On January 20th, Ring of Honor will return to it’s spiritual home of Philadelphia, for the first time since the end of the HDNet era. The chosen venue, the Pennsylvania National Guard Armory, has long been a favourite of ROH fans.
Not visited since the ‘Respect is Earned II’ PPV taping, the building has a rich history, playing host to some of the most memorable moments ever seen, in a ROH ring.
In December 2004, ROH icon Austin Aries won his first World Championship at the National Guard Armory, ending the epic 645-day run of the, seemingly, unstoppable force Samoa Joe, with a 450 Splash.
Earlier in that same year, Aries had defeated ROH Founding Father Bryan Danielson, in a near-80-minute ‘2 out of 3 Falls’ match.
The building also played host to the climax of the classic ROH vs. CZW feud, the now-infamous Cage of Death match.
Ring of Honor’s history, with this part of the world, goes back to Day One of the promotion’s life. ROH was formed in Philadelphia and took up permanent residence in the city, in it’s inaugural year. This veritable homecoming is something that ROH fans have been clamouring for, for some time.
As the resurgant ROH continues to expand it’s territory, going in 2012, other arenas booked for January include: The Du Burns Arena in Baltimore, MD and the massive Scope Arena in Norfolk, VA.
The Scope has been known to hold as many as 14,000 spectators (dependant on set-up) and it has strong ties with professional wrestling. The 40-year-old venue has famously hosted major WWE and WCW PPVs, in the past. Perhaps most memorably, it was the site of the WCW Nitro broadcast that was invaded by the WWF’s D-Generation X stable, at the height of the Monday Night Wars.
The booking of such arenas is a sign of the grand ambitions that, new owners, the Sinclair Broadcast Group have for the rising company.