Moments Ago: What is the Biggest Story This Weekend?
Ring of Honor returns to the east coast this weekend with a pair of shows in New Jersey and Long Island. RoH once again has storylines at every position on the card from the top to the bottom and there is fan interest in just about every match. This edition of Moments Ago is going to actually look ahead and try to decide just what the biggest storyline going into this weekend is.
There are three frontrunners, and they of course are Nigel McGuinness vs. Takeshi Morishima, Colt Cabana’s farewell, and Generation Nextplosion. But the other big story, to me, is the influx of new talent and the changing RoH landscape.
Nigel McGuinness vs. Takeshi Morishima
Morishima has been absolutely dominating as Ring of Honor champion. Granted, he has only had a grand total of four matches in Ring of Honor but he has looked virtually untouchable in them. His only loss was to Joe during the “Samoa JoeÃ¢â‚¬Â farewell tour, and even then Joe barely got the win. They are billing the main event for Saturday’s show in Edison, NJ as Morishima’s biggest challenge to date.
That challenge, of course, comes in the form of Nigel McGuinness. McGuinnes has been a threat to the World Championship for the past eighteen months or so. Lately he has been billed as even more of a threat in the form of his new unbeatable finish the “Jawbreaker Lariat.Ã¢â‚¬Â This vicious version of the clothesline is so called because it resulted in the broken jaw of one Jimmy Rave. Anyone who has seen it will also attest that it is one of the more impressive lariats in Ring of Honor. Saying that is no small compliment because wrestlers from Homicide to Colt Cabana to Samoa Joe to many others have used the lariat as their finish.
My only worry in this match is that Nigel will hit the lariat in extremely violent fashion and Morishima will kick out at two. Nigel had another dominant move in the Tower of London. Some have referred to it as a rope assisted stunner, but regardless he hung his opponent’s legs over the top turnbuckle and used a neckbreaker to drive the opponent into the mat. This move should be absolute death. It should possibly be death on the level of Kobashi’s burning hammer, but instead everyone from Delirious to American Dragon to TJ Perkins has kicked out of it. I hope the Jawbreaker Lariat does not go the way of the Tower of London.
This match has a lot of hype more than many Ring of Honor World Championship matches, but is it the biggest story of the weekend? Or is it
The East Coast Farewell of “ClassicÃ¢â‚¬Â Colt CabanaÃ¢â‚¬Â
As I addressed in my column last week, Ring of Honor has lost another star to the WWE. Colt Cabana is heading to New York, but before he does, he must say goodbye to the East Coast only in the world of professional wrestling could that sentence make sense.
Colt has two big matches this coming weekend and both highlight his major strengths as an in ring performer. On Friday in Long Island he takes on Delirious. All reports say that their match in Liverpool during the Fifth Year Festival was comedy gold and extremely entertaining. Delirious is perhaps the fastest rising star in RoH at the moment as well. Colt will, as always, be in top form and will give the Long Island fans one of the most entertaining matches on a stacked card.
Saturday Colt gets a chance to show his technical side against Doug Williams. Williams is one of the best pure wrestlers in the world, and Colt will prove that he can hang with the best as he has many times in the past. But is this the biggest story of the weekend?
If you have been a regular reader of Moments Ago, and I know that you have, you know that one of the stories I am most excited about has been the destruction of Generation Next and the forthcoming faction wars. This weekend this feud, or is it feuds, kicks into high gear.
Austin Aries has said that this weekend he will reveal not only the third member of his stable to join him and Matt Cross, but he will also reveal a name for his faction. Now I could care less about what he calls the faction, it is the new addition that intrigues me. In my book, odds point to Erick Stevens. There are three concrete reasons to support this. First, Aries is looking for top new talent, and Stevens made his main show debut during the Wrestlemania double shot. Second, Stevens was made to look like a dominant monster in his two matches, why would Aries want to add someone like that to his group. Third, and perhaps most importantly, Stevens and Strong certainly have a history together. They were finalists in the Eddie Graham memorial tournament to crown the first Florida Heritage Champion in FIP. Stevens won the match and the title. Stevens is the perfect fit for the stable. They have speed with Cross, leadership and technical prowess with Aries, and if Stevens joins up he will provide the power.
The other portion of this feud triangle is addressed Saturday night as Jack Evans and Delirious take on the NRC team of Davey Richards and Roderick Strong. This match will be good, but from where I sit Aries vs. Strong is the more interesting side of this feud.
The Influx of New Talent
While no one is making their debut this weekend, a lot of talent, with limited experience in Ring of Honor, is getting the chance to make their name. I have already spoken about Stevens and he is in the fatal fourway with El Generico, Eddie Edwards, and Jason Blade. Generico has made his mark in RoH with a classic against the Briscoes teaming with Kevin Steen. Edwards has wrestled in NOAH and had some good matches with Aries and Evans, but he has not had that one match to put him over the top. Blade has seemingly left partner Kid Mikaze behind to make his own way, but will he make his mark.
Kevin Steen also has a singles match on Friday against Pelle Primeau, and I think this will be a chance for Steen to shine; his power based offense will match nicely with Pelle’s small man attack. Steen will get a bigger chance to shine on Saturday though when he reteams with El Generico to take on Mark Briscoe and Erick Stevens.
Blade and Edwards will also get a chance to show their stuff on Saturday when they take on Chris Hero and his personal trainer Tank Tolland. Tolland is also new to the Ring of Honor landscape and is in good company with Hero and his agent Larry Sweeney.
So What is the Biggest Story?
While there is a lot of intrigue with the new talent; that can only be considered the biggest story in retrospect. If these wrestlers turn out to be the top stars in Ring of Honor six months or a year from now’ this weekend of shows will be pointed to as the starting point. Still it is not the biggest story.
While Morishima and Nigel will main event both shows, I just can’t call them the biggest story of the weekend. Despite all the hype, I do not believe that Morishima will lose the belt this weekend. The matches will be awesome and will probably go a long way towards putting Morishima over as the truly dominant champion that he is.
Since Colt still has two shows left after this weekend, he is not leaving yet and therefore it is not the biggest story.
You have probably figured out that the biggest story going into this weekend, in my opinion is Generation Nextplosion. The matches during Wrestlemania weekend were a start, but now the feud truly gets going, and could very well produce the best matches of the weekend.
That’ll do it for this week’s edition of Moments Ago, stay tuned tomorrow for A Modest Response where I will weigh in with my Big Andy-pinion’s about the results of this weekend’s matches.
The last thing I would like to mention is the death of one of my all time favorite authors. Most have probably heard of the passing of Kurt Vonnegut Jr. I recommend reading any number of his books, but especially “A Man without a Country.” His writing was funny, cynical, and always entertaining. He will be sorely missed.
I’ll see you next time