Ring of Honor returns to iPPV this Saturday, May 4 from the Ted Reeve Arena in Toronto, ON. Canada has provided some memorable moments for ROH over the past few years and it looks like it could do the same again with a stacked card featuring new and returning talent. With the two singles titles on the line and a top drawer main event, we could be in for a classic show. Now let’s look closer at each match.
ROH World Championship
Jay Briscoe (c) vs. Adam Cole
Jay Briscoe shocked the world at ‘Supercard of Honor VII’ to beat ROH World Champion Kevin Steen and end the Canadian’s nearly year-long reign. It was a huge turning point for ROH as they continue to fight the war against SCUM and now they have control of the most prized possession in professional wrestling, things are looking up. Cole thought he’d be facing Steen for the belt but that has changed. He was given the shot after what went down at the ’11th Anniversary Show’ involving SCUM and their declaration that there were no challengers left for Steen.
This will be Jay’s first title defence and it’s against one of the hottest properties in wrestling today. There’s no doubting Cole’s talent but does he have what it takes to handle the pressure of an iPPV main event? People thinking back to the ’10th Anniversary Show’ will probably answer yes. Cole’s fluid style of wrestling will no doubt come up against the brawler-based offense of Briscoe and this will make an enthralling contest. This has all the potential to be an ROH classic.
ROH World TV Championship
Matt Taven (c) w/ Truth Martini vs. Mark Briscoe
Mark Briscoe has seen his brother claim singles gold in ROH and he now has the chance to do the same himself as he gets a shot at Matt Taven’s ROH World TV title. In a recent episode of ROH TV, Mark beat Mike Mondo, BJ Whitmer, Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander in a five way scramble match (which I created by the way…). Mark won the match with a froggy ‘bow, one of many weapons Taven will have to be wary of in Toronto.
Taven won the title at the ’11th Anniversary Show’ after a big assist from Truth Martini and then retained the belt in a three-way match against Adam Cole, the man he won for the title, and Matt Hardy at ‘Supercard of Honor VII’. Taven is a dangerous competitor and with Martini and hoopla hotty Scarlett on the outside, he has plenty of distractions for his opponent. Many will say Taven hasn’t proven himself yet but he holds the gold and that’s all that counts. Mark is known for his unorthodox offense and it will be interesting to see how Taven adapts. These two have the potential to put on a very good match and hopefully they will.
Pro Wrestling NOAH vs. ROH
Taiji Ishimori vs. Eddie Edwards
GHC Jr. Heavyweight Champion Taiji Ishimori will make his ROH debut when he battles Triple Crown winner Eddie Edwards in a non-title bout. These two wrestlers are familiar with each other already, as Edwards has spent extensive time in Japan wrestling and training with Pro Wrestling NOAH. While Ishimori is a decorated athlete in his native Japan, he has yet to prove himself in North America and has a great chance in Toronto.
Edwards is a big hitter and has beaten the best the world has to offer. He has been focusing more on tag team wrestling lately after reuniting the American Wolves but Edwards is always ready for a battle. This has the potential to be the match of the night and could well steal the show. Both men are capable of great things and there’s no reason why they shouldn’t combine to give us a classic.
Davey Richards vs. Paul London
When Naomichi Marufuji suffered a serious leg injury, Ring of Honor had to scramble to find a suitable replacement for ‘Border Wars’. The company did just that by announcing Paul London will make his Ring of Honor return nearly ten years since his last appearance in an ROH ring.
London was a pioneer for Ring of Honor during its infancy, and it’s great to see him return nearly a decade later. He takes on the ‘American Wolf’ Davey Richards in what is a first time ever bout. This is one of the most interesting matches in a while for ROH and I’m not entirely sure what we’ll get. These two aren’t too familiar with each other so we could see a feeling out process to begin this one. But when it gets going I’m sure much like the Edwards v Ishimori bout, this will be great.
ROH vs. SCUM
Jay Lethal & Michael Elgin vs. Two Members of SCUM
Lethal and Elgin faced off in singles action at ‘Supercard of Honor VII’ with Elgin winning and earning himself a future ROH World Title shot. However, the pair will have to put their differences aside at ‘Border Wars’. On a recent episode of ROH TV, Steve Corino and Nigel McGuinness got into an argument, with Corino demanding a member of SCUM should get a title shot. Nigel refused but said if a team picked by Corino could beat Lethal and Elgin, any member of SCUM could get an ROH World Title shot.
Corino made it clear that Matt Hardy would be the man but Nigel also said that if Lethal and Elgin win, Corino will be gone from ROH. If SCUM win, Corino will also be the new color commentator following Caleb Seltzer’s absence. It is not known who Corino will pick to take on two of Ring of Honor’s finest athletes but they will be in for a big challenge. Elgin and Lethal have been at the forefront for ROH as they try to get rid of SCUM once and for all. A win here would certainly get that ball rolling. However, with so much on the line, it’s hard to bet against SCUM and their numbers advantage. Either way, this is sure to be an interesting contest with so much on the line.
I Quit Match – ROH vs. SCUM
BJ Whitmer vs. Rhett Titus
At the ’11th Anniversary’ show Titus joined SCUM, turning his back tag team partner Whitmer in the process. They may not have been a team for very long but Whitmer was the man to back Rhett up when going up against Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team and he must surely feel betrayed. The pair faced off at ‘WAR’ with Titus winning after using a roll of quarters. Now the two will collide again, with Whitmer surely wanting revenge for previous attacks. Whitmer didn’t want just a normal match, however, and demanded an ‘I Quit’ contest.
Whitmer is well known for being a tough competitor and has had many wars in the past, including with Titus’ SCUM stable-mate Jimmy Jacobs. This should be a hard-hitting contest with both men wanting to inflict pain on the other. It may take a while for either man to utter the words: I Quit.
Roderick Strong vs. Mike Bennett vs. Mike Mondo
Mike Mondo’s problems with both Mike Bennett and Roderick Strong are well documented. Mondo and Bennett had a heated rivalry throughout last summer that saw Mondo get the better of Bennett time after time by stealing kisses from the beautiful Maria. The two had one final match at “Glory by Honor XI,” which saw Mondo risk it all by diving off the entrance way despite suffering a broken fibula during the contest. Bennett took advantage of the injury and defeated Mondo.
While Bennett has used the victory to propel himself to receiving contract offers from every wrestling company under the sun, Mondo has been on the long road to recovery. He’s appeared sporadically on ROH on SBG by giving updates on his injury. Strong has used this as an opportunity to belittle Mondo and has used him as his personal punching bag. The issue between Mondo and Bennett and Strong came to a head on a recent episode of ROH television. Mondo was sitting on commentary at ringside for a match between Strong and Bennett. The action spilled to the outside, where Mondo was inadvertently the recipient of several high-impact moves from the two wrestlers. Mondo interfered in the match once he recovered, which allowed Strong to pick up the win. The problems between the three men will come to a head at “Border Wars” when they meet in a triple threat match.
Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander vs. ACH & Tadarius Thomas
This has the potential to be the sleeper match on the card. This will mostly kick off the show and should be a fantastic opener. C&C were heavily touted to be the next ROH World Tag Team champions at the end of last year. However, 2013 has seen them face up to SCUM so their title aspirations have been put on the backburner. They continue to put on fantastic matches and a win against the new team of ACH & TD Thomas will surely give them the boost needed to get back in the title hunt.
ACH & Thomas teamed up at ‘Supercard of Honor VII’ to defeat QT Marshall & RD Evans. Despite being a new team, the pair seem to have good chemistry and work well together. ACH has been a revelation since signing with ROH and is already a crowd favourite with his very innovative offense. TD continues to impress and is always a danger with his vary of strikes and his use of the Brazillian martial art Capoeira. With all four men keen to impress and get a victory, this should be a great fast-paced match to kick off proceedings.