WAR – Asheville, NC (3/30/13) Preview

The battle lines were drawn at the “11th Anniversary Show” between Ring of Honor and SCUM, and the battle will continue to be fought at ROH’s Asheville, N.C. debut March 30, with the appropriately titled “WAR.” The tension has been boiling all month and it will come to a head this Saturday! The show features two huge title matches and a Four Corner Survival Proving Ground match. It’s guaranteed to be an explosiveness night of action that could reshape the company going forward.

ROH World Championship
Kevin Steen (c) vs. Mark Briscoe

At the TV taping following the SCUM’s takeover at the “11th Anniversary Show,” ROH Matchmaker Nigel McGuinness took a stand against the faction and announced a flurry of title matches to try to get the belt off Steen. The first of which is set for “WAR” and it will be Mark Briscoe getting the opportunity.

McGuinness looked for wrestlers who exemplified what ROH stood for, and he couldn’t have found a better representation than Briscoe. He is an ROH pioneer and proves every time he steps in the ring that honor lives. He’s going to be in his first title match since he challenged Samoa Joe in February 2003. “Chicken” is guaranteed to bring it his all for his first title shot in more than nine years, but he’s going to have a difficult road to winning the title. Although Steen seems to be a changed man after Ladder War IV with El Generico, he still has SCUM behind him who will do whatever it takes to keep the title. SCUM makes Steen the favorite in this match. Fans should expect a wild brawl with a lot of fun spots thrown in throughout, and it should be a very good main event.

American Wolves (Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards) vs. Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander

Both of these teams have been on the verge of winning the ROH World Tag Team Titles in recent months, but have yet to capture the gold. A win at this event could give the teams the momentum they need to catapult themselves to becoming champions. They will face off for the first time ever Saturday in Asheville. This match has the potential to steal the show as all four wrestlers involved are extremely talented. This should be a high-flying and hard-hitting match that could be one of the best tag team matches so far this year. With the Wolves having a title shot a week later at “Supercard of Honor VII,” they better not overlook the C&C Wrestle Factory. Coleman and Alexander have had their problems with SCUM, but they can’t allow those issues to interfere with their focus on this match. This is going to be a great match.

ROH World Tag Team Championship
redDRagon (Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly) vs. Alabama Attitude (Mike Posey & Corey Hollis)

The Underdog Challenge returns to Ring of Honor when Alabama Attitude get their opportunity at the newly crowned redDRagon. Fish and O’Reilly shocked the world by winning the titles at the “11th Anniversary Show” when they defeated the Briscoes, and now Posey and Hollis will get their chance to do the same. Alabama Attitude have made sporadic appearances in the company in the past, and they have been impressive in their showings. Fish and O’Reilly have to make sure not to overlook the underdogs while preparing for a title defense against the American Wolves April 5. Although Alabama Attitude will put up a good fight, Fish and O’Reilly are just too talented to lose the belts in their first defense.

ROH World TV Title Proving Ground Match
Matt Taven w/ Truth Martini vs. ACH vs. Roderick Strong vs. Jay Lethal

New ROH World TV Champion Matt Taven will immediately be thrown into the fire and tested after winning the belt at the “11th Anniversary Show” when he has to battle ACH, Strong and Lethal in a Proving Ground Match. He will have to hold off two former TV Champions and a phenomenal young talent in hopes of keeping challengers at bay. It will be more difficult for Taven to do so because the Proving Ground rules are slightly altered for the Four Corner Survival match. There will be no time limits and it’s one fall to the finish, which means the champion does not have to be pinned for a wrestler to earn a future title shot.

This should be an exciting and fun match to watch. It features four of the more athletic wrestlers on the roster going at it. ACH has been the star of every match he’s been in in the company, and he will have his chance to further cement himself as one of the future cornerstones for ROH in this match. Strong and Lethal are two of the best wrestlers on the planet, which will only improve the match quality. This match is going to be a sprint that will give fans little time to catch their breath. Even with Martini in his corner, it’s tough to predict Taven will shut out his potential challengers.

ROH vs. SCUM Grudge Match
B.J. Whitmer vs. Rhett Titus

Whitmer and Titus are no strangers to each other, although they’re used to being on the same side of the fight. Whitmer came to Titus’ aid last year when Titus needed a partner against Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team. They went on to tag regularly and would be lovingly referred to as the B.J. Express. Tensions started to rise between the two when Titus threw in the towel on Whitmer’s behalf at “Defy or Deny II” in February. Titus would go on to surprise everyone by aligning himself with SCUM during the post-match riot at the “11th Anniversary Show.” Whitmer has vowed vengeance on his former partner, and it will be a “WAR” in Asheville. This won’t be a pretty match, but there is a lot of bad blood between the two. Whitmer is as tough as they come, but Titus has unleashed a new ruthless side. With SCUM on his side, Titus has the advantage going into the match, but Whitmer won’t go down without a fight.

ROH vs. SCUM Tag Team Match
Mike Mondo & Grizzly Redwood vs. Two Members of SCUM chosen by Steve Corino

On last week’s episode of ROH on SBG, SCUM attacked Redwood and Mondo and held Veda Scott hostage. As a result of those actions, a match has been signed pitting Mondo and Redwood against two unnamed members of SCUM. With Steen and Titus already in action, Corino’s choices are likely limited to himself, Jimmy Rave, Rhino, Cliff Compton, Jimmy Jacobs and Matt Hardy. No matter who Corino picks, it’s going to be a formidable team that will have two dangerous wrestlers. Redwood and Mondo won’t bring the fight regardless of who Corino chooses, but it’s going to be an uphill fight against SCUM. This has the chance to break down into a wild brawl, and will probably live up to the show name.

Michael Elgin vs. Adam Page

Elgin will wrestle Jay Lethal at “Supercard of Honor VII” with the winner receiving a future ROH World Title shot. He has one stop along the way at “WAR” when he faces Page. A win for Elgin would give him momentum to carry over to his match with Lethal, but it won’t be an easy victory. Page has looked very good in his ROH appearances thus far and is receiving a gigantic opportunity facing Elgin. A win for Page would catapult him into the thick of the title scene despite him being such a newcomer. Although he will be a challenge, I don’t see Page beating Elgin; he is just too focused on winning the title to slip up now.

Ring of Honor debuts in Asheville at the WNC Ag Center April 5, with “WAR.” ROH World Champion Kevin Steen and Charlie Haas will sign autographs before the show, so be sure to get their early as this is guaranteed to be entertaining. The bell time is at 7:30 p.m.

If you can’t make the show, check ROHWorld.com throughout the night for results.

Jon Shumake

Jon has been with ROHWorld since March 2011. The American Bearded Nightmare is one half of ‘Team America’ on ROHCast, which is available every week on ROHWorld, iTunes and Stitcher.