This Friday night in Cincinnati, Ohio BJ Whitmer makes his return to Ring of Honor competition for the first time since March 2008 to step into The Proving Ground against ROH World TV Champion Jay Lethal. But just who is BJ Whitmer?
A former multi-time ROH Tag Team Champion, Whitmer made his debut with ROH in 2003 after impressing fans throughout the Mid-West as well as in Pro Wrestling NOAH. Working his way through the ranks, Whitmer’s first brush with success came at “Wrath of the Racket” where he challenged for the ROH World Championship against Samoa Joe for the first time. Although unsuccessful in his title bid, BJ proved himself capable of hanging with one the toughest wrestlers in ROH. He would attempt to beat Joe once more at the “2nd Anniversary Show”, this time as part of a World Title 4 Corner Survival, but was also unsuccessful in dethroning the champion there.
As a member of The Prophecy, a rivalry with The Second City Saint led to Whitmer’s first taste of championship success as he & Dan Maff captured the ROH Tag Titles, albeit for only a couple hours, at “Round Robin Challenge III”, before losing them to The Briscoes. Together the won the first ever Ultimate Endurance match and, after discarding The Prophecy name, and captured their 2nd ROH Tag Titles at the “3rd Anniversary Celebration Pt. 1” in Feb. 2005. That reign was also short-lived however as Maff’s departure from ROH necessitated the belts be vacated, still Whitmer was undaunted. Selecting Jimmy Jacobs as his new partner, to the shock of many, the duo would claim the vacant titles, lose them a few months later, and reclaim them for a second time before a wedge was driven into the team, leading to a violent feud that culminated a Steel Cage war at “Supercard of Honor II”.
The man lovingly referred to as “Hillbilly Jesus” by the fans was at the forefront of the CZW war where he shed copious amounts of blood in defense of ROH, and ultimately battled Necro Butcher in a No Rope Barbed Wire match to close out that rivalry. He battled Takeshi Morishima in his first ROH World Title defense at “5th Year Festival: Dayton”, later battled Nigel McGuinness & KENTA in a 3-way in Pro Wrestling NOAH for the ROH World Title held by Nigel, and after suffering a Spike Piledriver at the hands of The Hangmen 3 when he refused to join Sweet N Sour Inc, left ROH for good in March of 2008.
Prior to his departure, Whitmer had battled everyone to ever walk through the curtain in ROH, challenged for every title, and held the Tag Titles on 4 separate occasions. He fought Homicide in the only Fighting Spirit Match in ROH history back at “Main Event Spectacles”, defended the honor of ROH at nearly every turn, and has proven himself to be one of the toughest competitors to ever set foot in the wrestling ring.
“There is nothing I want more than to be back in Ring of Honor.” said Whitmer to ROHWrestling.com, “This is the place that really molded me as a wrestler, the place where I fought my hardest fights, and had both my biggest successes and biggest losses. The fact that ROH is having me back, putting me right into position to earn a title shot, well that means a lot to me, and I won’t disappoint. Jay Lethal’s in for one hell of a fight in Cincinnati because I’m fighting for more than just a shot at that championship. I’m fighting for my life with Ring of Honor.”
It’s Whitmer vs. ROH World TV Champion Jay Lethal on The Proving Ground! It goes down this Friday night, February 17th, when Ring of Honor makes its debut in Cincinnati, OH! Get your tickets right here!