Ring of Honor will put on two action packed shows this weekend as the road to ‘Honor Takes Center Stage’ continues. This Friday March 18th, ROH stop off in Plymouth, MA with ‘Defy or Deny’ and the following day they head on to New York for ‘Manhattan Mayhem IV’. This Saturday’s event will take place inside the Manhattan Center (Grand Ballroom- 7th Floor), belltime is 4pm and a stacked card is scheduled for ROH’s return to New York. If you haven’t seen the promo video for the show, you can view it here
ROH World Championship – Roderick Strong (c) vs. Eddie Edwards
Strong won the World Championship at Glory By Honor IX after defeating Tyler Black. As it was known that Black was leaving the company, many critics immediately labelled Strong as a transitional champion. Seven months later and Strong has defended his title on numerous occasions beating the likes of Jay Briscoe, El Generico and Homicide. Homicide was the latest challenger but Strong defeated “The Notorious 187” at the 9th Anniversary Show and remained on top of the pile. Edwards has impressed everybody in ROH over the past few months and if anybody deserved a title shot, then it was him. He held the TV Title from its inception until last month when he dropped the belt to Christopher Daniels on ROH on HDNet. He faced off against Daniels at the 9th Anniversary Show in his rematch and the two battled it out to a 30-minute time limit draw. Edwards now has his eyes on a bigger prize and whoever wins will take on Daniels at ‘Honor Takes Center Stage’. Strong has had to rely on help from the House of Truth recently but will Edwards be able to hunt down the champion despite the inevitable numbers game?
Non Title- Dream Tag Team Match – The Kings of Wrestling vs. Latin American Exchange
The Kings of Wrestling are the longest reigning Tag Team Champions in Ring of Honor history and that’s no surprise to most of the ROH fan base. Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli just can’t go wrong and have beaten every team ROH have put in front of them. Their most recent challengers were The All Night Express who they beat at the 9th Anniversary Show. After that match, the pair celebrated their win by challenging any team to come and face them. Their calls were answered by Homicide who said that in New York, the Kings would face off against he and his former tag team partner Homicide. The Kings will face a team they’ve never wrestled against before and will surely be out of their comfort zone. Will the Kings Reign Supreme or will Homicide and Hernandez overcome the royalty of ROH?
Richards vs. Daniels II- Pure Rules Match
Both of these competitors are considered excellent technical wrestlers and should provide us with a classic. Ring of Honor fans have anticipated a rematch between these two for some time and they finally get their wish. The match also has a slight twist – it will be competed under Pure Rules. Many ROH fans will remember the ROH Pure Championship which was last held by Bryan Danielson after unifying it with the ROH World Championship. One rule which may play a part is the ‘3 strikes and you’re out’ rule. This refers to rope breaks, once you’ve used three rope breaks, you can’t break a submission by going to the ropes. Both men use submission moves in their offense and this might make them think twice before the match. Pure Rules or not, this should be a fantastic match.
The Briscoes vs. The All Night Express
On the face of it, this match just looks like a potentially great match between two brilliant tag teams. However, if you add both teams’ recent bad runs into the equation, this match becomes very important indeed. ANX have definitely improved over the past six months or so and Rhett Titus & Kenny King have started to focus more on wrestling and less on partying and the results are easy to see. They stepped up and faced off against The Kings of Wrestling at the 9th Anniversary Show in Chicago in a losing effort. It pays testament to the Kings that ANX came out of the match looking brilliant yet still lost. The Briscoes also wrestled in Chicago – against Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team. Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin have been brilliant since coming to ROH and backed that up when they beat The Briscoes for a shot at The Kings of Wrestling. Both of these teams need a win and the team that fails to get the victory could find themselves at the bottom of the tag team pile.
TJ Perkins vs. El Generico
TJ Perkins is a well known name throughout the independent wrestling scene and isn’t a stranger to Ring of Honor. TJP had three good matches towards the end of 2010 when he faced off against Kyle O’Reilly, Colt Cabana and Davey Richards. His performances in those matches prompted ROH to begin negotiations to bring Perkins back and he has signed for two appearances. His second opponent will be El Generico. Generico, like Perkins, has a very unpredictable offense and is very unorthodox in his approach. Generico recently came up short in his title match against Roderick Strong for the ROH World Championship and will be looking to get back in the title hunt with a win over TJP. Will Generico continue his great form or will Perkins announce his return to ROH with a massive win over “The Generic Luchadore”? You can read TJ’s views on this match and his return to ROH as a whole here in our exclusive interview.
“The Prodigy” Mike Bennett with Brutal Bob vs. Steve Corino
Mike Bennett was crowned the Top Prospect of 2011 on this week’s ROH on HDNet after a hard fought victory over Kyle O’Reilly. Bennett predicted he would win the tournament before it had even started and his confidence must have helped him as he went on to do just that. Steve Corino was overseeing the tournament after leaving his bad ways behind him. Corino helped mentor Kevin Steen and was a key part of the Steen and El Generico feud which was finally ended at Final Battle 2010. Corino gave his thoughts after every match during the tournament and Bennett quickly took offence and began to abuse the veteran at any opportunity. Tempers finally boiled over after Bennett’s win and Corino attacked both Bennett and his trainer “Brutal” Bob Evans before the pair overpowered him and laid him out. It was then announced that the two would face off at ‘Manhattan Mayhem IV’ as Corino tries to teach the cocky youngster some respect.
Grizzly Redwood vs. Tommaso Ciampa with Prince Nana & The Embassy
Grizzly is a fan favourite and the smallest lumberjack around but at Manhattan Mayhem IV, he faces off against Tommaso Ciampa. Prince Nana presented The Embassy on this week’s ROH on HDNet and Ciampa was in action against Mike Sydal who he made light work of. Ciampa looks like a good addition to the new Embassy and his finishing move was something to be afraid of. Grizzly hasn’t had much luck recently and got knocked out of the Top Prospects tournament in the first round so a win against Ciampa would mean a lot. The Embassy look like they mean business though and Redwood faces an uphill battle at the Manhattan Center.