They will both be joining World Wrestling Entertainment in Atlanta during the first week of April, much like they both did last year in Phoenix. This time around though, ROH will be presenting two live Internet pay-per-view events dubbed “Honor Takes Center Stage” via gofightlive.tv.
ROH has been at the forefront of the iPPV movement and they are making a bold statement by offering these events up during the biggest, and most expensive, wrestling weekend of the year. The individual shows will be priced at the usual price of $14.99 but fans will be able to purchase both shows in a package deal for only $20.
Buying an iPPV on gofightlive.tv is similar to purchasing a DVD, except you get to watch it live as it happens. You get access to the replay, which you are free to go back and watch any time you desire. This makes the two show package deal a no-brainer for anyone who plans on buying one of these shows.
It is a sound business strategy and should allow ROH to make a decent profit off of their venture into the Center Stage Theatre, which also happens to be the former home of the old WCW Saturday Night tapings.
But before ROH heads to Atlanta, they have to big shows coming up in March.
Defy or Deny will take place on March 18 in Plymouth, Ma. The main event is a four-way elimination match pitting the ROH World Heavyweight Champion, Roderick Strong, against three of his most recent challengers—El Generico, Jay Briscoe and Homicide.
The title won’t be on the line, but the stakes are high. If Strong picks up the win, his opponents will not be able to challenge him for the title during his reign. If Generico, Briscoe or Homicide wins, they will get a shot at the belt on April 2 in Atlanta on iPPV.
The only other match announced so far for the Defy or Deny show is a special challenge match between Davey Richards and Claudio Castagnoli. Considering that they are two of the best ROH has to offer, it should be an excellent contest.
The next night, ROH returns to New York City for Manhattan Mayhem IV. Three huge matches have already been announced for what looks to be a blockbuster show.
The World Heavyweight Championship will be on the line as Eddie Edwards cashes in his “Survival of the Fittest” tournament win and goes for the gold against Roderick Strong.
Edwards has been one of the most impressive rising stars in ROH, fresh off a run as the first ever World Television Champion, he now looks to claim the top prize in the company.
Ever since Glory by Honor VIII, when Edwards competed in a tag team ladder war with a broken elbow, the NYC fans have given him their full support. With the ROH faithful in his corner, can the determined Edwards pull off what would be considered a pretty big upset and take down the red-hot World Champion?
The ROH World Tag Team Champions, the Kings of Wrestling, will be in action, in a non-title match, against the reunited team of Homicide and Hernandez, known to TNA fans as the L.A.X.
Homicide did not like what the Kings had to say about Puerto Rico in this YouTube video, where they claimed their globe spanning tag team dominance. He promises to bring his muscle, Hernandez, with him to the Manhattan Center to show the Kings that the 5150 are still a force to be reckoned with.
It is another in the long line of interesting match-ups for the longest reigning tag team champions in ROH history.
They’ve managed to defeat the likes of the Briscoes, Generation Me, Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas and most recently the All-Night Express. How will they handle the reunited and refocused team of Homicide and Hernandez?
The third match announced for Manhattan Mayhem IV is a rematch of one of the finest matches of 2010. Davey Richards and Christopher Daniels will once again square off, this time under pure rules.
This will be the first time a pure rules match has taken place in ROH since the Pure Championship was unified with the ROH World Heavyweight Title when Bryan Danielson defeated Nigel McGuinness in Liverpool, UK at the aptly titled Unified event in 2006.
Pure rules mean that each wrestler only gets three rope breaks, once they exhaust those breaks, the ropes are not a factor when it comes to breaking up submissions or pinfalls.
The rules also state that no closed fists can be used, which means if the ref catches someone throwing a punch, they can and likely will get disqualified. The ref can also take away one of the wrestler’s rope breaks if he deems that they have broken the closed fist rule.
When you boil it down, the pure rules mean that these two warriors will get inside the ring and wrestle. Given the respect that they have shown each other, it could be a technical classic. If it even comes close to the awesome match that they had last October, it will absolutely be a must-see affair.
Additional matches for Defy or Deny and Manhattan Mayhem IV should be announced in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, former two-time ROH World Heavyweight Champion Austin Aries is making headlines in Dragon Gate USA.
A few weeks ago, news broke that Aries had attempted to make the roster of WWE’s revival of Tough Enough. He didn’t make the cut, which left him wondering what was next for his wrestling career.
Aries posted this video on YouTube, addressing the situation. He said he wasn’t retiring or leaving wrestling all together, but he did have to think hard about his priorities and what he would do next.
He followed that up with this most recent video, where he issues a huge challenge for DGUSA’s April 2 show in Atlanta.
Aries wants to put his spot on the DGUSA roster on the line in a match for the Open the Freedom Gate Championship. If Aries can’t defeat the champion, YAMATO, in Atlanta, he promises to walk away from DGUSA for good.
Defeating YAMATO is no easy task, so Aries is taking a big risk. He wants to be at the top of DGUSA though and feels that he simply shouldn’t be there if he is not the champion.
YAMATO, who won the title from BxB Hulk at the United NYC show in January, is arguably one of the best wrestlers in the world today and undoubtedly one of the fiercest competitors in Dragon Gate.
In an interesting twist, DGUSA owner Gabe Sapolsky has gone to Twitter for feedback from the fans.
He asked them if Aries deserves the shot in Atlanta instead of Akira Tozawa, who defeated both Aries and former champion BxB Hulk during the United weekend.
Tozawa is probably the hottest competitor in DGUSA, and perhaps the entire independent wrestling scene in general, these days.
He was unceremoniously kicked out of Kamikaze USA, the stable which includes YAMATO and Jon Moxley, after the United shows. He wants to get his revenge and deserves a shot at the title based on his performances since coming to DGUSA.
Who will get the title shot in Atlanta on April 2? A case could be made for either man and no matter who gets the chance at the championship; they have a stiff challenge ahead of them in YAMATO.
Lastly, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla held their annual DDT4 tag team tournament last night in their home base of Reseda, Ca.
The winners of the Dynamite Duumvirate Tag Team Title Tournament (DDT4, get it?) will become the number one contenders for the PWG World Tag Team Title, currently held by the team of Paul London and El Generico, collectively known as ¡Peligro Abejas!
Here are the quick results of the show, courtesy of the fine folks of the “PWG Kliq” who tweeted them.
First round matches:
- Generation Me defeat Willie Mack and Brandon Gatson.
- The American Wolves defeat the RockNES Monsters.
- The Kings of Wrestling defeat the Cutler Brothers.
- Kevin Steen and Akira Tozawa defeat the Briscoes.
Second round matches:
- Generation Me defeat The American Wolves.
- Kevin Steen and Akira Tozawa defeat the Kings of Wrestling.
Joey Ryan Invitational Gauntlet Match:
- Ryan Taylor defeated Brian Cage Taylor, Peter Avalon defeated Ryan Taylor, and Candace LaRae defeated Peter Avalon after Joey Ryan interfered, leading to Joey Ryan defeating Candace LaRae. Ryan will face PWG World Champion Claudio Castagnoli at the next show, WINNING, on April 9.
- Generation Me defeat Kevin Steen and Akira Tozawa.
A very interesting outcome to what sounds like a pretty fun show, as usual, from PWG. Another title shot for Generation Me, who really made a name for themselves as the Young Bucks and had a lengthy run with the tag titles in PWG, is not the result many fans expected judging by reactions on Twitter.
Steen and Tozawa were clearly the fan favorites in this tournament and they picked up wins over perhaps two of the best tag teams in the world, the Briscoes and the Kings of Wrestling. Heading into the finals, they seemed to be the sure bet to come out on top.
Generation Me ends up victorious, much to the chagrin of PWG fans. One last side note, they reportedly dedicated their win to TNA president Dixie Carter.
That wraps up this rather long edition of news and notes from the independent scene. Thanks for checking it out and keep an eye out for future updates. Check out the respective web sites of each promotion for more news and information.
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