ROH issued the following:
Ring of Honor is proud to welcome Samoa Joe, the most dominant ROH World Champion in history, into the inaugural class of the ROH Hall of Fame.
From the first time he stepped into an ROH ring in 2002, Joe proved to be an intimidating force whose hard-hitting offense, intensity and relentlessness made him one of the sport’s most dangerous competitors.
“The Samoan Submission Machine” is arguably the most proficient American pro wrestler in the art of strong style, a form of pro wrestling popularized in Japan that emphasizes strikes and submissions.
In just his10th match in ROH, Joe captured the ROH Title in March 2003. Two months later, Joe officially elevated the championship to world title status when he successfully defended it in London, marking the first time the championship had been defended outside the United States.
Joe went on to hold the ROH World Championship for a record 645 days and make 31 successful title defenses. It’s not only the longest reign in ROH history, but at the time it was the longest world title reign in any U.S.-based pro wrestling company in 15 years.
During Joe’s historic reign, he and CM Punk engaged in an epic trilogy of matches that have become legendary. They wrestled to two 60-minute draws before Joe won their final meeting.
Six months after losing the ROH World Title, Joe won the ROH Pure Championship.
After leaving ROH in 2007, Joe won the TNA World Heavyweight Title by defeating Kurt Angle. Joe returned to ROH in 2015 for a series of matches before he departed for WWE, where he became the first two-time NXT Champion.
Joe joins the Briscoes and Bryan Danielson in the inaugural ROH Hall of Fame class. The final inductee in the 2022 class will be announced next week.
A career retrospective on Samoa Joe will be featured on this weekend’s episode of Ring of Honor Wrestling television, and a YouTube special on Joe drops Monday, Feb. 21 at 9 a.m. ET on ROH’s YouTube channel.
A special Hall of Fame episode of Ring of Honor Wrestling featuring all of the inductees airs on TV the weekend of March 5.
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