All week, Cody has been telling people he was going to end his family’s 31 year drought without a World title. And while we can debate if Ring of Honor (ROH)’s top prize counts as a “real” World title, after Best in the World, you can’t argue that it belongs to the Grandson of a Plumber.
The American Nightmare defeated Christopher Daniels on June 23 in Lowell, Massachusetts to claim the belt - the first time he’s held the main championship for a major televised promotion.
After a bit of a slow start and a detour into typical Bullet Club territory - Cody grabbed former ROH owner Cary Silkin at one point, which led to referee Todd Sinclair taking a couple bumps before Marty Scurll hit the ring to offer his faction-mate a chair. Sinclair recovered in time to see The Villain, creating an opening for Daniels to do his best Eddie Guerrero and Frankie Kazarian to run-in and chase off Scurll for his friend - the battle heated up after the veteran put both men through a table with a suplex.
Barely beating the 20 count, they engaged in a striking battle until Daniels locked in the Koji Clutch when Cody missed an elbow. After reaching the ropes, Rhodes spit water in the Fallen Angel’s face and hit his finisher, but Daniels kicked out at two. After a missed Best Moonsault Ever and another exchange, Cody hit Cross Rhodes again and scored the pinfall to kick off his celebration.
In addition to being a huge moment for Cody, who left WWE a little more than a year ago in pursuit of chances like this, it also adds some weight to next weekend’s New Japan G1 Special show in Long Beach, California. Rhodes is set to face IWGP Heavyweight champion Kazuchika Okada there next Saturday (July 1), making this an inter-promotional, champ vs. champ match.
Cody mocked Okada by hitting his Rainmaker move and signature pose during this match.
Thoughts on Cody as ROH champ, Cagesiders? Predictions for his future, in this company and New Japan?