution of the medium. The next challenger is always there, hungry to seize whatever opportunity is bestowed upon them.
And with a talent-laden roster at their disposal, the challenges coming toward Daniels will be fierce and unlike anything he’s faced in his storied career.
But the question now becomes this: who will be the one to do it?
The complexion of the company changed drastically at the most recent Pay-Per-View, “War Of The World’s”, when Adam Cole was forcefully removed from The Bullet Club by now former running mates The Young Bucks, and newest recruit Marty Scurll.
Not only did it signal the end of Cole’s time in the company, it catapulted Ring Of Honor into a bold, new direction.
The brand has arguably never been more competitive, and although wearing the World Championship is a tremendous badge of honour, Daniels is well aware it also plants a large target firmly on his back.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at who may be the one to slay Daniels, and end his 67 day (and counting) reign.
Marty Scurll: Perhaps the most obvious answer, “The Villain” has had a proverbial rocket on his back ever since joining Ring Of Honor. A meteoric rise that only gets bigger with the endorsement of The Bullet Club, he’s one of the hottest properties in wrestling period, and makes perfect sense to challenge Daniels sooner rather than later. However, one wonders if a better fit at this time may be for him to go after the newly-minted NJPW U.S. Championship.
Dalton Castle: Dalton Castle is immensely popular. Consider how many people haven’t been thrilled with how he’s been booked lately, and that statement is qualified even larger. Castle has all the talent in the ring and in the mic, and would represent the company well as their Champion (his feature in Rolling Stone, for instance, was great). Daniels’ title reign still has life left in it yet, but having Castle take the belt off a well-respected veteran when the time is right would go a long way toward rejuvenating him.
Will Ospreay: There aren’t many superlatives that could be written here about Ospreay that haven’t already been discussed at great length. One of the most electrifying talents in professional wrestling today, the English-born high flyer arrived in Ring Of Honor and consistently put on match of the night candidates (his bout with Jay White from “War Of The World’s” is no exception). Ospreay’s name certainly brings a significant amount of buzz, and having him contend for the ROH Championship would certainly be a headlining grabbing move; not just in wrestling circles, but the mainstream as well.
Matt Taven: This one may seem a bit “off the board”, but hear me out. Running alongside Michael Bennett and Maria (and at times Adam Cole), Matt Taven was in a great spot. Then everything changed. Bennett and Maria left for TNA, Cole moved onto The Bullet Club, and Taven was left holding whatever pieces remained of his ROH career. It took a little time, but Taven returned with a character that completely altered his course. Out of the background and into the limelight, Taven has truly become “Mr. Must See”, and would make a credible, and fresh, challenger for Daniels’ title (the two have proven chemistry from past tag team bouts, as well).
Cody: Since leaving WWE and resurrecting his career in one fell swoop, Cody has been a standout over the last half year or so on the independent circuit, which includes a series of fantastic matches for Ring Of Honor. In fact, Cody was one of the most recent challengers for Daniels’ title (in a triple threat alongside Jay Lethal). In that match, it looked as though the stars were aligning for him to capture the ROH Championship before the numbers game that is the triple threat caught up to him. Surely Cody feels in a one-on-one encounter he is more than capable of taking the belt.