Ladder War Will Be Hell For Briscoes, G.O.D,; Can Shelley Beat Taven? Bold Prediction For Kenny King

Ladder War Will Be Hell For Briscoes, G.O.D.; Can Shelley Beat Taven? Bold Prediction For Kenny King

By Kevin Eck

I was asked by someone to make a prediction on who will win the Ladder War between the Briscoes and Guerrillas of Destiny for the ROH World Tag Team Titles at Summer Supercard in Toronto on Aug. 9, and a line from “Rocky III” immediately came to mind.

In the immortal words of Clubber Lang: Prediction? … Pain.

These two teams are so evenly matched that I honestly can’t pick a winner. I’m not unique in that regard -- a Twitter poll asking which team will leave Toronto with the gold resulted in a 50-50 split.

The Briscoes and G.O.D. (Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa) have faced each other in two-on-two tag matches four times over the past three years, with each team winning twice.

They met for the first time in June 2016, with Jay and Mark Briscoe defeating G.O.D. in Japan for the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Titles. Four months later, G.O.D. regained the titles from the Briscoes.

After G.O.D. won the ROH World Tag Team Titles in a four-way match at G1 Supercard at Madison Square Garden this past April, they successfully defended them against the Briscoes at War of the Worlds in Chicago in May. At Manhattan Mayhem two weeks ago, the Briscoes defeated G.O.D. to become 11-time ROH World Tag Team Champions.

Regardless of which team comes out on top at Summer Supercard, the match undoubtedly will be a wild, ultra-violent spectacle, and I don’t think either team will ever be the same. It sounds cliche, but I truly believe the wars between the Briscoes and G.O.D. have taken years off their careers. …

I’m supposed to remain objective, but it’ll be hard not to root for Alex Shelley to win the ROH World Title from Matt Taven at Summer Supercard. 

Shelley revealed in a “10 Questions” interview on earlier this week that he went through some hard times during his year away from pro wrestling.

“At the time, I was on ‘E’ -- in life, in wrestling, and I really didn't have anything else to offer [to pro wrestling],” Shelley said. “I got divorced, I was homeless, no income, I was paying for school and working for free, and I had some dark, dark days.”

Thankfully, Shelley is now in a good place mentally and he looks to be in great shape physically. While Shelley is best known for being one-half of two outstanding tag teams -- Motor City Machine Guns with Chris Sabin and Time Splitters with KUSHIDA -- he’s underrated as a singles wrestler. Shelley winning the world championship at this stage of his career (he’s only 36 but is a 17-year veteran) would be a feel good story.

However, taking the title away from Taven is a tall task for anyone. Just ask Jay Lethal. Or Jeff Cobb. Or PCO. Or Flip Gordon, Kenny King, Mark Haskins and Tracy Williams. At this point, I can’t bet against Taven no matter who is standing across the ring from him. …

Speaking of Kenny King, I’m going on record that he will be ROH World Champion at some point. Fans might not like his cockiness or underhanded tactics, but there’s no denying his talent. King proved just how good he truly is by winning his best-of-three series against Lethal, one of the greatest wrestlers in ROH history.

Moreover, it was Lethal -- not King -- who was pinned by Taven in the Triple Threat Match for the title at Manhattan Mayhem. King hit a Lethal Injection/Royal Flush combination on Lethal, but before could make a cover and presumably win the title, Taven caught King with Climax and pinned Lethal. So King can rightfully claim that Taven has not defeated him. 

On a side note, King’s talents extend beyond the ring, as evidenced by his recent tweet touting his musical exploits. ...

Tasha Steelz has the opportunity of a lifetime at Summer Supercard when she faces Women of Honor World Champion Kelly Klein for the title. While Steelz is clearly the underdog, Klein would be wise not to underestimate “The Boricua Badass.”

Steelz has shown recently that she is talented, hungry and fearless.

She earned her title shot by winning a Four Corner Survival Match over six-time world champion Angelina Love, perennial contender Jenny Rose and up-and-coming competitor Stella Grey at a TV taping in Philadelphia in June. After the match, Steelz refused to back down when coming face to face with powerful newcomer Maria Manic.

When Love challenged Steelz to put her title shot on the line in the Triple Threat Match between Steelz, Love and Karissa Rivera at Mass Hysteria in Lowell, Mass., two weeks ago, Steelz did not hesitate to accept, and she went on to win the match.

I’m not going to predict that Steelz will upset Klein for the title in Toronto, but I would not at all be surprised if Steelz is wearing the gold some day. …

I think The Kingdom’s Vinny Marseglia and TK O’Ryan will come to regret their heinous attack on The Bouncers (Beer City Bruiser and Brawler Milonas) at Manhattan Mayhem. For those who missed it, Marseglia and O’Ryan assaulted The Bouncers with chairs, but that wasn’t enough for Marseglia, who proceeded to light a cigar and burn Bruiser’s chest with it.

The Bouncers are a couple of fun-loving, beer-swilling guys, but their good-natured demeanor should not be mistaken for weakness. Marseglia and O’Ryan have lit a fire under them -- pun intended -- and I have a feeling they’re going to get burned.

Kevin Eck is a veteran pro wrestling journalist who has worked for The Baltimore Sun, WWE and WCW before joining