For nearly one year, a simple three word phrase has described the tag team division in Ring of Honor; Kings Reign Supreme.
Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli sent shockwaves through Ring of Honor at Final Battle 2009 when they reunited as the Kings of Wrestling and assaulted Jay and Mark Briscoe, who had just become six-time ROH World Tag Team Champions.
On April 3, 2010, Hero and Castagnoli defeated the Briscoes at the Big Bang to win the titles, becoming tag team champions for the second time. It was the first of many show stealing matches that the Kings would have over the course of the year.
Their feud with the Briscoes would take up much of 2010 and provided us with some of the best tag matches of the year. Their brutal no holds barred match at Death Before Dishonor VIII may have even topped the classic that they had at the Big Bang.
Hero and Castagnoli stole the show with the Motor City Machine Guns at Supercard of Honor V. They survived Ultimate Endurance at Tag Wars 2010, outlasting the Dark City Fight Club, the Briscoes and the All Night Express. They put on a tag title classic against the American Wolves in December.
Though some victories may have come by questionable methods, the Kings of Wrestling have held on to the ROH World Tag Team Championship longer than any other team in the history of ROH. They have beaten everyone who has stepped up to challenge them for the belts. They have also defeated the likes of Generation Me and the L.A.X. in non-title matches.
For the most part, the Kings have simply been unstoppable. Unfortunately for them, one team has been able to put a major chink in their armor. They call themselves Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team.
Last September, Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas came to ROH with something to prove. After being let go by the WWE, the two former superstars were looking for a shot at showcasing their wrestling ability and reestablishing themselves as one of the top tag teams in the world.
What better way to do so than to take on Hero and Castagnoli in a non-title dream match, live on iPPV at September’s Glory By Honor IX?
The hype machine kicked into full gear leading into the WGTT making their ROH debut and when the big moment finally came, it did not disappoint. The two teams put on the match of the night and one of the very finest tag team matches in 2010.
Despite their best efforts, Haas and Benjamin came up short. Hero’s trademark elbow pad came into play, giving the Kings yet another controversial victory.
The defeat did not sit well with the WGTT and after working their way up the ranks in the ROH tag team scene, they finally got their rematch with Hero and Castagnoli in January at the SoCal Showdown II.
This time around, they were able to thwart Hero and his elbow pad, leading to a submission victory as Castagnoli tapped to the Haas of Pain.
After picking up a non-title win over the Kings and a big victory over the Briscoes at the Ninth Anniversary Show, the WGTT earned their spot as the number one contenders for the ROH World Tag Team Championship.
Round three of the Kings/WGTT feud takes place this Friday night at night one of the Honor Takes Center Stage iPPV spectacular on gofightlive.tv. This time around, the gold will be on the line.
If the Kings of Wrestling can retain this weekend, they will officially hit the one-year mark as tag team champions on Sunday, April 3.
It will not be an easy task though, Haas and Benjamin have shaken off any of the rust they may have had from their time apart and they are currently riding a huge wave of momentum into Atlanta. This is no longer a dream match; it is a full blown rivalry that could very well turn into a nightmare for Hero and Castagnoli.
Then again, we are talking about the Kings of Wrestling and for the better part of the last year, there has been no hotter tandem in all of professional wrestling. They continually come up with ways to win when the pressure is on and it is a safe bet that they have a sound game plan in place for the upcoming rubber match.
Will the Kings reach a full year of tag team dominance or will they finally be dethroned by a team determined to live up to their moniker as Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team?
The only way to find out is to check out Honor Takes Center Stage, night one, live on iPPV.
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