Ring of Honor makes it debut at the Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto Saturday night with “All Star Extravaganza V,” which has the potential to be the company’s biggest show in its 11-year history. Upwards of 3,000 Ring of Honor fans will flood the former Maple Leaf Gardens to watch wrestlers from around the world compete in an ROH ring. There will also be some familiar faces from the company’s past making another appearance after time away. It truly is an all star extravaganza.
The main portion of the card will involve the ROH World Title Tournament. Five first round and one quarterfinals matches will take place at the event. The tournament matches feature a mix of past and present ROH wrestlers vying for the most prestigious belt in the promotion.
Two of the most intriguing first-round matches include Kevin Steen vs Brian Kendrick and Michael Elgin vs Paul London. It’s good to see we’re finally getting the Elgin vs London match we were supposed to see earlier this year before London was forced to pull out after suffering a concussion. London looked great in his match with Davey Richards at “Border Wars,” so I’m expecting something special here. Elgin works exceptionally well with small and quicker opponents and that’s exactly what he’s going to be facing here. If this was any other card, it would easily be a Match of the Night contender on paper, but it has a lot of competition on a show as stacked as this one.
Steen vs Kendrick is interesting for different reasons. I’m not really sure what to expect from this match. I have a feeling it will be more character driven than the other tournament matches as they both rely on pretty unique characteristics. It could make for a fun match watching Steen’s persona interact with Kendrick’s more laid-back approach. The in-ring action is something that could go either way here, but it will be worth watching for the names involved alone.
The other first round matches look promising, too.
ROH World TV Champion Matt Taven will battle Roderick Strong. This could be a launching pad for Taven if booked properly. He needs to advance in this tournament to legitimize himself, which has been an issue throughout his title reign. A loss for Strong wouldn’t hurt him at all as he’s a ROH legend and should be used to put other wrestlers over in situations like this. Taven should win without outside interference from Truth Martini or The House of Truth. Sure, Martini is one of the most entertaining people on this planet, but his presence tends to hurt Taven more than help him. Hopefully Taven can win and do so relatively clean.
Tommaso Ciampa will go one-on-one with Silas Young, who defeated Adam Page in a qualifying match last weekend. This should be a very good match. I’m happy that Young is getting more opportunities in the company, and this is a perfect chance to showcase his skills. I highly doubt he’ll win since Ciampa is a darkhorse to win the tournament, but Young will face off against one of the top rising stars and show why he belongs among the top of ROH. This is a sleeper match that could surprise people.
The first round comes to a close as BJ Whitmer and Michael Bennett square off. Can we skip this please? We’ve seen it twice and it wasn’t any good either time. So hopefully they keep this short and Bennett goes over since he would benefit more from a good run in the tournament.
The show will also feature one second round match between Adam Cole and Jay Lethal. This should be a fantastic match as it’s two of ROH’s best doing battle against each other. Both been consistently put on great matches and they should mesh extremely well. Cole, along with Elgin, is the the favorite to win the tournament, so expect him to have his hand raised at the end of the magch. His new heel persona has so much potential to carry him, and ROH, to new heights. He’s one of the most complete packages on the independent scene and it’s going to be fun to watch his rise to the top.
In addition to the tournament, there will be three other huge matches.
The Young Bucks make their ROH return at “All Star Extravaganza V” in a three way tag match involving the C&C Wrestle Factory and Adrenaline RUSH. The Bucks’s appearance at this show has caused some controversy since they are Dragon Gate USA’s reigning tag team champions, but that has mostly subsided. Now, fans are excited to see them return against two of the best high-energy teams on the roster. This match is going to be so much fun and will give the two current ROH teams a chance to prove themselves against one of the best teams in the world. It’s going to be nonstop high-flying action from bell to bell that will leave fans’ jaws touching the floor with their athleticism. This is the match I’m most looking forward to.
The remaining two matches both involve New Japan Pro Wrestling stars appearing in ROH.
Kushida will make his ROH debut against the youngster Adam Page. Although I’m no expert on Japanese wrestling (ask Harry), I’ve heard nothing but great things about Kushida. Both men have an outstanding opportunity to make a name for themselves, especially Page. This will be the biggest match of his career so far against a international superstar like Kushida. This will be a chance to prove himself as one of the top prospects in professional wrestling. This should be another fun match on a stacked card.
Finally, the show wraps up with The Forever Hooligans defending the ROH World Tag Team Titles against the American Wolves. These two teams wrestles at the “11th Anniversary Show” in a good match, but they should have more time to flesh the action out more in the main event spot. The Hooligans winning the titles from reDRagon was a shocker, so it will be cool to see them with the belts for the first time. Hopefully this title reign leads to a continued working relationship between ROH and NJPW. It’s tough to call who will win this match, but I can’t see the Hooligans having just a one-week title reign.
Check ROHWorld.com for full details and results of “All Star Extravaganza V.”