Hello loyal readers and welcome to Ring of Honor’s version of March Madness. The newly created ROH World Television Championship will be decided in a tournament that begins this Monday on ROH on HDNet. In this article I will break down the brackets and give my thoughts on the matchups.
DISCLAIMER –The first round matches that will be aired next week have already occurred at a prior ROH television taping. To be able to write this article fairly and objectively, I have avoided reading about the results of these matches. So you’ll just have to trust me that I haven’t cheated.
(1) Kevin Steen vs. (8) Rhett Titus
This match is the closest thing to a slam dunk in the whole tournament. Steen has main event potential and big time heat coming off of his heel turn against El Generico. Rhett Titus has a creepy gigolo gimmick and likes to thrust his pelvis at his prone opponents. With Steve Corino in his ear, Steen has become downright ruthless lately. This should be an easy win for Mr. Wrestling.
(3) Colt Cabana vs. (6) Eddie Edwards
[adinserter block=”1″]This match looks easy on paper but could be tricky depending on how this tournament is booked. Lately, Cabana has been coming to the aid of El Generico in his feud with Steen and Corino. So it looks like a Cabana win here and a match up in the semis with Steen. Colt has great mic skills and he is over with the fans, so a title run is a distinct possibility. However, Eddie Edwards is no slouch himself in the ring. And he is one half of arguably the best tag team in ROH, The American Wolves. The last couple of weeks, they have been teasing a breakup of The Wolves. If they are really going to push this angle then I could see Edwards going over here and possibly meeting Davey Richards in the finals. I would give the slight edge to Cabana here but an Edwards victory would not shock me.
(4) Davey Richards vs. (5) Delirious
This should be a really good match as both of these guys have impressive in-ring skills. As I already mentioned, Richards is way over right now as a member of The American Wolves. I have described him before as the next Chris Benoit. He is intense, he is brutal, and he wrestles in that same stiff Japanese style like Benoit. Unfortunately, at 5′ 8” and 203 lbs, I don’t see him transitioning to either WWE or TNA with great success. So this might be as high as he climbs. While I appreciate Delirious’s character and ring work, I don’t see him as a legitimate TV title contender. At least not as the inaugural champion. Look for Richards to move on after a well paced match
(2) Kenny King vs. (7) El Generico
My first thought here was Kenny King. He has been teaming with Austin Aries lately and gaining lots of main event exposure. I definitely think he is someone who can hold a singles title… in about a year or so. But that doesn’t mean he won’t go over here. Like I said earlier in the Cabana vs. Edwards match, this one depends on the booking. El Generico is a very sympathetic figure with the crowd right now and I can see him making a run to the finals. Only to have his dreams crushed once again by his former friend, Kevin Steen. My gut says the winner here is King, but my heart says go with the Generic Luchador.
And the winner is…
[adinserter block=”2″]This is a two horse race as I see it. The favorite has to be Kevin Steen. I think this is his tournament to lose. The one disadvantage he has is that two of the men he is feuding with are in the tournament with him. I can envision Steen and Corino interfering in either Colt Cabana’s or El Generico’s matches, costing them the win. That in turn could lead to some sort of retaliation against Steen in the semis or the finals. If that does happen, look for Davey Richards to take the whole thing. In ROH, where size does not matter, Richards would make a very respectable first ever television champion. If The American Wolves are going to break up, then I can see it happening in the finals. I think a Davey Richards vs. Eddie Edwards finals would be a spectacular display of wrestling ability. Like an old school Chris Benoit vs. Chris Jericho match.
No matter what happens, I’m just excited that ROH will now have a secondary singles title to go along with the ROH World title. From a booking perspective, this should only make things better and more diverse. With a title to chase after, feuds become more meaningful and storylines should become more cohesive. Unless of course Vince Russo does the booking.
Vince DeHoratus lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two kids. He has been a life long wrestling fan and he has passed that love onto his son. Though not quite yet “middle aged and crazy”, he is fast approaching it.
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