Charlotte, NC : July 9th Preview

Over the years North Carolina has been known as “Flair Country” and “Hardy Country”. This Saturday it will be known as “ROH Country” as Ring of Honor returns to promote one of its final cards before launching its new TV show. With a cage match main event and an American Wolves reunion on the undercard it’s clear Ring of Honor are going all out to show that their “B shows” are just as worthy of attention as their bigger events.

Colt Cabana v Chris Hero w/Shane Hagadorn

It’s possible that Cabana will be walking into Charlotte tomorrow night as one of the new ROH tag team champions. If that were to happen how incensed do you think Hero would be? My guess: very. These are two of Ring of Honor’s biggest stars with each man having international experience. For Cabana that’s the European style (as well as his more unpredictable and humorous shenanigans). For Hero it’s the Japanese and Mexican styles. Bearing that in mind this could be one of the most unique bouts of the entire weekend.

Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team v The Bravado Brothers

After a match with the Briscoes in Richmond will the Bravado Bandwagon be capable of rolling on into Charlotte? If they manage to make it the Bravados will find their request answered once again as they’ll face another of the promotion’s top teams in Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin. It’s going to be another very tough night for the Bravados, although it should be pointed out that if they somehow manage to win the Tag Team Contenders Lottery this evening this match couldbe changed to a tag team title match. With all due respect to Lance and Harlem it has to be said that’s not particularly likely…

Mark Briscoe v Kenny King
Rhett Titus and Jay Briscoe will be handcuffed to posts at ringside

The Briscoes v ANX feud continues. Instead of barring partners from ringside (which ROH management seems to have finally realised isn’t going to stop these four men from interfering) they’ll be connected to ring posts and unable to interfere. Kenny King’s usual fluid athleticism will be hard to employ in this match, as he will not only be facing a wild man in Mark Briscoe but also having to contend with outside interference whenever he roams too close to Jay at ringside. The only thing that makes that fair is that Mark is going to have to contend with the same thing from Rhett Titus.

Jay Briscoe v Rhett Titus
Kenny King and Mark Briscoe will be handcuffed to posts at ringside

Once Mark Briscoe and Kenny King have rumbled ROH officials will have the unenviable task of doing it all over again with the other members of both teams, whilst also having to go through the added hassle of cuffing Mark and Kenny. Neither match is going to be a scientific master class: both will be wild brawls. ROH management and officials are going to have a very hard time keeping these four men under control, and sooner or later a cage or dog collar match is going to have to be employed to try to contain the mayhem which routinely ensues when these teams clash.

Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly v The American Wolves

It’s student versus teacher in the second Wolves match of the weekend as reigning ROH world champion Davey Richards finds himself across the ring from Kyle O’Reilly, a young man he has taken under his wing. There’s already been talk of O’Reilly being the man to end Richards’ title reign, but it’s far too early to be discussing that possibility seriously. O’Reilly still has a long way to go before he’s ready to challenge for the company’s top prize, and for the foreseeable future he’ll be doing his climbing alongside Adam Cole. Both young men have come a long way in the relatively short time they’ve been tagging together in ROH, and they’ve put in impressive showings against all the company’s top teams.

In many ways this is the final test for the young men: the Wolves are no longer a regular combo in the ROH tag ranks, only teaming with one another sporadically. But at the same time they have an impressive pedigree: both members have been or are currently ROH world champion, and as a team they held the ROH tag team titles twice. They are an impressive unit, but an impressive unit that Cole and O’Reilly need to beat to prove they belong.

For Richards this night may seem similar to Best in the World: he sees both O’Reilly and Edwards as brothers. When the bell rung at Best in the World he did everything he possibly could to beat Edwards. But the ROH world championship was on the line then. Will he be willing to go to the limit against the less experienced O’Reilly, with no prize on the line and with O’Reilly being a student to the champ? Time will tell there, but it’s worth remembering that the Wolves are, above everything, sportsmen. It would take a lot for them to go easy on anyone.

Steel Cage match
Roderick Strong v El Generico

There have been problems between El Generico and the House of Truth ever since ‘The Generic Luchador’ challenged Roderick Strong for the ROH world title back on January 28th at SoCal Showdown II. On that night Strong retained after hitting Generico with the belt. Generico has faced all three HOT members at various ROH shows since then, most notably defeating Christopher Daniels for the ROH television championship at Best in the World two weeks ago.

It’s lead to this match: a steel cage surrounding the ring to ensure that Strong’s various House of Truth cohorts can’t involve themselves in proceedings. Traditionally ROH cage matches are brutal affairs and I’m sure this match will be no different. Whoever comes out the victor will surely be in line for a world title shot at some point soon.

Even though this show isn’t one of the more hyped events Ring of Honor has presented this year it still has some cracking matches lined up for it. The first meeting of Kyle O’Reilly and Davey Richards is notable, as is the cage match main event. The Briscoes v ANX matches are sure to advance that tag team feud as well. Plus Mike Bennett and Michael Elgin have been confirmed for the show. Who will they be facing? It’s looking like another action packed show from ROH. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Steven Coney

"Stuff Pants" Steven is the co-owner and editor of ROHWorld.com. He founded the website in February 2011 with Harry. Last spotted trying to take down ROHCast with his SCUM faction.