At ROH’s last New York show, ‘Best in the World 2011’, those in attendance, at the Hammerstein Ballroom, famously saw Davey Richards win an emotional World Title match. They also saw, what many believed to be the end of an ROH legend’s time in the promotion.
Despite pinning his opponent, Rhino, with an uncharacteristically technical Sunset Flip, it was Homicide that was left incapacitated, after the bout.
Like a wounded animal, the Embassy representative lashed out. He attempted to erase a major part of ROH’s history, with a vicious Gore, through a propped-up table. The Man Beast’s actions, on that night, were chillingly reminiscent of the events that led to his ECW Championship win, in the very same building, a decade ago.
In the month-and-a-half since falling victim to this assault, Homicide’s internal injuries have left him unable to gain the medical clearance necessary to compete in an ROH ring.
The go-ahead, from the doctors, may now be in place, with a comeback date set for September 17th, but ROH’s top brass are still exercising extreme caution.
As a part of the company’s latest iPPV offering, ‘Death Before Dishonor IX’, Homicide has demanded to be rematched with the Embassy. ROH officials have met his wishes but will not allow the ‘Notorious 187’ to go it alone.
Recent ROH returnee Jay Lethal was expected to miss this show, himself, as a result of a scheduling conflict.
However, due to the importance of this event, Lethal has been able to free himself from his responsibilities elsewhere. Once his renewed availability came to ROH management’s knowledge, they, hurriedly, set about signing him for action.
With Lethal taking a fight at short notice and the, aforementioned, question marks remaining over Homicide’s fitness. The decision to create a makeshift tag team, out of the pair, was taken, affording the two competitors the opportunity to share the burden of competition between themselves.
As a knock-on effect of this decision, Prince Nana’s group will be required to send a two-man delegation to the show.
Their chosen unit consists, first, of the hired gun Rhino. The 270 pounder will be looking to prove a point by, this time, finishing the job on Homicide. With Nana’s sizeable wealth behind him, the dangerous wildman seems unphased by the possibility of any fines that might be meeted out, for breaches of the company’s strict Code of Honor.
The second member of The Embassy team will be the, seemingly unbeatable, Tommaso Ciampa. The thoroughbred Sicilian already holds two victories over Homicide, in ROH competition, and, despite having only taken up residence, in the organisation, just a few short months ago, he has set about notching up an enviable win-loss record, overall.
Although there are countless potential combustible elements to this match, the X-Factor, on the night, could well be the chequered history of ‘Cide and Lethal.
All the way back in 2005, Lethal became embroiled in, his mentor, Samoa Joe’s never-ending war with Homicide’s Rottweilers gang. This lingering anomisity hasn’t just been confined to ROH. Indeed it has resurfaced, countless times, in wrestling promotions around the world.
It should also be noted that Prince Nana still holds a grudge against Lethal, stemming from a match that took place at the same point, in ROH history, as the Joe-Rottweilers war.
Lethal was the man that ended the Pure Title run of Embassy member John Walters.
Since losing his grip on this Championship, Nana has failed to lead any of his Embassy charges to a title win. This failure sticks in the Gold Coast native’s craw.
Homicide and Lethal have both been thrown in at the deep end, by ROH management. This impromptu match-up will be a real test of their professionalism. If they aren’t able to gel quickly, the motivated Embassy could capitalise, with devastating effect.
History may be against the unlikely partners.