This Saturday night, May 12th, Ring of Honor makes our return to Toronto & The Ted Reeve Arena for the first time in over a year! It’s been too long and we are unbelievably excited to finally get back to The Great White North, and we are bringing with us one of the most loaded events in ROH’s history! Every championship is up for grabs, legends are making their return or stepping into the ROH ring for the first time, grudges are coming to the forefront, and it will all be live on iPPV right here!!! Let’s take a look at the line-up:
ROH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Davey Richards defends his championship against "Wrestling's Worst Nightmare" Kevin Steen
The history between these two warriors is rich & deep, dating back to 2009 when The American Wolves were embroiled in a war over the ROH World Tag Team Titles with Kevin Steen & El Generico that culminated in Ladder War II at “Glory by Honor VIII”, a war that The Wolves won.
But this issue centering around the World Title…this one has been brewing, in some ways, since the day Kevin Steen involved himself following Davey’s title defense at “Glory by Honor X” against El Generico. Steen, banned from Ring of Honor at the time, was in attendance as a fan, ticket in hand, but after being tossed out of the building earlier in the night for interference, chose to return and attack Generico and Davey both before being dragged out by security when Jimmy Jacobs & Steve Corino also hit the ring to fend off Kevin.
At “Final Battle 2011”, after defeating Corino in a violent war, Kevin earned his way back into Ring of Honor and almost immediately let it be known his sights were set on Davey Richards, verbally assaulting both he & Eddie Edwards following their championship match later that night. For the next several months, be it verbally or physically, Steen continued to make it known he was coming for Davey while simultaneously running down Jim Cornette at every opportunity. Steen again interrupted the aftermath of one of Davey’s matches, this time following the “Young Wolves Rising” tag team contest at the “10th Anniversary Event”, essentially spoiling Adam Cole’s moment of victory, having pinned the World Champion that night.
But it all came to a head at the “Border Wars” press conference when Steen crashed the proceedings and demanded a title match against Richards, one that Cornette was very reticent to allow until Richards demanded it to happen, guaranteeing success, and also demanding the Package Piledriver, banned since the beginning of the year, also be reinstated for this fight. Cornette relented, making the match official, but a short time later, while having both Davey & Steen sign a wavier of liability, included a stipulation that this would be Kevin’s one and only opportunity at the championship.
There’s no doubt that Davey will be in hostile territory on Saturday, fighting Kevin in his home country, but for almost a year since he captured the championship, Richards has fought his heart out regardless of the opponent, the location, or the fans. He has gotten off a plane from Japan, headed straight to training, than made the drive to the events to defend his title. He is truly relentless in his pursuit of being the best and adamant that Steen will have to essentially kill him to beat him. Davey has willingly taken the weight of the world on his shoulders in this title match, offered himself up as the man to stop “Wrestling’s Worst Nightmare”, and now has the expectations of Jim Cornette & ROH officials hanging over him as well. But if Davey has proved anything since rebounding from his “Final Battle 2010” World Title loss, and fighting on to capture the championship at “Best in the World 2011”, it’s that his focus is pure and his will indomitable.
This is without a doubt the most anticipated ROH World Title match in a long time and it has the very real possibility to change the face of Ring of Honor…
ROH WORLD TELEVISION CHAMPIONSHIP
ROH World TV Champion Roderick Strong w/ Truth Martini defends against "Belfast Bruiser" Fit Finlay
Roderick Strong captured the ROH World TV Title at “Showdown in the Sun – Day 2” from Jay Lethal, making him only the 2nd man to claim the ROH Triple Crown in the 10 year history of the company. To say this boosted his already exaggerated ego would be an understatement, and his successful defense of the title against Adam Cole, the man who pinned Davey Richards weeks earlier, only made it worse. But not Strong must contend with one of the hardest hitting men to ever grace the squared circle, Fit Finlay! His is a career built on a love of fighting, a career that has taken him around the world and allowed him to battle the best wrestlers that have ever laced up their boots across decades. The physicality of both men involved in this battle is off the charts, both seem to have a genuine love for hurting their opponents, and both men are known for the viciousness of their strikes. Finlay’s world-wide experience, his own championship successes over the years, those accolades have earned him this title opportunity in Toronto but he will have to put in the fight of his life to wrest the belt from Strong’s possession…and there is always the presence of Truth Martini & Michael Elgin that must be of concern as well.
FIGHT WITHOUT HONOR FOR THE ROH WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
Jay & Mark Briscoe defend vs. Wrestling's Greatest Tag Team (Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin)
It’s been over a year since these two teams first locked up at the “9th Anniversary Show” in a fight to determine a #1 Contender for the tag titles then held by The Kings of Wrestling. At the time the mentality of both teams were very different, it was an affair of sportsmanship that showcased the ROH tag team division’s competitiveness, and it was a bout that WGTT won. They would go on to capture the belts from The KoW at “Honor Takes Center Stage – Chapter 1” shortly thereafter while The Briscoes began a rapid descent into some truly abhorrent behavior in their war with ANX. But the paths of the two teams would meet again at “Best in the World 2011” when, after having been eliminated first in a 4 Team Title Match, Jay & Mark returned to the ring to assault WGTT after their successful defense that night. From that point forward, the war was on…
Fights at DVD tapings, at TV tapings, coming to a head at “Final Battle 2011” where a total brawl erupted before the bell even rang to officially begin the match. Chairs were liberally used, leading to fines down the road and setting the stage for assaults to come, but when the final bell rang it was Jay & Mark Briscoe who captured the ROH World Tag Titles for the 7th time, but the war was far from over and it became obvious that something changed with WGTT. Their attitudes became...awful…to say the least and their total disregard for rules or fines became obvious on “Ring of Honor Wrestling” when a series of steel chair assaults on The Briscoes resulted in Shelton’s suspension for several weeks. Hass himself suffered a fine but arrogantly threw the money down for both his AND Shelton’s fine, essentially giving the finger to ROH management.
At “Showdown in the Sun – Day 2” it was time for the rematch, a contest the Briscoes again won, but ever the sore losers, Haas & Benjamin incapacitated Mark and used the corner post to brutally assault Jay’s groin. Then in Dayton, in a rematch that The Briscoes demanded, the involvement of The ANX led to Jay & Mark again retaining their titles. That all brings us here, to Toronto and this Fight Without Honor; in a match with no rules, no countouts or DQs, no way to end save pinfall or submission, The Briscoes & WGTT will finally put an end to their rivalry live on iPPV. Win or lose, this will be the last time these two teams collide over the World Tag Titles, and with a history as violent & personal as theirs, in a match where anything & everything goes, one can only imagine what depths these four men will sink to in order to leave as champions…
SHOWDOWN IN THE SUN - REMATCH
"Canadian Icon" Lance Storm vs. "The Prodigy" Mike Bennett w/ Brutal Bob
At “Showdown in the Sun – Day 1”, in a match personally requested by Lance Storm, “The Prodigy” Mike Bennett defeated the “Canadian Icon”. Ever the sportsman, Storm extended his hand to Bennett in a show of respect but Bennett, ever the scumbag, took that handshake and used it to sucker in Storm and lay him out with The Box Office Smash. Immediately Storm demanded a rematch with Bennett and it was a match ROH officials were all too happy to sign for our long-awaited return to Toronto, the place where Storm went toe-to-toe with Chris Hero at “Death Before Dishonor VII, N. 2” in 2009. Storm aims to shut the braggadocios mouth of Bennett, freely admitting that at his age any match could be his last, and refusing to let his career potentially end with Bennett & Maria standing over him. Well in Toronto there’s no worry about Maria getting involved, but in her stead, Brutal Bob will be at Mike’s side so again Storm will have to have his head on a swivel. As for Bennett, all he wants is the glory of saying he put down Lance Storm on two consecutive occasions, he wants the accolades of ending Storm’s career on a loss, and of course Bennett wants the headlines he believes that will bring. In Ft. Lauderdale it was a battle of youth vs. experience, but in Toronto it’s a battle of bad blood…
"Die Hard" Eddie Edwards vs. "The Man Beast" Rhino w/ Truth Martini
Fresh off a tour of Pro Wrestling NOAH where he competed in the Global Tag League with Colt Cabana, Eddie Edwards returns to ROH to face off with “The Man Beast”, The House of Truth’s personal hitman, Rhino! Truth Martini has expressly stated that Rhino’s one mission is to put any potential title challenger out of commission, essentially clearing the path for Michael Elgin’s future World Title match and taking any possible challenger for Roderick Strong’s TV Title out of contention. The first man in his crosshairs is none other than Edwards, a former World Champion & the 1st Triple Crown winner in ROH history. It’s the Achilles Lock versus The Gore, a man who won’t die versus a man who won’t stop until your dead; this will be a true battle of wills between “Die Hard” & “The Man Beast”!
BATTLE OF THE BREAKOUT STARS
"Unbreakable" Michael Elgin vs. Adam Cole
They are the two men who have without a doubt had the best year of their wrestling careers thus far in 2012. For “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin it really started with his epic victory at “Survival of the Fittest 2011” that earned him a future ROH World Title Match that he is still in possession of. From that point he has amassed a great record, defeating, amongst others, Chris Hero, Adam Cole, & TJ Perkins, and having the match of his life against Davey Richards at “Showdown in the Sun – Day 2”.
Adam Cole, on the other hand, has not accumulated the greatest win-loss record this year, but he has established himself as a “never say die” fighter in the same vein as his sometime-partner “Die Hard” Eddie Edward. Starting with his brutal No Holds Barred fight with Roderick Strong in January, Cole has quietly proved himself as tough as they come, and at the “10th Anniversary Event” when he pinned ROH World Champion Davey Richards in the tag team main event, his arrival was declared quite loudly. Follow that up with a tremendous performance in Dayton on April 29th in his World Title bout against Davey, and one can certainly say that Adam Cole has arrived. Now these two men will collide at “Border Wars” on May 12th in a battle of the top hottest stars in Ring of Honor!
Jay Lethal vs. "The Dominant Male" Tommaso Ciampa w/ The Embassy Ltd.
At the “10th Anniversary Event” in NYC, Tommaso Ciampa challenged then-TV Champion Jay Lethal for the championship after earning the shot via a Proving Ground match. The bout went to a time limit draw and rather than enter into a kind of overtime period, The Embassy Ltd stole the title belt and quickly vacated the premises. The belt was essentially held hostage until “Showdown in the Sun – Day 2” where Ciampa was ordered to bring the belt to Ft. Lauderdale and return it to its rightful holder. Lethal, scheduled to take on Roderick Strong as part of the “Blind Destiny” challenge, was essentially cajoled by Ciampa into putting the belt up since Strong was also owed a Proving Ground-based title opportunity.
In a surprising moment Ciampa, who was seated at ringside watching, actually used a distraction to slam the champion into the ring post, and then feed him to Strong, who took advantage of the opportunity and defeated Lethal to claim the TV Title. The tensions between these two men have been building for several months now and it looks like its set to explode at The Ted Reeve Arena! It’s Jay Lethal vs. the unbeaten “Dominant Male” Tommaso Ciampa in a Grudge Match!
SIX MAN TAG MATCH
The All Night Express (Kenny King & Rhett Titus) and "Technical Lightning" TJ Perkins vs. The Young Bucks (Nick & Matt Jackson) and "No Fear" Mike Mondo
It started as a verbal confrontation during a backstage interview on this week’s edition of “Ring of Honor Wrestling TV” between TJ Perkins & The Young Bucks prior to TJ’s match with Mike Mondo but it escalated into so much more.
During the course of the battle, apparently taking umbrage at TJ’s words, Matt & Nick Jackson came to ringside and got themselves involved, directly leading to Mondo picking up the win with an Elevated Double Underhook DDT. A 3-on-1 assault followed the closing bell which in turn brought out Rhett Titus & Kenny King to fend off their own rivals and even the odds.
“The Young Bucks don’t know when to leave it alone.” said Rhett Titus, “I guess they just can’t handle it when someone like TJ doesn’t just take their crap. Me and Kenny weren’t just going to let it slide, running a numbers game like that, so we came out to even the score. Of course you ran like the lady boys we know you are but you ain’t running in Canada! See we had a little chat with TJ, then we had a talk with Cornette, and now you two and Mondo are going to get what’s coming to ya in Toronto!”
That’s right…at “Border Wars” THIS Saturday night, live on iPPV from Toronto, its The All Night Express & “Technical Lightning” TJ Perkins vs. The Young Bucks & Mike Mondo in a 6-Man Grudge Match!!! The heat between ANX and The YB has been building every since “Final Battle 2011” when they put Titus on the shelf while Mondo & TJ have traded wins in recent weeks. Now the two paths collide at “Border Wars”!
Other wrestler's signed to appear:
- Steve Corino
He has been silent since his former sponsor Jimmy Jacobs aligned himself with Kevin Steen at “Showdown in the Sun – Day 1” but now Steve will finally speak his mind at “Border Wars”. It’s been a tumultuous 2012 for Corino since losing the match at “Final Battle 2011” that allowed Steen back into ROH. What will Steve have to say about everything that has gone down?
“Border Wars” goes down THIS Saturday night, May 12th, in Toronto at The Ted Reeve Arena and it will be broadcast live right here on ROHWrestling.com! Once you place your order, it will be available to view on Saturday under the “MY PPVS” section of the site! You can also pick up tickets at the door on the night of the event! And don’t forget, there is a special Meet & Greet going down starting at 5:45pm with “Belfast Bruiser” Fit Finlay, Lance Storm, ROH World Tag Team Champions Mark & Jay Briscoe, Jay Lethal, and “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin! Get there early and take advantage of this opportunity to meet the stars of ROH!