Ring of Honor is on the road once again THIS Saturday night as we head back to Cincinnati, OH for a big live event DVD taping! Just two weeks out from our “11th Anniversary Event”, the Taft Masonic Center plays host to seven big matches including a No Time Limit Main Event pitting S.C.U.M against Nigel McGuinness' hand-picked team of ROH representatives. Read on to see how these bouts all came together...
SIX MAN TAG TEAM ELIMINATION MATCH – NO TIME LIMT
World TV Champion Adam Cole, Davey Richards, & "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin vs. S.C.U.M (ROH World Champion Kevin Steen, Jimmy Jacobs & Steve Corino)
As we have seen in recent episode of “Ring of Honor Wrestling” TV, there is something amiss in the world of S.C.U.M. Since defeating El Generico in Ladder War IV at “Final Battle 2012”, there has been a lot of talk about World Champion Kevin Steen has been changing but it is not just talk. We have seen with our own eyes and heard it, or rather not heard it, with our own ears. He has been far less vocal than at any point since he gatecrashed “Best in the World 2011” and as we saw this week on ROH TV in their 8-Man tag against The Briscoes and C&C, Steen does not seem to be on the same page as the rest of his group. In fact, as you will see see in the coming weeks (or can watch now with the Early Bird TV access), Steen's entire attitude towards Ring of Honor seems to shifting. It certainly paints this 6-Man battle of ROH vs. S.C.U.M in a different light.
On the other side of this match-up, you have two men in Davey Richards and Michael Elgin whom Steen has beaten in his title reign, twice in the case of Davey. Also in the case of Richards, you have a man who is eliminated from title contention as long as Kevin remains champion. Still a victory for his team here, especially if Davey can be the first man to pin or submit Steen since “Final Battle 2010”, would go a long way towards achieving the redemption Davey has sought since losing the title to Kevin at “Border Wars 2012” and failing to reclaim it at “Best in the World 2012”.
Elgin, still eligible for a rematch, gave Kevin what was arguably the toughest straight-up fight of his title reign at “Glory by Honor XI” and wants nothing more than to get back into the picture. Being a
victor in this elimination battle, particularly if he can be the first guy to pin or submit Steen in over two years, would certainly catapult him into the slot.
Adam Cole is the lone man on his team who hasn't challenged for the World Title during Steen's reign but he has been a victim of Steen in the past, most notably last year at “ROH Underground” and during the lead-up to the “Showdown in the Sun” events. As TV Champion, Cole is one of the men in the ROH locker room who fans have been clamoring to get his shot at dethroning Steen and, just as with Elgin, being the victor and/or eliminating the World Champion would certainly put him in that position.
Can Nigel's hand-picked team pick up this all-important victory with the “11th Anniversary Event” on the horizon? Or will it be S.C.U.M, with what is apparently Corino's big recruitment drive looming, who heads into Chicago Ridge with the upper hand? And how will the current mental state of Kevin Steen play into all of this???
Roderick Strong vs. ACH
“Mister ROH” is how Roderick Strong likes to think of himself and given his tenure with the company, his standing as one of only two Triple Crown Champions in history, and his overall accomplishments, it can be hard to argue with that statement. With that idea in his head, there is nothing more Strong seems to enjoy (aside from a cold beer perhaps) than laying a beating on the young athletes looking to make their name. ACH is just such an athlete; a young, high-flying wrestler with a strong buzz surrounding him, that resume just screams for Roderick to want to test him.
In his few outings in ROH, ACH has indeed impressed, particularly in his near-victory over Kyle O'Reilly back at “Death Before Dishonor X”. Recently taking part in the 2013 Top Prospect Tournament, ACH was eliminated by Matt Taven in the opening round but now he has another opportunity to prove he belongs in ROH by colliding with Roddy. Win or lose ACH can count on a few things: he will be tested, he will be hurt, and he will feel it for days afterward. Roderick is a machine, and ACH is certainly in for a fight. If it is one he survives, ACH will certainly earn respect and if it is one he wins, you can bet it is a victory ACH will have earned...
BJ Whitmer vs. Kyle O'Reilly
With his redDRagon partner Bobby Fish unavailable, Kyle O'Reilly returns to singles competition to square off with the toughest man on ROH's roster. That is not an arguable point, just look at BJ's history since the day he first set foot in the ROH ring. You don't even have to go back that far, just look at the last two months since “Final Battle 2012” when Charlie Haas did his level best to cripple Whitmer by throwing him headfirst, off the top rope, through a table. BJ got up, BJ dusted himself off, and shockingly got right back in the fight in January at our Baltimore TV tapings, in Dearborn at “Hunt for the Gold” where he and Rhett Titus fought redDRagon in a losing battle, and in Milwaukee at “Defy or Deny II” where he survived multiple Twists of Fate from Matt Hardy and it took Titus throwing in the towel while BJ was trapped in a submission for that match to end. As you will see on this weekend's edition of ROH TV, Whitmer was also the victim of an assault from Charlie Haas that left his status for Cincinnati very questionable.
Still Whitmer fights on...and that is something of which Kyle O'Reilly should be very afraid. Regardless of a bad neck, regardless of whatever other injuries he may be concealing, Whitmer is going to take the fight to Kyle as hard as he possible can until his body can no longer go. Bravery or stupidity? That is something the history books will decide. The primary thing BJ needs to fear now is Kyle's submission abilities and just how he will come after that neck. Kyle wants 2013 to be the year that he, and Bobby Fish, ascend to the top of ROH and putting down BJ will go a long way towards making that dream a reality.
Jay Lethal vs Tadarius Thomas
The last man to challenge Kevin Steen for the ROH World Title versus the next man to challenge for the championship. At “The Hunt For Gold”, Thomas was given the opportunity of a lifetime when he faced Steen for the World Title and although he came up short of victory, it gave him a taste of what that rarefied air is like and now he wants more. Lethal, who first had his opportunity at the chaotic “Killer Instinct” event, is the only man who has challenged Kevin Steen during his title reign and NOT been defeated. That bout resulted in chaos, in Lethal being locked out of contention for a time, and in Jim Cornette's absence from ROH but it also gave Jay an edge that he never had before, the kind of edge it may take to dethrone Kevin at the “11th Anniversary Event”. Yet in Cincinnati Jay finds himself in an environment just as unpredictable as facing Steen as he attempts to find the key to dealing with the Capoeria-influenced wrestling style of Thomas. It is unique, hard to game plan, and could leave Lethal in a weakened position heading into his title match...it is a risk with the only reward being some of that elusive momentum heading into 3/2. For Thomas it is all reward; defeating the top contender only weeks before his title shot would put Tadarius in a very advantageous position should Lethal defeat Kevin...
ROH World Tag Team Champion Mark Briscoe vs. "Spyder” Nate Webb
Two of the most unique personalities in professional wrestling will collide in Cincinnati when Mark Briscoe and Nate Webb go one-on-one. Redneck Kung-Fu versus...well we aren't sure what to call the stylings of Nate because, in his wrestling career, he has proven himself as capable of trading holds as swinging a chair during the ultraviolent summer of 2006 (saying nothing of his dancing abilities). This will be one to keep an eye on...
ROH World Tag Team Champion Jay Briscoe vs. "God's Gift" QT Marshall
It would be hard to find a less liked man in the ROH locker room than QT Marshall. It's a distinction that QT has certainly earned with his arrogant demeanor, his choice of manager, and the fashion in which he looks down upon every man in ROH regardless of tenure. Well if there's one man who doesn't take kindly to that sort of attitude it would certainly be one-half of the World Tag Team Champions “Since Day One” Jay Briscoe. You can bet Marshall has a beating in his future...
"Outlaw" Charlie Haas vs. Pepper Parks
Well if there is one man less liked than Marshall it would probably be Charlie Haas, and just like QT he revels in the hatred. Whether it's from fans or from his opponents, Charlie is a man who does everything he can to fan the flames of anger and cares not a whit for the consequences. He is coming into Cincinnati after assaulting BJ Whitmer (see this weekend's ROH TV), and now looks to unleash his wrath on the fine folks of Cincinnati as well as Pepper Parks. Parks, a veteran of the ring wars, impressed in his last ROH appearance opposite Adam Cole and would like nothing more than to make his ROH ring time more consistent. Defeating the self-proclaimed “100% Certified Hasshole” would make that a certainty. One problem though may be that Haas often doesn't care if he wins or loses, as long as he gets to hurt somebody....
In addition to all that action, there will be a pre-show Autograph Signing ROH World TV Champion Adam Cole, BJ Whitmer, "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin & "American Wolf" Davey Richards so make sure you're there early to take advantage!
It's ROH's return to Cincinnati THIS Saturday night at the Taft Masonic Center! Tickets are on-sale here in the ROH Store or at the door on Saturday. Don't miss out as the best pound-for-pound pro wrestling on the planet returns to Ohio!!!
Saturday, Feb 16, 2013
Bell time - 07:30pm EST
Cincinnati Masonic Center (Taft Masonic Center)
315 East 5th Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202