The stars of Ring of Honor will step into battle at the 17th Anniversary show
Anniversaries are a precious thing. They are a moment of celebration as well as reflection. They are a reminder of the goals that drive one's life as well as everything that led to those goals. They are the golden mirages that shimmer in the desert. They are the foundation upon which legacies have been built. They are everything and they are everything that one strives for.
Ring of Honor will celebrate their 17th Anniversary live on FITE from Las Vegas, but even in their moment of glory, that ecstasy of excitement, the future is bearing down hard. While ROH's competitors are battling for the gold, for glory, for riches, for their legacies, the shadow of Madison Square Garden and the G1 Supercard are already bearing down over the landscape, blocking out the hot Vegas sun and reminding all that as important as seventeen years have been for Ring of Honor, everything is just an epilogue for the greatness to follow.
That itself makes the ROH 17th Anniversary show all that more competitive. It makes ROH's locker room all that more divisive. The battle lines are drawn as everyone wants to be the top power broker within Ring of Honor. They want to control the World titles. They want the global headlines. They want to make sure that Ring of Honor's 17th Anniversary is about no one, but them. They don't want to be the best in Ring of Honor, they want to embody the spirit, the DNA of the promotion, so when the clock resets for a new year, and the journey to MSG begins, they are the ones leading the caravan – and they are the ones perched atop the Kingdom that is ROH.
The stars of Ring of Honor will step into battle at the 17th Anniversary show and indeed, none of them will emerge unscathed.
For months, Matt Taven has led his Kingdom into battle, proclaiming himself the true Ring of Honor World Champion. If you listen to his claims, they almost ring true, from a certain point of view. He should have had the proper title shots. He should have had the proper officiating. He should have had the right string of luck, but instead, Taven found himself getting more bitter, angrier, more paranoid. Believing conspiracies were circling around him, Taven broke and revealed his own ROH title belt, declaring himself champion, almost by divine right.
None of this sat well with Jay Lethal, truly one of the greatest competitors to emerge from the infancy of Ring of Honor. As Lethal defended the championship with prestige, with blood, with sweat, with a work ethic unlike any other, Taven's allegations began to manifest inside Lethal's head. While the Champion never wavered in his belief that he, truly, was the best, certainly the blood boiled at the insinuations. Finally, Lethal was pushed too far, destroying Taven's championship belt. With everything laid out for the entire world to witness, Taven gets his chance to prove, once and for all, that he deserves to be the center of ROH's galaxy while Lethal, will, if he has his way, finally shut down all the doubt and anger, once and for all.
To the winner goes not just the title, but a guaranteed entry into a main event at Madison Square Garden. Indeed, a piece of history hangs in the balance like never before….
The Briscoes vs Villain Enterprises' Brody King & PCO
The Briscoes are the forefathers of Ring of Honor, having competed for the organization since it's debut event in February 2002. Indeed, ROH as we know it may not exist without the beatings unleashed over the years by Jay and Mark Briscoe. They are not just the current but the definitive Ring of Honor World Tag Team Champions. They stand as the mighty oak who guards over the forest and all who dwell within.
However, in recent months, Villain Enterprises have shocked the world by how quickly they have taken names and demolished bodies in Ring of Honor. Insane veteran PCO may not even be human while Brody King has epitomized the sort of all our brutality that makes even veteran fighters cringe. They are hungry and they want the World Tag Team titles. They want to change the course of history.
It's truly a battle for the ages as it's the greatest of all time facing off perhaps the most dangerous team to infest ROH in its entire history. Forget Las Vegas, the entire Southwest may be at risk when the bell rings and the war games commence….
Jeff Cobb vs Shane Taylor
Jeff Cobb doesn't get paid by the hour. The Olympian debuted in shocking fashion in Ring of Honor and quickly entrapped the ROH World Television Championship. Whether it be his physical prowess, his dangerous execution of suplexes or the majestic destruction of his Tour of the Islands finisher, Cobb has left fans and opponents alike shocked by how quickly he has strategized and executed their demise in the ring.
Shane Taylor may be the yin to Cobbs' yang. The Cleveland brawler turned bounty hunter has taken his bitter resentment towards the fans and his own lack of title shots and focused them into a brutal effort that has ended careers and broken hearts.
Taylor has been the unstoppable rage monster out for blood and seeking doom.
Cobb has been the beast that has dropped fierce warriors on their heads and left them laying in broken pieces.
Like The Hulk vs. The Thing in Marvel Comics, this dream fight only leaves one thing certain: devastation.
Rush vs Bandido
Ring of Honor's landscape never stops growing and it never stops shifting. From day one, it became the epicenter for international battles, dating back to Super Crazy vs. Eddy Guerrero at the Era of Honor begins. Since then, ROH has been a magnet drawing the greatest competitors from across the globe into its ring, allowing them to push the boundaries of athleticism and excellence to new heights.
When Bandido debuted in ROH and became a founding member of Lifeblood, the last thing he expected was a face from his past, international sensation Rush to follow him from Mexico. Each competitor has given of their lives to perfect the lucha libre fighting form that defines their in-ring exploits. Indeed, the translation of the combat style reads "free fight" and that expression is a preview for what is to come at the Anniversary show on FITE.
Rush wants to be the ROH World Champion.
Bandido wants to prove that he's better than Rush and that he and Lifeblood will be the rulers of all things ROH as they attempt to bring true Honor back to the promotion.
With the ring – and the stratosphere above it – as their battle ground, there will be seismic waves erupting in the head of this battle, rippling all the way to Madison Square Garden, Mexico, Japan and beyond….
Kenny King vs Marty Scurll
Marty Scurll has declared he will challenge for the ROH World Championship at the G1 Supercard in Madison Square Garden, which makes "The Villain" the most marked man in all of Ring of Honor. Kenny King has held every championship possible in ROH, with the lone exception of that precious World title. When these combatants step into the ring live on FITE, they are seeking to change history itself within ROH.
Scurll wants to eliminate one of the best fighters in the game, insuring an easy path to his title challenge this April while also proving he is the most ferocious beast in the jungle.
King wants to leave Scurll's championship dreams in ruin and usurp them for himself in order to ascend to the ultimate ROH throne.
With neither competitor a stranger to the darker side of physical in-ring combat, the true loser in this battle may be the official, for he will be the unfortunate soul tasked with maintaining order among competitors with everything to lose and everything to gain in a match that will no quarter given and no boundaries restricted.
Ring of Honor has always been the home to professional wrestling's greatest athletes and there may be none as physically gifted in the sciences of grappling than "The Octopus" Jonathan Gresham, who maintains a PHD in all forms of combat sports. Gresham, a close ally of ROH Champion Jay Lethal, has run afoul of bitter veteran Silas Young and his co-patriot Bully Ray. Young believes he is the Last True Man and seeks to bring Misery to all who oppose his might.
Gresham seeks to utilize his wizardry inside the squared circle to make a statement and bring himself one step closer to competing inside the hallowed halls of Madison Square Garden, having vanquished his hated foe.
Silas, however, wants to reign down on those dreams, leaving only nightmares behind as he stands triumphant over Gresham, bringing himself one step closer to his own Championship desires….
Women of Honor Champion Mayu Iwatani vs Kelly Klein
The pride of STARDOM shocked the world when she defeated Kelly Klein for the Women of Honor World Championship in the Sunshine State of Florida.
Returning from an ambitious championship defense series around the globe, Iwatani must now contend with the Women of Honor Gatekeeper, who is angry and out for vengeance. Klein has left a path of destruction in her wake, but the ROH Anniversary show may be her definitive moment of glory.
Should she recapture the title, Klein will tower over all female competitors inside Ring of Honor.
Should Iwatani retain her championship, however, it means that a new dawn has truly risen in the Women of Honor division, one that will shine all the way to New York City…
The Kingdom's TK O'Ryan and Vinny Marseglia vs Lifeblood's Mark Haskins and Tracy Williams.
Faction warfare has been as much a part of Ring of Honor's identity as any championship moment. ROH has seen invasions, bloody brawls, changing of the guard and Championship glory that rose out of dark despair. The Kingdom has been among those who have committed the worst atrocities in ROH history and they look to continue to bring their horror show to Las Vegas.
British star Mark Haskins and American grappler Tracy Williams, however, have been part of the purist movement known as Lifeblood, seeking to bring back the purity and honor that comes with in-ring battles inside ROH.
As the light and dark sides face off, the balance of ROH and all that it stands for is once again at the center of all hostilities.
Indeed, this tag team battle may indeed set for stage for all of ROH, not just at the anniversary event, but in the years to come.
FITE will broadcast Ring of Honor's 17th Anniversary event on Friday March 15th with immediate replays.