By Kevin Eck
The ROH Pure Title tournament begins airing on “Ring of Honor Wrestling” the weekend of Sept. 12 and will play out over eight weeks.
Thirteen competitors have been revealed thus far: Jay Lethal, Jonathan Gresham, Dalton Castle, Matt Sydal, Tracy Williams, Kenny King, David Finlay, Rocky Romero, PJ Black, Josh Woods, and independent stars Tony Deppen, Wheeler Yuta and Rust Taylor.
The final three competitors will be announced on “ROH Week By Week,” which drops on YouTube this Monday at 1 p.m. ET. One of the final entrants is another outstanding independent wrestler.
There will be alternate competitors in each of the tournament’s two blocks in case any of the participants are unable to compete.
As previously announced, there will be three judges for each match and time-limit draws will go to a judges’ decision. ROH Director of Operations Gary Juster will be one of the judges.
Juster has previous experience in that capacity, as he served as a judge for the famous NWA World Title Match between Ric Flair and Sting on the first “Clash of the Champions” broadcast in 1988.
Also, once a Pure Champion is crowned, the title can change hands via disqualification and countout.
Things are about to get hot and saucy in ROH.
“Hot Sauce” Tracy Williams will be spotlighted on this weekend’s episode of “Ring of Honor Wrestling.” The show features Williams’ outstanding technical wrestling matches against Gresham and Zack Sabre Jr., as well as his hardcore match against Bully Ray.
If you need a brief break from the madness of the extremely harsh reality we’re all living, come hang out with Lady and I as we take a look back at some pivotal matches in my @ringofhonor career, and then take a look forward to the Pure Title Tournament. https://t.co/NZNdCQN3gJ
— HOT SAUCE Tracy Williams (@sauce_williams) August 25, 2020
Williams also was my guest on the latest episode of the “ROHStrong Podcast,” which drops this Monday at 7 a.m. ET on ROHWrestling.com and most podcast platforms.
Topics discussed by Williams on the podcast include: returning to the ring for the first time in six months to compete in the Pure Title tournament; living in New York City during the pandemic, the meaning behind his “Hot Sauce” moniker; and LifeBlood’s ups and downs.
But wait, there’s more. Williams also was featured on the signature moves segment on this week’s “ROH Week by Week” on YouTube.
— ROH Wrestling (@ringofhonor) August 26, 2020
Could we see a match between a former ROH World Champion and a former WCW World Champion in an ROH ring in the future?
During actor/former WCW World Champion David Arquette’s appearance on a special bonus episode of the “ROHStrong Podcast” this week, he singled out former ROH World Champion Castle as someone he’d like to get in the ring with if he wrestles again.
“Dalton Castle is an incredible wrestler. I always wanted to wrestle him,” said Arquette, adding that perhaps the showdown could take place in a tag match, with independent star RJ City as his partner against Castle and a partner of his choosing.
After hearing Arquette’s comments, Castle wasted no time issuing a response.
“David Arquette wants to wrestle me? Lovey, let's do this,” Castle said. “But make it quick. I'm busy! And for the love of God, please bring RJ City with you. I'd like to return to him his DVD of ‘The First Wives Club.’ Also, there is no possible way David would be able to handle this Peacock all on his own. I’ve been doing a lot of push-ups lately.”
During the podcast, Arquette said he loves ROH and was backstage at the Glory By Honor show in Nashville, Tenn., this past February. He also discussed “You Cannot Kill David Arquette,” the new documentary that chronicles his pro wrestling comeback; nearly dying in a death match against Nick Gage; participating in a backyard wrestling match; why making the film was cathartic; the WCW wrestler who was angry about him winning the world title; and more.
Bateman, who had a hand in training Arquette for his comeback, also made a brief appearance on the podcast.
On a side note, I watched “You Cannot Kill David Arquette” and thought it was highly entertaining. Arquette is a polarizing figure among wrestling fans, but his love and respect for pro wrestling is evident.
Beginning today, the documentary is available via digital platforms and on-demand, including iTunes, VOD (rental), EST (digital purchase) and e-retail on Amazon, Walmart, Target, and Best Buy.
Join me and my sister for a twitter watch party on 8/28 of my new movie You Cannot Kill David Arquette. We’ll be watching, live tweeting and answering your questions starting at 6:30 PT using hashtag #YCKDA and I don’t know maybe @RJCity1 will join us although I haven’t asked him pic.twitter.com/R1rN0crWnA
— David Arquette (@DavidArquette) August 26, 2020
The “ROH All-Time Draft of Honor” premieres on YouTube on Saturday, Sept. 5 at 6 p.m. ET.
Commentators Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman, senior referee Todd Sinclair and senior ring announcer Bobby Cruise each draft a roster composed of past and present ROH stars. “Expert” draft analysis is provided by yours truly.
At the conclusion of the draft, fan voting on social media will determine who put together the best roster.
Several Nigel McGuinness matches from 2005 have been added to the HonorClub archives for “Fresh 50 Fridays.” McGuinness’ opponents in singles matches include Samoa Joe, Lethal, Roderick Strong and Claudio Castagnoli.
A tag team match pitting Joe and Low Ki against Japanese legend Kenta Kobashi and Homicide is also part of this week’s additions.
New to ROH’s YouTube channel this week is the 2014 Survival of the Fittest six-way elimination match between Adam Cole, Strong, Sydal, Tommaso Ciampa, Adam Page and Hanson.
EPIC STAR-STUDDED SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST
The action got UNBELIEVABLE when stars like Adam Cole, Matt Sydal, Tommaso Ciampa, Adam Page and more went into Survival of the Fittest 2014 for a shot at the ROH World Championship!
— ROH Wrestling (@ringofhonor) August 27, 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.