ROH World Championship
Davey Richards (c) vs. Roderick Strong vs. Eddie Edwards
These three men have had their careers intertwined for the past 18 months. Roderick Strong was the first World title holder out of the three – notably defeating Davey Richards at ‘Final Battle 2010’. Interestingly, he went on to lose the belt to Richards’ partner Eddie Edwards at ‘Manhattan Mayhem IV’. To bring the three men full circle, Richards captured the title from Edwards at ‘Best In The World 2011’ and successfully defended it against the same man at ‘Final Battle 2011’. Since then, both Edwards and Strong have fought to earn another shot and on a recent episode of ROH TV, they had a #1 contendership match. Both men gained the victory, Strong first getting a pin after strapping an illegal object to his boot before referee Paul Turner overturned the decision. That allowed Eddie Edwards to hit the Die Hard on Strong to get him the three count. With both men expecting a title shot, Jim Cornette announced that it would indeed be a triple threat match. These three know each other incredibly well and I’m sure that it’ll make for a fascinating contest. Whoever walks out as champion will then defend the belt on Day 2 in Blind Destiny.
Lance Storm vs. Mike Bennett
Lance Storm is a wrestling legend. With a multitude of championships to his name in a variety of different promotions, it’s safe to say that Storm is a well respected man. The Canadian retired in 2004 but in typical wrestling fashion, has returned to the ring on several occasions since. ROH fans will remember Storm for making several appearances over the past few years. On April 1 2006, he faced Bryan Danielson for the ROH World Championship at ‘Better Than Our Best’ in a losing effort. He also returned in July 2009 for the ‘Death Before Dishonor VII’ events. On Night One he teamed with fellow Canadian Kevin Steen to defeat Chris Hero and Davey Richards and the following night he lost to Hero one-on-one. He will return once more after requesting a match with a man that he feels has disrespected ROH and the wrestling business – Mike Bennett. ‘The Prodigy’ has lost some momentum after failing to capture the TV title at ‘Final Battle 2011’. But with his girlfriend Maria by his side, he’ll look to make a pretty big impression by beating Storm and surely throwing himself back into title contention.
ROH World TV Championship
Jay Lethal (c) vs. Kyle O’Reilly
Jay Lethal has held the TV title for over six months now and has successfully defended the title against the likes of Mike Bennett and El Generico. While he currently doesn’t have the belt in his possession (the belt was taken by Tommaso Ciampa at the ‘10th Anniversary Show’ after their title match went to a draw), he will be looking to retain his title once more. He faces a man that has broken out as a singles star recently – Kyle O’Reilly. O’Reilly really showed how good he was in the Survival of the Fittest tournament late last year and has continued that form on despite breaking up with Future Shock partner Adam Cole. O’Reilly has battled against the likes of Eddie Edwards since and has more than held his own. A win for O’Reilly would be massive and would help him prove that it was indeed him who was holding Future Shock together. However, with one eye on his match the following night against Cole, it would be easy for him to be distracted and if Lethal even sniffs a bit of opportunity, he’ll be more than happy to walk away champion.
Kevin Steen vs. El Generico
These two men just can’t stay apart. Whether it’s in Ring of Honor or any other promotion, they seem intent on destroying each other. Former best friends and tag team partners, that all changed at ‘Final Battle 2009’ when Steen turned on Generico. They then battled for a whole year, which led to the career v mask match at ‘Final Battle 2010’. Generico won and Steen was gone. However, a year later Steen would be back in ROH after beating his former mentor Steve Corino and winning his job back in the process. Following that match, Generico came out to save Jim Cornette but was then sent through a table at ringside thanks to a package Piledriver from Steen. Generico hasn’t been heard from since then until he sent an e-mail to Cornette demanding revenge. He’ll get a chance to gain that on Friday night as he and Steen face off one more time. These two men have a deep lying hatred for one another that looks like it will never end. Will ‘The Generic Luchador’ gain revenge or will Steen continue to be a painful nightmare?
Dual Duel #1
The All Night Express vs. The Young Bucks
This whole feud began back at ‘Northern Aggression’ when the Bucks attacked ANX prior to their match against the Bravados. Rhett Titus received a chair shot to the knee that the Bucks then exploited at ‘Final Battle 2011’. In the Tag Team Conteders Cup, the Bucks won the match after Matt Jackson locked in a submission while Nick hit a 450 splash on Titus. It was too much to bear for Rhett, who had to have knee surgery to rectify the problem. ANX made their returns at the ‘10th Anniversary Show’ defeating Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team. On that same show, the Bucks lost against the Briscoes in their ROH World Tag Team title match. Now all focus turns to this weekend. Both teams demanded a match and both will get their wish. On one night we will have a Street Fight and on the other a tornado tag. Whichever one we see on Friday night, it is sure to be an explosive contest as these two teams aim to settle their differences!
The Briscoes vs. TMDK (Mikey Nicholls & Shane Haste)
Nicholls and Haste may not be familiar names to Ring of Honor fans but don’t let that fool you. The Australians have had vast experience with Pro Wrestling NOAH in Japan and have a wealth of experience behind them. Back at the ‘Rise & Prove’ show in Cincinnati, they beat two other teams to get a shot against the Briscoes. They will get their chance on Friday night in a Proving Ground match. They face the seven time champions in what will be a harsh introduction into big-time ROH competition. The Briscoes will want to teach TMDK a thing or two about how they do things and that can only be bad for the Aussies. However, should they win, or even last the time limit against ‘Dem Boys’, they will be rewarded with a title opportunity in the future. TMDK have everything to gain but if you ask Jay & Mark, also a whole lot to lose.
Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team vs. Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander
Since losing the ROH World Tag Team titles at ‘Final Battle 2011’, WGTT have been about one thing and one thing only – getting those belts back. They have had numerous altercations with the Briscoes since then and will get their rematch on Day 2. However, before then they face off in another rematch against Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander. The two teams battled it out on the latest edition of ROH TV and with WGTT dominating the match, the Briscoes got involved and after Charlie Haas was hit with a steel chair, C&C got the win. C&C continue to improve inside ROH and they will get another chance to prove they belong in the best tag team division on the planet on Friday night. However, they will be facing a team hell bent on proving how good they are. All of that means that this could be a sleeper hit on Friday night.