Ring of Honor makes its South Carolina debut Dec. 3 with “Southern Defiance” at the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium in Spartanburg, S.C. While ROH World Title holder Davey Richards will not appear on the show, the card features a stacked card with some first-time matches in Ring of Honor and a huge Battle Royal where the winner will receive a title match. Let’s take a closer look at each match.
Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team (Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin) vs Roderick Strong and Michael Elgin with Truth Martini
There may not be four wrestlers with more momentum in Ring of Honor than the four wrestlers in this match. Michael Elgin had the best month of his Ring of Honor career in November by outlasting 13 other wrestlers to win the Survival of the Fittest tournament. He finished off his tremendous month by winning a Four Corner Survival at “Glory by Honor X.” At that same show, his partner, Roderick Strong, was successful in his Proving Ground contest against ROH World TV Champion Jay Lethal. Even though the former World Champion lost the match in the end, he lasted the 15-minute time limit to secure himself a future shot at the TV Title. Strong and Elgin could both secure another title match for themselves if they are successful in their Proving Ground match against Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team. They are going to have to be at the top of their games to do so.
Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin are used to wrestling against competitors who are at the top of their games, though. As ROH World Tag Team Champions, they get every teams best shot. Haas and Benjamin are coming off a great November of their own by successfully defending their titles twice and by defeating Jay Lethal and Davey Richards in the Champions Challenge match at “Survival of the Fittest 2011.” Haas and Benjamin have been focused on getting their hands on the Briscoes for so long, and with “Final Battle 2011” just around the corner, they can’t allow themselves to lose focus on the Proving Ground match. If they do, that may be all the opening Strong and Elgin (and probably Truth Martini) would need to guarantee themselves a tag team title shot.
First Time Ever in ROH
Eddie Edwards vs El Generico
It’s hard to believe, but “Southern Defiance” will be the first time these two tremendous wrestlers will meet one-on-one in a Ring of Honor ring. It’s been a long time coming, but it’s going to be worth the wait. Coming off a loss to Davey Richards in a World Title match at “Glory by Honor X,” Generico is looking to get back on track with a TV Title match looming at “Final Battle 2011.” A win over Eddie Edwards would do just that. It’s not going to be easy for “The Generic Luchador,” though, because Edwards has taken his game to the next level in preparation for his title match against Richards at “Final Battle 2011.” Edwards has been training with Dan Severn, who is someone Richards had expressed interest in training with, and it has been paying off. Edwards has added a new submission hold to his arsenal, which may be too much for Generico to overcome. No matter who wins, this is going to be a great match and could be the match of the night.
Proving Ground Match
Jay Lethal vs TJ Perkins
Roderick Strong has been the only person to successfully step into the Proving Ground and earn a future title match when he wrestled Lethal to a 15-minute time limit draw at “Glory by Honor X.” Although Lethal eventually won the match in overtime, TJ Perkins is looking to repeat Strong’s success in the Proving Ground by earning himself a future ROH World TV Title Match. Lethal has not lost a singles match since returning to Ring of Honor at “Best in the World 2011” in June, which will make it an uphill battle for Perkins in this match. Perkins has been impressive since officially being signed to a Ring of Honor contract and a win here would only further prove he has what it takes to become a big-time player in the company. It’s going to be a fun match to watch regardless of the outcome.
Tag Team Challenge Match #1
Young Bucks (Nick and Matt Jackson) vs The All Night Express (Kenny King and Rhett Titus)
Both the Young Bucks and the All Night Express are coming off losses at “Glory by Honor X.” The Bucks lost to the Briscoes, while the All Night Express were defeating when they challenged Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team for the ROH World Tag Team Titles. A win in Spartanburg could propel either team into contention for the titles. These two last wrestled against each other at “Clash of the Contenders” in October 2009 when the King and Titus defeated the Young Bucks. Two years have passed since that match and these teams have changed. King and Titus are no longer Austin Aries’ goofy lackeys, while the Bucks have become cocky and disrespectful. Will the change in the teams’ demeanor change the outcome of the match? Find out Dec. 3 at “Southern Defiance.”
Tag Team Challenge Match #2
Briscoes vs Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander
Coleman and Alexander have faced some of the top teams in Ring of Honor in their short time with company. At “Southern Defiance,” they face the most legendary team in company history, Jay and Mark Briscoe. Coleman and Alexander are going to be facing a Briscoes team that has its eyes set on Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team and the ROH World Tag Team Titles. The Briscoes have never been more dangerous than they are right now, and Coleman and Alexander are going to experience that first-hand in Spartanburg.
Mike Bennett vs Adam Cole
Mike Bennett firmly believes that he is the ROH World TV Champion. He thinks that his title match against Jay Lethal should have been stopped when he was in control and he should be carrying the title. He’s going to get another attempt at the TV Title at “Final Battle 2011.” In the meantime, he has a tough match up against Adam Cole. Cole is having a Proving Ground match the next night, so a victory over a wrestler like Bennett who knows what it takes to take the champion to the limit would do wonders for Cole’s confidence going into that match. Bennett may be too much for Cole to overcome, especially if he turns to the underhanded tactics that ROH fans have seen him use in the past.
20 Man Over the Top Rope Interval Battle Royal
The participants in this match haven’t been revealed, but it should be expected to include most of the wrestlers who appear elsewhere on the card. 2 wrestlers will start the battle royal with another wrestler being added to the match every minute until only one wrestler in left. The winner of the match is guaranteed a ROH World Title match in early 2012.
Ring of Honor makes its debut in Spartanburg, S.C., Saturday Dec. 3 with a bell time of 7:30 p.m. There will be a special Meet and Greet Autograph Session featuring the Briscoes and Roderick Strong. It’s going to be a great night of action with several matches that could possibly determine future title matches.