Friday, March 2, 2012

Ring of Honor "10th Anniversary Show" Preview

10 years of ROH…just awesome! So many times people have said that ROH wouldn’t make it to this point, but yet, here they are. Kudos to all who have been involved with the company from the beginning until now for getting it here. Will ROH still be here in 10 more years? Only time will tell, but to all those who say no, I remind you of the number of voices that said it wouldn’t make 10 years as well. We are here today to preview the matches for this Sunday’s 10th Anniversary Show, available live on! On to the preview!

Homicide vs. Mike Bennett

JIM: They are certainly trying their best to get Bennett over, with matches like this one, and his match coming up against Lance Storm at the end of the month. Giving him wins over name guys will help, but personally for me, he still isn’t clicking. I really wanted to like him when he first debuted on TV on HDNet. But he just hasn’t clicked for me. He has a decent right hand, and having him teamed up with Maria should make fans hate him even more. But for me, my dislike of him isn’t a “he’s a heel, I want him to lose, he’s so mean!” kind of hate, it’s a “wow, he bores the crap out of me, get him out of the ring and move on to someone I actually give a rip about” type of hate. Anyways, enough about him. Homicide returning in NYC should get a great pop, but Bennett will get the win after some sort of shenanigans.

TOM: Jim and I agree with our sentiments on Bennett. ROH remains behind him and are giving another high-profile opportunity against a “Founding Father” in Homicide. Homicide being just added this week is not a move I am high on because it diminishes his value and comes across like an afterthought. All of those criticisms aside, he will get a great reaction in NYC and the fans will be SUPER behind him and want him to kick Bennett’s butt! In the end, I agree with Jim and Bennett will get the win as his ROH build continues to have wins over impressive names on his resume.

The All Night Express vs. World’s Greatest Tag Team

This is Rhett Titus’ return to the ring for ROH after his knee surgery. All Night Express does have a title shot coming down the road as well, so you’ve got to keep them strong here. World’s Greatest Tag Team have actually been a lot more fun to watch since their heel turn back at Final Battle, at least for me. They have a big grudge match with The Briscoes (likely a title match) in Miami at the end of the month, so they also have to be kept strong here as well. So, the question is, how do you best do that? My guess is that WGTT either gets DQ’d for using a chair (which has been their M.O. lately), or they use the chair, but don’t get caught and get a cheap win that way, thus keeping ANX strong, since it took WGTT cheating to beat them.

TOM: This is a match I am really looking forward to. It will be great to see ANX back teaming together and hopefully Titus back at 100% health. WGTT’s heelish attitude has given them a boost in ROH and gives fans a really good reason to be against them, as some already were prior to their “official” turn. I think ANX wins here by DQ and (again) agree with Jim that WGTT continues with their story and aggressive attitude leading to the end of the match, but both teams come out still built well for what is to come.

The Amazing Red & TJ Perkins vs. Roderick Strong & Michael Elgin

Interesting matchup here. Elgin and Perkins had a hell of a fun match to start off Final Battle. Strong and Elgin have been teaming quite a while now, while this is the first time (at least in ROH, perhaps it happened somewhere else) that Red and Perkins have teamed up. I think this should be a hell of a fun match, and Red coming in is great for a 10th Anniversary, given that he was around at the beginning of the company. I don’t think there is any chance Red and Perkins win this one, but my biggest hope out of this match is that it givens Perkins a direction into a possible feud with either Strong, Elgin, or the House of Truth in general. Perkins needs to get a direction behind him in ROH and not just be the guy they throw into matches for no reason, but you know will have a good match. Give this man a storyline, and please, do it fast!

TOM: It’s a great homage to Amazing Red that ROH is bringing him back for this show. On paper, the team with Perkins sounds fun and I think they will mesh well in this match. They will also make good opponents for Strong & Elgin. I do like the tie in as well, with Elgin-Perkins having had a singles match at Final Battle and this as a natural tie-in/follow-up with that match first. Could this be a re-boot of sorts for The House of Truth in the tag division or a catalyst for something more? I think that both Strong and Elgin can be a great team, but also have high ceilings in singles roles as well. I think they pick up the win here.

No Disqualification Match
Jimmy Jacobs vs. Kevin Steen

JIM: I mean, there was no way this couldn’t be No DQ. Jacobs and Steen aren’t going to go in and have a catch as catch can style arm drag fest. It’s going to be a war. Jacobs has said that he is going to bring the evil out one more time, just as Corino did at Final Battle. That was a hell of a war at Final Battle, so I hope this one can be just that as well. I would expect we’ll see Jim Cornette show up at some point during this match as well as Steve Corino. I still feel like there could be a heel turn here by someone to join Steen (but then again, I’ve felt that way for a while…and it hasn’t happened yet). In the end, maybe it’s best for Steen to just stay on his own as the rebel character he is now. Either way, Steen wins this one as he continues to head towards a huge feud with Davey Richards.

TOM: This is the match I am most looking forward to! To me, Kevin Steen has been the most entertaining thing in all capacities that ROH has had for a while (save for The Briscoes). The story here is a good one follows on the heels again from Final Battle and Jacobs getting laid out with the now banned Package Piledriver. With this bout being No DQ, will Steen use the piledriver, knowing that under the rules in play, it should be permissible. I expect a lot of violence and blood here; both guys are tremendous brawlers. Steve Corino being involved is also an X Factor. Steen will win and I am excited to see the next chapter in this story written before my eyes.

ROH TV Title Match
Jay Lethal (C) vs. Tommaso Ciampa

I can go either way on this one. Ciampa is still undefeated in singles matches, and Lethal has had a good run with the TV Title. Personally at this point, I feel like Lethal is plenty over with or without the TV belt, and having a heel TV champion with the likes of Lethal, Perkins, Corino and others chasing him would make for a lot of fun, and could help put The Embassy Ltd. on the road to the top. So, I hope this is a really good match (as I’m a fan of Ciampa) that helps move Ciampa up the card where I personally think he belongs. Ciampa is your new TV champ after Sunday! (The question in my mind if they do that is how do they deal with it at the TV tapings the day before?)

TOM: This might be the toughest match to pick on the whole show. Lethal has been a very serviceable TV Champion, but I couldn’t tell you exactly what value he has added to ROH outside of being a recognizable name and face. Ciampa has had a consistent and steady build approaching a year right now. This is without question his biggest opportunity to date. I too will pick Ciampa and Embassy Ltd. to have their biggest win and opportunity since John Walters was Pure Champion many years ago.

ROH World Tag Team Title Match
Jay & Mark Briscoe (C) vs. The Young Bucks

JIM: This should be a really good match as well. Briscoes are super over right now, and The Young Bucks are so much better as heels than as bland, white bread babyfaces. Their cocky “we only shake hands with each other” characters work really well in ROH. So, this will be fun, but there is no way on God’s green earth that the Bucks win the tag titles here. Maybe they get a run down the road (and I’d be fine with that, so long as they are under contract), but with a huge Briscoes/WGTT match coming in Miami at the end of the month, that match needs to be the rematch for the Tag Titles in my mind (an argument can be made that the match doesn’t need the titles, but I think in this case, it should still have them involved). So, The Briscoes retain the titles here, but I think the Bucks will come out looking really good as well.

TOM: The build for this match on TV has been something that need just a little more to me. There has been no in-ring interaction between the teams and while both teams have been going back and forth in promos, it just isn’t enough (to me) to get me invested in the issue. That storyline critique aside, anyone who has seen these teams fight in the past knows that this will be a great match. I am going to pick The Briscoes to win, but I would not be shocked to see The Bucks get the titles and we get a Bucks-ANX match for the titles, because they have a big issue and feud unresolved there and with the titles in the picture, could take that to another level.

Main Event – Young Wolves Rising
Davey Richards & Kyle O’Reilly vs. Eddie Edwards & Adam Cole

JIM: There has been a lot of talk about whether this is a “worthy” main event of the 10th Anniversary Show. Gabe Sapolsky posted on Wednesday wondering why Jay Briscoe vs. Davey Richards wasn’t the main event for the show, playing off Briscoe being there since day one. That would have been fine, but right now, more than ever, ROH needs to build up Cole and O’Reilly as the next main event level stars for the company, to break out of the Strong/Edwards/Richards trio at the top all the time. So, I am totally fine with this match, and it has been built up well on the TV show. This tag should be absolutely off the charts awesome, and I can’t wait to see it personally. I’m much more excited about this tag then I would be a Briscoe/Richards match to be honest. So, this is a great choice, and in the end, both Cole and O’Reilly will shine and be elevated. Personally, I think Richards and O’Reilly likely win perhaps by some sort of “accidental cheating” where the story can continue on. Bring it on this Sunday night!

TOM: This match is going to be great, I have no doubts about that. Again, it makes logical booking sense, continuing to carry on stories that happened at Final Battle and the TV show afterwards. On paper, Davey & O’Reilly have the edge because they’ve been together longer, but as Adam Cole indicated during his “13 Questions” interview with us earlier this week, “I think our biggest advantage is also our biggest disadvantage, in that because we haven't teamed that often, Kyle and Davey don't know what to prepare for. I know Kyle better than anyone, and Eddie knows Davey better than anyone, so we have a pretty good idea of what were in for in NYC.” There will some great dynamics in play here: Davey-Eddie, O’Reilly-Eddie and O’Reilly-Cole. I feel like Kyle O’Reilly is and has been the biggest antagonist in this issue and as much as I enjoy him in the ring, he has made me want to see him get his butt handed to him by his opponents, especially Cole! My pick is that Eddie Edwards & Adam Cole will get this win, with the outcome further infuriating O’Reilly and also building to Edwards getting another shot at the ROH World Title and Davey Richards. As Jim stated indeed, Bring it on this Sunday night!

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