ROH Honorable Mention: Manhattan Mayhem VI Preview
For the first time since Final Battle 2016 in December, Ring of Honor returns to Manhattan Center’s Hammerstein Ballroom for Manhattan Mayhem VI. The event takes place just a week before the 15th anniversary show and the results could have serious implications for the card.
Semi-Finals of the Top Prospect Tournament
The Top Prospect tournament recently started during the last set of tapings from Pittsburgh. Although all the matches have not yet aired on television, the four men moving into the semifinals are Brian Milonas, John Skyler, Curt Stallion and Chris LeRusso. The matches will be taped before the show proper for ROH television. The Top Prospect tournament has elevated stars like Mike Bennett, Matt Taven, Donovan Dijak and Lio Rush. With that pedigree, the winner of this tournament will no doubt make a mark in ROH.
Dalton Castle w/The Boys vs. Colt Cabana
Colt Cabana surprised many when he returned to ROH last year during the Supercard of Honor event over Wrestlemania weekend. Since then, he has challenged Jay Lethal for the ROH title, been thwarted by the Bullet Club eventually joined up with the equally eccentric Dalton Castle, taking to the tag division. At All Star Extravaganza, Cabana and Castle earned a title shot, which Castle decided to cash in during the All-Stars vs. Champions match at Glory by Honor.
The hasty decision led to the duo losing and in the process, Cabana seemed to sour on Castle. Despite getting back to their winning ways, Cabana chose to go on his own, growing sick of Castle. As Castle offered a hug to split amicably, Cabana instead kneed his former partner and then gashed him with the Boys’s feathered fans. At Final Battle, Castle came out victorious in what seemed to be the end of the issues between the two. However, Castle’ Boys showed up during Cabana’s Decade Of Excellence Tournament match with Chris Sabin and their distraction caused Cabana to lose the match. Since then, Cabana has attacked the Boys and defeated them in a handicapped match as a way to get back at Castle. In their second grudge match in 3 months, the two will face off yet again to settle their differences. Castle came away the winner last time, so look for Cabana to stand tall here and possibly continue to the feud into the summer.
International Dream Match
Will Ospreay vs. Dragon Lee
This was the very first match announced for the card and may very well be the reason that the venue is nearly sold out. At Final Battle, Ospreay and Lee challenged Marty Scurll for the ROH Television title in an incredible match that saw Scurll ultimately retain. Earlier in 2016, Lee impressed in his match with Kamaitachi and then earned the right to a Television title shot by defeating an injured Bobby Fish in a proving ground match. In Ospreay’s first few days with ROH during the Reach for the Sky tour, he was able to wrest away the title from Fish in a surprise victory, only to drop it to Scurll before the tour ended. Since Final Battle, Ospreay has not been with the company, other than a match with Dragon Lee and KUSHIDA at the tapings from the next night in Philadelphia. As he has signed a contract with ROH, I would expect him to go over here in a match that can easily grab math of the night honors.
ROH World Tag Team Championship
The Young Bucks (c) vs. Jay White & Lio Rush
The Motor City Machine Guns, Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin, have been successful in their quest to recruit like-minded individuals and along the way have joined up with Jay White, Lio Rush, Jonathan Gresham and Donovan Dijak. However, Rush and White have not been wrestling as a tag team per se. With little experience tagging together and no real reason for a title shot here, it seems that this speaks to the strength of challengers in the division. With The Young Bucks slated to take on The Hardys at Supercard of Honor, it is unlikely that The Young Bucks would drop the titles beforehand. Nonetheless, Rush and White are excellent performers and the Young Bucks always rise to the occasion, so this match will definitely be one to watch.
ROH World Television Championship
Marty Scurll (c) vs. Sonjay Dutt
Scurll has been taking on all comers while reigning as Television champion, even going so far as to say that he felt he has not faced the level of competition that
ROH World Television champion should be up against. This prompted Alex Shelley, Chris Sabin, Jonathan Gresham, Donovan Dijak and Lio Rush to call him out on the proclamation and remind him that he simply has not faced everyone he could have on the roster. Dijak eventually won the match and challenged Scurll in a great match, but ultimately fell victim to the chickenwing. Rush however, was able to defeated Scurll in a proving ground match and the two are signed to wrestle at the 15th anniversary show. Although Sonjay Dutt is a real treat for ROH fans, bringing in a credible different face to challenge for the title, the company has simply invested way too much into The Villain to have him drop the title here, but as Scurll as done in every match, expect him to hold on the title in an entertaining bout.
ROH World Championship Adam Cole (c) vs. Bobby Fish
Bobby Fish won the Survival of the Fittest back in November, earning a future ROH World championship opportunity. At the time, he was the ROH World Television champion, so the move seemed a bit of a head scratcher. At Final Battle, Kyle O’Reilly won the ROH World title and the thought of a reDragon title match seemed like a reality, only to have him drop the title back to Cole at Wrestle Kingdom 11 and leave the company. The real life contract issues of O’Reilly created a perfect backdrop to this title match, as Fish is not only standing up to a heel champion who uses his cronies to keep the strap around his waist, but he is also standing up to the man who defeated his friend. Fish has done excellent mic work leading up the match between to the two and his desire to win the title is palpable, but on an untelevised show just days away before the big 15th Anniversary PPV, it’s unlikely that Cole would drop the title. Title switch or not, this is certainly a main event match that will go a long way to keeping Fish as a legitimate contender for the rest of 2017, while also adding to Cole’s irascible persona leading into his defense against Christopher Daniels.