ROH World Championship
|ROH World Championship|
The current ROH World Championship belt
|Promotion||Ring of Honor (ROH)|
|Date established||July 27, 2002|
|Current champion(s)||Adam Cole|
|Date won||January 4, 2017|
ROH Championship (NJPW)
The ROH World Championship is a professional wrestling world championship in Ring of Honor. The championship has also been through other companies in cooperation with ROH through the Global Professional Wrestling Alliance (GPWA), the governing body of many independent wrestling promotions throughout the United States and Japan.
Samoa Joe had the longest title reign to date when he held the belt for 21 months and four days. During his reign, ROH held a cross-promotional show with Frontier Wrestling Alliance in the United Kingdom on May 17, 2003 called Frontiers of Honor. At that show, Joe turned the title into the ROH World Championship when he defended it against The Zebra Kid. Since then the title has been defended in Germany, Canada, Switzerland, Austria, Mexico, Japan, Ireland, Italy, and Spain.
On August 12, 2006, the ROH Pure Championship was unified with the ROH World Championship after ROH Pure Champion Nigel McGuinness lost to ROH World Champion Bryan Danielson in Liverpool, England in a title unification match. The match was contested under pure wrestling rules, with the stipulation that both championships could be lost by disqualification or count out.
In 2010 the title belt, along with the ROH World Tag Team Championships, was redesigned. The new belt has an eagle with its wings spread over a picture of the world with an ROH logo on the top. This design also includes various flags on different countries. In December 2012, a new design (as featured above) was introduced at the Final Battle iPPV.
On July 3, 2013, the ROH World Championship was declared vacant for the first time since its inception, when ROH Match Maker Nigel McGuinness stripped then-champion Jay Briscoe of the title after he was sidelined with a storyline injury and wouldn't be able to compete for the foreseeable future.
The inaugural champion was Low Ki, who defeated Christopher Daniels, Spanky, and Doug Williams in a Four Way 60-minute Iron Man match at the Crowning A Champion event on July 27, 2002 to become champion. Samoa Joe has the longest reign as champion with his only reign, from March 22, 2003 to December 26, 2004, lasting 645 days and gave the title World status when he defended it in the UK. Kyle O'Reilly currently has the shortest reign at 33 days. Adam Cole holds the record for the most reigns, with three, and is also the first man to win the championship at a non-ROH event.
Adam Cole is the current champion in his record-breaking third reign. He defeated Kyle O'Reilly at New Japan Pro-Wrestling's Wrestle Kingdom 11 on January 4, 2017, in Tokyo, Japan. Overall, there have been 25 ROH World Championship reigns and 21 total champions. The title has been vacated only once.