Ring of Honor makes its Cincinnati, Ohio Friday Feb. 17 when the company invades the Cincinnati Masonic Center. It is going to be a night of returns, debuts, and, most importantly, opportunity. The ROH World Tag Team Titles are going to be on the line in the night’s main event, but other wrestlers throughout the night are just trying to prove they have what it takes to be in Ring of Honor.
Let’s take a closer look at each match.
ROH World Tag Team Title Match
ROH World Tag Team Champions Jay and Mark Briscoe defend
vs ROH World Champion Davey Richards and Kyle O’Reilly
Richards and O’Reilly earned this title match by defeating the team of Roderick Strong and Michael Elgin in Norfolk, Va. in January. Richards and O’Reilly train together as part of Team Richards and have recently become a legitimate tag team on ROH TV. Richards is looking to become tag team champion for the third time in his Ring of Honor career, and is also fighting to become the first wrestler in the company’s history to hold two titles simultaneously. The Briscoes are also coming off a victory at the Norfolk show when they successfully defended their belts against the team of Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander. They already have a title defense set up for the “10th Anniversary Show” against the Young Bucks, so the Briscoes better not be looking ahead if they want to retain their titles Friday. Fans should expect a hard-hitting, stiff and violent match between these two teams. It should also come as no surprise if either Adam Cole or Eddie Edwards get involved in this match at some point to mess with the challengers.
Proving Ground Match
ROH World TV Champion Jay Lethal vs BJ Whitmer
The Proving Ground concept is about a wrestler proving he has what it takes to challenge for a title by either defeating the champion or lasting the time limit. For Whitmer, this Proving Ground match is to prove he has what it takes to return to Ring of Honor. Whitmer, who is a four-time tag champion in Ring of Honor, hasn’t competed in about four years. He challenged for every title during his previous tenure in ROH, and was the first person to challenge for the ROH World Title on pay-per-view. He is stepping into the ring Friday to earn his place back on the roster. It’s not going to be an easy task as he has to take on the ROH World TV Champion Jay Lethal. Lethal has held the title since August when he defeated El Generico. During that time, he has only come up short in two Proving Ground matches. With the list of challengers beginning to build, Lethal can’t afford to allow Whitmer into title contention. This is a match that could potentially steal the show as both of these men are tremendous wrestlers.
No Holds Barred
Eddie Edwards vs Roderick Strong
This match was scheduled to take place at “Homecoming 2012” in January, but Edwards was forced by doctors to pull out of the match due to a staph infection. Adam Cole took his place in the match and impressed Edwards, despite coming up on the losing end of things. Edwards wanted another chance at the match, and Ring of Honor officials obliged and made the match again for Feb. 17. Both men are looking to get back into title contention, but each needs to pick up some wins before that happens. Fans should know what to expect when these two wrestlers face off against each other as they had several battles throughout 2011. The No Holds Barred stipulation will add an extra element of brutality to this match. Fans would also have to expect Truth Martini and Michael Elgin to get involved in this match on Strong’s behalf. If there is anyone who can overcome the odds, though, it’s Eddie Edwards.
Michael Elgin with Truth Martini vs Adam Cole
When Eddie Edwards was forced to withdraw from his match with Roderick Strong at “Homecoming 2012” due to a staph infection, Strong assumed he had the night off. That was until Adam Cole stepped up to the plate and accepted the match against Strong. Cole had Strong on the brink of defeat several times, but interference from both Michael Elgin and Truth Martini kept Cole from picking up the biggest victory of his career. Although Strong eventually won, Cole came out looking like a star and was given a standing ovation. Now he has to wrestle the other member of the House of Truth, and the Survival of the Fittest 2011 winner, Michael Elgin. Elgin has been on an impressive roll over the past six months, which included defeating Cole on two consecutive nights in November in Four Corner Survival matches. This is going to be a great match between two of the youngest wrestlers on the roster. Both Elgin and Cole have a bright future ahead of them in Ring of Honor, and this match is going to help determine who’s future is going to get here quicker. This is a match that Ring of Honor fans need to keep their eyes on.
Rise and Prove Tag Team Tournament
Ring of Honor has the deepest and most competitive tag team division is all of professional wrestling. The best tag teams in the world compete in Ring of Honor. Four young teams are going to be given the opportunity to show that they have what it takes to be part of the tag team division in the Rise and Prove Tag Team Tournament. The tournament is a one-night, single elimination tournament with the winners receiving a future Proving Ground match against the ROH World Tag Team Champions. This is the biggest opportunity of these wrestlers’ careers and something that could launch a wrestler from obscurity and into the minds of wrestling fans worldwide. None of the wrestlers regularly compete in Ring of Honor, although some of the wrestlers have seen action in an ROH ring before. Teams from all over the world have been brought in for this opportunity of a lifetime. The four teams who will compete in the tournament are:
- Shiloh Jonze and Rudy Switchblade
- Sean Casey and Chris Silvio
- Shane Haste and Mikey Nicholls
- Alabama Attitude (Mike Posey and Corey Hollis)
Mike Mondo vs Samson Walker
Mike Mondo has been appearing on Ring of Honor television for several months now, and has been having a rough go of things. Although he has been competitive in most of his matches, he rarely comes out on top. Mondo is looking to get on a winning streak in Cincinnati, and it looks like it’s going to happen.
Ring of Honor’s Cincinnati debut takes place at the Cincinnati Masonic Center Feb. 17. The show has an 8 p.m. bell time. There is a preshow autograph signing featuring Eddie Edwards and the Briscoes.
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