Friday, September 16, 2011
Preview & Picks of ROH “Death Before Dishonor IX”
Ring of Honor returns to iPPV on GoFightLive.com this Saturday night (You can order here: http://www.gfl.tv/Events/Fight/Wrestling/Ring_of_Honor___Death_Before_Dishonor_IX) for their 10th iPPV with a loaded card. Here is my quick preview and predictions.
Ladder War III - #1 Contendership for the ROH World Tag Team Titles on the line!: Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. The All Night Express of Kenny King & Rhett Titus
One word here: Violence. I expect this to be a great, violent thrill ride. This has been a feud that has continually raised the bar over the last 6 months and it will come to an end in NYC. The Briscoes are flat out crazy and both Titus and King have raised their game continually throughout the year. My pick is The All Night Express to get the win and the feud, setting them up for their ROH World Tag Title shot in Chicago Ridge in November at “Glory By Honor X.”
The Ringmaster’s Challenge (2/3 Falls): Eddie Edwards vs. Roderick Strong
There two men are responsible for some of the most memorable athletic bouts in ROH over the last year, which includes both having reigns as ROH World Champion. Edwards defeated Roddy for the belt in March and Strong has not yet had the chance to exact his revenge. I expect Fall 1 to be won by Strong (pinfall only), Fall 2 to go to Edwards (submission only) and with Fall 3 being a 15 minute Iron Man bout, I can see it going down to the wire. With that said and the idea that the winner here is next in line for a shot at Davey Richards’ World Title, I feel that Fall 3 will go to a 15 minute stalemate, either setting up a bigger stipulation for these 2 fighters or a 3-Way World Title Match.
El Generico vs. Jimmy Jacobs
This bout gets bumped up in the preview for a very significant reason: Kevin Steen. Steen returned to ROH in June and gave the most physical and verbal middle finger to ROH possible. Steen was previously banned forever from ROH following his feud of the year loss to El Generico at “Final Battle 2010.” At the behest of Steve Corino, Steen was given permission to return by ROH, with great hesitation. Steen has launched viral (see here: http://www.youtube.com/v/mUgH0yHkPY8&hl=en_US&feature=player_embedded&version=3) and cross promotional attacks against ROH and states he plans to bring it to it’s death. Generico’s tie in is obvious and Jacobs enters the picture as Steve Corino’s sponsor in his battle to overcome the addiction of being an evil wrestler. Jacobs is going so far to support Corino that he is taking his spot in this match, to protect him from Steen and from falling off the wagon in facing Generico. Needless to say, there is a lot going on here. I expect Steen to again shock us all and do something crazy here. I will say Generico gets the win, but it really could go either way and have numerous layers of psychology wrapped around the outcome.
3-Way Elimination Tag: Future Shock of Adam Cole & Kyle O’Reilly vs. The Young Bucks vs. The Bravado Brothers
This bout as well is set up based on events from the last ROH show in NYC. In a first ever meeting, The Bravados interference marred what was becoming a great bout between Future Shock and The Bucks. I expect this to fast-paced and to bookend the feud between Future Shock and The Bravados, while opening the doors for an extended feud between Future Shock and The Bucks. I see the Bucks getting the win here.
Charlie Haas vs. Michael Elgin
On paper this battle of the two hosses looks to be a slugfest and a battle. Haas is a great vet, with only 1 ROH singles match (against Davey Richards, in a loss) under his belt. Elgin has been mixing both singles and tags throughout the year and has certainly approached the title of “Breakout Wrestler of The Year” honors with his performances. This bout could tip the bucket over and get him that label, without question. I see Elgin getting the win here, boosting him individually and possible allowing he and Roderick Strong as The House of Truth a future tag team title shot.
Shelton Benjamin vs. Mike Bennett
Much like the match above, this is a skilled vet against a rising star. Much of the ROH fanbase, however, has rejected Bennett’s push. Bennett seems like a talent that ROH will build around with the new TV show, but I just don’t know if it begins here. Shelton, like Haas, has only had 1 ROH singles bout (against new WWE signee Claudio Castagnoli) but was known for his singles runs in WWE. I do think this match is the sleeper of the card and it is a pick’em. Due to the fact that ROH is behind Bennett (seemingly without question), he will get a dirty win here.
ROH World TV Champion Jay Lethal & Homicide vs. The Embassy of Tommaso Ciampa & Rhino
This bout was a later addition to this line-up and again carries over the events of the previous iPPV to this one. At ROH “Best In The World 2011” Homicide defeated Rhino, but was gored post-match and taken out of ROH. Ciampa has been on a rise in ROH during 2011 and remains undefeated in singles matches. Lethal, the most recent return to ROH, capture the TV Title at the debut TV tapings just over one month ago. I see Ciampa winning here, either over Homicide (who he’s defeated twice already) or Lethal and staking his claim for a shot at the TV Title.
There you have it. I have high expectations for this show, despite ROH World Champion Davey Richards not being involved and the quiet departure from ROH of Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli, The Kings of Wrestling. ROH is competing (at least in some small segment of their audience) against the Mayweather-Ortiz boxing match and free, live UFC bouts on Spike TV and college football pitting #1 Oklahoma @ #5 Florida State, but I still think this is the best value out there and will be watching live, as it transpires on Saturday night!