Area 51. The JFK assassination. The Illuminati. These are some of the great conspiracy theories of our time. Does the so-called “Kingdom Conspiracy” belong in the conversation?
To hear The Kingdom’s Matt Taven, Vinny Marseglia and TK O’Ryan tell it, there’s no doubt the “Kingdom Conspiracy” in ROH is real and “goes all the way to the top.” Their controversial loss of the ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Titles to Cody and The Young Bucks -- which aired on the most recent episode of “Ring of Honor Wrestling” -- has only made The Kingdom more adamant that there are people in high places out to get them.
While most rational people dismiss The Kingdom’s conspiracy claims as simply the trio making excuses whenever things don’t go their way, there have been several instances in which The Kingdom’s complaints have some degree of credence.
Here are five such instances. Are The Kingdom members misguided conspiracy theorists? Or are they misunderstood conspiracy victims? You be the judge:
5. WRONG MAN PINNED IN SIX-MAN TAG TITLES LOSS
The Kingdom thought it was unfair that Cody and The Young Bucks -- who don’t normally team together in six-man tag matches -- were granted a shot at their ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Titles recently in Atlanta. They viewed it as ROH management showing preferential treatment to Bullet Club, which is a frequent accusation made by The Kingdom.
The Kingdom ended up losing the titles when Vinny Marseglia was pinned after falling victim to Cody’s Cross Rhodes. In actuality, Matt Taven was the legal man, so the referee should not have counted the pin.
Anti-conspiracy theorists contend that the match was so chaotic that it was understandable for the referee to have lost track of who the legal men were.
4. REFEREE DISTRACTED WHILE MATT TAVEN HAS WORLD CHAMPION PINNED
During the four-way match for the ROH World Title between champion Dalton Castle, Jay Lethal, Cody and Matt Taven on June 30, Taven delivered a knee strike to Lethal’s head and then rolled up Castle. Taven had the champion down for well over a three count, but the referee was checking on the dazed Lethal rather than counting the pin. When the referee finally turned around to make the count, Castle kicked out just in time.
Anti-conspiracy theorists contend that the referee did the right thing by checking on Lethal. They also say it was a case of poetic justice since Taven had a handful of Castle’s tights while pinning him.
3. LONG WAIT FOR SIX-MAN TAG TITLES REMATCH
The Kingdom won a tournament in December 2016 to become the inaugural ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Champions, and they successfully defended the titles for more than three months. However, at the 15th Anniversary show in March 2017, TK O’Ryan suffered a broken leg during The Kingdom’s successful title defense against Dalton Castle and The Boys.
At a television taping the next night, ROH officials made The Kingdom defend the titles against Bully Ray and The Briscoes, with Silas Young replacing O’Ryan. The team of Matt Taven, Vinny Marseglia and Young lost the titles. O’Ryan returned to action that August, but The Kingdom did not receive a rematch for the titles they never technically were defeated for until May 2018.
Anti-conspiracy theorists contend that The Kingdom did indeed receive their title rematch in October 2017 against then-champions Bullet Club, but Taven rejects that argument because it was not announced as a title match until right before the start of the match.
Plus, it was The Young Bucks and “Hangman” Adam Page who were the champions, but ROH ruled that any three members of Bullet Club could defend the titles, and on that night it was The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega. In the minds of The Kingdom members, it was just another example of ROH management bending over backwards for Bullet Club.
2. REMOVED FROM SUPERCARD OF HONOR, BANNED FROM FESTIVAL OF HONOR
The Kingdom were finally getting their long-awaited rematch for the ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Titles, and it was going to take place before a record crowd at Supercard of Honor this past April. In the lead-up to that match, however, The Kingdom repeatedly interfered in matches, and that prompted then-ROH enforcer Bully Ray to take disciplinary action against The Kingdom by removing them from the card.
In addition to being taken off the show, The Kingdom also was banned from appearing at Festival of Honor and their Kingdom Conspiracy Town Hall was canceled.
The Kingdom claimed the punishment was excessive and selective, but anti-conspiracy theorists contend they got what they deserved.
1. POSTPONED ONE-ON-ONE MATCH FOR WORLD TITLE NEVER RESCHEDULED
Having scored victories over the likes of Jay Lethal, Cody and Will Ospreay among others, Matt Taven was to receive a well-deserved title shot against ROH World Champion Dalton Castle this past May in Lowell, Mass. Unfortunately, Castle was dealing with multiple injuries and was not medically cleared to defend the championship, so the match was called off.
Taven believed he should’ve been awarded the title by forfeit, but that request was denied by ROH management. Taven’s world title match was never rescheduled, and now nearly four months later he still hasn’t received a one-on-one world title shot.
Anti-conspiracy theorists contend that ROH management made it up to Taven by granting The Kingdom a shot at ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Champions SoCal Uncensored that night in Lowell. The Kingdom capitalized on the opportunity and regained the six-man tag titles. Of course, The Kingdom says that they should’ve received a rematch for the six-man tag titles long before that anyway.
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