By Kevin Eck
Defeating RUSH for the ROH World Title at Best in the World last month was a monumental achievement for Bandido, but holding on to the belt may prove to be even more difficult than winning it.
There is no shortage of capable challengers lining up for a shot at the new champion.
At the top of the list is RUSH, who is owed a rematch and is looking to win the title for a third time, which would tie him with Adam Cole for most reigns as ROH World Champion.
Bandido’s first title defense will be against Flip Gordon at Glory By Honor Night 1 on Aug. 20 in Philadelphia and streaming live for HonorClub. Gordon has pinned Bandido in their two previous encounters.
NEW ROH WORLD CHAMPION BANDIDO'S FIRST TITLE DEFENSE IS AGAINST NEMESIS FLIP GORDON AT GLORY BY HONOR NIGHT 1 IN PHILLY AUGUST 20TH: https://t.co/IBbtYo538W
— ROH Wrestling (@ringofhonor) July 16, 2021
EC3 has set his sights on the ROH World Title, and his submission victory over Gordon at Best in the World has propelled him into the Top 5 rankings.
Brody King is chomping at the bit for another crack at the title. He appeared to be on the verge of beating RUSH for the belt at Final Battle in December, but he was thwarted by outside interference from RUSH’s fellow La Faccion Ingobernable members.
King is riding high after scoring a dominant victory over two-time former ROH World Champion Jay Lethal at Best in the World.
In addition to those four contenders, Shane Taylor is also seeking another title shot after his controversial loss to then-champion RUSH in February.
Former champion Matt Taven is still owed a championship rematch, but he’s putting his title shot on the line in his steel cage match against Vincent at Glory By Honor Night 2 on Aug. 21 in Philadelphia and streaming live for HonorClub.
Another former champion, PCO, also wants the title back.
Gordon could very well walk into Glory By Honor Night 2 as the ROH World Champion. That night, he’ll team with Demonic Flamita to take on Jay and Mark Briscoe.
Mark Briscoe has unfinished business with Gordon, who used a low blow to defeat him at the 19th Anniversary show in March.
The previous month, Gordon’s interference caused the Briscoes to lose a No. 1 contender’s match. After Mark went to the top rope to set up for a big double-team move, Gordon appeared out of nowhere and sent him crashing to the floor.
The next and perhaps final chapter in the feud between former friends Rey Horus and Demonic Flamita will be a no-disqualification match on Ring of Honor Wrestling the weekend of Aug. 21.
Horus and Flamita have faced each other twice since Flamita turned his back on his MexiSquad partners Horus and Bandido at the 19th Anniversary show.
Flamita defeated Horus in a Survival of the Fittest qualifying match in June. Horus avenged that loss by beating Flamita at Best in the World, but Flamita laid him out after the match.
ICYMI: The Allure (Angelina Love and Mandy Leon) will face Vita VonStarr of The Righteous and a partner to be announced at Glory By Honor Night 1.
The match was booked by ROH Board of Directors member Maria Kanellis-Bennett, who had Love and Leon randomly draw names to determine their opponents.
Love drew VonStarr. It didn’t seem to bother Love, who noted that VonStarr is inexperienced in the ring. Conversely, Leon clearly was not pleased with the name she drew. Leon didn’t indicate whose name was on the paper.
Who could it be? We’ll find out in two weeks.
Angelina already picked @VVonstarr… looks like we might have to wait until show day to find out who Vitas partner will be
— ROH Wrestling (@ringofhonor) August 5, 2021
Prior to Glory By Honor Night 1 going live for HonorClub, Chelsea Green will compete in a match that will air on a future episode of Women’s Division Wednesday on YouTube.
As previously announced, Green also will be in action at Glory By Honor Night 2, when she will team with Willow against Rok-C and Miranda Alize.
Night one- August 20th
Night two- August 21st
— CHELSEA GREEN (@ImChelseaGreen) August 5, 2021
Rivals Eli Isom and Dak Draper will square off on the next episode of ROH Week By Week, which premieres Tuesday at 1 p.m. Eastern.
This match between two of ROH’s rising stars has implications for the ROH World Television Title rankings. Isom is currently the No. 2 contender in the division, while Draper is unranked.
Isom and Draper wrestled to a 15-minute draw in their first meeting in April. Isom beat Draper in a Survival of the Fittest qualifying match two months later, but Draper pinned Isom in a Triple Threat Match that also involved Dalton Castle two weeks ago.
I had a blast speaking to one of the voices of my childhood, legendary ring announcer Gary Michael Cappetta, on the latest episode of the ROH Strong Podcast, which drops this Monday morning on ROHWrestling.com and most podcast platforms.
Cappetta reflected on his storied career, including working for the McMahons, the NWA, AWA and WCW. He also talked about his time as a backstage interviewer during the early years of ROH; his appearance in AEW last year; his history with Rhett Titus; his thoughts on Jonathan Gresham and Tracy Williams, and much more.
As an added bonus, you can hear me do my impressions of Cappetta and old-school ring announcer Joe McHugh. Google it, youngsters.
If you missed this week’s episode of Women’s Division Wednesday, I highly recommend checking it out on YouTube.
In addition to a fantastic, hard-hitting match that saw Allysin Kay defeat Willow in ROH Women’s World Title Tournament first-round action, the show featured the premiere of a panel discussion titled “Beyond the Belles.”
The discussion was hosted by Alyssa Marino, who was joined by Kanellis-Bennett, Green, LuFisto, Nicole Savoy and Alex Gracia. They analyzed the results of the tournament thus far and previewed some of the matches still to come.
This weekend’s episode of Ring of Honor Wrestling features a huge tag match pitting Bandido and Horus against Violence Unlimited’s King and Chris Dickinson.
Also on the show, the tournament continues with arch rivals Quinn McKay and Leon squaring off, and Trish Adora taking on Marti Belle.
ROH TV PREVIEW: https://t.co/GrnZIqBrGS
— ROH Wrestling (@ringofhonor) August 4, 2021
Champions vs. All-Stars, a popular ROH attraction, headlines Ring of Honor Wrestling the weekend of Aug. 14.
The 10-man tag match pits Bandido, World Television Champion Dragon Lee, Pure Champion Gresham and World Tag Team Champions Dickinson and Homicide against a team of all-stars consisting of the Briscoes, EC3, Gordon and Josh Woods.
The first round of the tournament concludes on this episode with Max The Impaler facing Holidead.
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.