Welcome to the newest edition of the ‘Corner of Honor’! It’s been awhile, but I’m back and previewing the upcoming iPPV offering, “Best in the World 2013”! Also, some quick news bits on the TV tapings following the iPPV and this week’s match of the week that goes perfectly with the main event of BITW! No TV review this week, as it was just some replays of matches from the Richmond, VA show that just went down a few weeks back. So, let’s jump right into the column!
*A most intriguing match has been signed for the television tapings on the day following the “Best in the World” iPPV. SCUM will battle a team of ROH stars in ‘Steel Cage Warfare’ with a lot at stake. The team of ROH stars includes BJ Whitmer, Jay Lethal, Michael Elgin & the loser of the main event at ‘BITW’ between Mark and Jay Briscoe. SCUM will be represented by Jimmy Jacobs, Rhino, Cliff Compton & Rhett Titus. If Team ROH is victorious, then SCUM will disband and cease to exist. However, if SCUM is victorious then Steve Corino will assume Nigel McGuinness’ position as matchmaker for ROH. This match will change the complexion of the war between SCUM & ROH and the implications are immense. I, for one, am very anxious to see how this plays out on June 23rd.
*Also set for the TV tapings, Eddie Edwards will be getting his ROH TV title shot that he earned at the San Antonio debut for Ring of Honor on June 1st. Who he’ll be challenging is still a mystery, as Matt Taven will be defending the belt the previous night against both Jimmy Jacobs and Jay Lethal. Can Eddie become the first 2 time ROH World Television champion?
*For those of you attending the iPPV & TV tapings, you’ll have a chance to score some autographs and pictures with both the stars of ROH and SCUM! On Saturday before “BITW”, you can meet SCUM members Rhett Titus, Jimmy Jacobs, Cliff Compton, Steve Corino & Matt Hardy and get an autographed item for just $10/each or all 5 for $40. Then on Sunday before the TV tapings, you can meet some of the stars of honor and get autographs for no charge! Kevin Steen, ACH, TD Thomas, Maria Kanellis, Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander will all be on hand to meet the fans. Tickets can be had here, don’t miss out on this opportunity!
*New tour dates have been added, including a stop in a brand new market for Ring of Honor! First up, ROH returns to Tennessee for the first time in 5 years as they make their way to East Ridge on September 6th. Then, on September 7th, ROH comes to Alabama for the first time as they hit the Boutwell Auditorium in Birmingham! Tickets are on sale now for Ringside Members here, and to the general public on Friday, 6/21.
(credit: rohwrestling.com for above news items)
‘Best in the World 2013’ Preview & Predictions
ROH’s next offering on iPPV, ‘Best in the World 2013’, is just a few short days away! While I admittedly didn’t have much interest at first, this card has come together quite nicely over the last few weeks and I’m definitely looking forward to it now! Now it’s time to break down the card and give you my predictions for the matches, which includes every ROH title being defended and some special challenge matches that have the potential to be great!
BJ Whitmer vs “The Prodigy” Mike Bennett w/ Maria Kanellis
Recently during a one-on-one match on ROH TV between these two, Maria accused BJ of verbally assaulting her. This, of course, was not true but Bennett bought into it anyway and now we get this grudge match at BITW. I’m leaning towards the ‘Prodigy’ getting the win here, but we’ve seen Whitmer pick up some wins over the last few months that no one predicted. But for now I’ll stick with “Team Sexy” to concoct a scheme and pick up the ‘W’.
Winner: Mike Bennett via ‘Maria-ference’
The American Wolves (Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards) vs
Adrenaline RUSH (ACH & TD Thomas)
The standard bearer for tag teams in Ring of Honor goes up against a team comprised of two hot young talents. No team associated more with RoH’s tag division more so than the Wolves—former tag champs who’ve had classics with almost every team that’s come through since their formation. Richards is of course a former ROH World champ as well, while Edwards is the first ‘Triple Crown’ winner in ROH history. We’ve been touting ACH on 4CR for some time now and his pairing with TD has yielded some good results thus far. I expect this match to be fast-paced, hard hitting and full of action. Potential to be your MotN and with a card like this, that’s saying something. I look for the American Wolves to win a close one here against the newly-named Adrenaline Rush.
Winners: The American Wolves
“Unbreakable” Michael Elgin vs “Sicilian Psychopath” Tommaso Ciampa
This is the match that pushed me to buy the PPV. Two of my favorites going head-to-head for no other reason than to find out who’s better. By far, Tommaso’s biggest challenge since coming back, and possibly in his entire ROH run thus far. Michael Elgin seems poised to be have a banner year and has put in great bouts all year with the like of Jay Lethal, Roderick Strong, Karl Anderson and others. I expect no different here and this is likely to make a few year-end lists, mine included. Really a toss-up for me as to who’ll win, but I’ll pick Elgin to eek one out in what is sure to be hard-hitting, stiff and fun to watch.
Winner: Michael Elgin
Roderick Strong vs Adam Cole
This one is all about respect—more specifically, the lack of respect shown by Adam Cole after losing to Roderick Strong in ROH’s San Antonio debut. Cole lost to Strong in what was said to be a good matchup, but then refused to follow the ‘Code of Honor’ afterwards. Hence, we get the rematch at BITW. Adam Cole’s demeanor has certainly changed quite a bit since losing to Jay Briscoe at Border Wars, and a heel turn feels eminent. On the flip side, Roddy has seemingly won the cheers of the crowd again simply by being ‘Mr ROH’. I expect another good match between these two, and I’ll take Cole for the win in round two between these guys—maybe by not-so rule friendly measures.
Winner: Adam Cole
Kevin Steen vs Matt Hardy
“Mr. Wrestling” has made it his personal mission to take out each member of SCUM, one-by-one. Add to that the fact that Nigel McGuinness told Steen he could have his World title rematch after defeating each member of the group, it certainly seems that Kevin has no lack of motivation to destroy the group he was ousted from following the 11th Anniversary show. However, in this contest, he’s going up against the man that Steve Corino dubbed ‘the Jesus Christ of professional wrestling’ and SCUM’s new figurehead in Matt Hardy. I think this storyline plays out a certain way over the course of the rest of the year and part of that story is Steen losing to Hardy in this match. Trust me, it hurt to type that last sentence. But, I do think it’s part of bigger plan and story and something tells me Kevin Steen will have the last laugh when it’s all said & done later this year.
Winner: Matt Hardy
*ROH WORLD TV CHAMPIONSHIP*
ROH World TV Champion Matt Taven w/ Truth Martini vs Jimmy Jacobs vs. Jay Lethal
Jay Lethal won a 3-way match against BJ Whitmer & Mike Bennett a few back to become the #1 contender for Taven’s TV title. However, Steve Corino pointed out to matchmaker Nigel McGuinness that Jimmy Jacobs had defeated Lethal on more than one occasion recently and deserved a shot as well. So now we have this match, and I’m looking for SCUM to claim their first piece of ROH gold. I’ve enjoyed Taven’s act since teaming up with Truth Martini and wouldn’t mind seeing him hang on to it, but I think it’s time for SCUM to start winning some of Ring of Honor’s titles, starting with this one.
Winner and NEW RoH TV Champ: Jimmy Jacobs
*ROH WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP*
ROH World Tag Team Champions reDRagon (Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly) vs
S.C.U.M (Rhett Titus & Cliff Compton) vs
Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander
Just like the TV title match, SCUM made a rightful claim that the chosen contenders (this time C&C) had been defeated by them recently and, once again, Nigel was forced to add members of SCUM to a Ring of Honor title match. Honestly, I don’t see reDRagon dropping the belts here. I can’t recall off the top of my head any build for this involving them on TV, and their reign is still pretty young anyway. Not the biggest fan of Titus or Cliffy, so I’m expecting the most fun will come when it Alexander & Coleman paired off with Fish & O’Reilly. Could be the ‘dark horse’ for match of the night.
Winners and STILL RoH Tag Champs: reDRagon
*ROH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP*
Jay Briscoe vs Mark Briscoe
This, for me, is the most intriguing match of the card. I think it’ll be good in-ring, but I keep getting the feeling that something bigger is going to happen here. Will we see a Briscoe turn on the other and join the SCUM faction? Will nothing happen outside of a good match between two brothers? Quite a few questions that haven’t really been discussed leading up to this. As it stands, little brother thinks big brother is a little too cocky after winning the belt and wants to shut him up. Like I said, I think the match will be pretty good but I can’t shake the feeling that there’s going to be something more by the time the show goes off the air.
Winner and STILL RoH World Champ: Jay Briscoe
(credit: ROHWorld.com for the pictures above)
Well, there you have my predictions for the upcoming show! What do you think will go down at BITW? Tweet me @4CR_Billy and use #4CRBITW13 and let me know your picks for the show. Then, immediately following the end of the PPV on 6/22, 4CR goes LIVE for a post-game show! Join Ant, Todd & myself as we talk all of the happenings from the show!
This week’s ‘Classic Match of the Week’ is a very fitting one: from RoH’s 1 Year Anniversary Show, it’s Jay Briscoe taking on Mark Briscoe! Hope everyone enjoyed the column this week and comes back next week for a brand new edition of the ‘CoH’!