Eddie Edwards was arguably the MVP of Ring of Honor for 2011 so it was no surprise that he won ROHWorld’s ‘Wrestler of the Year’ award.
Edwards won the ROH World Championship from Roderick Strong at ‘Manhattan Mayhem IV’ to become the first ever ROH triple crown winner. Strong recently became the second after winning the ROH World TV title from Jay Lethal.
The Bostonian was also involved in the best match of the year as he lost the most prestigious championship in wrestling to former tag team partner Davey Richards at ‘Best In The World 2011’. Since ‘Final Battle 2011’, where he failed to regain his title, ‘Die Hard’ has failed to do much of note. He has had a mini-feud with ‘The Prodigy’ Mike Bennett which also included Edwards taking on Bennett’s trainer ‘Brutal’ Bob Evans but it has failed to get going and looks to now be over.
However, over the past week it was announced that Edwards would be challenging Kevin Steen for the World title in West Virginia later this month. He will also take on the returning Homicide at ‘Best In The World 2012’. Those are two big matches, especially for a man that has been out of title contention since the turn of the year. It looks as if a feud with Homicide lies ahead but this could be another fleeting return from ‘The Notorious 187’, something ROH fans have come to expect, especially when a New York iPPV is coming up.
While his match against Steen promises to be a great encounter, I feel Edwards needs to step away from the top of the card for a while and embark on a heated feud. Who with, though, is the big question. You always know that you’ll get a great match from Edwards but I feel that a great feud would get fans really wanting to see ‘Die Hard’ compete once more. A younger guy on the roster would be a good foil for Edwards. Somebody like Mike Bennett (although as I said, they seem to have canned that idea without really giving it enough time), Tommaso Ciampa or even Kyle O’Reilly.
O’Reilly hasn’t been seen much in ROH lately and I think a feud between him and Edwards would not only get the former ROH World champion back on top form, but also help O’Reilly too. Edwards has been so good in ROH over the past 18 plus months that he can afford to lose a few matches without hurting his popularity or credibility. O’Reilly could do with the rub off of such a well respected competitor and it’s not as if these two guys don’t have any history.
The edge is something I feel Edwards is missing at the moment. It’s through no fault of his own but because he has not been placed in matches that you feel you cannot miss, partly down to a smallish roster and with TV tapings to fill, we are seeing the same matches over and over. If you take a look at Davey Richards’ title reign, it wasn’t until six months in that it really started to heat up and that was because he was given fresh opponents that created exciting match-ups that people wanted to see.
A feud with O’Reilly would not only make sense and benefit both guys, but would give us quality matches with an edge which I for one would love to see. After all, isn’t that what pro wrestling is all about?