Ring of Honor makes its Charleston, W.V., debut Friday June 15 when it runs a live event at the Charleston Civic Center. The card features six matches as of writing, including Kevin Steen’s first defense of the ROH World Title. Let’s take a closer look at each match.
ROH World Championship
Kevin Steen (c) vs Eddie Edwards
Kevin Steen fulfilled nearly one year of promises at “Border Wars” when he defeated Davey Richards for the ROH World Championship to hold the company hostage. Steen will have his first defense of the belt against former-champion Eddie Edwards. Edwards was the last person to hold the belt before Richards, and is taking part in the Die Hard Challenge Series by facing former champions to prepare himself for a title shot. Steen and Edwards have quite the history, albeit it was mostly in tag team action. The American Wolves were the team to end Steen and Generico’s tag title reign in a Table’s Match. The teams would feud throughout the year. Steen would end up fracturing Edwards’ elbow, which would help Edwards earn the Die Hard moniker. The night after Edwards’ injury, the two teams faced off in Ring of Honor’s second Ladder War, with the Wolves picking up the win. Steen has had the most recent success in the rivalry when he defeated Edwards in the “Blind Destiny” at “Showdown in the Sun – Day Two.” Edwards looks to get his revenge on Steen from nearly three years ago for the fracture elbow, and wants to recapture the ROH World Title. Steen, however, will do anything possible to retain the title to keep holding the company hostage and to continue being a thorn in Jim Cornette’s side.
Texas Death Match – The Final Encounter
Jay Briscoe vs Charlie Haas
The war between the Briscoes and Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team has been raging since last year’s “Best in the World.” The two teams have not only traded the tag titles, but they have also traded chair shots and fines. At “Showdown in the Sun,” Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team made it personal against Jay Briscoe when they tried to rob him of his manhood. At “Border Wars,” Haas and Benjamin were able to rob “Dem Boys” of the ROH World Tag Team Titles when Haas used an ether soaked rag to incapacitate Mark Briscoe. Jay Briscoe has been fighting in his brother’s honor, and for the final time he will face off with Haas – this time in a Texas Death Match. To win, a wrestler must either pin or submit his opponent. His opponent then has a 10-count to reach his feet. If the opponent is unable to do so, then the wrestler wins. This is going to be an extremely violent match with Jay Briscoe looking to get his revenge on Haas for everything he’s done in 2012.
Jay Lethal vs Michael Elgin w/ Truth Martini
Michael Elgin has been the breakout star of Ring of Honor in 2012. He’s had countless impressive showings, and was on the brink of becoming ROH World Champion in a classic match at “Showdown in the Sun – Night Two.” Friday he will get the opportunity to prove himself against one of the biggest stars on the roster, Jay Lethal. Lethal’s 2012 has been up and down. He entered the year as ROH World TV Champion, but he lost the belt at “Showdown in the Sun – Day Two” when the House of Truth and The Embassy worked together to cost him the title. He has gotten some measure of revenge for that, as he ended Tommaso Ciampa’s undefeated streak at “Border Wars,” and defeated Roderick Strong in a 2/3 Falls match in Dayton. Lethal will look to continue his winning ways going into “Best in the World,” but if anyone is capable of beating him, it’s Elgin.
Four Corner Survival Proving Ground Match
Roderick Strong vs Adam Cole vs BJ Whitmer vs Kyle O’Reilly
With Lethal and Ciampa already breathing down his neck for the ROH World TV Title, Roderick Strong will have three more wrestlers gunning for an opportunity at the gold. All three of the men have been unsuccessful in their previous attempts to claim the TV Title. BJ Whitmer made his return to ROH when he came up short to Jay Lethal in a Proving Ground Match. Both Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly have come up short in recent attempts for the belt. This is different than a normal Proving Ground Match. This time, there is no time limit, and the champion does not need to be the one beaten for his opponent to earn a TV Title match. With two hungry competitors already waiting to challenge him, Strong cannot allow another wrestler the opportunity to challenge him for the title.
Davey Richards vs Mike Mondo
Coming off the biggest loss of his career at “Border Wars,” Davey Richards is preparing himself for his rematch against Kevin Steen for the ROH World Title at “Best in the World 2012: Hostage Crisis.” In the meantime, he faces off against Mike Mondo, a man who has been impressive over the past several months. This is the biggest match of Mondo’s ROH career, and a win would catapult him directly into the thick of title contention. If Richards is too focused on Steen and doesn’t take Mondo seriously, Mondo is more than capable of pulling off the upset.
The All Night Express vs Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander
A match between these two teams recently aired on ROH TV, and it was a very good match. It was so good, in fact, that ROH officials signed a rematch between the two teams for Charleston. Rhett Titus and Kenny King have their sole focus on defeating Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team at “Best in the World 2012: Hostage Crisis” to become tag team champions. That focus grew even stronger after Haas screwed ANX out of the titles in Richmond. Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander are improving every time they step into the ring as a team, and this might be the night they put it all together. Coleman and Alexander do, in fact, hold a future tag title match in their back pockets after defeating the Briscoes in a Proving Ground match, so they’re more than capable of holding their own. The key to the match is that the All Night Express keep their focus on this match, and not Haas and Benjamin.
Ring of Honor makes its Charleston, W.V., debut Friday June 15 at the Charleston Civic Center. The event, which is being filmed for “Road Rage,” begins at 7:30 p.m.