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The ROHbot Report: "Death Before Dishonor XV" Preview, Soaring Eagle Cup, And More

By James Bullock Sep 17, 2017 - 4:43 PM print

Welcome to another edition of The ROHbot Report – the only article you need for all the Ring of Honor news you have to know. ROH is gearing up for its new fall season classic. Lets find out what will go down at “Death Before Dishonor XV”.

“Death Before Dishonor XV” Preview; September 22nd, 2017; Las Vegas, NV

ROH World Championship: Cody defends against Minoru Suzuki
Cody made a bold proclamation after successfully defending the ROH World Championship against SANADA at “War of the Worlds: Liverpool” by stating he had no more challengers. Cody’s drew the visible ire of Dalton Castle, but unbeknownst to everyone watching the World champ and potential future challenger someone else saw Cody’s moment in Liverpool as the ultimate example of disrespect considering the relationship between ROH and New Japan. Last year, while Cody was still toiling in WWE with the intent of leaving, Minoru Suzuki made his return to New Japan with his Suzuki-Gun faction members by his side. The legendary veteran made his intentions known early as he targeted IWGP Heavyweight champion Kazuchika Okada; leading to a series of hard-hitting encounters that Okada ultimately won. Suzuki didn’t let the loss affect him mentality as he pressed on, had a great showing in this year’s G1 Climax tournament, and, most importantly, won the NEVER Openweight Championship from Hirooki Goto. But those accolades, as grand as they are, pale in comparison to nature of pro wrestling changing under his watch. Learning under a plethora of greats such as Karl Gotch and Billy Robinson, Suzuki had the legitimate skills to handle himself in the worlds of pro wrestling and eventually Pancrase. Known as the “King of Pancrase”, Minoru brought his talents to the squared circled and help infuse what would become known as “mixed martial arts” with traditional strong style puroresu that has influenced the wrestling world to this day. This will be an incredible test for Cody not only from a challenger perspective, but also from a style perspective as the ROH World champ’s style is more old school, southern in nature; though Cody has proven that he can easily adapt to the given circumstance. There’s a great chance that in his first match on U.S. soil in twenty-five years could have a golden result for Suzuki where Minoru begins his latest era of dominance in a realm perfectly made for his talents.

ROH World Television Championship: Kushida defends against Kenny King
2017 has proven to be a roller coaster year for Kenny King. After failing to become one-third of the first Six-Man Tag Team champions, King alongside his Rebellion brethren spent the first half of this year doing battle with the Motor City Machine Gun led Search & Destroy faction that resulted in The Rebellion actually overwhelming the group and putting them in a position where the roster could only stand to have one left standing. The question of whether or not The Rebellion or S & D would live to fight for as long as they wanted was answered at “Best in the World ‘17” during an exciting eight-man tag bout that saw Search & Destroy’s Jonathan Gresham win for his team and forced The Rebellion to disband. Between all of this, King’s search for love was aired for the world to see as he impressed on the latest season of “The Bachelor” (including a mud wrestling showcase where King manhandled grown men like children). Rather than let himself be mentally & emotionally shaken, King accepted his current situation and turned it into a chance to reestablish himself as a singles star in ROH by winning a Four Corner Survival match to become the number one contender to the World Television title.
Before The Rebellion came to an end, Kushida shocked the wrestling world by accomplishing a long-standing dream of his after his place on the New Japan Jr. Heavyweight rankings were put into question as he continued to suffer loses on grand stages. That all changed starting at the ROH-New Japan “War of the Worlds” tour that saw Kushida become the new Television champion. Kushida looked to continue his winning ways against King in a first-time clash on ROH TV, but The Bullet Club’s obsession with attaining every ROH championship ended the match in a no contest due to Marty Scurll & Adam Page’s interference. Becoming a makeshift duo on the fly, Kushida & King overcame their adversaries while the former ROH World Tag Team champion, in his mind, proved himself as someone Kushida can’t take lightly. Their first encounter was bordering on great when the interference happened. This could be Kenny King’s moment of a lifetime when he finally wins a ROH championship by himself, or another chance for Kushida to prove why he’s one of the best in the world by beating junior heavyweights & heavyweights alike across two promotions & continents.

ROH World Tag Team Championship: The Young Bucks defend against Motor City Machine Guns
When the “14th Anniversary” pay-per-view concluded, the landscape of ROH’s Tag Team division had changed dramatically. In Las Vegas, Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin reunited to reform the Motor City Machine Guns. Less than a month later, the innovators of Jr. Heavyweight tag team wrestling took on a pair of men who took the style to brave new heights in the form of The Young Bucks. Their first encounter in ROH proved to be excellent and, quite possibly, the best match they’ve ever had together. With both teams focused on gaining ROH gold, The Bucks and Machine Guns were intertwined throughout 2016; leading to a historic Ladder War where Nick & Matt Jackson became two-time ROH World Tag Team champions at the expense of The Addiction and Shelley & Sabin. Since that night the tandems’ paths have rarely crossed, let alone allowed them to do battle in two on two action again; but not from a lack of trying as the Machine Guns formed Search & Destroy with the sole reason of being able to handle The Bullet Club’s growing numbers. After finishing their problems with The Rebellion and defeating War Machine in a fantastic match, Sabin & Shelley had the chance to accomplish what they couldn’t a year ago by finally becoming the ROH World Tag Team champions; but interference from The Addiction ruined those hopes during an episode of ROH TV.
The Machine Guns gained a measure of proof they can overcome the champions in an eight-man tag team bout on ROH TV that saw Sabin actually pin Matt to win the match for his team. One of the most interesting aspects of this match is when this match will occur on the card. With The Bucks being dual champions, they will wrestle twice. If this bout happens after their Six-Man Tag title defense it could prove to be the key reason as to why Sabin & Shelley become the new champions. But a fresh Young Bucks are a dangerous Young Bucks and this could be a rough night for the founders of Search & Destroy if this match occurs incredibly early in the night. Depending on the match’s placement will definitely affect its quality as The Bucks will come in either looking for a fast win to stay fresh for later in the evening or be dog tired from trying to defend their other title.

The Briscoes & Bully Ray vs. The Kingdom (Winners take on The Young Bucks & Adam Page for the Six-Man Tag Team Championship later in the night)
ROH’s “15th Anniversary” was meant to be a grand night for The Kingdom as they were entering the historic event as the faces of ROH’s newly formed Six-Man Tag Team division. But it was on that night in Las Vegas that TK O’Ryan broke his leg and forced his teammates Matt Taven & Vinny Marseglia to align with another in a failed attempt to retain what was theirs against The Briscoes & Bully Ray. The Kingdom didn’t forget the fact the new trio of Dem Boys and the legend from Hell’s Kitchen took advantage of a situation beyond their control and gained from them the thing that defined this latest iteration of The Kingdom the most. So what better way to reintroduce a recovered O’Ryan to the ROH world than by having him attack Jay Briscoe? It was on ROH TV when a match between the old rivals Jay Briscoe and Matt Taven saw O’Ryan end the match by breaking the crutch that has been by his side since March across Briscoe’s back and set the stage for a triple team con-chair-to that concussed the former two-time World champion. Jay, who has been suffering from a little mental instability since losing the Six-Man Tag Team title, has gone out of his way gain retribution even if it meant him being further hurt.
Now both teams have a chance to kill two birds with one stone as The Kingdom rides together as a trio for the first time in six months to take on the three men who unceremoniously ended the inaugural “Purple Reign Tour” on ROH TV. For The Briscoes & Bully Ray – three of the best tag team wrestlers of all time – this is their chance to regain a position of dominance that was the story for three months in ROH’s Six-Man division featuring them at the helm while avenging the dishonorable actions The Kingdom used to put Jay Briscoe on the shelf for a short period of time. Like the Tag Team title match, this one will be interesting from the pure fact it’s unknown when it could happen. Depending on the card structure, the title challengers could be fresher than the champs, or vice versa. Just as interesting is the fact no one knows in what shape O’Ryan really is in; does he have any ring rust. If Jay Briscoe takes a loss here how will he handle it? The end results could be more profound than the match itself – one that should be highly entertaining no matter the outcome.

Last Man Standing Match: Jay Lethal vs. Silas Young
It had been over two years since these two men shared a ring in singles competition before ROH’s “Reloaded Tour” last year. Then, “The Last Real Man” was just getting his footing in ROH after failing to overcome some of the best ROH had to offer including Mark Briscoe. Jay Lethal, on the other hand, was attempting to return to the mountaintop he once occupied as the ROH Television champion. From their previous encounter that saw Lethal overcome Young, “The Greatest 1st Generation Wrestler” went on to become not only a two-time ROH World Television champion, but also the ROH World champion a year-plus after he bested “The Last Real Man”. Then came this year’s conclusion of the “Reloaded Tour”. The two men fought not once, but twice in one night. Their first encounter was a singles bout that saw the same result from their previous match where Lethal walked away as the victor. Though Jay won the battle that night, the spoils of war went to Silas Young as they both men were involved in the Honor Rumble match. They kicked off the match and wrestled throughout until they were the last two men standing. And in a somewhat shocking twist, Young eliminated the former World champion to earn himself a future ROH World title opportunity. Only two weeks after their clash during the “Tour”, Lethal and Young did battle yet again with “The Last Real Man” being unable to avenge his singles loss while Lethal continued to his quest toward regaining the championship he lost at “Death Before Dishonor XIV”.
It would take another six months before these two men found themselves standing across the ring from one another. During this encounter, Young had the home field advantage and took advantage of the situation to pick up a clean win over “The Franchise of ROH”. Young’s victory gave Silas the belief that he was deserving of more from ROH, but it was ROH management going to Lethal with opportunities presented such as sponsorship commercials. Attacking Lethal to make his point that Jay was less of a man deserving fewer opportunities in comparison to him, Young put a target on his back that Lethal looked to hit literally. Coming close to accomplishing his goal early was Lethal on ROH TV, but Beer City Bruiser took the figurative bullet before a tag match alongside Young against Lethal & Bobby Fish (another man who Silas angered over the last couple of months) turned out successful for them. It seemed Lethal would finally get his revenge at “Best in the World”, but things went south for the former World champion after he pinned Silas. Furious, “Milwaukee’s Worst” attacked Lethal post-match and put him on the shelf by brutalizing Jay with Bruiser’s beer keg before BCB put Lethal through a table courtesy of his frog splash. For over a month, Lethal didn’t make a ROH appearance as he tried to recover and earn accolades elsewhere – plotting his revenge in the process.
Young seemed to be ready for everything Lethal had to offer, besting him in their rematch during ROH’s debut in Edinburgh for the finale of the company’s first “War of the Worlds: UK” tour. But Lethal wasn’t overcome by one loss; taking out his anger on the other man who was responsible for putting him in the hospital: Beer City Bruiser. Using Bruiser’s own beer keg against him, Lethal apparently crushed BCB’s leg with the item normally used to provide joy and good times. The message was clear: only one man could stand tall to finish this feud. How fitting is it then that in their potentially conclusive confrontation the only rule to victory is by being the last man standing. Last Man Standing matches are a rarity in ROH with Young actually winning the most recent iteration over a year ago. Though Lethal’s anger has gotten the better of him the past (both times costing him the World title over the course of four years), Jay showed against the likes of Cody and most recently Bruiser that his anger has truly turned into “killer instinct”. Their brawl in Edinburgh was one of the best matches of the year in ROH and this one should be no different as both men attempt to accomplish grand goals on a grand stage – Lethal gaining revenge and Young proving he’s worthy of being treated as a top-tier star just like his adversary.

Las Vegas Street Fight: Jay White vs. Punishment Martinez
Damien “Punishment” Martinez made his ROH debut last year during the annual Top Prospect Tournament, establishing himself as a force that is big enough to be a powerhouse while having the agility of a cruiserweight. The master of the “South of Heaven” choke slam has broken through the pack during the early portion of 2017 by taking Hirooki Goto to the limit, winning multi-man matches against men with speed and weight advantages, and even turned on his mentor BJ Whitmer after the pair defeated the former ROH World Tag team champions War Machine. While Martinez has been a source of fear not only thanks to his look, but also his skill set, Jay White has been a source of inspiration for all the “young lions” coming out of New Japan for excursions to the West. For almost nine months, White went undefeated in singles action and never took the fall in tag team or multi-man matches all the while beating some of the best including the then-future ROH World champion Christopher Daniels. After his streak ended, White reasserted himself by fighting some of the best the world has to offer starting with Martinez. In Hopkins during “Masters of the Craft”, Martinez & White met and Jay overcame the big man much to Martinez’s disappointment – and like many men, disappointment caused anger in “Punishment”. That anger came forth just moments after White failed to overcome Will Ospreay in a show stealer of a match during “War of the World: New York” when Martinez attacked both men.
It was a given that White and Martinez would eventually meet again in a match – one that occurred during a ROH TV taping where White used the leverage of a roll up to pick up another win before Martinez laid waste of him in a post-match thrashing. Since then they’ve been taking shots whenever the opportunity presents itself including brawls around the arena. They’ve had true David vs. Goliath-style contests featuring awe-inspiring moments including could taking flight like The Undertaker circa 1997. White won’t have a slingshot, but his Kiwi Crusher & a match-ending roll-up that are usually utilized following crisp dropkicks, forearms, and suplexes have shown him the way against the big man. This could steal the show and give everyone a true glimpse into the future of both men’s respective careers as White starts to refocus on New Japan while Punishment tries to stake his claim in a ROH title division.

Marty Scurll vs. Chuck Taylor
This special challenge match just isn’t something to get names on the card. Before “Best in the World”, Chuck Taylor made his ROH debut by successfully teaming with best friend Berretta and Rocky Romero to defeat The Bullet Club. What was supposed to be his reward in the form of a two-on-two Tag Team title match against The Young Bucks transformed into a Triple Threat Tornado Tag with War Machine added to the fray. Taylor was unable to overcome the staggering odds and his quest to win ROH gold was pushed back to another day. Unlike Chuckie T., Marty Scurll’s ROH title intentions weren’t stomped out immediately when he challenged for the ROH Television title in his third ROH match last November. But Scurll’s intentions to regain the gold Kushida defeated him to attain during the “War of the Worlds Tour” in May haven’t been as fruitful – giving way to a first-time ROH singles match between two men who have clashed epically elsewhere including PWG where they fought in a barbaric bout that Taylor won. “The Kentucky Gentleman” knows how to beat Scurll, but there’s a good chance “The Villain” could up the nefariousness to ensure a much-needed pay-per-view victory in what should be a sleeper hit on a very stacked card.

Ring of Honor wrestling is synonymous with the best-in-ring pro wrestling in the sport and on Saturday, October 28th, ROH debuts at the Soaring Eagle Casino in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan featuring the inaugural Soaring Eagle Cup!

This is a very interesting piece of news considering, one, ROH has been a little tournament heavy this year with two concluding in the first three months of 2017 and, two, what used to be the norm around this time of the year when it comes to ROH tournaments would be the Survival of the Fittest – as seen last year during a two-night series isn’t occurring this year. Ring of Honor isn’t just introducing a new tournament (potentially replacing the SotF entirely or just for this year), but also debuting in a new market in a building made to hold upwards of 3000 people – meaning with a ring & entrance ROH is probably hoping to pull in at least 2000-2500 attendees for this event. So far ticket sales are going strong and it could prove to be the most successful ROH live event not connected to a TV taping, PPV, “Wrestlemania” weekend or occurring in the Hammerstein Ballroom in ROH history.

Ring of Honor returns to The Manhattan Center's Hammerstein Ballroom on December 15th, 2017 for FINAL BATTLE! Scores will be settled, feuds ended, and championships decided when Ring of Honor’s seminal pay-per-view extravaganza makes its return to New York City.

Not shocking in the least, but definitely a satisfying announcement as the Hammerstein Ballroom has a fantastic atmosphere that comes across on TV and usually produces a memorable show no matter the card thanks to a raucous crowd every time.

Kelly Klein vs. Brandi Rhodes

Chase Brown vs. Gladiator Jeremiah

Motor City Machine Guns vs. Bryan Danielson & Austin Aries

And there you have it. Show that love, or like, for The ROHbot Report and Honor Nation on its Facebook page. Also, if haven’t already, make sure you listen to the latest FREE “Honor Nation” as I talk about Asuka coming to “Raw” and more (http://www.wewantinsanity.com/am2/publish/free_audio/30_Mins_Honor_Nation_The_Empress_of_Tomorrow_Today.shtml). And don’t forget to send those questions in for the next “Honor Nation either through the comments section below, on Facebook (The ROHbot Report and Honor Nation on its Facebook page), on Twitter (@fasjab), or by e-mailing me at Bullock@wewantinsanity.com.
Here’s to a great week for you and yours; and as always, thanks for reading.

Till Then.

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