Welcome to my first ever ‘Corner of Honor’! In this very column, we’ll discuss all things Ring of Honor– the TV show,recent PPV/show results, news and much more! I’ve tailored this column to all of you ROH fans out there, so I hope you enjoy. This week, I’ll be focusing on the aftermath of the big angle that kicked off at the end of the excellent 11th Anniversary iPPV this past Saturday.
If you’ve been following ROH, particularly since the ascension of Kevin Steen into the de facto ‘face’ of the company and his transformation into ‘Wrestling’s Worst Nightmare’, you know that they have been building to a sort-of pseudo invasion angle involving Steen, and then later Steve Corino and Jimmy Jacobs. This all began with Steen and his feud with former authority figurehead Jim Cornette. While Kevin Steen was in the role of nasty, reviled heel he still received more cheers from the Ring of Honor fans who had, by this point, grown tired of Cornette’s antiquated professional wrestling practices. The story between Steen and Cornette was actually very well done, in my view, and lasted for the better part of two years, involving a number of ROH names–the aforementioned Corino and Jacobs, along with El Generico, Davey Richards and even Cary Silkin.
It was after Steen’s win at Border Wars 2012 that secured him the Ring of Honor World Title that S.C.U.M. was officially formed, and since then they have terrorized ROH. The most recent turn events came about following an amazing match between Steen and Jay Lethal (in what I thought was a well-built and executed storyline) at this past weekend’s 11th Anniversary iPPV. Following Steen’s victory, Steve Corino fired a major shot in this ‘Civil War’ against Ring of Honor. In a spectacular scene to close the show, Jimmy Rave, Rhett Titus, Cliff Compton and Matt Hardy all joined the ranks of S.C.U.M. The interesting part of all of this was Kevin Steen’s lack of involvement in their assault on the ROH roster, which we will discuss in a future column. But in discussing the happenings of the event with other fans and friends on Twitter, some interesting questions were raised on what would come from this angle? Would ROH bring back some past stars to help defend the companies honor?
We’ve seen the ‘invasion angle’ done many times in wrestling-the nWo, Nexus, Aces & 8’s, for example-and has become something of a groan-worthy booking ‘crutch’ in the eyes of alot of fans. The biggest detraction, at least in my view, is that it shows an inability by the writing staff to usher in and develop new stars. However, when looking at where and when this angle is happening, this could be just what Ring of Honor needs. If you look at the current roster, there is no real top ‘babyface’ for RoH. Sure, the fans cheer for Steen but they’re really not supposed to be. As much as I’ve enjoyed Jay Lethal’s transformation over the last few months, I just think he’s still missing something that propels him to that top face slot that Ring of Honor really needs. So, what are some of the names that could be elevated from this angle, and who is THE guy that can become the top ‘babyface’ for Ring of Honor?
A name that was almost immediately brought up was the man announced for a ROH World Title match at the upcoming Supercard of Honor during WrestleMania weekend, Jay Briscoe. Jay has been there since year one, and has actually had some successes in singles competition. Would an angle like this be the thing that finally sends him to full-time singles superstar and, in context to this article, could he become the on-screen leader for the locker room? Jay Briscoe is a talented guy and I think his upcoming title match on April 5 will be very telling as to his direction in the S.C.U.M. vs RoH story. Could we see other names step up and take the mantle? I think Davey Richards’ shots at being the top guy in the company are done. I wouldn’t mind seeing Eddie Edwards at the helm, so to speak–he is tremendous in the ring, although his promo skills are a little lacking, in my view. There’s a number of young guys there, are any of them ready to ascend to the throne? Maybe a guy such as Adam Cole? What about the always-awesome Michael Elgin? It’ll be interesting to see how the current stars of RoH fit in here.
Could we see names from the past make their return? There have been alot of past stars who fans are clamoring to see compete in Ring of Honor again. Unfortunately, Samoa Joe’s TNA contract status makes a return here very unlikely at best. Low Ki is no longer contracted to New Japan, maybe he could make a return to defend his former company? A name that I threw out, along with my buddy Ben on Twitter (@IneptMets) was Homicide. Ben and I agreed that the angle smacks of CZW’s invasion of RoH back at the 100th show, which of course built to Death Before Dishonor IV where Homicide saved the day for RoH. Maybe that’s why he came to mind, due to the similarities of the two stories, but he’s a name that would most definitely fit into this war against S.C.U.M.
No matter the direction, this Hunter ‘Delirious’ Thompson’s chance to show the Ring of Honor fans what he can do as the leading creative force of the company. I, for one, am excited for this angle and coming off the heels of a great 11th Anniversary show I’m seeing more and more fans re-kindling their interest in this company once again. This could be the story that brings RoH back to the forefront of American independent wrestling, helping them to rebound after a rough 2012. Buckle up RoH fans–I think we’re in for a great ride this year.
*Here’s a recap video from RoH on their 11th Anniversary iPPV:
*Following the iPPV Saturday night, Ring of Honor taped their next 4 television episodes in Chicago Ridge, as well. No spoilers here, kids. I do know that ACH & TD Thomas will be taking on the American Wolves, as he discussed on our podcast last week. Other than that, I imagine it will be heavily focused on the S.C.U.M./RoH war.
*Supercard of Honor takes place April 5th at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City. As stated earlier, the card will be main evented by Kevin Steen defending the ROH World Title against Jay Briscoe. Also, Matt Taven will be defending the TV title against the winner of the Matt Hardy/Adam Cole matchup that took place at the tapings this past weekend. As of this typing, less than 100 tickets remained for the show, so if you plan on going act fast. Or join me and Ant (@hailmegatron) on Twitter, as I’m sure we’ll be live tweeting the show!
*Here’s the up-to-date iPPV schedule for the next few shows, courtesy of rohwrestling.com:
–April 5: Supercard of Honor in NYC
–April 6: TV taping post-iPPV in NYC
-May 4: Border Wars in Toronto
-May 5: TV taping post-iPPV in Toronto
-June 22: Best in the World in Baltimore
-June 23: TV taping post-iPPV in Baltimore
A most fitting match for the first ‘Corner of Honor’, it comes to you from the very first ROH show, ‘The Era of Honor Begins’. The main event of that first show featured a match that set the tone for promotion, with 3 competitors who would become synonymous with the promotion. From ROH’s very first show, Bryan Danielson, Christopher Daniels and Low Ki compete for your enjoyment. Yes, it’s clipped, but the other one I found had no audio. Still, this is very enjoyable and a small sampling of what was to come from this promotion. I hope you enjoyed this debut column and come back for more. Until then, have fun with wrestling, as that’s what it’ s really all about.