If there was an award for the most improved wrestlers over the past six months, it would undoubtedly go to Rhett Titus & Kenny King – The All Night Express.
The Express have always had the talent but not always the right attitude and the transformation of the pair has happened right in front of our very eyes. 2011 has been the breakout year for King & Titus as a team and they have cemented themselves as a major part of the ROH Tag Team Division.
Even at Final Battle last December, ANX were still concentrating too much on pleasure and not enough on business. This probably wasn’t helped by the departure of their manager Austin Aries who was a big help according to Titus (you can read our exclusive interview with Rhett Titus here: http://rohworld.com/news/038.html ). It was obvious that these two men weren’t performing to their best and something must have finally clicked as they entered 2011 a different team.
They seem more focused and determined and ROH Officials recognised the change in attitude by giving ANX a shot at the ROH Tag Team Titles at the ‘9th Anniversary Show’. If people had doubted ANX before that match, they didn’t afterwards. They challenged The Kings of Wrestling and put on a brilliant performance in what was arguably the match of the night but Chris Hero’s lucky elbow pad meant they didn’t leave with the belts.
That was maybe a blessing in disguise though as I’m not sure they were ready for a title run at that time. Shortly after their fantastic match with The Kings, ANX were put in a match against The Briscoes at ‘Manhattan Mayhem IV’ where they pulled out a victory against the men from Delaware. After the match though, The Briscoes snapped and attacked both Titus & King as the two teams brawled to the back.
This has led to a heated rivalry between the two teams and The Express have been getting stronger with each match. They faced off again at ‘Honor Takes Center Stage: Chapter Two’ in a bloody match which was won by the six-time ROH World Tag Team Champions. The Briscoes were winners again at ‘ROH Revolution: USA’ in a First Blood match. The match ended in controversial fashion though as Mark Briscoe gushed first but the referee didn’t see it and gave The Briscoes the win after Titus bled.
The latest chapter in this ongoing saga happened at ‘Supercard of Honor VI’ where The Briscoes yet again picked up a controversial win after Jay Briscoe was hit with a chair and subsequently fell on prone Rhett Titus for the pin. Even though they have been on the end of a few defeats, The All Night Express have looked superb and thoroughly deserved wins in at least two of the losses.
Both The All Night Express and The Briscoes will get a chance at the ROH World Tag Team Titles as they face off against The Kings of Wrestling and current champions Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team in a Four Way Elimination match.
In just four short months since their last title show, The All Night Express have improved substantially and have matured into a well oiled tag team machine. They are still young but have wise heads on those shoulders and although it’s unlikely, I wouldn’t begrudge them a title win at ‘Best In The World 2011’ in New York City.