Ring of Honor (RoH) delivers some of the most dynamic, gripping and action-fuelled drama the world of wrestling has ever seen. Sitting atop the Ring of Honor roster is the incomparable Christopher Daniels. Having wrestled in the main event of RoHs first ever show, fifteen years later Daniels took the World Championship belt in an emotional bout against Adam Cole. On 23 June 2017, Daniels is set to defend the title against 'the american nightmare' Cody Rhodes as part of a stacked card that also features Kushida defending the TV title against Marty Scurll. The show can be seen on Pay-Per-View with all the details here. Only a few weeks later the stars of Ring of Honor, CMLL, New Japan will be in London, Liverpool and Edinburgh alongside RevPro for War of the Worlds UK (full details here). We spoke to Christopher Daniels about Best in the World, the UK tour and more. So read on and make sure to get tickets for the UK shows here!
You are facing Cody Rhodes at Best in the World on June 23. Youve only been in the ring together a handful of times and not really one-on-one before. What are you expecting from him?
Well, I think Cody's been on a tremendous run, especially since leaving WWE. He's really adapted to the Ring of Honor style. The fact that hes been wrestling all over the independent scene and all through Ring of Honor and New Japan, I feel he's really stepped us his game so I'm expecting one of the toughest matches I've ever had. At the same time I've watched a lot of his tape and his matches and I don't think hes got anything I'm not prepared for. Hes very well rounded and he can take to the air if he wants but I think his ground game is probably his strength and I think I have him beat in that respect. I think Ill be able to take him down and put him where I need him when the time comes.
What did it mean to you winning the RoH championship after so long. Can you describe the emotion of the win?
It certainly felt like the weight of the world had been taken off my shoulders. If you'd have asked a year ago if I'd be world champion or if I'd have another opportunity I don't know if I would have been able to say yes. I put so much effort into the tag-team with Frankie [Kazarian], I didn't think I'd be getting one but that's just the way wrestling is. Sometimes you just don't know when these opportunities are going to come around. I certainly felt very proud to be the champion of Ring of Honor, especially at this point with one of the most talented locker rooms we've ever had in RoH and probably one of the most talented in wrestling altogether. It's a badge of honor (no pun intended) that I'm very proud to have.
You said in another interview that opportunity clouds the finish line of your career. Has that happened now with the title win?
Yes. I've always said that I'm going to continue to wrestle so long as I'm having fun and can perform at a top level. I feel like right now I'm still wrestling to the best of my ability with some of the best in the world, keeping up with them and getting decisive victories over a lot of them. So I'm going to continue as long as I can. I don't see anything in the future that's going to make me hang them up.
We saw you helping Will Ospreay and Marty Scurll work through some ideas for a match. Are you taking on that advisory role too?
Yes and no. I feel I've always tried to help guys that are willing to listen and give them the benefit of my experience. Will and Marty are the perfect example of that. They're two guys that have had so much success already in their careers but also realise that there's a lot to learn and a lot of different points of view that they can take into account to help their careers along and become better wrestlers overall. I feel there is an opportunity for me in Ring of Honor, as someone who has worked on television off and on for the last 15 years. That experience of being on TV is new to a lot of guys in RoH, so I can help them manoeuvre that path. I feel I'm obligated to do so. Wrestling is one of the few arts where the best experiences are passed down from artist to artist. You can go to a class and watch tape and learn as much as you can from there but it means a lot coming from a guy who has been in that position and walked that path before you. I wouldn't be where I am without guys like Mike Moran and Terry Taylor who tried to help me during my career. So I feel like that's my job too -not just to be the best wrestler that I can be when my matches are on but also trying to help as many of the guys in RoH as I can, in order to help RoH as a brand be better.
You're coming to the UK with RoH. How was the last set of shows for you?
They were great! I feel like RoH has a great fan-base over there and it's a market we want to continue to visit. We're looking forward to the August shows. I feel like not just for RoH but with companies like What Culture a lot of the Ring of Honor stars have had the opportunity to build a fan-base. I feel like I've already had a great fan-base out there for myself. So I'm always happy to go out and perform for passionate fans. The scene in the UK is just insane, so its great to come out as often as we can.
So will this be regular? Can we expect to see Women of Honor come across the pond?
Most possibly. It all depends on logistics really. I don't think WoH are coming on this particular tour but I know that's something we're going to be working towards as we build up WoH here in the UK.
Is there someone youve bumped into on the indy scene you think should be signed to RoH?
The first person that comes to mind is El Ligero. Ive always been a big fan of his work and I think hes got a lot of good experience and can wrestle the RoH style.
You left Impact wrestling not on the greatest terms but it has new management. Has the relationship thawed?
I don't really have any relations with anybody there honestly. Since I signed with RoH, I haven't even contemplated the idea of any sort of return to them. For me, with the change of management there, it's a completely new entity but all my concentration is on Ring of Honor.
What motivated your job at Universal Studios?
My background is in theatre and this particular job working for the Waterworld show is a gateway into stunt work. I had the opportunity to work with a lot of great stunt performers and co-ordinators. I'd love to follow that with work behind the scenes in stunt work or acting - the kind of things the RoH schedule is open for. I've been very fortunate to work on some things like the forthcoming GLOW series for Netflix, so when opportunities like that arise I definitely want to take advantage and go out and build new horizons in that way.
On the immediate horizon for Daniels is his match with Rhodes on June 23. Make sure to follow Ring of Honor for full details.