This Saturday night, Ring of Honor wrestling will present their fourth internet pay-per-view event, Glory By Honor IX.
The show takes place in the famed Grand Ballroom of the Manhattan Center in New York City. It will be available as a live stream on gofightlive.tv for just under fifteen bucks, or less than half the cost of your average WWE or TNA pay-per-view event.
The past month has been an interesting one for ROH. Their current World Heavyweight Champion, Tyler Black, signed a developmental deal with the WWE and their head booker since 2008, Adam Pearce, parted ways with the company. In many ways "Glory By Honor IX" represents the beginning of a new era in ROH.
Fans will likely be seeing Tyler Black's final live appearance before heading to the WWE as he defends his title in a much anticipated rematch with Roderick Strong. This is also the first major PPV event under the new booking regime, and it ought to be interesting to see how the card unfolds. Let's take a look at the matches on tap for "Glory By Honor IX."
Erick Stevens and Necro Butcher vs. Grizzly Redwood and Ballz Mahoney
The rivalry between Grizzly Redwood and Prince Nana's Embassy faction has been a big part of the ROH undercard for the majority of 2010. Once Redwood's ally, the Necro Butcher, turned his back on him to join up with Nana, things really began to heat up.
The last time ROH was in the Grand Ballroom, ECW original Ballz Mahoney showed up and saved Redwood from a post-match beatdown by Stevens, Nana and Ernesto Osiris. This Saturday night, Redwood and Mahoney (call them Grizzly Ballz) will be looking to finally take down Nana's team of Stevens and Necro.
Will "The New Crown Jewel of the Embassy" put down Redwood for good, or can the combined forces of Grizzly Ballz cut the Embassy down to size?
Considering the recent rub that the Embassy has gotten in ROH, I'm expecting Nana and company to find a way to squeak out a victory in this one.
Rhett Titus vs. Mark Briscoe
The All-Night Express of Rhett Titus and Kenny King have laid out the challenge to The Briscoes. In this week's ROH video wire, the ANE called out the six-time ROH World Tag Team Champions and challenged them each to singles matches on Saturday night in NYC.
Titus, a former "Top of the Class" trophy winner, will be going one-on-one with Mark Briscoe in what should be a good contest.
Before joining up with King to form the ANE, Titus was struggling in the undercard of ROH despite showing much potential. For the past several months he has spent the majority of his in-ring time teaming with King and perhaps he has a learned a few things from his blue-chip partner.
Titus has improved his game this year, but he is up against a rough and tumble veteran in Mark Briscoe. Given the relentless style of the Briscoes, Mark should bring the fight to the ladies' man. As long as King and Titus' manager Austin Aries stays out of the picture, I expect to see Mark's hand raised at the end of this one.
Jay Briscoe vs. Kenny King
Kenny King might be one of the best young talents currently signed to the ROH roster. He is gifted with outstanding athleticism and has all the confidence in the world to back up his ability.
He faces a very tough challenge in Jay Briscoe, who has a bit more experience in the singles ranks of ROH than his brother Mark. His Jay-Driller is a devastating way to end a match, but the same can be said of King's Coronation finisher.
This is a tough one to call, but since I picked Mark to defeat Titus and it makes sense for these teams to split their singles matches, I'll go with King to get the win here.
Austin Aries vs. Christopher Daniels
Ever since returning to ROH at "The Big Bang" iPPV, Christopher Daniels has mowed through the competition on his quest to become the ROH World Heavyweight Champion. At "Glory By Honor IX" he must step into the ring with the only man to ever lay claim to holding that title twice, "The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived," Austin Aries.
This one should be awesome. Daniels has consistently put on great matches since April. His bouts against Eddie Edwards, Kenny Omega and Tyler Black have shown that "The Fallen Angel" remains one of the best in the world.
2010 has not been the best year of A Double's career. Since dropping the World Heavyweight Title to Black at the "Eighth Anniversary Show," Aries has spent more time focusing on being a manager than he has in the ring. He is coming off a heated feud with Delirious and his momentum is definitely hurting.
Picking up a big win on iPPV over the ultra-hot Daniels would go a long way towards reestablishing Aries as a threat to once again win the title. I just don't see that happening though. Daniels is on a path towards the gold and I expect to see him pick up another impressive win at "Glory By Honor IX."
ROH World TV Title Match - Eddie Edwards vs. Shawn Daivari
This is a match that actually may not happen on Saturday night. It is actually the second chance that the Embassy has at the TV title this weekend. Edwards will have to make it past Erick Stevens on Friday in Plymouth, MA for this one to go down.
If the first ever ROH World TV Champion can successfully defend his title on Friday, he faces Stevens' partner Shawn Daivari at "Glory By Honor IX."
Daivari is known to most wrestling fans for his run in the WWE along with Muhammad Hassan. He also spent time in TNA as Shiek Abdul Bashir where he had a brief run as the X Division Champion. Daivari now is a member of Prince Nana's Embassy faction and this TV Title match is his most high profile contest thus far in ROH.
If Edwards is able to run the Embassy's gauntlet this weekend, he should be able to silence the critics who have labeled him as a weak champion for not defending his title often enough and only choosing relative unknowns for his "10 Minute Hunt" challenges.
I fully expect to see Edwards walk out of both Plymouth and New York with the TV Title still in his possession.
Double Chain Match: Kevin Steen and Steve Corino vs. El Generico and Colt Cabana
The first of the triple main event for "Glory By Honor IX" is yet another chapter in the incredibly violent feud between Kevin Steen and El Generico. Of course, Steen's mentor Steve Corino and Generico's friend Colt Cabana have also played integral roles in what has been one of the most interesting feuds in 2010.
This double chain tag team match promises to be another bloody battle between these teams. They nearly killed each other in a Chicago street fight at "Bitter Friends, Stiffer Enemies II" and it is very likely that we will see the level of brutality once again raised between these four individuals.
Steen picked up a big win over Generico in June at "Death Before Dishonor VIII" and the generic luchador got a DQ victory over "Mr. Wrestling" at "Hate: Chapter II" last month in Collinsville, IL. The chain has been a symbolic part of this feud since that fight.
This is a tough one to call. The feud has been so fierce and it really shows no signs of ending, even after this double chain match. My gut says that somehow, someway, Steen and Corino will figure out a way to pick up the win this time.
Non-Title Tag Team Dream Match - The Kings of Wrestling vs. Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas
Fans of tag team wrestling, rejoice! This one truly should live up to the "dream match" hype as two of the best teams of the past decade go at it with nothing but pride on the line.
When Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas were released from the WWE earlier this year, most fans expected to see one or the other wind up with TNA. Some hoped that perhaps a stint in ROH could happen and those wishes have come true, even if for now it is only a one-time deal.
The World's Greatest Tag Team are former two-time WWE tag team champions and both possess impressive athletic backgrounds. Benjamin had been called the most athletic superstar in the WWE and the "Gold Standard" will definitely be looking to prove those words true in ROH. Haas turned into a bit of a joke near the end of his run in the WWE but the man has a legit amateur background and has the power to hang with the much bigger team of Hero and Castagnoli.
The Kings of Wrestling are big, strong, and work supremely well together. Hero and Castagnoli have held the ROH tag titles twice, including their current five-plus month run with the gold. They have put on great matches with the Briscoes, the Motor City Machine Guns and they also survived the "Ultimate Endurance" finale of Tag Wars 2010.
The momentum is clearly on the side of the champs, who have been working together as a well oiled machine since reforming in December. Haas and Benjamin have not tagged together since a brief reunion on Smackdown in early 2009 that was not very fruitful. Perhaps there will be a little bit of rust on Wrestling's Greatest Tag Team.
This is another tough one to predict, but I'll go with the Kings of Wrestling to once again reign supreme. Regardless, this one is shaping up to be a delightful tag team affair.
ROH World Heavyweight Championship Match (No DQ with Terry Funk as the Ringside Enforcer) - Tyler Black vs. Roderick Strong
Tyler Black defeated Roderick Strong at "Supercard of Honor V" at the very same Grand Ballroom where the two will collide once again on Saturday night. This time, the stakes have never been higher for Strong.
This match is the final live appearance for Black with ROH and he vows to take the World Heavyweight Championship with him once he leaves to company. It is up to Strong, who has a dismal 0-15 record in matches for that title over his career, to prevent that from happening.
Strong, who has felt betrayed and screwed over by the folks at ROH for most of this year, finds himself in the precarious position of savior. Not only must he overcome his losing record in ROH title matches but he must overcome an opponent who has had the better of him in 2010.
With the addition of Terry Funk as a special "ringside enforcer," it appears that things could get very interesting come Saturday night. Can Funk make sure the fight remains fair or has he been put in place to make sure that title stays in ROH?
If these two put on a show like they did at "Supercard of Honor V," fans are in for a great match. It is hard to imagine Black leaving New York as the champion, especially when the rabid crowd will be on him like never before. The boos and jeers should be louder than ever once Black steps foot in the Manhattan Center.
It could very well be a story of validation for Strong, who has worked so hard without ever truly reaching the top in ROH. With Truth Martini at his side and the House of Truth backing him up, he could finally accomplish his goal. The no-disqualification stipulation certainly plays into their favor.
This is shaping up to be the most important match in ROH this year and I'm interested to see how it all shakes out. I don't think Tyler Black will be leaving with the title, but at the same time I'm not so sure that Roderick Strong will be either. Does ROH have a huge swerve up their sleeve?
"Glory By Honor IX" has been hyped up very well over the past month and the show has every chance of living up to and perhaps even surpassing that hype. It will mark the beginning of the next era for ROH and that alone makes this iPPV something special.
Saturday night, New York City, 8 p.m. One era ends and another begins. For more info, check out the official ROH web site and gofightlive.tv.