ROH TV Preview: Four Top Contenders Battle For A Shot At The ROH World Title

Here’s a preview of this weekend’s episode of “Ring of Honor Wrestling:”

Four Corner Survival Match for ROH World Title Shot: Jay Briscoe vs. EC3 vs. Jay Lethal vs. Matt Taven

Each of these elite competitors knows what it’s like to be world champion. Lethal, Briscoe and Taven have five ROH World Titles between them, and EC3 was a two-time world champion before coming to ROH.

While all four of them are focused on winning this match for the right to face ROH World Champion RUSH in the main event of the 19th Anniversary pay-per-view on March 26, there also are some compelling subplots.

Lethal and Taven have been rivals for nearly a decade, battling each other numerous times in classic ROH World and World Television title matches. Although their rivalry has been fierce, Lethal and Taven gradually developed mutual respect.

As for Briscoe and EC3, they’ve been butting heads since EC3 showed up in ROH last fall. In their match against each other in November, EC3 goaded Briscoe into losing his cool and getting disqualified less than two minutes into the bout.

EC3 resurfaced a couple weeks ago when he paid “The Mercenary” Flip Gordon to cost Jay and Mark Briscoe their match against Dragon Lee and Kenny King for a shot at the ROH World Tag Team Title.

Lethal, Taven, Briscoe and EC3 recently spoke with ROH about the upcoming match. Here are some excerpts:

Lethal: “Me becoming the Ring of Honor Champion, sure I want to say that I need to do it, I want to say that it’s my destiny; it’s this company’s destiny. And it’s going to happen. Because The Foundation is rebuilding this company brick by frickin’ brick.”

Taven: “Maybe the fact that [Vincent] is too much of a coward to agree to [face me] is exactly what I needed, because now I can focus on the only reason why I’m here. The only reason why any of us should be here is to be the Ring of Honor World Champion, and if you don’t understand that, there’s the door, don’t let it hit you in the ass on the way out.”

Briscoe: “No disrespect to the other three guys in this match -- well maybe a little bit to ‘Narrative Boy’ (EC3) -- but what the people want to see whether they realize it or not is RUSH versus Jay Briscoe. So I’m fittin’ to give the people what they want.”

EC3: “These three men have tasted it. They have craved it. They desire it. They yearn for it. They challenge for it. They eat, live, breathe and sleep for the Ring of Honor Championship. That is not purpose, that is addiction. How can you control your narrative if you allow something to control you?”

Pure Rules Match: Josh Woods vs. Dalton Castle

It would be an understatement to say that things have not been going well for Castle. The former ROH World Champion has lost four of his past five singles matches, the most recent of which was to Woods by submission in a Pure Rules Match six weeks ago.

Castle asked for this rematch with Woods in an effort to get back on track. If Castle doesn’t win it, he suggested that his time in ROH could be over.

“If I don’t beat Josh Woods, maybe I don’t belong here,” Castle said. “If I don’t beat Josh Woods with the plan I got in my head, I’m out.”

Woods, who has defeated two former ROH World Champions (Castle and Lethal) in the past few months, has plenty of motivation to defeat Castle again.

Woods is the No. 1 contender for the ROH Pure Title held by Jonathan Gresham, and a loss to the unranked Castle undoubtedly would knock him out of the top spot.

“Beating Dalton Castle for a second time, that gives me momentum to face Jonathan Gresham,” Woods said. “An opportunity I don’t deserve; an opportunity I earned. To look Jonathan Gresham in the eye and confidently tell him I am going to be the next Ring of Honor Pure Champion.”