Ring of Honor returns to Plymouth, Massachusetts Friday with the show “Defy or Deny.” This is the first show in Plymouth since “Tag Title Classic II” in December, which offered one of the best tag team matches in recent memory in its main event. “Defy or Deny” also appears to have a great main event in store for the people in attendance, but the whole show looks good from top to bottom. Let’s take a closer look at each of the announced matches.
Mark Briscoe vs Kyle O’Reilly
Mark Briscoe has had an eventful 2011 thus far. He has challenged for the World Television Title as well as wrestling in the main event of the “9th Anniversary Show,” although both were a losing effort. He looks to get back on track at “Defy or Deny” by facing Kyle O’Reilly, who has looked great in his short career in Ring of Honor. He advanced to the finals of the Top Prospects Tournament, which he ultimately lost to “The Prodigy” Mike Bennett. O’Reilly received Steve Corino’s endorsement of being one of the brightest young wrestlers in Ring of Honor. He hopes to continue to turn heads and impress the fans in this match against one-half of the Briscoes and a win here would do wonders for his career. The fans are in for a treat no matter who wins this match.
Adam Cole vs Tommaso Ciampa with Prince Nana and the Embassy
Ciampa is the newest addition to Prince Nana’s Embassy and debuted Monday on ROH on HDNet. He had an impressive first outing and demolished Mike Sydal. If Nana is confident enough to make him the “Crown Jewel” of the Embassy, Ciampa must be very talented. Ciampa and Nana have their work cut out for them at “Defy or Deny” when they take on Adam Cole. Cole has looked impressive in his tag team matches with Kyle O’Reilly, even though they have yet to pick up a major win. Cole has his work cut out for him against Ciampa who has to be focused on making an impact with the Embassy.
Michael Elgin with Truth Martini vs Eddie Edwards
Edwards is scheduled to face Roderick Strong for the ROH World Title at “Manhattan Mayhem IV” the night after this show, but he has to worry about surviving Elgin first. Elgin has a hit list from Strong to take out all of the potential threats to his title, and Edwards has to be at the top of the list. Elgin is going to try to punish Edwards so that Strong will be able to have an easy road to retain his belt. Edwards better hope he is able to end the match quickly so that he has the energy to compete Saturday. Elgin has proven he can serve the punishment, but Edwards has been on a roll and he seems too focused to lose to Elgin.
TJ Perkins vs Chris Hero with Shane Hagadorn
Perkins told recently told ROHWorld.com his game plan for this match in an exclusive interview. He said he wants to keep the match on the mat because he feels that is where the advantage is for him. Perkins has shown off his mat wrestling in the past and he does appear to have the advantage there. But Hero has the size on him and will not let himself be taken down easily. Hero will also look to use his elbow strikes to knock Perkins out. The winner will be the one who most effectively executes his game plan. If the match is wrestled on their mat, the edge goes to Perkins. If the match is wrestled on their feet, the edge goes to Hero.
Davey Richards vs Claudio Castagnoli with Shane Hagadorn
These two have been no strangers to each other so far in 2011. They have met several times in multi-man matches with Richards’s team coming out on top both times. Richards is facing wrestlers from all styles on his road to a title match against Roderick Strong in the future. He may not face a tougher opponent on his way to the title than Castagnoli, who may be the strongest man not only in Ring of Honor, but wrestling in general. Richards will have to use his technical wrestling ability, as well as what he has learned from his matches against TJ Perkins and Colt Cabana, to overcome the power and size of Castagnoli. This will be an interesting match up to say the least, and Richards has the slight advantage in the match because of his technical ability.
World Television Title Match
“The Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels defends against “The Prodigy” Mike Bennett
Bennett has been on a roll ever since entering Ring of Honor and has yet to lose a match. He is not afraid to let people know how good he thinks he is and it rubs some people, most noticeably Steve Corino, the wrong way. He may be one of the most disliked men in Ring of Honor, but there is no denying his success. He won the Top Prospects Tournament and now faces “The Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels for the World Television Title. Daniels has been champion since December when he beat Eddie Edwards for the title. He has successfully defended the title numerous times. His most recent defense was a draw against Edwards at the “9th Anniversary Show” in a match that ended in a time limit draw. Daniels has the “Book of Truth” in his possession and it will be interesting to see how that influences his mindset going into this match. Daniels also has one of the most hyped matches of “Manhattan Mayhem IV” against Davey Richards the next night, so he may overlook the young Bennett. Bennett has a very good chance to upset Daniels and become the new World Television Champion.
Defy or Deny-Elimination Match
ROH World Champion Roderick Strong vs El Generico vs Homicide vs Jay Briscoe
This match has a very intriguing stipulation. If Strong wins, none of the other three wrestlers can challenge for the ROH World Title as long as he is the champion. If El Generico, Homicide or Briscoe win, the winner will face the champion at “Ring of Honor Takes Center Stage” on April 2. The outcome of the match will have a major impact on the title picture for the foreseeable future. Strong faces the last three men who he has beaten to retain the title against in this match, so they have to be hungry to not only get their revenge on Strong, but also get another shot at the ROH Title. We actually have gotten a preview of this match on ROH on HDNet on March 7. El Generico appeared to have that match won, until Strong tagged himself in and stole the victory by pinning Briscoe. Strong has the edge at “Defy or Deny” if the previous match is any indication, but the stakes are much higher Friday night. The only thing that is certain is that it will be a great match.
“Defy or Deny” takes place Friday at the Plymouth Memorial Hall in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The bell time is scheduled for 8 p.m. The All Night Express and Steve Corino have been announced for the card, but have not been scheduled for matches as of Tuesday. It should be a great event that will start this weekend off right.