Years before he was the architect of The Shield in WWE, Tyler Black was a key member of The Age of the Fall in Ring of Honor. Black burst onto the scene in 2007 when he and fellow AOTF members Jimmy Jacobs and Necro Butcher attacked The Briscoes in one of the most violent and controversial incidents in ROH history. Black and Jacobs went on to become two-time ROH World Tag Team Champions.
Black would achieve even greater success after leaving AOTF. He won the 2009 Survival of the Fittest to earn a shot at the ROH World Championship. After wrestling ROH World Champion Austin Aries to a 60-minute draw at Final Battle 2009, Black defeated Aries to win the title two months later and successfully defended it for 210 days.