Tonight, at the Ring of Honor PPV that was “Best in the World 2011,” The American Wolves in Davey Richards and the ROH World Champion Eddie Edwards collided. When the smoke cleared, there was only one American Wolf still standing and that is the NEW Ring of Honor World Heavyweight Champion Davey Richards. Richards stood tall with his dream at long last realized with the world title belt in a match many fans, myself included, are easily deeming as “Match of the Year” and for good reason. That reason being that in that match, in that main event, we saw the two best in the world collide in that ring.
Richards, a man who has lost so much in his journey through pro wrestling from the death of his grandparents to his marriage, and put everything of himself and then some all to stand tall as the best and as the champion. Emotion was simply radiating from that ring in the moments after the match. The fans on their feet, chanting the names of both Richards and Edwards as well as chanting “Thank you Both.” Top that off with Eddie Edwards proclaiming to Richards that if it wasn’t for Davey Richards, Edwards as well as those in Team Richards that helped prep him for this match would not be where they are today.
Davey Richards winning the world title tonight showed how great Ring of Honor is and how it is without question pro wrestling at its purest and its finest. Every single match that I’ve seen Richards compete in, holds nothing back and puts every single bit of ferocity, aggression, and emotion into what he does in the ring. Kevin Kelly mentioned tears in his eyes as he watched Richards speak after the match and I can honestly say I felt the exact same way because not only was this man’s dream finally achieved, but there is nobody else that deserves to be called the World Champion more than Davey Richards.
I remember watching his interview with Jim Cornette on ROH on HDNet where Richards said when asked about his future and possible retirement that he was not going anywhere because he wanted to win the World Title. He wanted to hold that belt and show the world that he truly is beyond the shadow of a doubt; The Best in the World. When he faced Roderick Strong, it was a concussion that stopped Richards from winning the belt, but he never quit and when he was offered a rematch, he declined it because he believed that when he did get another shot at the belt, that not only would he be ready for the champion whoever it may have been, but that he would walk out with that belt.
Tonight, Davey Richards wrestled feeling that failure was not an option to where you could imagine if somebody asked him “What if he fails” to where he would simply reply “I won’t.” Richards vs. Edwards had emotion, athleticism, honor, integrity and respect between the two. This was NOT Sport Entertainment that we saw tonight. This was pro wrestling and what we saw were not entertainers or whatever the hell WWE is trying to call their roster nowadays. What we saw tonight were professional wrestlers, athletes and in my opinion, two of the best that you will ever see in pro wrestling.
Every wrestling company has one guy that many would call “The Heart and Soul” of that company. For a long time, Bryan Danielson was considered to be that in Ring of Honor. Tonight, we saw a prime example of heart and soul in both athletes, but none greater than the heart of a warrior that resides with in the new Ring of Honor World Heavyweight Champion Davey Richards. Here’s to a long title reign for the new world champ, Long Live The American Wolves and Long Live The Hunt.