Thursday 19 May 2011

Supercard of Honor VI preview

This Saturday Ring of Honor will return to Chicago Ridge for their sixth annual Supercard of Honor. With a world title rematch two months in the making, the first RoH singles matches for Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas, and the progression of high profile feuds, Supercard of Honor VI looks like a great show on paper. I’m sure it will be even better in the ring.

Personally I’m most looking forward to seeing Haas and Benjamin in their first singles matches in an RoH ring. Shelton Benjamin is one of the most athletic men on any roster and can do amazing things inside a wrestling ring. WWE only really utilised his phenomenal ability once a year for their Money in the Bank spotfest, but RoH is the sort of company that will encourage the former ‘Gold Standard’ to work his ability into a proper wrestling contest. Claudio Castagnoli is the perfect opponent for him, being superbly conditioned and a strong worker. It makes sense storyline-wise as the Kings are trying to get themselves a rematch for the tag team titles. I imagine this one will be a standout match for the show.

Meanwhile, Benjamin’s tag partner will be in the ring with Davey Richards. While Benjamin v Castagnoli will probably be a more athletic, big-bumping affair, I imagine Richards v Haas will be a technical showcase. Their styles complimented each other nicely at Honor Takes Center Stage and I think a singles match will be just as rewarding. I suspect Davey will go over to keep him strong, with Benjamin taking the win against Castagnoli.

Elsewhere on the card we have plenty of House of Truth action to look forward to. Television champion Christopher Daniels will be in a non-title match against Colt Cabana. The storyline announcement that RoH will not be booking TV title defences until a new television deal is secured has been applauded by the heel Daniels, which makes me think that Cabana will win this match in order to set up a championship challenge sometime in the next few months. Title aside, I think Cabana needs to win here because he’s currently in danger of looking weak through too many losses.

Truth Martini’s rookie monster Michael Elgin (who still reminds me of Rhino at the start of his ECW career) will face Homicide. Homicide is in a similar position to Cabana in that he needs to get a win soon. Hopefully he’ll go over clean, but if Elgin does somehow win then it should be Truth Martini and at least one other person getting involved. It should be a decent match, but it won’t be a show stealer.

I have a feeling the House will get involved in the Chris Hero v El Generico match. I still think we’re going to see Cabana and Generico v Roderick Strong and Christopher Daniels at Best in the World in June, and having the heels cost ‘The Generic Luchadore’ a match against Hero would keep the feud alive. Forgetting storylines, I think this will be another solid outing for both men. I think Hero is probably the best all-rounder RoH has, with Generico solidifying his spot as one of the company’s most reliable stars. Both are contenders to be the next RoH champion. I predict Hero winning this and it being one of the best matches on the card.

Unfortunately I can’t say I’m as optimistic about the street fight between the All Night Express and the Briscoes. I enjoy the ANX and think they’re due for a tag title reign, but the Briscoes don’t do anything for me. I’m pleased they’ve gone heel as they seem better suited to that role, but I can’t ever get excited about them. They’re matches tend to blur together and they’ve been treading water for a long time now. There just doesn’t seem to be anything new for them to do. A street fight between the two teams has the potential to include some good spots so it could be enjoyable, but I can’t envisage it being my favourite match of the show.

Further down the card are Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly v the Bravado Brothers and Steve Corino v Mike Bennett. Cole and O’Reilly have traded wins with the Bravados in the past, but I think the storyline of their match this weekend will be how much they’ve improved through facing the likes of the ANX, the Kings, the World’s Greatest and the Briscoes. I like both teams, but Cole and O’Reilly have far more potential and need a decisive win. If they don’t get it against the Bravados something, somewhere, is very wrong.

The Corino v Bennett match interests me more for the promise that Corino’s “sponsor” will be attending the event than it does for the chance to see either man wrestle. This sponsor is the person who has been helping Corino on his road to recovery, helping him to stop all his heel mind games and cheating shortcuts. I think it’s a clever, logical and easy-to-follow plot, but I have no idea who the sponsor will be. I suppose that’s the point. When ‘The King of Old School’ has mentioned the person at previous events he has hinted at it being Kevin Steen. I’d love it to be him but it just seems too obvious. The match itself will be the typical Corino offering, likely with the audience caring more about the unveiling of the sponsor than the wrestling.

The main event of Eddie Edwards making the third title defence of his reign against Roderick Strong, the man he took the belt from two months ago, should be tremendous. I’ve not yet watched Eddie’s title winning effort, but I’ve read everywhere that it was a great match. With two men this good how could their first match, or this rematch, not be great?

Will we see Roderick become Ring of Honor’s second two-time world champion? I doubt it. I think Eddie’s going to have the belt for at least a few more months. A defence against Davey Richards at Best in the World in June seems likely. That’s a match I think Eddie would win (although an hour draw would be a good move as it would keep the rivalry between the two growing) before going on to face Davey again at Glory by Honor or Final Battle. It’s in the rematch that I think Davey will stand the better chance of winning the belt, whenever it takes place.

But that’s the future. As for Supercard of Honor VI, I think it will be a solid show. It’s the first time in a while that there have been this many impressive singles matches on one show, what with the recent emphasis on tag teams. It makes a nice change. While this show isn’t likely to go into the history books as a title change night I think it will advance two of the company’s top feuds and give us a great title rematch. What more could you ask for?

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