Kings reign supreme.
That statement that rings true more often than not after Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli, known together as the Kings of Wrestling, have a match. They have been one of the most successful tag teams in not only Ring of Honor, but the entire world.
They teamed for the first time in Ring of Honor following the “100th Show.” Hero had been a member of Combat Zone Wrestling and had waged war on Ring of Honor, while Castagnoli said he would stay true to ROH. Castagnoli would later go on to turn on Ring of Honor, however, at the “100th Show” when he helped Hero’s CZW team win a 6-man tag match.
The Kings of Wrestling quickly rose through the ranks of the tag team division and won their first Ring of Honor World Tag Team Titles at “Glory by Honor V Night 2” by defeating Austin Aries and Roderick Strong. Hero and Castagnoli held the belts for over two months and defeated the teams of Colt Cabana and Jimmy Jacobs, as well as Aries and Strong twice during their reign, before losing the belts to Christopher Daniels and Matt Sydal.
They would continue teaming together until “Final Battle 2006.” There were rumors at the time that Castagnoli had signed with the WWE. Larry Sweeney made his debut the night before “Final Battle” when he helped the Kings of Wrestling defeat the Briscoes. The Briscoes won the rematch at “Final Battle 2006,” and Castagnoli revealed that he was going to the WWE after the match. Sweeney told Castagnoli that he was only representing Hero, and the two walked out on Hero. The Kings of Wrestling would not reform in Ring of Honor for almost three years.
They did reform, however, and their second stint as a tag team was even more successful than the first. Hero and Castagnoli reunited at “Final Battle 2009” when they attacked the Briscoes, who had just won the titles. The Kings of Wrestling would feud with the Briscoes for much of 2010, and defeated the Briscoes for the ROH World Tag Team Titles at the “Big Bang!” on April 3, 2010 to begin their second reign as tag team champions. Their second reign as tag champions would become the longest tag title reign in Ring of Honor history.
The Kings of Wrestling had a number of great and memorable matches during their second reign as champions. They successfully defended the belts against the Briscoes several times during their run, including a bloody no disqualification match at “Death Before Dishonor VIII” in June 2010. They also retained their titles in an Ultimate Endurance match that also featured the Briscoes, the All Night Express and the Dark City Fight Club.
Also, during their reign, they began a feud with Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin, known as Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team, who made their debut at “Glory by Honor IX” in September 2010. Hero and Castagnoli defeated Haas and Benjamin in their debut match for Ring of Honor, but it that was only the beginning. Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team would be the team to dethrone the Kings of Wrestling at “Honor Takes Center Stage: Chapter One” when they captured the tag titles.
The second title run of the Kings of Wrestling was the longest reign tag title reign in Ring of Honor history, spanning 363 days.
There have been rumors surfacing all summer that the Kings of Wrestling will sign, or already have signed, with the WWE. We all wish Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli the best of luck in wherever their future takes them. If their run in Ring of Honor is any indication, they’ll dominate the competition wherever they go.
If one thing is for certain, though, the Kings will always reign supreme.