This Saturday, the wrestling stars of Ring of Honor, including Ring of Honor World Champion Christopher Daniels, will have the chance to bring their A-game to the Eisenhower Center in Hopkins for the Masters of the Craft.
With a roster packed with unique personas and established stars from all over the globe, Ring of Honor considers itself as a leader and innovator in the pro wrestling industry. That includes Daniels, who was one of the original Ring of Honor superstars upon its inception back in 2002.
“Ring of Honor used to be more about a certain style of wrestling,” says Daniels. “Now it has become more about interesting characters and telling compelling stories that people can get invested in.”
In Daniels’ case, he recently became the World Champion after having gone his entire 20-plus year career that spans the globe without ever claiming an organization’s top prize.
“You can’t always have stories with 15 years of history like mine,” says Daniels. “But by having the ability to really find who you are as a performer? It makes the guys happier to do their job -- and it shows. This is a hard job, because it is so physical and grueling. But you should enjoy it. And if it becomes a job, it’s probably time to stop doing it.”
Some of the hottest acts in wrestling will be part of the Hopkins event this weekend, including the world-renowned Young Bucks (real-life brothers Matt and Nick Jackson), and Minnesota-native and former WWE superstar Ken Anderson. According to Daniels, it’s these types of wrestlers who are really shaping the industry.
“You get guys like the Young Bucks, who are one of the most popular acts in wrestling, and they aren’t good guys or bad guys,” he says. “They just come out and wrestle and entertain, and that’s what our fanbase expects.”
Having wrestled for more than half his life, and currently serving as the standard-bearer for Ring of Honor, Daniels says his goals are less about himself, and more about putting the pieces in place for tomorrow’s stars.
“If you would have asked me six months ago, I would have told you that I never needed a world title to complete my career,” he says. “Now that I have it, I’m truly grateful. But my goal now is to give back to the industry and the organization itself, and to create a higher standard for Ring of Honor. I was to make the show bigger, make the fanbase bigger, and keep building on the success of the past 15 years.”
For some, pro wrestling is about supersized brawlers and over-the-top stories. In Ring of Honor, however, the appeal has always been about athletes whose names supersede the letters of the organization they wrestle under.
“We’ve always been dedicated to creating excellence,” says Daniels. “Ring of Honor has given a lot of guys their first exposure on the national stage, so when they get their chance, they bring their A-game.”
IF YOU GO:
Ring of Honor's Masters of the Craft
5:30 doors, 7 p.m. show Saturday
Click here for details