Later Years (2007–2009)
On May 11, Danielson made his return to the company at Reborn Again where he defeated Shane Hagadorn and Adam Pearce in separate matches. On May 12 Ring of Honor filmed its first pay-per-view, Respect is Earned, which had Danielson team with ROH World Champion, Takeshi Morishima, to take on Nigel McGuinness and Kenta. Danielson's team scored the win, as Danielson made Kenta tap out to his signature submission hold, the Cattle Mutilation. Danielson made his return to contention for the ROH World title by defeating Nigel McGuinness at Domination, which would appear on the company's next pay per view, Driven. This allowed him to, now as a heroic character, challenge Morishima for the title at Manhattan Mayhem in a losing effort; he also suffered a legitimate detached retina. Following a subsequent surgery, Danielson returned with intent to challenge Morishima once more, leading to a match at Man Up that had the referee stop the match due to Danielson being unable to respond to him. Danielson exacted revenge, albeit by Morishima getting disqualified, at Rising Above against his rival by assaulting him before Morishima returned to Japan. Morishima returned to the company at Final Battle 2008, in a match billed as a "Fight Without Honor", which allowed both men to use weapons, which Danielson won. Danielson noted in a March 2012 interview that the biggest sense of validation he ever had at that point was at Final Battle 2008 because he and Morishima managed to sell out 2,500 people in New York City.
Over the coming months Danielson worked with Austin Aries again as friendly rivals, exchanging victories including a match on pay-per-view at Take No Prisoners, which was won by Danielson. Danielson also aided Aries by becoming his partner in order to take on The Age of the Fall as revenge for Aries. The two wrestled all members of the group in a series of different stipulation matches, as well as teaming together frequently to challenge members Jimmy Jacobs and Tyler Black for the ROH World Tag Team Championship.
As part of ROH's agreement with Pro Wrestling Noah, the company held a show in Japan on September 14 titled the Tokyo Summit, where Danielson wrestled GHC Junior Heavyweight Champion, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, and won the championship. Following his victory, he was interviewed, and announced that Noah would allow him defend the title in Ring of Honor, with his first defense being at Glory By Honor VII, defeating Katsuhiko Nakajima, a competitor from the Kensuke Office, another member promotion of the GPWA. This would ultimately be his only successful defense, however, as he would return to Japan on October 13 to lose the title to Kenta. Following his loss, Danielson challenged McGuinness for the title at the next ROH pay per view, Rising Above in a losing effort.
Ring of Honor made its national television debut with the program, Ring of Honor Wrestling, and Danielson made his television debut in the main event of its third episode by defeating Austin Aries. The following episode to feature Danielson had him wrestle Tyler Black, which ended in a draw. This was the start of a rivalry between the two that was highlighted by Danielson's respect for Tyler, even claiming Black would be the top star in the future, with Danielson's antithesis being that would not happen for a while, leading to the two have many more matches that kept the notion of neither man truly being better. At this point, as well, Danielson became more involved in trying to win the ROH World Tag Team title, so, out of respect to his rival, had chosen Black to be his partner. The two attempted to win the title multiple times, leading to a conflict, dismantling the partnership.
On August 23, it was announced Danielson signed a deal with World Wrestling Entertainment; prior to joining the company, he embarked on a farewell tour with ROH known as The Final Countdown Tour, which saw him challenge Aries for the title again in a losing effort. On September 26 at Glory by Honor VIII: The Final Countdown, he won his last match in the company against Nigel McGuinness, who was also having his final match with the company.
Famous quotes containing the word years:
“Not so many years ago there there was no simpler or more intelligible notion than that of going on a journey. Travelmovement through spaceprovided the universal metaphor for change.... One of the subtle confusionsperhaps one of the secret terrorsof modern life is that we have lost this refuge. No longer do we move through space as we once did.”
—Daniel J. Boorstin (b. 1914)