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Ring of Honor makes eh list
By TIM BAINES - Ottawa Sun


Far from the orchestrated Barnum and Bailey world of WWE, Ring of Honor has quietly established itself as a centre of excellence.

Samoa Joe, Homicide and CM Punk became major stars through their association with the little promotion that grew. Others like Spanky (Brian Kendrick), James Noble and Colt Cabana gained their own measure of stardom.

The current crop of stars puts on a show second to none. And finally, Ring of Honor will come north of the border, appearing July 25 (8 p.m.) in Toronto at the Ted Reeve Arena, with a show in Montreal on Nov. 7 at Centre Jean-Claude Malepart (tickets are on sale).

Fans out west will have to settle for Ring of Honor on The Fight Network.

"We've been wanting to come to Canada for quite a while," says Ring of Honor owner Cary Silkin. "But we didn't rush into it. One of the reasons Ring of Honor has been successful in a tough wrestling business climate is we've done everything in slow steps.

"Canada has a great wrestling history. We've sold more than 1,000 tickets for the Toronto show and for a company without prime-time TV."

So what makes Ring of Honor distinctive?

"I grew up in New Jersey in the late 1960s and early '70s," says Silkin. "It was the era of Bruno Sammartino, Pedro Morales and Bob Backlund. I was always a fan of the bad guys. Freddie Blassie. And that crazy fireball-throwing Sheik. I'm happy we have The Necro Butcher. He's a throwback. For us there's no such thing as a house show. It's a hard-hitting product."

Check rohwrestling.com for more details.

AROUND THE RING

Mark Henry is the new ECW champ after beating Kane at last Sunday's Night of Champions pay-per-view. Kofi Kingston beat Chris Jericho for the Intercontinental belt. Ted DiBiase and surprise partner Cody Rhodes won the tag titles. CM Punk cashed in his Money in the Bank title shot to beat a fallen Edge, who had just been pummelled by Batista ... WWE released Trevor Murdoch.