Ring of Honor returns to New York City and the Manhattan Center for two events this weekend. The company presents the sold out ROH Supercard of Honor VII event in the Hammerstein Ballroom. You can order the iPPV at this link. We will also be providing live coverage of the show tonight.
On Saturday afternoon, April 6th, ROH presents their first-ever TV taping at The Grand Ballroom. The American Wolves will be in singles action as Davey Richards battles Kyle O'Reilly and Eddie Edwards takes on Bobby Fish. In addition, Karl Anderson will be in action against Michael Elgin, the TV Title will be up for grabs, and more to be determined by whatever happens at tonight's iPPV.
Here's a preview of tonight's iPPV, courtesy of ROH:
ROH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Kevin Steen (c) vs. Jay Briscoe
Come Friday night the statistics will read like this: 328 days with 18 successful title defenses against 16 different opponents. Those are the cold, hard facts of Kevin Steen's Ring of Honor World Title reign. Of those 18 defenses all but one, the infamous No Contest with Jay Lethal at "Killer Instinct", ended with Steen's hand raised in victory. Those are numbers that make him the most successful World Champion since Nigel McGuinness' reign ended on April 3, 2009.
Those are all impressive statistics but the scariest of them all is the number 839. That is how many days it has been since Steen last saw his shoulders pinned to the mat or uttered the words "I Quit" or was directly beaten by any individual. To be fair, that number does take into consideration his in-ring absence from "Final Battle 2010" to "Final Battle 2011" but even if you take that year long hiatus out of the equation, it has still been 469 days since Kevin Steen tasted defeat inside the ROH ring. He has been on the losing end of tag and multi-man matches but not once has he been the recipient of the deciding pinfall or submission. Those are the numbers...now add in the names: Davey Richards, Eddie Edwards, Roderick Strong, Homicide, Jay Lethal, Michael Elgin, and El Generico are just a portion of the men that Steen has beaten to stay on the top of the mountain. Those are the facts and figures of Kevin Steen and they are drastically different than those of Jay Briscoe.
One of the founding fathers of ROH, one of the two men in the first official Ring of Honor match, Jay has challenged for the ROH World Title against Xavier, Samoa Joe twice, Takeshi Morishima, Nigel McGuinness, Jerry Lynn, Roderick Strong...nearly half of the champions in ROH history, seven times in all. Despite his historic success with brother Mark in the tag team ranks, not once has Jay Briscoe raised his hand in victory in a World Title bout. That's 4059 days without a singles title...
Now, during the biggest wrestling weekend of the year, Jay Briscoe will get his chance to end that drought and against one of the biggest rivals he has faced in his ROH tenure in Kevin Steen. The history between these two men dates back to 2007 when a feud over the tag team titles spiraled out of control into the birth of the original Ladder War at "Man Up". That was a rivalry largely dominated by the brothers from Sandy Fork and in recent memory, since the birth of S.C.U.M and Kevin's crowning as World Champion, the pattern has largely continued. At nearly every turn, Jay & Mark have owned the members of S.C.U.M. Be it in a tag match, inside a Steel Cage, or in a trios bout, the record-setting tag team has largely had Steve Corino & Jimmy Jacob's number but that direct victory over Steen has always eluded them.
Heading into "SoH VII", with his arm still in a sling as of earlier this week, Jay Briscoe looks to put a grinding halt on the momentum of Kevin Steen's World Championship reign and end S.C.U.M's dream of killing ROH. Yet the question is still floating out there...where does Kevin Steen stand with S.C.U.M? The chaos that erupted at the "11th Anniversary Event", the scene that put Jay in a sling in the first place, that all happened around Kevin but the champion himself seemed quite removed from the scenario. In fact, this past week on ROH TV when Jay & Kevin went face-to-face it seemed as if Steen had something to say regarding Steve Corino and the rest of the unit but Steve interrupted the proceedings before Kevin could say his piece. Is there more to the story of Steen & S.C.U.M, especially in light of Kevin's recent claims to actually be proud of representing ROH as champion? Then again, after the events of Steen's career since he turned his back on El Generico back at "Final Battle 2009" can you really trust any word that falls out of his mouth?
Either way, Jay Briscoe and Kevin Steen will collide one-on-one this Friday night in the Hammerstein Ballroom and when that bell rings, all the numbers & statistics, the successes & failures, the dreams & nightmares of both men, none of them will mean a thing. All that will matter is that moment; whether it takes five minutes or fifty, all that will matter is who will be called champion when the final bell rings. Will it still be Kevin Steen or will it finally be Jay Briscoe...and what will it mean for the future of Ring of Honor?
ROH World Tag Team Championship
reDRagon (Bobby Fish & Kyle O'Reilly) vs the American Wolves (Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards)
At the "11th Anniversary Event", Kyle O'Reilly & Bobby Fish scored a huge victory against Jay & Mark Briscoe and as a result claimed the World Tag Team Titles as their own. It was a title opportunity earned when redDRagon won a Tag Team Gauntlet on "Ring of Honor Wrestling" TV by beating The American Wolves (albeit with some unrequested assistance from S.C.U.M) and although the shot may have been tainted, the championship came in a victory free of question. O'Reilly and Fish beat the most decorated team in ROH history to become champions, a feat that Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards could not pull off at "The Hunt for Gold" less than two months prior.
"Bobby and I did what Davey and Eddie could not do." said Kyle O'Reilly to ROHWrestling.com, "We beat the men who helped create Ring of Honor, we beat the Briscoes, we took their titles, WE beat The Briscoes! The legendary American Wolves couldn't do it, just like they couldn't stop us from getting the title shot in the first place. For everything The Briscoes have done the last eleven years, for everything The Wolves did in their time on top, they certainly deserve recognition. Now though, they are the past and Bobby and I are the present, the now of Ring of Honor's tag team division, and we are most certainly the future as well. The time to man up has passed, the hunt is over and done, now everyone can chase the dragon."
Well Kyle & Bobby will have the chance to back up those words soon enough because on April 5th at the sold-out "Supercard of Honor VII" iPPV event, the World Tag Team Titles will be on the line with redDRagon defending against Eddie Edwards & Davey Richards, The American Wolves!
Last time in NYC at "Final Battle 2012" The Wolves, competing in their first tag team match in over a year, put down Fish & O'Reilly who were certainly competing in the biggest match of their nascent tag team career. The rematch, as mentioned earlier, went in favor of Fish & O'Reilly and now the rubber match will go down in the Hammerstein Ballroom om 4/5/13! Will redDRagon maintain their championship status or will it be The Wolves who are crowned for the second time? Not to be lost in the midst of the S.C.U.M/ROH war, the tag team division will be on fire with this one!
Since "Final Battle 2012" when Matt Hardy beat then-World TV Champion Adam Cole in a non-title affair, albeit through the use of a low blow behind the official's back, the "Self-Proclaimed Icon" has been politicking for a TV Title match. Cole was ready to give it to him to show that Hardy was not the better man but ROH Match Maker Nigel McGuinness was reticent to do so considering how Hardy secured his December victory. Hardy antagonized the champion and Nigel both, even laid out Cole with the TV Title belt at "Defy or Deny II", and took it as his own property until finally a title match was set for the March 2nd TV Tapings in Chicago.
In the midst of this situation, Matt Taven was in the process of impressing fans and officials alike with his success in the 2013 Top Prospect Tournament. Beating ACH in the Opening Round and Silas Young in the Semi-Finals, Taven went head up with Tadarius Thomas in the Finals with a future shot at the World TV Title on the line. To the shock of many, Taven secured the victory and the title match that came with it but not on his own. In fact it was with the assistance of one Truth Martini that Taven got his win and while that help seemed more convenient for Taven than wanted, Martini whispered something into the air of the 2013 TPT victor that convinced him to give Truth a chance.
Come the "11th Anniversary Event" where Taven was scheduled to receive his title opportunity the change in the challenger was evident...he had fully embraced the Hoopla of the HoT. It proved to be the best decision of his career as, with Matt Hardy sitting in on commentary, Taven shocked the world once again when he beat Adam Cole to become the new World Television Champion and send Hardy's plans to dethrone Cole the following night into chaos. Hardy then surprised the world in his own fashion when, later that night, he joined S.C.U.M in the massive assault on the ROH locker room that closed the iPPV event.
It was determined that, despite his S.C.U.M alliance, Hardy and Cole would go one-on-one to determine the TV Title challenger for "Supercard of Honor VII" on April 5th. Unfortunately the match on "Ring of Honor Wrestling" TV was tainted as Adam fell victim to a Gore from Rhino which in turn brought out Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander, followed by members of S.C.U.M, turning the scene into absolute chaos and causing a No Contest for the match.
"I'm not surprised by what happened." said Nigel McGuinness. "Of course Steve Corino and SCUM would take the easy way out when it looked like their man was on the ropes. The problem I have though is that, no matter what, Matt Hardy will never stop running his mouth and demanding title match after title match until he is put down properly. Adam Cole of course deserves his rematch for the TV Title, and Matt Taven must defend the championship at "Supercard of Honor VII" in New York City. So taking all the factors in, I have decided that on April 5th Matt Taven will defend the TV Title against BOTH Matt Hardy and Adam Cole! It will be an elimination match, and I am confident that in this war, honor will prevail."
#1 Contenders Match
Jay Lethal vs. "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin
It was announced recently on "Ring of Honor Wrestling" TV, in addition to the title opportunities granted to Mark Briscoe at the recent "WAR" event, Jay Briscoe at "Supercard of Honor VII", Adam Cole at "Border Wars 2013", and BJ Whitmer in Richmond, when Ring of Honor returns to NYC for "Supercard of Honor VII" on April 5th, two recent World Title challengers will go head-to-head!
This match won't just be for bragging rights though, when Jay Lethal and "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin lock up, it will be with a future World Title Match at stake!
"Both Jay and I have had our opportunities to dethrone Kevin Steen." said Michael Elgin to ROHWrestling.com, "We both failed to become champion, that is entirely on us. We both gave Steen everything we had and it wasn't enough for either of us to claim the title. I don't know about Jay, but if he is anything like me, he won't blame his loss in Chicago on anything or anyone else but himself. If he is anything like me, that loss will become fuel, motivation, that loss will become the driving force for his existence. Like me, Jay will see the World Title in his sleep. It will consume his dreams, his training, and become the sole purpose for his life. That is how important it is for both of us to become champion, but only one of us can achieve that dream Jay. It will be me, that is a guarantee I am making myself and I am making to you. I will be the number one contender after New York City and then I will be World Champion!"
Can Elgin make his words reality? Or will it be Lethal who leaves NYC with a title match waiting in the wings? Find out live on iPPV when Jay Lethal and "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin collided in a #1 Contender's Match at "Supercard of Honor VII"!
Special Challenge Match
"Machine Gun" Karl Anderson vs. Roderick Strong
As reported in the 3/13 Newswire, Roderick Strong told Nigel McGuinness he wanted the best competition for the sold-out "Supercard of Honor VII" iPPV event on April 5th in NYC. Well the word has gotten back to ROHWrestling.com that McGuinness has found his man and it is none other than Karl "Machine Gun" Anderson!
Anderson may only have two previous ROH appearances under his belt ("Survival of the Fittest 2007" & "Chaos At The Cow Palace") but this 11-year veteran of the ring wars is a highly decorated, world traveling competitor of the highest caliber. A former GHC Heavyweight Tag Team Champion, former IWGP Tag Team Champion, and winner of the 2009 G1 Climax Tag League alongside Giant Bernard, Anderson also claimed victory in the 2012 World Tag League with Hirooki Goto as his partner. Anderson also recently challenged Hiroshi Tanahashi for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship in February but was unsuccessful in his first ever attempt to claim that title.
Now Anderson heads to The Big Apple for his first ROH appearance in almost six years and will go head-to-head with one of Ring of Honor's hardest hitters in Roderick Strong!
"It's been awhile but this isn't the first time me and Karl have locked up." said Roderick to ROHWrestling.com, "He's gone on to have a little bit of success here and there and I've become Mister ROH, Mister Triple Crown, the hardest working man in this locker room bro. I'm glad Nigel went and found me some real competition for New York though cause I could certainly use the workout after having to dumb it down lately for that meathead Elgin. This is the match that should be for a shot at the World Title man, not anything involving that clown. Keep an eye on me in New York Nigel cause after the beating I'm going to lay on Anderson, you won't have a choice but to get me into that title picture."
HONOR vs SCUM - 10 MAN WAR!
TEAM ROH (BJ Whitmer, Mark Briscoe, Mike Mondo, Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander) vs TEAM S.C.U.M. (Jimmy Jacobs, Cliff Compton, Rhett Titus, Jimmy Rave & Rhino)
War was declared at the "11th Anniversary Event", the battles have been fought in Chicago on ROH TV, they will continue in Asheville THIS Saturday night, and will hit NYC & "Supercard of Honor VII" with a vengeance on April 5th!
That night, live on worldwide iPPV and in front of the sold-out crowd in the Hammerstein Ballroom, Steve Corino has promised to lead his S.C.U.M army into battle against a team of ROH's finest...
"The first shot wasn't fired in Chicago." said Steve in an e-mail to ROHWrestling.com prior to 'WAR' in Asheville, "That was fired in Toronto the night Kevin Steen won the World Title. It has been a bit of a cold war in the months following sure but what happened in Chicago at the 11th anniversary, that was the official declaration of war against the lies ROH has perpetuated for over a decade. This weekend Kevin Steen will lay waste to Mark Briscoe, and then in New York, before he does the exact same thing to Jay Briscoe, my SCUM army will decimate whatever stupid, idiotic, misguided individuals Nigel McGuinness finds to stand up for whatever the hell it is they think honor means. Nigel, it is time you recognize that SCUM is the guillotine falling on the neck of ROH and honor will die very painfully."
Corino was also "kind" enough to inform us that it will be Rhino, Rhett Titus, Jimmy Rave, Jimmy Jacobs, and Cliff Compton who will represent S.C.U.M at "Supercard of Honor VIII". As for the ROH contingent, Nigel McGuinness has amassed a 5-Man team who all have their own issues with S.C.U.M, be it personal or simply standing up for ROH, and they are: BJ Whitmer, Caprice Coleman, Cedric Alexander, Mike Mondo, and Mark Briscoe!
As Corino mentioned, the younger Briscoe challenged Kevin Steen for the World Title last Saturday at "WAR" in Asheville, NC yet unfortunately the outcome of that battle was not in his favor, but you can bet that the master of Redneck Kung Fu is certainly looking to even the score with S.C.U.M after that defeat!
It's S.C.U.M (Jacobs, Titus, Rave, Compton, Rhino) versus Ring of Honor (Whitmer, Coleman, Alexander, Mondo, Briscoe) and it will happen live on iPPV as part of our "Supercard of Honor VII" mega-event!
Tag Team Challenge Match
ACH & Tadarius Thomas vs "God's Gift" Qt Marshall & A Mystery Partner
In the March 20th Newswire it was announced that Tadarius Thomas & ACH would unite once more to face "God's Gift" QT Marshall and a mystery partner in tag team action at "Supercard of Honor VII". The speculation, as it often does, has run rampant with QT spouting off names of his dream partners last weekend at "WAR". The only clues we have at this point to the identity of Marshall's partner is that Barrister R.D. Evans claims to have found a wrestler of "equal greatness" to QT Marshall, and that he apparently made some overseas travels in recent weeks as well. Evans also claims that QT and his partner's pursuit to conquer the tag division will start at "Supercard of Honor VII".
As for Thomas & ACH, these two young warriors are just starting their road to tag team success and Friday night would be the perfect showcase for them to show the world the threat the represent to the rest of the division!
And despite recent changes to the line-up, former World Tag Team Champion Shelton Benjamin WILL be in the house on Friday night as well!
In addition to all these great matches, there will be an EPIC Autograph Signing prior to the start of the event with THIRTEEN of ROH's finest including Jay & Mark Briscoe, Karl Anderson, The American Wolves of Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards, and more! Click here for the full details on that and make sure you are there early to take advantage!