Border Wars Preview‏

Ring of Honor once again returns to iPPV Saturday May 12 when it presents “Border Wars” from Toronto. “Border Wars” is set to be one of the most historic nights in Ring of Honor history. Not only will the main event be one of the biggest in recent years when Davey Richards defends the ROH World Title against Kevin Steen, but it will also be the first ROH iPPV that isn’t being streamed on GoFightLive. Ring of Honor has decided to take all future iPPVs in-house, and they can be seen at ROHWrestling.com. This is a show that could impact the company –both in the ring and financially – for years to come.

Let’s take a closer look at each match.

ROH World Championship
Davey Richards (c) vs Kevin Steen

“Best in the World 2012” in June 2011 was an important night for both Richards and Steen. On that night, Richards finally achieved his goal of capturing the ROH World Champion when he defeated Eddie Edwards in a classic bout. Steen also made his return to Ring of Honor during the same show, and made the first of many shocking statements that eventually helped lead to his reinstatement to the company. Steen has been calling Richards out ever since “Death Before Dishonor IX” in September, and had some harsh words for Richards. This got under Richards’ skin, and he was willing to put the title on the line to get his hands on Steen. This entire time, though, Jim Cornette was doing everything he could to make sure the psychopathic Steen didn’t injure Ring of Honor wrestlers or get his hands on the ROH Title. He even went as far as banning Steen’s Package Piledriver.

The match was finally made on a recent episode of Ring of Honor television. For one night only, Steen’s Package Piledriver is legal. Cornette also tricked Steen into signing a document that stated the match at “Border Wars” will be Steen’s only shot at the title.

This is one of the most hyped matches in quite some time for Ring of Honor. Steen is arguably the most popular wrestler on the independent scene, and him finally getting a title shot after everything he’d gone through over the last couple of years has fans excited. This match has been built up perfectly, and it’s easily the most anticipated Ring of Honor match in years. This is possibly the biggest main event in the company’s history, and it should be a fantastic match. Steen will most likely try to make it a brawl since he will not be able to keep up with Richards’ technical prowess. Richards will try to keep the larger Steen grounded and use submissions to wear him down. It’s impossible to predict a winner in this match as the biggest variable might not even be a part of the match. Jim Cornette could play a crucial role in the ending of the match as he would try to screw Steen out of the title. It’s going to be a great match and it will be really interesting to see how it all plays out.

Fight Without Honor – ROH World Tag Team Championship
Jay and Mark Briscoe (c) vs Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin

The problems these two teams have with each other date back to “Best in the World 2011” when the Briscoes attacked Haas and Benjamin with chairs following a four way tag title match. The two teams traded chair attacks up until their title match at “Final Battle 2011,” where the Briscoes won the ROH World Tag Team Titles. The fans turned on Haas and Benjamin during the match, and Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team have had a change of attitude since then. They have become the aggressors in the feud, and have attacked the Briscoes multiple times. They have served suspensions and paid fines for their actions, but that didn’t stop Haas and Benjamin. They received a chance to win back the ROH World Tag Team Titles at “Showdown in the Sun Day Two,” but were unable to regain the titles. They attacked the Briscoes after the match, and robbed Jay Briscoe of his manhood, which has affected his relationship with his wife. Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team received another title match April 29 in Dayton, but once again came up short. Haas and Benjamin have received one more chance to defeat the Briscoes for the ROH World Tag Team Titles in a Fight Without Honor, and this time will be their last chance at the belts.

This should be a brutal match between two teams that hate each other. Fans should expect a wild brawl with a lot of blood being shed during this match. The Briscoes should have a ton of animosity built up towards Haas and Benjamin because of their attacks, and they should be looking to get their revenge. Dem Boys should retain the belts in a violent match.

ROH World Television Championship
Roderick Strong (c) w/ Truth Martini vs Fit Finlay

Roderick Strong became the second Triple Crown winner in Ring of Honor history when he defeated Jay Lethal for the ROH World Television Title at “Showdown in the Sun Day Two.” He faces his biggest challenge to date when he defends his belt against “The Belfast Brawler” Fit Finlay. Finlay is one of the best wrestlers to lace up his boots, and he and Strong should put on a great match. I’m expecting a match much like the matches Strong had with Erick Stevens a few years ago; a brutal, stiff match where both men beat the hell out of each other. This match is going to be a stiff war with tons of brutal shots. This is going to be an exciting match. Finlay still has it after all the years he’s been wrestling, and Strong is one of the best wrestlers in Ring of Honor. This is going to be a fantastic match.

Showdown in the Sun Rematch
Lance Storm vs Mike Bennett w/ Brutal Bob

Mike Bennett defeated Lance Storm at “Showdown in the Sun Night One.” Storm could accept the loss, but after the match Bennett hit Storm with the Box Office Smash. That has angered Storm and he is looking for his revenge in his home country of Canada. Their first match together was very good and exceeded a lot of people’s expectations. It was Bennett’s best Ring of Honor match to date. Storm and Bennett should have another very good match at “Border Wars.” It wouldn’t be surprising to see Storm win this match to get his revenge, but with Brutal Bob in Bennett’s corner, “The Prodigy” can never be counted out of a match.

Eddie Edwards vs Rhino w/ Truth Martini

Truth Martini recently purchased the rights to Rhino from the Embassy to help the House of Truth. Rhino is being asked by Martini to take out wrestlers who may be standing between Roderick Strong and the ROH World Title. His first task is to take out Eddie Edwards. It will be no small feat for him to do so. Edwards is one of the toughest men in all of wrestling and the word “quit” is not in his vocabulary. He will be able to take everything Rhino has to offer and keep trying fight back. Rhino is also tough as nails, so it’s going to be interesting to watch the match play out. It’s going to come down to whether or not Rhino will be able to hit Edwards with the Gore! Gore! Gore! It doesn’t matter how much heart Edwards has, if Rhino successfully connects with the Gore, the match is all but over.

Michael Elgin vs Adam Cole

Elgin and Cole are two of the best up-and-coming wrestlers on the Ring of Honor roster. They are the future of the wrestling business. Just because they have a great future ahead of them doesn’t mean they haven’t accomplished a lot already. Elgin and Cole have had two of the best years thus far of anyone in the wrestling business. Elgin has been on fire since winning “Survival of the Fittest.” He has beaten he likes of Chris Hero and TJ Perkins, and put on one of the greatest matches in Ring of Honor history when he challenged for the ROH World Title at “Showdown in the Sun Day Two.” Cole has had an equally impressive 2012. He has had strong performances against the likes of Roderick Strong and has teamed with Eddie Edwards. Cole also pinned the ROH World Champion Davey Richards at the “10th Anniversary Show” during a tag match. He may have come up short when he challenged for the ROH World Title, but he left little doubt in anyone’s mind that he has arrived as a main event player.

This should be an awesome match, and other than the main event it’s the match I’m most looking forward to at “Border Wars.” Elgin and Cole are both great wrestlers and it’s going to be a treat to see them faceoff. Elgin is an absolute powerhouse and he is going to try to use his power to his advantage to win the match. Cole, however, has the speed and quickness advantage he is going to try to make the most of. This is just going to be a great match between two of the brightest young stars in all of wrestling.

Jay Lethal vs Tommaso Ciampa w/ The Embassy Ltd.

Ciampa challenged then-champion Jay Lethal for the ROH World Television Championship at the “10th Anniversary Show” after earning the shot in a Proving Ground match. They wrestled to a time limit draw, and Ciampa and the Embassy Ltd. stole the title after the match. They held the belt hostage until “Showdown in the Sun Day Two” when Ciampa talked Lethal into putting the belt on the line in his Blind Destiny match against Roderick Strong. Ciampa stayed at ringside during the match, and his interference cost Lethal the title. Lethal is looking to get his revenge against the unbeaten Ciampa at “Border Wars.”

This should be another solid match on a stacked show. Both Lethal and Ciampa have been very successful in their Ring of Honor careers. Lethal has yet to defeat Ciampa, and his loss of the ROH World TV Title may give him the extra motivation he needs to beat the “Dominant Male.” Ciampa, however, is undefeated in Ring of Honor. He also has the Embassy Ltd. in his corner, and Prince Nana is surely going to get involved at some point during the match.

The All Night Express (Kenny King and Rhett Titus) and TJ Perkins
vs The Young Bucks (Nick and Matt Jackson) and Mike Mondo

On a recent episode of Ring of Honor television, Perkins was in the middle of an interview with Veda Scott about his match with Mike Mondo. He was interrupted by the Young Bucks and they exchanged insults. Mondo beat Perkins in the match after the Young Bucks interfered. A three-on-one beat down on Perkins ensued before the All Night Express made the save. The problems between the All Night Express and the Young Bucks are well-documented. The Bucks injured Titus’ knee after multiple attacks that forced him to miss several months of action.
This should be a very fun match. If it’s the opener, then it should be perfect to get the crowd fired up for the rest of the show. It’s going to be a fast-paced and high-flying match that will be nonstop action from bell to bell. It’s going to be very exciting. Whoever picks up the pinfall or submission is going to really benefit from doing so moving forward.

Steve Corino is also scheduled to appear on “Border Wars.”

Ring of Honor presents “Border Wars” live on iPPV Saturday May 12 from the Ted Reeve Arena in Toronto. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT. “Border Wars” is $14.95 to watch, and Ringside Members get a 15 percent discount. The event airs live on ROHWrestling.com. Fans can log into ROHWorld.com/forum to discuss the event as it happens.

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Jon Shumake

Jon has been with ROHWorld since March 2011. The American Bearded Nightmare is one half of 'Team America' on ROHCast, which is available every week on ROHWorld, iTunes and Stitcher.