ROH Honorable Mention: Supercard of Honor Preview
Ring of Honor’s Supercard of Honor, originally not slated to be available live to anyone but the fans in attendance will not be streamed live on iPPV after the demand for the show increased. This will also be the ROH with the highest attendance in the company’s history and has really transformed from a desirable VOD to a must watch event. On a weekend stacked full of shows, this one will definitely be one that shouldn’t be missed.
CMLL LUCHADORAS SHOWCASE
LA AMAPOLA & MARCELAThese two are CMLL stars who are competing for the first time in the division. Although it falls under the banner of the Women of Honor division, not being a part of the regular roster may affect the match in terms of crowd reaction here. The two are legends in CMLL and have had a storied rivalry there which they are rekindling in front of an ROH crowd, but the history may be lost on a crowd that will see this match as a one off. Their shared history will allow for the two to work well together, but the inconsistency of the division comes through here with a match that was announced early on not appearing on the show proper.
Mandy Leon & Jenny Rose vs. Sumie Sakai & Faye JacksonSince Jackson began wrestling in the division she has been close with Sumie Sakai. Sakai has been a positive force in her training and the match here pits two sets of training partners against each other, as Rose and Leon have trained together as well. At Manhattan Mayhem Rose, Leon and Sakai competed in a three way match, with Leon showing some signs of taking on a nastier edge. After a physical NO DQ match with Taeler Hendrix this summer, Leon demeanor has changed a bit as the program came to a close. For the division to continue to make strides, this match up needs to be more than a friendly competition and create some rivalries moving forward.
Kelly Klein vs. Deonna PurrazzoPurrazzo was involved in the resurgence of the ROH Women’s division and has been all over the world since then, but has not seen the same level of success that Klein has. The self appointed GateKeeper of the division and has remained undefeated the entirety of her run in the company. Women of Honor matches are aired separately on ROH’s YouTube channel and in two separate VODs, which have been enjoyable, but also calls in the question why none of the bouts are featured on the shows that they are advertised on. This match in particular sticks out as one to watch, but may not even be a possibility for those aren’t in attendance. The battle of the End of the Match, Klein’s take on the guillotine choke and Purrazzo’s version of the Fujiwara armbar sets the stage for a compelling in ring story and in many ways this match represents the best the division has to offer. Purrazzo wil give Klein a ride for her money, but I expect Klein’s streak to be kept in tact.
The Briscoes & Bully Ray vs. Hangman Page & Guerrillas Of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tonga Roa)
It is interesting that this match will not be for the 6-man tag team titles. Due to TK O’Ryan’s injury at the 15th Anniversary show, The Kingdom dropped the titles during a television taping. The trio of Taven, Marseglia and O’Ryan were originally scheduled to defend the titles against Silas Young, the Beer City Bruiser and a mystery opponent, with a great deal of time spent of Young and Bruiser’s search for a suitable partner. That being said, Bully Ray has meshed well with the Briscoes and their match at the 15th anniversary hit the right notes. Due to visa issues, Jushin Liger and Yoshi Hashi have been replaced by the Guerrillas of Destiny. Although Liger and Hashi would have been a treat, the pairing of G.o.D. with Adam Page makes for a good fit with their Bullet Club membership and also gives Page a meaningful spot. The titles may not be on the line, but expect to see the 6-man champions win this match in the end.
Will Ospreay & Volador Jr. vs. Dragon Lee & Jay White
The last time Will Ospreay appeared in a ROH ring, he took on CMLL star Dragon Lee at Manhattan Mayhem in a match that left the crowd, especially this writer, gasping in incredulity. Building off of this match and the competitive spirit between the two, Volador Jr and Jay White have joined the fray here in what could be one of the best matches on the card not being contested for a title. White has been by far the most familiar to ROH crowds, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ospreay/Volador walk out the winners.
Frankie Kazarian vs. Punishment Martinez
Before it was revealed that Kazarian was never in cahoots with the Bullet Club, he won a six man challenge to earn number one contender status for the Television title in a match that included Martinez. The big man recently broke away from BJ Whitmer and has moved on from the “Reincarnated Purple Haze” to assert himself as not only one of the largest men in ROH, but also one of the most agile as well. This will be a test for both men, as they are in a position to distance themselves from their partners and strike out on their own. Kazarian owns a guaranteed TV title shot, whereas Martinez lacks a bit of direction now, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the dominant Martinez walk away the winner here and have the spotlight on him at what has become an important show for ROH as a whole.
The Kingdom (Matt Taven & Vinny Marseglia) vs. Beer City Bruiser & Silas Young
This tag match had previously been announced as a six man match for the ROH 6 man titles until TK O’Ryan’s unfortunate injury. How the bout would have played out is obviously something that will never be answered, but with Young and Bruiser’s partner remaining unrevealed, the two squads are now even. It’s a bit upsetting to not only lose the reveal of the third partner, but seeing how this would have played out in terms of the 6-man tag team titles is also a bit of a let down, albeit one that was determined by injury and not by the matchmakers. With the recent loss of the title, The Kingdom as a unit may not need the success here, especially considering that Taven has earned an ROH World title shot down the line. Young has been working commentary as of late, so a return to his winning ways with the Bruiser may be the way to go here, while also keeping the third partner as a possibility down the road.
Texas Bullrope Match
Cody vs. Jay Lethal
Aside from the main event, this is the most well developed match on the entire card. Since Cody’s debt at Final Battle, he has done nothing but work as diligently as possible to be the loathsome insurgent to Jay Lethal’s respectable company flag bearer. Since Cody’s low blow in their first match, he has gotten the one up on Lethal, simultaneously giving Lethal a program to work after dropping the title to Adam Cole. The Texas Bull Rope stipulation makes the bout between the two that much more exciting and harkens back to the bygone era of his father’s work. With all of the embarrassment he has weathered, Lethal should walk out the winner in this blow off and move on to a new opponent.
ROH WORLD TELEVISION CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Marty Scurll vs. Adam Cole
Since his arrival, Marty Scurll has repeatedly stated that he has come to Ring of Honor for competition and he has openly stated that he has not received any real competition, insulting the entirety of the roster. With Cole not involved in the World title picture this event and his contract expiring at the beginning of May, this is a dream matchup that pits two dastardly grapplers that would most normally not cross paths. Cole winning here would feel like a step backwards for the first three time ROH World champion. The Villain continues to be paired with wrestlers who are their way out of the company and has not had a prolonged program with anyone, save the three shows in England when he took the strap off of Ospreay after the two unsuccessfully challenged for the tag team titles. Scurll will walk out champion and quite simply needs to work with someone who will be a consistent member of the roster.
ROH World Title Match
Christopher Daniels(c) vs. Dalton Castle
Dalton Castle has been one of the best rises in ROH in recent memory. His build has felt organic and it has been surprising that he has not gained any gold thus far. He challenged Bobby Fish for the TV title and even paired with Colt Cabana to challenge for the tag titles, a program that eventually led to grudge matches between the two. Castle earned the title shot after pinning then champion Adam Cole during a six man match, before Daniels won the title at the 15th Anniversary. The match does not have top billing at the event and it feels too early for Castle to be carrying the World title, especially defeating the current feel good champion. Castle would be better served defeating a heel champion after a prolonged program. Daniels will retain in a fun match and keep himself in the title hunt, but will not walk away the victor on this night.
ROH World Tag Team Championship Ladder Match
The Hardys(c) vs. The Young Bucks
Aside from the Cody/Lethal match, this has been the longest running program in ROH and this is all without the Hardys being consistent ROH wrestlers until last month. After the Young Bucks successfully defended their titles at Final Battle against The Briscoes, The Hardys appeared on the screen and extended their quest for the gold to include the Bucks of Youth, challenging them to a match at this very show. The two teams have traded barbs on social media and Vanguard1 took a pair of super kicks in the build to the show before the Hardys left Impact wrestling and surprised the Young Bucks at Manhattan Mayhem, winning the ROH tag titles in an impromptu match that sent the internet all a twitter. AT the 15th Anniversary show the Hardys added insult to injury by not only retaining the championships in a Las Vegas Street fight including Roppongi Vice, but by also walking away with The Bucks’ Superkick Party titles. The match was promptly made into a ladder match that will have both titles hanging in the balance. The Hardys have looked fantastic in their ROH appearances and even though they may not be long for ROH after the show, expect an absolute war here in a match that the Hardys made famous. The Young Bucks should win this one, but will come out of it looking as the faces who overcome the skullduggery of their opponents.