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The ROHbot Report: Flip's Proving Ground, Returning to Florida, and More

By James Bullock Apr 8, 2018 - 7:55 AM 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 a run through Florida following a showcase during wrestling biggest weekend of the year.

On Friday, April 27th, Ring of Honor makes its debut in West Palm Beach when Bound by Honor: West Palm Beach descends upon the West Palm Beach Convention Center! If The Briscoes retain the World Tag Team Championships at Supercard of Honor, they will defend the titles in a rematch against the Motor City Machine Guns!

2017 proved to be a moment where Jay & Mark Briscoe – arguably the greatest tag team in ROH history – found themselves at a fork in the road when it comes to where they saw the future of their time as a duo in ROH. Both men had found some level of success by themselves, but it was as a brotherly unit that Dem Boys made gained their greatest success in Ring of Honor and, arguably, in all of wrestling. It was in 2017 that Bully Ray was added to the Sandy Fork package; helping Jay & Mark become the second Six-Man Tag Team champions. All was going well until a bad night ended with Jay Briscoe taking a rare pin fall loss thanks to The Boys’ interference gone wrong in an eight-man tag bout. Jay Briscoe became obsessed with getting revenge and found himself being lectured by Ray to the point he grew tired and attacked the legend. Jay clobbering Bully with a table also proved to be a wake-up call for brother Mark as the former ROH World champion altered his blood that either it’s about The Briscoes or about Mark doing his own thing; there for forgoing his family. Mark made his decision and returned by his brother’s side so they could go after another record-breaking Tag title reign. Ironically enough, it was during this time of mental & eventual physical conflict between The Briscoes and Bully Ray that The Motor City Machine Guns finally became the ROH World Tag Team champions by defeating The Young Bucks at “Death Before Dishonor XV”. But this is more than just a title match where one team feels they deserve to be called champions over the other.
Over a decade ago, Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley were, arguably, the hottest tag team in all of professional wrestling; warranting admiration and a fans’ want to see them compete against the best tandems any wrestling company had to offer. In April of 2007, ROH made a dream match become reality when management acquired the talents of the then-named “Murder City Machine Guns” to battle “The Baddest Tag Team on the Planet” that just so happened to also hold the ROH World Tag Team Championship at the time. The match proved to be one of the greatest in ROH history, with The Briscoes pulling off the victory after forty-five minutes of action. One year later, the rematch occurred and The Machine Guns made up for the loss in another great match that, while not heralded as a classic it was actually just as good, if not better than their previous contest.
It would take another six years before The Machine Guns were back in ROH and ready to attain the championship they never could win even after besting Dem Boys, but came up short. Last year they finalized their trilogy at a live event where The Briscoes walked away with a big victory; only for Sabin & Shelley to achieve what Jay & Mark couldn’t by ending the year as ROH Tag Team champions. By defeating Best Friends, The Briscoes solidified their positions as the next men in line to challenge Detroit’s own in their fourth ROH battle in eleven years featuring a pair of brothers who have declared they will battle the world to prove they are still the “baddest tag team in ROH” history and two men who might not be blood related, but have become inseparable in wrestling while innovating when no other tag team could many years ago. Unfortunately for The Machine Guns, The Briscoes were better than them in Las Vegas as the eventual former champions fell due to their need to prove themselves as better brawlers than Delaware’s finest. Depending on the amount of given to this match expect nothing short of a classic yet again with the lack of probability of new champions being crowned compared to their last encounter.

Flip Gordon could see his stock rise once again when he challenges the ROH World Champion, whoever that may be, at Bound By Honor in West Palm Beach in a Proving Ground match!

Once a man whose sole purpose in ROH was to end The Bullet Club’s reign of self-proclaimed terror, Flip Gordon has found himself on the good side of The Young Bucks. But something that hasn’t changed when it comes to the intentions of the Montana native is the fact he wants to become a ROH champion. Though not the ideal way of becoming a ROH champion, Proving Ground matches have been a perfect route to earn a future ROH title opportunity for a wannabe challenger while potentially adding a level of mental edge over the champion if said champion – in this case Dalton Castle as of press time – fails to overcome. This is huge for Gordon as he’ll not only possibly earn a future ROH World title shot, but also will do it while being the Television champion as he’ll challenge for TV gold at a TV taping following “Supercard of Honor XII” – an event that could end with him as a ROH World Six-Man Tag Team champion as well.

The longest-reigning ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Champions in history reunite in West Palm Beach when The Young Bucks team with Adam Page to take on a team that seemingly has had their number, The Kingdom, in West Palm Beach at Bound by Honor: West Palm Beach!

When Matt Taven returned to ROH action in the fall of 2016, he had two known goals he hoped to immediately accomplish: 1. Become one-third of the first ROH World Six-Man Tag Team champions; 2. Ensure The Bullet Club doesn’t win the Six-Man Tag Team title. For Matt Taven, his faction’s problems with The Bullet Club were once personal as former Kingdom stable mate Adam Cole abandoned his role as The Kingdom’s leader prior to joining The Bullet Club. Taven expressed his feelings that Cole not only saw The Kingdom as a way to keep himself in the World title picture, but also to hold Taven back from reaching his believed future glory. In Lowell following “All-Star Extravaganza VIII”, Matt Taven began his journey to accomplish the aforementioned goals as the newest version of The Kingdom featuring Taven, the debuting TK O’Ryan and returning Vinny Marseglia put The Bullet Club’s Cole & The Young Bucks out of the tournament in the first round – a win that would lead to The Kingdom becoming the first Six-Man titleholders in ROH history. But this version of The Bullet Club is completely different from the one The Kingdom defeated almost a year & a half ago and at “Honor Reigns Supreme” as this is a unit featuring three men who came together and became the ROH World Six-Man Tag champs – becoming the longest reigning trio to hold the gold thus far. The Kingdom comes into this one at 2-0 against The Bullet Club, but that could easily change as The Hung Bucks break down a trio that should have their number in a bout that should be better than anything seen between the factions when in action against each other thus far.

Unfortunately for Cody, he has drawn The Messiah of Pain, Punishment Martinez in West Palm Beach!

Unlike Cody’s matches leading up to this event with Kenny Omega and Matt Taven respectively, this one doesn’t have any real story or build; just a first-time encounter that could shape the ROH World Championship division in the very near future. Shortly after Dalton Castle became the World champion, Punishment Martinez staked his claim at being a top contender after winning the 2017 Survival of the Fittest tournament. Martinez came up short in his attempt to become the ROH World champion, but definitely established himself as someone who has all the potential of becoming a future World champion. On the opposite end of the spectrum is the former ROH World champion himself in “The American Nightmare”. Cody never got his World title rematch following “Final Battle” when he got pulled into a feud with Matt Taven and had his ring of honor stolen. Though Cody isn’t the smallest man, against the towering Martinez will put him at a distinct disadvantage; especially if he decides to involve more desperate/dirty measures into the match as Martinez has thrived in ultra-violent environments; though the same can be said about Cody after he put Christopher Daniels through a flaming table and almost turned Rocky Romero into a pincushion. Though Martinez will have the physical advantage, Cody’s experience and ability to snatch victory out of the jaws of defeat when put in an apparent no-win situation. There’s a chance for a David vs. Goliath style match here, but Cody being more devious than the saint here is a lot more believable than him working like an honorable individual.

Jay Lethal and Six-Man Tag Team champion Scorpio Sky will meet in this first-time bout when ROH makes its West Palm Beach debut!

On opposite sides of the United States, Jay Lethal and Scorpio Sky found themselves presented with various, yet differing opportunities that resulted in their careers taking completely different paths though both men were obviously extremely talented early in their careers. The prior found a mentor in Samoa Joe, became a multi-time ROH title holder (be it the Pure title, Television Championship, or ROH World title), and even had the chance to take on legends like Kurt Angle and Ric Flair on a global stage. Scorpio Sky honed his craft on the west coast, becoming a standout in the then-fledging Pro Wrestling Guerrilla while gaining something of a reputation for being good enough to be a star but missing that one chance to prove himself. Sky finally had that chance in ROH this past September during “Death Before Dishonor” weekend; almost becoming the ROH World champion in the process. Turning on Flip Gordon, siding with The Addiction to form SoCal Uncensored, Scorpio Sky’s ROH tenure has seen him quickly rise to champion status as he became one-third of the Six-Man Tag Team champions during ROH’s “16th Anniversary”. This is another huge moment for Sky in ROH as he’ll be in the ring with the arguable face of Ring of Honor as we know it right now – a man who is synonymous not only with the company due to his personality, but also because of Lethal’s in-ring talents. Lethal has been on a roll in 2018 by stealing the show with any opponent win (vs. Jonathan Gresham at “Honor Reigns Supreme”) or lose (vs. Dalton Castle at the “16th Anniversary”), and this match should be no different at two very capable wrestlers come together with the ability to have the fans on their feet.

On Friday, April 28th, Ring of Honor returns to Lakeland when Bound by Honor: Lakeland descends upon the RP Funding Center! Two of ROH’s fastest-rising stars will compete: Punishment Martinez vs. Adam Page!

One night removed from Punishment Martinez taking on Cody, ROH’s “The Creeper of Violence” will find himself standing across the ring from a man who has shown incredible loyalty to the former ROH World champion in Adam Page. “Hangman” Page took a somewhat similar path in comparison to Martinez’s by working his way up the ROH card as a top prospect before aligning himself with BJ Whitmer. A vicious streak was awakened in Page thanks to his time working alongside Whitmer; resulting in Page not only attacking his mentor, but also defeating him. While Page became a member of The Bullet Club as the faction’s enforcer, Martinez went from supernatural big man supported by Whitmer & Kevin Sullivan to an impressive physical specimen who is primed to become a future ROH World champion. Martinez has also been making waves in New Japan thanks to his performances both across the Pacific and against New Japan stars in a ROH ring. To defeat someone like Page would be huge for Martinez in both promotions as Punishment would best a recent challenger to the IWGP United States title and a former ROH World Six-Man Tag Team champion. Though Page will have the same size disadvantage as Cody, expect Page to take the fight to the big man rather than hit & run as this hard-hitting encounter could go either way.

Josh Woods has called out one of the greatest ROH World Champions of all time in Lakeland and Jay Lethal has answered!

The 2017 Top Prospect Tournament winner in Josh Woods hasn’t had the best go of things in ROH thus far. Falling short in securing the ROH World Television title, taking some significant loses on ROH TV like the one to Jonathan Gresham following “Final Battle”, and failing to breakthrough to become a consistent figure on ROH pay-per-views, Josh Woods is fighting from behind heading into 2018. One of the key reasons Woods is forced to take on anyone no matter the skill level discrepancy is because of nights like “Survival of the Fittest: Night 3”. The event in Amarillo didn’t end well for “The Goods” when he came up short in trying to defeat Jay Lethal. Five months after doing an admirable job against Lethal, Josh Woods gets his rematch. Lethal was able to overcome a bevy of submission attempts & suplexes to win their first bout and has to be thinking the same will happen in Lakeland if Woods sticks to the same gameplan that helped him become the TPT winner, but hasn’t helped him become a consistent winner in ROH. Their first bout was solid, but this one should be a lot better considering they are more familiar with each other and able to deliver something special that might featuring a shocking result; though not likely.

WOH Championship Tournament Round 2: Mayu Iwatani vs. Deonna Purrazzo


Throwback Thursday: Tommaso Ciampa vs. Jay Lethal


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 Disco Inferno’s comments about Kenny Omega’s abilities, the final build to “Wrestlemania”, and more (http://www.wewantinsanity.com/am2/publish/free_audio/31_Mins_Honor_Nation_Ronda_Rowdy_Disco_Burned_and_Wrestlemania_Fever.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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