This Saturday night Ring of Honor heads to Columbus, OH and the Ohio Expo Center for “Live and Let Die”!!! This huge DVD taping event features a World Title clash, multiple ROH/S.C.U.M battles, a Proving Ground contest, plus a potentially explosive Q&A with Steve Corino and Matt Hardy! Read on for how all of this came together:
Jay Briscoe(c) defends vs. Eddie Edwards
On January 18th of this year, as a result of losing the Defy or Deny Challenge, Eddie Edwards found himself boxed out of the World Title scene while Kevin Steen remained champion. In that context, April 5th may have been one of the most joyous days of Edwards life as Steen was dethroned by Jay Briscoe and the first Triple Crown winner in ROH history was once again free to challenge for the most prestigious title in pro wrestling today.
April 5th was also one of the most joyous days in the life of Jay Briscoe as it marked the culmination of his eleven years with Ring of Honor. “Since Day One”, as the saying goes, Jay has been flying the flag for ROH and that night in New York City he achieved the ultimate reward an individual wrestler can achieve. That night was a celebration but it was straight back to the grind and every day since has been a fight.
Adam Cole, BJ Whitmer, and Davey Richards have all fallen to the elder Briscoe brother in World Title bouts. Rhino and Matt Hardy were beaten in a tag team affair in NYC despite Jay eating a Gore intended for his partner of the night Adam Cole but the other nights have not been so successful. Jay & Mark tasted defeated in their championship rematch with reDRagon at “Dragon's Reign” in Belle Vernon and, as you can see via Early Bird TV, the June 8th edition of ROH TV was also not the most successful for the brothers from Delaware. Add in the fact that the winner of this bout will go on to “Best in the World 2013” to defend the title against Mark Briscoe and there are certainly a number of things weighing on the mind of the current World Champion.
Can Jay fend off another American Wolf challenge or will Edwards, the first Triple Crown Champion, make history once again by becoming the second two time World Champion in ROH history? We will find out Saturday night...
Rhino vs. Kevin Steen
At "Death Before Dishonor X" last September in Chicago Ridge, Kevin Steen successfully defended the ROH World Title in a chaos-filled Anything Goes brawl with "The Man Beast" Rhino who, at the time, was aligned with The House of Truth.
Fast forward to the end of 2012 and Rhino had thrown his allegiance into the S.C.U.M fold alongside Steen, Jimmy Jacobs, and a man with whom Rhino had long been affiliated in one Steve Corino. Under Steve's guidance, Rhino's violent streak was directed towards the likes of Jay Lethal as he attempted to be the man to dethrone Steen at the "11th Anniversary Event", Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander as they stood in opposition to S.C.U.M, and it would be remiss to not mention Jay Briscoe as a Gore from "The Man Beast" after the "11th Anniversary Event" World Title match is what nearly put the current World Champion on the shelf prior to his bout with Steen at "Supercard of Honor VII".
Speaking of "SoH VII", everything changed in one fell swoop that weekend as Steen lost the World Title and Corino & S.C.U.M excommunicated Steen from the unit that had been built around him. Kevin went on on a path to pick apart S.C.U.M one-by-one with Rhett Titus being the first victim at “Dragon's Reign” in Belle Vernon, then it was Jimmy Jacobs in a No DQ fight at “Relentless” in Richmond, and now, a "DBD X" rematch will take place in Columbus on Saturday June 8th when Steen and Rhino collide!”
"Kevin beat Rhino last year, that much is true." Steve Corino told ROHWrestling.com when we first informed him of the match prior to Belle Vernon. "But what Kevin needs to remember is that he beat a Rhino that was NOT being guided by the hand of Steve Corino, he beat a Man Beast who was NOT operating under the blessing of Matt Hardy, he beat Rhino but he NEVER felt The Gore! I took that bullet for you, Jimmy Jacobs took that bullet for you, even Todd Sinclair took that bullet for you! Now Kevin Steen, you are so utterly alone. There is no one who will sacrifice for you, not the way S.C.U.M was willing to, not the way Matt Hardy selflessly sacrifices for us every single day Kevin. In Columbus, if you even make it there after dealing with Rhett Titus and Jimmy, you will feel a Gore and you will not get up. There will be no second coming of Kevin Steen after Rhino lays you to rest."
Kevin Steen continues his quest to decimate S.C.U.M piece-by-piece when he takes on "The Man Beast" Rhino on June 8th in Columbus, OH
Matt Hardy vs. Mark Briscoe
In just two short weeks both of these men will have the opportunity to become World Champion: Mark when he faces either Jay Briscoe or Eddie Edwards at “Best in the World 2013” on June 22nd and Hardy the following day during the ROH TV Tapings. Depending on how things go for the younger Briscoe at “BITW”, this bout may be a preview of June 23rd's World Title match in Baltimore.
Beyond that possibility, this bout is an integral one in the ROH/SCUM war as one of our founding fathers take on the the man who has become S.C.U.M poster child since Kevin Steen was ousted from the unit he helped create. Steve Corino has put all his hope and faith into “The Self-Proclaimed Icon” by granting the one and only World Title Match S.C.U.M has to Hardy and a victor over Mark is certainly crucial heading into Baltimore both in terms of momentum and to make a statement to the champion that Hardy should not be taken lightly.
For Mark, especially if it is brother Jay who comes out of Columbus as champion, this is a chance to make a statement all his own...it's a chance to show that little brother is all grown up and ready to whoop big brother's ass. The fans all know how crazy Mark can be, they all know what he brings to the table, but as for Jay, this match is Mark's opportunity to remind his brother of just what he's got waiting for him on 6/22.
And for both men, especially if this is the World Title bout that comes to fruition on 6/23, it's a chance to get that crucial psychological advantage. There's nothing like going into a fight knowing you've already been beat once by your opponent...
**If ACH/Thomas either defeat reDRagon or last the time limit, they will receive a future World Tag Team Title Match**
World Tag Team Champions reDRagon (Bobby Fish & Kyle O'Reilly) vs. ACH & Tadarius Thomas
The tag team champions have been impressive since the day the united to form reDRagon and their record as a duo is quite impeccable. Aside from a loss to The American Wolves at “Final Battle 2012”, Kyle O'Reilly and Bobby Fish have yet to taste defeat in a tag team contest. They put down The Briscoes to capture the titles and The Forever Hooligans the next day. They successfully retained in the rematch against the Briscoes, they beat the Wolves in a title match in New York City, they stopped the Underdog challenge of Alabama Attitude, and they put down Whitmer & Titus in Dearborn. In two-on-two contests they have been nearly unstoppable.
As a pair, the nascent duo of ACH & Tadarius Thomas have not been the most successful but they have also faced some of the best talent in the tag team ranks in The American Wolves and C&C Wrestle Factory. What they have shown though is a desire to compete against the best and, in turn, a desire to become the best team they can possibly be. Taking on the Tag Team Champions is another step in that journey and a chance to earn a title match makes this opportunity all the more sweeter.
Jay Lethal, BJ Whitmer, & Michael Elgin vs. S.C.U.M (Jimmy Jacobs, Rhett Titus, & Cliff Compton)
With the war against S.C.U.M getting more and more intense by the day, three of the men who have stood tallest for Ring of Honor will go into battle in Columbus with three of Corino's men with the rules tossed right out the window. It's no secret though that the success/failure ratio does not weigh in Ring of Honor's favor in this war...men like Jacobs, Titus, and Compton have used the numbers game and the rules (or lack of) to their favor at every turn, including in San Antonio when Elgin & Whitmer were defeated in a Texas Tornado bout.
No though, with absolutely no rules to worry about, and three warriors like Lethal, Whitmer, and Elgin as their opposition, the S.C.U.M crew has to be questioning themselves. There is nothing to stop Whitmer from choking the life out of Titus, his former partner, with a chain. There is nothing stopping Lethal from smacking Jimmy Jacobs with a chair like he did in Belle Vernon. There is nothing stopping Elgin from Buckle Bombing Cliff Compton through a table...there are no rules, no restrictions, this will be ugly. This is war ladies and gentleman and war is certainly never pretty...
Davey Richards vs. Cedric Alexander
The toughest singles match of Cedric's ROH career...that is exactly what this bout with Davey Richards will be. Cedric has spent the majority of his time in ROH competing in tag team bouts alongside Caprice Coleman so this foray into singles competition is one to keep a close eye on. Davey brings out the best in his opponents, forcing them to dig deep and fight with reserves they never knew they had. Cedric will be pushed like never before and in the end, win or lose, this is his chance to prove that he is just as good standing alone as he is in tag team competition.
Adam Cole vs. Caprice Coleman
Caprice has the experience edge by far in this one-on-one battle but, as with his tag partner, the majority of his ROH career has been spent competing in the tag team ranks. This is Caprice's chance to shine as he takes on a former World TV Champion and top World Title contender in Adam Cole. The question is what Cole will show up to the dance: will it be the honorable Adam Cole the fans have embraced over the last few years or will it be the Adam Cole who walked away from the Code of Honor in San Antonio?
Special Challenge Match #3
Roderick Strong vs. “God's Gift” QT Marshall
QT Marshall, in bouts with Jay Briscoe and in his tag team contest against The American Wolves, has proven he has it in him to compete with some of the top shelf competition in Ring of Honor. It is just unfortunate that everything about him is so distasteful...from his choice of management to his attitude towards his opponents, Marshall is someone who is just asking for a beating every time he steps foot in the ring. Unfortunately for him, Roderick Strong is just the man to deliver that sort of beating, especially when it comes to breaking someone in to ROH the hard way. Much like Davey, Strong will push QT to dig deep if he wants survive.
In addition to all of these bouts, prior to the start of the event there will be a special autograph signing with all of the members of S.C.U.M in attendance PLUS, starting at 6:15 and lasting for thirty minutes, there will be a Q&A Session with none other than Steve Corino and Matt Hardy! This is your opportunity to ask these two men anything and everything you've ever wanted to know but be warned, you may not like the answers. It's doubtful ROH officials will EVER give S.C.U.M an open forum like this EVER again so one can only guess what Corino and Hardy will have to say...
It's “Live and Let Die” this Saturday night in Columbus! Tickets are on-sale now in the ROH Store or at the door the night of the event! Don't miss out as honor returns to Ohio with the best pound-for-pound wrestling on the planet!!!