Samoa Joe’s reputation as one of the hardest-hitting and most intense competitors in the sport was built during his time in Ring of Honor. “The Samoan Submission Machine” made his ROH debut in 2002 and won the ROH World Championship the following year. He would go on to hold it for 645 days. That’s not only the longest reign in ROH history, but it’s also the longest world title reign in a U.S.-based wrestling company since Ric Flair held the NWA World Heavyweight Title for 793 days in 1984-1986.
During Joe’s reign, he had three classic title defenses against CM Punk. They wrestled to two 60-minute draws before Joe won their final meeting. At an ROH event in New York City in 2005, Joe wrestled Japanese superstar Kenta Kobashi in a dream match that earned Match of the Year honors. Joe, who also is a former ROH Pure Champion, returned to ROH in 2015 for a series of matches after a seven-year absence.
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