After a great start to 2013 with the house shows in Dearborn and Milwaukee, ROH will be looking to continue the momentum when they return to Cincinnati, OH on Saturday night. It’s just over a year since ROH has been to Cincy and with the last show receiving some negative feedback for the amount of non-regular ROH roster members on the card, the company will be looking to return with a bang. The action goes down at the Masonic Center this Saturday so let’s take a closer look at each match.
Team ROH (Davey Richards, Michael Elgin & Adam Cole) vs. SCUM (Kevin Steen, Steve Corino & Jimmy Jacobs)
This was one of the first matches announced for the show and really showed ROH’s intent to put on a memorable event. A six-man elimination war with no time limit really had ROH fans’ mouth’s watering. Since becoming ROH World Champion at ‘Border Wars’ last year, Kevin Steen and his sidekicks Steve Corino and Jimmy Jacobs have been aiming to bring down ROH. That looks like it will continue at the ’11th Anniversary Show’ in Chicago Ridge but before they get there, they will have a tough job on their hands to beat three men who are amongst ROH’s best.
There is plenty of history between Steen and Davey Richards. Richards can’t challenge for the ROH World Title while Steen is champion but will get the chance to get his hands on him on Saturday. ROH World TV champion Adam Cole has had his hands full with Matt Hardy recently but it’s fair to say that he also will have half an eye on Steen and that ROH World title. Elgin, like Richards, is a man who has crossed paths with Steen. Their classic at ‘Glory By Honor XI’ may have seen Elgin come up short, but “Unbreakable” is as fired-up as ever.
This should be an all out war between six very good professional wrestlers; with two sides that see things extremely differently. ROH has been trying to get the ROH World title off Steen but that has been harder than they hoped. While the title isn’t on the line, a loss for SCUM would be a huge dent in their plans for the “11th Anniversary Show”. This could be a match that goes down in the ROH history books as being a major turning point, regardless of who wins. This should be a fascinating encounter, worthy of main eventing any show.
Roderick Strong vs. ACH
ACH has been a name that has become one of the most talked about on the independent wrestling scene. Seen as a charismatic high-flyer who has all the tools to succeed, he’s certainly one to keep an eye on. He has had a couple of matches in ROH but is still waiting for that breakout match that makes people sit up and take notice. Saturday may just be that day as he faces a man who has been the backbone of ROH for many years; Roderick Strong.
Strong is known for his cocky persona but he more than backs it up in the ring. Strong may be busy with former House of Truth teammate Michael Elgin but don’t expect Strong to take ACH too lightly. Without Truth Martini at his side, Strong will have to take care of business himself and has an armory of backbreakers with which to do so. A win against Strong would put ACH firmly on ROH’s radar and with rumors of new signings being imminent, he could put himself in line for a contract. Regardless of the result, this should be a great match between two very good wrestlers.
BJ Whitmer vs. Kyle O’Reilly
Since returning to ROH, BJ Whitmer has proven time and time again that he’s one of the toughest guys on the roster. He’s also proven that he can put on some brilliant matches. Since going through a table head first courtesy of Charlie Haas at ‘Final Battle 2012’, BJ has mainly focussed on his singles career and pushed ROH World TV Champion Adam Cole all the way on a recent episode of ROH TV. He will be looking to add another performance, and hopefully win, against Kyle O’Reilly.
O’Reilly, unlike Whitmer, has mainly been in tag team matches as of late after he and Bobby Fish began Team AmFishin’. They have had great success in their limited time as a team and will face The Briscoes for the ROH World Tag Team titles at the ’11th Anniversary Show’. Before then, however, O’Reilly would love to get a win under his belt against Whitmer. This should be an interesting match between two very hard hitting men. The winner of this one will most likely be the one that refuses to stay down. Will Bobby Fish get involved? Who knows, but we’ll find out on Saturday.
Jay Lethal vs. Tadarius Thomas
Tadarius Thomas continues to be given big opportunities in ROH. He was handed an ROH World title shot against Kevin Steen at ‘Hunt For Gold’ and put in a good performance despite being on the losing end. With his unique offense based around his use of the Brazillian martial art Capoeira, Thomas is a hard opponent to prepare for and this has led to him putting on some great matches since entering ROH.
One man who will be desperate for a win going into the ’11th Anniversay Show’ is Jay Lethal. He will finally get his hands on Kevin Steen for the ROH World Title and needs all the momentum he can get going into Chicago Ridge. Lethal boats an impressive win-loss record but this match might be a lose-lose situation for him. Even if he wins, Thomas is capable of inflicting punishment on his opponent with an array of strikes. Lethal is expected to win this one but it should still prove to be an enthralling match between two men at the peak of their abilities.
Mark Briscoe vs. ‘Spyder’ Nate Webb
The Briscoes will be defending their Tag Team titles at the ’11th Anniversary Show’ against Team AmFishin’ but both men have interesting singles matches in Cincy. Mark, who is known for being an outlandish, crazy character will take on a man who could possibly rival him in those stakes.
‘Spyder’ Nate Webb is best known for his work in CZW having held the CZW Tag Team titles twice and he also featured in the heated ROH vs. CZW feud during 2006. There’s no doubt that Mark will have his hands full against an opponent that hasn’t been seen in ROH for some time. This is an interesting bout, that should have the crowd on the edge of their seats, and a Webb win would really raise some eyebrows.
Jay Briscoe vs. QT Marshall
Mark’s brother Jay will also have his hands full as he takes on QT Marshall. Jay is widely regarded as a brilliant singles performer so he should have no problem adjusting to a match without his brother on the apron. Jay would love a victory before heading to Chicago Ridge to defend the tag titles.
He faces a man who has had a tough time in ROH recently in QT Marshall. Marshall lost to Grizzly Redwood in 23 seconds before ‘Final Battle 2012’ went live and has struggled to gain any momentum recently. His manager RD Evans can’t be happy with his client’s record and will surely be putting pressure on Marshall to pick up the wins. This is a big match for QT and a win over Jay would really silence some of his many critics. Unfortunately for him, I can’t see Jay losing this one; he’s not an eight-time Tag Team champion for nothing.
Charlie Haas vs. Pepper Parks
The card is rounded off by ‘Outlaw’ Charlie Haas, who is in action against Pepper Parks. Haas has been really pissed off as of late and took his anger out on poor Cheeseburger on ROH TV a couple of weeks back. Haas has done a lot of talking recently and now needs to back it up in the ring.
Parks’ last appearance for ROH was in June of last year at ‘Live Strong’ in Pittsburgh where he lost to Adam Cole. Parks will be hoping to avenge that defeat and piss off Haas even more while also catching the eye of ROH officials. I fancy Haas to win this one but it will interesting to see how Parks performs once again in ROH.
Also scheduled to appear is Truth Martini, who will be hosting a special in-ring segment which he has labelled ‘Hoopla’. That will probably be worth the price of admission alone! Prior to the event, there will also be an autograph signing with Michael Elgin, Davey Richards, BJ Whitmer and Adam Cole.
So there you have it, Ring of Honor returns to Cincinnati, OH this Saturday, February 16, at the Masonic Center with a bell time of 7.30pm.