By Kevin Eck
It was announced earlier this week that Ring of Honor will make its long-awaited return to pay-per-view with Final Battle 2020 on Dec. 18. Now comes the blockbuster news that every ROH title will be defended on the show (barring any unforeseen restrictions due to the pandemic).
That means defenses by Mexican stars World Champion RUSH, World Television Champion Dragon Lee and World Six-Man Tag Team Champions MexiSquad (Bandido, Flamita and Rey Horus). Plus, Jonathan Gresham will do double duty, defending the both the Pure Title and the World Tag Team Title with Jay Lethal.
In other news regarding Final Battle, Tony Deppen has been signed to compete at the event. Deppen had a strong showing in defeat against PJ Black in the ROH Pure Title Tournament.
Speaking of Black, he revealed on social media that he has suffered a compound fracture in his left ankle.
Black told me the injury occurred while practicing for a world record in a stunt and that his bone broke through the skin.
Black had 13 screws and two metal plates inserted in his ankle and cannot put any weight on it for seven weeks.
A huge match between Brody King and Shane Taylor has been signed for a future episode of “Ring of Honor Wrestling.” The date has not been announced.
Both men have set their sights on the ROH World Championship and are coming off big wins. King defeated former World Champion Dalton Castle two weeks ago, and Taylor beat two-time former World Television Champion Kenny King last week.
Obviously, the winner of this match will significantly strengthen his case for a world title shot.
Brody King and Taylor have never met in a one-on-one match, but they did compete against each other in a Four Corner Survival Match for the ROH World Television Title last year. Taylor pinned King to win the title in a bout that also included then-champion Jeff Cobb and Hirooki Goto.
Shane “Hurricane” Helms and Crowbar, two veterans who have wrestled for nearly every major U.S.-based promotion, are my guests on the latest episode of “The ROHStrong Podcast.”
Helms discusses transitioning into an agent/producer role; his participation in the Hardys’ “deletion” series; and working with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Crowbar talks about his recent, buzz-worthy promos; balancing his “real life” with pro wrestling; and a funny PCO story about their time together at Dory Funk Jr.’s dojo. The two conversations lasted nearly three hours in total.
The episode drops this Monday at 7 a.m. on ROHWrestling.com and most podcast platforms.
The good news for Danhausen fans is that he has signed an ROH contract. The bad news is that the very nice, very evil one didn’t read the very fine print.
In order for Danhausen’s contract to go into effect, he must win a match in 2020. Needless to say, he doesn’t have much time. Not counting this weekend’s episode of “Ring of Honor Wrestling,” which is already booked, there are six shows (including Final Battle) remaining this year.
While no match involving Danhausen has been signed yet, I’ve heard that several members of the ROH roster are interested in facing him.
What better day than Halloween for the very nice, very evil Danhausen to make a monumental announcement!
— ROH Wrestling (@ringofhonor) October 31, 2020
When Gresham made his post-match comments after winning the Pure Title a few weeks ago, he was accompanied by Lethal, Tracy Williams and a man in a suit wearing an octopus mask. We now know the man under the mask is Rhett Titus.
On this week’s episode of “ROH Week By Week,” Titus (still wearing the mask) was revealed as the newest member of The Foundation. Williams advised Titus to continue wearing the mask for now.
“Why show the world see a face that they haven’t given a damn about for 15 long years?” Williams said. “Why go down the same path again and again? The same path that has led to underappreciation, being sidelined. No, we’re not here to go back to normal. We’re here to create a new normal. We’re here to create change, and that change is just beginning. So the time to take [the mask] off will come.”
After taking the week off to recover from the beating she suffered at the hands of Angelina Love (with an assist from Mandy Leon), Quinn McKay returns as host of “ROH Week By Week,” which drops on Tuesday at 1 p.m. on YouTube.
On a side note, is it an insult to be called an underbaked macaroon? Asking for a friend.
I was attacked when my back was turned, so my ego isn’t “bruised”, Kevin, you underbaked macaroon. That has nothing to do with my ability or character. https://t.co/Iq7X4onl7j
— Quinn McKay (@QuinnMcKay) November 13, 2020
ICYMI: Check out the latest installment in the Word of Honor series, which was written by Future of Honor’s Sledge. In the revealing piece, Sledge opens up about his battle with alcohol and drug addiction and his long journey to ROH.
— SLEDGE (@Sledge805) November 18, 2020
ROH Director of Operations Gary Juster shares his memories of Bobby “The Brain” Heenan and “Mean” Gene Okerlund in the final episode of “Old School In Session,” an eight-part series on YouTube.
“Old School In Session” will return periodically in a podcast format. Keep it locked into ROHWrestling.com and ROH’s social media channels for updates.
The Delirious Insanity Black Friday sale at ROHProShop.com is underway and will last until Nov. 29.
DELIRIOUS INSANITY SALE
GOING ON NOW AT https://t.co/TddttJdCfG
•10% OFF ALL APPAREL
•50% OFF ALL DVD’S
•50% OFF ALL CLEARANCE
— ROH Wrestling (@ringofhonor) November 20, 2020
In closing, I want to say a few words about RJ Meyer, who died of leukemia earlier this week at the age of 44.
RJ, who performed in the ring as Bruiser, was a legend in Maryland Championship Wrestling, one of the top independent promotions and an affiliate of ROH. While his name may not be familiar to fans outside of Maryland, RJ made an impact on a national scale as a trainer.
As the head trainer at the MCW Pro Wrestling Training Center, RJ's students included: 2016 ROH Top Prospect Tournament winner Lio Rush, WWE’s Velveteen Dream and Ashante Adonis, The Soldiers of Savagery (Moses and Kaun), and Future of Honor’s Dante Caballero, Joe Keys and Gia Scott. He also had a hand in training Lita and Mickie James.
RJ began his in-ring career on the Maryland independent circuit in 1997 and appeared destined to be signed by a major company. However, his career was derailed by his battle with personal demons.
RJ eventually overcame his issues, but the damage to his career was done. He came to terms with the fact that his destiny wasn’t to be a nationally known wrestling star; it was to create them through his coaching.
RJ was a tough and demanding trainer, but he had the respect and admiration of his students and took great pride in their accomplishments.
I was fortunate to call RJ a friend. A man of integrity and faith, he was beloved in the Maryland wrestling community. The courage and dignity he showed throughout his battle with leukemia was truly inspiring, and I will miss him.
Rest in peace, brother.
Ring of Honor is saddened to learn that longtime Maryland independent wrestling star and respected pro wrestling trainer R.J. Meyer has passed away after a battle with leukemia. https://t.co/8uUoEvc23H
ROH extends its deepest condolences to Meyer’s family, friends and fans. pic.twitter.com/JEIeALnmWw
— ROH Wrestling (@ringofhonor) November 16, 2020
Until next time, keep safe and stay #ROHStrong!
Kevin Eck is a veteran pro wrestling journalist who has worked for The Baltimore Sun, WWE and WCW before joining ROHWrestling.com. Eck’s Files appears every Friday.