Ring of Honor is back on the road this weekend with two live events in the Midwest on Friday and Saturday! On Friday we hit the Detroit area for the first time since the summer of 2011 with a huge World Tag Title match, an Underdog challenge for the World Title, two former HoT members colliding, and more! Then on Saturday it's off to Milwaukee for “Defy or Deny II” as three men attempt to earn a future World Title match while the champion seeks to deny them, two former friends collide, and a 6-man war erupts! Also there will be an autograph signing prior to the event both night AND on both nights ROH Match Maker Nigel McGuinness will be in the house for a special DVD signing. Ring of Honor will have copies of his brand new, must-see documentary, "The Last of McGuinness" available exclusively at our live events. Nigel will be available to sign copies for all fans that buy the DVD at the merchandise table this weekend in Dearborn and Milwaukee.
Read on for all the details and you can pick up your tickets at the door on the night of each event!
Friday, Jan 18, 2013
Bell time - 7:30pm EST
Ford Community & Performing Arts Center
15801 Michigan Ave.
Dearborn, MI 48124
ROH WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. The American Wolves ("Die Hard" Eddie Edwards & Davey Richards)
There is a rich history between these two teams, one dating back to the closing days of 2008 when The Wolves put Mark Briscoe out of action for several months. That began a series of events that saw Eddie and Davey capture the World Tag Titles from Kevin Steen & El Generico but ultimately lose them to The Briscoes at “Final Battle 2009”. They Wolves fell once more in a title rematch at “From The Ashes” and again at “The Bluegrass Brawl” at The Kings of Wrestling had dethroned Jay & Mark. That was July of 2010 and these four men have not met in a tag team battle since...until now. The Briscoes are coming off capturing the belts for the 8th time at “Final Battle 2012” in December and making their first successful defense against Coleman & Alexander on January 5th. The Wolves only just reunited at that December event after not having teamed for over a year and actually battling one another over the World Title at the “Final Battle 2011” event. Jay & Mark defined tag team wrestling in ROH while The Wolves redefined it during their first run, but the one thing Eddie & Davey did NOT do was defeat Jay & Mark during that time. Will this be the day that finally happens? Will The Wolves reassert themselves as a force in the division right off the bat? That is what fans are wondering and that is why Nigel McGuinness made this match!
ROH World Championship – Underdog Challenge
Kevin Steen vs. Detroit's own Tadarius Thomas
Ladder War IV took its toll on World Champion Kevin Steen apparently as he has been fairly quiet since December (except in the case of Jay Lethal as you can see on current episodes of “Ring of Honor Wrestling” TV and rumors are circulating that he is...different. Well whatever that means Steen faces a rather unexpected challenge for his World Title on Friday as Tadarius Thomas steps up to the plate in what Nigel McGuinness has labeled an Underdog Challenge, an opportunity for one young athlete to shock the world and make his name on one night. Thomas will have that chance in front of a hometown audience. Can he do what Davey Richards, Eddie Edwards, and Michael Elgin couldn't and dethrone Wrestling's Worst Nightmare or will Steen put down another challenger in Dearborn?
PROVING GROUND MATCH
World TV Champion Adam Cole vs. Jimmy Jacobs
*If Jacobs defeats Cole or last the 15 minute time limit he will receive a future TV Title match
It has been awhile since the Proving Ground was in play, in fact the last time was when Kyle O'Reilly defeated Adam Cole at “Caged Hostility” to earn a future shot. Cole beat O'Reilly in Pittsburgh when the former Future Shock partners collided in the title bout but Cole is one person who understands the importance of the Proving Ground. After all, if it wasn't for a Proving Ground victory, Cole may never have gotten his shot at Roderick Strong & TV Title in the first place. Now, looking to make up for the defeat he tasted in his last PG match as well as the loss he suffered at “Final Battle 2012” to Matt Hardy, Cole faces another man who suffered loss at “FB '12”: the unpredictable & often violent, Jimmy Jacobs. For all his tenure in ROH, Jacobs has never held a singles title...no World, no Pure, no TV Title reigns to lay claim to and that is something a PG victory would bring him one step closer to changing. Not only would it do that for him, it would also bring S.C.U.M closer to reasserting dominance over the majority of the championships in ROH. In a fashion, and this is something of which Cole is plenty aware, Adam is fighting for more than just himself; he is fighting for Ring of Honor.
Jay Lethal vs. Steve Corino
The same can be said for Jay Lethal in this battle as he takes on the other face of S.C.U.M in Steve Corino, but if we were to take a peek inside Lethal's head, it is very doubtful he cares much for defending ROH right now. Rather his motivations are personal, familial, as Jay still wants his pound of flesh for the fashion in which Kevin Steen disrespected his mother and, after the assault perpetrated by Corino, Jacobs, & Rhino at “Final Battle 2012”, he wants a piece of them as well.
Like Jimmy, Steve is coming off the loss of the Tag Titles and like Jimmy he knows that a victory is a step towards securing S.C.U.M's dominance but unlike Jimmy, this fight is more for the future of Kevin Steen's World Title and less about Corino's individual desires. Steve's aim is to put an end to Lethal's quest to dethrone Kevin, Steve's purpose is to play Lineman for Steen's Quarterback, and prevent Lethal from getting any closer than he already is to the World Title.
Two Former HoT Members Collide
"Unbreakable" Michael Elgin vs. "Man Beast" Rhino
At “Survival of the Fittest 2012” in Baltimore, “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin and “The Man Beast” Rhino collided in a Qualifying Bout while both men were still operating under the umbrella of The House of Truth. That night, with some involvement from Martini himself that prevented Rhino from hitting The Gore, Elgin scored a victory and advanced to the Elimination Finals of the SOTF tournament.
Fast forward only three months and now neither man claims any affiliation to Martini's leadership, or his money, as they have both declared their independence from the HoT in very physical fashions.
Still, Martini won't let Elgin go easily as he played a direct factor in his defeat at the hands of Roderick Strong at “Final Battle 2012” but at least Truth suffered for it after the fact. As for Rhino, well that is another question entirely because while his ties with Martini have been cut clean, there is now a lingering riddle of just what his affiliation to S.C.U.M may be following “Final Battle 2012”.
With the S.C.U.M question out there, and with Elgin still looking to get his hands on Roderick in a Martini-less fashion, these two mountains will go one-on-one once more when ROH returns to Dearborn, MI on January 18th!!!
“The last time Rhino and I went head to head, I may have won but it was far from satisfying.” said Elgin to ROHWrestling.com, “Truth threw himself in the middle of that match, just like he did at Final Battle, and it left that question out there of just who would have won if not for Truth's involvement. As for you, Rhino...I saw what you did to Lethal in New York, and while I honestly don't care one way or the other about whatever you're doing with SCUM, I'm forced to wonder if I have to worry about that too, or if it was just one moment in time. See my aim is to run you over Rhino, my aim is to get back in the ring with Kevin Steen and take the ROH World Title, and I will break SCUM, I will break Truth, I will break Roderick, and I will break anyone who tries to get in the way of that.”
Tag Team Challenge Match
BJ Whitmer & Rhett Titus vs. Bobby Fish & Kyle O'Reilly
Whitmer & Titus are looking to rebound from their “Final Battle 2012” loss to WGTT, the same can be said for Fish & O'Reilly and their defeat at the hands of the reunited American Wolves. Whitmer was brutally tossed through a table by Charlie Haas, O'Reilly's head was brutally stomped in by Eddie Edwards, and their respective partners were each rendered incapable of helping in those closing moments. Dearborn is the place where both teams look to get their ships righted and look to the future, a future that hopefully holds the World Tag Team Titles...
Special Challenge Match
Roderick Strong vs. Silas Young
Silas Young wants a permanent slot on the ROH roster but he is going to have to go through the self-proclaimed “Mr. ROH”, one of only two Triple Crown Champions in ROH history, Roderick Strong, if he wants to get anywhere near that goal. Unfortunately for Young, one of Roddy's favorite pastimes is beating the tar out of anyone who thinks they deserve to be in a ring he considers his and part of the locker room that he thinks belongs to him as well. Coming off a victory at “Final Battle 2012” over Michael Elgin, Strong's confidence and cockiness seem to be even higher if that's possible but that may be the key Silas needs to getting, not just his foot in the door, but his whole body...
"The Outlaw" Charlie Haas will also be in the house on Friday night, and as you can tell by that video, as well as the others recently posted on our official YouTube channel, he is not the happiest individual in the locker room....
Also, prior to the start of the event in Dearborn it will be The American Wolves (Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards), Jay Lethal, and "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin who will be available to the fans for a special Autograph Signing!
DEFY OR DENY II
Saturday, Jan 19, 2013
Bell time- 7:30pm EST
The Turner Hall Ballroom
1034 North 4th Street
Milwaukee, WI 53203
DEFY or DENY
ROH World Champion Kevin Steen vs. "Die Hard" Eddie Edwards vs. Roderick Strong vs. "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin
**If Edwards, Elgin, or Strong win they receive a future World Title shot; if Steen wins, the last man pinned is denied a future title match as long as Steen remains champion
On March 18, 2011 ROH officials introduced a concept called “Defy or Deny” in which four men would fight it out in an Elimination Match. Three of those individuals were looking to secure a future World Title match while the fourth, then World Champion Roderick Strong, was looking to deny them all. Strong succeeded, denying El Generico any future title opportunities while Roderick remained champion, and that was the last time we had seen that concept in play.
On January 19th, when ROH returns to Milwaukee & The Turner Hall Ballroom, it will be “Defy or Deny II” as ROH World Champion Kevin Steen looks to deny one man from ever challenging him for the title again. As with the previous bout, his three opponents in this elimination bout are three of the men against whom Kevin has already successfully defended the World Title: “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin, Roderick Strong, and “Die Hard” Eddie Edwards.
Each man has had a title opportunity since Steen became champion 7 months ago at "Border Wars"; Elgin was the failed challenger at “Glory by Honor XI”, Strong at “Live Strong”, & Edwards at “The Nightmare Begins”. Now each of them look to find a way into contention once more by being the ultimate victor in this match but each of them is also risking the potential of never receiving another title shot as long as Kevin remains champion.
“I got this.” said Roderick Strong via e-mail, “I mean come on, I am the only guy who has won this match before and I did it as the champion. With three other guys trying to take my head off and come after my title I won this thing. Homicide, Jay Briscoe, and Generico were all gunning for me and it was me who won, me who denied Generico, me who had his hand raised that night. I'm a survivor, I'm Mister Ring of Honor, and it's only a matter of time before I get that belt back around my waist. I mean when it comes down to it bro, this is really just about me and Kevin anyway. I just taught Elgin a lesson in who's the better man in NYC and I've been showing Eddie that he's second rate to me for as long as I can remember. So Kev, keep that brand new belt shiny for me cause after I defy you in Milwaukee, after I deny those other clowns their shot, I am finally going to bring that belt back home to Camp Strong where it belongs.”
The rules of a Defy or Deny match are as follows: an elimination match in which if Edwards, Strong, or Elgin are the winner they will receive a future shot at the ROH World Title but should Steen be the last man standing, then the man he pinned to win will never receive another World Title match as long as Kevin Steen remains champion.
It's “Defy or Deny II” on Saturday January 19th at the Turner Hall Ballroom in Milwaukee! ROH is starting the New Year off strong and you don't want to miss out!
"American Wolf" Davey Richards vs. Kyle O'Reilly
It is something that has been building for months now, since “Best in the World 2012” at the very least where Kyle O'Reilly verbally lambasted his friend & training partner before walking out on him prior to Davey Richards' World Title bout with Kevin Steen. Just a short time later Richards lost in his rematch with Steen and stepped away from Ring of Honor for several months to refocus.
He first showed up somewhat unexpectedly at “Caged Hostility” where, after addressing the fans briefly, sat ringside during the Adam Cole/O'Reilly Proving Ground match in which Kyle earned himself a future TV Title shot in part due to an unintentional distraction provided by Davey.
Davey officially returned to action during the “Survival of the Fittest 2012” tournament that also included Kyle and many thought they would collide in the finals. Yet while Davey made it and survived to be one of the last two men standing, Kyle was eliminated in his qualifying bout against Mike Mondo.
Then on the 11/17 edition of ROH TV, O'Reilly came up short in his TV Title match with Adam Cole and the following week, as Davey Richards attempted to mend fences with with Kyle, his former protege attacked him and, along with Bobby Fish, laid out the former World Champion.
Fast forward to “Final Battle 2012” where the reunited American Wolves of Davey & Eddie Edwards defeated O'Reilly & Fish in an epic tag team contest when Kyle succumbed to Eddie repeatedly stomping on his head while trapped in a half crab.
“It took two of you.” said Kyle O'Reilly to ROHWrestling.com, “That is the message I have to send to Davey and Eddie after Final Battle. It took two of you to beat me in New York. You had to get rid of Bobby Fish and double team me to beat me. Watch the show back Davey, it's all right there live and in-color. What that taught me, the last lesson you will ever teach me Davey, is that you can't beat me by yourself. Eddie can't beat me by himself. It takes two of you to put me down but guess what Davey, you aren't going to have back-up next time we step into the ring together. It will be just me and you, one-on-one, and you know I can beat you in that situation. I did it countless times in training, and you know we always trained just as hard as we would fight in a match. See I talked to ROH officials after New York Davey and demanded they give me this match. It's going to be a hell of a way to ring in the New Year for me Davey when ring your bell in Milwaukee!”
That's right...on January 19th when ROH returns to Milwaukee, it will be Kyle O'Reilly and Davey Richards finally going one-on-one! It's Student vs. teacher, it's friend vs. friend, it is the final nail in the coffin of Team Ambition!
The Self Proclaimed Icon Matt Hardy vs. BJ Whitmer
It was one of the scariest moments of the night at “Final Battle 2012” when BJ Whitmer ascended to the top rope thinking Charlie Haas, laid on a table, was too out of it to stop him. Unfortunately Haas sprung up, surprised Whitmer, and suplexed BJ off the top thru a table headfirst.
It was a truly terrifying moment that left all of us here at Ring of Honor quite concerned for BJ's health and well-being but thankfully, after a bit of rest and relaxation, there were no serious effects to Whitmer's head and neck. Whitmer's career has been defined by moments like those, surviving things that would put a normal man down for the count, and being able to continue fighting.
He did it with a broken ankle for months, he did it during the CZW war when he was abused in every ultraviolent fashion possible, and only BJ himself knows what other physical trauma he has suffered through silently yet continued to battle on. Yet despite these courageous moments in his career, despite the scary situation at “Final Battle 2012”, there is one man who has found a way to take up issue with Whitmer's survival skills: Matt Hardy.
“Stronger than death?” Hardy said via e-mail to ROH officials, “In New York I heard fans say that BJ Whitmer was the one stronger than death, and that Matt Hardy had nothing on him. I don't know what all BJ has gone through in his life, I'm sure it's been traumatic, but none of it compares to everything I have seen and felt in my years traveling the globe as an internationally recognized superstar. I survived drugs, TLC, car wrecks, I have stared death in her face, walked through hell, and come out the other side with a smile on my face. Stronger than Death? That title only belongs to one man and that man is obviously Matt Hardy. So what I am telling ROH officials to do is make BJ Whitmer's career and let him get into the ring with me in Milwaukee. I heard you've traveled the world a little yourself too BJ but one night in the ring with Matt Hardy and more eyes will be on you than ever before. So make the most of it BJ but don't be mistaken, I will show you and everyone watching that night who really lives up to those three words.”
It's Matt Hardy vs. BJ Whitmer on Jan. 19th when ROH hits Milwaukee, WI! Which warrior will prove stronger than death?
Six Man Tag Team Grudge Match
ROH World Tag Team Champions The Briscoes & Jay Lethal vs. SCUM (Steve Corino & Jimmy Jacobs) & Rhino
Take six men who absolutely hate each other (or at the least five men who do and one Rhino who is probably being paid handsomely to maim his foes) and put them in the ring together to see what happens. War, pain, and violence are the likely results of this equation as Corino & Jacobs, along with Rhino, square off with the Briscoes who ended their tag title reign at “Final Battle 2012” and Jay Lethal who Steve, Jimmy, and Rhino viciously assaulted that same night. It's a recipe for disaster and if the chaos of “Brew City Beatdown” is any indication of what could potentially happen, ROH officials better have added security on-hand for this one!
"The Outlaw" Charlie Haas vs. Rhett Titus
It is a battle that's raged for months on end between these two men and with two different tag team partners for Rhett and last time these two collided one-on-one at "Live Strong", it was Haas who squeaked out a victory with the questionable usage of a chair! Can Titus get a measure of revenge for that loss as well as everything else that has gone done between these two men over the last several months?
ROH World TV Champion Adam Cole vs. Silas Young
It is a huge weekend for Silas as faced the current and former TV Champions on back-to-back night. Last time in Milwaukee, he certainly proved he has all the tools when he challenged Michael Elgin so can he put it all together for a victory over the reigning TV Champion? Will this be his breakout???
Special Challenge Match
Bobby Fish vs. Tadarius Thomas
Two of the newest faces on the ROH roster collide in the Brew City and the complexion of this one will be colored very heavily by the events of Dearborn. If Thomas pulls off the upset and dethrones Kevin Steen, you can bet this will throw a monkey wrench in the plans. Will Fish then face Steen? Will Thomas step into the Defy or Deny challenge? Or will Fish also find himself with a huge opportunity and challenge Thomas for the World Title? We will have to wait until the final bell rings on TD vs. Steen to answer those questions!
Prior to the start of the event in Milwaukee, it's Matt Hardy, Roderick Strong, & "The Outlaw" Charlie Haas who you will be able to meet as part of a pre-show Autograph Signing!
Tickets for both events will be available at the door on Friday & Saturday and make sure you're there early to take advantage of our autograph signings! Join us in Dearborn & Milwaukee as ROH hits the road in 2013 with a vengeance!