Background: After winning the Ring of Honor World championship, Bryan Danielson issued an open challenge to anyone in the world willing to face him in a championship bout. A man who hadn’t be able to wrestle for ROH even though he was considered one of the best wrestlers on the independent wrestling scene – Chris Hero – answered the call not only for himself, but in honor of his home company, Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW).
Hell Freezes Over
January 14, 2006
Bryan Danielson vs. Chris Hero
Bryan Danielson just abused his challenger with holds to prove to Hero and CZW, that the best wrestler in the world was in ROH. Hero tried to brawl his way into a fight, but got slapped around instead. The CZW contingent of Necro Butcher, Adam Flash, Nate Webb and referee Bryce Remsburg watched on as Hero was being twisted in the middle of the ring. Danielson pulled Hero off the mat after working Chris’ legs, starting to a chop exchange that led to the challenger being put stomach first against the mat. Bryan tried to elbow the back of Hero’s head. Hero spun around, grabbing the incoming arm, slamming it against the canvas. Hero began wrenching the arm, putting Danielson in a cross arm breaker. Hero used a unique over-the-knee arm breaker to keep the hope of ROH down. Danielson tried to roll through several arm bars, but couldn’t. So the ROH World champion worked his way to his feet, running toward the turnbuckles.
Danielson used the corner to run up, flipping over Hero while freeing himself. Danielson used his right hand, slapping the taste out of Hero’s mouth before hitting his flying head-butt off the top. This didn’t work too well as the impact caused Danielson to pause from following up, giving Chris Hero the opening for a double stomp off the top. Danielson rolled out of the way, knocking his challenger down before locking in Cattle Mutilation. With his arm hurting, Danielson wasn’t able to hold Hero down from getting to the ropes. Chris Hero, once again, used Bryan Danielson’s hurt arm against him; pulling Bryan in for the cravat-plex. Hero rolled through the slam into a cravat crossface. Danielson fought out of the move, making it to the ropes. Danielson pulled himself to his feet, stumbling into the Hero’s Welcome … for a two count!
Hero was in shock when Danielson kicked out. Instead of staying on top of Bryan, the challenger tried to slap some humiliation into the champ. Danielson ducked a slap, dragon suplexing Chris before putting him in the crossface chicken wing. Chris Hero worked his way to his feet, but Danielson wouldn’t let go, grapevining Hero to pull him back to the mat. The challenger looked at his CZW backup before tapping out, keeping the ROH title in Ring of Honor.
Winner: Bryan Danielson (29:08)
Is It A Classic: A fantastic match to kick off what would become one of the greatest, if not the greatest interpromotional feud in wrestling history. Chris Hero, who wasn’t seen by ROH management as someone worthy of even being in the company, went move for move with the company’s champion and had the fans believing that he could beat the self-proclaimed “Best Wrestler in the World”. Maybe could’ve shaved off a few minutes, but it was definitely a fun ride that should be seen.