Maria Manic Will Call Out Bully Ray In Atlanta; ROH World Title To Be Defended In Nashville, St. Louis

By Kevin Eck

“The Maneater” is as known for not mincing words as she is for making mincemeat of anyone who gets in her way.

When I asked Maria Manic how she plans to address Bully Ray chokeslamming her through a table last month, she made her intentions perfectly clear.

“I’m calling his ass out in Atlanta,” she said tersely, alluding to ROH’s Saturday Night at Center Stage show this Saturday.

End of conversation.

To the surprise of no one, Bully Ray was not at a loss for words regarding his attack on Manic, which took place at 2300 Arena (formerly the ECW Arena) in Philadelphia just before Manic could powerbomb The Allure’s Angelina Love through a table.

“Who the hell is Maria Manic to pull out a table in my house?” Bully Ray said backstage immediately after the incident. “You walk into my house and you do my stuff, you don’t expect repercussions? I made a career of putting bitches like you through tables.

“You ever do that again, and you’re going for the ride for the second time. This time, you might not get up, kid. Ask any women in this business who’s tasted some of that wood.”

Will Manic end up getting a second helping of “that wood” in Atlanta? Or will she make Bully Ray eat his words?

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The ROH World Championship will be defended at Bound By Honor in Nashville, Tenn., on Feb. 28 and Gateway To Honor in St. Louis on Feb. 29. 

Who enters that weekend as champion will be determined in Atlanta this Saturday, when PCO defends the title against former champion RUSH in a rematch from last month’s Final Battle, where PCO beat RUSH for the title.

The action in Atlanta gets underway at 6 p.m. with an hour of matches taped exclusively for TV. The live stream portion of the show begins at 7 p.m.

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The undefeated 2 Guys 1 Tag (Silas Young and Josh Woods) get their shot at the ROH World Tag Team Championship, currently held by Jay Lethal and Jonathan Gresham, in Nashville. 2G1T earned the title opportunity by defeating the Briscoes in a No. 1 Contender’s Match at Final Battle Fallout last month.

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Dak Draper will challenge for the ROH World Television Title, currently held by Dragon Lee, in St. Louis. Draper earned the shot by winning the 2019 Top Prospect Tournament. 

It will be something of a homecoming for Draper, who was a star on the St. Louis independent wrestling scene before coming to ROH.

This weekend, Draper will face independent standout Jason Cade on the live stream portion of the Atlanta show.

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In response to my report last week that Shane Taylor will address his future at the Atlanta show, he posted the following on his Facebook page:

“There's a right way to do things and a wrong way to do things in this sport...

@erik_wwe taught me the right way, regardless of anything else that happens going forward.

Atlanta was where @realkeithlee and myself put the Briscoes through a couple tables and how my career in @ringofhonor basically started...only right to come back one more time.”

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Danhausen will compete in a match taped for TV in Atlanta, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he showed up on the live stream as well.

By the way, Danhausen will be doing a free meet and greet in Atlanta on Saturday and at Honor Reigns Supreme in Concord, N.C., on Sunday. Fans will have an opportunity to get Danhausen’s autograph and a photo with him. Just remember: no swearing.

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Mark Haskins, who scored the biggest win of his career over Bully Ray in a Street Fight at Final Battle, has made it known that he is determined to become a champion in 2020.

But first, he will join forces with LifeBlood teammate Tracy Williams in a tag bout against Vincent and Bateman in Concord. Bateman has been a thorn in Williams’ side for several months.

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I have to hand it to ROH officials for giving back to the fans by presenting Free Enterprise, a star-studded show in Baltimore on Feb. 9 that is absolutely free to attend.

Already signed for the event: ROH World Tag Team Champions Lethal and Gresham defend against Jeff Cobb and Dan Maff; Australian star Slex debuts against Flip Gordon; Jay and Mark Briscoe take on Bandido and Flamita; and Session Moth Martina makes her Women of Honor debut.

Other top stars signed to compete include ROH World Champion PCO, RUSH and Marty Scurll.

Stay tuned to ROHWrestling.com and ROH’s social media channels for more information and match details coming soon.

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I initially felt bad for PJ Black that Brian Johnson keeps rejecting his offer to mentor him, but then I realized it could be worse. Johnson could accept the offer, and then Black would have to be around him all the time. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

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Caprice Coleman visited the Boys & Girls Club in Charlotte, N.C. earlier this week. Coleman is a great color commentator, but an even better human being. I know he was just kidding when he called me a jive turkey.

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Don’t forget to cast your votes for ROH’s Best of 2019 awards. Voting ends on Saturday night at 11:59 p.m. The winners will be announced next week.

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ICYMI: PCO Monster Mania was running wild at a Montreal Canadiens game earlier this week. I talked to PCO about the experience and his background in hockey. You can read it here.

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