For the first time in the company’s history, Ring of Honor is without an ROH World Champion. The final title holder was Jay Briscoe, who was stripped of the World championship on July 3rd due to contractual issues. ROH Commissioner Nigel McGuinness made the announcement on Ring of Honor’s YouTube channel, as well as the announcement of a 16-man tournament to crown a new Ring of Honor World champion.
Originally it was believed that Michael Elgin, the no. 1 contender, would be given the title. But instead, Elgin insisted that the ROH World title needed to be earned and agreed to partake in the tournament. Since Ring of Honor is now without a World champion, McGuinness stated that more emphasis would be placed on the World Tag Team championships.
Around this time last year, interestingly enough, the ROH World Tag Team championships were vacated due to a contract dispute with Kenny King, who appeared on a live broadcast of TNA’s IMPACT Wrestling. Ring of Honor’s constant issues with contracts with its talents lead to its greatest threat when Steve Corino and Jimmy Jacobs won the vacant titles–the team known as S.C.U.M. (Suffering, Chaos, Ugliness, and Mayhem).
Lead by “Mr. Wrestling” Kevin Steen, the man whose had the most issues with contracts, and, at the time, the reigning ROH World champion, S.C.U.M. terrorized the ROH Company with the agenda to destroy it as a whole. S.C.U.M. grew in size, as do most wrestling stables with a common agenda, adding Rhino to the fold.
However, Kevin Steen was ousted from S.C.U.M. after losing the World title to Jay and was replaced by new S.C.U.M. members Cliff Compton, Jimmy Rave, Rhett Titus, and centerpiece Matt Hardy. Cornio became the new leader and dangerously forced Ring of Honor to its extinction.
That was until Corino’s hubris got the better of him, and issued a challenge to Ring of Honor: S.C.U.M. vs Team ROH in a Steel Cage Warfare match. If ROH loses, they must surrender all control over to Steve Corino; but if S.C.U.M. loses, they must disband forever.
Kevin Steen, who has never been a pro-ROH guy especially due to the shady business of former Commissioner Jim Cornette, demanded from McGuinness to be placed on Team ROH. After weeks of matches against members of S.C.U.M., Kevin Steen earned his spot on Team ROH, and eventually earned the winning pinfall that disbanded S.C.U.M. forever.
Kevin Kelly, the lead commentator, shouted throughout the broadcast that Honor Lived, but it seems like Ring of Honor still has a long road of restoration ahead of them. In two weeks, the tournament will commence to crown a new ROH World champion; but in the meantime we still have the ROH World Tag Team championships.
The Ring of Honor episode following Steel Cage Warfare, the defending ROH World Tag Team champions reDRagon (Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly) lost the titles to the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Champions Forever Hooligans (Rocky Romero and Alex Koslov).
Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards, two-former ROH World champions, chose not to enlist in the ROH World championship tournament because they wanted to focus and reclaim the ROH World Tag Team championships. So down the line, if not soon, expect The American Wolves vs Forever Hooligans for the titles.
Answer the Questions: Does Honor Live in Ring of Honor? Thoughts of Jay Briscoe being stripped of the ROH World championship?
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[Watch Jay Briscoe win the ROH World Championship courtesy of ROH’s Official YouTube channel]