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Sunday, May 26, 2013

FIGHTS: PREVIEW - ROH Invades Texas, stirs controversy

Notable Texas standouts absent, ZBF.com blamed
by
Bowie V. Ibarra


Like many of my other south Texas pro-wrestling brothers and sisters, the Ring of Honor Invades Texas show has been on our minds for months now!  And just a few days away, not only has the show built a great card with outstanding ROH stars participating, but a great selection of Texas talent getting a chance to shine on the show as well.
 
Curiously enough, it hasn't been without controversy.  But we'll cover that in a bit.  The good news is the card itself.  Here's a brief preview of the show, with many portions blatantly ripped off from the Official Ring of Honor website and compiled in one convenient location for your perusal.
 
TEXAS TALENT BOOKED TO COMPETE
 
In the tradition of Ring of Honor on the road, some of the best regional talent are put on display.  This trip to San Antonio is no different, as several names from the San Antonio and central Texas indy wrestling scene will be competing in a ROH ring!
 
Those names include:
Multi-Time Texas Indy Champ Ray Rowe
AJ Summers
Rudy Russo
Carson
Ricky Starks
 
MARK BRISCOE vs. A MEMBER OF SCUM

Make no mistake, Mark Briscoe is a crazy hillbilly.  But he's a crazy hillbilly that knows his way around the Ring of Honor.  Mark and his brother, Jay, are the backbone of the organization, and brutal warriors to boot.

So what a great matchup to put him up against any of the crazy members of the SCUM stable:  Jimmy Jacobs, Matt Hardy, Rhett Titus, and Steve Corino.  What the members of SCUM might give up on power, SCUM can match with science and skullduggery.  This one should be fun.

WOMEN OF HONOR MATCHUP
ATHENA
vs.
BARBI HAYDEN

The Skandaar Akbaar-trained Athena brings her science and skill to the ring against the doll-faced Barbi Hayden.

In only a few years time, Barbi Hayden has proved to be a rising star on the Texas Indy scene.  Her most recent rubbermatch against NWA Women's Champ Kacee Carlisle proved she was an amazing talent, and just needs to sharpen those skills to take it to the next level.

Athena, on the other hand, has been on the Texas indy scene for a lot longer, and has a long list of accomplishments in the state, including defeating Jessica Havoc in the finals of the ACW Queen of Queens Tournament.  Here O-Face cutter from the top rope is one of the most devastating moves on the scene, and she plans to unleash it on Barbi Saturday.
 
 
DREAM MATCH
ACH vs. JAY LETHAL
 
People are already calling this high-flying matchup the 'Fight of the Night', and its hard not to make that judgement, either.  Both competitors are amazing athletes, and it looks to be a match that lives up to the hype.  Many fans in central Texas have watched ACH grow into the rising star of Texas.  It's great to see him in the ROH ring.
 
From the official ROH Website:

"Saturday night June 1st Ring of Honor makes its debut in San Antonio, TX and one man looking extremely forward to this road trip is ACH.  For him it is a homecoming of sorts as ACH originally hails from Austin, TX and broke into the sport of pro wrestling on the independent circuit of the Lone Star State before breaking out nationwide and eventually signing a full-time ROH contract.
 
Now when ROH returns to his home state for the first time since 2009, ACH will face one of the toughest test of his Ring of Honor career when he faces former World TV Champion Jay Lethal in singles competition...
 
"Signing that contract was one of the most exciting days of my life." said ACH to ROHWrestling.com, "But coming back to Texas for a Ring of Honor event AND facing Jay Lethal, well that's right up near the top of the list.  The pressure is on to show the fans back home, in-person, why I deserve to be in the ring with one of the best wrestlers competing today.   Adam Cole and Michael Elgin, those were the two names talked about as the breakout starts of 2012.  Well this time next year, it is going to be my name everyone is talking about like that and it would be perfect if it all starts in Texas! And to be perfectly honest, Lethal has always been one of the guys I looked up to when I first started wrestling.  He was an inspiration for getting started in the first place so facing him makes this all the more special. "
 
ACH certainly has all the potential to be that next breakout star for ROH but he will have to give it his all if he hopes to top Jay Lethal in one-on-one competition! 
 
PROVING GROUNDS SCRAP
ROH TV CHAMP MATT TAVEN
vs.
'DIE HARD' EDDIE EDWARDS

From the official ROH Website:

Coming off a successful Proving Ground victory at “Dragon's Reign” over Tadarius Thomas, World TV Champion Matt Taven will face another PG challenge when ROH debuts in San Antonio on June 1st. Unlike Thomas though, this challenger is one who knows all too well what it takes to become TV Champion..after all, he was the FIRST.
 
That's right, on Saturday June 1st it will be World TV Champion Matt Taven versus “Die Hard” Eddie Edwards in a Proving Ground Challenge! If Edwards defeats Taven or lasts the time limit then Eddie will receive a future TV Title match to go along with the World Title bout he has scheduled for “Live and Let Die” in Columbus on June 8th.
 
“They say Eddie Edwards made this title.” Matt Taven offered to ROHWrestling.com, “That may be true with his wins over Davey Richards, Rhett Titus, Petey Williams, and all the rest but he still has to prove himself to me, to me and the H...O...T. You're no better than the rest Eddie and being the first ever TV champion, being the first ever triple crown winner, those things do not automatically make it so you deserve a shot at my TV Title. You will go the same way as Mark Briscoe, as ACH, as Tadarius Thomas....down. There will be no title opportunity in your future, much less a second reign, and when I am done with you in San Antonio, I expect you to tell everyone else what the hoopla around Matt Taven is all about.”
 
It's World TV Champion Matt Taven versus “Die Hard” Eddie Edwards under Proving Ground Rules and it will go down on Saturday June 1st in San Antonio, TX! Can Edwards head into his Columbus World Title match with a TV Title shot in his back pocket? Or will Taven overcome the biggest challenge of his ROH career?

FORMER WORLD TV CHAMPS COLLIDE
ADAM COLE vs. RODERICK STRONG


From the official ROH Website:

On June 1st ROH heads to San Antonio, TX for the very first time! Already signed for the event Davey Richards challenging for the World Title against the winner of Jay Briscoe/BJ Whitmer, a Texas Tornado Tag Team Match with Michael Elgin & BJ Whitmer versus 2 SCUM Members, and Jay Lethal taking on Texas' own ACH!
 
Now, coming off their Triple Threat collision in Belle Vernon, ROH officials have signed a rematch between two former World TV Champions as Roderick Strong goes one-on-one with the very man who beat him last year on ROH TV, Adam Cole!
 
“Rematch.” said Roderick Strong to ROHWrestling.com, “That's the word of the day because that is what I never got! Adam Cole beat me for the belt on TV in June last year, he lost it in March of this year, and not one damn time did Ring of Honor try sign on the rematch. I'm not complaining, just pointing out the truth bro. So consider this the rematch that never happened Adam, and just like what would have happened if I had ever had the chance to win my belt back, you are getting beat down.”
 
Cole, who suffered the pinfall loss to BJ Whitmer in that Triple Threat in Belle Vernon, has been told by Nigel McGuinness he is in-line for a future World Title match but if Strong beats him in San Antonio, compiled with the Belle Vernon loss and as his championship loss at “Border Wars 2013”, one has to wonder if McGuinness will be able to keep that promise. The pressure is certainly on for Cole in San Antonio...

TEXAS TORNADO TAG TEAM MATCH
MICHAEL ELGIN & BJ WHITMER
vs.
2 SCUM MEMBERS

From the official ROH Website:

“Border Wars 2013” proved to be a mixed bag in the war against Steve Corino and S.C.U.M. BJ Whitmer was successful in his “I Quit” match with Rhett Titus but the high stakes tag team match with Michael Elgin, Jay Lethal, and shockingly Kevin Steen battling Jimmy Jacobs & Cliff Compton did not yield triumphant results. Lethal was hurt which left Elgin to battle it out alone against two men, Kevin stepped up to take Jay's spot in the match but ultimately ended up with his shoulders pinned by Jacobs...a victory that not only reinserted Corino into the announcer's position but secured S.C.U.M a future World Title match.
 
Coming out of that, as we reported yesterday, Steen is now looking to go it alone and take apart his former unit piece-by-piece. As for Elgin, he is certainly not yet done with Corino's motley crew...
 
“It was a noble gesture from Kevin to step up on Saturday.” said Elgin to ROHWrestling.com, “I doubt he gave a damn about me fighting it out alone, I know it was more about revenge on SCUM, but it was still a nice thought. What's not a nice thought is that in Kevin's attempt to get revenge, he ended up giving Corino his voice back and he gave SCUM a World Title match on top of that. I'm glad to see you want to go this alone Kevin because, quite frankly, after that I don't think anyone in this locker room is ready to put faith in you just yet. As for me, SCUM we are not done, not by a long shot and in San Antonio I am looking for you, any two of you, to step up to the plate and fight. Compton, Jacobs, Hardy, hell even Corino himself if he still has it in him to lace up his boots...I don't give a damn which of you it is. Just show up prepared to fight...”
 
When pressed for who he would want to be his partner in this tag team battle, Elgin said there was one man at the top of his list, a man who could be World Champion come June 1st, “Buzzsaw” BJ Whitmer!
 
“I'm happy Elgin would want me as his partner.” said BJ, “And while I don't know how Nigel would want it to go down, if I beat Jay Briscoe and come to San Antonio as the World Champion, hell I'd fight twice that night if I have to. As a matter of fact, if Elgin's game and I know he will be, what say we make this tag team fight a little more fun, why don't we throw a little bit of Texas in there and do it Tornado style? SCUM likes to toss the rules out the window whenever they get a chance so why don't we just add more chaos to the mix!”
 
Nigel heard the request and has granted it with a smile on his face! When ROH debuts in San Antonio on June 1st, it will be “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin & “Buzzsaw” BJ Whitmer vs. Two Members of S.C.U.M fighting it out under Texas Tornado Rules! 
 
McGuinness has informed us that should Whitmer capture the World Title in Richmond he will have to take another look at this match since a World Title bout has already been guaranteed for that night but for now, it's Whitmer/Elgin vs. SCUM when honor comes to Texas!

 
ROH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
JAY BRISCOE (C)

vs.
"AMERICAN WOLF" DAVEY RICHARDS

From the official ROH Website:

Both men are former World Champions, they have reigned as World Tag Team Champions together, and one of them was also the first World TV Champion as well as the first ever Triple Crown Winner in ROH history. They are Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards, collectively they are known as The American Wolves, and in the month of June either, or both, individuals could be known as the NEW Ring of Honor World Champion!
 
“I took a look at our upcoming events,” said Nigel McGuinness, “and decided to load up on the World Title matches for our fans around the country. We need to mark our debut in San Antonio with a World Title match and West Virginia was so good to us last time that I knew one had to happen there as well. Then I took a look at our locker room and it hit me that there were two individuals in particular who, in my mind, deserved a chance to reclaim something they lost. Davey Richards has been boxed out of the picture since he lost to Kevin Steen at Best in the World nearly a year ago and Eddie Edwards, after he took on Steen at our last visit to Charleston, ended up in the same position this year when he lost the Defy or Deny battle. Two former World Champions, two of the best in the world today, and I know no matter if it's Jay Briscoe, Adam Cole, or BJ Whitmer who holds the belt that both Wolves will give the fans their money's worth in a World Title bout! Plus, as a fan myself, the possibility of seeing Eddie and Davey tussle once again is just too good.”
 
McGuinness has determined that it will be Richards vs. the ROH World Champion on June 1st when Ring of Honor debuts in San Antonio, TX at the San Antonio Shrine Auditorium and on June 7th when we come back to Charleston, WV & The Civic Center, Edwards will return to the site of his last World Title match to challenge the champion! It could be Jay Briscoe coming in as defending champion, it could be Adam Cole, it could be BJ Whitmer, in Charleston it could even be Edwards/Richards: Round V!
 
Plus whoever makes it through all of this as World Champion still has Michael Elgin to worry about since “Unbreakable” won a #1 Contender's Match over Jay Lethal at “Supercard of Honor VII” in NYC! 
 
Davey Richards gets his shot in San Antonio, Eddie Edwards gets his in Charleston...the World Title scene is as hot as ever this spring and summer and you can get tickets to catch the action for all of these live events right here in the ROH Store!
 
CONTROVERSIAL ABSENCE
 
As the tremendous ROH Invades Texas card was finalized, ZombieBloodFights.com and many other fans on the Texas scene noted the absence of two of Texas' most outstanding wrestlers.
 
Scot Summers and Ryan Genesis, known in the southern territories as The Kingz of the Underground, have been running roughshod over Texas tag teams for months now.  It could be argued 'The Underground Icon', 'Showtime' Scot Summers kept the Texas Indy scene afloat, and provided a strong foundation as its spiritual leader across the state that eventually grew into the Texas Indy Renaissance it is experiencing today.  Summers has faced such stars as Bryan Danielson, Chris Hero, Jimmy Jacobs, ACH, Robert Evans, and many others in his climb to the top of the Texas scene.  It seemed a natural for Scot to be picked.
 
'The Ace' Ryan Genesis has been a big name on the Texas scene as well.  The guy is tough as nails and has legit boxing hand skills as well.  That's bad news for opponents.  Aligning himself with Scot, the two went on to great triumphs in Texas, including a run as the NWA World Tag Champs, losing the titles to the IWGP World Tag Champs, the Killer Elite Squad.
 
When ROH announced their plans to travel to SATX, I immediately called for the dream matchup in an online video.
 
KotU vs. Briscoes: Make it Happen ROH
 
I posted a follow up with my Texas Indy wrestling fan friends:
 
 
A week away, I noticed their very obvious absence.  So I posted yet another video:
 
 
The following afternoon, 'Showtime' posts a bizzare rant, intimating that ROH brass was calling for a halt to my fan-made videos.

From Scot Summers official Facebook page:
"RING OF HONOR has an Extremely talented roster. The Briscoe Brothers-SCUM-American Wolves & many others are fearless warriors. They have been Multi-Time World CHAMPIONS. KOTU has a lot repsect for Jay & Mark, Jimmy Jacobs & the rest of the boys. THE PROBLEM IS WITH THE BRASS OR OffICE OF ROH. FACT: THE RING OF HONOR OffICE TOLD ITS OWN EMPLOYEE & KNOWN ASSOCIATE/ SUPPORTER of (KOTU) Ryan Genesis ...& Scot Summers THAT WE & OR OUR FANS NEED TO STOP POSTING VIDS & FLYERS ON FACEBOOK/TWITTER DEMANDING & PROMOTING TO SEE THE KINGZ OF THE UNDERGROUND VS BRISCOES OR VS SCUM OR ANYONE ELSE FOR THAT MATTER. WAY TO BLOW OFF YOUR LOYAL TEXAS FANS ROH. HONOR DIED IN ROH THE MINUTE DANIELSON, PUNK, JOE, MCGUINNESS, JERRY LYNN, Claudio Castagnoli, CHRIS HERO, Adam Pearce & Charlie Haas ALL LEFT ROH. TRUE HONOR LIVES IN TEXAS! WE HAVE THE GREATEST WRESTLING FANS IN THE COUNTRY."

 
I just want to say that Scot never put me up to making any of these videos.  I only did it as a fan.  And doing what fans do, I threw my support to the online wrestling community for the wrestler I support.  Why ROH is mad at ZombieBloodFighs.com and intimating I torpedoed the Kingz chances at participating is beyond me.
 
For what its worth, I still support ROH, and am a Scot Summers fan to the bitter end.  I'm just disappointed ROH made that choice, if this is, indeed, how it played out.

Maybe Scot was right?  Maybe there is a conspiracy to keep him from the pro-wrestling glory he deserves?

Part 1
 
Part 2

 
 
Expect more blogs centering around the controversy as the day approaches, readers. ROH brass be damned.
 
In the end, me and many others from Texas are going to go out and enjoy ourselves Saturday June 1st, 2013, at the San Antonio Shrine Auditorium for the historic second Texas visit of Ring of Honor.
 
I can't wait.
 
=================
 
BOWIE V. IBARRA is the author of the noted zombie horror series, 'Down the Road', from Permuted Press and Simon and Shuster.  His latest novel, 'Pit Fighters: Double Cross' is a combat sports themed book about the adventures of a MMA stable in south Texas, featuring a Mexican luchador who crosses over into MMA.  'Pit Fighters: Double Cross' is available in paperback and Kindle for as low as .99 cents.

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