ROH Death Before Dishonor Preview
Ring of Honor will be presenting Death Before Dishonor live from Las Vegas this Friday night. As if this weekend weren’t packed with wrestling already, Ring of Honor has a chance to make show the world why the company has the best wrestling in the world.
ROH WORLD TV TITLE #1 CONTENDER’S 4 CORNER SURVIVAL
Lio Rush vs. Jay White vs. Donovan Dijak vs. Kamaitachi
On a card this stacked, this is a match that would normally take match of the night honors, but on this night, it will open the night and set the tone for the night. Over the last two months, all four of these men have proven that they could all walk away as the number one contender for the Television title. Although all four men do not have legitimate chance of walking away the winner, they have been entertaining in the ring. Kamaitachi is the least likely of all these men to win, as he has not yet established himself as as threat as a single competitor, but rather as a complement to the ROH World Tag Team champions of the World.
Donovan Dijak’s star has been on the rise since his partnership with Prince Nana and this could be the match that leads to him finally getting his hands on Ring of Honor gold. The only thing that may prevent him from winning this match is his booking at the Field of Honor event emanating from Brooklyn, NY a week later. He will be clashing with Michael Elgin for the IWGP Intercontinental title and having the number one contender lose to Elgin would call into question whether or not Dijak is ready to win ROH’s secondary title. When he gets his chance it has to be more than a shot; it has to be him winning the strap.
Lio Rush has shown the ability and has garner crowd excitement to merit a look here, but looking at how he has not been consistent in ROH in terms of being there week in and week out, it does not seem the company is ready to give him this opportunity. Much like Dijak as the Top Prospect, Rush has been eased into the company and not been given more than a chance to impress. Jay White may be a newcomer to the company, but his strong booking, particularly the win over Rush, leads to him taking this match. White is ROH’s chance to take this partnership with NJPW and cash in on it. White has all the tools the company looks for, as well as the body of work to support a win here.
Jay Briscoe vs Hangman Adam Page
This feud between the two has been hotshot over the last few weeks, but has enough bitterness on both sides to make this one worth watching. Jay and Mark recently won the NJPW tag titles and page has openly said that he wants to be one half of the team to take the belts off Dem Boys. While Jay was recording a promo backstage, Page superkicked him and then cinched his noose around Jay’s neck. This past week on ROH television, Page was cutting a promo outside of the ring and Jay attacked him, returning the favor. Since his split from the Decade and alienation with the Bullet Club, Page has fallen out of the spotlight as a singles star. Although his gimmick, the Hangman, is a bit controversial, it makes the most sense for him to win this bout and gain some momentum.
CHAOS (Rocky Romero,Trent Beretta & Toru Yano) vs BULLET CLUB (Tama Tonga, Tanga Roa & Yujiro)
Roppongi Vice have had more of presence on the last few weeks of Ring of Honor television, inserting themselves into the tag team title picture. The Young Bucks have it on the card which is a bit curious, so they only team representation of the Bullet Club will be the trio of Tonga, Roa and Yujiro. This is definitely a match that is a way for the non Elite Bullet Club members from NJPW on the ROH product. Chaos, as a team has not had much representation in ROH, but Will Osprey will be representing the team when ROH travels to England for the Reach for the Sky tour. As such, expect the Bullet Club to win here, with Chaos getting even next month in the UK.
Silas Young vs Kaysuyori Shibata
For the last calendar year there may not be a more consistent character than Silas Young. ROH’s “Last Real Man” has not gotten the push he deserves, often being booked as a solid heel for rising faces to defeat and look stronger by doing so. Young is ROH’s workhorse, able to adapt to a variety of styles in the ring. This match should be no different. Shibata is an excellent in ring performer whose work rate will make Young look like a million bucks. Don’t expect Young to get the win here, but he should gain from this match, coming off as a star who can travel to NJPW and CMLL as a clear antagonist who can elevate those he wrestles.
IWGP Heavyweight Champion KAZUCHIKA OKADA vs Dalton Castle w/ the Boys
This match is another example of the ROH/NJPW partnership wherein the ROH wrestler can perform well and look great, but not come away with the win. Particularly in a match against Okada, even a non-title match, Castle has a minuscule chance of winning this match. This is however reminiscent of the Moose/Okada match that proved to the world that Moose could go in the ring. Dalton Castle has been one of the most captivating stars Ring of Honor has had on their roster, so a strong showing here should elevate him. He recently lost his chance for the Television title against Bobby Fish, but down the road he is being booked in a main event match. Hopefully the loss here against Okada, one of the best in the world, will go a long way to establishing Castle as more than just an entertaining character.
TRIPLE THREAT – ROH WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
Naito & Evil vs Michael Elgin & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs The Addiction (Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian) (c)
The ROH tag division has had a serious upgrade, with all the teams being viable contenders to carry the title. This match only has The Addiction, Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian as ROH representatives in this match. Although Ishii did hold the tag titles for a stretch, it would not make sense for the current champions to drop the straps the two stellar teams that simply won’t be on the product enough to be effective title holders. Daniels and Kazarian are also scheduled to defend the titles at Field of Honor a week later in a gauntlet match and despite the Young Bucks and the Briscoes holding NJPW junior and heavyweight tag titles, it would be a mistake to take the titles off of the most entertaining team in the biz-a-ness.
ROH WORLD TELEVISION CHAMPIONSHIP
Mark Briscoe vs Bobby Fish (c)
The build up to the match has been excellent. Mark Briscoe has shown that he is invested in winning the title to prove that he is a legitamate singles star, while Fish has brought a real level of grace and aplomb to the title. Fish’s claims that he has elevated the championship to the same level as the world title may be bogus now, but retaining the title would do well to continue to make the belt relevant and meaningful. Mark has reinvented himself here, even shearing his locks to show that he is a new man. Despite this demeanor and more serious tone, look for Fish to walk out with the title and hold it a bit longer, dropping it to new talent like Jay White or a deserving wrestler like Donovan Dijak or Dalton Castle down the road.
ROH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Adam Cole vs Jay Lethal (c)
Although many disliked the ending to the Best in the World PPV, it did set the table for this match. Jay Lethal’s babyface turn could not have been completed without Adam Cole’s brash and downright infuriating portrayal of a braggadocious and entitled loudmouth. Cole and the Young Bucks shaving Lethal’s head solidified his new persona and logic would dictate that he will gain a measure of revenge against Cole. However, Cole’s attack of Kyle O’Reilly before his former tag partner’s title shot could come into play in the final decision for this match. A Cole victory could pave the way for an O’Reilly/Cole title match at Final Battle in December. Lethal has done it all and proved that he truly is one of the greatest ROH performer of all time. To have Cole snatch the most important thing away from him would make Cole that much more dastardly and perhaps finally sway those fans who still cheer for him to boo him out of the building. Either man would winning would make sense, but for the longevity of ROH’s product and the sake of good storytelling, a Cole victory would be an eye catcher for those casual fans who finds themselves indecisively on the fence about ordering the PPVs.